Dear Scouting family,
During its history, the Boy Scouts of America has had to adapt its programs to respond to events that have affected our country, our communities, and our Scouting participants. Scouting has endured World Wars, economic downturns, and a previous health epidemic– remaining an organization where fun and adventure are used to deliver the character, citizenship, fitness, and leadership skills for which it’s known.
In the face of current challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 National Jamboree. The unpredictability of the pandemic and the impact it’s had on councils this year are the two main reasons for this difficult decision.
The Boy Scouts of America is committed to the safety of all youth in our programs. Planning, preparations, and decisions regarding National Jamborees take place months, and even years, in advance. The unresolved issues surrounding the pandemic make it exceedingly difficult to plan and prepare for a premiere event of this size in a way that continues to keep the safety of Scouts, volunteers, staff and communities at the forefront.
We also recognize that the pandemic has dramatically impacted local councils, which are vital to the delivery of local Scouting and the success of any National Jamboree.
Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 prompted the closure of 70% of council summer camp programs this year, caused office closures, reduced key funding sources, and forced many councils to temporarily or permanently reduce their staff size. We believe postponing the 2021 National Jamboree will help bolster much-needed attendance at council camps next summer – by which time we hope the spread of COVID-19 has significantly subsided – and will give councils the opportunity to focus their limited resources on maximizing incredible local Scouting opportunities for families in their communities.
This decision was not made lightly, and we recognize that it may mean some Scouts will not have a Jamboree experience they had looked forward to. We believe, however, that it is the best path forward, and we are committed to hosting this incredible event at a future date.
Leaders were confronted with a similar decision when planning for the 1935 National Jamboree as our country faced a polio epidemic. Our leadership rallied then, as they have now, and postponed the 1935 Jamboree until 1937. That Jamboree started a legacy of high quality and impactful events that lives on today and will continue in the future.
As this decision is recent, there are many details surrounding the National Jamboree that we are working diligently to resolve. The attached FAQ was developed to help answer preliminary questions, and we will keep you posted on our progress through direct communications and at https://jamboree.scouting.org. Questions can be directed to the National Jamboree team at 2021Jamboree@Scouting.org. Scouting changes lives. It has, it does, and it will continue to do so because of the dedication of our Scouting family.
Thank you for your support and for all you do!
Al Lambert, Assistant Chief Scout Executive
National Director of Outdoor Adventures, Boy Scouts of America
National Jamboree Postponement FAQ
Q. Why has the 2021 National Jamboree been postponed?
A. The safety of Scouts, volunteers, staff members and communities is at the forefront of every decision the BSA makes. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have wide-ranging implications for events across the country, and the Jamboree is no exception. Planning, preparations, and decisions regarding National Jamborees take place months, and even years, in advance.
Given the current situation and the uncertain nature of future conditions, we determined we could not prepare in a manner that would provide the safest possible environment for all those involved. We look forward to holding this incredible event at a future date.
Q. When will the next National Jamboree be held?
A. A Jamboree task force of volunteers and staff, appointed by national Boy Scouts of America leadership, will recommend a new date for this event. We will inform all currently registered participants once that date is selected.
Refunds and travel plans
Q. I am a registered youth participant or the parent of a youth participant; how will I receive my refund?
A. Council contingent members should work directly with their local council regarding refunds. Please contact the Alamo Area Council Outdoor Adventure Director by email at jamboree@AlamoAreaBSA.org or by calling 210-740-9370 or 210-341-8611.
Q. I am a registered Jamboree Service Team member; how will I receive my refund?
A. The Jamboree Department at the National Service Center will process refunds.
Q. I am a Jamboree Service Team member and have already booked my flight, what should I do?
A. Jamboree Service Team members should work directly with their airline to inquire about refunds or flight credits.
Other High Adventure opportunities
Q. Will the Summit have other high adventure programs next year?
A. At this time, the Summit Bechtel Reserve is taking reservations for 2021 Summit Adventure programming with councils and Jamboree contingents. BSA High Adventure Base programs, including those offered at the Summit, can be found at https://www.scouting.org/outdooradventures/.
Q. Can my unit still attend the Summit as part of the James C. Justice National Scout Camp in the summer of 2021?
A. Yes, you can review options for an adventure at the Summit here: https://www.summitbsa.org/programs/scout-camp/
Q. What other adventure opportunities will be available next year?
A. Council camps offer incredible opportunities for adventure of all kinds and levels. While some may not be open now, be sure to consider your local council camp when planning for next year.
Q. I am a participant who applied for a scholarship to attend the Jamboree, will I need to apply again when the Jamboree is rescheduled?
A. Yes. Unfortunately, you will need to apply again given that the situation, available funds, and allocation process may be different.
Q. If I have already accepted a staff assignment, what happens to my position?
A. The BSA will inform key stakeholder groups of plans and decisions regarding positions for a future Jamboree as soon as that information is available.
Q. Can I still buy 2021 National Jamboree merchandise and apparel?
A. No. Official BSA 2021 National Jamboree merchandise and apparel are no longer available.
Q. My council is planning a pre-Jamboree trip for a few days before the Jamboree (Ex: Washington, D.C.), is that still going to happen? Will we still get the local contingent merchandise we ordered?
A. Council contingent members should work directly with their local council to inquire about pre-Jamboree trips and locally ordered merchandise.
Q. I am a youth participant but may be over 18 for the new National Jamboree date, can I still go as a participant?
A. Yes. There will be opportunities to attend a future Jamboree within the participant structure and the Jamboree Service Team structure.
Q. Where is the best place to go for the latest information?
A. As new information becomes available, we will include it on the 2021 National Jamboree Website at www.jamboree.scouting.org.
Q. What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
A. Some details are not available yet. However, we will do our best to answer your question if you send an email to 2021Jamboree@scouting.org.
Rev: July 14, 2020 / 10:30 AM EDT