Nearly 45,000 Boy Scouts from across the United States and from around the world are camping outdoors for 10 days of fun and adventure as the youth organization celebrates 100 years of scouting. Every four years the Boy Scouts of America holds its national jamboree, a large scale celebration that recognizes the organization's objectives of developing character, physical fitness and citizenship through community and outdoor activities.
Tent cities cover the grounds of this sprawling army base in Virginia. There's only one event that can bring this many campers together at one time.
The Boy Scouts National Jamboree is the crown jewel celebration for the organization that strives to develop positive qualities in boys through outdoor activities. Tens of thousands of Scouts from all 50 states and 26 other countries come to the United States every four years for 10 days of adventure and fun.
Chase Olivieri says the jamboree illustrates what scouting is all about. "The desire to get outside, the desire to try to experience new things, is really what drives scouting. In today's culture, a lot of kids are using a lot more computers and a lot more media, but at the same time scouting gives them an outlet to get outdoors and go camping and really just have fun in a whole different way," he said.
Collin Erickson from Omaha, Nebraska is testing his archery skills. He says the jamboree is a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. "The jamboree is amazing. It's a lot of fun and you get to meet a lot of new people from just across the U.S. and international. It's a great experience. All these opportunities I have been able to do like fly a plane, archery, or trap shooting, rifle shooting, anything like that, and I have gotten great leadership experience," he said.
The jamboree is an opportunity for boys ages 11 to 18 to enjoy scouting activities, and earn merit badges for mastering a variety of skills.
These Scouts are taking on the challenge of repelling from an 11 meter high tower. Thirteen year old Roberto Castrodad from Puerto Rico couldn't overcome his fear of heights, but he says he's not deterred. "It was really tough but I will try to come again and maybe I will get it on the next try," he said.
On the confidence course, the Scouts face obstacles that test a variety of leadership skills - problem solving, communication, trust and teamwork. Nicolas Vitone from New Jersey says he enjoys the camaraderie. "We just met each other last night and we are talking and we're hanging out, doing activities together. We have had so much fun and it is really a great experience," he said.
And that's what the Boy Scout National Jamboree is all about - fun.