This story has been shared with Scouters nationwide by Charles Dahlquist, National Commissioner, in a recent issue of Scouting Magazine.
Joe could be any Scout. This particular Scout attended the National Scout Jamboree last year. While we all face our daily challenges, Joe faces a lot more than most Jamboree attendees. He arrived with a motorized cart and a special aide to help him.
Some people might discourage a Scout with disabilities from visiting the Jamboree’s Action Point, or from attending the Jamboree at all. But Joe was met with a “Can Do!” attitude by the staffers at Action Point. He had the time of his life.
Excerpted from Scouting Magazine, March-April 2018
On Action Point, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, there stands a bronze statue of young Stephen G. Marriott (1957-2013) in his Scout uniform. Stephen was a business leader, Distinguished Eagle Scout, and advocate for people with disabilities. His statue overlooks the site of the Disabilities Awareness Challenge during the 2013 and 2017 National Scout Jamborees. In the future the site will contain a permanent facility dedicated to disabilities awareness.
The forthcoming center will give Scouts the opportunity to experience some of the disabilities that people with physical challenges must live with every day. Scouts will take training and complete exercises to help them get a feel for what it would be like to have these kinds of challenges.
Beginning in 2001, every Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill included a one-armed archery activity. At the Fort, it used a special one-handed bow-and-arrow fixture in a quonset hut as part of the disAbilities Awareness Challenge. When the Jamboree moved to the Summit in 2013 there was no enthusiasm for installing the fixture on the archery range. That attitude changed in 2017.
Scott Hellen, a National Jamboree staffer with limited mobility, shares observations on his Jamboree experience.
We all have preconceived expectations of what our first time on staff at a National Jamboree will be like. I was looking forward to working hundreds of Scouts from around the country and abroad as they came through the Disabilities Awareness Challenge, dAC. I also wanted to meet the adult Scouters that came from various locations and diverse backgrounds to serve as dAC staff. I learned fast that reality does not always meet one’s expectations.