The Scouts were awakened at 3:30 a.m. by a warning that a storm would arrive within 30 minutes. Duffle bags containing personal items were stacked under the dining canopies, on top of large wooden boxes the Scouts had been using as benches. The Scouts then waited for the storm in the Jamboree staff media tent across the road.
When the storm lessened enough to permit outside activity, the Scouts finished loading their gear on truck trailers and climbed onto buses.
Their first stop: the Smithsonian Air andSpace Museum. Next was the National Archives, where they viewed the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution.
After a hectic stop at a laudromat to wash as much of their clothing as possible, they checked into an air-conditioned hotel, took long anticipated showers, and went to a Baltimore Orioles game.
“This is a whirlwind tour,” said Lyle Anderson, Scoutmaster of Troop 928, composed of 13 Scouts from Monticello and 11 Scouts from Blanding (with a few more from other parts of Utah).
“We try to err of the side of leaving them wanting to see more rather than wondering when this boring presentation is going to end. We also try to prepare them for what they are going to see.”
On Thursday, August 5, after watching excerpts from “Gettysburg” on bus video monitors, the Scouts visited Gettysburg National Military Park.
A newly revamped visitor’s center and museum were briefly overrun by Scouts from Utah and Idaho, but nevertheless managed to handle the crowds and provide a quality experience. The Scouts then took a two hour driving tour around the CivilWar battlefield with a “step-on guide.” Scouts were full of questions.
Back on the bus and off to Philadelphia, the Scouts napped briefly while their Scoutmasters mended backpacks with sewing skills learned decades ago from Cub Scout leaders.
A brief stop in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where General George Washington wintered his troops also allowed many of the Scouts to see their first fireflies, as the stop occurred right at dusk.
Friday morning, the Scouts visited the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia, saw the Liberty Bell, and took a tour of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
On their way to New York, Scouts viewed “National Treasure” on their video monitors and were amazed at how many of the places shown in the film were fresh in their memories. A ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and a walk through lower Manhattan, including Ground Zero, capped off the day.
LDS Scouts on the tour look forward to finishing the tour with visits to locations in upstate New York and in Ohio important to their faith. Other Scouts from the council opted for a tour that extended to national historic sites in Boston.