Boy Scouts experience Jamboree, Washington, D.C.

Blake Broding  / For the Union-Eagle Left to right:  Josh King (Troop 18 St. Cloud) and  Clayton Payment, Nick Swanz, Riley Broding of Troop 16 in Princeton.

Blake Broding / For the Union-Eagle
Left to right: Josh King (Troop 18 St. Cloud) and Clayton Payment, Nick Swanz, Riley Broding of Troop 16 in Princeton.

Princeton Boy Scouts Riley Broding, 15, Clayton Payment, 13, and Nicholas Swanz, 13, won’t have to say their summer was boring when the new school year begins.
The three attested to that when they sat in Rainbow Park late last week reviewing the trip they took along with one other Princeton Boy Scout, Josh King, 15, who belongs to St. Cloud Troop 18.
The four were part of a group of 31 Boy Scouts and three adult leaders who went as part of the Central Minnesota area council troop based in Sartell that visited Washington, D.C., and then took part in the National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. The trip began with flying to Washington, D.C., on July 12. There, the group took in the Lincoln Memorial and many of the military monuments, plus Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Museum, the White House, Ford Theater where former President Lincoln was assassinated, and part of the Smithsonian Institute.
At Arlington, they saw the graves of the three Kennedy brothers, John, Robert and Ted, plus the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where Broding and King were part of a small group of Boy Scouts who presented a wreath at the tomb.
The group also looked at the outside of the Pentagon in nearby Arlington County, Va., where a terrorist-commandeered jet airliner crashed into the Pentagon during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“Everything,” was Swanz’s answer to what impressed him about the Washington, D.C., tour. Payment’s answer was seeing how the Washington Monument was damaged during the Virginia earthquake on Aug. 23, 2011, and is still undergoing repairs.
Broding said he liked all the monuments and history at the Capitol.
The Jamboree
From Washington, D.C., the Boy Scouts went by bus to the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in southern West Virginia for the July 15-24 National Boy Scout Jamboree. Broding, Payment and Swanz all called the Jamboree a good experience.
One of Broding’s reasons was because he felt it taught many Boy Scouts how to “think positively.” His example of that was, on the last day of the Jamboree, when the Central Minnesota area Boy Scout group met with five Boy Scouts and an adult leader from Wisconsin to do cleanup and repair at a park in West Virginia. They sealed the park’s asphalt basketball court, cleaned latrines, painted three teeter-totters, dug up sod around a swing set and replaced it with wood mulch, painted the graffiti-marked ceiling in the picnic shelter and painted the top part of a swing set.
Broding, a senior patrol leader in the group, said he saw a lot of Boy Scouts help more that day than in their previous days at the Jamboree. The Boy Scouts working at this service project weren’t complaining  but instead went right to work, Broding said.
Broding’s collection of about 100 Boy Scout troop patches gathered during the Jamboree was another reason he said he liked it. Swapping patches was “big” at the jamboree, just as it was during the 2010 Jamboree, said Broding, who attended both. Boy Scouts set up blankets to set the patches on during the swap.
Broding, who plays guitar, said his favorite patches that he brought back this time were a Blues Brothers patch from the Chicago area and the GMC patch from Detroit. The Detroit patch was as “large as a dinner plate,” and featured the names and shapes of various cars that GM produced, Broding said.
Being able to do certain activities at the Jamboree that aren’t found in the Princeton area made for a good experience, Payment said. Payment mountain biked, scuba dived, shot firearms at a shooting range, kayaked and earned a merit badge for that, and tried BMX bicycling for the first time.
“At first it was kind of scary,” Payment said of the BMX biking. He explained that he was not used to going off jumps with a bike.
“I thought it was real fun,” Swanz said of the Jamboree. “Everyone got to try new things.” Swanz tried BMX biking, skateboarding, kayaking and running some chemistry experiments.
“I probably never ate dirt as hard as I did BMX dirt biking,” Swanz said.
He explained that he wasn’t prepared for the big drop on the backside of one jump until it was too late. As he result, he crashed, his arms, one knee and his chest hitting the track.
“I didn’t notice the pain until afterward,” he said. “Someone pointed out my (left) arm was dripping blood. I ripped it up.”
Swanz said the arm injury wasn’t bad enough to warrant stitches.
The Boy Scouts also experienced other activities, such as hiking 4-5 miles to the top of what is called Garden Mountain during one of the hotter days. The top of Garden Mountain has an open field and is flat from the top being removed during coal mining years ago.
Broding, Payment and Swanz all have the goal of attaining the Eagle rank, the highest rank available in Boy Scouts. If all three succeed, their trip to the nation’s Capitol and the National Boy Scout Jamboree will be part of their experiences in that journey.

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