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2017 National Scout Jamboree – USSOCOM Leadership Experience

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the National Scout Jamboree at the Bechtel Summit near Beckley, West Virginia. It’s held every four years and hosts contingents from all over the US, as well as international Scouts.


The military presence was impressive, with representatives from each of the services, including their SOF elements.

There were several hands-on opportunities. One of the events available to the Scouts attending the Jamboree is the United States Special Operations Command Leadership Experience.

As an ad hoc team, Scouts had to complete seven challenges.

1. Balance on a raised platform without any corners touching the ground as another team member gets on.

2. Carry 30 empty water jugs using three steel pipes and unlimited rope.

3. Grab a bucket full of rocks out of the center of a circle without crossing the circle line and touching it. Scouts had 2 metal poles and a ten foot long piece of rope. Anyone who crossed was “dead” and had to exercise while the remaining teammates complete the task.

4. Team Carry 3 of teammates that are “casualties of war” on a stretcher to a turning point and back.

5. Team carry a teammate from one end to the other without letting him touch the ground. During the event the person carried had to be at least 2 inches off the ground. Scouts were allowed to use square boards and anyway to keep him 2 inches off the ground.

6. The goal was to compete with another group and race to empty your bucket of tennis balls without touching the bucket and the tennis balls. Scouts were given 4 pieces of rope and the objective was to give the opposing team four tennis balls in their bucket and keep their own bucket empty.

7. Carry 4 steel pipes, an 80lbs bag, and an empty bag. From one end to another.

At each task you were given 10 minutes to complete it, except for task number 6. Each of these tasks was designed to teach everyone to lead, persevere, think, and challenge your mental and physical strength. Some events were taken from actual selection challenges to become a Green Beret in the Army.

Those who complete the course, earn this patch.

I’m proud to say that my sons earned it. It gave them a great introduction to the types of leadership challenges they’ll encounter in the service. 

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5 Responses to “2017 National Scout Jamboree – USSOCOM Leadership Experience”

  1. Stefan S. says:

    “leadership challenges they’ll encounter in the service”. When Pvt. Joe Snuffy comes in wearing lipstick saying he’s now to be called Jenny.

  2. pbr549 says:

    That is awesome that the BSA is working with the military like that. When I was a Scout in the 80s, there seemed to be a concerted effort to maintain separation between the organizations.

    Funny story though. My troop was having a weekend campout and we were raided by an NG SF Unit. We where woke up by grenade simulators and helicopters flying overhead. We had Soldiers swimming up out of the lake and Soldiers coming through the woods. It was a total coincidence that our two groups came together. The SF guys basically did some hip pocket training with us, teaching survival skills, face camo, knot tying, etc. That was the coolest thing that ever happened when I was a Boy Scout.

  3. Greg says:

    Now they just need to bring the Master-At-Arms badge and you’d have some really impressive resume details.

  4. Grady Burrell says:

    America at its finest !

  5. AGL Bob says:

    A far cry from the Boy Scouts I was in – this is outstanding. Congratulations to you and your sons.