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National Jamboree 2017 – Day 5 Reflections

Day 4 Reflections – Rev. Michael Crumpler

Reflections about SFE @ Jamboree, 7/23/2017

It has been a very hectic, productive, ambiguous, hopeful, and principled 24 hours for the UCC/UUA/SFE team at the 2017 National Jamboree. We are currently in dialogue with the BSA regarding our shared space and our imperative to authentically inhabit the spiritual and moral commitments of our organizations on behalf of LGBTQ+ Scouts and Scouters.

At the same time, our attention turns toward the arrival of President Trump tomorrow. In the midst of political division and uncertainty, we remain steadfast in our commitments to being accomplices in the shared work of securing the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ communities the world over.

It feels as though the dust is settling; though It is too soon to tell what the future holds for our space at Jamboree. As we move forward in the hope of shared understanding between the UCC/UUA/SFE and the BSA, and as we bear witness to our current political realities, we offer the following reflection by our collaborator Cate Readling:

Day 5 of 10

A man, a fellow staff member from the medical area, stopped to visit. He shared that he was disappointed with himself that, having grown up in a certain denomination, he was not understanding or accepting of kids with different beliefs. We both had a tear in our eye as we stood just outside our UCC/UUA/SFE exhibit marveling at the beauty of the Diversity Banner and the variety of youth and adults inside.

A Jamboree Staffer (not just any staff- but a head of logistics type) told me this morning that Scouting has many hidden gems. I have discovered that myself over the years too. How often have I asked my self “Why do we….”. Why do we make Tigers sell popcorn? Why do we require uniforms? Why do we do Jamboree? Each of these questions has been answered for me, the last one most recently.

I believe we are here for the shared experience. To share meals and work side by side with people from various denominations from all over the world. The common values are the Scout Oath and Law. Each organization participating here believes and teaches the Values of Scouting- Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

I cannot think of any other circumstance where a huge variety of faith organizations could come together under one tent (figuratively and literally), to cooperate and collaborate, break bead and wash clothes together!

“The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.” ~ James Baldwin

Day 6 Reflections – Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer