National Jamboree 2017 – Day 6 Reflections
Reflections about SFE @ Jamboree, 7/24/2017
Day 6 of 10 – Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer
I have only recently come to Jamboree, arriving late Saturday evening and making my way to Summit Bechtel Reserve on Sunday. I quickly got completely caught-up in the amazing vibe and constant flow of people at our exhibit. I am so impressed by the incredible non-stop energy poured out by our extraordinary team of leaders engaging with Scouters young and old, answering questions and sharing information. The number of poignant moments that happen when you’re told how much it means that we are here, or someone shares the personal way in which our presence gives them hope. For all the challenges we face, this made clear to me why it is vitally important for us to be here, working to create a space within scouting for an expressly visible, inclusive presence.
Monday, the “pause” button was essentially pressed at Jamboree, which was in full prep mode for a visit from President Donald J. Trump, just the 8th POTUS to visit a Jamboree. With the exhibit area closed at 10am, the UCC-UUA-SFE exhibit team had a more relaxed day. I spent the morning responding to questions posed by BSA leadership regarding the words on our two pull-up banners: inclusion, dignity, pride, diversity, belonging and respect. These are not just words, but values that are integral to living the Scout Law, essential to the faith of both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, and they are worth standing for.
It will be interesting to see what kind of fall-out occurs from President Trump’s speech to Jamboree tonight. I doubt it was the speech the BSA hoped for, but I also doubt anyone was particularly surprised. With the Scout Law as the standard, how should we rate the kind of message impressionable Scouters received?
Leadership plays such a vital role in Scouting and we’ve encountered scores of great leaders and know the sacrifice so many have made to be here. I am very proud to be part of our exhibit team which takes to heart the important role of leadership we have, not only in terms of how we relate to those who come to our exhibit, but also in the movement toward a more inclusive BSA.
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” ~ James Baldwin