International Dragons Patrol
After the day's doin's were done, the Summit staff set up a branding station to put the Summit bear paw on various souvenirs. And the conference sang "Happy Birthday" to all of us with October birthdays and provided a cake. So, I did get a birthday cake, after all!
And there was cake, so you know the conference was a success
Appropriately enough, the bathrooms still had the signs in them installed for the World Jamboree, which concluded about six weeks ago. This may be merely amusing to some, but for those who have traveled a bit and know that bathroom procedures vary in different countries, this is important. I am in awe of the sophistication of this sign. It communicates exactly what needs to be said, without requiring much English, and without indelicacy.
My takeaways from this conference are many. First, I have made some good friends here. It's been fun and rewarding. If I learned nothing in the sessions, I would still leave richer than I came (and not just in swag).
Second, I am pleased that International Adventure has now been grouped with High Adventure in the org chart at National BSA. The overarching descriptor is "Outdoor Adventures." So BSA will promote Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, the Summit, and International Scouting as all providing the same sort of once-in-a-lifetime, transformative experience for Scouts.
Third, we talked more than a little about the expense factor for these kinds of experiences. Especially when you start talking "World Jamboree" -- outside the USA -- you're talking serious money (the participant's fee for Korea 2023 will approach $7,000). Many of the conference participants go overseas frequently on vacation or for work, in addition to attending many international Scouting events. I felt a bit of a poor cousin on occasion. But all of us kept returning to the problem of how to organize and promote events so as to bring IN, rather than leave OUT, Scouts whose families can't just cut a check for the next extravaganza.
I am putting together some ideas for our Council. It will be a challenge. But we had several Scouters who served on the staff at the World Jamboree, and have seen a bigger vision. And I have some young adults who were globe-trotting Venturers of mine, who have long since caught the travel bug. I think we could put together a committee or sub-committee to make some things possible for Scouts in Hoosier Trails Council. Something more than just me doing my thing. There are some conversations I need to be having when I get back.
I leave this afternoon, and if everything goes well I will be home by 7:00 or 8:00. If I get too weary to make it all the way, I can always detour to Wilderstead and sleep in the cabin tonight. And now, breakfast. (They serve grits here about every other day with breakfast; finally, civilization!)