OSAGE | Logan Martin, son of Vernon and Sharon Martin, and Andrew Schneider, son of Gary and Linda Schneider, were selected to attend the Boys Scouts Jamboree held in July 2017.

Martin, a freshman, and Schneider, a sophomore, at Osage High School, began applying for the trip a year earlier. After their selection, the boys were required to attend an overnight camp-out with other selected scouts from the Winnebago Council, located in Waterloo, who would travel to Washington, D.C., and on to West Virginia for the Jamboree camp-out.

A total of 28 scouts and four leaders from the Winnebago Council left Waterloo on July 14, stopping the following morning at the National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. They later traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. “There were a lot of monuments, statues and walls with names on them,” Schneider said. “We went to church and spent the night there,” Martin said.

When they arrived in Washington, D.C., late the next morning, the scouts split into groups and spent six hours touring the National Mall. “I really liked the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum,” Martin said. “My favorite part was seeing the Washington Monument lit up at night. You could see it in the Reflection Pool,” Schneider said.

While in D.C., they toured the Capital and visited with Iowa Representative Rod Blum. That evening, they watched from the gallery as the House of Representatives voted on a bill.

Each Boy Scout council is asked to do a service project while attending the Jamboree. Martin and Schneider’s group chose to clean up a Civil War cemetery, located in Virginia. “My group was in charge of picking up sticks,” Schneider said. “My group sprayed a chemical on the headstones to get rid of the moss, and it also helped preserve the headstones,” Martin said.

On Wednesday, July 19, they traveled to West Virginia for the Jamboree. Twenty thousand Boy Scouts from the U.S. and other nations assembled on the grounds. “Our tents were in sectors and we camped next to other Iowa groups and groups from Wisconsin, and Minnesota,” Schneider said. The two said participated in various outdoor activities. “We went white water rafting and zip lining, and I went on the high rope course,” Martin said. “I went to the gun range and went fishing and fly fishing,” Schneider said.

During the evenings, the scouts gathered to hear the Plain White Ts, Imagine Dragons, Rachel Platten, and other entertainers. Motivational speakers also challenged them, and one evening, President Donald Trump addressed the assembly.

One of the traditions at Boy Scout Jamboree is the trading of patches. Both young men took Winnebago Council Patches and traded with scouts from across the nation. Martin came home with a colorful patch from Hawaii, which was difficult to obtain because of the limited supply. Schneider said his favorite trade was for a Chicago area patch, which displayed the Chicago Bulls mascot.

Heading home the scouts stopped to tour the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, along with a quick stop at the Indianapolis Speedway. The 17-hour bus trip home ended at midnight in Waterloo.

“I thought it was a good to meet other scouts from around the world and from around our nation, and I learned a lot of leadership skills,” Schneider said. “I think it was a great experience. We saw a lot of cool things traveling, and while at the camp,” Martin said.

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