"The jamboree gives Scouts an opportunity to test the skills they have learned through Scouting and try new things," said Roy Williams, Chief Scout Executive, BSA. "However, the greatest benefit of the jamboree is when Scouts from all over America and the world come together to share the brotherhood of Scouting."
What they failed to mention here is that when that many scouts come together, they seem to make a bigger target. It could be that the gods or God are unhappy with the Boy Scouts, but I'm pretty sure that the past month has been more than a little brutal to the Scouts. The BSA pride themselves as being "the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training." This past week, an 8-year-old girl died after a tree suddenly fell on top of her while she was sitting at a picnic table at a Boy Scout camp in New Jersey. Three other girls suffered minor injuries. The girls were attending a first aid class at the camp. This follows directly in the wake of two scouts who were killed during an eight-day backcountry hike with six other teenage Scouts and four other adult troop leaders when a lightning bolt made a direct strike on a tarp they had set up in a meadow while taking shelter from a storm on July 28.
It gets worse.
The deaths of four adult Scout leaders in an electrical accident at the Jamboree in Virginia, and five other deaths this summer from drowning and lightning during Scout outings in Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and California. Add to this a lawsuit or two from the ACLU (I quote from the BSA web page: "Scouts come from all walks of life and are exposed to diversity in Scouting that they may not otherwise experience. The Boy Scouts of America aims to allow youth to live and learn as children and enjoy Scouting without immersing them in the politics of the day.") and you have a real summer to remember for the Boy Scouts of America.
Maybe the motto needs to be amended, slightly: Be prepared for the worst.