Technology Drives 2010 National Scout Jamboree

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FORT A.P. HILL, dosage Va., July 29 /PRNewswire/When the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, the latest advancement in communication was the manual telephone switchboard. Now, as the BSA celebrates its 100th Anniversary this week at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, modern technology is helping assure this week’s event is fun and educational for the nearly 45,000 Scouts and Scouters in attendance—and the millions who are enjoying the jamboree from their homes.

For the first time at a national Scout jamboree, all participants, staff, and visitors will have access to AT&T Wi-Fi for a fast wireless connection on their Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops, netbooks, or other wireless devices. And, AT&T is helping usher in a new era of preparedness with its six Connection Zones set up throughout the jamboree. There, Scouts can tap into the latest high-tech tools, including AT&T netbooks and wireless devices to send e-mails and make free phone calls back home.

Webbed World

The Jamboree Web Team is utilizing wireless technology to deploy activities and services never before possible at the jamboree and enhance the Scouts’ experience at Fort A.P. Hill—and to bring the experience home, often in real time, to those who stayed behind. “This technology allows us to truly immerse the viewer in the jamboree experience,” said Mike McDonald, Jamboree Web Site Team chairman.

Four Scouts will wear go-cameras to deliver a day-in-the-life sampling of their experiences for the jamboree Web site (www.bsajamboree.org), even as they dive into pools with or cruise downhill on a mountain board. The web team will deploy immersive video technology and a multi-gigapixel panoramic camera to capture 360-degree images and video that can be magnified with amazing clarity. “A Scout will be able to go online and zoom in on his own face among a sea of 30,000 people,” said Randy Piland, chairman of the jamboree Photography Team.

Modern Medicine

Technology is at the forefront of jamboree health and safety. The jamboree’s 20 fully staffed medical centers and hundreds of roving EMTs can access an electronic medical record system that, with a simple scan of a jamboree ID card, delivers almost instant wireless access to a patient’s medical record and enables medical staff to record treatments electronically and track public health trends. In addition, a text messaging system has been deployed to communicate important alerts directly to Scout leaders, staff, youth, or visitors, and an emergency notification system is in place to broadcast directly to Scouts, Scouters, and their families.

Teaching Technology

Education has always been a jamboree cornerstone, and the new Technology Quest program area delivers an interactive, hands-on learning experience Scouts will never forget. With subject matter experts from exhibitors, Scouts can try out some of tomorrow’s emerging technologies in subjects like chemistry, physics, energy, space exploration, and virtual reality. “It’s our goal that each Scout visiting Technology Quest will leave better educated and inspired to assume their place as leaders of what is yet to come,” said Mary Stevens, Technology Quest chairman.

Technology is cropping up in other areas, too. Scouts visiting the Merit Badge Midway can get their feet wet in Inventing (the newest merit badge subject) and Robotics (the next on the horizon) with hands-on activities like operating real robotics machinery.

About the National Scout Jamboree

Since 1937, the National Scout Jamboree has provided unforgettable experiences for more than 650,000 Scouts and adult leaders. More than 2.9 million youth are members of the Boy Scouts of America. More information on the 2010 National Scout Jamboree is available at www.bsajamboree.org.

SOURCE Boy Scouts of America

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Martin Swinney

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