“LDS Scouts Join in Jamboree,” Ensign, Dec. 1993, 66–67
Almost 10 percent of the thirty-three thousand Scouts and leaders gathered for the U.S. 1993 National Scout Jamboree were members of the Church—an impressive number and a “glorious sight,” said Elder Jack H Goaslind of the Seventy, Young Men general president.
Elder Goaslind presided over an August 8 sacrament meeting held on a gentle hillside at Fort AP Hill in Virginia, the site of the gathering. “I want you to know how pleased and proud I am of each of you this morning,” he told the three thousand LDS Scouts and leaders assembled. “I hope you will write this event in your journals and are keeping journals throughout the encampment. They will help you recall some wonderful memories and feelings.”
Elder Stephen D. Nadauld of the Seventy, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, conducted the service and also spoke. Forty-eight priests and 120 deacons administered and passed the sacrament under the warm Sunday sun. Twenty-four teachers had prepared it prior to the meeting.
But the LDS contingency did more than attend sacrament meeting. Jamboree participants, who were divided up into four regional camps and nineteen sub-camps, gathered from every state in the nation and fifty-two other countries, and many friendships were formed during the August 4–10 activity. One Salt Lake City troop treated fifteen Taiwanese Scouts to ice cream, while another Utah troop spent the entire week with Scouts from Japan.
Regardless of religious affiliation, Scouts attending the jamboree were encouraged to attend their church services, share information about their faith with others, visit with their chaplain, bless their food, and visit a religious visitors’ center to learn more about their religion. Scouts who did so received a special stamp related to religious observance.
“The idea is to focus on the twelfth point of the Scout law, which is reverence, and to encourage Scouts to feel comfortable talking about their church freely and to learn to respect others and their beliefs,” explained a jamboree chaplain, Drew Van Riper.
While at the jamboree, Elder Goaslind was interviewed by a number of media representatives, including a crew from Australia, about the Church’s involvement in the program. “There continue to be a lot of questions asked about the Church’s affiliation with Scouting,” Elder Goaslind observed. “I think the evidence of that partnership is the number of LDS Scouts and leaders at this jamboree. The relationship continues as strong as ever.”