Boy Scouts embark on trip of lifetime'

By Staff
READY TO GO Area scouts went over their last-minute checklists before loading up Wednesday for a trip to the National Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Pictured are, from left, James Nickell, Scoutmaster Olin Thomas, Alex Touchstone, Teddy Yeatman, Tyler Touchstone and Executive Director Noel Evans. Photo by Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
July 19, 2001
That's how Scoutmaster Olin Thomas summed up the adventure he and 39 scouts and scout leaders began Wednesday as they left Meridian for the 15th National Scout Jamboree in Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia.
Thomas, an instructor at Meridian Community College, attended the national jamboree four years ago as an assistant leader.
The Meridian-area troop will arrive at the jamboree site Monday. They will do some sightseeing along the way  including white water rafting in Tennessee, and visiting historical sites in Virginia and Washington. Thomas said they are hoping to go to church with President George W. Bush on Sunday.
When they arrive, they will immediately set up their campsite and kitchen areas. On that day, more than 17,000 tents and 3,500 patrol kitchens will be put up in a matter of hours. Each campsite will have its own gate. Signs will be put up at the gates that will spotlight each community's uniqueness.
The jamboree will have everything that a city would offer, including bus and phone service, police and fire departments, post offices, food warehouses, a daily newspaper and retail stores.
The jamboree will last through July 31. The scouts are scheduled to return home Aug. 2.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at