By Harold Jepsen
May 02, 2015

Gotta Go! Follow Me Boys…I’ll Lead!


Gotta Go! National Jamboree & Tour Experience
Unit 26, Alpine District

Listening to a tour guide isTour Guide no match for being one. As our Jamboree and Tour troop of 36 Scouts and 4 adults prepared to go on one of Scouting’s greatest adventures, we wanted it to have lasting impact. Visiting dozens of sites all over Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Gettysburg, as well as LDS historical sites in upstate New York, Kirtland and Pennsylvania, would be unforgettable. But how could we create a remembrance of not only seeing the sites, but of feeling their significance? You do it the Boy Scout way, let them do the leading.

Weeks prior to departure, Troop youth leaders handed out tour guide assignments to each patrol leader, and in turn patrol leaders to each patrol member. Each Scout would research and become their patrol’s “tour guide” for historical sites and monuments. In some cases, Natiional Jambo Mapsthey might tour the entire troop. The idea worked marvelously and scouts avoided hearing old scoutmasters drone on and on. Imagine standing at the entrance to the black marble wall of the Vietnam War Memorial.  Being a witness to the tens of thousands of names who gave their lives. A member of your patrol describes the hallowed monument’s purpose, instructs it’s reverence and acknowledges it’s great sacrifice. The experience left those young men, and especially the guiding scout, a lasting impression of the monument’s meaning. Picture standing on the banks of the Susquehanna River, LDS site of the Aaronic Priesthood restoration, as 36 young men, most holding that priesthood, feel a troop member’s born testimony of what happened there. In a few short years there will be a time when many of these young men will teach and testify of the significance of what happened in that place.  They’ll be able to say, “I’ve been there, I’ve felt it”, as they had been taught by their peer scout.

SiNational Jambomilar experiences repeated themselves again and again as we toured inspiring site after site and as patrol member after patrol member shared what he had prepared with his fellow Scouts. Preparation, growth, leadership, confidence…things Scouting teaches young men, not just by listening, but by doing themselves.

In 2017, the Utah National Parks Council will send 600 participants on the National Jamboree & Tour experience. Beginning January 2015, troops will fill fast. Applications may be submitted at You Gotta Go!

DSCN9799Author: Harold Jepsen | Council 2017 Jamboree Chair
To register or learn more about Jamboree, visit or find us on FaceBook.

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