By Makenzie Wistisen
Sep 22, 2017

First All-Girl Venturing Crew at BSA National Jamboree Shares Their Adventure

In July of this year and for the first time ever, an All-Girl Venturing Crew attended the 2017 National Scouting Jamboree from the Utah National Parks Council. Girls between the ages of 14-20 were invited to join Crew C16 and participate in Scouting’s highest adventure for 10 whole days of everything Scouting has to offer: hiking, biking, water sports, climbing, high-ropes, scuba diving, rock-climbing, archery, shooting, etc. to name a few. See what these young women did to show their eagerness to participate in Scouting.

“Honestly, the highlight of going to the Jamboree was just being with my friends and having fun with them, as well as meeting new people like ourselves,” said Joann Grimes, a teenage member of the Crew.

For an all-inclusive cost of roughly $3,000 dollars, girls were finally able to fully participate in the National Jamboree, where youth of all ages, from all woks of life and religions, come together united by the Scout Oath and Law, seeking the adventure of a lifetime.

“The average day of camp would be us going around, being who we are and just having tons of fun outside,” said Grimes. “I would most definitely recommend going to the Jamboree and participate again!”

Situated in the wild west of Virginia, the Bechtel Summit Reserve is an oasis for millions of youth and adults involved in the BSA. Here, Scouts and senior Venturers are pushed to their most extreme limits to excite, ignite and develop the confidence and leadership skills every young person needs regardless of gender.

“The Jamboree was the funnest things I have ever done!” Said Hannah Johnston, another young crew member. “Everything was new to me and waiting to be experienced for the first time.

The girls also participated in a pre-jamboree tour and relayed countless fun, enriching and intense experiences including visits to the Holocaust Memorial in Washington, Air and Space Museum, Gettysburg, the Sacred Grove and Lincoln Memorial. There seemed to be a group consensus on favoring the Sacred Grove activity.

“Each site we saw on our pre-tour was amazing and unique in its own way,” said Johnston. “One of my favorite places we went was Washington D.C. I have always loved American History and to walk around our nation’s capital was a dream come true. I loved seeing the memorials, monuments and museums, even walking down the National Mall with the girls was so much fun. We saw the Lincoln memorial just as the sun was setting and it was beautiful—one of my favorite moments on the trip.”

The Crew’s leaders, Kim Gilboy and Missy Felsted, say the trip really brought the girls close together and created lasting and meaningful friendships.There seemed to be a group consensus on favoring the Sacred Grove activity.

“Nothing can describe the feeling you have in those trees. That experience strengthened my testimony immensely. I could just feel the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ had for me, it was amazing!” Said Johnston.

Aside from the more educational and spiritual experiences on the pre-tour however, the girls relayed how much at Jamboree they enjoyed BMX racing, paddle boarding, concerts, zip-lining, hiking and unlimited pop-tarts.

With several “Adventure Areas,” including Adventure Valley, The Canopy, Thrasher Mountain, The Bows and Barrels, Aquatics Base and the STEM Quest, the Summit Center is the hub set between the villages and activity areas of the event. Here, the girls were able to participate in stadium shows, military exhibits, a conservation trail, disabilities awareness area, sustainability treehouse, see a variety of merit badges and other attractions

The girls also had the opportunity to be the first ever to join the Jamboree Trek: a one-day hike to Garden Ground Mountain—the summit of the Summit. Upon reaching the top, the girls participated in buckskin games, Highland games and Native American, historically enriching activities.

The Crew had nothing but positive things to say about this year’s National Jamboree. While some may feel it’s a pretty penny, the price is absolutely justified and affordable for what it’s covering and providing; a once in a lifetime experience of learning, bonding, adventuring, growing, engaging, witnessing, trying, experiencing and improving through the methods and ideals of Scouting.

Congratulations to this year’s All-Girl Venturing National Jamboree Crew! We look forward to seeing more amazing ladies in the future!

See more pictures of their adventure in the gallery below:


Author: Makenzie Wistisen | is a Marketing Associate for the Boy Scouts of America-Utah National Parks Council, Communications major from BYU, outdoor enthusiast, and lover of chocolate.


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