Local Boy Scouts Return from Jamboree - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Local Boy Scouts Return from Jamboree

Local Boy Scouts Return from Jamboree
By: Lauren Keith

Nearly 40,000 Boy Scouts, including dozens from the Heartland are home now, after a ten-day jamboree, but this annual event has come to be known as the “jinxed jamboree.”  On opening day, four scout leaders were electrocuted when a tent pole accidentally hit a power line!

Also, extreme heat caused 300 scouts to get sick.  Thankfully, none of the 35 scouts from southeastMissouri and southern Illinois got sick at the jamboree. The scouts just returned home early Thursday morning.  Despite all that happened, the area boys also say they had a good time, overall.  Their troop leader says it's all because they followed the boy scouts motto, "Be prepared." 

“Be prepared, and we were prepared. We got through it just fine," said Jamboree leader Bill Eddleman.

Eddleman admits the news four scout leaders were electrocuted, along with the intense heat, certainly impacted his boys.  “The heat, I knew people could get sick, but I didn't know how many. The accidents though and everything, I didn't think that would happen," said Matthew Ishmael, a Boy Scout from Chaffee.

As each of the tragic events happened, Troop leader Eddleman immediately enacted a phone chain letting parents, back in the Heartland, know their boys were safe.

Even though this troop is somewhat used to hot summer temperatures, troop leaders still insisted each of the boys drink lots of water.

Through it all, Eddleman reassured each of the boys they would have fun at the national jamboree.  "A number of them participated in the memorial services.  I think it upset them, but not enough to where they have a good time at the jamboree,” said Eddleman.

Both he and his scouts say the jamboree trip allowed them to experience other things that they may not have had the experience before this jamboree, like traveling and meeting new people, even President Bush.  "We weren’t very close to him, but it was cool seeing him.  They also have scuba diving and snorkeling, rock climbing, all that kind of stuff,” said Ishmael.

"Cruised the Potomac, went to the White House, got to tour Arlington National Cemetery, then went to colonial Pennsylvania, and Busch gardens," said Eddleman.

If you knew Bill Eddleman before, then you may have noticed something different about him.  He doesn't have the same beard he's had for more than 15 years..

He made a pact with his scouts, if they all got their rockers patches, he'd shave it off.  Also, another leader shaved his entire head!

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