By C.V. Moore
THE SUMMIT —
From a Lady Gaga song performed by the official Jamboree marching band to a pep talk by the King of Sweden, Saturday’s stadium show at the Summit Bechtel Reserve featured a diverse lineup.
The rock band 3 Doors Down headlined the show. 3 Doors Down is a rock band from Mississippi formed in 1996. Their first hit, “Kryptonite,” rose to fame in 2000.
Among other singles, they performed “Citizen/Soldier,” a driving rock anthem used in military recruiting videos.
Scouts chanted “U! S! A!” at the end of the song, but minutes before, when King Carl XVI Gustaf took the stage, the cry was “Sweden! Sweden! Sweden!”
The king, honorary chairman of the World Scout Foundation, led Scouts in a cheer that involved clapping and swaying. He said he was part of a group raising money for international Scouting. Sweden hosted the most
recent World Scout Jamboree in 2011.
Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs,” gave the Scouts a motivational talk. He discussed the value of manual labor to American society and urged Scouts not to lose their connection to physical work as they pursued education.
“A Scout is clean but not afraid to get dirty,” he told the thousands gathered.
Scouts were urged by Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO and chair of the National Jamboree, to Tweet, Facebook and stream the heck out of the event.
“This is a reboot of the BSA,” he said. “This is our new beginning.”
The threat of thunderstorms moved the stadium show start time up by three hours to 4 p.m.
Scouts began congregating well before the 3 p.m. pre-show, meaning that they endured some of the day’s most intense sun.
Temperatures Saturday in Beckley peaked at 84 degrees at 2:51 p.m.
One by one, dehydrated and heat-sick Scouts were wheeled out of the Summit Stadium on gurneys to medical tents for treatment.
By the end of the concert, shade tents staffed by medical responders were filling up with Scouts and visitors who couldn’t handle the baking heat.
Throughout the Jamboree, participants have been pushed hard to drink lots of water, which is available at 332 water points on the grounds.
On a Jumbotron in Summit Stadium, a cartoon water container urged, “Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!”
Jamboree staff warned of “unstable weather conditions” over the loudspeaker before the concert began, but the clear skies lasted through 3 Doors Down’s set.
By 7 p.m., the time of the originally scheduled show, thunder clouds were rolling in.
3 Doors Down was a late replacement for the show after the originally booked band, Train, along with singer Carly Rae Jepsen, pulled out over the Boy Scouts of America’s then exclusion of openly gay Scouts.
The artists’ decisions to cancel prompted mixed feelings in the crowd, from those who supported them to those who were disappointed to those who didn’t seem to care who was playing because they were there to have fun, period.
“I was disappointed ... but if I was in their shoes, I would probably do that as well,” said Grant Uebele of Dallas, Texas.
“I was a little upset that they didn’t come, but at the same time, I was glad they were not supporting (the exclusion of gays),” said a Scout from San Antonio, Texas, Jason Taylor.
“I say that’s wrong and I’m glad they didn’t come,” said Steven Maclin, also of San Antonio.
He was under the false impression that President Barack Obama is responsible for passing a law that permits openly gay Boy Scouts. Maclin said Scouting is about following the Scout law and oath, both of which “relate to God.”
A parent, Michael Johnson of Dallas, Texas, said he felt that the artists missed the point.
“In their decision, I don’t think they took into account what this program does for boys,” he said. “It’s always been about developing the leaders of the next generation.”
Since the cancellations, and after a vote by the BSA’s National Council, the organization has opened its doors to gay Scouts, but stopped short of allowing openly gay leaders.
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