Six local Boy Scouts attend the national jamboree

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 8/19/97.

Six Paynesville Boy Scouts were among 36,000 attending the 1997 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.

Steve and Jamie Gilk, Scott Ingalsbe, Joe Lingl, Andy Torborg, and Jon Millner left Paynesville July 23, for an experience of a lifetime, and arrived back home on Aug. 8. They traveled with 72 other Scouts from the Central Minnesota Council and stayed in gyms, and various other buildings enroute and back. At one site, St. Albans, W. Va., they were to leave at 5 a.m., but the exit gates to the area were locked. They had to climb a six-foot high fence to reach their buses.

Enroute the Scouts stopped off at various cities to tour popular sites. Among them was the Football Hall of Fame in Ohio. Upon arrival at Fort A.P. Hill, the Scouts set up their tents and designed their gate which depicted Paul Bunyan and his ax. At the Jamboree, the Scouts became part of Troop 1007 and 1006.

The Scouts also got a chance to visit with and learn more about England and Ireland as they had four foreign Scouts join their troop. Their daily routine usually started at 6 a.m. at the Jamboree and they had a 10 p.m. curfew.

They toured the Vietnam Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and Kennedyís Eternal Flame, Jefferson Memorial, Smithsonian, Ford Theatre and Mount Vernon.

Jamie Gilk pointed out that the granite blocks on the ground at the Roosevelt Memorial came from Cold Spring.

After arriving in his helicopter, President Clinton addressed the Scouts at the Jamboree on July 30. He even walked among the Scouts, shaking hands with many of them. Steve Gilk is proud to say he shook hands with the president.

Lingl feels the highlight of the trip for him was being at the Jamboree and taking part in all the activities.

When asked what he considered the highlight of the trip, Steve Gilk replied, ďthe whole trip. Everything was pretty fun. We saw a lot of new places.Ē Brother Jamie replied, sharing his scouting experience with others as a leader.

Jamie Gilk, 18, was one of the oldest Scouts in attendance. He served as a troop leader and took care of the first aid station at the Jamboree, handing out prescription medications to the various Scouts.

Torborg felt the highlight for him was meeting the foreign Scouts. ďThey were interesting to talk with. They talked real fast and had an accent,Ē Torborg said.

Ingalsbe said seeing the Smithsonian Museum was the highlight of the trip for him as it had so many interesting exhibits.

Trading pins and Scout patches was common at the Jamboree. Torborg said he started out with three council patches and received 10 to 15 in return. Lingl swapped his scout cap with a foreign Scout.

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