Federal Jamboree of the BPS 1998

The 4 th  Federal Jamboree of the BPS

The Holy Land in the year of the Lord 1192, 4.00 a.m. Konrad de Montferrat, aspirant to the royal throne of King of Jerusalem, is lying dead in the forest, killed by an act of cowardice. Burning candles have been lighted in a circle around his corpse. Through the impermeable darkness, his knights in consternation arrive from the camp ... Stop! - In reality, this happens in the year 1998, the real name of Konrad de Montferrat is a completely different one and he is quite alive. But during their big federal jamboree from August 1 to August 10, 160 scouts of the BPS get an exciting lesson of history because the motto of the jamboree is "In the sign of the cross" and this motto will take them back directly to the age of the medieval Jerusalem. From its start, the influence of the Middle Ages could be felt during the jamboree. High castles built of bowfronted yurts, the gate of the camping-site decorated with two towers and activities like "construction of weapons" (carving of wooden swords, arrows and bows) or "forging of knives" (by means of an old forge waggon) as well as coloured flags, knight shields, helmets and armours characterized the camping site. For the first time, a Jamboree is attended by packs from all 10 troops of the BPS as well as persons interested in founding new troops. During their two-day hike, the different groups visit plenty of castles on many mountains. Besides, they have to find out from photos plenty of details concerning the surroundings.The four last days of the jamboree are characterized by numerous highlights. The cubs arrive and share many activities with the older scouts. And this is the time when the "Great Game" starts. This role playing game, a mixture of historical spectacle, scouting games and various creative demands, takes the participants of the jamboree back to the era of the third crusade. The kings, knights and monks of those days, but also Sultan Saladin and the Saracens take part and demonstrate their different positions. The Akkon fortress is assaulted, then suddenly the plague breaks out (the camp site being flooded by yellow smoke billows), a queen dies and has to be buried as pompously as possible. And the above-mentioned Konrad de Montferrat suddenly disappears in the dead of the night... In this game, the participants are not spoon-fed, but at any time, they are free to choose for themselves what they want to do. Is it better to plunder the castles of the Saracens and get rich on their gold, or would it be better to found hospitals for the poor? Should we listen to God and his word or should we start the adventurous search for the Holy Grail? Would it be right to execute the 3,000 Saracens and Assasins or should we teach them the Grace of God and reprieve them? Again and again, the participants of the camp have to make decisions of this kind, and arguments can be found for both solutions. When at the end the game is solved, the young people realize their own lability to temptation and how it can be dangerous to believe more in human arguments than in God's Word!  The jamboree is accompanied by Bible Work under the motto "Youth for Jesus Christ" where it is demonstrated how many people referred to in the Bible have let God send them an order and have assumed responsibility when they were still young. In a  Bible yurt, different study bibles, interlinear bibles and concordancies can be consulted right around the clock for "research aims". On August 10, the last day of the jamboree, the final jamboree worship service brings the jamboree activities, the "Big Game" and the Bible Work together. In the subsequent blessing part, many people take the blessing for their tasks or strenghten their ties with Jesus. For all participants, the 4 th  Federal Jamboree of the BPS was the biggest and most impressing jamboree they have ever seen up to this date. We are thankful for the experiences, for the protection (even the feared camp disease failed to materialize) and for the visibly rich blessing God gave us. The troops of the BPS are prepared to continue their tasks with renewed strength and courage.

Kai (garf) S. Dorra, Federal Elder of the BPS