In My Own Words
Thoughts on Education, Artistry, and Leadership

With three-digit temperatures outside, the pressure was on at the Jamboree Today office at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. Four staff reporters working with assignment and copy editors cranked out story after story for the first issue of the newspaper—and it will never see the light of day (not even the scorching sunlight shining in the windows of the office).

My hardworking colleagues at Jamboree Today are not crazy. They are working on “issue zero,” which simulates the entire production cycle of an issue of the paper. Keys clattered on keyboards, editors muttered, and managers sent articles back for rewrite after rewrite.

At 10:30, the reporters’ deadline passed… and there was still reporting to be done. At 12:30, the editing deadline passed… and there were still stories being reworked. We took a working lunch. By the time 4:00 rolled around, we still weren’t done. Frustration has flashed, but quickly fizzled.

“A Scout is Friendly,” according to the Scout Law. So, when issue zero of did not materialize, no telephones shattered against the wall, and no piles of paper flew like confetti.

We shared some cake.

It was a tasty cake, with the Jamboree emblem frosted on top. We joked and laughed. Then we set a meeting for later in the evening to review the day. We talked about how the day had gone, and it was in friendship.

As friends, we sought to make each other better. There was blame to go around, but it would be shared. We talked about what went well (good reporting with good interviews) and what didn’t go so well (shuffling files among the reporters and editors). In the end, we knew what to do again, and what to do better.

Most importantly, we treated one another with friendship. We would be better united than splintered. Now tomorrow, we will take the morning off and start fresh after lunch. Issue zero was just a practice after all, but the reporting was not, we will make it ready to go into issue one of Jamboree Today.

The deadlines are real now. There is no do-over. But what could be better than working together with a great group of friends on the same mission? We’ve got each other’s back, and the first issue will be delivered by 6:00 AM Tuesday.

With luck, the thermometer won’t be boiling over. If it does, you can count on your Friendly staff at Jamboree Today to cover the story.


This week and next, I plan to blog about Scouting’s main principles as set out in the Scout Motto, Scout Law, and Scout Slogan.

Daniel M. Reck, M.S.Ed., is a copy editor for Jamboree Today, the daily newspaper of the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. An Eagle Scout, he is also the Assistant Director of Greek Life, Leadership, and Involvement at Monmouth College in Illinois.

Share This