PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Not all Boy Scouts, especially those in Aroostook County, will have the chance to attend the National Boy Scout Jamboree next week at Fort AP Hill, Va. The event, a gathering of thousands of Boy Scouts and adult Scout leaders from around the United States and many foreign countries, will mark the 100th anniversary of the organization.
But organizers of the 156th annual Northern Maine Fair have taken steps to assure that area Scouts who can’t attend the event in person can at least take part in a major ceremony that will take place during the Virginia jamboree.
On July 31, the entire Scouting community will be able to take part in a historic nationwide broadcast, “A Shining Light Across America,” which will originate from the National Jamboree. The jamboree runs July 26-Aug. 4.
With permission from the fair association and the Presque Isle Recreation Department, and with the help of a special satellite truck, local Scouts will be able to view the “Shining Light” broadcast in front of the Presque Isle indoor pool building. The facility is located on the fairgrounds at 84 Mechanic St.
This will be the only satellite feed from the National Jamboree shown in Maine.
The broadcast starts with a “pre-show” at 5:30 p.m. The national centennial show starts at 8 p.m.
Andy LeBlanc, president of the fair board, said Friday that a big screen would be set up so Scouts can enjoy the celebration.
“They will see live on television everything that is going on at the jamboree,” he said. “I know there are a lot of County Scouts going to this, but the ones that can’t will be able to see it here.”
LeBlanc said that fair organizers were approached by a number of local Boy Scout council leaders and the fair board voted unanimously to help set up the screening.
On July 31, which has been named “Scout Day” at the fair, uniformed active Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and adult leaders will be admitted free at the fair gate.
LeBlanc said that organizers anticipate having demonstrations of Scouting skills from past and present Scouts that afternoon starting at 3 p.m.
“We are very glad to be hosting this for Scouts in our region,” he said Friday. “It promises to be a very exciting event.”
For those who can’t make it to the fairgrounds, anyone with a high-speed Internet connection can tune in online at: www.ustream.tv/shininglight or on the Shining Light section of the Boy Scouts of America Facebook page.