By Major Frank
Southern Spirit staff
Girl Guards, Salvation Army
Adventure Corps Rangers and Boy Scouts from the USA Central and Southern
territories forged friendships during "X-plore 2006," a week-long
camping jamboree held at Coker Creek in the mountains of eastern
youth and leaders met for the first-ever jamboree shared by the two
territories. The Central Territory has held a jamboree every three to four
years since the 1980s. The event has proven so successful that the Southern
Territory accepted their invitation to join the fun this summer.
"It's good for the kids of
both territories to meet new friends and discover that The Salvation Army
extends beyond geographic boundaries," said Captain Kelly Igleheart,
Southern territorial youth secretary.
Corps groups from Florida to North Dakota traveled great
distances for the jamboree. Several corps in the
Northern Division (Dakotas and Minnesota)banded together for a 22-hour trek to
Tennessee. Igleheart said that the jamboree also allowed youth program leaders
from both territories to exchange
Divisions from both
territories were paired at campsites over the sprawling acreage, encouraging
the youth and leaders to bond. Groups were responsible for the tents in their
area. Some meals were cooked over open campfires. Each division was also
assigned certain daily chores to keep the event running smoothly.
Elective classes were available for
youth to attend, many of which enabled emblems and badges to be earned. Large
groups were scheduled for more intense afternoon and evening activity, such as
white-water rafting, cave exploration, hiking and horseback
"In our territory, another advantage we've found is that these
jamborees are a great way for our kids to earn these awards - in fact, we've
seen an increase (in earning badges) by as much as 600 percent," said
Major Bob Webster, Central territorial youth secretary.
Evening programs emphasized the
urgent need for today's youth to put Christ first in their lives. Christian
comedian Nazareth and college football star Keith Davis gave their witness,
resulting in scores of young people coming forward to commit their lives to the
Lord, many for the first
representatives from the USA Western Territory were
present all week to observe, leaving the door open for the possibility that
youth of three territories may meet at the next
jamboree, tentatively scheduled in about four years.