Blue Line
Red Line
Blue Line
National Order of the Arrow Web Site
White Line
White Line
National Events

2001 National Jamboree: Scoutopia

By Scott Simpson

Scoutopia - The Scout UtopiaRecently, I had the privilege of participating at National Jamboree in Scoutopia. For those not familiar with this experience, it was the most recent show production of the National OA Committee.

But what is Scoutopia? It is the Scout Utopia; a place where Scouting's values emphasize duty and commitment. Made possible by the US Marine Corps in conjunction with the National OA Committee, the experience begins with "Regeneration", the process by which Scouts enter the show. Here, they are introduced to three levels, each with a different feel and message. As the participants progress through Regeneration, they are bombarded with thought-provoking quotes and reminders of Scouting values.

The show begins with a splash of color
Staff preparing sets
The show begins with a splash of color
Scoutopia staff built dramatic sets for the show.

The show itself, a creative and colorful juxtaposition of music, values, and comedy, includes many imaginative and original elements. The 'Utopians', for example, represent duty to God and country, others, and self. Unable to speak, they express themselves through their actions. This theme carries to the end of the show, where the audience is made aware that actions speak louder than words. Small skits of real-life experiences underscore key points of the show and highlight Scouting values in action.

I was cast as Ben, a typical high school student in one of the skits. Ben is confronted with decisions about using drugs and cheating on a test. As the scene ends, he is boxed in by peer pressure. After a brief epiphany, Ben steps away from his friends, realizing that his values will keep him out of trouble.

In another scene, two rival high school sports players have a disagreement. Every time something hurtful or inappropriate is said the Utopians sound a note, thus allowing the players to answer differently. This makes for some good comedy, as well as a reinforcement of ethics in action.

Ben is pressured by his peers
Scouting values - even in sports
Ben is pressured by his peers
Scouting values appear everywhere - even in sports!

Six or seven times each day, Scoutopia's magic reached the Scouts of the 2001 National Jamboree. Watching as we reached the Jamboree scouts and adults 622 at a time, it became clear that Scoutopia lived up to the grandeur of its predecessor production, the "Odyssey of the Law".

Wall of Commitment

At the end of the show, Scouts were asked to pledge their commitment to the values of Scouting by signing the "Wall of Commitment", a hundred-foot-long place to write one's commitment, name, and hometown.

Scoutopia clearly left a lasting impression on the thousands of Scouts fortunate to witness its magic during the Jamboree.

(Scott served on the staff of Scoutopia as a cast member)

Revised 10/12/01