Scouts Celebrate 100th Birthday at Jamboree

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FORT A.P. HILL, Virginia -- The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 100th anniversary with its national jamboree. The organization continues to make a difference through its members.

This week, more than 45,000 scouts have set up camp at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. for the National Scout Jamboree.

"It's the most complete program I've seen for boys and for men too," said Dave Penn, BSA District Commissioner. "I ran into the finest bunch of guys I have ever run into in '09 in this organization and that's kind of why I stay around."

Penn originally started in the organization as a Cub Scout. His son is an Eagle Scout. Penn's grandson, Duncan Stewart, is attending his first national jamboree.

It's a scouting tradition that Penn says has made a tremendous impact on his family.

"You aren't just a kid who goes to school and has friends anymore, you're a different person," Stewart said. "Someone who is trustworthy, kind, obedient, cheerful, reverent, clean -- I think it just makes you a better person."

Millions have worn the Scout uniform and have become leaders of the nation.

The event showcases the number of boys and field of colorful tents. But the real power of the jamboree has to do with what's happening individually within each campsite, each tent and each boy.

Through trading patches, archery events and braving the Virginia heat, thousands of boys continue their lessons to learn how to be men who walk "mentally awake and morally straight."

They're also learning how saying "hello" or shaking someone's hand makes a difference.

"Guys like Tom who really started out shy and now he's mature. He's confident and he's a leader of the other guys," said Boy Scout Adult Leader Steven Von Dohlen. "You just know that they're going to be young men who are going to lead our society some day and it makes me tremendously proud."

"A hundred years, it's amazing. It's come and a hundred years will come again and so hopefully those kids will be able to do the same thing we're doing," said Boy Scout Esteban Pacheco. "Hopefully it won't be so hot and humid."

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.