Brian Yap, an 8th grader at Mid Pacific Institute, is a Troop 707 Boy Scout from Kailua who is attending the 100th Anniversary National Scout Jamboree in Virginia through this week. He and fellow scout Aric Leong are writing on the trip for the staradvertiser.com.
Our pre-tour to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree was one of the most exciting things I ever did. So before I write about what Fort A.P. Hill is like, let’s look back on the pre-tour.
Aloha Council’s two troops, 707 and 708, are supposed to leave Honolulu Airport at 12:47. With no problems, we depart and land at Dulles Airport and eat breakfast at the baggage claim. Everything in Washington, D.C., is weird. When we are loading our bags on the bus, Troops 707 and 708 notice how hot it is and there is no wind. That just makes us work faster and we welcome the AC.
We leave for Manassas Battlefield, where there are tons of historic sites and memorials like Stonewall Jackson. After a long tour we board our buses again and go to the Udvar-Hazy Air Center at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Our leaders give us lunch and dinner money so we can get anything, anywhere we want. For two hours we browse around looking at the aircraft and going on simulators before we go to our dorms.
We eat dinner and tend to our personal needs and prepare for the next day, July 21. Two of my roommates are so excited they keep talking, and the leader needs to tell them to be quiet. I think about how I miss Hawaii.
We take a tour with a guide to tell us about monuments like the Jefferson Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, The Pentagon Memorial and Pentagon Mall, F.D.R. Memorial and a tour of World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. We left our tour guide at Union Station so we could eat dinner. Afterward the bus driver took us to one of the many gift shops where we can buy souvenirs.
The next day I go to Ford Theatre, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. I walked across the mall to the Smithsonian National Air and Space museums and ate lunch there. Around 1 p.m. our troops meet at the Capitol to see Mazie Hirono, one of Hawaii’s two U.S. representatives. After the meeting we go inside the Capitol where there are very strict rules against doing stuff like sitting on the ground. We do a quick tour of the Capitol because when we exit we need to meet U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s assistants and recently elected U.S. Rep. Charles Djou.
Then we walk to Hard Rock Cafe to have dinner. Then more walking to get back to our dorms
Our last day in D.C. includes even more walking. We walked to the Holocaust Museum, then to the International Spy Museum and the National Archives where there are all the documents that started our nation. I was supposed to walk to our dorm at George Washington University afterward, but I got separated from that group and went with another group on the Metro to Pentagon City and back to our dorms where I packed for moving.
The next day we take a bus to Williamsburg, Va., a colonial city. Everything is built the old way and the buildings and houses are preserved. Williamsburg also has one of the two palaces in the United States. It looks way smaller compared with Iolani Palace in Honolulu. After our colonial tour we leave to our hotel, the Crown Plaza. That place is a major improvement over Thurston Hall at George Washington University, where the dorms are. We have dinner; wash our clothes and play around until lights out.
On our last day of our pre-tour, July 26, we visit Busch Gardens. Here we go on rides and play games. It’s like Disneyland but better. We have a free lunch and dinner that are paid for by dining cards we were given. That was the best day of the whole trip
Disaster struck the next day. Our bus was supposed to leave at 4:30 a.m., but our alarm clock didn’t go off, so we woke up at 4:35 a.m. My partner and I made a quick sweep of the room and left. The bus took our troop to a truck stop outside of the Jamboree. We ate breakfast there and left for the Jamboree. The pre-tour was the greatest part of my trip. Now I am at this messy camp at Fort A.P. Hill.