Archbold, OH

Leon Smith Volunteers At Boy Scout Jamboree

Leon Smith, Archbold, far right, at the 2010 Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia.– courtesy photo

Leon Smith, Archbold, far right, at the 2010 Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia.– courtesy photo

Leon Smith, retired Archbold wastewater superintendent, spent four days at the National Boy Scout Jamboree to educate about protecting our water supply.

The Jamboree, which typically is held every four years, ran from July 26 through Aug. 3 at Fort A.P. Hill near Fredericksburg, Va.

This year’s Jamboree was delayed a year to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouting in the U.S.

Over 45,000 youth and staff used 5,000 acres of the Army base to provide a oncein a-lifetime experience for Scouts from all 50 states and 29 other countries.

Smith volunteered in the conservation-environment area in the Water Environment Federation, or WEF, exhibit. The WEF area featured exhibits by 25 private groups and government agencies. Over 9,000 scouts experienced WEF’s interactive exhibit.

The WEF exhibit included a map for scouts to place a pin where they live as they learned what a watershed is.

Scouts learned about the importance and current conditions of wastewater and water infrastructure in the U.S., and the importance of keeping oil and grease out of sewers. Scouts then crawled through a (clean) 30” sewer pipe to a tent, where they learned about treatment plant processes and tested water quality.

“By crawling through the pipe, putting their pin in the watershed map, and testing water quality, the scouts became more a part of the clean water message than just being lectured to,” Smith noted.

Smith also volunteered at the 2001 and 2005 Jamborees. His positive experiences in not-quite-as-hot conditions prompted him to again volunteer to share his concern and commitment to protect the water environment.

“It was a rewarding experience to help educate youth about the water environment and a fun opportunity to meet and work with other WEF professionals from around the country,” he said.

Temperatures during the 2010 jamboree were more than 100 degrees with high humidity. Smith enjoyed the experience, but is waiting to see if his body is willing to attend the 2013 jamboree.

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