4.3 A Local Perspective on National Weather Service Decision Support for the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 3:15 PM
Salon K (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Maura Casey, NWS RLX, Charleston, WV; and M. Zwier, D. T. Cooper, J. Wolfe, and J. Hovis

Since 1939, the Boy Scouts of America have held National Jamborees to bring scouts together from across the country and world to participate in a variety of outdoor events and educational activities. Starting in 2013, these Jamborees have been held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR) in West Virginia. In July 2017, an estimated 30,000 campers and 7,000 chaperones and other staff arrived at SBR to participate in the Jamboree. The Jamboree is particularly vulnerable to inclement weather due to both its remote location and lack of adequate shelters for attendees. The Jamboree required extensive collaboration between the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office at Charleston, West Virginia (RLX) and its core partners including multiple local, state, and national authorities and the uniformed services especially for a visit from the President of the United States. In its second iteration organizing support for the Jamboree, numerous preparedness actions were taken by RLX and its core partners, which required extensive communication, education, and outreach. Whether it was interacting with decision makers in the Incident Command Post or clarifying heat index vs. wet bulb globe temperatures, a variety of preparedness and in situ support was performed. This discussion examines best practices and potential improvements to make other large events and the Decision Support Services (DSS) provided more fruitful. Lessons learned from this and future Jamborees will continue to strengthen the partnership between the NWS and decision makers to ensure a safe and productive National Jamboree. This partnership and the preparedness actions taken embody the core values of making the U.S. a Weather Ready Nation.
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