Scouts’ First Plane Ride Will Take Them to World Scout Jamboree in Japan

smiling uniforms
Troop 113: Jaelon and Eric, far bottom left (Photo courtesy of Scoutmaster Chris Johnson)

Encouraging discovery and new challenges, Scouting opens doors to experiences of a lifetime. For two Scouts who’ve never traveled outside the Delta Region (Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee), setting foot on a plane for the first time will be a thrill. Yet jetting to the World Scout Jamboree will undoubtedly be an adventure they’ll never forget. 

Scouts Jaelon P. and Eric B. of the Quapaw Area Council‘s Troop 113 will embark on an trip to Yamaguchi, Japan for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree from July 28 – August 8, 2015. 

Due to their extraordinary leadership skills and immense Scouting spirit, the Scouts were selected by their peers of the KIPP Delta Public School to attend the 12-day global Scouting event.

Thanks to the funding, leadership, and personal involvement of Quapaw Area Council volunteers and supporters, their trip is all expenses paid. Sherman Tate, the first African-American president of the Quapaw Area Council (2013-2014), not only played an essential role in orchestrating this project, but he also pioneered the newly organized troop in 2013. Additionally, former Council President Gus “Buddy” Blass (1960-1962) funded the initial amount needed to start the troop. The council’s Scout Reservation is named the ‘Gus Blass Scout Reservation’ in his honor.

How Scouting Made a Difference

Scoutmaster of Troop 113 and KIPP Delta School teacher, Chris Johnson has been a significant driving force in introducing and delivering the Scouting program to both Jaelon and Eric, as well as the Helena community.

Eric B., outside the Kipp Delta School. (Photo courtesy of Cordelia Foster)
Eric B., outside the KIPP Delta School. (Photo courtesy of Cordelia Foster)

“I’ve noticed a huge change in Eric and Jaelon since starting the troop,” shared Scoutmaster Chris Johnson. “They’ve both come out of their shells. Eric used to be very shy. He was always nervous around new people. He’s now very outgoing.”

“It used to be a major accomplishment for Jaelon to stay awake through his morning classes,” Johnson noted. “Now he sits himself in the front row and is a model of organization and engagement for the other students.”

Johnson says within their first year in Scouting he noticed a remarkable transformation in their attitude and work ethic. Jaelon and Eric are more diligent, responsible and motivated to succeed since joining Scouting.

“Camp Rockefeller brought about the biggest changes,” he said. “At camp, we all learned a lot about what it means to be both a Scout and a leader.”

Jaelon and Eric’s exciting new journey begins Sunday, July 26, alongside former Quapaw Area Council President Dr. James Hendren (1998-2000) and other youth from the council.

Whether a Scout is picking up a fishing pole for the first time, taking his first camping trip or hopping on a plane for the first time to attend the World Scout Jamboree, Scouting is imparting valuable lessons and unique experiences to thousands of Scouts like Jaelon and Eric across the country.

Discover what these Scouts and others from around the globe will experience at the 2015 World Scout Jamboree by checking out


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Hayley Cordaro is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at