In the spirit of peace and brotherhood, the Transatlantic Council invites Scouting youth, families, professionals, volunteers and veterans to the Omaha Beach Camporee in Normandy, France for an unforgettable opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of American and Allied soldiers, who fought and died fighting for freedom and peace in 1944. This historic event takes place from April 21-23, 2017 and offers an array of historic and Scouting activities unlike any you’ve ever experienced.
“Our goal is to create the possibility of meaningful experiences that will touch our youth and help them to understand the magnitude of what happened on June 6, 1944 and the battle to defeat Fascism,” explains Transatlantic Council Scout Executive Vince Cozzone. “More than a battle, we hope that youth understand how the sacrifices made by our ‘Greatest Generation’ have influenced the world we live in today and that they will lead tomorrow.”
The Experience of a Lifetime
The program combines large group activities with personal discovery in and around the landmarks of Normandy. Live reenactor groups and WWII gear displays transport attendees back to 1944, offering a firsthand look at that monumental day in history. Not your typical Scouting event, the Omaha Beach Camporee offers youth and adults a chance to personally reflect and appreciate how the first day of the Invasion of Normandy shaped history.
“For me, it is overwhelming,” shared past attendee Eric Cooley, Transatlantic Council Commissioner and retired E-8 in the Air Force. “The various hurdles the men had to overcome in WWII with the beach landing, marching across Europe, the cold of the Battle of the Bulge until finally overcoming the German war machine – and all of that started right there on Normandy. The hair stands up on the back of my neck thinking about it. When I have gone there in 2008, 2011, 2014, same thing – it is emotional.”
Immerse Yourself in History
The 2017 camporee kicks off Friday afternoon with a VIP reception at Ste. Honorine des Pertes where attendees have the chance to meet BSA leaders, take photos, browse the Scout Shop and explore a WWII replica camp – offering activities for youth and adults alike.
On Saturday morning, participants are welcome to attend the Ecumenical Service at St. Laurent, Messengers of Peace Program. Saturday activities continue throughout the afternoon with a campfire on Omaha Beach and a number of special ceremonies, including Arrow of Light, Webelos cross-over, Wood Badge, and Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremonies. Additionally, the Adams Award for Eagle Scout projects will be awarded and local and visiting Scouting groups will be recognized. Visiting U.S. contingents and individuals are welcomed to participate in all ceremonies, as appropriate.
Following dinner, a Messengers of Peace exchange provides an opportunity for Scouts from across the globe to share in the significance of the special day. All Eagle Scouts in attendance are then are invited to attend an Eagle Scout Reception at Ste Honorine des Pertes. All participants are then welcomed to watch a Saturday night fireworks show. The weekend concludes on Sunday with a closing ceremony at the U.S. Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer.
Attending the Omaha Beach Camporee
Any registered member of the Boy Scouts of America in any council and their family is invited to attend. Any family members who have served in World War II are also highly encouraged to attend. Council contingents, Scouts and Scouters from all over the U.S. are welcome as individuals or patrols.
To start planning your trip and learn more about camporee updates, fees, and how to register, please reach out to Vince.Cozzone@Scouting.org. For a glimpse at what attendees will experience at the Omaha Beach Camporee, watch the video below to see how the 2014 event commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Special thanks to Adventure Productions and Scouter George Stover who put the video together!