Randy Piland leads visual media coverage at World Scout Jamboree  

The chair of the Communication Design Department served as the lead of a volunteer staff of 28 photographers and videographers, chronicling a 12-day international event in West Virginia.

Randy Piland (standing), chair of the Communication Design Department, addresses members of his visual media team during a July 31 meeting at the 24th World Scout Jamboree. Piland oversaw a team of photographers and videographers during the international event held this summer. (Photo by Jeff Hattrick  
More than 45,000 Scouts – from 150 countries – descended on Glen Jean, West Virginia, this summer to participate in the 24th World Scout Jamboree, the world’s largest outdoor educational event that gathers Scouts and leaders every four years. To accommodate and support the attendees from across the globe, a volunteer staff of around 9,000 organized the 12-day event held July 22 through Aug. 2. Among the volunteers was Randy Piland, chair of the Communication Design Department.

A veteran photojournalist, with three decades of experience at four newspapers in Georgia, Massachusetts and Tennessee, Piland served as a volunteer lead of a volunteer staff chronicling the Jamboree’s activities and news. The visual media staff included 16 photographers and 12 videographers, and featured its own international component. The 28 staffers hailed from 12 different countries. 

In preparation for the Jamboree, the visual team arrived three days before the event’s start to begin work.

What did the team’s multimedia coverage look like? Check out the 2019 World Scout Jamboree Flickr album highlighting this year’s event, which includes more than 3,000 photos and 57 videos. To date, the album has more than 275,000 views.

Members of the 2019 Jamboree visual media team pose together with flags in the background representing their home countries. Photo courtesy of Piland
​Scouts Canada, Asociación de Scouts de México and the Boy Scouts of America co-hosted the 2019 Jamboree. This year’s theme was “Unlock a New World,” highlighting the new adventures, cultures and friendships that will were shared by Scouts from around the world.

The World Scout Jamboree is organized every four years by the World Scout Movement, an international organization comprised of more than 50 million Scouts connected through a network of 170 organizations. The 2019 event was held at the 10,000-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve, billed as “the world’s most sustainable campsite.”

A regular volunteer with Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Piland became a Scout at 11 years old and later rose to Eagle Scout. He has been active in Scouting continuously since. His first international experience came in 1971 when he attended the World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) in Japan as a high school student. In recent years, he’s worked as a volunteer BSA contingent photographer at the 1995 WSJ in Holland, the 2007 WSJ in England, the 2011 WSJ in Sweden and returned to Japan for the 2015 WSJ.

“Having been a Scout myself and later a Scout leader, I feel it is important to find ways to give back,” Piland said. “The opportunities I was exposed to led me to stay active for more than 50 years in the program.”