The Chat-n-Chew at Echo Staff Camp
Please allow us to introduce to you to a unique Jamboree venue unlike anything else you will experience at the 2019 World Jamboree – it is the Staff Camp snack bar commonly known as the Chat-N-Chew. The primary mission of the Chat-N-Chew is not preparing and selling food, as you might assume, but rather to create a special place for the Jamboree staff to gather, listen to music, meet new friends, play games, connect with the outside world, and recharge for the work ahead.
Many will find the Chat-N-Chew is like a compass that helps guide the morale and camaraderie of the Jamboree staff. In the pages ahead we are going to try to explain how.
The Chat-N-Chew staff will begin set up a full week before you will arrive at the Jamboree. The Chat-N-Chew is completely run by Scouting staff volunteers, folks paying to be at the Jamboree just like you and as an all-volunteer staff our primary objective is serving our fellow staff members to enhance your Jamboree experience.
When you arrive at the Echo Base Camp you will notice some clear landmarks – the staff dining hall (a tent large enough to seat the 8,000 plus staff required to run the Jamboree), hundreds of staff sleeping tents, bathhouses (which are the only real buildings in the area), another tent across the lake dam that houses the staff trading post, and then just a short walk from the staff dining hall are several large tents that is the Chat-N- Chew.
The only way to describe the Chat-N-Chew is to paint a picture in your mind. We suggest you use all your senses to envision the following: a wide assortment of music playing in the background, flags waving in the breeze, the smells of freshly cooked food, patio furniture, and several water fountain features where you can go to quiet yourself, along with a cold drink or a cup of fresh brewed coffee or a cup of soft serve ice cream to reward yourself at the end of a busy day. With that vision, let me share some of the plans for this venue in a more detailed rather than in an imaginative fashion.
Underlying the festive exterior, the Chat-N- Chew at its core is a retail food establishment operated by the Jamboree Food Services Area. The entrance to the Chat-N-Chew will resemble an old mining camp store. This theme pays homage to the legacy of the many coal mines found on the Jamboree site and surrounding properties. The interior of the Chat-N-Chew retail tent continues with this theme and resembles a food-court.
As you enter you’ll quickly realize you are able to select from any of several food choices like pizzas, burgers, chicken tenders, and an array of other traditional and dressed up “snack bar fare”. You will also have your pick of fresh brewed sweet and unsweet ice tea, Starbucks® coffee, a full array of Coke and Pepsi products, soft serve ice cream, ice cream novelties, candy bars and energy bars.
The Chat-N-Chew hours of operation are extensive. Coffee service starts at 06:00 with selective food options until 11:00. The full menu will be available from 11:00 until 21:00 and ramps down until 22:00. The retail area closes and the music is turned off at 22:00 but the lights are never turned off.
Let me next lay out some of the staff quality of life aspects that the Chat-N-Chew offers. I ask you to again picture this, as you wonder out of their food-court area with your food purchases, as you will find a variety of seating options. There will be several large tents with picnic tables and decorations. Many picnic tables will have an electrical power strip so you can recharge you phone, tablet or computer. The tents will be decorated with flags from different countries and past US National and World Jamborees. In one of the tents, a projector screen will broadcast satellite TV that will be typically showing a news station so you can catch up with what is happening in the outside world. There will be patio furniture available to provide a softer place to sit as compared to the picnic tables. In the courtyard between the tents you will find several water fountains and more picnic tables (some with canopies) will also be available. Area lighting will be provided in the courtyard. Please note that a food purchase is not required in order for you come and enjoy what the Chat-N-Chew has to offer, though food sales enable us to provide this venue.
When you are not at work, come and enjoy the music and camaraderie of your fellow staff members. Card and board games will be available. Patch trading is always popular and may be found in designated areas near the Chat ‘n Chew. During the evening hours, come and enjoy Trivia Night, Karaoke, dancing to the music provided by a disc jockey, or simply watching the flames from a fire pit in the center of a water fountain. This is also an opportunity to meet new friends and share once in a lifetime experiences attending the World Jamboree and the Summit offers.
Once the Jamboree begins, the Chat-N-Chew will also offer specialty evening meals. Why, you may ask, would we need that when we have a staff dining hall? Well for some the staff dining hall may not be the dining spot of choice on a given night. The Chat-N-Chew will sell tickets for these specialty dinners days in advance. The ticket sales makes sure the right amount of food is prepared. The Chat-N-Chew will host their specialty meal service every night from 18:00 to 22:00 as soon as their set up is completed.. The menu rotates and includes several premium dinner choices each night. Whether it’s a steak dinner, the truly popular South Carolina low country boil, or several other several choices, you are in for a treat with your ticket purchase. Please note that the food court is also available at the same time for those that have not purchased a specialty meal ticket.
In closing we would like to again share that the goal of this retreat in Echo is to help improve your Jamboree staff experience in some way, so in turn you can have a wonderful personal experience at the Jamboree and also help deliver a great Jamboree for the participants from around the world. The Chat-N-Chew has served as a gathering place for so many staff over the past five US National Jamborees and we hope this legacy will leave a positive impression as part of your 2019 World Jamboree experience. So if you enjoy meeting new friends, talking to people, playing games, listening to music, catching up with what is going in the outside world, eating good food, or simply sitting next to a water fountain and watching the flames of a fire, come check out the Chat-N-Chew during the 2019 World Jamboree.