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High-tech Boy Scouts mark 100th

BOWLING GREEN, Va. – More than 45,000 Boy Scouts and scoutmasters gathered Saturday evening for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree as the Boy Scouts of America celebrated its 100th anniversary – with technical upgrades such as Wi-Fi.

Over the past week thousands of Scouts trekked from around the world to Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia to take part in the ultimate summer camp.

William D. Boyce, the founder of the Boy Scouts, couldn’t have imagined some of the changes as the organization adjusts to the digital age. Among them is Wi-Fi. Thanks to AT&T, Scouts at the jamboree have unlimited Wi-Fi access and can call home or update their Facebook accounts.

“I would have preferred to leave my phone at home,” said Ryan Jackowski, 15, of Olathe, Kan.

While Scouts have access to the new technology to reach home, scoutmasters can make use of texting to send out emergency notices in the event of severe weather or an accident.

The National Scout Jamboree ordinarily occurs every four years but was postponed by a year so it would fall on the 100th anniversary year. It will take place again in 2013.

“It still has the same qualities that started it,” Jackowski said, “the Scout oath and the Scout law.”