A Jamboree Honeymoon

Pete and Emily Brewer couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to interview them or hear their story, but I am confident that you won’t hear another story quite like it.

A little background might be helpful here. For the last two weeks, I have been serving as a chaplain and camping out at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, West Virginia along with 45 to 50,000 scouts, leaders, and volunteers from 156 countries around the world. We are here, together, for the 24th World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) that is held once every four years in locations around the world. This is only the second time that the WSJ has been held in the United States, and the first time since 1968.

But two weeks ago, amid this mass of people, I met Pete and Emily after our Protestant worship service. I had used a part of the United Methodist Great Thanksgiving as a part of our service and, being lifelong Methodists, they recognized it and introduced themselves to me afterward because they just knew I had to be a United Methodist pastor.  In that conversation they mentioned that they were newlyweds and were attending the Jamboree on their honeymoon. That seemed like story that needed to be shared, but I failed to get their names or contact information, and it took me a week or so to track them down again.  So, one evening I met them at the Chat-n-Chew, the staff hangout in the Echo base camp, and asked them to tell me their story so that I could share it with you.

It turns out that scouting, and the United Methodist Church, are what brought Pete and Emily together. Pete and Emily are both life-long United Methodists (attending different churches) and both have a long involvement with scouting.  Pete is a unit commissioner, teaches shooting sports, and, according to him, has done just about every other job there is.  Emily leads a Venturing crew, and both of them are Red Cross instructors and teach first aid and CPR.  The first time they met, was at a University of Scouting event where Pete was teaching a pistol class that Emily attended. 

Sometime later, at the request of another scout leader, the two of them met for lunch to plan another council event.  Emily remembered their first meeting.  Pete didn’t.  But Pete also points out that he had eighty students in several classes that day while Emily only had a handful of instructors.  They told me that their lunch involved a five-minute discussion about scouting and another hour of just talking and getting to know one another.

Pete (29) is a software engineer and Emily (31) is a CPA.  They have both been highly career focused outside of scouting and church, so they didn’t date much.  But all that changed after their meeting.  The very next weekend, Pete certified Emily as a Range Safety Officer for shooting sports, and within a month they were going to church together at the First United Methodist Church in Richardson, Texas in the North Texas Annual Conference.  They were attracted to First UMC because of their young adult program but, as it turns out, they ultimately decided not to participate in that ministry.  All the same, Pete and Emily are both mission focused and wanted to be certain that this is what drives their participation in scouting.  Pete said, quite clearly, that “Scouting is our ministry.”

They were married, at First UMC, on November 3rd, 2018 but at the time of their engagement, both of them were submitting applications to attend the World Scout Jamboree.  With their busy schedules, they weren’t sure that a traditional honeymoon would fit, and so after their wedding, they took a few days off but didn’t really go anywhere.  Instead, from the beginning, they planned to be together, on their honeymoon, at the World Scout Jamboree.

Who says scouting isn’t romantic?

Congratulations to the happy couple!    

PS. As I mentioned at the beginning, Pete and Emily aren’t sure why anyone would want to interview them, but I still think that this is a story worth sharing.  If you agree, I hope that you’ll share their story with your friends.  

 


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