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FAITH LAPIDUS: Welcome to American Mosaic in VOA Special English.
I’m Faith Lapidus.
Today we listen to a new album from pop star Miley Cyrus …
And answer a question about basketball star LeBron James ...
But first we visit some campers under the stars at the National Boy Scout Jamboree.
National Boy Scout Jamboree
FAITH LAPIDUS: Tens of thousands of boys from all over the world gathered in the state of Virginia on July twenty-sixth for ten days of camping, community service and friendship. It was the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree, which is held every four years at Fort A.P. Hill Army base. But this year was a special Jamboree. Mario Ritter tells why.
MARIO RITTER: This Boy Scout Jamboree celebrated one hundred years of Scouting. Tent cities covered the grounds of the large army base in Virginia. About forty-five thousand boys and leaders from all fifty states and many foreign countries took part.
The national Jamboree recognizes the goals of the Boy Scouts. They are to develop character, physical fitness and citizenship through community and outdoor activities.
Chase Olivieri is a Boy Scout from Puerto Rico. He says the Jamboree is about the desire to get outside and try new experiences. He says a lot of kids spend so much time with computers and media. Scouting gives them a way to get outdoors, go camping and have fun in a different way.
Collin Erickson is a Boy Scout from Nebraska. He tested his skills using a bow and arrow. He says the Jamboree is an event like no other.
COLLIN ERICKSON: “Jamboree is amazing. All these opportunities that I have been able to do like fly a plane, archery, trap shooting, rifle shooting, anything like that, and I have gotten great leadership experience.”
The Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree is for boys eleven to eighteen. It has an interesting history. The first Jamboree was supposed to be held in nineteen thirty-five. It was to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Scouting in America. But a polio outbreak in Washington forced Scout leaders to cancel the event.
Two years later, about twenty-seven thousand Boy Scouts attended the Jamboree in Washington. They camped in tents surrounding the Washington Monument. Scouts from all forty-eight American states brought wood to use for the main campfire.
This year about four hundred Boy Scouts from twenty-six other countries also attended the National Jamboree. Elechi Todd is from Trinidad and Tobago.
ELECHI TODD: “We were on the bus with some Egyptian people and people from Grenada. When I saw people from Saudi Arabia, I didn’t feel so different.”
Vimell Presad of Malaysia says he is happy he is taking so many wonderful memories away from the event.
VIMELL PRESAD: “I think the friends, the hospitality of the American Boy Scouts, the activities. Definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity I'm doing here.”
These boys say they share the special link of being Scouts no matter where they come from. They hope the friendships they made will last a lifetime.
FAITH LAPIDUS: This week’s listener question comes from China. Yang Jian Yu wants to know more about the American basketball star LeBron James.
LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio, in nineteen eighty-four. He attended Saint Vincent-Saint Mary High School. He led his high school basketball team to three state championships. He was named Ohio’s “Mr. Basketball” three times.
In LeBron’s junior year, Sports Illustrated magazine put his picture on its cover. The magazine called him “The Chosen One.” Soon LeBron James became a household name. Famous people and star athletes came to see him play and many of his high school basketball games were televised.
After high school, the Cleveland Cavaliers chose LeBron James with the first pick in the two thousand three National Basketball Association draft. He quickly developed into one of the best players in the NBA. He scored the most points of any player during the two thousand seven to two thousand eight seasons.“King James” also led the Cavs to five post-season appearances. He made it as far as the basketball championship series in two thousand seven. But LeBron James has never won an NBA championship ring.
On July first, LeBron James’ contract with Cleveland expired. He became a free agent. For months, sports fans had tried to predict where the star would choose to play. He met with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and the Miami Heat.
Cleveland could have paid him one hundred twenty-five million dollars over six years to stay. The most Miami could offer him was ninety-six million dollars over five years.
Finally, on July eighth, LeBron James announced his decision during a television special on ESPN.
LEBRON JAMES: “This fall, I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”
James is joining two of the best players in the league in Miami. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were also free agents and signed with the Heat. The three athletes won the Gold Medal at the two thousand eight Olympics and are good friends.
However, many people criticized LeBron James’ decision. In Cleveland, fans felt like the basketball star betrayed his hometown and his team. LeBron James will try to silence the critics when the basketball season starts in October.
FAITH LAPIDUS: Actress and singer/songwriter Miley Cyrus released a new album in late June. Many critics say “Can’t Be Tamed” presents a new image of the superstar. Both Cyrus and her album are getting mixed reviews. Shirley Griffith has more.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Miley Cyrus was thirteen when she first appeared on the popular Disney television show “Hannah Montana.” In it, she plays a teenager with a secret life as a rock and roll star. The show made Miley Cyrus a big star. It helped sell her albums, too.
Miley Cyrus was also a big a hit with parents. Her songs were fun, danceable and innocent. She played a good teenager on TV. But this new album is different. Cyrus is now seventeen. She has been wearing sexy clothing and dancing suggestively at her shows and in her videos. Some parents and critics are protesting.
Her love songs also seem more adult in subject, like the title track to the new album, “Can’t Be Tamed.”
Miley Cyrus defends her choices in dress and dance. She told reporters from Access Hollywood that her first job is to entertain. “If you don’t like it, then change the channel,” she said. But Cyrus has also expressed the hope that people will understand that she is growing up. She says she is dealing with different issues now than when she started on “Hannah Montana.”
Cyrus covers a song by the metal band Poison on “Can’t Be Tamed.” The leader of that band praised her version of it. Here is “Every Rose has its Thorn.”
Miley Cyrus says she is taking a break from music now. She says she will spend more time on her film career for a while. We leave you with Miley Cyrus performing “My Heart Beats for Love,” from “Can’t Be Tamed.”
FAITH LAPIDUS: I'm Faith Lapidus. Our program was written by Mike DeFabo and Caty Weaver, who was also the producer.
You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our shows at voaspecialenglish.com. If you have a question about American life, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to tell us your name and where you live.
Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.