Last Saturday, 72 Boy Scouts and nine adult leaders from Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties departed for the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree in New River Gorge, W.V.
Approximately 40,000 Scouts, Venturers, volunteers,and staff from across the nation are taking part in the 2013 National Scout Jamboree—the first at the expansive new Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. The Summit will serve as the permanent home for the Boy Scouts of America’s national jamboree, a celebration of Scouting held every four years.
Located on a sprawling 10,600 acres in West Virginia’s world-renowned adventure sports region known as the New River Gorge, the jamboree will take place July 15–24 and will embody the theme “Go Big. Get Wild.” At the event, Scouts will be able to participate in adventures that reinforce the BSA’s commitment to the physical wellness, including more than six miles of zip line challenge courses, 36 miles of mountain bike trails, 13 acres of shooting sports, as well as kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, skateboarding, BMX, and various other activities.
“The Boy Scouts were built on the outdoors, and the Summit is built on epic adventure,” said Wayne Perry, president of the Boy Scouts of America. “Since the groundbreaking in 2010, a wonderful transformation has taken place at this Scouting venue in the beautiful hills of West Virginia, with more than 1,000 West Virginians helping with construction efforts. This truly is a world-class facility for both the Scouting family and the people of West Virginia to be proud of and enjoy for years to come.”
Plans for the Summit began in 2007, when BSA leadership began looking for a new home for the national jamboree. After reviewing more than 80 sites in 28 states, the BSA chose the property in West Virginia in 2009. The Summit project was initiated through a generous donation of $50 million from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Stephen Bechtel Fund. Large gifts from Jim Justice, the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, Ed and Jeanne Arnold, Terrence and Peggy Dunn, J. Brett Harvey, the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation, Mike and Gillian Goodrich, and Philip Condit helped build much of the reserve. Many other donations have been contributed as the project has progressed.
Once the Summit is up and running during the jamboree, it will be the third-largest city in West Virginia. With a massive undertaking like that, the Boy Scouts of America called on many partners to complete the site in time for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree and to do so in a sustainable manner. Partners include the state of West Virginia, the city of Mount Hope, Fayette County, New River Gorge Economic Development Authority, the National Park Service, West Virginia National Guard, Fayette County.
In addition to adventures, there will also be exhibits, stadium shows with entertainment, service projects Scouts will complete in the nine counties surrounding The Summit, and opportunities to work on merit badges during the 10-day event. Participants will have an opportunity to camp out with friends, meet new people, experience high-adventure activities, learn new skills, enjoy the outdoors, and have fun in an atmosphere of Scouting fellowship.
For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.
To learn more about the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, please visit https://summit.scouting.org.