Monday, Jul 22, 2013
The National Scout Jamboree is underway at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. This 10-day event, taking place from July 15th through 24th, has drawn 60,000 scouts, leaders, volunteers, and day pass visitors.
In 2009, the BSA purchased 10,600 acres of property adjacent to New River Gorge National River in order to create The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. This year marks the first for the Jamboree’s permanent location, and is also the first year that Venturers, a branch of the BSA that includes young women, have been included.
Although the National Park Service has been represented at past Jamborees, the Summit’s proximity to New River Gorge has presented an opportunity for scouts to be directly immersed in an NPS resource for the first time. Approximately 3,300 scouts will have visited the park by tomorrow. An estimated 800 scouts will be working on service projects in three different locations in the park.
On Friday, July 19th, mobility impaired scouts and their troops improved the Glade Creek Access area so that it now provides accessible camping, fishing and picnicking. In addition to service projects, 2500 Scouts will be experiencing the outstanding recreational resources of the park via whitewater rafting and rock climbing adventures.
National Park Service employees from New River Gorge National River and 11 other park sites, as well as volunteers, are present on the Summit property staffing three tent operations – the West Virginia tourism, National Park Service and multi-agency outdoor ethics tents. A total of 220 NPS staff, volunteers and partners are supporting the Jamboree. The incident is being managed by a Type 3 IMT (Jeff West, IC).
Even though July is already the busiest month of the year in New River Gorge, the Jamboree provides an expanded opportunity to reach diverse audiences and further the NPS mission.