MOUNT HOPE, W.V., July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, more than 700 buses are transporting approximately 30,000 Scouts, Venturers, and leaders from across the nation to the expansive new Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. The Summit is now 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 takes place July 15–24 and embodies the theme "Go Big. Get Wild."
The jamboree officially begins Tuesday morning, with a commencement show that features an inspirational flag ceremony, an introduction to the high-adventure activities available to participants, and recognition of the generous donors and philanthropists who made the Summit a reality. The opening show will be streamed live at www.Jambolive.org (link becomes active Tuesday morning). Throughout the day, participants can view the unveiling of the Walter Scott, Stephen Bechtel, and Jim Justice bronze statues on site, add in their own piece of history at the Scott Visitor Center time capsule ceremony, and join in on high-adventure activities.
"It is my honor to welcome our Scouting family and the community to this historic day for the Boy Scouts of America as we unveil our newest Scouting venue," said Wayne Perry, president of the BSA. "It took a great deal of hard work, but through the dedication of the more than 1,000 West Virginians who helped with construction efforts—as well as the generous gifts of our donors and the entire Scouting community—we have opened a remarkable site for what will be a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for all who attend."
During the 10-day jamboree, Scouts participate in adventures unlike anywhere else, including more than five miles of zip line challenge courses, 36 miles of mountain bike trails, and 13 acres of shooting sports, as well as kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, skateboarding, BMX, and various other activities. The excitement of the jamboree isn't limited to Scouts—the Boy Scouts of America is also inviting the community to check out the Summit's 100-acre visitor area, where day-users can sample some of the high-adventure activities. The visitor experience will be available to the general public beginning on Wednesday, July 17.
"The nation and even the world will soon see what the Boy Scouts of America has been so excited about here at the Summit," said Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA. "This magnificent site has been years in the making, and there is no better way to celebrate Scouting than to host the 2013 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit, where the future of adventure and leadership begins for the youth that we serve."
While the jamboree is under way, the Summit is the third-largest city in West Virginia. With a massive undertaking like that, the BSA 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 Commission, and many others who have played an instrumental role in the Summit's development.
Community service projects during the jamboree are going to have a strong impact on West Virginia, helping to beautify the state in coordination with its 150th birthday. Over the course of five days, approximately 30,000 youth will complete more than 300,000 hours of community service at 350 projects at sites in McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Greenbrier, Summers, Nicholas, Wyoming, and Fayette counties. Through activities such as clearing brush, performing repairs, cleaning litter, painting, planting, constructing walkways and shelters, and pouring concrete, the total economic impact in the area will be in the millions.
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.
Participants have the opportunity to camp out with friends, meet new people, try high-adventure activities, learn new skills, enjoy the outdoors, and have fun in an atmosphere of Scouting fellowship. Beginning Wednesday, July 17, visitors may attend the Jamboree by purchasing one-day tickets at Jambo 2013 Visitor Passes.
Since the first jamboree in 1937, it has become known as the BSA's most iconic event, providing an opportunity for Scouts to gather together and celebrate Scouting, allowing Scouts from all backgrounds, faiths, and cultures to have experiences and create memories to last throughout their lifetimes. To learn more about the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve and the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, please visit https://summit.scouting.org.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be "Prepared. For Life.®" The Scouting organization is composed of 2.6 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.
SOURCE Boy Scouts of America