Boy Scouts of America Breaks Ground on New Leadership Excellence Complex to Provide Hands-on Training Opportunities

Complex at the Summit Bechtel Reserve Honors Thomas S. Monson and Partnership with LDS Church, Continues Economic Development in Region 

Bunkhouse Rendering
Bunkhouse Rendering

GLEN JEAN, W. Va. (June 15, 2016) — The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) celebrates the groundbreaking of the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex—a state-of-the-art facility that will provide hands-on training on the principles of leadership at the expansive Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. The new facility will build on the organization’s mission to shape and develop the nation’s next generation of leaders. Once the complex is completed in 2020, the BSA is exploring opportunities to make the site available for leadership events to showcase West Virginia to other parts of the country.

Named for the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church)—the BSA’s oldest partner and the largest sponsor of Scouting units—the complex will feature guest speakers and offer a variety of training methods and learning experiences in categories such as communication, storytelling, and conflict resolution.

“The Summit Bechtel Reserve offers life-changing experiences to youth they can’t experience anywhere else and, as such, is a natural fit for this meaningful project,” said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA. “While Scouts already learn an array of leadership skills in our programs, the complex provides a tremendous opportunity to formalize this training so they can be better prepared to lead throughout their lives. The knowledge Scouts gain from the activities hosted at the complex will be incredibly valuable and something they can take back with them to the real world and on to their future ventures.”

The development of the complex will build on the economic impact that the Summit Bechtel Reserve has already brought to the region, including $169.7 million added in local income— $121.4 million directly and another $48.3 million indirectly through construction spending within the community.[1] Further, every construction-related job on-site is anticipated to support local employment.

“The state of West Virginia has been an incredible partner over the last seven years, since we first announced plans to develop the Summit Bechtel Reserve here,” said Jack Furst, a private equity investor who has overseen all stages of the site’s development—from inception to launch. “We’re thrilled about the additional opportunities to work together with the state and look forward to continued progress for the region.”

The complex also provides an opportunity to honor the BSA’s partnership with the Church, as well as Thomas Monson’s enduring commitment to the values of Scouting. As a longstanding member of the BSA’s National Executive Board, Monson has been a cornerstone of the Scouting program and a selfless volunteer, receiving the organization’s Silver Beaver and Silver Buffalo awards, as well as the Silver Fox and Bronze Wolf, international awards.

“I’m deeply honored that my name will be a part of the Leadership Excellence Complex at the Boy Scouts of America Summit Bechtel Reserve,” said Monson in a video message prepared for the event. “The need for strong, capable leadership is critical today, both in Scouting and in the world generally. To be associated in some small way with developing such leadership is humbling indeed.”

In addition to Monson, the buildings and structures that compose the complex will be named after four instrumental BSA founders and some of the nation’s top business leaders, including:

  • Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO, Exxon Mobil Corporation;
  • W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.;
  • John D. Tickle, Sr., Chairman, Strongwell Corporation; and
  • Philip M. Condit, Former Chairman and CEO, Boeing (Retired).

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 more than 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and nearly 1 million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit

[1] Economic Impacts of Construction Spending at The Summit, West Virginia – SYNEVA Economics (July 2013).