Center will welcome thousands of Scouts and visitors to West Virginia each year and tell the story of the Ruby’s, the state, and Scouting
GLEN JEAN, W. Va. (Oct. 21, 2015) – Today, the Boy Scouts of America broke ground on the J.W. & Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center, which will serve as the main entrance and parking area for the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.
This project is made possible by a generous gift from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, which have long supported Scouting in West Virginia. The Ruby Welcome Center will greet the thousands of Scouting youth and adult members and volunteers, who travel to the Summit Bechtel Reserve each year, as well as area residents and visitors interested in learning more about Scouting, the reserve itself and the Ruby’s.
The official groundbreaking ceremony attended by BSA leadership, West Virginia state and local officials, and members of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust marked the beginning of the first phase of this project. The construction process of the center will employ architects, landscape designers, and construction crews from the West Virginia area.
The center will welcome and credential all visitors and guests as they arrive at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, and provide parking for more than 12,000 vehicles upon completion. Through the welcome center, area residents will be provided opportunities to visit the reserve to take in the scenic views and natural surroundings while learning about the values of Scouting, the Ruby’s and the state of West Virginia.
“The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust has a long history of giving back to West Virginia and to the BSA. We are thankful for their continued support, their appreciation of Scouting, and their vision for the future of our organization,” said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “The welcome center will be the first stop for the thousands of Scouts, volunteers, and guests who visit the Summit Bechtel Reserve each year. Thanks to the generosity of the Hazel Ruby McQuain charitable Trust, the welcome center will make an extraordinary first—and lasting—impression as people from across the world explore this new site and learn more about what the Scouting experience offers.”
The site will feature an eight foot bronze statue of the Ruby’s to welcome visitors as they arrive at the center. Inside the building there will be seating areas, retail and exhibit space, a climbing wall and restroom facilities accessible from both inside and outside. Exhibit space will be created to showcase the Ruby’s story, their passion for West Virginia, and the heritage of Scouting. There will also be large plaza areas outside for groups to congregate before they are transported to the Scott Summit Center on the grounds. The site will also feature J.W. Point, an overlook offering views of the West Virginia mountains and scenic landscape.
“The Summit Bechtel Reserve is a destination for Scouters and adventurers alike to take in the natural beauty of West Virginia’s scenic landscape,” said Steve Farmer, trustee of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust. “By investing in this project, we are expanding on the opportunity for friends of Scouting to experience all that this site has to offer, beginning with the Ruby Welcome Center.”
The Summit Bechtel Reserve draws thousands of visitors each year, and plays host to the national Scout jamboree every four years, bringing more than 80,000 visitors to the site. The reserve will host the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, which will bring Scouts from all over the world through the Ruby Welcome Center to West Virginia.
More information, including high-resolution images and renderings of the completed welcome center, are available at www.scoutingwire.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 nearly 2.4 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scoutingwire.org.