The Boy Scouts of America will welcome 40,000 people to West Virginia for one of Scouting’s largest celebrations of adventure, service and conservation
MOUNT HOPE, West Virginia (July 13, 2017)—Thousands of Scouts, Venturers, Explorers, staff, volunteers and community members are preparing to live Scouting’s adventure at the 2017 National Jamboree taking place July 19-28. Last held in 2013, the Jamboree is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for participants and a celebration of Scouting’s commitment to adventure, service, conservation and STEM.
“The 2017 National Jamboree showcases the Scouting mission by combining adventure and leadership development to give youth life-changing experiences they can’t get anywhere else,” said Matt Myers, National Jamboree Director for the Boy Scouts of America. “Over the 10-day event, youth will work toward new merit badges, complete thousands of hours of community service, make new and lasting friendships, and take part in adventures in the beautiful West Virginia wilderness. I want to thank the thousands of volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to bring the best possible Jamboree experience to the Scouting community.”
Held every four years, the Jamboree is an opportunity for participants, volunteers, and visitors to experience the best of Scouting, all in one place. From one of the longest zip line courses in North America, to world-class skate park and ATV offerings, treetop canopy tours, rock climbing, patch trading and stadium shows, the 2017 National Jamboree features:
- The Big Zip – Riders can reach speeds of up to 50 MPH as they soar on one of the longest zip line courses in North America.
- The Ropes, The Rocks, and The Canopy – Climbing, rappelling, and more at the largest and most extensive man-made climbing, challenge course, and canopy tour venue in the world.
- The Bows and The Barrels – Shooting sports and archery programs, from trap shooting and compact clays to 3-D archery targets and sporting arrows, where participants take aim at moving targets.
- Low Gear – Mountain biking on 36 miles of forested trails.
- The Trax – BMX biking and at one of the world’s largest facilities.
- The Park – Skateboarding at The Park, which features introductory, transition, street, and bowls sections, and a training area with mini ramps, banks, quarter pipes, and a foam pit for practicing aerial tricks.
- The Pools and the Lakes – Water sports at The Pools and Goodrich and TriDave lakes, including water obstacle courses, kayak touring, and stand-up paddleboarding.
- Polaris® OHV Center of Excellence – A world-class ATV experience where Scouts learn to ride ATV’s the right way, the safe way, while respecting the environment.
“The Jamboree is the richest high-adventure experience, but it’s also an opportunity to develop character and leadership through conservation awareness and community service,” said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “This year, we expect that Jamboree attendees will contribute more than 100,000 hours of service in support of communities across West Virginia. And throughout the 10 days, participants will further our conservation efforts on the by making the experience here more sustainable, but, more importantly, by also making a commitment to those practices as they return home.”
In addition to fun and adventure, Scouts and adult volunteers will be giving back to the communities that surround the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Over the course of six days, both before and during the Jamboree, Scouts and volunteers will perform more than 100,000 hours total of community service making an impact in nearly every county across West Virginia. The Boy Scouts of America partnered with the Citizens Conservation Corps to identify more than 220 projects in local communities. Projects include flood remediation, painting structures, brush removal, historical preservation and trail work in parks. Scouts will also work in the New River Gorge National River, whose 70,000 acres of land lies next to the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
The Boy Scouts of America has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve was designed to reinforce that focus on conservation. Here are a few of the ways sustainability is a consideration in both design and day-to-day actions at the Summit Bechtel Reserve and during the Jamboree:
- Energy—The buildings at the Summit Bechtel Reserve are designed to use 30 percent less energy than conventional structures. The Summit Bechtel Reserve has also made investments in on-site renewable energy generation, including geothermal wells, photovoltaic solar panels, and wind turbines to reduce operating costs.
- Water—Recognizing its role in protecting the New River, the Summit Bechtel Reserve uses a network of 60 acres of swales and rain garden to treat runoff by filtering it through plants. The Summit Bechtel Reserve also employs gray-water systems, low-flow fixtures, and composting toilets to reduce water use by two-thirds.
- Materials—The Summit Bechtel Reserve is committed to thrifty and resourceful use of materials. Timber was salvaged for reuse in structures, while other materials were sourced from within 500 miles of the project to reduce emissions.
- Economy—By requiring a 25 percent local labor force and materials from nearby, developing the Summit supported the local economy. Every dollar spent in a local business re-circulates seven more times in the regional economy.
- Habitat conservation—A full 10 percent (that’s 1,060 acres) of the site’s most ecologically- valuable land has been dedicated as a nature preserve. The Summit Bechtel Reserve has also planted over 60,000 Appalachian hardwood trees and established native grasses on campsites to restore wildlife habitat. Scouts can also explore the Conservation Trail at Scott Summit Center.
This year marks the 80th year since the National Jamboree’s inception in 1937. Since that time, it has become known as the BSA’s most quintessential event, welcoming youth from different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures to celebrate Scouting and create memories to take with them through their time in Scouting and beyond.
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 2.3 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.scouting.org.
To access daily photos of the National Jamboree, please visit the official Boy Scouts of America Flickr photostream found here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/boyscoutsofamerica/. Instructions are as follows. Visit the photostream, choose the photo you want and click on it. In the bottom right corner of the screen just beneath the photo, look for the three dots; click the dots and choose “View all sizes” from the menu that pops up; this enables you to choose the size you want to download. Photos should be credited as “Photo courtesy of Boy Scouts of America” or “Photo: Boy Scouts of America.”