New River, New Adventures: The Summit National Scout Reserve Unveiled

November 18, 2009

BSA has formally unveiled their plans for the new permanent National Jamboree site in West Virginia, which I wrote about in September.  “The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve” will encompass over 10,000 acres in the New River Gorge region near Beckley, West Virginia.

“Today is a great day for Scouting. Thanks to the generosity of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the development of The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve will be a source of fun, adventure, and discovery for hundreds of thousands of Scouts and leaders for generations to come,” said Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca. “As we prepare to enter another century of service, this announcement demonstrates that Scouting is as relevant and vital today as it was when our journey began.”

Area residents, Scouts, community leaders, and elected officials attended the unveiling celebration at the Glen Jean Armed Forces Reserve Center. Guests included Gov. Joe Manchin, D-WV; U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-WV; Superintendent of the New River Gorge National River Don Striker; Fayette County Commissioner Matt Wender; and Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr.

“I commend the Boy Scouts of America, Stephen Bechtel, and all of the supporters for working so diligently with our state and local officials to bring this project to fruition. This partnership will reap tremendous benefits for young people across the country and the Mountain State for many years to come. West Virginia is proud to be a part of this new chapter in Scouting history,” said Gov. Joe Manchin.

While I would have liked to see a more centrally-located site chosen for the National Jamboree, I am excited by the opportunity that thousands, perhaps millions, of young men in the Eastern United States will have to experience high adventure at this site.

The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve will complement the BSA’s existing three high-adventure bases in New MexicoMinnesota, and Florida and help meet demand for new high-adventure activities not offered elsewhere. Annually, the BSA’s three existing high-adventure bases serve more than 50,000 youth – with 20,000 or more regularly wait-listed to attend.

The site, located in the Glen Jean – Mount Hope area, will offer unique opportunities for high-adventure whitewater rafting, technical rock climbing, mountain biking, and other extreme outdoor sports. The beautiful backdrop of the New River Gorge serves as a living outdoor classroom, offering activities that build leadership skills and the strong principles rooted in the Boy Scouts’ mission.

I do want to give a tip of the hat to the folks on BSA’s Centennial social media outreach team for getting the word out in multiple medias on this and other Centennial stories.

BSA says they plan to break ground in the spring and take 3-4 years to be up to a full high adventure program.  If Philmont’s full and an Ely canoe trip isn’t on your calendar already start making plans for The Summit.

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4 Responses to “New River, New Adventures: The Summit National Scout Reserve Unveiled”

  1. JC Says:

    Missed this earlier. Boy Scout Trail blog has a detailed conceptual master plan of the site from Hart Howerton architects/planners/LA firm:
    http://www.boyscouttrail.com/blog/462.asp


  2. […] The long-time triple-play of Scouting High Adventure has been Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Seabase in Florida, and Northern Tier High Adventure Base in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, Ontario and Manitoba. These are soon to be joined by “The Summit” (Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve) in West Virginia, but for now we do with what we have. […]

  3. William E Yankus Says:

    I can’t wait to see it when its done


  4. […] Top Posts Tall TalesScoutmaster Minute—What Does It Mean To Be “A Scout”New River, New Adventures: The Summit National Scout Reserve Unveiled […]


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