FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. – In one week, what will be one of the largest cities in West Virginia for a short time will spring up in the New River Gorge area in a single day.
More than 40,000 Boy Scouts, Venturers and their leaders will be arriving in Fayette County from across the United States on Monday, July 15 for the National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
This year will be the first year for the event at what will become its permanent home.
“We actually have a well choreographed dance,” said National Boy Scout Jamboree Director Larry Pritchard of the logistics that will go into moving that many people.
“We can manage how folks are arriving, but it also means for our neighbors that we don’t have 800 buses in one place all at once.”
A staging area for the buses, which will be arriving at staggered times, will be set up at Bradley Crossing, a facility which is located just south of The Summit along Route 19. Parking areas will also be near there for visitors.
“The busses will then be directed onto site in an orderly fashion, one at a time,” said Pritchard.
Pritchard said the process of getting everyone into the Summit Bechtel Reserve is expected to take between ten and 12 hours total and it will happen in coordination with those with the West Virginia Turnpike, Division of Highways, State Police, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and others.
“All those folks are working together, in concert with us, to make sure that we keep the roads clear and safe and that we get all of our folks onto site in an orderly way,” said Pritchard.
To help streamline the arrival process, Jamboree officials will be providing tents, cots, cooking equipment, patrol tables, picnic tables, lanterns, mallets and any other equipment a troop might need.
Participants will arrive on site with only personal items in a bag that has been provided.
For the duration of the Jamboree, which will run through July 24, no bus circuits or personal vehicles will be on site. Everyone will be walking to the camps and activities.
“It’s a fascinating thing to see because it really is watching a city being built over the course of one day,” Pritchard said.
Visitors will be bussed into the The Summit as well. Day visitor passes are available for a fee at www.visitjambo.org.