MOUNT HOPE, W.Va. — The high-flying adventure and excitement is just about to begin with the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree in Fayette County.
Boy Scouts and their leaders from across the nation Monday will make their way to one place, the Summit Bechtel Reserve in the New River Gorge area, just in time for the start of the Jamboree on Tuesday.
The Summit Bechtel Reserve, which becomes the permanent location for the Jamboree, sits on 10,600 acres of forested mountains adjacent to more than 70,000 acres of the New River Gorge National River area.
The site features 36 miles of mountain biking courses, 13 acres of sport shooting, more than five miles of zip lines and nearly ten miles of canopy tour zip lines, in addition to the whitewater rafting and world class climbing offered by the region’s natural landscape.
Since the West Virginia location was first chosen by the Boy Scouts of America back in 2009, BSA and camp officials have been hard at work constructing the Summit and planning for the Jamboree.
Jack Furst with the Boy Scouts of America says they’ve built this entire event with what the Scouts want to do in mind.
“We understand that our customer wants to be hanging upside down on a zip line, going 60 mph, with their hair on fire, while texting and it’s that picture of our customer is how we have programmed this Summit, and they are going to have a blast,” said Furst.
In addition, the Jamboree will have Boy Scouts engaged in more than 350 projects reaching nine West Virginia counties, the largest community service effort of its kind in the country and the first in the Jamboree’s history.
Jamboree Director Mike Patrick expects it to be yet another great experience for Scouts.
“These Scouts from all over the country are willing to give up their labor and time to help beautify or help improve a community,” he said. “I think the interaction between the Scouts and the local residents will be another lasting legacy.”
With around 40,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders expected to arrive Monday, the West Virginia Department of Transportation and West Virginia State Police are reminding the traveling public they can expect significant congestion along West Virginia Highways.
The heaviest traffic is expected to be on the West Virginia Turnpike, US 19 and WV 16.
Bus traffic is expected to be the biggest concern as around 800 buses are set to bring the Scouts in Monday.
Congestion is expected to be at its peak on Monday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. as Scouts arrive, Saturday, July 20 from 5 p.m to midnight with the Jamboree concert and on Wednesday, July 24 as Scouts and staff leave.
Bus traffic is likely to be encountered daily between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. as Scouts travel for service projects within the nine surrounding counties and whitewater rafting activities.
Greg Duckworth with West Virginia State Police says the goal is to keep traffic moving throughout the ten day event.
“We are going to have four or five troopers at about every intersection,” he said. “If a lane closure makes sense or a block at an exit makes sense, then we will do that on the cuff as we go through.”
The State Police also plan to have increase patrols in the area of the Jamboree to make sure everyone is being safe.
DOH officials recommend travelers use the state’s 511 Traveler Information System to find out the latest information regarding construction, lane closures, crashes, congestion and severe weather affecting traffic.
The free service is available by dialing 5-1-1 from a land line or cell phone or by visiting www.wv511.org.
The 2013 National Boy Scouts Jamboree will run through July 24.