GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Texas businessman Steve Bechtel knows about quality investments, having made many while amassing his fortune.

He was on hand in West Virginia for this week’s Boy Scout conference to see the dividends of his latest gesture of philanthropy, one that bares his name—the Summit Bechtel Family High Adventure Reserve.

“I’ve always had a great appreciation for what the scouts did,” Bechtel said. “I finally made Eagle.”

Bechtel became an Eagle Scout in 1940 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was approached by the Boy Scouts as they looked for a permanent high adventure base camp in the east three years ago. The Jamboree was held for years at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. However, the property was limited because it didn’t belong to the organization.

“A very distinguished group of people, some of whom I knew or knew of, came to talk to me about starting a campaign to raise some funds and asked me what I thought about it,” Bechtel said. “I think it was just a few days later I went back and gave them what they asked for and that was it.”

Bechtel was recognized on the opening day before 40,000 Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts from across the nation, assembled on a hillside in West Virginia he helped to transform into an amazing facility.

“It’s very impressive work that’s been done,” Bechtel said. “I think it’s going to serve the Boy Scouts and the country very, very well.”

When asked what his favorite part of the facility might be, Bechtel hesitated and laughed. 

“I haven’t seen it all yet,” he said.

He said he hopes young people who visit the Summit will not only enjoy the programs, but gain a greater appreciation for the values and opportunities offered by scouting.


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  • Diana Sole Walko

    I had the privilege of attending on opening day and have to say I got choked up. What an incredible way to showcase our state. West Virginia at its finest!

  • AX MAN

    Thanks you Mr. Bechtel and the others who join in this endeavor, lets not forget Jim Justice from Beckley, who donated 25 million.

  • mntnman

    Thank you Mr. Bechtel for giving back to our future leaders. Your investment will benefit our society many times over. You are to be commended for your good works.

  • Recil

    I'm a Eagle Scout myself (1972). Thank you Mr Bechtel.

  • karen price

    This is a fabulous development for the Boy Scouts and for West Virginia that will serve generations into the future. Thank you Mr. Bechtel. We are grateful for your leadership and we are proud of what has been established in West Virginia.

  • Bob Radspinner

    A wonderful facility and a great investment for America's future leaders. Thank you Steve Bechtel.


    The proud, the few, introducing Mr. Steve Bechtel. It's a shame the rest of the countries wealthy don't contribute to events or perpetual philanthropies like this one. All I ever see is sports stars and celebrities taking care of themselves or other countries. Thank you Mr. Bechtel and the others who made this possible.