MOUNT HOPE, W.Va. – Thousands of Boy Scouts and Venturers are spending part of the summer at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette County.
By Aug. 23, about 3,000 Scouts and Venturers with troops from across the United States will have spent a week — at least — in the Mountain State.
“We’re running this for ten weeks throughout the summer, so it’s smaller numbers, but over a longer period of time,” explained Gary Hartley, director of community and government relations for the Summit Group.
The Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base is one of the Boy Scouts of America’s four national high-adventure bases. The others are Florida Sea Base in Islamorada, Florida, Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico and the Northern Tier in Ely, Minnesota.
This summer, three different program tracks are being offered at The Summit: introductory, intermediate and advanced high-adventure experiences. Each visiting group is also doing a community service project to give back to West Virginia in some way during their weeklong stays.
“It’s a lot of outdoor activities that teach leadership, team building, character, community service,” Hartley said. Additionally, “We do have the mountain biking, skateboard park, the shooting sports, ziplines, canopy tours, as well as things like our Sustainability Treehouse that is also open.”
The Summit is also open to the public through Aug. 16. Those who want to visit the Summit on their own can do so on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. by purchasing passes.
The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve sits on 10,600 acres next to the more than 70,000 acres that make up the New River Gorge National River Area. The Summit is the permanent home of the National Scout Jamboree, which is held every four years, and will be the host site for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.