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.

Nearly a year after the National Boy Scout Jamboree first took over the place, smaller groups are coming to West Virginia each week to stay at the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base.

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.

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  • Doug Cook

    I just spent last weekend with my daughter on a 2-Day Action Pass. I was here last summer on the volunteer medical staff and came back to show my family.

  • Matt

    The constant flow of scouts in and out for the summer programs (and eventually year round when the leadership center opens) will have a huge impact on the area, maybe even greater than the jamborees held every 4 years.

  • David Kennedy

    As the years go by, the 'Summit will change West Virginia radically.
    Hundreds of thousands of the world best youth will visit this camp. Their parents will come too and visit other areas of West Virginia while their kids learn scouting skills.
    No expense has been avoided to make this facility the best in the world.
    When it is completed, over 500 million dollars will be invested.
    It is fitting that only West Virginia have this values, a strong belief in God, character and the quality of our people were considered when West Virginia was chosen as the location for this great investment.
    32 other states competed for this facility. We were chosen because of our people and the scenic wonder that others could enjoy.
    Other great investments will be made in the future to improve the quality of living for this great state.
    A beginning has been charted and Bechtel has it name on the sign.

  • Rob

    Billy, enjoy your visit to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia!

  • Billy from Texas

    This place is wonderful, what a great skate park. The cool weather sure beats back home!