GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — What could easily be the largest volunteer effort in state history is unfolding with the National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. Scouts in West Virginia for the even through July 28th are spending part of their time working on service projects throughout the state of West Virginia.
“Forty-thousand scouts and volunteers have ‘attacked’ the state of West Virginia,” said Jennifer Douglas, Chief Operating Officer with the Citizens Conservation Corps. “Hitting ten southern counties and doing a variety of service work.”
The ten southern West Virginia counties are a concentration of the work because of their proximity to the Summit Bechtel Family Scout Reserve, but overall the service projects extend to 45 of the state’s 55 counties. Each scouts will contribute five days of service during the two weeks surrounding the Jamboree. Several performed service projects in the state during the two days of the week which preceded Wednesday’s opening day.
“In addition to doing the projects they got to visit great places and learn about the culture and heritage,” said Douglas. “It’s not just the Boy Scouts. We have AmeriCorps, CCC, and Volunteer W.Va. and a load of other volunteers who are making it the largest volunteer effort of its kind in the history of the country.”
There is no shortage of work. A lot of what the scouts are doing involves repairs and restoration from damage of the 2016 flood in West Virginia. The man power available for the projects is massive in the sheer numbers of scouts and volunteers willing to help.
“These are projects communities typically don’t get done because of the lack of funding or labor source,” Douglas explained. “They’re coming in and doing great work.”
The service projects are in keeping with the best of Boy Scout traditions. AmeriCorps, CCC, and Volunteer W.Va. are also among the largest mobilizers of active hands on volunteer workers in the nation. The four organizations pooled resources to put more than 40,000 volunteers into a ten county section of southern W.Va. for five days.