GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — As preparations continue for this summer’s 24th World Scout Jamboree at Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, organizers of the event are inviting the public to an open house at the Fayette County site in mid-June.
Community Appreciation Day at the summit will include rock climbing, mountain biking, canopy tours, fishing, zip lines, BMX, and live music. Director of Program and Operations Kenn Miller told MetroNews visitors will be able to participate in all on-site activities at no cost, June 15, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“As I visit with friends and neighbors in the community, what I hear is, most know about the summit. Many haven’t had the opportunity to come on the site, and we’ve opened that up to many more activities,” said Miller, who said he hoped fishing enthusiasts in particular would take advantage of an experience they otherwise may not find in the area. “We’d encourage you to bring your own gear, if that’s something you’d like to do, but we do stock our lakes, and you’re going to catch some good ones, I promise.”
Miller said the addition of several new permanent structures and facilities at Bechtel Summit Reserve to accommodate participants from 150 countries in the upcoming World Scout Jamboree also will provide a unique regional venue for future events, such as concerts and religious gatherings, which typically attract thousands of people, and have the potential to generate a boost in economic activity for southern West Virginia.
“We’re talking to a number of large-denomination churches, some other groups, associations. What we have to offer is pretty hard to find any place else, in the size and scale that we have at the summit. So, we do believe it’s a great resource, ” he said. “We know — certainly for the World Jamboree and even our other seasonal programming — the majority of our participants have never been to the state of West Virginia, and this is their first experience, and they’re having a great time, which means they’re going to come back and they’re going to bring their friends.”
There will be no charge to enter the gates during Customer Appreciation Day at Summit Bechtel Reserve. However, a voluntary $10 parking fee per vehicle is requested, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Gold Star Family Veterans Fund.
Vendors will be available at the site, but Miller said guests can bring their own food, if they prefer. Pets will not be permitted.
The World Scout Jamboree, which is the largest outdoor educational event organized by the Scout Movement, will take place at the 14,000-acre site from July 22 to Aug. 2. Scouts Canada, Asociación de Scouts de México, and the Boy Scouts of America are co-hosting this year’s jamboree.