Jamboree Dining Facility Serves Around 24,000 Meals a Day and Employs Locals

GLEN JEAN, W.Va (WOAY) – With 45,000 scouts and 8,000 volunteers, it is easy to wonder how all of these people are getting fed.

“Well, it begins very early, so breakfast starts at about two o’clock in the morning,” Dining Team Lead Steve Tipton said. “Our front-of-the-house staff arrives somewhere around 4:30, so we will serve today, we’re right now, with about an hour to go, we’ve served 8,000 people breakfast.”

And they will serve them lunch and dinner as well. The scouts attending the Jamboree are responsible for cooking their own meals at the campsites. The dining facilities are used to feed the 8,000 volunteers all while taking each person’s dietary needs into consideration. 

“We have two dietitians on staff. The dietitians are here to answer questions and make sure the food is being built to serve with the dietary requirements and with what we publish,” Tipton said.

While there are volunteers in the dining facilities, there is also paid staff made up predominately of local workers. This includes Vickie Ash, a Mt. Hope native who moved back home from Nashville to work at the Jamboree.

“I’m 63 years old and this is like once in a lifetime chance for me, and I just wanted to be a part of it,” Ash said. “I wasn’t able to be a Girl Scout growing up, but this is such an opportunity for me.”

As a prep cook and server, Ash has also made it her job to give people from all over the world a warm West Virginia welcome every day. 

“People from China, from Korea, from Australia, from Chile, Venezuela. It’s just amazing because we’re never going to get to see that part of the world and we’re never going to get to meet those people. But because of the Boy Scouts here in West Virginia, they’ve been able to bring these people to us and it’s an experience for all of us and it’s such a blessing to have this here,” Ash said.

Both the scouts and the dining facilities get supplied through food service contracts.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.