GLEN JEAN – The National Park Service (NPS) at New River Gorge National River is working in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) as they host the 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, located adjacent to the park. Park staff will participate in Jamboree operations in a multitude of ways throughout the nine-day event, to be held July 19-27, 2017. Over 40,000 scouts, leaders, and others are expected to attend this year’s Jamboree.
The NPS will host thousands of scouts as they work on two service projects within the park. Projects include four work days to help build portions of the Camp Creek Trail, a new trail segment that will eventually serve as a connector in the broader vision of a through-the-park trail. The second project includes accessibility improvements at the Grandview Sandbar Campground and River Access Point. This day-long project will upgrade two day-use picnic areas to meet current accessibility guidelines and rehabilitate two accessible campsites, one near the walk-in campground, and other in the drive-in campground. New River Gorge National River Superintendent Lizzie Watts stated, “The accessibility project will provide greater opportunities for all visitors to experience the sights, sounds, and nature of New River Gorge National River in a safer and more enjoyable manner.”
NPS rangers and volunteers will also work on the Summit Bechtel Reserve each day to share the NPS mission with Jamboree attendees through a variety of hands-on activities, including learning about career opportunities in the NPS, and the opportunity to complete activities required for the BSA Archaeology and Backpacking Merit Badges.
The national partnership between the NPS and BSA provides scouts with an opportunity to personally connect with one of their 417 national parks, and allows NPS employees to connect with the future stewards of our public lands.