National Scout Jamboree Leaves Lasting Impacts on Scouts and Park

GLEN JEAN- The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) 2017 National Scout Jamboree took place July 19th -27th at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve located adjacent to New River Gorge National River in West Virginia.  During the nine days, thousands of Scouts from across the country got to experience one of their national parks in a multitude of ways.

Approximately 1300 Scouts participated in several service projects within the park. Over the course of three days, more than 1,110 Scouts worked towards the completion of the Camp Creek Trail, a steep two- mile trail, that when finished will provide a link from Rt. 25 near the town of Thurmond, up to a forested plateau.  An additional 200 Scouts and leaders completed a large-scale service project at Grandview Sandbar Campground and River Access Point along the New River.  This project was designed to improve access for mobility impaired park visitors and community members. Utilizing accessible design standards, Scouts rehabilitated an existing picnic area, created a new picnic location, and upgraded two campsites.

Scouts, leaders, and visitors also had opportunities to connect with National Park Service (NPS) staff at the Jamboree site. NPS employees staffed two outreach stations at the Bechtel Summit, reaching more than 7,000 Scouts and others throughout the event. One station featured interactive opportunities to learn more about the variety of careers and parks within the National Park System as well as earn the BSA Backpacking merit badge. The other station offered hands-on activities and lessons necessary to meet the requirements for earning the BSA Archeology merit badge.

“The 2017 Jamboree may be over but the positive impacts of the Scouts’ work in the park will last for many years,” declared Lizzie Watts, New River Gorge National River Superintendent.

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.

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