Second Largest Skate Park in U.S. Teaches Scouts Perseverance

GLEN JEAN, W.Va (WOAY) – The Summit Bechtel Reserve is home to the second-largest skate park in the nation and has been one of the main attractions during the World Scout Jamboree.

“They’re learning things that they have never tried before,” park manager Larry Peterson said. “We have had young people in the park start with just being able to stay on the board, maybe, to being able to do what’s called dropping in.” 

But before scouts can drop into anything in the park it starts with the basics. 

“We start them out learning how to fall, learning how to stand on the board on a flat surface, learning how to do your first carve turns and then our first ramps,” Peterson said. “We do a little bit bigger ramp now and then we let them go free skate. It’s challenge by choice. They can push themselves as hard as they want or not.

 And during the Jamboree thousands of scouts will come into the world-class skate park. Most of them will probably fall at some point. Some might even break a bone, but they will learn a valuable life lesson as they get back up. 

“Skating’s all about commitment. When you go for something, you got to go all the way,” Ethan Archer, a scout from Texas, said. “Otherwise, you’re not going to make it. It’s the same thing if you’re going for Eagle or for the Summit. You got to go all the way.”

Not only do the scouts see the importance of commitment through skating but also the importance of having the determination to keep trying.

“You should never give up. It’s really true. If you give up, you will never do it. You just have to try and try and eventually you can do it,” Alinea Toms, a scout from Switzerland, said.

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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.