The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 14, 2013

Jamboree is here

The Register-Herald

— To borrow a line from the motion picture Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come ...”

No more true and appropriate words can be uttered this week.

A project of about five years in the making, the Summit Bechtel Reserve will finally welcome the first National Jamboree for the Boy Scouts of America, beginning Monday.

The high adventure camp will draw an estimated 40,000 Scouts from across the United States to the hills of southern West Virginia.

In our humble opinion, their lives will never be the same.

Taking in the majestic beauty of our area, combined with the fun, excitement and challenges that the Scouts will face — it will be a positive life-changing experience that they’ll not soon forget.

It will also be a big 10 days for the people of our region, and it will also be an adjustment and a challenge for those living in the area.

Thousands of Scouts and volunteers will be pouring out over a nine-county area working on various community service projects, which will leave a long-lasting effect on our towns and parks.

With the Summit a permanent site for high adventure, the benefits of hosting the Scouts will be felt for many generations, and won’t be relegated to just a few days every four years. It will host a variety of events annually for years to come.

In fact, in 2019, the World Jamboree is also scheduled to come to the United States — Fayette County specifically.

We know that West Virginia is a perfect place to hold a Scout Jamboree. We’re grateful that the BSA agreed, choosing West Virginia over hundreds of applicants.

Area businesses will benefit, with travelers coming here and filling hotel rooms and their gas tanks, while also filling their bellies at area restaurants.

It’s a welcome boon to our region.

Our hope is that the visitors, many who may be visiting West Virginia for the first time, experience the warmth and hospitality that we are known for.

So if you see an opportunity, greet someone with a smile, let them in your lane while waiting in traffic and be a blessing to a family that has chosen West Virginia as their vacation destination.

Welcome to Wild and Wonderful, “Almost Heaven” West Virginia, Boy Scouts!

Enjoy your stay!