The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 8, 2011

The adventure begins

The Register-Herald

— We’ve officially known that the Boy Scouts of America would be locating a high adventure base and its new home for the quadrennial Jamboree in Fayette County for more than a year now.

And work is well under way on site preparation at The Summit: Bechtel National Scout Reserve.

But this week marks the first major appearance of Scouts in our region from all across the nation as the BSA’s Order of the Arrow, considered as the national honor society for the organization, started a month-long service project to blaze trails through the New River Gorge National Park.

By the end of July some 1,400 scouts and volunteers will have completed one of the largest youth service projects in National Park Service history with a goal of clearing more than 30 miles of new trails and rehabilitating another 12 miles.

The Park Service says it would have taken them 10 years and $1 million to do the work themselves.

What a wonderful way for the Boy Scouts to introduce themselves to southern West Virginia and usher in a new era.

BSA service projects like this will become a staple throughout the region in the years to come as the organization imparts its servant leadership and character building message upon young men who will work together with local officials for the betterment of many surrounding communities.

These qualities and lasting commitments will perhaps be the greatest benefit we receive from the BSA. Of course the economic impact of The Summit will prove to be huge as time goes on, but the demonstration of caring and service will be a positive that lasts for many generations to come.

The next 100 years in our area will be truly fulfilling and exciting with the Boy Scouts around.

BSA has made its intentions known, more than $100 million is being invested at The Summit. Now our focus must hone in on making certain adequate infrastructure—most importantly highway upgrades and improved access, along with utility work—is in place to accommodate the development.

West Virginia has a rising star; we can’t afford a black eye due to a lack of vision.