The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

2013 Boy Scout Jamboree

July 24, 2013

Boy Scouts work at John Henry Park

TALCOTT — Approximately 120 Boy Scouts and their Scout leaders were on hand at the John Henry Historical Park in Talcott Tuesday to help with several community service projects that included expanding hiking trails and refurbishing old railroad equipment.

“In these five days of projects, the Scouts have completed work that would have taken Summers County volunteers three years to do,” explained Summers County Commissioner Jack Woodrum, one of the commissioners who oversees economic development projects for the county.

The John Henry project was among 18 community service projects taking place in Summers County during the Boy Scouts’ visit. Some 48 troops, totaling 1,920 Scouts, assisted by the AmeriCorps and NCCC, equaled one-seventh of the county’s entire population, Woodrum said.

“The Scouts were here each day on this site,” Woodrum explained. “They worked on a wetland trail and a creek trail that partly runs adjacent to the railroad. The Scouts also completed some cemetery cleanup; work at the Senior Center in Hinton, landscaping, as well as a number of other projects.”

He added, “The five days the Scouts were in Summers County enabled us to initiate a number of projects we normally wouldn’t have been able to do.”

The Scouts were valuable in other ways, too.

“Benefits of the Scouts’ leadership were enormous,” Woodrum said. “Local residents have been very complimentary of the Scouts and their work ethic and behavior. At the same time, some of the bus drivers indicated to us that they are going to return with their families to vacation here.”

And, he said, “The Scouts that are here today in 10 years will have their own families, and they may want to come back to West Virginia to show their families what they did here.”

Rick Moorefield, extension agent and community and economic development agent said, “We are appreciative of what the Boy Scouts have done for us, how enthusiastic they are, and how thankful they were to have an opportunity to give something back to the community. We were fortunate to have had nearly 600 Scouts representing 11 different states.

“They helped us sand down and refurbish railroad equipment and completed 3,000 feet of hiking trails, as well as making improvements on old and existing hiking trails in order to get them back into service.”

Moorefield said he is proud to have been associated with the community service work that has gone on in the county since the Scouts arrived.

“We had one Scoutmaster say he was going back home and have a fundraiser to help get this park completed,” Moorefield said. “It has been a wonderful experience working with all of the Scouts, the Scoutmasters and the volunteers.

“We are looking forward to the Scouts coming back in four years, and we’ll be much better prepared for them next time. This has been a massive undertaking but it has turned out wonderfully well for the nine southern counties involved in the community service projects.

“The other counties in the state will be envious when they see what kind of projects we got done here in our region.”

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2013 Boy Scout Jamboree