By C.V. Moore
MOUNT HOPE —
Today, 40,000 Scouts and staff members are introduced to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia as the 2013 National Scout Jamboree gets under way near Mount Hope. It is the first Jamboree ever to be held in West Virginia.
Beginning at 5 a.m. and continuing for roughly 12 hours, 100 motor coaches per hour are expected to queue up at an enormous parking lot in Bradley, spilling Boy Scouts from Kodiak, Alaska, Weeki Wachi, Fla., Neptune, N.J., and thousands of other communities across the country.
Together, they will form the fastest growing city in the U.S., with a post office, a fire department, and a newspaper all its own.
Larry Pritchard, Jamboree director, calls the first day of the Jamboree “a magical day.”
“It’s incredible to watch what happens at arrival day at the Jamboree,” he says.
The buses are on a tight arrival schedule, timed down to the minute. Traffic congestion is expected to be at its peak today on the West Virginia Turnpike, U.S. 19, and W.Va. 16.
Once Scouts register in Bradley, they will be shuttled via W.Va. 16 to their campsites at the Summit, where their gear is staged. They will spend the bulk of the day setting up camp.
The first day’s official theme is Furst Day, named for Jack Furst, a member of the BSA’s Executive Board who was instrumental in developing programming for the Jamboree.
Billed as “Guns and Gears Day,” Tuesday’s activities will be closed to visitors. Highlights include a time capsule ceremony and an opening arena show, for which the performer has not yet been announced.
President Barack Obama has been invited, but no announcement has yet been made about whether he is expected to attend.
The first visitor day is Wednesday, West Virginia Day, which will include craftspeople, local musicians, and demonstrations.
“We are anxious and excited to have as many visitors come as possibly can,” said Pritchard.
Visitor passes are available at visitjambo.com. Typical hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and prices start at $35 for adults and $25 for youth.
No visitors will be allowed to enter the Summit on their own; instead, they will hop a shuttle from the visitor lot in Bradley.
If the price or the schedule won’t allow you to attend, there are many ways to remotely follow the action.
The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve’s Facebook feed is available at www.facebook.com/TheBechtelSummit. There, you can check out photos and see what Scouts and their families from across the nation are saying about the event.
A Flickr photo stream at http://www.flickr.com /photos/boyscoutsofamerica also provides an inside look at Summit activities this week. Already, hundreds of images have been posted as staff make final site preparations.
Scouts themselves will be reporting on the Jamboree at summitblog.org, tweeting at @BechtelSummit, and Instagramming at “bechtelsummit.”
The #2013Jambo hashtag is being used for Twitter and Instagram posts.
Perhaps the most intimate way to keep up with the Jamboree is through a special Internet-streaming radio station, QBSA The Eagle.
QBSA is “the voice of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree,” broadcasting information and entertainment 24 hours a day.
Already, the station’s DJ is announcing that “The Eagle has landed at the Summit.”
A morning show runs from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. each day, and Scouts will air 15-minute broadcasts throughout the day. The opening and closing Jamboree shows, along with special events, will also be aired.
An app for streaming is available by visiting tunein.com and searching for QBSA.
Today’s Jamboree weather is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 85 degrees. The forecast calls for a 20-to-30 percent chance of thunderstorms through Thursday night.
A week ago, about 6,500 adult volunteers began arriving on site to train and prep for the Scouts’ arrival.
Some Scout troops arrived in the area this week to enjoy outdoor adventure sports and other tourist activities prior to the Jamboree’s official opening.
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