The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 18, 2013

West Virginia Day observed at Summit

THE SUMMIT — “God made West Virginia for the Boy Scouts of America,” said Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Chief Scout Executive Wayne Perry as he kicked off West Virginia Day at the Summit Bechtel Family Reserve.

“This was designed just for us.”

Brock says that the largest project ever undertaken by the organization — construction of the 10,600-acre adventure sports development — couldn’t have happened without their relationship to the state of West Virginia.

“West Virginia’s motto is ‘Montani Semper Liberi’ or ‘Mountaineers Are Always Free,’ which is a natural fit with our organization as Scouting was built on the outdoors, and the Summit is built on epic adventure,” he said.

The BSA chose its site in Fayette and Raleigh counties after reviewing 80 proposals in 28 states.

According to the BSA, more than 1,000 state residents have helped with construction.

As of opening day, on-site contractors have employed 952 people, 78 percent of whom are from West Virginia, paying more than $34.5 million in wages.

Over 30 percent of those working on site are from Fayette, Raleigh, and Nicholas counties, according to the BSA.

Among the visitors to the Jamboree site on Wednesday were several local legislators.

Delegate Danny Wells, D-Kanawha, called the Summit “the perfect spot to promote West Virginia.”

Scouts speaking to The Register-Herald had only glowing remarks about their experiences in the Mountain State so far.

“The entire experience here in the wilderness has been absolutely incredible,” said Sean Nulty of Stanford, Conn.

“It’s been a way to reconnect with nature and I’ve loved it. I grew up in the city and this is such a culture shock, it’s just great.

“I just want to thank (West Virginians) for opening their wonderful state to us and letting us enjoy this beautiful area.”

The BSA marked West Virginia Day with several ribbon-cutting ceremonies, including one to inaugurate the future site of the J.W. and Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center.

Once built, the facility will tell the story of its donor namesakes and of West Virginia through building design, use of native landscape, and narrative features.

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