By Tina Alvey
Like many towns in the region, Lewisburg was aswarm with Boy Scouts Wednesday, working on community projects and — organizers hope — soaking up some local history along with the gallons of water they drank to fend off dehydration in temperatures that soared well above 90 degrees.
Part of the community service initiative connected to the 18th National Scout Jamboree now under way in nearby Fayette County, two trail-building projects in Lewisburg are off to a good start, thanks to Scouts from Texas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
While the Texas contingent labored to clear the way for a walking trail that will connect the community garden and picnic shelter to Dorie Miller Park, boys from Wisconsin and Minnesota eagerly tackled excavation on a second city trail, linking the public library with both Maple Street and the Confederate Cemetery.
“City workers are loosening the ground and taking out the big rocks and trees, but the Scouts are doing the manual labor,” explained Mark Carver, Lewisburg’s director of public works and manager of the city’s community service projects.
“That’s what they wanted to do, and we’re letting them do it,” Carver said of the Scouts.
Among the Minnesota Boy Scouts on the work team digging up the ground behind the Greenbrier County Library Wednesday were Will Randolph, Ben Jasper and Thomas Long, all with Troop 206 from Long Lake; Max Brown of Troop 563, Hanover; Kenny Romine of Troop 538, Plymouth; and Joseph Mosset of Troop 333 and Joseph Koski of Troop 242, both of whom live in the Minneapolis suburb of Savage.
Ranging in age from 12 to 17, the boys said their various troops have been meeting since December in preparation for forming their region’s Jamboree troop, designated A-430.
This is the second Jamboree that Mosset has attended.
Comparing the two, Mosset said, “This one has a lot more adventure; it’s closer to nature. I like this one better.”
The boys were uniformly enthusiastic about the setting and the amenities offered by the Summit Bechtel Reserve, the 10,600-acre site of the National Scout Jamboree.
Barth Reding, leader of Jamboree Troop A-430, said of the Summit, “They’ve done a great job in preparing it. There are bound to be some bumps in the road for an event this size, but it was very well thought out.”
Like the boys he leads, Reding said this is his first trip to West Virginia, proclaiming, “It’s beautiful.”
The Minnesota Scout contingent traveled to the Mountain State on a motor coach, making stops in Chicago, Indianapolis and at the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.
Carver noted the Scouts will rotate in a new troop every day during the community service initiative to work on the ambitious trail projects in Lewisburg, with others tackling a pair of cemetery clean-ups in the city expected to take a day each.
Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester said, “We’re very excited to have so many Scouts do service projects in our community. These projects have been on the drawing board for a while. Because of the infusion of labor from the Scouts, we’re able to get them done.”
Carver estimated the cost of materials for the branching library trail at between $5,000 and $6,000, an amount largely secured from a grant.
The Dorie Miller Park trail is a bit more expensive, at an estimated $7,000 to $8,000 for those materials, he said.
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