The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 16, 2013

App directing visitors to W.Va. adventures

By Lisa Shrewsberry
Lifestyles Editor

— The West Virginia experience? Now there’s an app … and programming for that.

Rep. Nick Rahall jokingly admitted “It’s geek to me” in a discussion about the mishmash of social media options populating the Androids and iPads of today’s Scouts. But in response to the 2103 National Scout Jamboree being the most “tech savvy” the nation has yet seen, Rahall, D-W.Va., believes his state is keeping with the Scout motto in preparedness on all fronts — technology included.

At his presentation of the Experience West Virginia mobile app Monday at the Erma C. Byrd Higher Education Center near Beaver, he noted, “Our mountains may be old, but our technology is as current as the World Wide Web.”

Within a few taps, visitors downloading the Experience West Virginia app can access Appalachian-themed workshops and performances organized by several area colleges and scheduled throughout the state on or near their campuses — Bluefield State College, Concord University, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia State University, Bridgemont, New River Community and Technical College and Southern West Virginia Community College.

Rahall said the technology and the associated programs work in concert to highlight what the businesses and people of West Virginia have to offer.

New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and West Virginia Campus Compact were also part of the collaboration bringing regionally relevant workshops and activities to visitors, local residents and Boy Scouts and their families.

“Let’s be clear, this is not your father’s Jamboree. My message to Scouts and their families is ‘be prepared’ for some fun and challenging new Appala-chian trails to blaze,” said Rahall. “Thanks to the quick and timely work of the team at Concord’s Rahall Technology Center, programs and events to entertain and enlighten our visiting Scout families are at our fingertips.”

Program schedules accessed through the app include etched glass and pottery making, historical and theatrical performances, Civil War medicine presentations, NASA workshops, mountain hikes, ATV rides, modern coal mine tours, Mad Scientist Camps and more.

The mobile app for Experience West Virginia was made possible by the Third District Accelerator (3D) grant program. 3D is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The free app is available now for download at Google Play on Android phones and tablets.