The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

December 30, 2009

#1A — National Scouting Center

The Boy Scouts of America announced in June that West Virginia had won the bid against 28 other states for a $100 million National Scouting Center and high adventure base.

The BSA selected 10,000 acres of land located on a part of the property known as Garden Ground in Fayette County.

Garden Ground is located on the west side of the New River and is bordered by the communities of McCreery, Thurmond/Stone Cliff and Mount Hope.

West Virginia beat out 80 other proposals, thanks to its unique offerings, including �some of the best whitewater rafting, rappelling, mountain biking and other activities not found anywhere else,� the BSA said.

What exactly does this news mean for West Virginia?

About $10 million injected into the local economy each year, as well as 80 full-time and about 1,200 seasonal jobs.

As soon as it was announced, West Virginia began basking in its win. At the same time, behind closed doors, the BSA was still contemplating a locale to host its National Scout Jamboree.

That event, which attracts thousands of scouts from all over the world, has been held at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., since 1981, but will be moving from that location after next year�s event.

It didn�t take too long for the BSA to make a second announcement.

�It�s all coming to West Virginia,� officials said.

Fayette County will now house not only the National Scouting Center and high adventure base but the National Scout Jamboree as well.

Following the Boy Scouts� centennial celebration in 2010 and its final Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, the Fayette County property, to be known as The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve following a $50 million contribution from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, will become the host site for the Jamboree, beginning in 2013.

Approximately 40,000 Boy Scouts attend the Jamboree and tens of thousands of outside visitors participate.

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