The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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March 8, 2014

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

Site ready to move into next development phase

(Continued)

MOUNT HOPE —

Hartley said that the Summit’s high adventure base will employ a different model. Scouts will not be required to come in crews, as they are at Philmont, and will instead have the option to come as individuals and be joined with “provisional crews” upon their arrival to the Summit.

“We’re trying to facilitate more attendance by offering to put those crews together here,” said Hartley. 

Also, Hartley added, the BSA is seeking to reach a broader market with the different model that would bring more people into the area. 

Due to the Summit’s proximity to major highways and being located within a day’s drive of more than 60 percent of the nation’s population, it will be more conducive for families to drive their Scouts to the Summit high adventure base, adding unique tourism and vacation opportunities to the area.

With the New River Gorge National River offering quite an allure as a summer pit stop, it seems reasonable to estimate that more families may choose to accompany their Scout on their southern West Virginia adventure.

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Hartley said that the traffic migrating to the high adventure camp will differ greatly from the lump influx that characterized the Jamboree. 

“For the Jamboree, we had buses departing for the Summit every 45 seconds or so,” Hartley said. “The high adventure camp will consist of more individual traffic over a longer period of time.”

By “individual traffic” Hartley means that Scouts can be arriving to the area in varying shapes and sizes, ranging from council units, singular troops or individual Scouts, either alone or accompanied by their families. 

With a target enrollment of 50,000 participants spread out over 10 weeks of summer each year, Hartley said that the impact resulting from the Summit’s high adventure base will be “more sustainable” for the local economy compared to that of the Jamboree.

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