Jamboree in the hills


A trip to the 2013 National Scout Jamboree on July 22 began with parking in Bradley and taking a shuttle to the Summit Bechtel Reserve. The shuttle ride is about 20 minutes long and a day-pass for the visit cost $37.10 for non-members.

The guide on the shuttle bus introduced himself as Dan from Washington State. He informed the riders of many things including how important safety of the scouts is to Summit administrators. “Each staff person, and anyone working at the Summit, will have thorough background checks and all will have been through Youth Protection Training.” He also said there should be no one-on-one contact between an adult and a youth, even during trading of patches. Trading patches is a high occurring activity among the scouts and visitors.

The shuttle guide explained there are 101 Wi-Fi hotspots and 342 bathroom shower houses so far on the compound. There are six camps with about 7,000 scouts in each, and a current capacity of 50,000 people for the entire Summit. By the 2019 World Jamboree, the capacity will be 80,000. He said an estimated $450 million has been spent on the Summit so far; and by 2019, $1.9 billion will have been spent on development. {{more}}

Some highlights are a self-contained Sustainability House producing its own energy and water, a massive 3,000′ Zipline (for flying from point A to point B rapidly over vast distances at high altitude, buckled securely by the seat of your pants), and the 800 foot Consol Energy platform walking bridge with hanging bridges on both sides for coming and going over a 100-foot deep canyon.

The pavilion of Faiths and Beliefs has booths of information and representatives of every major world religion. Under one roof was Islam, Judaism, Quaker, Methodist and Catholic representation. At least two dozen belief systems were set up side by side for visitors to peruse displays on the philosophy associated with each religion.

Lunch was being served to Rotarians in the Silver Buffalo tent not far from the huge 80,000 capacity AT&T Stadium amphitheater the Summit will use for concerts and events. Wayne Brock, chief scout executive or the president of the Scouts, spoke to the group of Rotarians who were mostly from West Virginia and its surrounding states. Brock told the story of his youth and scouting history. “The Summit is about challenging the children and youth to do things they normally wouldn’t do and to build character through adventure.” He said the scouts were working on 350 projects in nine counties making this year’s event the largest service project in the history of the United States. The scouts will have performed over 300,000 hours of community service when they are done.


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