GALLIPOLIS — Local Boy Scouts are attending the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Mount Hope, W.Va.
The National Jamboree is an event that draws thousands of scouts and leaders to the new camp, which is adjacent to the New River Gorge. Established in 2010, the Summit now serves as the permanent home of the National Jamboree, and is open year round for scouts to pursue the many high adventure activities offered.
Five scouts from Troop 200 of Gallipolis left this week in pursuit of adventure with other members of the Buckskin Council as members of troop 2402. All but Jacob Oehler are going for the first time. Oehler made his first trip to national jamboree in 2013, the inaugural jamboree for Summit where over 40,000 scouts were present from across the country. There are 40,000 scouts expected to be on hand for this year’s jamboree.
Also leaving for adventure is James Harrison and his father Jim, both from Troop 201 of Gallipolis. Several scouts from Meigs County are also a part of the contingent including Andrew Brooks, Ryan Harbour, and Isaac Card of Troop 235 in Chester. The troop from Buckskin Council includes 35 scouts from Ohio and West Virginia and four adults.
According to Marlene Stout, an adult leader with Troop 200, this event will make a significant difference in the scouts’ development as leaders.
“I believe through this experience that they will build confidence and self esteem. Not only from accomplishing their goals daily but through having to be independent, building friendships, camaraderie and working through adversity,” said Stout. The scouts will be away from home for for nearly two weeks, living outside regardless of weather, and are responsible for their individual objectives and their troop.
“They have to take their turn cooking food for the troop, plan and organize their day with a buddy, take care of themselves physically, mentally and spiritually, shower, be responsible for their gear and laundry, money management, etc.,” explained Stout.
Scouts have the opportunity to do many kinds of high adventure programs. Mountain biking, white water rafting in the New River, BMX and skateboarding, zip lining and high ropes courses, among the many other areas expected in a scouting environment. They are also required to perform some kind of community service outside of the reserve while they are there.
The Summit serves as the fourth high adventure base in scouting. The other three include Philmont, a backpacking ranch in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. The Northern Tier National High Adventure Base on the border of Minnesota and Canada, where scouts can explore the wilderness from a canoe along the many waterways. The Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, where scouts can sail in the open ocean, camp on islands, and scuba dive in the Florida Keys.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.