Local Boy Scout Leader John Campbell attended the National Scout Jamboree held at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve near Glen Jean, WV, in July.
For Campbell, who is a program manager, the event is a two and a half week adventure he has been attending since 1997.
The Pony Express Council took a contingent to the event consisting of 36 scouts and four adult leaders. The experience cost each scout $2,000, which in addition to the jamboree, matching T-shirts, hats, kerchiefs and patches, included travel, hotels and sightseeing.
While there, the scouts experience varied activities including shooting sports, fishing, archery, zip lines, canoeing, skateboarding, sail boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and BMX riding.
This year, the 45,000 attendees, including 9,000 adults, attended a speech by President Donald Trump at the facility.
The program Campbell manages is the Highland Games. On the last day, Campbell had 8,563 scouts take part in activities including the caber toss, hammer throw, weight for distance, weight for height, sheaf toss, tug-of-war, bag pipes, grand kilt, Scottish history, swords and armory and blacksmithing weapons. Scouts compete with equipment that is made for their size.
Safety is of utmost importance. Campbell said there are safety personnel who check areas every day to make sure the environment and scouts are safe.
Campbell said that he walked everywhere on the 10,600-acre facility. Because it is a mountainous area, Campbell’s change in altitude was 1,555 feet every day. The Summit is the third largest city in West Virginia when the scouts are in attendance.
In 2019, the Boy Scouts will co-host the world jamboree at The Summit with Canada and Mexico.