Thousands of Boy Scouts heading to West Virginia
Jul. 16, 2017
GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (AP) — Thousands of Boy Scouts will converge this week in West Virginia to participate in the National Scout Jamboree.
The event begins Wednesday at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Fayette County. Media reports there will be 24,000 scouts and leaders and another 6,000 volunteers, enough to make Glen Jean the state's third largest city, if only for 10 days.
Summit Bechtel Reserve spokesman Gary Hartley says contractors were working last week to put the finishing touches on the property as it prepares to host its second national jamboree, including the new Ruby Welcome Center on Route 19. The center will serve as a starting point for scouts from all 50 states.
"This is a chance for us to show what the best of West Virginia is," Hartley said. "This is our chance to show off West Virginia to the entire country."
This year's event will provide momentum as the reserve prepares to host the World Scout Jamboree in 2019, the first one to be held in the U.S. in 50 years.
"Here we can spend millions of dollars building up for a jamboree," Hartley said. "Leave that infrastructure in place, the next year put more into it. And the site just keeps getting better and better."
Meanwhile, Hartley says officials are ready to handle the extra traffic.
"In 2013, we were worried about a traffic jam, so we had the state police help us, we put folks at every traffic intersection, and I can say in 2013 we loaded up this site with 30,000 people in less than ten hours without a single traffic jam," Hartley said. "There's no doubt that we can do that again this year, especially since we have been through it once already."