By Huntington District Public Affairs StaffJuly 26, 2017
The 2017 Boy Scouts National Jamboree is underway at the Summit-Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. This is the second jamboree held here, the first being in 2013. The Summit-Bechtel Reserve is located within the Huntington District footprint and offers the district a unique opportunity to highlight our mission to nearly 40,000 scouts and their leaders from throughout the United States.
The Boy Scout National Jamboree offers a unique opportunity to inspire highly motivated young minds that are naturally focused on STEM related fields to see what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is all about. "The Huntington District is always looking for opportunities to inspire relationships, build resiliency and deliver results," said Col. Philip Secrist, District Commander. "This event will occur in our district's area of responsibility from now on so it only makes sense that we do what we can to support it."
The district set up a team to conduct public outreach in support of the Jamboree's STEM Quest led by Dave Conley. The district team set up five stations: A watershed station demonstration station, A Stream Water Quality and Biodiversity station, A Cutting Edge Construction station, A Modern Surveying station and A Water Safety Outreach station. Each of the stations offered the scouts an opportunity to get a better understanding of the Corps' mission.
The watershed demonstration station allowed the scouts to utilize a watershed model to see how too much rain and land development can aggravate flood impacts to communities. They were able to build levees or change stream channels to simulate activities that could mitigate flood events. This station was manned by Andy Johnson and Ken Woodard.
The stream water quality and biodiversity station allowed the scouts to discuss human issues that affect stream water quality such as farming, urbanization and industrialization. They were able to learn about how the Corps monitors stream quality and view some of the equipment that we use to do it. This station was manned by Steve Foster, Thad Tuggle and Aric Payne.
The cutting edge construction station allowed the scouts to see an example of how construction technology is constantly evolving. The scouts were able to see how we are using techniques that did not exist a few years ago to do things like installing the largest rock anchors in the country using ultra-high precision. The station was manned by Dave Conley and Brenden McKinley.
The modern surveying station demonstrated modern surveying equipment such as GPS, Terrestrial LiDAR and a quadcopter to demonstrate how we accurately generate maps and 3 dimensional topographical models for various uses. The station was manned by Stephen Caldwell.
Our Rangers also conducted a water safety outreach station.
In 2009, the Boy Scouts of America purchased 10,600 acres of property adjacent to West Virginia's New River Gorge National River area in order to create the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. The Summit is the new home of achievement, adventure, and innovation in Scouting. With world-class facilities and a focus on outdoor action sports, the Summit welcomed Scouts to a whole new jamboree experience in summer 2013 and again this year. The Summit will also be hosting the 2019 World Jamboree. The next National Jamboree will be in 2021.
During the 2013 Jamboree, 350 service projects were held in nine southern West Virginia counties totaling 300,000 service hours and a $3 million value of labor as Scouts and Venturers gave back to the community through the Messengers of Peace Day of Service.
This year Troop 2203 from Minnesota and Wisconsin painted all the sign posts, the shelter and the parking lines at Bellepoint Park at Bluestone Lake. Also a group of 40 scouts partnered with the New River Alliance of Climbers and some trail experts from the Access Fund to work these kids on the climbing access trails near the water fall cove, upstream of Salmon Run at Summersville Lake.
"The Huntington District greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with this year's National Jamboree and look forward to supporting this tremendous event in the future," said Dave Conley.