The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

June 24, 2013

NPS gets ready for Jamboree


GLEN JEAN — The National Park Service (NPS) is gearing up for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree this July at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, adjacent to the park.

According to a press release from the agency, NPS employees are looking forward to the opportunity to share their knowledge of the park’s resources and the NPS mission to an estimated 30,000 youth,  3,100 leaders and 6,500 volunteers.

“The National Park Service is excited to be a part of the first National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia,” said New River Gorge National River Superintendent  Trish Kicklighter.

“The Jamboree provides the National Park Service with an extraordinary opportunity to help thousands of young people learn about and experience West Virginia’s unique resources and recreational opportunities, and for us to promote stewardship of our public lands.”

During the Jamboree, the park will provide service projects for Scouts, support rafting and climbing adventures in the park and staff information tents at the Summit Center.  The Jamboree provides the park an opportunity to reach thousands of new visitors from across the country.

The Park’s Maintenance Division is coordinating service projects for approximately 800 Scouts a day on July 17, 18, 22 and 23. Scouts will be constructing trail connectors in the park in several locations.

The Camp Creek trail, located near the Rend Trail in Thurmond, will allow access to favorable hunting areas in the park.  The Brooklyn Miner’s Trail Connector will provide access for visitors from the Brooklyn Miner’s trail at the top of the Cunard Road down to the river. The Terry Connector will connect Terry Top to the town of Terry and ultimately connect with the city of Beckley.

The construction of these trail segments through a partnership between NPS and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is helping the park to achieve its broader vision, outlined in the General Management Plan, of a through-the-park-trail and connectors to neighboring communities.

On July 19, mobility-impaired Scouts with their troops — totaling more than 300 young people — will be working in the Middle  

Gorge at Glade Creek to construct accessible fishing, camping, and parking and picnic areas. Visitors can expect some closures as a  result of these projects.

The park is also offering rafting and climbing to support for 2,500 Scouts each day on July 17, 18, 19, 22, and 23. These Scouts will be using local rafting outfitters to guide their trips. Rangers will provide safety oversight for these river trips that will run throughout the day from Terry to Fayette Station.

In addition, approximately 80 climbers will be using local climbing outfitters to access the Bridge Buttress and Endless Wall climbing  routes the same five days. NPS will be providing safety and support for Scouts climbing in the park.

The Park’s Interpretation and Visitor Services Division will be coordinating the National Park Service Tent in the Conservation Area of the Summit where federal, state, and local land management agencies will showcase exhibits about the work they do, the resources they protect and employment and volunteer opportunities.

The NPS is also assisting with the coordination of the West Virginia Tent, which will be showcased in the Summit Center to educate thousands of Scouts, leaders and day visitors about the state, including its history and culture, business and industry, scenic beauty and recreation opportunities.

For both of these tents and the park’s visitor operations, NPS says it will benefit from volunteers who are giving their time and knowledge to assist visitors and Scouts during the Jamboree.