Scouts came, they saw, they conquered.
The some 45,000 Scouts who came to West Virginia over the last two weeks for the 24th World Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean met other Scouts from all across the world, took part in high-adventure expeditions, tried cuisine from other countries while also sharing native dishes of their own, and learned a meaningful lesson — while they are all different, they are all the same.
To end the first week of the Jamboree, Scouts took part in a Unity Show — a day of cultural celebration among Scouts as they shared and learned about others’ home countries including food and music, bringing them together to learn what it means to be unified.
“Unity” was a strong message throughout the Jamboree, as Scouts often gathered as a whole, despite their language, dress, and belief differences.
Kenn Miller, director of Program & Operations at the Summit, said not only was the Jamboree important for the state of West Virginia, it was amazing to see the respect the Scouts had for the area they were visiting.
“Their appreciation for the mountains and the country was just great. Most of these kids had never been to West Virginia before, so they really enjoyed what they saw,” Miller said.
However, while the Scouts enjoyed West Virginia, Miller said the vast majority of the Jamboree was about the friendships built.
“All of these Scouts, from everywhere around the world, joining together for a meal, an activity, or a show, it was just really significant,” he said.
Scouts headed back to their homes Friday, when around 840 buses came in and out of the Summit over a 34-hour period. Miller said it was an efficient process, but it wouldn’t have been accomplished without help from the state and nearly 10,000 volunteers.
Due to the exponential volunteerism, Miller said, the Summit will be a home for many events in the future.
“We were so fortunate to have those 10,000 volunteers who offered skill sets in so many different areas,” he said. “Their level of commitment was just beyond what you’d get if you tried to pay them. We had all areas covered; there was just no stress.”
Although the next World Scout Jamboree will take place in South Korea in 2023, the Summit in Glen Jean will be no stranger to the Scouts. Miller said in 2021, the National Scout Jamboree will make its way back to West Virginia to home Scouts from all over the U.S. and bring in nearly 30,000 people.
The Summit will bring in more events throughout the year, too, Miller said.
“The Spartan Games will also take place at the Summit at the end of this month, which should bring in about 14,000 people,” Miller said. “In October the Grand National Cross Country motor cross series will also take place at the Summit. That will bring in around 4,000 to 6,000 people, too.”
Miller said the Summit has been a success for all its events.
“It keeps growing,” he said. “We’re excited to see it grow and be the home for more things.”
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