July 18, 2019

World Jamboree Great For Scouts, West Virginia | Charleston Gazette-Mail

Being a Boy Scout in West Virginia was such a unique and enriching experience for me. It taught me new skills and leadership qualities, while also gaining new friends and mentors that helped shape me into the Senator, former governor, father and grandfather I am today. That’s why as governor I worked hard to bring the permanent home of the National Scout Jamboree to West Virginia.

In 2007, when the Scouts of America announced they were looking for a new location to house their National Scout Jamboree, I knew our state was the perfect spot. So I got together with state and local leaders and we formed the Project Arrow Taskforce, which was given the charge of showing the Scouts of America that West Virginia was the perfect place to make the new home of the National Scout Jamboree. We studied other Jamboree sites to understand the unique needs of the National and World Scout Jamborees so that we could adjust our proposals to accommodate what the Scouts needed.

We also made sure to highlight the benefits of West Virginia’s location on the East Coast and the large areas of land available for construction so the Scouts could have a permanent home for the National Scout Jamboree. The committee worked tirelessly to compile this information and presented it to the Scouts of America during their nationwide search. West Virginia was chosen out of more than 80 sites in 28 states, putting into motion a multi-year project to turn the old reclaimed strip mine into the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, ready to handle tens of thousands of Scouts year after year.

The impact of the Summit is an incredible testament to the benefit of investing in West Virginia. A recent study showed that when the National Scout Jamboree isn’t hosted in West Virginia, the Summit brings in over $28 million in economic impact, supports 280 jobs and almost $1 million in state and local tax revenue. When the National Scout Jamboree is held in West Virginia, those numbers skyrocket, with an economic impact of $76 million, 350 jobs supported, and $1.2 million in state and local tax revenues. It is wonderful to see the impact of this long-term, hard-earned program for our wonderful state.

In addition to the economic impact of the Summit, hosting the National Scout Jamboree and the World Scout Jamboree puts West Virginia on the map both nationally and internationally. Every four years when we host the National Jamboree, tens of thousands of Scouts and their families visit West Virginia and see the beauty of our great state — almost guaranteeing another trip back to West Virginia. This year, West Virginia is hosting the World Scout Jamboree, bringing over 60,000 Scouts, support staff, guardsmen and volunteers from over 120 countries to West Virginia for the week-long event. This will be a great boost for our local communities and small businesses while also showcasing West Virginia as a great location to travel for vacation, especially for an international trip.

While the Summit is known for hosting the Jamborees, the Summit is also home to the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base which attracts large groups and hosts multiple events every year, from summer camps to national conferences. These events bring different groups of people to our wonderful state and prove that the Summit is not just impactful when the Jamboree is in West Virginia.

I am incredibly proud of the successful efforts of hard-working people during my administration to bring the Scouts to West Virginia and continue to be impressed with the work of West Virginians as we show the world how wonderful our state truly is. I wish every Scout here in West Virginia this week a great Jamboree and look forward to having you all in our state again in the future.

By:  Senator Joe Manchin
Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail