SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. -- With the help of Boy Scout labor this week, Nicholas County schools are getting something Superintendent Beverly Kingery only dreamed about before -- an outdoor classroom.
"[There will be] a demonstration area and seating for them to watch an outdoor demonstration, and a walking trail down to the water so we'll be able to do water activities and ecology activities," Kingery said
She envisions a "day at the park" project at the outdoor classroom, to be located at Nicholas Memorial Veterans Park, during which students do science lessons and then walk to a one-room schoolhouse for a picnic in the afternoon.
Boy Scouts, here for the National Scout Jamboree in Fayette County, have been taking on community service projects as part of the Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative.
Other volunteers and groups have pitched in as well; on Friday, about 80 members of the West Virginia University football team joined the Scouts in Summersville.
Players mowed a baseball field by the school, painted and did other maintenance projects. They also signed autographs for fans and took part in a special-needs camp meeting at the school.
"Our team does a lot of community service initiatives -- not to this scale," said Alex Hammond, director of football operations for WVU. "We obviously get a lot of requests for community service, but this is one that, given the large scale of that, we really wanted our players to be [involved with]."
The project gave the players an opportunity to interact with fans in the Southern part of the state; fans they might not see often when they're in Morgantown, Hammond said.
The community service outreach associated with the Jamboree has been called the largest effort of its kind in U.S. history.
"Given the fact that it's happening in our backyard," Hammond said, "we thought it was a perfect opportunity for our football team to come down and be a part of it."
The outdoor classroom is just one of the service projects in Nicholas County the Boy Scouts are helping with this week while they're in West Virginia for the Jamboree. They're also renovating playgrounds and installing equipment and building walking trails.