Welcome, all who have come to the Mountain State for the Boy Scouts of America's National Jamboree.
I was fortunate to have attended two National Jamborees -- Colorado Springs in 1960, and Valley Forge, Pa., in 1964.
The memories of your Jamboree will remain with you forever. I will share some of mine.
The Colorado Springs Jamboree was held on the golden anniversary of scouting in America. Things began with a pre-travel weekend of training, about a month prior to the Jamboree itself. All local scouts who would attend the Jamboree were camped in downtown Charleston for a weekend on an urban renewal site just across the Boulevard from where now stands Haddad Riverfront Park.
The Jamboree then began when I and 40 other scouts in my contingent troop boarded a train at the C&O depot on the south side of the river in Charleston. I was proud, and comforted, by the fact that the troop leader was my father, W.H. "Bill" Wyatt, who was also my scoutmaster at my home troop, T-146 in nearby St. Albans.
For two or three days and nights the train rolled on, out of the hills at home, then through the flat land of the great Midwest until, rising up out of the countryside as if to have said to a covered wagon full of pioneers, "The fun is over," came the Rockies. And that's where we camped.
In a day there arose a city as populace as any now in this state, a city of tents and roads that carried our supplies and uniformed scouts hustling everywhere.
To swap scout patches was big, and it remains so. Want a broadening experience? What joy ensued when one convinced a scout from Wyoming or New Hampshire to part with a patch from his local district, in exchange for one of my own.