CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's Boy Scouts of America Buckskin Council has been preparing for the upcoming National Jamboree for more than two years.
The Jamboree will attract about 38,000 Scouts and volunteers to The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, a 10,000-acre adventure world stretching across Fayette and Raleigh counties. From equipment lists to a "shakedown" camp out, local Scouts and leaders are ready for adventure at The Summit.
Jeffrey Purdy of the Buckskin Council said the council devoted an entire committee just to planning the Jamboree trip. The Buckskin Council has 170 youth and adult leaders from 23 counties coming together to attend this month's event, scheduled to run from July 15-24.
Local Scouts will begin their Jamboree experience with a trip to Washington, D.C., before returning to The Summit.
"Almost all the other troops coming to the Jamboree from across the country include a touring segment where the Scouts get to know each other prior to arriving at The Summit," Purdy said. "We didn't want our scouts to have anything less."
Troop leaders discussed what to pack, hygiene and how to travel with a group of Boy Scouts. The council will take four tour buses to the nation's capital for two days, where they will stay at a local hostel to keep overall expenses down.
One of the main preparations for the event was a "shakedown," where Scouts from different troops came together for the first time to camp. Scouts participated in team-building and training exercises.
Leaders divided the Scouts into patrols of six to eight people. One of the team-building events featured wooden boxes of varying sizes requiring each patrol to work together and have each patrol member on the box.
"You watch them interact and see who is taking the leadership role and who is following instructions well," Purdy said. "Every good troop has good leaders and good followers."
The Summit will be Davis Giles' first Jamboree. He's looking forward to trying rock climbing, mountain biking and shooting.