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Bob’s Blog: The Summit and Community Service

While excitement continues to build about construction at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve and what our jewel in the mountains of West Virginia will finally look like, there is another aspect of the project that is also generating local buzz. It’s all about service.

The Civilian Conservation Corps of West Virginia, through its Reaching the Summit Community Service InitiativeExternal Link, is helping the BSA identify and prepare service projects for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. Fifty potential projects have already been lined up in Mercer County alone. Over 450 applications have been submitted from the nine counties involved in this initiative. This is a huge undertaking to provide thousands of Scouts visiting the Summit the opportunity to serve nearby communities to help kick off our 2013 National Jamboree celebration. Participation in a community service project is a new element to the jamboree, and everyone who attends in 2013 will have an opportunity to take part.

According to a recent article in the Bluefield Daily TelegraphExternal Link, the proposed work list as of now in the Mercer County area includes painting curbs in the town of Athens, clearing brush at Brushfork Elementary School, helping to restore a 200-year-old cabin at Glenwood Recreational Park, and painting a caboose’s exterior at the town of Bramwell. Project selection is still being finalized, and the search is on now to find community volunteers to assist our Scouts with these projects, but it is incredibly exciting to see these plans coming together.

This is just what we had hoped for when we first laid our plans for the Summit. Not only would we bring a world-class national training center and high-adventure facility to the New River Gorge region, we would also share the value of Scouting to benefit the communities in the vicinity of the Summit. It’s our way of being a good neighbor while, at the same time, delivering the message through community service that our Scouts are Prepared. For Life.™ and will be a valuable asset to this part of the country for many years to come.

I can’t wait to see the paint brushes, rakes, and shovels flying when these projects get under way. What a great way to help christen the Summit during our 2013 National Jamboree! Hope your councils are still actively engaged in lining up Scouts to participate in these historic moments for Scouting.

Bob, CSE