Celebrating the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia

This week, more than 40,000 people, including 24,000 Boy Scouts, Venturers and Explorers will arrive in Fayette County for the 2017 National Jamboree. This is the 19th Jamboree, and it’s the second to be held in West Virginia – where we continue to be so proud and grateful that the Boy Scouts of America chose our home state to be theirs as well.

2013 Boy Scout Jamboree (photo courtesy of the WV National Guard)

One of the greatest milestones we achieved when I was West Virginia’s Governor was when the Boy Scouts of America committed to bringing a world-class scouting facility to the Mountain State. Today, the Summit Bechtel Reserve is home-base, every four years, for tens of thousands of Boy Scouts from across the country.

2013 Boy Scout Jamboree (photo courtesy of the WV National Guard)

Right here in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, these bright young Scouts are becoming tomorrow’s leaders. They’re encouraged to always work as a team, build new skills, and learn problem-solving techniques that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Many of our country's strongest leaders, whether involved in business, the military or in public service, were Boy Scouts.

I knew that the ideal place for this facility was in the adventurous terrains and magnificent mountains of West Virginia. So I assembled government officials, business leaders and private volunteers into what I called the West Virginia Project Arrow Task Force. It was uphill from the start, but, of course, Mountaineers never shy away from a challenge. So we got to work and I convinced the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America

Senator Manchin at the 2013 Boy Scout Jamboree.

As West Virginians, we can all take pride in knowing our state was the one selected for the 10,000-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve – a once-in-a-lifetime project that has resulted in incredible economic and tourism activity for our state, and unparalleled opportunities for Scouts to hone life skills, character and fitness through an abundance of diverse outdoor adventures.

The coal that came off of this property helped build the Panama Canal. The timber that came off of this property helped build the boats that helped win WWII. It has so much historical value, and now it builds the tallest timber – the youth of the future.

Senator Manchin with Cameron Zobrist, a White Sulphur Springs Eagle Scout who worked with local volunteers to develop a memorial for the 2016 flood victims.

This year, with the addition of the Buckskin Council's H. Bernard Wehrle Sr. Scout Leadership Center in Charleston – named for West Virginia's first Boy Scout – the Scouts, volunteers and staff have world-class headquarters welcoming them to the Mountain State.

Senator Manchin's Case Manager, Kim Good, and Regional Coordinator, Brian Aluise, visit the Buckskin Council's H. Bernard Wehrle Sr. Scout Leadership Service Center in Charleston.

The Bechtel Foundation, the Wehrle family and countless other individuals have shown a tremendous commitment to West Virginia and the Boy Scouts. I cannot thank them enough for supporting not only the success of this facility, but also the success of tens of thousands of our nation’s young people.

2013 Boy Scout Jamboree (photo courtesy of the WV National Guard)

The Boy Scouts and West Virginia truly are a perfect match – an organization that builds character, inspires reverences and promotes the values of hard work and compassion, and a state whose people live and breathe those values every day.

I look forward to joining West Virginians in showing our world-famous hospitality to the Boy Scouts, their families and visitors again this year – and for many years to come.


To learn more, call my office Toll Free at (855) 275-5737, email me,or find me on social media:


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