The 2017 National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America officially started Monday at Summit Bechtel Family Scouting Reserve deep in the Appalachian Mountains.
The 10,600-acre Scout Reservation has become West Virginia’s third largest city overnight with more than 40,000 participants, of which 19 youth and two adults are from Tooele County.
Dan Egelund of Tooele is the Scoutmaster for Jamboree Troop 3248 and Roger Baker of Erda is an Assistant Scoutmaster for Jamboree Troop 3247. The Tooele County area scouts are divided between the two troops: 10 scouts with 3248 and nine scouts with 3247. They are part of the Great Salt Lake Council’s National Jamboree Contingent of 10 Troops and a Venture Crew totaling 349 youth and 47 adults.
Held every four years, the National Jamboree is an opportunity for participants, volunteers and visitors to experience the best of Scouting — all in one place. The 2017 Jamboree at The Summit has every outdoor activity imaginable, featuring The Big Zip, where riders reach speeds up to 50 mph soaring above lakes and trees on one of the nation’s longest zip lines.
The Ropes, The Rocks and The Canopy give participants the largest and most extensive man-made climbing, challenge course and canopy tour venue in the world. The Bows and The Barrels provide shooting sports and archery programs, from trap shooting and compact clays to 3-D archery targets and sporting arrows.
Also there is Low Gear, a mountain bike experience that covers 36 miles of forested trails; The Trax, a BMX biking facility; The Park, a skateboarding experience with introductory, transition, street, and bowls sections, plus a training area with mini ramps, banks, quarter pipes, and a foam pit for practicing aerial tricks.
The Pools and The Lakes feature water sports, water obstacle courses, kayak touring, stand-up paddle boarding and scuba diving. New this Jamboree is the Polaris® OHV Center of Excellence, where scouts have a world-class ATV experience, learning to ride the right and safe way while respecting the environment.
The Jamboree also features patch trading, merit badges, fishing, stadium shows and more. It is hailed as a once in a lifetime outdoor experience for youth and adult alike.
“The 2017 National Jamboree showcases the Scouting mission by combining adventure and leadership development to give youth life-changing experiences they can’t get anywhere else,” said Matt Myers, National Jamboree Director for the Boy Scouts of America. “Over the 10-day event, youth will work toward new merit badges, complete thousands of hours of community service, make new and lasting friendships, and take part in adventures in the beautiful West Virginia wilderness.”
This year marks the 80th year since the National Jamboree’s inception in 1937. Since that time, it has become known as the BSA’s most quintessential event, welcoming youth from different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures to celebrate Scouting and create memories to take with them through their time in Scouting and beyond.