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SharePrint The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve


The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is located on 10,600 acres of the New River Gorge near Mount Hope. The reserve is home to the National Scout Jamboree and the Boy Scouts’s newest high adventure camp.

The Boy Scouts of America chose the site in Fayette and Raleigh counties after a nationwide search. A $50 million donation to start the $350 million project came from the Steven D. Bechtel Foundation. It was the largest gift ever received by the Boy Scouts of America. The organization has received numerous other donations for the project, including $25 million from Jim Justice, the owner of the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs. The money was used to build the main campground at the facility. Consol Energy donated $15 million that was used to construct a 786-foot-long pedestrian bridge with three separate walkways that connect different areas of the reserve.

In July 2013, the Summit hosted the National Scout Jamboree, which attracted about 40,000 scouts from around the country. Activities included aquatics, climbing, mountain biking, skateboarding, shooting sports, and ziplines.

Contractors worked for about three years to prepare the site for the Jamboree. They cleared land, built the infrastructure, and developed special features, including a stadium, a pool, skate area, as well as biking and hiking paths. More than 100 miles of utilities were wired underground, and the site was equipped with cell towers and wireless Internet. It has the largest zipline network in the world, the second-biggest man-made climbing wall, and the second-biggest skate park in the U.S. The reserve also features four man-made lakes.

Starting in 2014, the Summit serves as the scout’s fourth high adventure camp. Scouts participate in rafting, climbing, shooting sports, and mountain biking. On October 21, 2015, the scouts broke ground on the J. W. & Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center. The site welcome another National Jamboree in 2017. Then, in July 2019, The Summit was home for the World Scout Jamboree, which brought nearly 50,000 scouts, boys and girls, from around the globe to West Virginia.

Citing the “uncertain nature of future conditions” during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boy Scouts postponed the 2021 National Jamboree. The National Jamboree returned in July 2023, with more than 15,000 scouts from across the country participating.

Last Revised on February 13, 2024


Lawrence, Chris. National Boy Scout Jamboree Starts This Week in Fayette County. WV Metro News, July 16, 2023.

Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 13 February 2024. Web. 13 June 2024.


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