Boy Scouts with the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree are helping improve the community.
The New River Gorge National River is hosting scouts that require special mobility assistance.
These Scouts will work alongside park staff to build accessible fishing, camping, parking and picnic areas at the popular Glade Creek location in the Middle Gorge.
The relationship between the National Park Service and BSA provides Scouts an opportunity to work one on one with NPS employees who can serve as mentors during the accessibility project that will ultimately expand opportunities for visitors.
The BSA is working with the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia, the clearinghouse for this massive service component set to deploy approximately 30,000 Scouts and thousands of additional youth volunteers who will perform hundreds of thousands of hours of community service over a five-day period.
"The Boy Scouts of America is proud to give back to the state of West Virginia, and we hope these service projects make a lasting impact in the community," said Larry Pritchard, director of the Jamboree, Boy Scouts of America. "We chose the New River Gorge area as the home of the Summit for its stellar beauty and natural resources, so we want to contribute to the future of the state, as they are now a part of the future of Scouting."
Community service projects will have a large public impact, helping to beautify West Virginia in conjunction with the state's 150th birthday. Through activities such as clearing brush, performing repairs, cleaning litter, painting, planting, constructing walkways and shelters, and pouring concrete, the total economic impact in the area will be in the millions.
The New River Gorge National River is hosting Scouts that require special mobility assistance, Friday. These Scouts will work alongside park staff to construct accessible fishing, camping, parking, and picnic areas at the poplar Glade Creek location in the Middle Gorge.
The projects were identified in communities near the Summit by the BSA, the Day of Service team, and the West Virginia Citizens Conservation Corps. While some projects can be completed in one day, others will require multiple days to complete. Scouts will travel to the nine counties surrounding the Summit: McDowell, Wyoming, Mercer, Monroe, Greenbrier, Summers, Fayette, Raleigh and Nicholas.
"We are excited to have so many Scouts that are willing to spend a day of their time at the jamboree to help the communities that surround the Summit," said Pritchard. "We're proud to partner with the Boy Scouts of America as we work to make West Virginia, our nation, and the world a better place."
Scouts around the world have been participating in Messengers of Peace initiatives for more than 90 years. The BSA joined the initiative in 2012 to inspire more young men and women to help Scouting create a better world by solving conflicts in schools, building links between divided communities, teaching peers about health and wellness, and repairing environmental damage.
Approximately 40,000 Scouts, Venturers, volunteers and staff from across the nation are currently attending the 2013 National Scout Jamboree - the first at the Summit. During the event, Scouts participate in adventures that reinforce the BSA's commitment to physical wellness, including nearly six miles of zip line challenge courses, 36 miles of mountain bike trails, and 13 acres of shooting sports, as well as kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, skateboarding, BMX biking, and various other activities. The Summit is now the permanent home for the national jamboree, which take place every four years.
59News reporter Lauren Hensley is out with the scouts, Friday. She'll have a full report on this story tonight on 59News at five and six.