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Scouts put finishing touches on Jamboree site

By Candace Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As shrubs are planted, grass is cut and supplies are shipped in, the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is preparing for the influx of more than 40,000 Boy Scouts, leaders and staff in less than a week.

Work was 99 percent complete Monday on the 1,000 acres that will host the National Scout Jamboree July 15-24, said Gary Hartley, director of community and governmental relations for the Summit.

"It's like we're painting a room," Hartley said. "We started toward the center and worked our way out so that we don't paint ourselves into a corner. So the little bit of construction that is left is toward the outside."

Hartley said all major construction is finished. All that's left to be finalized are some cosmetic features.

"We're doing a final top coating of gravel; some shrubs are being planted when the construction is done," Hartley said.

Hartley said now is the time when vendors are starting to come in with supplies, material and equipment to set up for when the Scouts arrive. Contractors are preparing last-minute details and setting up tents.

Food vendors are setting up pavilions, and organizations are preparing their exhibits.

At the Summit Center, the stage area and some sets of stairs are still being constructed. Temporary toilets and staging areas will eventually be replaced with permanent structures.

Michael Patrick, director of operations for the Summit, said, "there are a lot of little things to do -- last minute tweaks and rehearsals here and there."

The emergency system is being tested, workers were perfecting the zipline and skateboarding areas and volunteers are also arriving on site.

"Everything that we expected to have done will be done," Hartley said.

A few other projects have been started but won't be ready in time for the 2013 Jamboree.

Work on the Scott Visitors Center was started but wasn't intended to be finished for this Jamboree, Hartley said. Construction will continue and be ready for future years.

The site features four temporary Olympic-sized swimming pools, Patrick said. They'll be replaced with in-ground facilities in the future.

"After the Jamboree, we'll go back in construction mode and work on additional construction to support high-adventure base," Hartley said previously. "In 2014, we will run a pilot program of high adventure camp, run during the summer."

The same 1,000 acres devoted to the Jamboree will be used for the summer programs, with few construction updates needed.

The next Jamboree will be in 2017, and the location will be used in 2019 for the World Jamboree, with high-adventure base options in between. While the pilot program is only open during the summer, the plan is to expand to spring and fall, with the eventual goal of running a year-round program.


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