CHARLESTON, W.Va. - For the first time ever, visitors will have a chance to participate alongside Boy Scouts in the National Scout Jamboree.
In past jamborees, visitors were able to see the adventure, but they didn't have the opportunity to be part of the high-adventure fun and participate in the excitement firsthand.
Visitors will get to sample all of the high-adventure activities open to attendees during the 2013 National Scout Jamboree at Summit Center, the center of the Jamboree site that will welcome participants, offer information and become a central gathering area.
"The 2013 National Scout Jamboree offers a great opportunity for visitors to not only get a taste of the exciting activities available at our fourth high-adventure base, The Summit, but an opportunity for people to see the state's natural beauty in the New River Gorge in wild and wonderful West Virginia," said Larry Pritchard, the National Jamboree Director, in an email statement.
"Additionally, the Jamboree offers a chance for community members to enjoy fruits of their labors, as more than 1,000 West Virginians have helped with construction of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve since the groundbreaking in 2010."
Summit Center offers a smaller version of many things available at the Jamboree and is affectionately referred to as "Jamboree Lite." It serves to provide visitors with portions of the Jamboree, as well as to introduce Scouts to activities they can then pursue at the high adventure basecamps.
Summit Center has an area called Action Point, which contains a sample of each high-adventure activity, including ziplines, skateboarding, BMX biking, challenge courses, canopy tours, rock climbing and more.
"Summit Center is where all visitors can come and experience the best that the jamboree has to offer," said National Jamboree Director Larry Pritchard in a video.
In addition to sampling the activities, the 100-acre visitor area will allow visitors to explore the various exhibits, cool off at the Summit retail store and view other Summit highlights - like viewing the CONSOL Energy Bridge or the Sustainability Treehouse, where Scouts and visitors can learn how to apply the principles of sustainability within their daily lives.
Advanced visitor passes went on sale May 13 and more than 5,000 already have been sold.
Visitors are also invited to the Saturday evening stadium show and a closing ceremony complete with Zambelli fireworks.
Visitors are allowed to attend July 17-23.
Visitor hours are: