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Visitors join in Boy Scout Jamboree fun

By Candace Nelson

GLEN JEAN -- Visitors began tumbling into the 2013 National Scout Jamboree by the busload on Wednesday, which was themed "West Virginia Day."

The day recognized select individuals and organizations who played a role in the Summit's development with ribbon-cutting ceremonies and statue unveilings amid the mass arrival of visitors. About 50,000 visitors are expected to attend over the course of the next several days.

Family members, Scouts and others from across the country came to The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve to partake in Jamboree activities, including ziplining, skateboarding, BMX biking, challenge courses, canopy tours, rock climbing and more.

Garvin Klein, a Scout from Florida, said it took hours of driving, lots of camping and hotels to get to the site, but he is happy to finally be one of the first visitors.

"My troop is here, and I didn't want to pay more than a thousand dollars, so we figured we could just visit," Klein said.

"I want to visit my troop, trade patches, and I'm just excited to find out what else there is to do. It's Boy Scout city here."

Other visitors are coming to see their family members at the Jamboree.

Jill Hersperger, 48, of Wisconsin, came in on the first visitor bus.

"I'm excited to check out the ziplining," she said. "And my son. My son is here as a Scout, and we can't wait to see him."

Hersperger's daughter, Elle, 11, was eager to sample some of the activities.

"I'm ready to see what all is in the area, and we traveled all the way here, so we want to see my brother, who is a Scout," she said.

Visitors are able to access Summit Center, which offers a smaller version of many things available at the Jamboree. It also helps introduce Scouts to activities they can then pursue at the high adventure base camps.

In addition to sampling the activities, the 100-acre Summit Center area allows 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 in their daily lives.

Advanced visitor passes went on sale May 13, and thousands already have been sold.

Visitors are able to attend July 17-23. Visitor hours are:

* 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday

* Noon to the closing of the stadium show on Saturday, July 20. Visitors are invited to the Saturday evening stadium show and a closing ceremony with Zambelli fireworks.

* Noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 21

* 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 22

* 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 23

One-day passes for a specific date without the show are $35 for adults and $25 for children 6-10. One-day passes for any date without the show are $40 for adults and $30 for children.

Any two-day passes without the show are $50 for adults and $40 for children. Any three-day passes without the show are $60 for adults and $50 for children. All day passes plus the show are $125 for adults and $95 for children.

A pass for the show day is $50 for adults and $40 for children. Admission is free for children younger than 6.

Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts in complete uniform receive a coupon for a Trading Post discount under both plans. The coupon is good for 10 percent off any single purchase up to $40.

Shuttle transportation to the Summit Center from the visitor lots is provided with an entry pass. Visitor shuttles run regularly all day during the Jamboree. All visitors will be required to return to their cars when visitation hours end each day.

Upon arrival, all visitors will see a youth protection presentation. All bags may be screened or checked.

Visitors are encouraged to bring water bottles and/or small daypacks, but no backpacks, picnic baskets or coolers will be permitted.

The last visitor shuttle to the Summit Center will depart from the visitor lot two hours before the posted closing hour. The last shuttle leaves at 6 p.m. July 20.

Click here for more information on the Jamboree and purchasing visitors passes. Select tickets and days, process credit card payment and wait for a confirmation email. The link in a confirmation email will allow visitors to print tickets at home. The risk waiver and ticket are required for Jamboree entrance.

Contact writer Candace Nelson at or 304-348-5148. Follow her at

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