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: