GLEN JEAN -- Blistering temperatures are baking the camping areas and high-adventure sites at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, making the Boy Scouts' newest challenge keeping cool.
Temperatures have hovered around the upper 80s since Monday, when Scouts began packing into the 10,600 acres of The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Reprieve from the rays is achieved only in shade, in the pools or by Scouts' best friend this week: water.
Officials are placing a heavy emphasis on making sure 50,000 Scouts, Venturers, leaders, staff, volunteers and guests are all well-hydrated. Scouts can be seen scattered across the site toting brightly colored, reusable bottles.
There are about 25 portable water stations at The Summit and 24 hydration stations.
Scouts are encouraged to drink water, and they sport a color-coded chart on a lanyard around their neck that helps them determine how much they should be taking in.
When Scouts are alerted that the day has a green flag, they know to drink a half-quart of water per hour. Yellow means three-fourths of a quart per hour. Red flags mean to drink a quart. Black -- the highest-level caution -- lets Scouts know to drink even more water and avoid highly strenuous activities.
Since the Jamboree began Monday, each day has seen a red flag.
Eric Brovarone, 17, a Sea Scout from Texas, arrived on site about a week ago.
"It's really hot here," he said. "We have to constantly keep hydrated."
John McCourt, 14, of Utah, a Boy Scout with a Star ranking, said even though he's from the Midwest, the heat in West Virginia is a battle.
"It's really hot and humid here. In Utah, it's hot and dry," he said. "Because of the humidity, you sweat a lot more here than in Utah. I am making sure to drink a lot of water and also trying not to get sunburned. The sun is bright."
John Rehm, 20, is a past Order of the Arrow national chief and is now part of the national media team.
"We have to keep hydrated. . . . You have to be especially careful if you're doing high adventure. Just have to be safe," he said.