GLEN JEAN, W.Va. - Eagle Scout Mark Painter didn't get to go to a National Jamboree when he was a boy.
Painter, now a sergeant with the West Virginia State Police, got another chance this week, as he and other officers lent their help at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Raleigh County.
"It's amazing to see the difference in the opportunities that these kids have as opposed to what I had 20 to 30 years ago," Painter said. "It's amazing the opportunity they're being given."
He said he'd been speaking to leaders and Scouts, some of whom attended Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill. They told him they were more impressed by this Jamboree, which offers zip lining, skate boarding and even simulated SCUBA diving.
"They're very respectful and actually telling us they're glad to see us," he said of the Scouts, Venturers and others gathered for the event. "The young ones will walk right up to us, which we like to see. We like to have that. We don't want them to be afraid of us; we want them to talk with us. They have a lot of questions about our jobs."
Painter was among about 100 West Virginia troopers and about 40 from four other states working the event. They herded 746 buses and vehicles into reserve. West Virginia asked surrounding states for help monitoring the Jamboree and managing traffic.
Pennsylvania State Trooper John Tinker, who is also an Eagle Scout and Cub Scout leader for his son's troop, had never seen anything quite like the Summit.
"Where I grew up is a pretty small Scouting program," Tinker said. "To come here and see this . . . it's very impressive."
He said it's been a pleasant experience and that everyone has been friendly.
West Virginia Capt. Bill Scott said everyone was working well together.
"It's been a great experience to work with the out-of-state troopers," Scott said. "The way I see it troopers are troopers regardless of what state they're from and that's been proven true as soon as they got here Sunday.
"If you could put 30,000 people in one location in a 13-hour period, that's pretty good, without incident," Scott said.
The out-of-state troopers came ready and willing to help, some with prior experience with the National Boy Scout Jamboree. They were staying on the University of Charleston at Beckley campus.
The Virginia State Police worked the National Jamboree when it was held at Fort A.P. Hill near Bowling Green, Va., said Sgt. Steve Lowe, whose 9-year-old son is a Cub Scout - still too young to come to Jamboree.
"We understand the logistics and we understand the manpower they need, so when West Virginia reached out, we were able to provide some assistance," Lowe said. "I will commend the West Virginia State Police for the tremendous job they've done planning and coordinating this event.