CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Significantly overweight Boy Scouts may want to skip dessert if they plan on attending this year's Jamboree, as officials are declaring those who are out of shape will be unable to participate.
The National Scout Jamboree will be held at The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette and Raleigh counties in July and will feature high-adventure sports like ziplining, biking and swimming.
While national Scout officials have declined interview requests, statements and videos on the Summit website make the fitness requirements clear.
"Jamborees at the Summit will be physically demanding experiences," said Dan McCarthy, Summit director, in a blog post.
"West Virginia is called the 'Mountain State' for a reason. While there are level areas, there are also regular changes in grade as you hike from point to point, and all movement will be on foot (no buses or personal vehicles)."
"It will be common to see 200-foot elevation changes as you move about the site (think of that as going up about 20 floors in an office building). A number of our activities require more stamina and fitness, too — think climbing, rappelling, rafting, mountain biking, and skateboarding."
Body mass index will be a deciding factor in determining whether a Scout or leader is able to attend the Jamboree.
If a person's BMI is 31.9 or less, the participant is generally allowed. If the BMI ranges from 32.0 to 39.9, the application will be reviewed by Jamboree health care professionals to confirm qualification to attend. Participants likely will be asked to provide additional information if in this range.
If the BMI is 40.0 or higher, the participant is ineligible.
A 5-foot-9 inch Scout would have to weigh just over 270 pounds to have a BMI of 40.
BMI is calculated by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared and multiplying by 703.
For example, if a person weighs 150 pounds and is 5 feet 5 inches or 65 inches tall, the calculation would result in a BMI of 24.96.
The Centers for Disease Control suggests using BMI as a screening tool for obesity. The CDC's online BMI calculator can be found at www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/">www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/.
In an email statement, National Jamboree Director Larry Pritchard said, "Scouting supports a healthy lifestyle, and Scouting's outdoor programs such as hiking, camping, swimming, climbing, and conservation reflect a commitment to physical wellness.
"Indeed, the Scout Oath includes the commitment 'to keep myself physically strong.'
"The health and safety of those attending the Jamboree is a joint effort among the BSA, parents, youth and volunteer leadership. As the newest high adventure base of the BSA, The Summit is a fun but physically demanding facility."
While BMI is one of the factors that will be taken into account when considering an individual's acceptance to the Jamboree, other minimum physical fitness standards will be enforced.
They include health history, submitted health data and recommendation of the applicant's personal health care provider. Risk factors would include hypertension, diabetes, tobacco use and prior heart attack.