They relished the program's recreational, community service and social opportunities.
"As you're getting into your teenage years, it's kind of important," Virginia McGhee said. "You have to build the communications skills between everybody and not just kids who are just like you."
The 10,600-acre Summit site, which will be the jamboree's new permanent home, is the perfect venue for Venturing's high-adventure activities. The site will also hold the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, an international gathering that has previously allowed female participants.
Perry McGhee said she'll participate in "whatever I can get my hands on," although the competitive swimmer plans to spent a lot of time around the Summit's four Olympic-sized pools, where the activities will include SCUBA diving, kayaking and other water-based challenges.
Welles and Virginia McGhee can't wait to go whitewater rafting on the nearby New River.
Along the way, they won't mind showing the boys a thing or two.
"''If we can surpass them, that'd be great, to show them that we're just as tough as they are," Virginia McGhee said.
Rick Kagawa will have two girls among his group of eight Venturers from Orange County, Calif. Part of the jamboree experience involves trading patches, and that's where Kagawa believes the girls will have the advantage, based on his daughter's experience as a staff member in 2005.
"My daughter walked anywhere and a boy would open up his bag and go, 'I'll trade you because you're a girl with anything I've got.' She got everything she wanted when she was at jamboree," Kagawa said. "''We tell all our girls that you'll get any patch set you want."
Pritchard expects the focus to be more on the outdoor adventures than a battle of the sexes.
The young people "just want to be here and try it," Pritchard said. "The Venturers who were here last summer for our (dress rehearsal) weren't here to see who was better, the boys or girls, but just to experience what there was for us to offer. Even with that little taste we gave them, everybody went away with a wow. We want to do more of that."