CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- From pulling weeds to building bat houses and walking trails, thousands of Boy Scouts fanned out across southern West Virginia this week to perform community service projects.
The Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia coordinated 350 projects for 30,000 Scouts attending the National Jamboree.
The Scouts sometimes endured long bus rides on unfamiliar hilly terrain, working in 90-degree heat to help rural communities and learn about the history of the area.
The projects were in nine counties surrounding the Summit: Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming.
"The Boy Scouts of America is proud to give back to the state of West Virginia, and we hope these service projects make a lasting impact in the community," said national Jamboree director Larry Pritchard.
A group of 36 Scouts and four adult leaders from Troop B343 in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., helped the town of Alderson in Greenbrier County get started on a community walking trail. The Scouts dug through a 100-foot section of compacted shale, stone, weeds and roots to clear the way for the path.
The Scouts were told that many of the town's residents are retired and that the project was the idea of a man who recently died.
"It's got some definite meaning to the folks there in town," said Scoutmaster Glen Traylor.
The project will take two years to complete, and Taylor's group became so attached that it plans to return after the Jamboree.
"They've invited us to come back up there and do that," Traylor said. "We'll work on it again, to keep up with it and follow through."
Members of the Oklahoma City-based Last Frontier Council helped build a new trail and constructed a dozen benches that will be placed along the path at the Twin Branch Adventure Facility in McDowell County. The 36 Scouts and four adults from Last Frontier were joined by several other busloads of Scouts from other states.
Often the Scouts couldn't recount the names of the highways or the towns they traveled through.