When 40,000 Boy Scouts convene July 15-24 for the first National Scout Jamboree at the new Summit Bechtel Reserve, it won't be all hikes in the woods and campfire songs.
There will be hard work. Each Scout will do a good deed by putting in a day's work as community service. Scout leaders have lined up more than 350 projects for the Scouts in Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers, Nicholas and Wyoming counties.
This will help the Scouts fulfill part of their oath: "Help other people at all times."
The Scouts will clear brush, perform repairs, remove weeds, clean up litter, paint, plant, landscape, construct walkways and shelters, pour concrete and more.
Jamboree organizers worked with the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia to identify these projects and line up local sponsors - and volunteers who will do the things Scouts cannot do, such as using power tools.
Jennifer Douglas, chief operating officer of the local CCC, said the economic impact of the work the Scouts do should be valued in the millions.
"They've never done a day-of-service component during a National Jamboree, although they have done them in World Jamborees," she said. "This is the largest community service effort of its kind to ever be performed in the history of the country."
This effort was not slapped together. There was a dress rehearsal last fall and adjustments were made.
This is the kind of cooperation between Scout leaders and local officials that will help make the Jamboree a success.