Scouts to visit New River Gorge National River - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Scouts to visit New River Gorge National River

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© Courtesy: NPS.gov © Courtesy: NPS.gov
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The New River Gorge National River will be even busier than usual this July.

The 2013 National Scout Jamboree, taking place at the nearby Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, will bring thousands of Boy Scouts to the park from July 17-23, excluding weekends.

Scouts will participate in trail-building service projects and they also will be able to experience whitewater rafting and rock climbing adventures.

For five days of the Jamboree, commercial river outfitters will provide guide services for the roughly 2,500 Scouts who will be on the river each day, rafting sections of the Upper and Lower New River.

According to the National Park Service, extra rangers and volunteers will be posted in key locations to provide additional safety and assistance to everyone on the river during that time. All river access and boat launch areas will be open daily for outfitters and private boaters, but traffic will be busier than normal.

"I see the Jamboree as an opportunity for the National Park Service to showcase the New River to a multitude of young people and to positively impact their perception of West Virginia," veteran river guide and NPS river ranger Kathy Zerkle said in a news release. "It excites me to be a part of any activity that brings people into the outdoors and exposes them to the adventure of the river, setting a foundation for further exploration of America's parks."

Scouts also will be able to explore the sandstone cliff faces of the New River Gorge, where there are more than 1,400 established rock climbs, ranging from 30 to 120 feet in height. Two daily climbing excursions are planned for the Scouts July 17, 18, 19, 22 and 23.

No whitewater or climbing adventures are planned for the Scouts on the weekend days.

Visit nps.gov/neri for details about recreational opportunities and sites to explore throughout the 70,000 acres and 53 miles of the New River Gorge National River and National Park.