59News tours BSA Jamboree grounds - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

59News tours BSA Jamboree grounds

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It's the countdown crunch. Only 6 days remain until tens-of-thousands Boy Scouts, leaders and spectators will attend the National Jamboree. 59News got an up close look at the grounds just days before the event.

The tents are up, the construction is almost complete and everything has been tested. In less than a week 40,000 plus scouts, leaders and spectators will invade The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve for the Boy Scout Jamboree. The roaring mountains of West Virginia will be their playground.

The Boy Scouts have hosted 17 Jamborees the most recent was held in Virginia.  Now the organization has made the move to the mountain state and organizers plan for a long term relationship.

The vast 10-thousand acres have come along way in the passed 3 years. 59News took a ride high above the ground in a helicopter a few years ago.  Michael Patrick, the Summit's Director of Operations has been with the Jamboree since the start and he described the land just after BSA made the purchase.

"It was basically an untouched wilderness but it was kind of ragged because of the mining that had been done, so when we took it, it was a diamond in the rough," Patrick said.

Now the grounds are home to one of the biggest skate parks in the country, numerous Olympic sized pools, archery ranges, zip-lines, a concert venue and so much more.

Dozens of locations were vying for the National Jamboree, but West Virginia came out on top.  After the BSA announced the coveted event would make its home in West Virginia--- Patrick said thousands were enlisted to start the transformation from ragged lands to an adventure park.

In the passed the BSA did not own the jamboree land they celebrated on.  So they were not allowed to build any permanent structures. However, since this is the first time in BSA history they own the land the Jamboree is held on, they are able to erect permanent structures on the grounds.

With the final touches being put into place, organizers said July 15th, the first day of the Jamboree will sure to be a success.

"I can't wait to see the looks on their faces of those first scouts. That will really be the pay off to see how really thrilled and excited they are to be here," Patrick said.