GLEN JEAN, WV (WVNS) — Leaders of the scouting movement are making mental health a priority throughout the World Scout Jamboree.

Many scouts traveled thousands of miles away from home to spend time with their fellow scouts, some even leaving home for the first time. Jason O’Brien, the Primary Lead for the Listening Ear, said for some it is not a problem, but for others, long days and long distance can be difficult with which to cope.

“Once you get tired, physically, then emotionally, it’s harder to stay engaged and just active,” O’Brien explained.

O’Brien said all scouts have to do is look for a purple, feather banner, and inside they will find an open heart and a listening heart.

“The listening ear is an open place for anyone to come in and talk about what makes it tough for them and they’re accepted regardless of their culture, their background, their religion, to be able to speak and be heard,” O’Brien said.

More than 170 volunteers across 15 locations throughout the Reserve are volunteering to be there for scouts, no matter what problems they face. O’Brien said they are there simply just to listen.

“How overwhelming it must be to come great distances, to be around people you never met, even some of the folks you’re traveling with, you might not know very well, can cause a lot of stress and cause a need that you just need someone to talk to,” O’Brien said.

The grounds of the Summit Bechtel Reserve are more than just a place to zip-line, camp, or hike; O’Brien said it is a safe place for scouts to go and be themselves.

“If you’re not able to enjoy and be yourself, have a good attitude, the listening ear is there to get you back into the jamboree,” O’Brien said.

This is the first jamboree the Listening Ear program has worked on this scale.