Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 13, 2013

Boy Scouts to beautify region

PRINCETON — Communities across Mercer and McDowell counties are getting ready for visitors who are ready to pick up tools and take up projects designed to make life better.

Southern West Virginia will become a base of operations for approximately 40,000 Boy Scouts attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree. Each of the Scouts is scheduled to perform a day of community service during the event. The jamboree takes place from July 17 to July 23.

The jamboree is being hosted at the new Summit Bechtel Reserve in Fayette County, but the Scouts will be participating in community service projects across southern West Virginia. Groups of 36 or more Boy Scouts will perform tasks in counties including Mercer and McDowell. More than 30 projects are slated for Mercer County with another 18 in McDowell County.

In Mercer County, projects range from helping to restore a cabin at Glenwood Recreation Park to clearing brush at local schools, constructing picnic shelters and building benches. Projects for McDowell County include efforts such as cleaning facilities, walking dogs and installing an outdoor kennel area for the McDowell County Humane Society. Several communities will host multiple groups of Scouts while the jamboree is underway.

“Oh yes, we have several projects,” said Mayor Louise Stoker of Bramwell. “And we’re going to have them for five days.”

Each day will bring a new group of 40 Scouts, many of them from across the nation, into the town, Stoker said.

“We are prepared for them and they’re going to be working on projects all over town. That’s includes cleaning up an historic cemetery, painting a caboose in the ball field, and taking care of the wrought iron fences downtown,” she added. “We’re delighted that they’re going to visit us and that we were chosen for this.”

Each project the Scouts will handle includes time for education as well as community service. Stoker said the town will present a half-hour program to the Scouts while they eat their lunches. The town may arrange a different program for every group; topics range from the town’s history to current restoration work.

“We won’t get to say everything we want to say in half an hour,” Stoker said.

One goal Scout volunteers and local communities hope to do is encourage the Scouts and their families to visit southern West Virginia again.

“Everybody is benefiting from the visits of the Boy Scouts,” she said.

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