Contractors are grading roads and clearing timber at the site of the Boy Scouts of America’s fourth high-adventure camp in Fayette County, W.Va. Construction began in October, a year after a $50-millon grant from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation kicked off plans for the largest construction project in the history of the Boy Scouts.
Since that time, more than $100 million—including $25 million from the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation—has been donated to the construction of the 10,600-acre reserve near Mount Hope. The reserve is called The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, named for its largest contributor to date.
Both Walter Scott Jr., former CEO of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc., and Stephen Bechtel Jr., co-owner of the Bechtel Corp., are former Eagle Scouts.
Gary Hartley, the Summit’s resource manager for the Boy Scouts, says the current construction mostly is grubbing and grading work to create campsites.
“Troops from across the country come here and camp out for 10 days,” says Hartley. “Our 700-acre campsite will house 40,000 scouts and 7,000 adult volunteers.”
The campground will have 348 shower-house restrooms, a roadway bridge, four dams and a pedestrian bridge built with a $15-million donation from CONSOL Energy Inc., a coal-mine operator with extensive holdings in West Virginia.
“The grounds will also have an arena that will accommodate 80,000 people,” says Hartley.
The Summit is slated to be the permanent home of the Scout’s National Jamboree, starting in the summer 2013, according to a Boy Scouts press release. The jamboree attracts thousands of scouts and visitors each year and has been held since 1981 at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.
The site, which is within a 10- hour drive for about 70% of the U.S. population, was among 80 proposals from 28 states, according to the Boy Scouts. The Summit is adjacent to the National Park Service’s 70,000-acre New River Gorge area, known for its whitewater rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking.