On July 19, 33 scouts and six leaders from the Bucktail Council, Boy Scouts of America (Troop 1236), pulled out for their adventure at the National Jamboree.
It was held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve near the New River Gorge National River area in West Virginia. When the scouts arrived, they were eager to set up camp – their home for the next 10 days.
Ambient temperature showers were available. And, air temperatures ranged from 65 – 70 degrees at nighttime and 85 – 90 degrees during daytime hours. Hydration was vital, though cold water was available at a premium.
At the National Jamboree, the majority of the 137 merit badges available were offered to scouts, along with a vast array of outdoor activities.
These activities included the Big Zip, the largest zip line in North America; mountain biking and BMX biking; skateboarding; paddle boarding; canoeing and kayaking; white water rafting; scuba diving; and more.
Each troop was issued six tokens for the Big Zip. All other scouts received tokens for the Canopy Tour, the Legacy Zip, the Gateway Zip, the Action Point Canopy, the Action Point Challenge Course or the Ropes Course.
The majority of Bucktail scouts went white water rafting on the New River on July 21. Several also went rock climbing and rappelling.
Many completed requirements for merit badges, such as aviation, leatherwork and the newest one – exploration.
On July 22, scouts hiked Garden Grounds Mountain, which has an elevation of 2,810 feet.
At the top, scouts participated in pioneering games, learned about the scouting history, developed arrowheads from flint and participated in Highland games and some in a Spartan Race.
U.S. President Donald J. Trump addressed the scouts July 24. The scouts could see Air Force One approach for landing at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
Within 15 minutes, the scouts saw the presidential motorcade entering the stadium. Trump then spoke to the scouts for more than 45 minutes.
On July 25, scouts fulfilled the required Messengers of Peace Day of Service at Little Beaver State Park in West Virginia. There, they cut brush from the main trail around the lake, picked up litter and removed limbs and sticks from camp sites.
There were also three major shows at the stadium during the National Jamboree, including concerts by X Ambassadors and Plain White T’s, as well as a show in each of the base camps.
“Every person attending the 2017 National Jamboree came home with a different experience,” scout leaders said. “There were so many things in which each scout could participate.
“Everyone had a good time and made many new friends. They were able to meet other scouts from all over the United States and around the world.”
Local scout leaders who were in attendance included: Scoutmaster Greg Kunselman of Punxsutawney; First Assistant Andrew Jenkins of Clearfield; Second Assistant Scott Depp of Punxsutawney; Third Assistant Jarod Depp of Punxsutawney; Fourth Assistant David Stanko of Woodland; and Fifth Assistant Dr. Keith Wolfe of Brookville.
Local scouts who were in attendance included: Jonah Bell of Olanta; Brian Blake of Weedville; Braden Brosius of Oliveburg; Colson Davis of Woodland; Alec Depp of Punxsutawney; Tyler Elliott of Punxsutawney; JJ Ginther of Allens Mills; Kyle Hahn of Philipsburg; Sebastien Heaney of Philipsburg; Zack Jenkins of Clearfield; Dayton Kelly of Clearfield; Daniel Kunselman of Punxsutawney; David Kunselman of Punxsutawney; Ben Leighow of Clearfield; Josh Lesko of Philipsburg; Wes Lion of St. Marys; Spencer Martz of State College; Alex Meko of Punxsutawney; Everett Miller of Clearfield; Broc Pearsall of Punxsutawney; Caleb Pellerite of Philipsburg; Cody Phillips of Punxsutawney; Avery Rowles of Hyde; Luc Schrauf of State College; Aiden Shaffer of Ringgold; Cole Smay of Glen Richey; Jason Stanko of Woodland; Harrison Starr of Clearfield; Kenny Starr of Clearfield; Tommy Stephens of Philipsburg; Jeremiah Vezza of Clearfield; Isaac Wolfe of Brookville; and Kolby Wolfe of Kersey.
To build your own adventure by joining scouting, please visit BeAScout.org, or contact the Bucktail Council at 814-371-5650 to find a troop near you.