For the Cumberland Times-News
CRESAPTOWN — The contingent of 35 area Boy Scouts and five adult leaders boarded a chartered bus at daybreak Monday and headed for a 10-day adventure being hailed as a landmark event in Scouting history.
Five hours after departing from Potomac Council Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Cresaptown, they arrived at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in southern West Virginia for the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree, the theme of which is “Go Big, Get Wild.”
The Summit Bechtel Reserve, which encompasses 10,600 acres, is now the permanent home of the National Jamboree; since 1981, the Jamboree had been held every four years at Fort A.P. Hill, Va.
Pat Reid is Scoutmaster of the Potomac Council contingent, with Brent Harman, John Deioice, Austin Hueg and Julie Smith the assistants.
Four other members of Potomac Council are serving on the Jamboree’s working staff: Doug Schwab, Valerie and Brian Westfall, and Doug Minnich.
Potomac Council oversees Scouting in six counties in the region — Allegany and Garrett in Maryland; Mineral, Hampshire, Hardy and Grant in West Virginia — all of which are represented in the Jamboree contingent.
Reid said that during the Jamboree the Scouts will be participating in a variety of activities, including rock climbing, mountain biking, ziplining and rope courses, sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting on the New River and Dutch oven cooking.
They will also hike to Garden Grounds, the highest point of the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
Each contingent from throughout the United States and participating foreign countries has brought a rock to be used in the building of a fire ring. “Ours came from a tributary of the Potomac and is engraved with the words Potomac Council,” Reid said.
For the first time in Jamboree history, all attendees will participate in a day of community service embodying the Scouting spirit. Reid said the Potomac Council contingent will leave camp and do service work for communities in the area for a day — “whatever the communities need.”
Forty thousand Boy Scouts are attending the Jamboree, which continues through July 24.