In 2013 the Boy Scouts of America held its 18th National Scout Jamboree at its brand new premier property: The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Located in Fayette and Raleigh Counties, nearly Beckley, West Virginia, the site is home to the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base, and now serves as Scouting’s permanent location for its National Scout Jamborees. The site’s inaugural event was held from July 15, 2013 – July 24, 2013, with the theme “Go Big. Get Wild”. There were 40,795 Scouts and Scouters in attendance at the Jamboree.
Since 1950, the Order of the Arrow has had a proud tradition of sending a group of young Arrowmen to serve their fellow Scouts at jamborees. In keeping with that tradition, the Order provided unprecedented support to the 2013 National Jamboree. Dubbed “Project 2013,” a collective staff of 600 Arrowmen signed up to serve in various roles and responsibilities at the Summit including service with the OA Service Corps, the jamboree Trek Guides program, Messengers of Peace Day of Service projects, and the American Indian Village.
The OA Service Corps assisted in the jamboree’s many programmatic and administrative areas. Their mission was to assist in the accomplishment of tasks insofar as those tasks help achieve any unfulfilled needs at the jamboree site.
The Trek Guides program saw youth Arrowmen lead troops and crews in treks on Summit property. Trek Guides led jamboree participants up to the ‘Summit of the Summit’ on Garden Ground Mountain. After a fun hike and various programs along the way, trekkers experienced Garden Ground and everything it had to offer.
The Order’s legacy of service was evident at the jamboree through its Day of Service program. Scouts and Venturers at the jamboree participated in projects providing service to local communities, the National River, and onsite at the Summit. Some of the Order’s finest Arrowmen served as guides for this program, facilitating and providing leadership to the projects undertaken by jamboree participants.
The American Indian Village provided participants with an in-depth view of American Indian culture, regalia, dance, and singing. In addition, Scouts were afforded an unforgettable experience by skilled dancers and craftsmen as they learned more about the traditions that the Order of the Arrow was founded upon.
In addition to these four programs, the Order of the Arrow provided support to the jamboree by coordinating evening recreational activities. All of these Arrowmen were an integral part to the success of this inaugural event providing the equivalent of a $548,000 donation to the jamboree and its participants through a combined 31,475 hours of service. Beyond the primary OA responsibilities, many members of the National OA Committee and its key volunteers served in leadership positions in most areas of the jamboree. Once again the Order made a difference and left a legacy of service.