CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It's his first official visit back to West Virginia since taking his oath of office on January 20th. And when he does return to the Mountain State late Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump will address the nearly 40,000 Boy Scouts, Explorers, scout leaders, staff and volunteers from all over the United States who are at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Fayette County attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree.
President Trump will be the first President in 12 years to attend the National Jamboree which is held every four years. Former President George W. Bush attended the event in 2005.
West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, himself an Eagle Scout as well as a retired Lt. Colonel in the United States Army, applauded the President's decision to visit the Jamboree. As a Boy Scout growing up, Warner attended the Boy Scout summer adventure camp held at Philmont, New Mexico. Later he would attend Philmont with his sons as a scout leader and parent volunteer.
Philmont remains the world's top venue for traditional hiking treks.
"But there is really no other place like the Summit Bechtel Reserve. It is a world class opportunity for scouts from all over the country who will want to return year after year. It made me want to be a teenager again and try every activity available," Warner said.
"This 10-day high adventure jamboree conducted on 11,400 acres of pristine land in the heart of West Virginia is an experience of a lifetime. Add a visit from the President of the United States and the 2017 Jamboree will be a memory these future leaders will never forget."
The Summit Bechtel Reserve is home to some of the most exciting high adventure outdoor activities found anywhere in the world. White water rafting, mountain biking, shooting sports, hiking, ATV riding, mountain climbing and riding a 3/4 mile zip line that allows scouts a birds-eye view of the entire Summit are just a few of the activities available to attendees.
While attending the Jamboree, Scouts are also providing volunteer services and completing projects for communities all over the state. The director of the Jamboree estimates that the Scouts will donate approximately 100,000 hours of community service over the 10-day event.
"The 2017 National Jamboree showcases the Scouting mission by combining adventure and leadership development to give youth life-changing experiences they can't get anywhere else," said Matt Myers, National Jamboree Director for the Boy Scouts of America. "Over the 10-day event, those scouts in attendance will work toward new merit badges, complete thousands of hours of community service, make new and lasting friendships, and take part in adventures in the beautiful West Virginia wilderness.
Warner will be part of the official delegation in attendance to welcome President Trump to West Virginia. He was also on hand this past Friday to witness the BSA tribute to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson was president of the Boy Scouts of America when the decision was made to develop a high adventure camp in West Virginia.
On Friday, Tillerson used his address at the Jamboree to challenge scouts to always "be your best and to do your best." Tillerson said that everything he relies on to make sound decisions, whether in the business world or in his position as the Secretary of State, he learned as a member of the Boy Scouts.
"These Scouts are the future leaders of America and the future leaders of West Virginia," Warner said. "And West Virginians are proud to host these young adults with such a unique opportunity to excel while showcasing our beautiful resources that we call home."
President Trump will land in Air Force 1 at the Raleigh County Regional Airport late Monday afternoon. He will then arrive at the Jamboree between 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. He is expected to address those in attendance beginning at 6 p.m. A live feed will be available to listen to the President (see links below).
For more on the President's visit and the Jamboree schedule for Monday: http://www.summitbsa.org/details-presidential-visit-monday
To follow a live feed of the President's address at 6:00pm on Monday:
The National Jamboree's Official Facebook page can be found at this link:
Pictured (from left to right): Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt, Scout leaders John Canfield and David Flannery, and Secretary of State Mac Warner.