The Scouts and leaders who’ve snagged seats in the Jamboree’s Offsite Adventures rafting program will take in some of the best sights the country has to offer, at the center of West Virginia’s beautiful, historic New River Gorge.
Be sure to pack the essentials. Everyone must bring a permission form signed by a parent or guardian; make sure to affix on the corner the red sticker that you’ll get during the Jambo check-in process. Bring closed-toe shoes, although hiking boots aren’t recommended. Anyone who requires a medical implement such as an Epi-Pen or inhaler must have it on their person. Remember a water bottle and sunscreen! Make sure that everything — including your clothes — can get wet. If you bring items on the bus that you shouldn’t raft with, you can leave them at a covered gear storage space at check-in.
One note on preparation: Pack with the weather forecast in mind. Pack smart, and don’t be afraid to raft in the rain. However, severe weather forecasts usually will not affect the rafting program, because lightning can’t reach the bottom of the gorge.
Check-in for rafting will be located just north of the Delta Basecamp HQ and tower, off Delta Pass Road. You can scope out this location in advance on the Jamboree App. Make sure you leave enough time to walk to check-in by your assigned time, because Summit shuttle routes won’t take you there.
You may find a bit of a line at check-in, because as many as 800 rafters are expected every day. After you arrive at check-in, you’ll process your paperwork, have an opportunity to store your gear, watch a 10-minute safety video, and then load up for a bus ride to the river lasting 15 to 30 minutes.
Your bus will drop you at one of three randomly assigned sites along the river. Be prepared for anything! Some parts of the river may be more aggressive, and some might be more placid. Whatever section you get, you’ll be on the river for about three hours. Once you’re done, another bus will pick you up and return you to the Offsite Adventures check-in near Delta HQ.
Once you step into your raft, you’ll be floating on a part of history. According to the National Park Service, some believe that the New River is the oldest river in North America (notwithstanding its name!). The New River is also one of just a handful in the world that flow away from the equator; the Nile is one of the few others. If you’re one of the lucky rafting participants at Jamboree, get ready for a wild and wonderful experience.