It is the largest youth service project that the New River Gorge has ever seen. Thousands of Scouts from the Order of the Arrow are investing a week of their summer to help the National Park Service build and restore biking and hiking trails throughout the area, and so far the progress is outstanding.
However, there is another group behind the scenes that is helping to make this project a success. The sponsors.
More than a dozen local businesses and organizations have donated their time, assets and money to help make sure this project achieves its goals of improving the area, and without the charitable contributions of these individuals, SummitCorps: The New River Experience would not be possible.
“Their contributions are more evidence of the partnerships being forged between Scouting and the West Virginia community,” says Mike Patrick, general manager of the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
Among contributors, Little General Stores, Maxum Petroleum, One Stop, WV and Petroleum Products donated vehicle and diesel fuel to help run generators and to transport the Scouts to and from work locations, while the West Virginia Automotive and Truck Dealers Association and Enterprise Car Rental provided vehicles.
“The West Virginia Auto and Truck Dealers Association believes teaching young men the values of citizenship and community service through hard work also builds strong leaders,” says Ruth Lemmon, president of West Virginia Auto and Truck Dealers Association. “The goals of the SummitCorps project were so beneficial to this community that our association wanted to be a part of making it a success.”
At the Scout’s basecamp, Appalachian Power and Kanawha Stone and Terradon donated a 56-kilowatt generator and 3 outdoor light trees with generators, respectively.
For safety purposes, the West Virginia Coal Association and its members, Friends of Coal, CONSOL Energy, Fairmont Supply, United Central Industrial Supply and the Mine Safety Appliances Company provided 2,000 sets of hard hats, work gloves and eye protection.
“When this project was announced, the West Virginia Coal Association jumped at the opportunity to provide safety equipment in support of SummitCorps,” says Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “West Virginians’ strong belief in stewardship of land and resources will help the Scouts who work this project appreciate the legacy it has provided all of us and will provide for a new legacy at their high-adventure base.”
ZEE Medical also donated first aid and medical supplies to help ensure safety for all Scouts.