At the 2017 National Jamboree each Scout will participate in a program activity called Messengers of Peace Day of Service (MOPDOS). MOPDOS is an opportunity for each Scout to make a meaningful impact on the lives of residents in the 9 counties that surround “The Summit”. It also is an opportunity for the communities that surround the Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR) to make an impact on each Scout. MOPDOS takes place on the 5 main program days at the jamboree. Each troop/crew will be assigned a day to participate in the MOPDOS. Scout groups will board buses and travel out into the community to work on well planned, community led service projects as well as perform much needed work in the local park system. We hope this will be a valuable addition to the jamboree program and provide a memorable experience for both the surrounding communities as well as the participating Scouts.
The MOPDOS team has partnered with the West Virginia Citizens Conservation Corp to identify the projects for the MOPDOS program. Approximately 350 community projects have been selected. Many projects require multiple days to complete. Ultimately there are approximately 550 community project days being finalized along with projects planned in the local park systems to ensure each Scout has an opportunity to fully participate in the MOPDOS program.
The counties where projects are being held have diverse geography. Some of the counties (Wyoming and parts of Mercer and McDowell) are in the heart of Appalachian coal country. Some are more agricultural (Monroe, parts of Greenbrier and Summers counties). Some are also relatively close to the jamboree site (Fayette, Raleigh, and Nicholas counties).
Projects can range from painting structures in parks, brush removal and trail work in parks, working in the National Park adjacent to the jamboree site, landscaping, stone wall repair, helping restore a small mine community and mine office that now serves as a museum. There is definitely a wide variety of tasks for everyone to accomplish, showing the diversity in our service.
One of the project days will include those Scouts (and their troops) that require special mobility assistance. A special project effort is being developed in the National Park related to improving the park’s effort in accommodating visitors that have a mobility disability. We want these troops to be able to make a positive impact for all attendees, even those impaired.
The MOPDOS program occurs on five program days, with troops being assigned to one at random. July 20, 21, 24, 25, 26 will see hundreds of Scouts serve their fellow man in a humanitarian effort. Approximately 110 troops (one troop per bus) will participate each day, letting everyone assist throughout the jamboree without cluttering the work sites with unnecessary numbers.
Travel time to projects ranges from very close (just off SBR property) to approximately 60 minutes looking at the surrounding scenery. Those that travel a further distance will get to see more of the diverse topography available in the area, making the time slip by before lending a helping hand.