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You Shaped The Summit: Transportation

We asked all of you to help shape the Summit. In response, we received more than 1,000 survey and Facebook comments from Scouts, Venturers, Scouters, volunteers and many more. Thanks to all of the participation, we are now better suited to build a site where it’s easy to get from point A to B.

View an infographic of the results from the Shape the Summit survey.

We Listened

Construction is well under way at the Summit Bechtel Reserve and we’re working hard to be ready for you in 2013. The Summit will be unlike any place you’ve seen before, and as a result, the logistics and layout will differ from other high-adventure bases and previous jamborees.

There has been plenty of concern about transportation at the jamboree, and we noticed. Here are some of the comments left on the SBR Facebook discussions tab that helped shape the future of how people will get around Scouting’s newest playground.

Shape the Summit Bryant's Quote

We hear you, Bryant, and we like the way you think.

We can assure you that the use of buses will be minimal at this jamboree, but there won’t be any sort of train system either — for the time being, anyway.

The limited use of buses and cars means participants will hoof it the entire time. But, since the jamboree will be condensed into a smaller area than Fort A.P. Hill, Scouts won’t have to hike long distances to get from their campsites to activities.

The actual jamboree footprint will cover about 1,270 acres, which includes the campsites, activity areas, the arena and some extra room to breathe as well.

“The Summit will be more dense so we disturb less area at the gorge and so Scouts will be walking shorter distances,” said Allison Schapker, director of sustainability for Trinity Works.


Participants will be on their feet the entire jamboree, but never have to walk unreasonable distances. Consequently, Scouts should be more physically fit and cause less damage to the natural environment.

Shape The Summit Paul's Quote

Good news, Paul. The Summit design team is aiming to minimize impact and maximize experience.

West Virginia has some of the most beautiful terrain your eyes will ever see, and we want to keep it that way. To help ensure impact on the area is as low as possible, the paths within the Summit will be walking-only.

Walking At The Summit
Since there will be no vehicles within the Summit, walking trails will be the main means of transportation. (Photo by West Point Public Affairs/Flickr Creative Commons)

Since the jamboree will be confined to a small area, motor vehicles will not be needed. There will be transportation centers for Scouts to board buses that take them to activities off-property, but otherwise Scouts should consider strapping on some comfy shoes.

“We’re in a very narrow valley and want to lower impact on the land,” said Schapker.

There will be buses and trucks that bring visitors and supplies to the site, but no vehicles will be cruising around inside the camp. The lack of cars will not only reduce impact, but will also minimize traffic and make the jamboree safer.

The Summit is also working to make sure walking won’t be a boring experience.

“We want to encourage kids to walk and to make the trails enjoyable and educational,” Schapker explained.

So, as Scouts are walking from the campsite to the shooting range, they will be able to learn more about their surroundings by checking out some of the West Virginia wildlife. By walking from place to place, Scouts are more likely to experience the area up close and personal.

Who knows? Maybe a deer or two will join them on their adventures.

Shape The Summit Randy's Quote


You can count on some great biking, Randy. There will actually be over 30 miles of backcountry trails at the Summit.

Because the jamboree will be held in such a dense area, biking within the grounds will be mostly unnecessary. However, when it comes to riding in the gorge, Scouts are sure to have plenty of trails to explore.

A lot of these trails are being constructed this summer at SummitCorps, a month-long Order of the Arrow project, by Arrowmen that are just as excited about the 2013 National Scout Jamboree as you are.

The Summit is also teaming up with some of the best trail-builders around for even more mountain bike facilities. Cool, right?

What do you think of the transportation ideas so far? Any words of wisdom from previous jamborees?

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