The Summit Bechtel Reserve, located in southern West Virginia, is the permanent home of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree and will be the host of the 2019 World Scout Jamboree!

That means tons of nature and adventure.

You’ll have 10,600 acres (4290 hectare) of Summit property and 70,000 acres (28328 hectare) of the New River Gorge National River to explore and enjoy. Are you ready?

HILLY TERRAIN MAKES FOR GREAT ADVENTURES

You’ll be in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, which, at approximately 460 million years old, are the oldest mountains in the world. The mountains stretch from Newfoundland, Canada to Alabama, USA. With the Summit right in the middle of them, you’ll experience some wild terrain.

West Virginia is called the “Mountain State” for a reason. It has the highest mean elevation of any state east of the Mississippi River at 1,500 feet (457 m) above sea level.

The Summit itself has an elevation difference of approximately 1,300 feet (396 m) from its lowest to highest point. That means downhill mountain biking, zip line courses and plenty of intense hiking trails.

Gravity has never been so much fun.

LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER

You will also be a stone’s throw away from the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This makes the Summit a destination for fishing, kayaking and, of course, rafting.

The New River, ironically, is actually one of the oldest rivers on the planet, second only to the Nile River in Egypt. It runs north for 320 miles (515 km) through North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Hundreds of people raft or kayak their way down the river every day.

The Gauley River is home to some of the biggest whitewater in the country. It stretches 105 miles (169 km) through West Virginia and meets the New River to form the Kanawha River.

Rafters and kayakers flock to the Gauley River during the fall for 22 days of guaranteed high water known as Gauley Season. Gauley Season means lots of intense whitewater — 2,800 cubic feet (80 cubic meter) per second to be exact — thanks to scheduled releases from the Summersville Dam.

The Bluestone River runs for 83 miles through Virginia and West Virginia. Eleven miles of the river, the stretch near the Summit, is part of the National Park system and has been designated the Bluestone National Scenic River. This area is great for hiking, fishing and hunting.

ROCK CLIMBING THE ROCKY GORGE

The same rivers that provide thrilling whitewater have carved out some of the best rock climbing on the East Coast. People come to the New River George for all types of climbing: sport, trad, and bouldering.

There are over 1,600 climbing routes made of the hard sandstone which range from 30- (9 m) to 120-feet (37 m) tall. There is a wide variety of routes here that are rated between 5.6 and 5.12 on the Yosemite Decimal system from 5.0 (easiest) to 5.14 (hardest). Although the rock is spread out all over the gorge, most climbers head to Endless Wall, a 4-mile (6.5 km) long wall of the classic sandstone overlooking the river.

You can also find more than 300 climbing routes on the cliffs around the Meadow River and Summersville Lake. During the summer, there are plenty of climbs on the lake that are only accessible by boat, which is perfect for a midday swim.

WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE DON’T HAVE JAMBOREES

Since 2014 The Summit has offered High Adventure programs through the Christen High Adventure Base during the months of June, July, and August (whenever we don’t have a Jamboree of course). High adventure at SBR adds a new dimension to the Scouting experience. High adventure is not just about adrenaline and the wow factor, it’s about digging deep within yourself, finding out what makes you tick and discovering how to push beyond what you think you can do. The Paul R. Christen High Adventure Base offers seven programs within three program categories: The Summit Experience program provides an introduction to all components of the SBR Adventure Zone; Focused Programs allow Scouts (above age 13) to focus primarily in one particular area of the SBR’s adventures and concentrate on developing their skills in that focus area while still having some time for elective choices, and; Trek Programs take advantage of all those great resources we talked about earlier in the article.

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