GLEN JEAN, WV (WOAY) – The National Park Service (NPS) at New River Gorge National River is preparing to participate in the 2019 World Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, July 22-August 2. Park staff are anticipating increased river use and shuttle traffic as up to 65,000 scouts and adult leaders from over 170 countries attend the event, held adjacent to the park. This is the first time since 1967 that the event has been held in the US.
Scouts will have the opportunity to visit the park on half-day river trips along middle sections of the river. Hundreds of scouts will be shuttled daily by commercial river outfitters to and from River Access Points at Glade Creek, Thayer, Stone Cliff, and Cunard. Park visitors should expect heavy daytime use in these areas and increased bus traffic along roadways leading to these locations.
To help mitigate congestion in the Thayer area, the Thayer primitive campground will be closed from noon on Sunday, July 21 to noon on Friday, August 2. During this time, the River Access Point at Thayer will be closed daily between the hours of 6:00 am and 4:00 pm, reopening for evening use only. In addition, no overnight shuttle parking will be permitted in the Thayer area.
During the Jamboree, NPS rangers from New River Gorge National River and other parks across the country will operate an outreach tent, alongside staff from other Department of the Interior agencies, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Exhibits will showcase the diversity of public lands throughout the US. Scouts can earn the first-time offering of a Department of the Interior World Scout Jamboree patch by participating in a variety of hands-on activities.
Park Superintendent Lizzie Watts stated, “In this event, we have the opportunity to welcome youth, not just from the United States, but from all over the world to our beautiful area, and show them the magnificence of Southern West Virginia, and national parks throughout the US.”