MOUNT HOPE, W.Va. (WHSV) — The 2019 World Scout Jamboree began on Monday in West Virginia. Over 2.3 million scouts from over 167 countries are uniting for an educational event.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), a former boy scout himself, says he is excited about the character building and team exercises.
"It's something that is a memory of a lifetime. It teaches you for the first time at a very young age that you can do things. You can go out and camp, you can learn how to survive, you can learn about nature," said Senator Manchin.
The event that runs from Monday through Aug. 2 at the 14,000-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve near the New River Gorge National River is being held in the United States for only the second time.
While governor, Senator Manchin helped create the Project Arrow Taskforce that was tasked with pitching, courting and preparing the site in West Virginia for the Jamboree facility. The taskforce worked with state and local officials to make it happen.
Manchin made the final pitch when the Boy Scouts of America executives visited the site in West Virginia. West Virginia won the site, beating out more than 80 sites in 28 states.
The event runs from July 22 to Aug. 2.
More than 45,000 Scouts and their leaders plan to participate in activities such as whitewater rafting, ziplining, rock climbing and mountain biking.
The jamboree, held every four years, is being jointly hosted by national scouting organizations from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The other World Scout Jamboree held in the United States was in 1967 in Idaho.