Smith recalls Scout Summit

BUCKHANNON – An adult Boy Scouts of America leader, Alan Smith, joined thousands of other Boy Scouts and volunteers at a summit in Mount Hope this past summer, he told the Buckhannon Rotary Club Tuesday.

Smith said the 10-day summit was one of the “best 10 days of my life.” It took place in July 2013 at Mount Hope and included three skill levels for each activity, which ran the gamut from shooting to zip-lining.

Smith said at first, he thought 10 days was a long time, but once he saw what all was planned for the scouts, he said he then thought 10 days wasn’t long enough.

“I would vote to make it two weeks,” Smith said.

Smith, a former Cub master, Den leader, patrol dad and assistant scoutmaster for Pack 39 and Troop 40 in Bridgeport, led a group of scouts with the Allohak Council’s Eastern Contingent on different activities at the 2013 summit. He said traveling took up some of the summit time and his group volunteered to paint a school near Virginia for their service project.

Smith said the National Boy Scout Jamboree and the summit featured large group camp areas on a vast amount of landscape. The property gave the scouts more than 70,000 acres of managed and explorable wilderness beyond the summit property, according to the Rotary program. Smith said about 40,000 people attended, traveling on more than 1,000 buses.

Although more than 4,000 volunteers were needed to help operate various stations and provide various services during the event, Smith said he was one of only 2,800 volunteers who worked longer hours and more days to make up for the need for volunteers.

He said the volunteers left the camps as tired as the scouts, who sometimes had to travel a mile or more to different camp sites for whitewater rafting and other activities.