Boy Scout Camping Adventure Makes History

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MOUNT HOPE, W. Va. -- The Boy Scouts made history this week at a brand new 10,000-acre high-adventure camp in the Appalachian mountains.

The camp is called the Summit-Bechtel National Scout Reserve, and it was built with more $100 million in donations.

It's symbolic of the support they once had before the very public process leading to a decision to admit gay scouts put the group in the spotlight.

But now the Scouts are back to doing what they do best: having a good time while roughing it in the outdoors.

More than 40,000 Scouts and volunteers came together for the 17th Boy Scout jamboree in Southern West Virginia. This is the first time that the Summit-Bechtel center was used for a jamboree, and it's historic, because they also included females.

"We still have people looking at us like, 'Oh my gosh, there's actually girls here, and they're not wearing tan," a participating Scout said.

Hundreds of Venturers, the co-ed version of the Boy Scouts, were included in this year's Jamboree. In addition, there was a large military presence at the event.

"The military has always had a close relationship with the Jamboree, so there's approximately 1,300 active duty and guard personnel," a participating captain said.

And the Scouts were determined to make the most of their time.

"I love it. I mean, you meet so many nice people here. Just walking from the campsite, here and there we went to go fix schedules and I met a bunch of people from like Alaska and stuff. It was awesome," one scout said.

So despite all the controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts over recent months, this week at the Summit-Bechtel center, the focus was just on fun. 

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Chuck Holton

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Chuck Holton has been producing high-octane features and news for CBN since 2003. He has freelance reported from nearly all of the world's hot spots, including Afghanistan, Burma, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.