There are a lot of things to do at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. It’s a high-adventure base. It’s a national Scout camp. It’s a family adventure camp.
Yeah, it’s all of the above, and it’s ready to roll in 2021.
Matt Reineck, the Summit’s director of outdoor adventures, recently sat down with the hosts of Scout Lifemagazine’s #Trekat2 live Facebook show to discuss all the things you can do at the Summit.
You can watch the entire interview here. Below are five things we learned from our conversation.
1. There is a new program that sounds amazing.
The Pack N’ Paddle Experience is SBR’s first entry into backpacking. Treks take participants through the various small mining communities and forgotten rail beds of West Virginia, where they learn about the history of the area and of the Summit itself.
“You can also hike though New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, our newest national park,” Reineck says. “We’re really proud of the partnership we have with them.”
2. The Orion Project and the Telescopium Experience are 2021 exclusives.
It stinks that there’s no National Scout Jamboree this summer, but The Orion Project sure sounds like the next best thing. For the 2021 season only, Scouts can experience everything the Summit has to offer over a period of seven days. This includes BMX, skateboarding, mountain biking, zip lines, canopy tours, challenge courses, climbing, whitewater rafting, and fellowship with other Scouts from across the nation.
“We are giving people the opportunity to come out and have a little taste of what they missed out on,” Reineck says.
Speaking of the National Jamboree, The Telescopium Experience is a three-day, four-night conference that provides tenting, food, conference materials, SBR adventure experiences, fellowship and fun for adults and Scouts who have served on previous Jamboree staffs. Their goal: to seek, refine and determine a new vision for future BSA Jamborees.
3. SBR is prepared for our “new normal” with COVID precautions.
The Summit was fortunate enough to operate during the 2020 summer season, during which its staff learned a lot about keeping everyone safe during a pandemic.
“We served 4,200 participants, and we had no community spread of the virus,” Reineck says. “We’re very proud of that.”
Many of those same procedures remain in place for 2021, including wearing masks, requiring temperature checks for every group for the five days leading up to their arrival, and providing units with thermometers so they can do daily temp checks at their campsites.
“We feel very confident we can have another safe summer,” Reineck says, “and we’re looking forward to everybody rolling in here.”
4. Family Adventure Camp launches in June.
The Summit isn’t just for Scouts anymore. It’s for their little brothers and sisters. It’s for their parents. Heck, it’s even for their grandparents.
Families can choose between bare-bone tents, luxury tents, bunkhouses and hotel-style rooms. They can choose between onsite activities such as hiking, fishing, mountain biking and aquatics. They can add on premium activities such as zip lining on The Big Zip, climbing at Boulder Cove and a driving tour of all the Summit has to offer.
Then they can partake in local area adventures, such as the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, golf, mountain biking trails, fishing and hiking.
5. The Summit also offers a weeklong resident camp for Scout troops and Venturing crews.
James C. Justice National Scout Camp is a camping experience meant to build upon unit and local resident camp experiences. It includes merit badge and Ranger elective classes, training courses and campwide events. The Justice Scout Camp offers more than 50 merit badges, along with a wide variety of awards, trainings and instruction in areas such as aquatics, climbing, fishing, media and arts, as well as wheeled sports like mountain biking and skateboarding.
“The Summit is super flexible in anything and everything we have to offer,” Reineck says. “We’re really trying to fit the mold of what any Scouting unit is looking for.”