Additional gifts that add up to $50 million have brought the total contributions to The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve to more than $100 million, the Boy Scouts of America announced today.
The BSA, at a special presentation at the Summit site in West Virginia this morning, announced it had received a $25 million gift from The Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation and a gift of an undisclosed amount from Mike and Gillian Goodrich.
Those gifts, coupled with some anonymous donations, brought the total announced this morning to more than $50 million. Add that to the $50 million already donated by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, and the total has surpassed $100 million in less than a year.
That money helps ensure that the Summit is on track to host the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. It was announced today that the next jamboree will be held July 15–24, 2013. BSA officials also plan to put in a bid to host the 2019 world jamboree.
Rex Tillerson, who is an Eagle Scout, BSA president, and CEO and chairman of Exxon-Mobil Corp., said the Summit fits perfectly into what the BSA plans to do in the next century.
“It’s imperative that we sustain our momentum—even elevating our expectations—by setting transformational goals,” he said. “We are supporting the vision and philanthropy we’ve witnessed today with a robust strategic plan that addresses core pillars of the Scouting experience. This includes a continuation of dynamic and relevant programs that attract and interest today’s youth.”
Walter Scott, whose foundation donated $25 million, is a Distinguished Eagle Scout. He said Scouting helped him become the man he is today.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to learn new things, I enjoyed the camaraderie with my fellow Scouts, and I especially enjoyed the camping,” Scott said. “The love and respect for the outdoors and our natural environment that Scouting instilled in me continues to this day. But my childhood troop in Omaha could never have imagined anything like what The Summit will be. It is simply spectacular.”
To honor his donation, the BSA is naming a valley at the Summit the “Scott Scouting Valley.”
Today marked the official start of Phase II of construction at the Summit. It’s estimated that more than 600 new local jobs will be added during construction. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin knows how important the Summit is for Scouting and his state.
“We are celebrating great news for the Boy Scouts of America, and great progress for the state of West Virginia,” he said. “The incredible show of support from generous donors speaks volumes about the caliber of the BSA. We are proud to be a part of this team, and couldn’t be more thrilled about the jobs and interest that are being generated in our local communities and our state, and the opportunities for fun and leadership that await millions of young people.”