The World Scout Conference announced today that The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve will host the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.
That means that for the first time in 52 years, the global Scouting extravaganza will be held in the United States. (The 1967 World Jamboree was held in Farragut State Park in Idaho.)
It also marks the first time since the 1983 World Jamboree in Calgary, Canada, that a North American site has been host.
The Summit, located in Beckley, W.Va., is the BSA's fourth national high-adventure base, and it already had been named the permanent home of future national Scout jamborees, starting with 2013's event.
But today's news that the site will host the 24th World Jamboree is a big boost for the base—and for Scouts and Scouters who will help welcome the world.
"Scouts who attend the 2019 World Scout Jamboree at The Summit will, for the first time at a world jamboree, be able to participate in whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking. We are very pleased that the conference saw the wealth of new and exciting activities that will be available at this site and will make it available to young people in the program," said James Turley, international commissioner.
Though the jamboree will be held in the U.S., the selection isn't just a win for the Boy Scouts of America. The 2019 bid was a joint effort among three Scout organizations: the BSA, Scouts Canada, and Asociación de Scouts de Mexico.
The selection is a first for Asociación de Scouts de Mexico, which has never had the honor of hosting this global event.
"The Asociación de Scouts de Mexico is proud to join Scouts Canada and the Boy Scouts of America to host the 2019 World Scout Jamboree," said association national president Omar Lugo Aguirre. "The opportunity before us is magnificent because the Asociación de Scouts de Mexico is a smaller Scout association and most likely would never host a world Scout jamboree on our own. Here, we will combine our talents and our cultures to bring what will prove to be one of the most incredible, successful jamborees ever."
Exactly 220 countries and territories in the world have Scout associations, and youth and adults from those countries who attend the 2019 World Scout Jamboree can arrange pre-jamboree tours of Mexico and Canada before heading to West Virginia.
Like Mexico and the U.S., Canada will have its welcome mat out in 2019, said Mike Scott, international commissioner for Scouts Canada.
"There has always been a wonderful relationship between Scouts Canada, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Asociación de Scouts de Mexico," he said. "The planning process for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree will help develop this friendship and spirit of cooperation even more. This event will involve and engage a huge number of our adult volunteer leaders and young people in a process that will immerse them in different cultures and cause them to be terrific ambassadors for Canada."
Before The Summit plays host, though, Sweden will get its turn. The Scandinavian country will host the 2011 World Scout Jamboree this July. Japan is on deck for 2015.
Then it's on to North America! Congratulations to The Summit and to all three Scout organizations as you prepare to welcome the world in 2019.