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Scouts, Venturers complete the Summit jamboree puzzle

“Think of the Summit as a puzzle,” said BSA Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock. “But the final piece was not in place until yesterday. That piece was the Scouts and Venturers of the Boy Scouts of America.”

The Summit has been a complicated puzzle indeed, one that volunteers and professionals have poured their time, talent and treasure into for years.

Though Scouts and Venturers arrived yesterday, this morning’s opening show was their first chance — and ours — to see just what 40,000 youth and adults look like in one place. Not spread out everywhere on this beautiful property but all united to sing along to West Virginia country band Taylor Made, recite the Scout Oath and cheer as one.

Put yourself in the hiking boots of our National Key Three (Chief Brock, BSA President Wayne Perry, National Commissioner Tico Perez). Or consider for a moment the philanthropists whose generosity, now seen everywhere at the Summit, started as just a crazy dream sketched out on paper. Or think of the volunteers who made dozens of trips out here in the rain and snow, all on their own dime, to watch this place take shape and plan every detail.

Now imagine their feeling when the empty field of the AT&T Summit Stadium quickly transformed into a sea of Boy Scout khaki and Venturing green this morning. The feeling’s hard to put into words and is enough to give anyone goosebumps.

As Scouts filed in, I asked Jamboree Director Larry Pritchard if he ever thought this day would come. Real Scouts and Venturers here doing real Summit jamboree activities.

“Actually, no. But it’s here, and I love it,” Pritchard said. “Some people asked me if I’ll be glad when [the jamboree] is over. I always told them no, I’ll be glad when it begins.

“As I see it, I really only work for 10 days a year,” he said, “and it’s great.”

He, and others, are being modest. It’s their tireless effort that helped figure out where the pieces fit. Now they get to sit back and be proud.

More photos (first photo: Wayne Brock, second photo: Wayne Perry)

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