Summit Betchel Boy Scout Reserve
Plans for The Summit began in 2007 when BSA leadership began looking for a permanent location for the National Scout Jamboree, which had been held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia since 1981 as well as seeking another high adventure base for the large number of Scouts who are wait-listed at the other three high adventure camps every year. The top fifteen sites were visited in October 2008 and the list was cut to three final sites: Saline County, Arkansas; Goshen, Rockbridge County, Virginia; and the New River region of West Virginia.
On November 18, 2009, the BSA announced that it had chosen the West Virginia site, known locally as the Garden Ground Mountain property, as the future home of the Summit Bechtel Reserve.The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is in southern West Virginia bordering the New River Gorge National River. Approximately 11,400 acres of the property are in Fayette County. The remaining roughly 2,600 acres are in Raleigh County.
The SBR property was once the site of extensive coal mining, an industry for which the state of West Virginia is known. (Garden Ground tipple below apx. 1940). The remnants of long abandoned surface mines within the property have created wide flat areas that tier the terrain into a series of benches, effectively pre-grading and excavating the property, and allowing for many of the roads and infrastructure on the property to begin construction with manageable earth moving.
Sections of the property contain large flat areas engineered to accommodate regional camp headquarters and sub-camps. The sub-camp farthest from The Summit's core area is 1.3 miles with an elevation gain of no more than 300 feet. Pedestrian pathways reduce walking times from base camps to the core activity center to 12–15 minutes. A permanent arena on the far side of the valley seats 6000 to 8000 people, built as a natural extension to the property's lower bowl amphitheatre section, for a total arena area large enough for 80,000 people during national Scout jamborees.
A lake at the center of the main site separates base camps from the arena, action areas, transportation centers, and other traditional core areas. A valley on the Summit property is crossed by a triple-walkway pedestrian suspension bridge sponsored by CONSOL Energy. The bridge is just shy of 800 feet in length, and was made possible by the $15 million donation of CONSOL.
High Adventure Areas constructed on the property include: The Park (skateboarding), The Trax (BMX), The Pools (scuba and swimming), The Cloud (popular science & robotics), The Bows (archery sports), The Barrels (shooting sports), The Ropes (challenge courses in the trees), The Rocks (climbing, bouldering and rappelling), The Zip (zipline), Low & High Gear (mountain bike headquarters locations connecting over 36 miles of downhill and cross country mountain bike trails), The Canopy (canopy tours), and 'sampler' activities available within The Scott Summit Center.