Eleven months after announcing plans for The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, made possible by a $50 million gift from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America returned today to announce major steps forward in bringing its vision of a world-class Scouting center to reality.
A $25 million dollar gift from The Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation, coupled with a gift from Mike and Gillian Goodrich – for an undisclosed amount – along with other anonymous donors has brought total contributions to this project to over $100 million in less than one year.
Rex Tillerson, BSA president and CEO and chairman of Exxon Mobil Corporation, spoke to how the National Scout Reserve fits into the BSA’s strategic outlook for its next century. “It’s imperative that we sustain our momentum—even elevating our expectations—by setting transformational goals,” Tillerson, an Eagle Scout, 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 Jr. is a Distinguished Eagle Scout and the former CEO of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Incorporated. He credits Scouting’s lessons of setting goals and achieving them as being a formative factor in his success.
“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.”
The $25 million donation from The Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation will result in the Scott Scouting Valley, which provided the backdrop for today’s event.
Mike Goodrich, also an Eagle Scout, is the retired chairman, and CEO of BE&K, Inc., an international engineering and construction firm headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. His wife, Gillian Comer White Goodrich, and her family helped establish the Comer Scout Reservation, known as Camp Comer, in the BSA’s Greater Alabama Council. In honor of the gift, the National Scout Reserve’s primary lake will be named Goodrich Lake.
“It only made sense that we should give back to an organization from which I have received so much,” Mike Goodrich said. “And not just me, but millions upon millions of young boys and men can make the same claim I can that Scouting was a formative and transforming experience.”
The National Scout Reserve, located in the Glen Jean–Mount Hope area, will permanently house the BSA’s iconic national Scout jamboree and a new national high-adventure base to complement the three existing national bases in New Mexico, Minnesota, and Florida. It was announced that the first jamboree in West Virginia will take place July 15–24, 2013.
The National Scout Reserve is also a contender to host the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The world Scout jamboree is held every four years in different locations around the world and is attended by tens of thousands of Scouts worldwide. The 2011 event will be held in Sweden and 2015 in Japan.
BSA leadership, West Virginia officials, and the donors officially broke ground on the National Scout Reserve today, marking the start of phase 2 of the project. An economic impact survey conducted in August 2009 estimated that phase 2 will support more than 600 new local jobs and $30 million in additional local income directly on the project. To date, contracts to local companies for more than $20 million have been awarded for work on the National Scout Reserve.
“We are celebrating great news for the Boy Scouts of America, and great progress for the state of West Virginia,” said Gov. Joe Manchin. “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.”
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 20, 1.1 million volunteers, and nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.
More information about 100 Years of Scouting can be found at www.scouting.org/100years.
Source: Social Media Release