National Scouting Jamboree 2023

By Bill Dempsey, WVFA Member

The 2023 National Jamboree was a 10-day event held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve near the New River Gorge National Park in July. This was a great opportunity to share the sustainable forestry initiative story with thousands of scouts and leaders from across the nation as well as Austria, Great Britain, Egypt, Canada, and Iceland, among others.

SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) had a booth set-up along the Conservation Trail, which was one of the areas where scouts could earn a merit badge. As many as 6,000 scouts passed down the trail during the 10-day event. Volunteers from SFI, member companies, and the WVFA teamed up throughout the week speaking with scouts about the importance the forestry industry plays both locally and globally.

Scouts were actively engaged and were offered the opportunity to digitally interact with the Green Jobs computer personality survey, which through a series of questions, provided potential fields of study/jobs the forest industry may have to offer. Many scouts were impressed at how accurately the simulation matched their interests. It is very encouraging to see the next generation expressing passion for and an interest in the forestry industry. Our future looks bright!