Boy Scout Regional Jamboree scheduled for
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Charles Buchanan / The Free Press
Regional Jamboree Chief David Edwards gives a ‘scout shout' and the audience responds Thursday during the announcement of the 2010 Boy Scout Regional Jamboree and Cub Scout Family Camp, which will be held April 23-25 in Kinston at the Poole property on
Although one does not normally think of the Boy Scouts of America as a driver of economic development, local officials are hoping the organization will do just that this spring when the Scouts host their Regional Jamboree.
“As we unveil this special announcement today, I think of those lives impacted, changed and enriched by this group,” Lenoir County Economic Development director Mark Pope said.
Top officials of the BSA’s East Carolina Council — which oversees Scout troops in 20 Eastern North Carolina and is headquartered in Kinston — announced Thursday that their 2010 Boy Scout Regional Jamboree and Cub Scout Family Camp will take place from April 23-25 in Kinston in honor of the Boy Scouts’ 100th anniversary this year.
“This event will be the largest activity held in Kinston and Lenoir County in 2010,” Earl Harper, a member of the Council’s executive board, said during the announcement, held at the Kinston-Lenoir County Visitors and Information Center.
“It will help boost the economy in Kinston and will be an event that the East Carolina Council will take pride in for many years,” Harper continued.
About 7,000 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts — plus their family members — are expected to descend on Kinston during that April weekend, setting up camp and taking part in activities on 600 acres of land and its adjoining lake along U.S. 70 West.
“For the 100th anniversary of Scouting, we wanted to do something different and on a much, much larger scale,” Regional Jamboree Chief David Edwards said of the Council’s annual regional gathering known as a “Camporee.”
The Council had held its annual Camporee at the Herbert C. Bonner Scout Reservation — recently renamed Camp Boddie — near Washington for the last 40 years.
In order to “truly give this event a regional Jamboree appeal,” Scouts from neighboring councils based in Raleigh, Wilmington, Goldsboro and Newport News, Va., have been invited, along with Cub Scouts who do not normally take part in Boy Scout gatherings, Edwards explained.
“We’re going to set a huge standard and expectation for the future activities of our Council,” Ben Moore, Council president, said.
Scouts will have the opportunity to canoe, row and kayak on the lake and take part in shooting and archery competitions, run through obstacle courses on land and swim and scuba dive in the nearby Galaxy of Sports swimming pool.
There will also be vendors and display areas, along with a stage for shows and talent competitions.
Local landowner and Scouting supporter Walter Poole is allowing the Council to use the property for the Jamboree.
Lea Callaway, director of field services at the Council, said officials looked at sites in several cities for the event, but settled on Kinston because the site offered was the ideal size and visible, plus the high level of local community support for Scouting.
“The volunteers of the community have stepped forward in an incredible way,” he said.
Laura Lee Sylvester, executive director of the local Tourism Development Authority, presented Scouting officials with a $7,500 check during the announcement Thursday.
She said the money, provided by the TDA and Visit Kinston, is to be used for media promotions, marketing and advertising.
County tourism director Lucy Marston and local Scout Hiott Walker also announced the opening of a small dog park on the Visitor Center grounds.
The park, which was built for Walker’s Eagle Scout service project, serves as a rest area for travelers with dogs and includes benches, a swing, plumbing and electricity plus a doggy water fountain.
“Everybody in the community has donated something (to the project),” he said.
David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 or email@example.com.