B5 Systems

The Summit Experience – Day One

A few years ago, the Boy Scouts of America opened the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, a 14,000 acre high adventure camp near Buckley, West Virginia thanks to a donation of $50 million from the Stephen D Bechtel, Jr Foundation.

So far, the Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR) has been used for two National Scout Jamborees as well the Centennial celebration of the Order of the Arrow. When such events aren’t under way, it serves as the Paul R Christen High Adventure Base, joining the other three bases currently in operation.

This summer, I’m attending SBR along with my youngest son and other members of our Scout Troop. SSD has quite a few readers who were either Scouts growing up, or still participate in the Scouting movement. I thought it would be worthwhile to chronicle our experience.

When I was a Scout I attended the 1981 National Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill, Virginia, as well as Philmont Scout Reservation in New Mexico. During the last two Jamborees, I visited my sons at SBR and I was very impressed with the facility.

SBR boasts multiple distinct program areas: 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). Additional activities include ATV riding along with white water rafting and climbing in the nearby countryside.

The high adventure base offers several focused programs, concentrating on activities in the various program areas such as the Marksman which includes shooting sports and archery. We selected the Summit Experience, as it gives a taste of each of the areas.

In true Scouting fashion, just as we drove up to the JW and Hazel Ruby Welcome Center, it started pouring. Fortunately, check in was inside.


We had a few hiccups with paperwork, but overall, the experience was slow, but painless.


We were assigned to Camp B which is close to the CONSOL Energy Bridge making main camp, known formerly as Lonnie Poole Gateway Village, quite convenient. Although our tents were already set up, we had to swap one out due to a broken zipper and holes. Shower and restroom facilities are located close by.

Dinner was tasty and consisted of turkey and mashed potatoes with carrots and rolls with pumpkin pie for dessert. Drinks were water, lemonade, Powerade and fruit punch.

It is a seven-day program and today was essentially devoted to in processing. Over the next few days we’ll tell you about our impressions of the program.

To learn more, visit www.summitbsa.org/programs/national-high-adventure-base/summit-experience.

32 Responses to “The Summit Experience – Day One”

  1. Paul T. McCain says:

    As a former Boy Scout and Scout Troop leader, with two sons who made Eagle, I deplore how BSA has sold its birthright for the sake of political correctness, embracing the gender-neutral and homosexual agenda. When they jumped the shark, my sons and I packed up all our Scout uniforms, medals and so forth and mailed them in, in protest.

    It’s a tragic shame.

    • Mark says:

      BLUF– BSA made some strategic decisions early on which were likely going to be no win for them, and with the current culture what it is, they couldn’t do all that much to dodge that bullet. I think that it was more forced than accepted or embraced, though there are people in the movement who did do just that, and it’s a shame but that’s a black mark on our overall culture.

      The program itself is still sound. There is much good in it, and each unit can be a great growing and learning place for any boy.

      • PTMcCain says:

        It was not “forced” it was self-imposed. They rolled over and simply accepted it and did not stand up and fight the homosexual agenda. “Morally straight” is now just another meaningless phrase.

        “learning place for any boy”?

        Make that “for any boy/girl/it”

        • SSD says:

          Which of Scouting’s core Values would you not want taught to a girl?

          • Maroon Beret says:

            The point of this is not about teaching girls, or anyone for that matter, BSA core values particularly since at the moment it seems hard to find much commitment to BSA core values within BSA itself. BSA capitulated for singularly self serving reasons to the detriment of BSA. When your core beliefs, and values are properly grounded, standfast despite the winds around you.

            Put in terms most of us understand. BSA called in an arty strike on itself before they knew who, or where the enemy was. Then they patted themselves on the back for excelling in fratricide.

            • SSD says:

              So which of its core values is BSA not committee to?

              You guys are throwing a lot of words out there, but lack specificity.

              • PTMcCain says:

                BSA has gone all in on supporting sexual perversion. Sodomite Troop leaders are not what the Scout “values” are about. Is that specific enough?

                • SSD says:

                  First off, you have yet to tell me which of Scouting’s core values shouldn’t be taught to girls.

                  As for your other answer; no, it does not address my question.

                  Which BSA core value is it not committed to?

                  • Paul McCain says:

                    Please stop….you know very well what the problem is. If you want to make believe things are just the same…that is your problem, not mine.

                    “Morally straight” … Has been redefined to include homosexuality and other sexual perversions.

                    Not hard to understand.

                    • SSD says:

                      Then your issue isn’t with Scouting, it’s with homosexuality.

                    • Paul McCain says:


                      The issue is with BSA endorsing homosexuality.

                    • SSD says:

                      By not discriminating against homosexuals, it’s endorsing?

                      You’ve set a very high bar for yourself. I suggest you take a self assessment and consider all the Wild things you are now endorsing because you don’t actively oppose them.

                    • ptmccain says:

                      More copping out on your part. This is not how man behave, or maybe it is in this new “BSA” multiverse?

          • ptmccain says:

            You are choosing to ignore this simple fact.

            “Morally straight” embraces the Judaeo-Christian ethics upon which Scouting was founded.

            That ethic precludes the endorsement and open encouragement for there to be Sodomites in leadership positions in Scouting.

            If you are perfectly ok with your son being led by homosexuals, that’s your choice.

            Stop pretending you don’t understand the point. You are not a stupid man.

        • Marcus says:

          I would agree they absolutely rolled over for an agenda that was diametrically opposed to their values and the oath. They were under attack, took a look at the landscape and surrendered. Hardly the example one wants their children taught. Every single person involved in that decision should leave. IMVHO.

          But as a lifelong Scout, I will say the entire thing vexes me.

          Was it the agenda all along to destroy the Scouts and their values? I would surmise- yes. So do you leave or soldier on- surrendering like the so-called “leadership” did? Tough question because there is still a lot of value, and this article shows a small part of it.

          What I will say is that I’ve taught others precisely what “morally straight” means, from our point of view. You can adhere to the rest of the oath, while communicating that part in a very specific way.

          Just one man’s opinion.

  2. Stefan S. says:

    Shame that the leftist SJW agenda has perverted so many institutions and organizations. RIP BSA.

  3. Nate says:

    I for one hope that you and your boys have a great trip, and get to experience as much of the event as possible. Its the direct involvement of good parents that will keep the organization worthwhile, no matter how the political winds blow.

  4. patrulje68 says:

    I hope you and your troop stay safe and have a blast. My father was worked at Philmont for over a decade and really enjoyed it. I still help out occasionally with the troop of a friend when they need another adult to herd the boys on a hike.

  5. Bradkaf308 says:

    Are you going to WJ19?

  6. robcollins says:

    As an Eagle Scout and a current Cub Scout Pack Leader, I can say that arm chair commandos have done more to hurt Scouting than anything.

    I’ve got 9 year olds that have zero exposure to the left or right media bashing, and don’t give a rip if girls are included or not, and hike in the rain, and sleep in tents. The success of the movement depends on PARENTS’ support. Our numbers are down. Yes. The parents who are active help me shop, and haul their kids to meetings, hikes and campouts between baseball, soccer, and everything else.

    My daughter (14 years old) shot her first deer with a rifle last year, and has been backpacking with me since 3 1/2. Scouting skills and values aren’t unique based on gender, she’s quite capable. But she’s been excluded, like I was from Girl Scouts when I offered my assistance with any/every thing.

    As a leader, the only thing I’m telling kids they can’t do is selfish, anything. Maybe the selfish people bashing this movement, sending medals in to prove whatever point they’ve got will consider the selfishness of their agenda.

    Thanks for posting this, SSD, I love Scouting, and will continue to try to give back more to Scouting than it has given to me…

    • Paul McCain says:

      We did not leave the BSA, it left us

    • Mike says:

      Rob – thank you. Your perspective matches mine. I’m an old Eagle Scout and Navy vet, father of an Eagle and a son who made it to Star, both of whom joined the USAF. I valued the enduring Scouting values of service and integrity, and hated the politicization of a kids’ program by people who tried to keep it moored in a false 1950s vision of an America that frankly never was. That controversy turned off parents whose kids would have benefited from the program, and who would have been those great volunteers to help make it all happen.

      SSD – I was at A.P. Hill with you in 1981, and at Philmont a few years later. Great memories, and I’m glad your kids are making their own.

      • Paul McCain says:

        “A false vision”?

        And that would be what?

        That homosexual perversions of God’s created order of man and woman is perfectely normal?


    • Paul McCain says:

      Your comment is total bullshit. I’m much more than an “armchair” commando. I have been a CubMaster and a ScoutMaster and my wife and I have been to more Scout training events and opportunities than you have, I’m sure. We have two sons who earned their Eagle, making their former Dad BoyScout and Grandpa BoyScout very proud. They went on to the Order of the Arrow. We were all in on Scouting. So don’t you dare try to question my bona fides.

      The point is that BSA has been overtaken by leftists embracing the pro-homosexual agenda, and who knows what other sexual perversions…

      It is sick, disgusting and a violation of everything BSA has always stood for. Lord Powell would be horrified.

      You, on the other hand, can choose to stick your head in the sand.

      Your daughter has Girl Scouts. And bully for her shooting her first dear. Who cares?

      The BOY SCOUTS stand for the classical Christian virtues instilled in young boys to make then strong men, and that does not include sucking other men’s genitals and butt fucking.

      Blunt enough?


  7. Paul McCain says:

    I assume we are all men here, right?

    So, it shocks, amazes and horrifies me that some here are so sang froid about the fact that an organization that has historically been devoted to inculcating in boys the Biblical virtues of morality are now trying to overlook the fact that Boy Scouts of America has embraced with open arms the agenda of the homosexual movement in the USA and has declared that it is perfectly acceptable for your boys and young men to be led and supervised by men who believe it is perfectly normal behavior for a man to stick his penis up another man’s bung hole.

    If you can’t understand why this is a problem. I pity you. I really do.

    • SSD says:

      Your view of Scouting is skewed. It isn’t one denomination or another. In my Troop, we have Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus.

      • ptmccain says:

        No, it is not skewed. You obviously do not know much about how Scouting began and the moral foundations on which it was based.

        None of the world’s historic ancient religions embrace sexual perversion.

        You are committed to sticking your head in the sand.

        Real men stand up and fight.

        Kind of ironic since you run SSD.

        Hollow words now from you.

        My “view” of Scouting is based on generational knowledge of it, yours? Not much.

        So, tell me, are you ok with a man sticking his penis up another man’s butthole and calling that God-pleasing sexuality?

        Is this “morally straight” in your book?

        • SSD says:

          I haven’t run from anything. I’m right here, serving as a Scout leader, helping young Americans become responsible citizens and stewards of the outdoors.

          I’m a third generation Woodbadge graduate so I’m very familiar with Scouting’s founding.

          • ptmccain says:

            As I have done myself, and others before me.

            You are seriously going to sit out there at fun camp and tell me that the founding principles of Scouting ever had in view the embrace, endorsement and encouragement of Sodomites leading Scout Troops?

            You keep ducking my question.

            You believe that the Scout Oath about being morally straight now means that it is “morally straight” for a man to shove his dick up another man’s butt? You believe that Sodomy is appropriate “morally straight” behavior? And you are fine with BSA embracing the homosexual agenda?

            Stop dodging these questions.

            Answer them.

            • SSD says:

              I’m a Libertarian and am not concerned about other people’s sexuality. You on the other hand, have a rather odd fixation with homosexuality.

  8. Dellis says:

    As a NON-scout but as one who has a high respect for the scouts and girl scouts I was very upset at the news of the BSA being pressured by the social justice agenda that says or feels we need “inclusion” in all things involving boys, girls, men and women.

    There is nothing wrong with boys having their very own “club”, same with girls. There’s nothing wrong with boys and girls camping and scouting one with another but I believe they should still have separate clubs. Come together, have activities and such but don’t allow girls to join the boys and vice versa. I see the girl scouts dying off from this move and that’s a shame if it happens.

    As for gays within the scouts? There are gays everywhere. Teachers, police, doctors, coaches, soldiers, in all professions. I don’t believe, because the Boy Scouts allow homosexuals, there is going to be an all out homosexual orgy at the next scout gathering.

    The flip side? I would be very cautious of sending my child out to an overnight camp out with an openly gay scout leader or transgender. Call me homophobic, an ignorant redneck or whatever but that’s my honest view.

    This scout deal looks awesome and it’s a horrible shame we can’t let kids just be damn kids! Let them run, jump, canoe, climb, hunt, cook and all that but let’s leave our “adult” meddling out of it cause so many times we just choke the life and fun out of kids stuff. They grow up so dang fast.