The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

July 13, 2013

Boy Scouts encourage tech use at Jamboree

App will encourage them to move, interact with the environment

MOUNT HOPE — After years of telling Boy Scouts to leave their high-tech gadgets at home and enjoy the outdoors, officials are working to make this the first high-tech national Jamboree.

Scouts are encouraged to download a Jamboree app that will encourage them to move and interact with the environment at The Summit, the new location for the 10-day Jamboree that begins Monday. Crossing an unmarked stream on the property? A mini-environmental science lesson about the stream is just a smart-phone tap away.

“We hope that this will be the first really, truly connected Jamboree,” said Mike Patrick, director of operations for The Summit, told The Register-Herald of Beckley. “We hope folks will be sending Twitter messages back, posting on Facebook, instant messaging their friends back home and sending streaming video.”

The Summit is home to nearly a dozen cell towers and almost 250 WiFi hotspots spread throughout the site.  And an adventure base known as “The Cloud” offers Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities and displays related to robotics and computer science.

A group of tech-savvy Scouts and Venturers known as “Patrol Z” are charged with telling the story of the Jamboree through blogs and social media.

“If we want to reach out to a broader group of young people, we need to be doing what they like to do,” Patrick said. “This is the wave of the future and that’s where we think that we can open the door to more people that will be interested in Scouting.”

Many Scout leaders have tried to fight technology in the past, said Gary Hartley, director of community and government relations for The Summit. The event still will offer opportunities for those who want to get away from it all, with adventure bases and other activities.

But Jamboree officials will try to incorporate technology where it makes sense.

“We’re actually going to do a new model where we’re going to embrace the outdoors, embrace the technology, make the two fit together and actually encourage kids to get outside and use technology to do that,” Hartley said.

Mike Mailand, the jamboree coordinator for a group of 240 Scouts from Appleton, Wis., said group is trying to strike a delicate balance of wire and unplugged activities.

“We’re trying to work with our youth so that they can balance the use of the technology and not have that interfere with all the opportunities that are available, a tool to enhance the Jamboree experience,” Mailand said. “You don’t want them sitting waiting for their device to get charged up. Somebody can go to the Jamboree without a smartphone and have a great time.”


Text Only
West Virginia
  • West Virginia chemical safe level following spill based on two weeks

    When federal officials decided what chemical levels West Virginians could safely consume in water tainted by a January spill, their standard assumed people would be exposed for two weeks, not 100-plus days.

    April 23, 2014

  • Some state Democrats flip to GOP

    As Republicans rally for more control in West Virginia’s long-time Democratic Legislature, a few Democrats have jumped ship to the GOP and are challenging former colleagues in midterm races.
    Republicans face their biggest election opportunity in decades in the House of Delegates, where a four-seat swing would put them in power for the first time in 85 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Gee’s move could save Ohio State millions

    Ohio State University expects to save millions of dollars because former president Gordon Gee is giving up part of his retirement package as he becomes president of West Virginia University for the second time.

    April 19, 2014

  • W.Va. AG court filings: Dismiss gun law question

    The attorney general says a court challenge should be dismissed over whether West Virginians can bring guns to city recreational facilities that hold school events.
    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s filings Thursday argue the city of Charleston shouldn’t receive court guidance on how to implement a state gun law.

    April 18, 2014

  • Energy-state Dems split from Obama

    Scrapping to keep a West Virginia Senate seat Democratic in a state that’s sprinted to the right, Natalie Tennant is counting on her allegiance to the coal industry to separate herself from an unpopular President Barack Obama.
    Her approach reflects common Democratic strategy and tactics this midterm election year in energy-producing states that lean Republican: Sen. Mary Landrieu is vying for a fourth term representing Louisiana; Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is running for re-election for the first time; and Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes wants to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    April 17, 2014

  • Official: $2M in chemical spill costs reimbursable

    Public agencies and nonprofits that helped after a Jan. 9 chemical leak into the water supply could receive $2 million in reimbursements for their emergency work, a West Virginia homeland security official said.
    Federal and state emergency officials briefed fire departments, paramedics and other government groups Wednesday on how to recoup costs.

    April 17, 2014

  • Manchin urges mines to speak out for coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014

  • Many schools already meet new mandate for breakfast

    Many West Virginia public schools have changed the way they serve breakfast to students ahead of a requirement that goes into effect in September.

    April 14, 2014

  • W.Va. grower promotes unmodified feed corn

    Lyle Tabb is hoping that his non-genetically modified corn will take off with farmers who can charge top dollar for “all natural” eggs.
    Genetically modified or GMO corn has greatly simplified the process of getting rid of weeds, but has also substantially increased the amount of a chemical call glyphosate.

    April 13, 2014

  • Geologists link small quakes to fracking

    Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation’s strictest.
    A state investigation of five small tremors last month in the Youngstown area, in the Appalachian foothills, found the injection of sand and water that accompanies hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Utica shale may have increased pressure on a small, unknown fault, said State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers. He called the link “probable.”

    April 12, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads