Christopher Lechalk, 11, and Matthew Lechalk, 14, of the Fayetteville, W.Va., Boy Scouts say they are looking forward to the new camp.
Christopher Lechalk, 11, and Matthew Lechalk, 14, of the Fayetteville, W.Va., Boy Scouts say they are looking forward to the new camp. Noah Adams/NPR
I spent a few days in Fayetteville, W.Va., while recording interviews about the new scout camp being built nearby. I found myself longing to talk to some actual Boy Scouts — kids from the area who would surely be eager to see what the scout leaders had in mind for the opening in July 2013.
So I sat on a back porch with George Lechalk, a scoutmaster, and his sons Christopher, 11, and Matthew, 14.
Just to see what they sounded like, I asked the brothers to recite the Boy Scout oath and the scout pledge. They looked straight at me and smiled as they proudly said the words from memory.
Christopher told me why he liked the scouts: "I think scouting is just part of life. It's like a second school; you learn almost everything. You get to earn so many merit badges and you get to have fun."
And Matthew: "It teaches all kinds of skills that you'll need for the future and the present. First aid, survival stuff, tying knots."
They've been to summer camp at the Buckskin Scout Reservation, not far away, near Marlington, W.Va., where Christopher earned a polar bear patch for a chilly early-morning lake swim. Buckskin has only a few hundred kids, and they couldn't imagine a National Jamboree with 40,000.
Their father, a scoutmaster and West Virginia state trooper, said, "The Summit's like a big Christmas present. The kids don't know what to expect but they know it's something that's going to be good."