The tents below will house staff members at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W. Va.
NBCNEWS.COM - Boy Scouts attending this year's National Scout Jamboree will have a
lot more physical challenges to endure there, but even before setting up
camp in West Virginia they had to undergo fitness exams, including a
screening tool for obesity.
The new site for the celebration of
Scouting, the jamboree, which officially begins Tuesday, is located on
more than 10,000 acres in the southern part of the Mountain State. More
than 30,000 youth and leaders are expected to join the 10-day jamboree
at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.
The jamboree will be held "on foot," meaning there will be no bus
circuits or personal vehicles on site. Participants will be hiking even
more than in the past, with the site providing hilly inclines, and some
activities – climbing, mountain biking, rappelling, rafting and
skateboarding – will require more stamina and fitness, the Boy Scouts of
America said on its website.
"It is essential that all participants and staff are prepared for
their Summit jamboree experience," the Boy Scouts said. "Our goal is to
prevent any serious health-related event from occurring, and ensuring
that all of our participants and staff are ‘physically strong.'"
Boy Scouts of America published its height and weight requirements
years in advance of the Jamboree, prompting many Scouts and adult
leaders to begin a health regimen to shed pounds, Deron Smith, a
spokesman for the organization, said in an email.
and Scouters how to live a sustainable life, which includes a healthy
lifestyle, and the health of our participants are important goals of the
jamboree," he said.
More than one third of American children and adolescents were overweight or obese in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the last three decades.
Boy Scouts used the CDC's body mass index (BMI), a screening tool for
obesity, in deciding whether adults and youth could join the jamboree,
which is held every four years. For past jamborees, attendees filled out
health forms, received a physical and got a doctor's release, but the
BMI was a factor added for this year's event, Smith said.
BMIs of 25.0 to 29.9 fall in the overweight range, while those 30.0 or higher are considered obese, the Boy Scouts said.
applicants whose BMI was greater than 40.0 were not allowed to
participate. Jamboree medical staff had to review all applicants in the
32.0-39.9 range, including checking their health history and the
recommendation of the individual's medical provider.
jamboree site offers 36 miles of mountain bike trails, more than five
miles of zip line challenge courses, kayaking, bouldering and BMX, among
other activities. The staff village is also 200 feet higher than the
flag plaza in the Summit Center, and staff would make that hike – or one
similar to it – probably two times a day, the Boy Scouts said. Youth
from ages 12 to 21 were expected to participate.
The national jamboree is a "physically demanding experience" being
conducted at a "high-adventure site," the Boy Scouts said on its
website. "For that reason, physical standards have been set unique to
the jamboree. These standards help highlight some of the challenging
terrain at the Summit and types of activities that will take place, all
with the goal of keeping participants safe."
Smith said Scouts and
adult leaders who didn't meet the requirements chose not to apply, and
he didn't have data on the numbers in that group who were impacted by
the fitness standards.
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