U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

As a young boy in West Virginia, I loved being outside whenever I had the chance. Being a Boy Scout gave me the freedom to spend time outdoors and while I was there, I learned new skills, leadership qualities and gained friends and mentors that helped shape me into the United States Senator, former Governor, father and grandfather I am today.

That's why as Governor I brought together the Project Arrow Task Force who worked hard to showcase West Virginia as the ideal location for the Jamboree and I was so proud to help bring the permanent home of the National Scout Jamboree and the host of the World Scout Jamboree to West Virginia. ...(O)ver 60,000 Scouts, support staff, Guardsmen and volunteers (have convened) in our state for this very special event.

My troop leaders helped me learn what it means to lead and they served as my mentors throughout my time as a Scout. Learning how to work with my fellow Scouts taught me how to support my classmates, friends, family and colleagues and how to accept the support given to me in return. The survival lessons I learned taught me how to think on my feet and react quickly to new challenges. I still use all of these lessons today as a United States Senator. It's as a Scout that I learned we can solve problems by working together.

The Scout oath is "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

The Scout law is "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."

I remember the oath and the law when I'm faced with a new challenge, taking hard votes or writing legislation that will help West Virginians. They are both great reminders to all of us in how we can be better Americans, friends and people so that we can serve in the greatest capacity possible.

The Scouts have taught countless young men and women skills they will use for the rest of their life, have provided support as a community and have prepared them to become the future leaders of America, like the almost 20 percent of the Senate who were Boy Scouts.

I am incredibly proud to have the World Scout Jamboree in our wild and wonderful home state of West Virginia. As Governor, the Task Force and I made sure that the Scouts of America saw what we see in West Virginia and that our state was the perfect place for them to build their permanent National Scout Jamboree location. And since its completion, we as West Virginians have shown the Scouts that their decision to trust West Virginia and her people with their Jamboree was the perfect choice.

I am so lucky to have been a Boy Scout and I wish every Scout here in West Virginia a great Jamboree.

(Manchin is West Virginia's senior senator.)

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