Don’t Break Pledge Made to Boy Scouts

Some of the best news West Virginians have received during the past few years came from the Boy Scouts. After many years in which the Scouts’ annual Jamboree was held in Virginia, the organization announced it will hold the event in our state, along the beautiful New River Gorge.

An enormous investment in land and facilities has been made by the Boy Scouts, in preparation for bringing thousands of young people to our state. In addition to the direct economic impact of locating the Jamboree here, there is an important indirect benefit.

Many of these Scouts will remember the beauty of West Virginia and the friendliness of our people. In the future, many of them will have opportunities, perhaps through deciding where to live or where to locate businesses, to help our state.

One key to the Jamboree was the National Guard’s agreement to provide security for the event. Blaming spending cuts through the “sequester,” the Defense Department wants to cancel that plan. But the event is set for July 15-24, and it would be difficult for the Scouts to make other arrangements.

U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., has introduced a bill that would require the National Guard plan to go forward.

Congress should approve the McKinley bill.