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Scout pledge to be healthy is worthwhile goal for all

Mar. 29, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

West Virginia is called the Mountain State for a reason, which the 50,000 or so people expected at the Boy Scouts of America's first national jamboree at a new national preserve in July will find out.

That's why the national scouting organization is telling scouts they'll have to be physically fit enough to handle the terrain if they want to participate in the event, which will be held at The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette and Raleigh counties. Body mass index (a calculation based on weight and height measurements), health history and other factors will be used to determine whether a scout can take part in the jamboree.

Officials note that the new national preserve's topography is more challenging than that at previous jamborees held in Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. The jamboree's agenda also includes strenuous activities such as climbing, rappelling and mountain biking.

The Boy Scout oath requires scouts to keep themselves physically strong, and the new preserve is bound to test that among many participants. The careful screening of participants is a wise move, one that looks out for the well-being of participants and reflects a responsible approach by the scout organization.

But the stance also serves as a reminder to all of us -- youth and adults -- that being in good physical condition is an important component of everyone's well-being. While all of us aren't necessarily concerned about meeting standards to participate in a scout jamboree, we all should care about our health. Making ourselves more physically fit is a worthy goal for anyone.

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