BY JOHN CONLEY
Getting youth involved and using social media to spread the word will be a key to the success of the Wyoming County Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative.
The summit, slated for 2013, will bring 1,000 Boy Scouts to the county to work on projects which fall into four categories: Green-friendly, construction, wellness and infrastructure.
A brainstorming session was held in the Wyoming County Commission's conference room last Thursday morning.
Susan England-Lord, the county's WVU Extension Service agent, said it was important to hold meetings "when young people can be here."
The best way to notify them, she noted, was through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Board of Education Member Perry Cook said he thought the board would be responsive to allowing students to attend the planning sessions.
Mrs. England-Lord suggested starting a Facebook page for the initiative group.
County Commission President Silas Mullins stated that there would also be visits to middle and high schools.
Student Council presidents from Westside and Wyoming East will be invited to join the core planning group.
Four committees will deal with specific aspects of the initiative: Fund raising, media-public relations, arts and education and volunteers.
Mullins said it would be important to recruit as many volunteers as possible to serve in several capacities. "We need more volunteers than the (roughly 30) people we have in this room," he commented.
"Volunteers will be a big part of helping us pull this off," Mullins remarked. "We need people involved."
Fund raising will get under way soon for both money and in-kind donations to support the 50 project the Scouts will be working on.
The funds will be needed to provide materials, portable rest rooms and more.
The complete details on needs won't be known until the projects are selected next year.
Wyoming County's Economic Development Authority will manage the fund.
Mullins says public meetings in evening hours will be held in the Pineville, Oceana, Mullens and Baileysville areas.
David Lord of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College suggested setting up an information booth at Twin Falls during the Lumberjackin' Festival.
Project ideas put forth included Mullins' plan to have a large shaped and colored stone welcoming visitors to Wyoming County at the Route 54 entrance.
The next meeting will be held on Nov. 10 at 10 a.m.