by Jack Lewy
The 2023 Operation Arrow was truly an experience of a lifetime. Amidst the breathtaking beauty of West Virginia, we encountered 3:00 am thunderstorms that rumbled directly above us which created a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. The National Jamboree’s unique program offered an opportunity like no other, combining adventure, camaraderie, and the delicious taste of bean dip (which grew old very quickly).
The weather in West Virginia is notorious for its unpredictable nature. Throughout our stay, we faced scorching 90-degree heat coupled with a staggering 80 percent humidity, which is a deadly combination. As a result, we found ourselves constantly drenched in sweat from the moment we woke up until the time we fell asleep. However, it was worth enduring these conditions for the incredible experiences that awaited us.
As a staff member for the Summit Apex Program, I had the privilege of being part of a first-of-its-kind initiative that aimed to serve every participant of the jamboree on a weekly rotation. The participants had the opportunity to embark on a series of thrilling activities, which was just a taste of what the Summit Bechtel Reserve had to offer. From high ropes courses to white-water rafting, there was never a dull moment.
Yet, the highlight of each week was undoubtedly the “best meal” experience we provided. Our team ensured that the participants were treated to a culinary extravaganza, featuring a mouthwatering spread that left everyone highly satisfied. To cap off the day, we presented an amazing show, combining entertainment, artistry, and inspiration.
Despite all the incredible memories made during Operation Arrow, one thing lingered in everyone’s mind: the abundance of Fritos bean dip. It became the running joke of the two weeks, as we had an unexpectedly large supply of this beloved snack. Nonetheless, it only added to the overall fun and lightheartedness of the experience.
In conclusion, Operation Arrow was an unforgettable adventure. The combination of dramatic thunderstorms, challenging weather, and a unique program made for an extraordinary journey. Serving as part of the Summit Apex Program allowed me to witness the joy and excitement on the faces of the participants as they enjoyed thrilling activities, indulged in delectable meals, and were entertained by incredible shows. And of course, the surplus of Fritos bean dip added a humorous touch to an already unremarkable experience.