HISTORY OF THE PTCUMC SCOUT LODGE
Built by a community for our community.
The story begins at our Windgate PTC Campus. The church was growing fast. The church was running out of space fast. Ministries were having to compete for a place to be. At that point we were the host for Boy Scout Troop 175 on our church campus. The PTCUMC church began envisioning buying land elsewhere in PTC to build a larger church. Our current site was acquired and planning conversations for what that new building would look like began with all the ministries at the Windgate campus including the Scouts.
Somewhere in those visioning conversations, the concept of a separate building for Scouts – a Scout Hut – began to form. Jeff Shafer was the Troop 175 Scout Master and Danny McCranie was the assistant Troop 175 Scout Master. They were in the forefront of the visioning conversations. Early on, the design was developed to be a community center for Scouting in PTC so the Scout Hut “future concept” was developed to support 600 Scouts (3 BSA troops, 2 BSA packs, and an entire Girl Scout Unit.) The Girl Scouts came along side this during the visioning process. Our Church Construction Manager costed out the original Scout Hut concept around $280,000. We were in the middle of our new church building so many things were competing for the same resources. Troop 175 made a large investment and graciously paid for the original plans to be drawn up. Those plans took the form of a multi-tier Scout Lodge able to support meetings, food events and provide a downstairs storage area for all the separate groups who would use the lodge.
In May of 2005, they broke ground by literally cutting the road into the location where the Scout Lodge would ultimately be built. They still didn’t have the money to support the project.
That’s when fundraising began in earnest. While still worshipping at the Windgate campus, the architectural rendering drawing of the future Scout Lodge was placed on display in an effort to garner support and interest. A guest speaker at a routine UMM meeting at the Windgate campus saw the displayed drawing on the day he spoke. You might say that his heart was strangely warmed! He was a builder who “always wanted to build a Scouting facility” – that was Hugh Morton. He helped make the project a reality.
After many fundraisers supported by many groups in the church and community (Sunday School classes, silent auctions, something new called a Chicken Q, and even air shows thanks to the support of the Mayor of PTC who helped raise visibility of this community project) funding happened.
In December of 2005, construction on the actual lodge began.
As with all building projects, the scope grew. We began to partner with anyone and everyone to keep costs under control. The church was a large supporter of Habitat for Humanity homes – contractor resources from our ministry partnership with Habitat (through Kevin McCormick) were gracefully diverted into building the Scout Lodge. At one point the Lodge construction was used as a training facility for Habitat contractors. Everyone who knew someone contacted everyone to get something done. Lights, windows, HVAC units, tile, ceiling fans and a myriad of other “gifts” were donated by church members, Scouting families, and community businesses. Everyone helped build the lodge – including the Scouts themselves when tasks allowed (like painting, etc…)
After raising roughly $300,000, a Scout Lodge valued around $500,000 was completed. In August of a 2008 a consecration dinner took place.
Since it’s completion, the Scout Lodge has hosted untold hundreds of youth from our community.
We are currently home for Boy Scout Troop 175, Boy Scout Troop 75, Cub Scout Pack 75 and Girl Scout Service Unit 617 (made up of many different troops.)
Overall, the PTC UMC Scout Lodge (which is wonderfully hidden from view in the woods on the PTCUMC campus is home to roughly 500 boys and girls from our community.
The Lodge is maintained jointly by the Scouts and PTCUMC. The largest annual fundraiser that now supports the Lodge is the perennial Chicken Que – selling several thousand BBQ Chicken meals each year – grilled outdoors and prepared on the church campus by a shared team of Scouts, Church members, and Scouting partners in our community. The United Methodist Men lead that annual effort with proceeds going to a fund used exclusively for the Scout Lodge.