Scouts celebrate 70 years in Rossland

Valerie Rossi
By Valerie Rossi
September 12th, 2023

Community Steps Up, Funds Hall Renovation for Non-profit Youth Organization

The 2nd Rossland Scouts recently celebrated 70 years of fun and adventure for local youth with a much-needed renovation to their hall.

The nearly $50,000 upgrade included inclusivity and energy retrofits, and is just the beginning of a larger vision for improving its bare-bones headquarters.

“The renovation included the installation of a mobility ramp, four windows, a storage room door, and wall insulation,” says Group Commissioner Tom Leask. “We also replaced the hot water tank and the gas furnace for a more energy efficient model; Darren Rossi of Darren Rossi Power donated in-kind services to upgrade the wiring and lighting; and we also had an oven vent and bathroom vent installed.”

The project was made possible with Pols Contracting as principal contractor and a tremendous amount of support from the community, including funding from the Columbia Basin Trust, Kootenay Savings Community Foundation, the Le Roi Community Foundation, and the Rossland Legion Branch #14. Home Hardware and Gescan also chipped in by donating materials, keeping costs down for the 10-person parent-led volunteer group, which oversees nearly 30 local kids enrolled in Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts programming.

“The community really stepped up to help us achieve this milestone and we are very thankful for all the contributions we’ve received,” says Leask. “Now we have our sights on the next stage: a $55,000 roof upgrade and renovation of the kitchen. We’re in the process of looking for sponsorship as well as letters of support from community groups interested in eventually using the hall in order to make this project a reality.”

Local Scouting has a long history, with the 1st Rossland Scouts dating back to 1921, according to the group’s records. The 2nd Rossland Scouts was founded on Nov. 4th, 1952 by the St. George’s Anglican Church. Although a few more groups started after, the lot of them (including the 1st) eventually folded into 2nd Rossland.

While the club has been going strong for some time, the Rossland Scout Hall has changed over the years. Originally on 1st Avenue, the hall moved to Esling Park in 1946, where it remained for over 50 years. However, in August 1997, the hall moved to its current location by Jubilee Park to make space for the construction of Esling Park Lodge.

Last fall marked the 70-year milestone for the group, which belongs to Scouts Canada, the country’s leading co-ed youth organization offering programming for children and youth aged five to 26.

Through a variety of fun and impactful experiences, including camping, hiking, and activities developing navigation and survival tactics, Scouts builds resilience and skills that set kids up for life. Supported by a dedicated team of volunteers who act as mentors and collectively donate countless hours of their time, kids have the opportunity to grow, challenge themselves, and experience numerous firsts.

“Our volunteers help us bring our vision to life: making meaningful contributions to creating a better world by lifting up people, communities, and neighbourhoods,” says long-time Scouter Parry LaFond. “My family has been involved with 2nd Rossland since 1956 because we see the positive impact it makes. Updating the space that our group gathers at weekly from fall through spring was a necessity and we’re very grateful for the outpouring of support.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring the second phase of hall upgrades should contact Leask at scoutsrossland@gmail.com or via phone at 250-362-7118. To volunteer or find out more information, visit the 2nd Rossland Scouts Facebook page.

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