One of my favorite things about Scouting is it can be done anywhere.
You can turn a log cabin, a school gym or an abandoned bus garage into the coolest place for a Scout meeting. All you do is add Scouts (or Venturers) and a handful of dedicated adult volunteers, and you’re set.
Earlier this month I asked to see your Scout meeting places, and you didn’t disappoint. Some of them caught my eye right away, including a troop that meets on a beach and a scuba-focused Venturing crew that meets underwater. Others make the ordinary extraordinary, turning a simple basement into a shrine to Scouting. The point is this: Anywhere your pack, troop, team, post, ship or crew meets can change lives.
One more thing I must say: The 10 examples of cool meeting places below wouldn’t be possible without the BSA’s phenomenal chartered organizations that provide these places to meet — and a whole lot more.
Keep reading for the list and to learn how to share your Scout meeting place photos.
1. Troop 75 meets in a log cabin
Where: Sophia, W.Va.
What: “Our troop meets in a log cabin that was hand-built by our Scouts in the 1930’s from logs they cut and transported themselves by horse or mule,” says Scoutmaster Tony Wheby.
2. Crew 820 meets underwater
Where: Northern Star Council, Minnesota
What: “Our Scuba Venturing Crew has members that cover 1,000 square miles across the council. We meet once a month in the water all year long, either in a lake, ocean or a pool,” says crew Advisor Dean Soderbeck.
3. Den 2 (Pack 453) meets in an Earth lab
Where: Orange, Calif.
What: “Den 2 meets outside in McPherson Magnet’s Earth Lab (family maintained garden plots). Meetings are held right after school, so attendance is always high. Much care and nurturing are needed for plants and Scouts to grow! I can’t think of a better place for our den meetings,” says Den Leader Paul Fendt.
4. Troop 337 meets in a school gym
Where: Broomfield, Colo.
What: “Why I love Scouting? You see here there are 40 Scouts in their individual patrols. Deciding what merit badges to recommend to the Patrol Leader Council, planning the December winter adventure campout, meal-planning for the November campout. Moments like this make me proud and give me great hope for our future in America!” says Scoutmaster Michael Ventimiglia.
5. Troop 436 meets in its own shrine to Scouting
Where: Tremonton, Utah
What: “It is all about atmosphere and getting the idea into the Scouts that Scouting is cool. Coming into a place and seeing Scout displays, pieces of history, showing that Scouting has gone on for years, all helps to instill into them tradition, and that they belong to something permanent and good,” says Scoutmaster Paul Fowler.
6. Troop 429 meets on the beach
Where: Daytona Beach, Fla.
What: “We meet at the Daytona Beach Drive-in Christian Church, located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal waterway in Daytona Beach Shores. To take the group photo, members of Troop 429 walked across the street to pose by the ocean,” says assistant Scoutmaster Paul Thompson.
7. Crew 32 meets at an American Legion post
Where: Hope Mills, N.C.
What: “Hair-Matthews American Legion Post 32 is a great spot for Scouting because it is large enough to hold our entire crew of 19 youth and 13 adults, as well as the veterans who by to share their knowledge and experience with us,” says KC Harling.
8. Troop 175 meets in a church’s Scout lodge
Where: Peachtree City, Ga.
What: “We met at the Peachtree City United Methodist Church Scout lodge. It was built through donations and volunteers and hosts two BSA troops and one pack,” says Kevin Snyder.
9. Troop 43 meets in an abandoned bus garage
Where: Versailles, Ky.
What: “It is a standalone building that the county has allowed the troop to use for years. It was an old bus garage many years ago and was abandoned. I don’t remember exactly when, but the Scoutmaster and Scouts went in uniform before the county judge to request the use of the building. They agreed, and it has been ours ever since. The patrol rooms, conference room, Scoutmaster office and kitchen make it a wonderful place for the Scouts,” says Scoutmaster Jeff Forte.
10. Troop 457 meets in a ‘plain old room’
Where: Greenwood Village, Colo.
What: “Our meeting place doesn’t have any of decorations, because the rooms we meet in are part of a church (Greenwood Community Church) and are used for other purposes. We have to clean everything up and stow away all our stuff at the end of each meeting, but that’s a good exercise for our Scouts. For some of them, it may well be the first time they’ve ever used a vacuum cleaner. But we love the fact that we have just plain old room — for meetings, to run around, to go outside, to carve pumpkins (with tarps on the floor) — and to be Scouts!” says Rolf Asphaug, troop committee chairman.
Share your meeting place photos
- Please select one to three photos that best represent your Scout meeting place. High-res preferred. If sending from an iPhone, for example, please select “Large” or “Actual Size.”
- Include in your email the unit number (i.e. Pack 123, Troop 456 or Crew 789) and city and state.
- Send the photo and information to email@example.com with the subject line “My Scout meeting place.”
- Include a one-sentence description of the meeting place and why it makes such a great spot for Scouting.