Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

HONORING STATES FIRST BOY SCOUT ; New Boy Scout Center to Triple Current Facility's Size

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

HONORING STATES FIRST BOY SCOUT ; New Boy Scout Center to Triple Current Facility's Size

Article excerpt

The Charleston area's new $3.7 million, 13,000-square-foot Buckskin Council Boy Scout leadership center will be named in honor of a philanthropist recognized as "West Virginia's first Boy Scout." The H. Bernard Wehrle Sr. Scout Leadership Service Center will include museum displays, conference rooms, a scout shop and other amenities to make it capable of hosting large meetings, volunteer training sessions, program coordination and overnight camping excursions. Buckskin Council's existing Wyatt Scout Service, built in 1979 and located next to Daniel Boone Park on Kanawha Boulevard East, will be refurbished and incorporated in the new building. The new building will be nearly three times the size of the current building.

"The Wyatt Service Center has served scouting in Buckskin Council well, but since it was built, we've gone through three mergers and have grown in size, said Jeff Purdy, scout executive for the Buckskin Council, which includes 22 counties in West Virginia, four in Kentucky and three counties in both Virginia and Ohio.

In addition to serving the needs of Scouts and volunteers in the Buckskin Council service area, the Wehrle Scout Leadership Service Center will host Scouts traveling through the region, including those destined for jamborees and other events at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette and Raleigh counties. An activity wing includes a food preparation area and sleeping bag space for 40, ideal for use by traveling Scouts.

"It will have a key-coded door, allowing Scouts from outside the area to enter that building for a weekend, Purdy said at a Tuesday groundbreaking for the center. Outside, along the Kanawha River shore, a campfire ring and theater seating will be built, and Scouts will have the option of camping outdoors in an adjacent space.

Purdy said plans are underway to establish tours and historic programs at the neighboring Craik-Patton House, and to develop STEM learning programs at the Clay Center. …

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