Boy Scouts seek donations for building

Alex Gladden
Paris Express
Jaxon Perreault, 16, replaces a ceiling tile at the Hut.

The Paris Boy Scout Troop 41 is requesting that community members make donations for updates to the scouts' building. 

The building, which is known as the Hut, needs three heating and air units and to update some of the ceiling tiles. 

The troop has been able to buy one unit, said Tommy Johns, one of the troop's adult leaders. 

“We’re going to need additional heat and air," John said. 

The scouts were able to get some used ceiling tiles from Arcbest, where Brian Stengle, another one of the adult troop leaders, works, Johns said. 

People can mail their donations to 100 Legion Hut Rd. 

The building is owned by the city, and the city lets the scouts use the building. The city covers the building's electric, water and sewer bills, Mayor Daniel Rogers said. 

The Boy Scouts initially approached the city about making the updates, but the city has decided not to put any more money into the Hut at this time. 

At the last Paris City Council meeting, the members decided to continue to let the scouts use the building because the scouts are going to handle the repairs. 

"As long as the building's safe, I don't have any problem with you staying there," council member David Rhineheart said at the last city council meeting. 

In 2019, the city had Clements Architects do an inspection of the building, and the architect found that the roof is stable, Rogers said. 

Rogers said if the scouts can do the repairs needed now, the city could possibly be able to help with later updates when the city is in a better financial position. 

"We need you to kick the can down the road," Johns said during the last city council meeting. 

Rogers said he would like for the city to develop a five- and 10-year plan regarding the Hut. 

Rogers said he'd like for the Boy Scouts to be involved in the planning process along with the city. 

“We’ll keep the scouts in the loop all the way," Rogers said. 

The Boy Scouts started using the Hut in 2015, and since the scouts have had a permanent home, the troop has grown to 22 active scouts, Johns said. 

“We feel like the hut, the aesthetics of the Hut, fits the flavor of the scouts," Johns said. 

The troop is able to camp on the grounds surrounding the Hut and play in the nearby creek. 

“The main thing is the scouts have a home, so we feel like we belong here," said Brian Stengel, one of the troop's adult leaders. 

Jaxon Perreault, the scout's troop leader, said the Hut allows the boys to social distance during meetings. Perreault, 16, said he enjoys using the Hut. 

To keep using the Hut, the scouts are asking the community to donate money, but the concern is that they won't get enough money for both the building and to send boys to camp. 

“We hope not," Johns said about the concern. 

Johns emphasized his faith in the community to support the scouts.