DARIEN — The town’s Boy Scouts are looking to build a new home.

Jay Shutts, president of the Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust, said when the current cabin was built 20 years ago there was one troop and about 60 boys. Over the last 20 years this has grown to 140 boys. The trust, which owns and operates the cabin and property, decided to renovate the cabin due to the rapid growth in the number of Scouts.

“The purpose of the Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust is to support any boy in town,” Shutts said.

In July 26, 2018 the Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust acquired 138 West Ave. property for $575,000. The plan is to demolish the cabin on 140 West Ave. and the house at 138 West Ave. The proposal is currently under review by the Environmental Protection Commission.

Once the demolition is done a new two-story, 8,000-square-foot cabin will be established, Shutts said.

An estimated cost for the new structure is not yet known. The Scouts are accepting donations for the new facility and recently were gifted $200,000 by the Darien Foundation.

“This cabin will have more program space for scouting activities,” Shutts said. “We hope to start construction June 2020.”

Shutts said the current house at 138 West Ave. will be rented for now because it’s going to take some years to get all the building plans and approvals for the new scout cabin.

Since 1902 Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust has owned and operated the cabin at 140 West Ave. The organization had their 46th Giant Tag Sale in May, a well-known community event. The annual sale allows the community to donate reusable items that will be recycled and used by another family. The money from the sale also helps to raise money to support the Boy Scouts in the community.

The current cabin is basically a two-room building, said Shutts. The new building would include more meeting space and more storage space for troops.

“When you have scout meetings you need to have breakout sessions to teach different skills,” he said. “More meeting rooms will give more program space to teach.”

The location of the new building will not only offer more outdoor space for Scouting related activities, but it will also provide more opportunities for educational experiences.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said she supported the organization’s efforts to build a better facility.

“The relationship between the town of Darien and Scouting in general is a wonderful and long standing relationship,” she said. “The town is very grateful for all the work that the scouts do in the town of Darien.”

The building proposal is currently being considered by the Environmental Protection Commission because of its proximity to wetlands.

Eric Joosten, chairman of the Environmental Protection Commission, declined to comment because the hearing remains open.

The new cabin will be closer to the east side of the property and closer to the street. There will also be 27 parking spaces, an increase from the current 22.

The wetland watercourse areas are proposed to be protected and conserved throughout the construction. Shutts said they will need a new location for scout meetings to take place once the construction begins.

The cabin will be discussed at the next Environmental Protection Commission on Sept. 5.


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