To the Editor:

I am the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 53 in Darien and am writing to encourage you to support the proposed cabin project.
In the mid 1990's when the current Scout Cabin was on the drawing board, Darien school enrollment was under 3,000 students.  For the 2017 school year, the board of education reported pre K-12th grade enrollment of 4781 students. This is over a 50% increase since planning for the current cabin started. This is also a much larger group of Scout-aged youth than the design of the current cabin anticipated. Over that same time, Scouting in Darien has blossomed to include two Boy Scout troops, four Cub Scout packs and a co-ed STEM venture crew for high school age boys and girls today.   Even as Scouting has seen declines in enrollment nationally, Darien stands out among its neighboring towns in the higher percentage of the Scouting-aged student population participating in a Scouting program.

I think the cabin has undoubtedly been a big part of this success in Darien.  It provides a home for these units, and attracts adult volunteers. With volunteer leaders, more kids participate and the cycle reinforces itself.  However, we have simply outgrown the structure.  The one meeting room, one conference room and small office simply cannot adequately handle the number and variety of patrol planning meetings, boards of review, advancement meetings, and gear organization that often need to go on simultaneously. We make do with what we have currently, but with needed large repairs overdue, this project is the right answer.  Scouting has been a vibrant part of Darien for over 100 years, and this project will help ensure that we can continue for at least another 100.

Grant Evans
Troop 53 Scoutmaster