By Adele Craft
Sopris Sun Correspondent
This year marks the 24th year that Basalt Boy Scout Troop 242 has been meeting in a quaint log cabin located on the outskirts of Willits. Approximately 30 registered Boy Scouts attend weekly meetings and store their equipment there. By the end of this month, the scouts will have to vacate the cabin to make way for a condominium development project. They are getting the word out about losing the space in the hope they can find a similar place to meet elsewhere in the community.
Troop 242 has never actually owned the cabin. The original owners, who granted the scouts use of the cabin in 1991, were local architect Michael Lipkin and his family. Since then, ownership of the property has changed hands multiple times. The various owners of the property have always continued to allow the scouts use of the cabin.
The cabin has been a space that the troop can call its own. Unlike many troops that meet in churches or schools, the scouts have been able to decorate the cabin and use it as their own space. They have been granted use of the space for free, allowing the troop to keep its dues low. Anyone who wants to participate is encouraged to do so, without cost being a barrier.
Boy Scout Troop 242 is very active. Troop committee member and former Scout Master Mark Murphy states, “We are more than just an organization where we go out and camp out. We actually help them build character and teach them good moral values to take into their adult lives and we instill in them the importance of community service and we help develop leadership skills.” He believes that Boy Scouts is an invaluable organization in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Many of the Scouts in Troop 242 aim to become Eagle Scouts. Boys are encouraged to work toward this significant achievement, as it prepares them for the rest of their life. In order to become an Eagle Scout, boys must earn numerous merit badges, complete rank advancements, and plan and direct a community service project. Murphy states, “It gives them invaluable experience and it of course teaches the importance of serving in the local community too.” Internationally, only about four percent of Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle. In the past five years, Troop 242 has achieved three times the national average in earning this lifelong distinction. Over the past 17 years, a total of 25 troop members have become Eagle Scouts and more are on their way. Murphy says, “It just shows how active our troop has been and how boys tend to stick with it once they are active in the program.”
After they vacate the cabin, the troop will be temporarily meeting in the unheated Arbaney Barn in Basalt until cold weather prohibits it. They have yet to secure a meeting place this winter and beyond.
Murphy states, “We have a very active group of Boy Scouts here in our community. We think we are a very valuable organization and we are eager to be able to continue our service in the community. Having a meeting place to be able to do that is an important thing, we think, for the community.” Troop 242 would like to reach out to the community for help finding a new meeting place, permanently or temporarily. If you have any ideas that meet the criteria listed below, you can contact Mark Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting space wish list:
• Although Basalt Boy Scout Troop 242 will only use the space one or two nights a week, the troop is looking for a space that can be its own. The scouts would like to be able to store their equipment there.
• Located in the Basalt or El Jebel area.
• Room to park two pull-behind trailers, near the space.
• A minimum of 1,000 square feet would be ideal.
All current and former Troop 242 scouts are invited to a cook out and say goodbye to the cabin at 6 p.m. on July 28. The cabin is located at the intersection of Evans Road and Evans Court, just off Willits Lane.
Published in The Sopris Sun on July 9, 2015.