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Dinniman Secures $250K in Funding for New Boy Scout Center
WEST CHESTER (February 23, 2018) – With the help of state Senator Andy Dinniman, the Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America is closing the gap on the funds needed for its new Program, Activity, and Resource Campus (PARC).
Dinniman recently secured a $250,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for the campus, which is planned for a nearly 29-acre parcel of land located on Route 30 in West Whiteland. The RACP funding comes in addition to $45,000 in state funding that Dinniman secured over the summer to support and establish new programs at the campus.
“The Boy Scouts are an American institution that has successfully shaped and guided so many young children and people on the path to becoming fine citizens and outstanding leaders,” Dinniman said. “It’s an honor to be able to help move this project forward and I encourage others to do what they can to support the scouts and scouting here in Chester County.
“I look forward to seeing ground be broken on the PARC soon and to the eventual opening of this incredible facility and the tremendous opportunities it stands to offer our kids, families, and communities,” he added.
In total, the Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America has secured $4.2 of the $5.2 million needed for the project. As organizers close in on the final $1 million of their fundraising campaign, officials said they expected to break ground this spring.
“We are in the business of changing lives and this generous grant that Senator Dinniman secured for the Scouts will help us accomplish that”, said Charles E. Rogers, Jr, Scout Executive of the Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America.”
Rogers went on to say, “we were overwhelmingly surprised when we received the call from the senator’s office informing us of this grant. We trust that this will inspire other individuals, companies, and foundations to pledge their support to this project that will benefit the entire County.”
In addition, scout officials said plenty of sponsorship opportunities at any level remain available for the PARC, which represents the Chester County Boy Scout’s first new property program in nearly a century.
The plan for the PARC calls for a seamless combination of indoor and outdoor space, creating an amenity unparalleled for training and program opportunities for Scouts, adult leaders and the community. It includes a 22,000-square-foot facility to house state-of-the-art training, meeting, and event spaces. The campus will also offer expansive outdoor activities including: camping and campfires, fishing, wetlands management, playing fields, fitness activities, hiking and biking trails, ropes and obstacle courses, an observation tower, a climbing wall, open and wooded training areas, and a potential link to the Chester Valley Trail System.
The campus also includes access to portions of the West Valley Creek, an exceptional value waterway, which the Scouts plan to use for fishing, boating, and environmental education programs. The Council has already partnered with the Stroud Water Research Center regarding programs on the creek and is in talks with Trout Unlimited related to stocking.
All in all, the outdoor and indoor resources planned for the PARC will provide opportunities for scouts to earn more than 40 merit badges and STEM projects.
In addition, the PARC is designed to accommodate and support all youth including those with diverse interest and ideas, as well as with varying physical capabilities. According to officials, it will provide resources for at-risk youth, as well as those in need or with physical disabilities.
The Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America partners with community organizations that charter 168 Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Explorer Posts and Venture Crews that serve approximately 6,000 young people. Approximately 2,800 men and women volunteer in a variety of leadership roles with the scouts. The council is led by a 40-member volunteer board of directors and employs 19 full-time staff, as well as approximately 150 season and part-time employees.
The council has been headquartered in an aging 6,000-square-foot building since 1966.