On the sandy ground of Camp Miakonda, a chalk outline delineates a future addition, an A-framed entryway, onto the newly built Jadel Leadership Center.
The addition’s letter-shaped roof will add dimension to the two-story, barn-style building, said Edward Caldwell, scout executive for the Erie Shores Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Friday afternoon, he walked excitedly through the new Jadel center, which will total 14,000 square feet once completed.
The Erie Shores Council enlisted local Comte Construction to break ground in September, 2012. The building and its entryway, set near the entrance of the historic camp's south side, will serve as a training center, a museum, and a welcoming place to those who set foot on the wooded grounds that are essentially an outdoor program area for more than 6,000 area Boy Scouts.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jadel Leadership Center
The project will be a focal point for people and groups that come on camp grounds, and a way to partner with organizations and the community, Mr. Caldwell said. The program center and the campgrounds, at 5600 W. Sylvania Ave., contain an archery field, an outdoor chapel, rental cabins, and Lake Sawyer, where a new fishing dock has been built.
Since the council’s former home at the United Way building downtown was razed, 16 employees have worked four years in wooden cabins on the campground.
“I’ve had bugs, and yesterday a snake in my office,” Mr. Caldwell said. Fine for outdoor adventures, but not so accommodating when a parent is trying to sign up a child for Boy Scout programs, or buy scout gear. He said employees are patiently waiting to move into the Jadel complex, which could be in November.
We are very excited to have an efficient and functional home for our administrative services,” said Dan Anderson, longtime Boy Scout member and council board member.
So far, $2.7 million has been raised to cover the $2.8 million project cost.
The center not only will offer office and conference rooms “wired to the hilt” with computers and other tech equipment, but a Scout Shop where parents and members can buy Boy Scout patches and gear, and the museum.
“This will draw people to discover our rich history which goes back more than 100 years,” said Gary Harden, council president.
Along the center’s hallways will be cases displaying pieces of Boy Scout history, as well as that of the 160-acre Camp Miakonda.
Built in 1917, it is one of the nation’s oldest Boy Scout camps.