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Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013 11:55 pm

DAVIS — It will soon be time to break ground for construction of a new Scout hut here.

Scout Master Paul Murphy says Sept. 29 is the target to start work on the project on property the County Board of Commissioners donated for the effort.

“We have acquired use of the old schoolhouse park property at Davis from the county and fire department for the new building,” he said. “We have needed a home of our own.”

Commissioners agreed to give the property to the Friends of Scouting Down East, a nonprofit that formed last year to support getting a new meeting place for area Scouts.

And fundraising has brought in $130,000 toward the $150,000 estimated cost of construction.

“We are so very grateful to all those who have donated time, resources and money,” Mr. Murphy said.

“It means a lot to our young troop members.”

For years, more than 100 members comprising Cub Scout Pack 252, Girl Scout Troop 258 and Boy Scout Troop 252 have traveled weekly from Cedar Island, Harkers Island and from Beaufort to attend pack meetings.

They met in either local churches or fire departments. When those facilities are not available, a 50-year-old modular unit with limited heat, no air conditioning and no restroom serves as a hut.

The effort started in the fall of 2012 when a group of Scouting friends, families and supporters formed and incorporated the nonprofit Friends of Scouting Down East Inc. and began raising funds.

“We are thrilled to know we are well on our way to accomplishing the goal of a new hut,” Mr. Murphy said.

Mr. Murphy said the hard work ethic of the Down East Scouts has also set an example.

“Nationally, only about one in 25 Scouts earns the rank of Eagle Scout,” he said. “In our troop, its almost one in 10 who earn that distinction.”

Mr. Murphy said of the most recent group three are still in high school and six are in college. Two will be commissioned upon graduation from college in May. One will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force and the other as an ensign in the Navy. One graduate is now a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

“We are very proud of our Scouting units and of the hundreds of young people who have been members,” he said. “Service to their community has been a major part of our programs, especially the older members who have participated in Adopt-a-Highway, Scouting for Food, Eagle projects and other community-based service programs.”

He said while the dream of having a hut is becoming a reality, it’s not time to slow down.

“We are still accepting any help through donations and help from other troops,” Mr. Murphy said.

Down East troops now have a blueprint for the 50-foot by 75-foot hut and are looking for furniture, paneling and other building materials.

The troops hope to have the hut completed by December.

To make a donation, contact Friends of Scouting Down East Inc., P.O. Box 94, Smyrna, N.C. 28579.

Contact Helen Outland at 252-726-7081, ext. 211; email helen@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter@helenccnt.

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