Roden Scout Center

A grand opening ceremony was held at the Roden Scout Center on Sunday.

Michelle T. Bernard

The Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops that are based out of Denver United Methodist Church are no longer roughing it holding their meetings in the outside pavilion at the church. Construction of the building is now complete at the Roden Scout Center and it’s ready to be used for meetings, banquets or any other scout-related activity.

The facility was made possible, in part, to a donation from the Richard and Louise Roden Estate by way of the Morra family. The center was named after the Rodens who never had any children of their own. A grand opening was held at the building, which contains multiple storage areas, a meeting room, kitchen and main room, on Sunday. The donation from the Roden Estate, many additional community donations and more than 4,000 volunteer hours contributed to the finalization of the building.

“While on a camping trip sitting around a camp fire we were talking about how Troop 84 had grown so quickly,” said John Morra, an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 84. “At this point we were meeting outside in the arbor and winter was quickly approaching. Many ideas were brought up including enclosing the arbor or building a scout cabin.”

The scoutmasters made a trip to see a building that was built by a troop in Rutherfordton and they realized it would take a lot of fund raising to build a like building. After securing a donation from the Roden Estate, Denver United Methodist allowed construction to begin on the building on the property behind the church.

“Without all the donated hours, we would just have an empty shell,” Troop 84 assistant scoutmaster John Giles said. “The scouts donated a lot of time as well, many of them were aged out or almost aged out of scouting. Many a time I’d come up here and find them working knowing they’d never receive the benefits of this building. That’s what we call paying it forward. A lot of those boys spent years in the arbor in the cold. Now that this building is open, many of them are 18 and done with scouting. It’s bittersweet.”

There’s still more work to be done to the building including installing a fireplace but most of the additional work will be conducted outside such as a sheltered front entrance, a side porch running the length of the building, a fire pit and a lighted flag pole.

The Roden Scout Center is located behind Denver United Methodist Church, which is located at 3910 North Highway 16 in Denver.

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