New board to oversee use, upkeep of Scout Cabin

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Cameron and Mary Morgan hope to keep the Scout Cabin open in Elliott Park, located on the northwest corner of S. Ottawa and Kilbuck Street in Tecumseh. It has hosted scouting events for more than 60 years. Photo by Deb Wuethrich.

A new board currently consisting of five members has formed to oversee the Scout Cabin in Tecumseh’s Elliott Park.

“We’d like to see a few more members involved,” said Mary Morgan, who has spearheaded an effort, along with her husband, Cameron, to get the cabin reopened and put to use by the community. The building was shut down for at least a year, but the group was able to turn the power back on in May when a scouting family stepped up to pay the past-due bill.

Mary said one day she’d been talking with her daughter Carlee’s Girl Scout leader, Robin Gentner, and they wondered what it would take to get the cabin operational again. The Morgan’s began making inquiries. They learned the city owns Elliott Park, but not the cabin itself, which was built in the 1950s for scout groups to use, and that previous caretakers, typically scouting parents, had essentially disbanded but for one scout father whose children are now in high school.

“He was willing to turn it over to us, so we began forming a board and are still exploring what we need to do to keep it operational,” said Mary. The couple knows it’s going to take some fundraising, and are currently selling discount cards for $10 for businesses in the area.

“We get $6 of that for every card sold,” Mary said.

Cameron said while the cabin was not in use, the water froze and pipes were broken. He added that others have been generous to their effort to restore the cabin, such as a plumber who replaced a cracked toilet and the broken pipes at his own expense. He added that when the cabin was remodeled a few years back, a local businessman also donated materials and appliances for the kitchen area.
While funds are needed to keep the electricity and gas connected, the couple estimates they’ll have approximately $700 toward the utilities by the small fee the scouting groups pay to use the cabin.

“We currently have two Boy Scout packs using the space now, five Girls Scout troops, and one Campfire Girls group,” Mary said. The scouts basically use the cabin weekdays from 4:30 to 8 p.m., but Mary said the group would welcome others in the community to utilize the cabin as well.

“There was a small wedding reception in here, and it could be used for baby showers, senior meetings, card games and other activities,” said Cameron.
“It’s a little rustic but I think it can be used by the community for several things,” said Mary. “It’s just that a lot of people don’t know it’s here and available.”

The couple said the board is continuing its efforts to assess what needs to be done so they can work on the fundraising to address the needs. They know there is a repair needed on the back of the building where carpenter ants have left damages, and some broken windows also need replacement.

Mary said the group’s wish list includes a programmable thermostat so the building temperatures can be automatically raised and lowered to accommodate use and down times. They are also seeking an artificial Christmas tree for scouts to decorate for the holidays, and supplies such as toilet paper and paper towels. Their present goal is to raise approximately $3,000 to do the expected repairs and maintenance and to cover the cost of insuring the building.

The Morgan’s are both registered scout parents and they want to see the Scout Cabin continue to be available for scouting groups. They plan an Open House during Appleumpkin on October 12-13 so the public can see the facility for themselves.

“Tecumseh prides itself in being a historical town, and we don’t want to see this let go or fall off the grid,” said Mary, noting one of the couple’s reasons for taking it on.

To book the cabin or obtain more information about joining the board, call 423.3519. To make a donation, checks may be mailed to Tecumseh Scout Cabin, P.O. Box 401, Tecumseh, MI 49286. Donations may also be made at United Bank and Trust in the Scout Association account.




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