Peaceful Valley dining hall project breaks ground

Staff report
Posted 12/8/18

The Kephardt dining hall at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch is undergoing a renovation and expansion, increasing the capacity of its seating and meal prep areas from 350 to up to 700 campers. The Denver …

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Peaceful Valley dining hall project breaks ground

Posted

The Kephardt dining hall at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch is undergoing a renovation and expansion, increasing the capacity of its seating and meal prep areas from 350 to up to 700 campers.

The Denver Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and Saunders Construction are partnering for the project. Saunders and its design partner, Merrick, are providing services for the project at cost. Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch is near Elbert.

The first phase of the project includes the construction of a 3,600-square-foot wood deck addition and a 1,200-square-foot kitchen addition, as well as renovations to the basement, first floor and second floor. The project also includes upgrades to the fire sprinkler system and a new heating and cooling system in the kitchen area.

Construction of the first phase is expected to be complete in early summer 2019, in time for the next camping season.

The second phase, which is in the design and fundraising stages, will include infrastructure upgrades including potable water, waste water treatment, electrical service and communications.  

“Every year, approximately 33,000 children are positively impacted by the Scouts in the Denver Area Council. The camp programs at Peaceful Valley provide a critical connection to the outdoors for our youth,” Greg Schmidt, president and CEO of Saunders Construction and Denver Area Council trustee, said in a news release. “These much-needed improvements will ensure these important programs continue to provide kids a lifetime of memories and instill in them the Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.”

The fundraising campaign will also provide several enhancements to attract and retain Scouts, including: 

• Program center with indoor climbing wall and basketball court

• Colorado history outpost with mining, agriculture and native history

• Innovation lab for advancing STEM programs

• Adventure Valley obstacle course for physical fitness

Many of the projects in the campaign are preparing Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch for the Scouts BSA launch in February, as young women will join and attend future summer camps. In August, the Denver Area Council began welcoming girls into its Cub Scouts program (ages 5-10, grades K-5). Cub Scout dens will continue to be all-boy or all-girl environments.

The older youth program (ages 11-17), known as Boy Scouts, will become Scouts BSA beginning Feb. 1, at which time girls can join. Scouts BSA will not be co-ed — all troops will continue to be all-boy or all-girl environments. This change will allow girls the opportunity to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. 

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