Q: Why is the Scout House being rebuilt? A: The original Scout House was built in 1952 by scouting families and volunteers. It has been well-loved and well-used over the last 70 years. From scout meetings and service projects to Ping Pong and art classes for seniors, the Scout House has hosted more than 550 gatherings each year. The time has come for this wonderful building to be updated to meet the needs of our community today. Currently, the building has nearly no heating or AC, no audio-visual or other technology, a small dated kitchen that can only be used by a few people at a time, inadequate and non-ADA compliant bathrooms and inadequate troop storage. The new building will have dedicated areas for both the seniors and the scouts, and facilitate expanded intergenerational programming that the City of Manhattan Beach wants to continue to grow for our community.
Q: How will the Senior Community benefit? A: The City of Manhattan Beach Older Adult Program is continually expanding its programs and activities to meet the increasing needs of the seniors in Manhattan Beach. Although they have dedicated space at the Joslyn Center, it is inadequate for their needs and the seniors use the Scout House to gather to play Ping-Pong four times a week and take part in an art class one day a week. The seniors can use the Scout House for little else as the space and technology do not exist.
With the new building, seniors will have an office for an Older Adult Program staff person on-site to support their programming, and multiple rooms for activities of all kinds from computer classes to social gatherings. Many new and expanded classes and activities can be held in the new facility to ensure continued learning, as well as health and social benefits that are critical to aging well. There is no limit to the number of programs that could be offered to our seniors and intergenerational programming if adequate additional space becomes available. Our entire Manhattan Beach community benefits from healthy engaged seniors, opportunities for seniors and young people to be together in creative ways and for scouts to develop into active citizens committed to the health and wellbeing of our community.
Q: How will the Scouting Community benefit? A: Prior to COVID, only 22 Girl Scout, Boy Scout, and Cub Scout troops/packs utilize the Scout House on a regular basis largely due to space limitations, yet there are many more troops/packs in our community. From weekly Boy Scout meetings to Girl Scout overnights and service projects, the Scout House is well-used, but many troops are forced to find outside venues to conduct meetings, ceremonies and celebrations because the current building is too small. By increasing the space available, multiple troops can use the building at the same time. More storage will keep troop materials and items safe. A much improved kitchen, a new flag pole, and a small amphitheater with a fire pit will enhance troop functions and enable new activities.
Q: How will our greater Manhattan Beach Community benefit? A: The new Community Center will be a much-needed addition to the City-owned and maintained spaces now available for local organizations and nonprofits to meet, plan and serve our community.
The importance of creativity and play for healthy youth development cannot be overstated. This facility, with its thoughtfully designed indoor and outdoor spaces, will provide much needed room for messy art projects and other creative pursuits, and additional floor space for games, team-building activities and group learning experiences. In the courtyard, we will be able to gather around the gas fire pit for skits, songs, relaxation and socializing.
Add to that the expansion of Manhattan Beach’s award-winning Older Adults Program, bringing together the growing number of seniors, which is the fastest growing segment of the population in Manhattan Beach. They are eager for social interaction, exercise and learning opportunities, and will benefit greatly from shared experiences with the next generation.
Q: What is the involvement of the City of Manhattan Beach? A: The Friends of Senior & Scout Community Center has partnered with the City of Manhattan Beach. The Friends Board has conducted all planning and preparation for this project including the design of the building, polling both the senior and scouting communities for their needs, and conducting fundraising in support of the new building. In October 2018, the City Council committed $1Million to the project. And in May of 2022 the City Council approved an additional $1.9MM allocation to offset increased production costs due to COVID-19 related delays and inflation. Once the new building is constructed, it will be owned by the City, and they will provide all insurance, maintenance, repairs, and daily upkeep to ensure the long life and beauty of the building.
Q: I love the Scout House. It is part of Manhattan Beach history. Why can’t you preserve it? A: We love the Scout House too, but it is simply too small and inadequate for our many and growing needs. The community needs more space and a modern, well-equipped building to facilitate their meetings and activities.
There will be a connection between the new structure and the historic Scout House. Every effort will be made to preserve parts of the current Scout House to reuse in the new design such as retaining the Scout House signage, and re-using the fireplace and hearth flagstone and as much of the interior wood siding as possible. The grand Boy Scout clock and the beloved massive wooden table and benches will be incorporated in the new furnishings as well. And perhaps most important, the Pinewood Derby commemorative plaque will be moved and have a permanent home as a part of the grounds.
Q: How will donors be recognized? A: In the building lobby, there will be a permanent donor recognition wall, for donors of $1,000 and up. There will also be plaques to recognize our significant donors. Commemorative bricks to pave the courtyard are available at $250, $500 and $1,000.
Q: Are there naming opportunities for donors? A: Yes, the City has agreed that we can name rooms and other entities within the building and courtyard for donors $25,000 and above. See the donate page for a tentative list of the opportunities still available.