Central Alberta man would like to preserve Red Deer’s scout hut

City of Red Deer receives a written proposal

Scouting has a long history in Red Deer, as this image from 1932 shows. Lord and Lady Bessborough are shown making a brief stop in the city to inspect Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and to present a local Scout master with the Medal of Merit. (Contributed photo, Red Deer Archives).

The uncertain fate of Red Deer’s rustic scout hut has sparked a rescue proposal.

Terry Welty, who was a boy scout in the 1950s, sent the City of Red Deer a letter expressing fond memories of the little log scouting cabin built in 1937.

The unused Rover Hut sits on a piece of city land on 47th Avenue. The property is being considered for an expansion of the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter.

Welty, who was a teenage assistant troop leader with the Raven Patrol, wrote: “It always warms my heart to see the cabin and the red paint that Bob (Morgan) and I had painted on its window sills.”

The central Albertan offered to purchase the little cabin rather than see it pulled down if the women’s shelter expansion is given the go-ahead.

Welty proposes moving the building onto his rural property near Winfield for use as a hunting and fishing cabin — “assuming, of course, that it still has a usable life.”

The jury is out on that point. While a city study concluded the building has significantly deteriorated, local historian and city councillor Michael Dawe thinks it could be saved.

Dawe feels the scout hut has some historic value, as a plaque commemorating the 1937 visit of Canada’s top scout, Lord Tweedmuir, is embedded in the fireplace mantle.

According to historic records, Lord Tweedsmuir’s vice regal train arrived at the CNR station on Ross Street in 1937.

After receiving a mayoral welcome, the chief scout of Canada officially opened the new Rover Hut and was presented with a bow with a quiver of arrows made by Kerry Wood.

So far, the City of Red Deer does not have its own plans to preserve or restore the cabin. A spokesperson said no decisions will be made around this for some time.

The proposed land rezoning must be decided before the city considers its next steps. The long process began this week, but discussions were put on hold so city council could get more information about the stability of the Waskasoo Creek escarpment and other issues.

Meanwhile, a Scouts Canada official is looking into whether the Red Deer hut has enough historic significance and integrity for preservation.

Norm Kerr, the highest ranking volunteer in the Northern Lights Council, said he plans to talk to some older former scouts from the Red Deer area to help determine this.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

red deer city

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer gets $7M from province for an emergency 24/7 homeless shelter

Councillor says the location will be decided through community consultations

‘Finer focus on job creation:’ Alberta government files red-ink budget

EDMONTON — The Alberta budget is counting on oil and gas bouncing… Continue reading

WATCH: Tabling of the 2020 Alberta budget

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is scheduled to reveal the provincial budget at… Continue reading

VIDEO: Grumpy sea lion resists help back to water in Washington state

Crews were able to coax her into a crate to carry her back to water

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Ministers wrap pipeline talks with hereditary chiefs for the day in B.C.

SMITHERS, B.C. — The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en sat down Thursday… Continue reading

Gardening: Taking a break from the winter

Looking for a break from winter and dream of summer without leaving… Continue reading

Ottawa imposes new rules to protect fragile population of right whales

HALIFAX — Canada has rolled out new measures to protect the critically… Continue reading

Canada pumps nearly 900 billion litres of raw sewage into waterways since 2013

OTTAWA — Canada’s old-fashioned city sewer systems dumped nearly 900 billion litres… Continue reading

Federal government in good financial shape, provinces not so much: PBO

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals could add billions of dollars in spending… Continue reading

Ottawa’s LRT line leaves thousands out in the cold during heavy snowstorm

OTTAWA — Many transit riders in Ottawa were left out in the… Continue reading

All eyes on Wet’suwet’en chiefs’ meeting with federal, provincial ministers

SMITHERS, B.C. — The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation prepared… Continue reading

Most Read