The Cayman Islands Scouts is seeking public assistance to outfit its new headquarters on Middle Road, George Town.
The new building is anticipated to be ready for opening later this summer, hopefully with a celebrity former scout to cut the ribbon, the organization said.
“The building is up and looking magnificent,” said Charles Jennings, one of the project’s major fundraisers. “There’s still a lot of finishing work to be completed before it can begin operations.”
Mr. Jennings said air conditioning, cabinet installation and painting needs to be finished, and most importantly, the building needs to be equipped. Orrett Connor, the scouts commissioner said they have prepared a “wish list” of equipment and furniture they need.
“We have raised a lot of money from many generous people to get this far, and frankly we’ve just about run out,” he said. “I ask everyone to look at this list and see if there is anything they can donate or would like to pay for us to buy something on [the list],” he said.
The building, which cost slightly more than $700,000 to erect, replaces the old government structure currently used by the scouts, which was damaged during Hurricane Ivan. The building will also be home for the Girl Guides and the Girls Brigade and will include office space, a general assembly hall, a computer room, scout shop, kitchen and meeting and training rooms.
“The Scout Association has not had a stable place of operation since the advent of Hurricane Ivan, and so this facility provides a much-needed home… This will provide a venue where parents, guests and scouting visitors to the Island can be accommodated,” said Scouts Executive Commissioner Winston Hayle.
Mr. Jennings said there are also plans to help the building pay its own way by hiring out the facilities for approved business activities such as meetings and conferences.
The building was designed by Burns Conolly Group and built by Titan Development.
Government has leased the property to the Cayman Islands Scouts Association at a peppercorn rate for 33 years, with the option to renew twice more for a total of 99 years.
The world scouts movement currently has over 40 million boys and girls in over 200 countries. The Cayman Islands Scout Association is a branch of the UK Scout Association.
Scouting has thrived in Grand Cayman since the late 1920s and remains one of the Islands’ foremost character and leadership building organizations. Many Caymanian leaders, businessmen, clerics and civil servants were scouts when boys.
Currently, just over 300 Scouts function out of 15 troops, packs and colonies. Scouts include beaver scouts [ages 6-8], cub scouts [8-11], scouts [11-16] and venture scouts [16-20].
Adult scout leaders are invariably former scouts, drawn from varied backgrounds and professions, including teaching and the police.
People wishing to donate to the Scouts wish list should contact Charles Jennings at 945-3354 or 525-5546 or email [email protected]