Boy Scout Troop 499 moves meetings to Kennydale

November 5, 2010

By Tim Pfarr

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Hazelwood-based Boy Scout Troop 499, which held meetings at Hazelwood Elementary School for about 40 years, has moved its meetings to Kennydale Elementary School.

In September, Hazelwood Elementary officials notified troop Scoutmaster Bill Burris that the school no longer had space for the troop on Monday nights, when it typically met.

“Our space is becoming overused and we’ve had to turn away groups every year,” Hazelwood Elementary Principal Cindy Farnsworth said. “We have so many kids who want to use the facility, and we have limited space.”

The troop’s meetings at Kennydale Elementary are now on Tuesday nights, and Burris said about 15-20 percent of the about 45 boys in his troop are unable to attend the meetings because of the change in time and venue.

“Whatever comes up in the way of alternatives causes problems for somebody,” Burris said.

Farnsworth said lack of space has been a growing issue, and that the school gives priority to groups of elementary school-aged children. She said even groups with those children have been turned away because of lack of space.

Farnsworth said Troop 499 may be able to return if space becomes available, although whether such space will be available is uncertain.

“We love the Boy Scouts, and we love all of our Scouts,” she said. “We’re here for the kids. We’ll try to support the community the best way we can.”

Burris said his primary concern about the move is the possible change of the troop’s connection to its community.

“I just don’t want the kids to lose their connection to Newcastle,” he said.

Prior to the construction of the new Hazelwood Elementary School in 2005, Troop 499 met at the old Hazelwood Elementary, which is now Renton Academy.

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