Maumee Scout Reservation receives $1 million grant for severe weather shelter

Officials from the Hoosier Trails Council Boy Scouts of America announced Friday the organization has received a mitigation grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $1,015,896.03 for the construction of a tornado and severe weather shelter at Maumee Scout Reservation.

The reservation is located in the heart of the Hoosier National Forest near Norman.

The severe weather shelter, or “safe room,” will be constructed as part of the planned fellowship hall at the reservation.

Along with the severe weather shelter, the $4 million fellowship hall facility will include a dining area for up to 360 people, food preparation and storage areas, housing accommodations for kitchen staff, the camp’s trading post and visitor restroom facilities.

Hoosier Trails Council Scout Executive Glen Steenberger said the safety of Scouts and campers at Maumee Scout Reservation is of paramount importance.

“We invested in a severe weather alert siren in 2015, and it has been invaluable in giving campers and staff advance warning to seek shelter,” Steenberger said. “Maumee Scout Reservation is planted squarely in Indiana’s ‘Tornado Alley,’ and this grant will go a long way toward helping us provide the safest possible place to shelter in the inevitable event of a tornado, straight-line winds, severe thunderstorms, ice storms and any other hazardous weather conditions.”

He said Friday that the fellowship hall will replace an existing dining hall, but no timeline is in place for construction. The grant is about 25 percent of the total cost of the project.

“We still have some fundraising to do and won’t start until it’s fully funded,” Steenberger said.

The shelter will provide emergency shelter for Boy Scouts, adult leaders, camp staff and other users of the property year-round. More than 6,000 program participants visit Maumee Scout Reservation annually.

The FEMA mitigation grant is a significant contribution to the Hoosier Trails Council’s major gifts initiative, launched in 2017.

The goal of the initiative is to raise $6 million to support capital construction projects and their endowments, including the new fellowship hall, an expanded and upgraded health lodge and improvements to Maumee Scout Reservation’s aquatics, Scoutcraft, shooting sports and camping areas.

“There is nothing like time at camp to build character and self-confidence and to create lifelong friendships,” Steenberger said. “Gifts to the Hoosier Trails Council are investments in both youth and our local communities.”

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For information about the Hoosier Trails Council, its major gifts initiative or the Maumee Scout Reservation, contact Glen Steenberger at 812-336-6809 or [email protected].