Concerned INWC Scouters
November 14, 2006
INWC Executive Board Member
We implore you to consider how Finch Lodge can continue to serve Camp Cowles. We believe the success of Cub Country and the health of the Inland Northwest Council depends on leaving Finch Lodge in place. An originally designed new lodge (dining hall) is better sited up the hill and closer to North Shore Road.
The Council can have both a new dining hall and a beautifully refurbished National Register-eligible lodge for fewer total donor dollars. How can we justify spending extra money on restaging salvaged architectural elements in a look-alike building? Why waste valuable donations on a doomed attempt to recreate a Finch Lodge feel? The real Finch Lodge can be enjoyed most of the year and closed during the coldest months to keep heat and maintenance costs low.
A new dining hall designed for the hill near Finch Lodge would provide a panoramic view of Diamond Lake framed by tree-covered mountains. The facility would be safe, easily accessible from North Shore Road and near the center of proposed Cub Country activities and camping areas.
Finch Lodge is structurally sound and can serve the camp during the fund raising and construction phases of Cub Country. Once the new facility is built and paid for, $75,000 - $100,000 of grants and donations would beautifully refurbish the historic lodge. In preserving Finch Lodge, we would be teaching responsible citizenship, good stewardship and conservation of valuable resources – important lessons for tomorrow’s leaders.
Noted architect Julius A. Zittel designed Finch Lodge specifically for Camp Cowles. The beautifully proportioned 1923 lodge is especially significant architecturally because its Craftsman style is rare for this important architect. As the oldest architect-designed Boy Scout lodge in the west, Finch is an irreplaceable part of our national, as well as our local, Boy Scout heritage. This treasure has enriched the lives and touched the hearts of thousands of Boy Scouts. It is wrong to deprive future generations of the sounds, smells, beauty and magic of standing in this lodge that their predecessors have used for over 80 years. The sense of belonging and connection Finch Lodge engenders is especially important to today’s mobile youth.
We know that, like each of us, you are a volunteer dedicated to serving the area’s youth. Getting the most value from the Council’s limited resources is vital. Please take a little of your valuable time to re-evaluate this situation. Both economic and moral considerations demand that we preserve Finch Lodge for current and future generations. Please don’t let us be the generation that chose to irrevocably destroy this irreplaceable treasure.
The names of 42 Registered Boy Scout Adult Volunteers (Scouters) appeared at the end of each letter that was sent to an executive board member.