The Merion Square Scout House: www.gladwynescouthouse.org

During 2009, The Merion Square Scout House located in the Gladwyne historic district is celebrating 125 years as a community asset. It was built in the 1884 as a mission chapel of Bryn Mawr Baptist Church. The name “Merion Square Scout House” came from the name of the area it served and still serves which is Gladwyne and the surrounding communities up to Ardmore and many parts of Penn Valley. Those communities were once known as Merion Square. Today it is classified as a Class 1 Historic building and we are fortunate to have it located in the heart of the quaint “Village of Gladwyne”.

In 1952, an anonymous donor provided a $20,000 gift for “scouting in the Youngsford Valley”. The donor wanted his gift be used for a facility for all scouts and to be community oriented. A trusteeship was established to find or build such a facility.

In 1957 the Trust purchased the then vacant Merion Square Baptist Mission Chapel for about $10,000. The remaining money was invested to fund the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of our Historic Merion Square Scout House.

The trust has been dissolved and all of its assets transferred into a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation whose only purpose is to operate the Merion Square Scout House. The building is now governed by a local community Board of Directors and it depends entirely on the community for its ongoing support. The building receives income only from community donations.

Scouting in this area thrived in the 1950’s and 60’s but by the 80’s and early 90’s it started to dwindle. Since the mid to late 1990’s there has been rekindled interest in scouting and today the Scout House serves a vibrant and diverse group of scouts. It is the regular meeting place for over 150 scouts throughout the year including Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies with occasional use by other local community groups.

Scout groups have used this facility continuously for the last fifty two years at no cost. Scouts learn early and often to serve others and their community. Our Scouts have done a great deal to serve in our community and the local area. Regular service projects include: making meals for the homeless; creating care boxes and cards for our servicemen abroad; providing holiday presents and wrapping them for less fortunate children and their families in Montgomery county; working at the food bank; helping West Philadelphia families rehab their homes; working at Riverbend, Rolling Hill, Bridlewild trails and helping the Gladwyne Library every year with their plant sale.

The MSSH needs your help and support to fund the on going operations for this building and augment the budget to cover annual operating expenses. The building has served hundreds of local families over the last several decades. Please consider giving to support its ongoing role in the community and to help us keep this valuable historical treasure a public resource in Gladwyne.