breaking ground outside new boy scouts building

Breaking Ground on Peaceful Valley Dining Hall Project

Posted On: November 13, 2018

The Growing Future Leaders fundraising campaign has raised $11.2 of its $18.2 million goal to support youth by improving camp facilities.

(Englewood, Colo.) – November 12, 2018 – Saunders Construction and the Denver Area Council, BSA, recently held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the a renovation and expansion of the Kephardt Dining Hall at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch located near Elbert, CO.

The dining hall was originally built to serve 350 campers however, an average of 500 campers per week are now being served at the summer camp. The renovations will include expanding seating and meal prep areas to serve up to 700 people. Aligned with their corporate social responsibility philosophies, Saunders Construction and design partner, Merrick, are providing services for this project at cost.

The first phase of the project will construct a new 3,600-square-foot wood deck addition and a 1,200-square-foot kitchen addition to the Kephardt Dining Hall, as well as renovations to the basement, first floor and second floor. Additionally, the project will include upgrades to the fire sprinkler system and a new heating and cooling system in the kitchen area.

Construction of the first phase is expected to be complete in early Summer 2019 – just in time for the next camping season. Currently in design and in fundraising, the second phase will include critical infrastructure upgrades to the camp grounds including potable water, waste water treatment, electrical service, and communications.

“Every year, approximately 33,000 children are positively impacted by the Scouts in the Denver Area Council. The camp programs at Peaceful Valley provide a critical connection to the outdoors for our youth,” says Greg Schmidt, president and CEO of Saunders Construction, and Denver Area Council Trustee. “These much-needed improvements will ensure these important programs continue to provide kids a lifetime of memories and instill in them the Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”

The fundraising campaign will also provide several program facility enhancements to attract and retain Scouts including:

  • Program Center with indoor climbing wall and basketball court
  • Colorado History outpost with mining, agriculture and native history
  • Innovation Lab for advancing STEM programs
  • Adventure Valley obstacle course for physical fitness

Many of the projects within the campaign are preparing Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch for the Scouts BSA launch in February 2019, as young women will be joining and attending future summer camps. In August of 2018, the Denver Area Council began welcoming girls into its Cub Scouts program (ages 5 – 10, grades K– 5).

Cub Scout dens will continue to be all-boy or all-girl environments. The older youth program (ages 11 –17), currently known as Boy Scouts, will become Scouts BSA beginning February 1, 2019, at which time girls can join. Scouts BSA will not be co-ed, all troops will continue to be all-boy or all-girl environments. This change will allow girls the opportunity to earn the highly esteemed rank of Eagle Scout.


About the Denver Area Council

The Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves the youth of the Denver metro area with programs and activities to build character and leadership. We are supported by more than 8,200 volunteers to provide educational programs to approximately 33,000 youth members. The Denver Area Council serves youth and families within seven geographic areas in the 10 metro counties of Denver: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson, and Park. For more information about the Denver Area Council, please visit

About Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life®. The Scouting organization is comprised of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21, and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information about the Boy Scouts of America, please visit

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