American Legion Totah Post 93 takes over stewardship of Farmington Scout Hut
Farmington Evening Lions Club had looked after facility for more than 60 years
FARMINGTON — For the first time in more than a quarter of a century, American Legion Totah Post 93 in Farmington has a home. It also has a new purpose, according to its post commander.
Effective April 13, the organization took over as the manager and supervisor of the venerable Tyckson Scout Hut, located at 1911 N. Dustin Ave. in Brookside Park. The facility and the property on which it is located were donated by H.L. Tyckson and his wife Alice in 1955 to a trustee, H.O. Sanderson, for use by local troops of the Boys Scouts of America.
Since that time, the property and the facility have been managed and overseen by the Farmington Evening Lions Club. But when the Lions Club decided after nearly 67 years it no longer could be responsible for the property, the facility needed a new caretaker, and that's when the American Legion stepped in fill that role — a move that benefits his organization as much as it does the Boy Scouts, Post Commander Chris Bodley said.
"It's fantastic — we now have a place to not only have meetings, but a place to share with the community," he said, referring to the fact that Totah Post 93 has been in temporary quarters since the 1990s.
While Bodley's post won't own the Scout Hut, it will serve as its supervisor, meaning it has assumed legal responsibility for its upkeep, maintenance, improvements and utility bills, all while making the building available to Boy Scout Troop 54 for its use as often as that group needs it.
Bodley was all smiles on May 6 as he prepared the Scout Hut for an open house event later that day designed to alert community members to the change and let them know the building is there to serve them.
"We've just been in the dark for a long time," Bodley said of Totah Post 93. "We've been nearly invisible … so this is a huge thing for us."
Bodley has served as post commander for three years and spent much of that time searching for a permanent home for his organization, realizing the post was powerless to make any long-term plans or commitments as long as it was moving from space to space.
When he heard the Lions Club was interested in passing along responsibility for the Tyckson Scout Hut to another nonprofit group that would effectively be able to use it as its headquarters, he was ecstatic, realizing it fit his wish list perfectly.
Bodley and Patrick Montoya, the president of the Farmington Evening Lions Club, executed an agreement on April 13 that formally turned over stewardship of the property and the building to Totah Post 93. Bodley was effusive in his praise of the Lions Club for the work it did over the years, noting the grounds and property both were in top shape at the time of the transfer
"I have great respect for the Lions Club," he said.
Bodley said he can finally begin to put into motions his dreams of turning Totah Post 93 into a community service organization. While the Scouts will continue to be the Scout Hut's prime tenant and have priority use of the facility, Bodley also plans to offer it to other community groups who need to hold meetings, gatherings or special events.
He also is intent on building a lasting relationship with the Boy Scouts, beginning with partnering with that organization in a tent at Farmington's Riverfest celebration over Memorial Day weekend.
"We're going to be set up side by side at Riverfest," he said.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.