When the scouting movement arrived in Oshawa in the early 20th century, it started in a barn on the outskirts of Oshawa. Later, scouts met in stables owned by George W. McLaughlin and at other locations around the city.
Two scouts halls were opened in the 1940s. A Sea Scout Hall was constructed on Hillcroft Street in 1940. The Athol Street Scout Hall opened in 1942, thanks to the generosity of George McLaughlin.
The building used on Athol was originally the Reformed Episcopal Church, first built on the north side of Colborne St. East, east of Ontario Street. It was sold to the Christian Workers and moved to 18 Athol St. West in the early 1920s. Before opening as the Scout Hall, the church’s spire was removed and the the facade veneered with red brick.
The Athol Street hall remained a hub for scouting until 1958 when it was demolished to make way for a parking lot. The original Boys Scout Hall held many memories for those in scouting through the 1940s and 1950s.
“We used to follow King Street to Charles Street, south on Charles to Athol Street, west on Athol to the traffic light at Ward’s Store where we crossed Simcoe Street, and on to the Scout Hall a few doors west.” Robert Holden, Camp Samac (Oshawa: 1996,) 118.