Scouts have fun, learn skills
About 175 Boy Scouts endured the cold weather to vie in outdoor skill competitions.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- The two-man cross saw kept Ben Roberts and Cody Vaughn working hard.
Part of Boy Scout Troop 105 from North Jackson, the boys dubbed themselves "The Liberty Bells" and loudly gave out their group call of "Ding Dong" at each station of this year's Whispering Pines Boy Scout Klondike Derby at Camp Stambaugh this weekend.
The youngsters checked in Friday and got down to business Saturday competing against each other at nine stations throughout the camp testing their Boy Scout skills and having a good time. The event wraps up today with a service.
"It's fun. We get to hang out with our friends and do stuff," Cody, 13, said after taking his turn on the cross saw setup near the camp entrance. This is his first year at the annual event that dates back to at least 1954.
Ben, 16, was attending his seventh Klondike Derby this weekend.
"It's something you don't get to do every day and use skills you don't normally use," he said.
They are among the 175 Boy Scouts from the Greater Western Reserve Council who braved the cold this weekend at the derby.
About half of those participating spent the nights in tents throughout the camp and others in cabins.
"We're here for the boys to learn some activities and have fun," said Lee Hawkins of Berlin Center, Klondike Derby 2007 chairman. He is also the troop leader for Boy Scout Troop 71.
The youngsters age 11 and older test the skills they learn throughout the year participating in things such as fire building, knot tying, survival cooking, first aid and tracking. Points are earned and prizes given out.
John Wolboldt of Canfield Troop 25 has been attending the Klondike Derby as a Scout leader since 1954.
"It's about teamwork and to teach the kids to get along with each other," he said as he oversaw the two-man cross-saw station.
Scout groups, ranging in size from four to eight boys, completed the nine stations set up throughout the camp.
Wolboldt said most stations test Scouting skills, but his was mostly for fun.
He had two logs of 40-year-old elm set up and every member of the group had to participate in sawing off a piece of the logs to complete that portion of the event.
Each year new events are added. This year the Scouts were using global positioning systems in the woods for the first time, Hawkins said.
"They are here to sharpen their skills. They learn about teamwork, cooperation and Scout spirit," he said.