By Sean Barron
It’s much more likely you will find 11-year-old Andrew J. Neff camping or enjoying school than seeing him with panty hose containing an orange inside protruding from his head.
Nevertheless, the Austintown boy spent part of his weekend wearing that unconventional combination.
“I like camping, and all of the people are nice,” said Andrew, a Frank Ohl Intermediate School fifth-grader and member of Austintown-based Cub Scout Pack 184.
Andrew found quite a few nice youngsters who joined him in an activity called “Elephant March.” It was one of several activities that were part of the “A Minute to Win It” station, one of five that made up Saturday’s Whispering Pines Cub Scout Freeze-Out 2013 gathering at Camp Stambaugh, 3712 Leffingwell Road.
Andrew was one of an estimated 108 boys age 6 to 11 from Mahoning County and Hubbard in Trumbull County who attended the Freeze-Out, sponsored by the Whispering Pines District Greater Western Reserve Council Boy Scouts of America.
The event continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Saturday at the camp.
Andrew and the others who took part in the “Elephant March” had 60 seconds to walk along a green line and use the panty hose and orange apparatus to knock over as many plastic water bottles as possible that were in four rows of five each.
Andrew, who’s been in Scouting since second grade, toppled all 10 in his two rows.
Overseeing the activity was Todd Miller, Pack 184’s assistant leader.
Also making up the “Minute to Win It” setup were activities titled “Marble Chop Suey,” in which the boys transferred marbles from one bowl to another using pencils as “chopsticks;” “Spaghetti Race,” which challenged the youngsters to use a strand of raw spaghetti in their mouths to pick up individual pieces of penne pasta; and “Thingamagig,” which required participants to interlock five craft sticks without using glue, tape or nails. All had to be done in one minute or less.
Some boys performed their version of the popular Bill Haley and the Comets’ song “Shake, Rattle and Roll” when they undertook such moves to empty eight Ping-Pong balls from plastic containers with holes in their lids that were strapped to their backs.
That activity, called “Junk in the Trunk,” also was part of the “Minute to Win It” festivities.
The Scouts had 30 minutes at each station, the other four of which consisted of agility games, fun and games, crafts and slingshots, noted Byron Harnishfeger, event coordinator.
“[The activities] for the kids are fun and improve their hand-eye coordination and agility,” he said.
Several members of Boardman-based Pack 114, including Logan Ciavarella, 8, and Mark Filicky, 10, took their best aims at targets that included suspended cans and cans stacked in pyramids, with the help of slingshots and dog-food pellets.
Participants placed the slingshots in their nondominant hands and were given 10 shots each to hit as many targets as possible, noted Evan John, a member of Struthers-based Boy Scout Troop 101, who provided a demonstration and instructions.
Also enjoying the offerings was 10-year-old Alanna Hetzel, whose father, Brian Hetzel, is Pack 114’s committee chairman.
“It’s different,” Alanna said about her participation with the boys. “I like it, but sometimes it can be a bit rambunctious and loud.”
For her part, Alanna, who also takes part in competitive swimming, found success with spaghetti and penne, and knocking over her share of water bottles.