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'Always prepared'

R. McGraw tests his skill on the safety rope. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
October 06, 2010 - It's a good thing a Boy Scout is always prepared, says Larry Matola.

He and Troop 248, out of King of Kings Lutheran Chuch, attended their first International Scout Rally last month and didn't know quite what they were walking into.

The rally, held in Hessel, Sept. 17-19, was the 24th annual and was attended by over 900 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies and Cub Scouts from the US and Wolf Cubs, Scouts and Venturers from Canada in total representing nearly 80 units.

The theme for this year's rally was Through the Ages and the events involved campsite decoration, costumes, cooking and challenge events.

Choosing to take on the challenge events, the boys from 284 were required to complete in at least five basic scout skill events (semaphore, lashings, emergency rope, etc) and then other fun events (trivial pursuit, rain gutter regatta, frisbee toss, etc.)

After a long day's toil, they were rewarded with second place. And, in addition to the door prize for the furthest distance traveled, the boys had a great experience at their first (of probably many) International Rallies, said Matola.

The days activities were topped off by a dance and bonfire for the Scouts and a "mug up" (Canadian equivalent of night time snack) for the adults, with as much cake, cider, and snacks one could want.

The whole day was summed up by Scoutmaster Gerry Taipalus' comment, "We loaned another Scout Troop one of our Dutch ovens for a cooking event, not only was it returned clean but the other troop put a fresh baked blueberry pie in it. That's the spirit of Scouting."

- Megan Collier

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