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Sorrels’ ingenious strategy. “I guarantee one volun-


teer will come up to me and say, ‘I’ve got an idea for an event,’ ” Sorrels says. “And I say, ‘Can you come back and run it next year?’ ”


WHY ADD A SAIL to a card- board boat being raced indoors? Alex Swaine doesn’t have


time for questions like that. The 17-year-old Venturer from Crew 566 of Warner Robbins, Ga., simply says, “Why not?” If the crew’s boat looks a


little silly, that’s kind of the point. In 30 minutes, the Venturers will toss the boat into a pool and send one of their members paddling fran- tically to the other end. In the Cardboard Box Regatta, silly is unavoidable. The regatta is


one of those events a volun- teer suggested to Sorrels years ago, and now it’s one of the most popular. Crew 566, though, is com-


peting for the first time. The crew just formed a month ago; Winterfest is its first outing. Not a bad start. “Just the idea of making


something and getting to see if it works is phenomenal,” says Alex’s dad, Advisor Steve Swaine. Let the adults consider the


project-planning and team- work skills being formed here on a chilly February morning. Alex and his fellow Venturers have a boat to build. “Dad, this is one of the


coolest things I’ve ever done,” Alex says, adding another piece of tape to the boat’s gunwale.


MORE TO THE STORY


What’s a young person’s take on the 40th annual Winterfest? Did any of the cardboard boats make it to the other side? And just what is the Squeezebox? Read even more about this exciting event for Explorers and Venturers in the December 2014 issue of Boys’ Life, Boy Scout version.


26 S COUTING ¿ NOVEMBER•DECEMBER 2014


The design for the boat —


sail and all — was formed 12 hours ago from equal parts insomnia and maple syrup. “Late last night we did


some brainstorming,” Alex says. “We rolled in here on about five hours of sleep and


pancakes and bacon. I don’t think it’ll sink.” Unfortunately, that opti-


mism doesn’t pay off. The whistle blows, and the


boat sinks almost the instant it hits the water, as if it were made of lead. By the time it arrives at the other end of the pool, the sailboat is a shapeless jumble of cardboard and the paddler is swimming alongside. The soggy mess finds its


way to the recycling heap, but Crew 566’s Venturers still have huge smiles — and a plan. “We’re going to go with


a different design next year,” Alex says.


THE BLACK BOX might not be the most enjoyable event at Winterfest, but it’s probably the most important.


Savannah, Ga., Post 876 Explorer Jamari Barton (top) somehow makes it through a 6-inch opening in the Squeezebox, a caving simulator. Nearby, Shantrell Haddock, an Explorer from Milledgeville, Ga., Post 139, rests on her way up the rope climb.


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