|
The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • 'A celebration of scouting' as superhero scouts take over Arnot Mall

    • email print
  • HORSEHEADS | Hordes of wolves, tigers, bears and eagles descended on the Arnot Mall over the weekend.
    No, the SyFy Channel wasn't shooting a sequel to "Sharknado".
    Hundreds of boys of all ages spent the weekend at the mall, taking part in the annual Boy Scout show. William McCahill, CEO of the Boy Scouts of America Five Rivers Council, said the event has been held at the Arnot Mall for more than 25 years.
    McCahill said the event has something for everybody.
    "It gives the scouts a chance to show off their skills," McCahill said. "The public is also welcome to participate. The scouts and leaders have a great time and the public can see what a great time scouting can be. It's a celebration of scouting."
    The event kicked off Friday night with a sleepover at the mall. Scouts had the opportunity to play games, watch movies, participate in construction projects using canned goods that were later donated to local food pantries and take part in a campfire ceremony to close the evening.
    The activities resumed Saturday morning as troops set up displays throughout the mall. Many of the displays, like a catapult game set up by Pack 86 out of Big Flats, taught participants about scouting.
    "One of the reasons for scouting is games with a purpose," said Heidi von Ahn, one of the parent volunteers at the event. "It's not just about the games and it's not just about learning. It's about both. The kids just don't know that. They just think it's fun."
    The theme of this year's event was "Don't Judge a Hero By The Size of His Cape." Many of the games and displays had superhero themes. Scouts could don superhero costumes and have their photos taken, make superhero shields and even learn how to lift heavy objects using pulleys and levers.
    "The event promotes the three principles of scouting – character development, citizenship training and personal fitness," McCahill said. "To the kids, it's about having fun, but it's fun with a purpose."
    Adam Schultz, a nine-year-old Webelo from Blossburg, Pa., was attending his first scout show. He said he enjoyed the variety of activities that were planned for the weekend.
    "I did the engineering activity to learn about leverage," Schultz said. "I made a superhero shield, and did the Angry Birds catapult."
    Many of the scouts return to the show year after year.
    Brendan Marshall, 16, of Big Flats, is a Life Scout working on becoming an Eagle Scout.
    "I've been coming since I was six," Marshall said. "I enjoy meeting all the other scouts and making friends and seeing old friends I haven't seen in a while. I also enjoy teaching the younger kids skills."
    Keeping with the super hero theme, Marshall's troop created an interactive display revolving around knots. The scouts had to use their knot tying skills to help Batman defuse bombs set out by the Joker.
    Page 2 of 2 - Because of the number of years Marshall has been coming, he's experienced the show from both sides, as a young scout just learning about Boy Scouts and now as an older scout acting as a mentor to the younger children.
    "I feel like I'm paying back what I learned when I was a kid,' Marshall said. "It's fun to teach them what I learned when I was in their shoes."
    For more information about scouting in the area, including locating scout troops, visit www.fiverivers.org.

      • calendar