Sunday couldn’t possibly have provided better weather for the annual Key Peninsula Lions Club-sponsored Cub Scout Pack 222 Raingutter Regatta, this one held on the Key Peninsula Lutheran Church grounds. The sun-swept scene was warm, not hot, and there wasn’t a touch of a breeze to spoil the ardent puffing of the Cub Scouts as they encouraged their boats to make the finish line.
“I’ve been with the pack for seven years,” said Pack 222 Assistant Webelos II Den Leader Mike Ohara. “This annual event was running even before I was with the pack. Unlike our Pinewood Derby, this event is Scouts only, yet we typically get a good turnout. Today was no different.”
“This is one of the pack’s biggest events of the year,” said Ohara. “Scouts want to continue with the race even after it’s over! Scouts and their parents design, sand, and paint their boats a week or two before the event to see who has the fastest boat — along with the largest lungs! Raingutter Regatta involves not only the boat’s design but the scouts’ ability to steer the boat to the end by blowing on the sail.”
“I’m here to have fun with my friends,” declared Cub Paul Ripley, a Pack Bear who attends Evergreen Elementary.
“I feel like I get enjoy this event from both sides, as a Den leader and parent,” said Tiger Den leader Amy Walker. “As parent, I brainstorm ideas with my boys, then help create their boats. As Den leader, I enjoy the joy and excitement of each of my Tigers, seeing how proud they are of their boats. Today was extra special, as my child, Scout Walker, a Webelo 1, won first place, and Jack Chambers, one of my Tigers, won second. The best part of the day was how encouraging each boy was! It’s not win or lose, it’s win or learn. Everyone cheers for everyone, as a Pack should.”
Last year’s champion, David Kane, a Webelos II, finished third.
“In all,” said Ohara, “everyone won because we had the sun, great food from the potluck, and everyone had fun!”
Cub Ben Bass, a second-grader at Minter Creek Elementary, said, “I’m here because I want to race my friends.”
And he did! Home-schooled first-grader Daniel Downen made clear that he was here “To race my boat!”
The pack uses a double elimination format to figure out the winner, racing on an inflatable gutter track bought at the Boy Scout Store approximately four years ago, explained Ohara, who, as of May 30 will no longer be with Pack 222. His son, Eli, will be crossing over to Boy Scouting.
Lamented Brandon Dewitt, a Vaughn Elementary fifth-grader, “This will be my last Raingutter Regatta as a Cub Scout.”
Brandon is moving on to Scouts. Minter Creek Elementary fifth-grader Eli Ohara, also moving into scouts said, “My dad and I built my boat for last year but I didn’t get to race because I had a baseball tournament. So this year I get to race this boat. I’m here because I love to race boats.”
If interested in Cub Pack 222, please contact Mike Ohara at ohararm@hotmail.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at email@example.com.