A show of skills

May 5, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY – La Porte County Cub Scout Packs, Venturing Crews and Scout Troops gathered outside St. John’s United Church of Christ in Michigan City on Saturday for the annual Scout-A-Rama, which this year was also a celebration of 100 years of Scouting.

The event encourages Scouts to host booths with activities to demonstrate the skills they’ve acquired.

“It’s basically just about having fun, today,” said Elizabeth Buskrik, Cub Master of Pack 876 at Queen of All Saints in Michigan City. “The Scouts have fun going around showing off the different things that they are able to do in front of the other children. These are things that they learned from scouting.”

Throughout the day, Scouts showed off their skills in relay racing, archery, stilt walking and obstacle course racing.

The Michigan City Fire and Police departments also participated – the MCFD allowing children to tour a fire truck, and police conducting a K9 demonstration.

Several area troops participated in the numerous Scout-A-Rama festivities.

“I would say we’ll have somewhere between 100 to 250 attendees by the end of the day,” Buskrik said.

A sizable number of the Scouts opted to camp out in front of the church on Friday night, a tradition that gives the boys an opportunity to put their skills into action.

In addition to putting up tents, some constructed a handmade swing made almost completely of scrap wood. Once the structure was built, it was quickly put to use by the children attending Scout-A-Rama.

The Pottawattomi District Pinewood Derby Races were also a part of the Scout-A-Rama. Scouts from Michigan all the way to Knox brought their handmade derby cars for the big race. The Scouts who constructed the three fastest cars in each pack were entered into the derby.

Each entrant was given the opportunity to run their car down the ramp four times. Julie Pitman, Lion Leader for Pack 880 in La Porte, explained how the race was scored.

“Pack 880 holds the race. We have a computer system that calculates how fast the cars are going, and averages them together,” Pitman said.

The top three racers from each age group received trophies in recognition of their superior car-building skills.

The younger Scouts stuck to other activities, like the turtle racing booth. The object was to get a wooden turtle attached to strings to the finish line by moving the string up and down. All of the Scouts were given patches for their participation.