September 22, 2018
Algonquin District (and Friends) held Kon Tiki, the district’s unique Scouting event, at Clear Lake on the Westchester-Putnam Council’s Durland Scouting Reservation. This event introduced a new generation of Scouts and adult leaders to the special event after a ten-year gap. Held in honor of Anthony V. Paterno, a long-time Algonquin Scouter and originator of the event, who passed away last summer (July 2017), Kon Tiki attracted scouts district-wide and spectators camping for the weekend at Durland Scout Reservation. Originally intended as at competition among troops in Rye (Siwanoy District) the event was adopted and expanded to include all of Algonquin.
Kon Tiki, the unique scouting event, asks participating Scout troops (or patrols) to build a raft, typically of found and scavenged materials, able to support a crew of two scouts who propel the raft with paddles, oars, or a mechanized rig around a fixed course, while preparing a modest wood-fire capable of cooking a pancake. A suitable pancake must be produced before crossing the finish line and handed into the judges. It is a timed event. Competition was fierce.
Troops spent time over the summer gathering flotation materials such as plastic barrels of various sizes, Styrofoam blocks, plastic buckets, milk jugs and scrap lumber to construct their rafts. Working as teams with adult supervision, an amazing variety of crafts resulted: a ‘pedal-raft’ with a bicycle frame and crank assembly driving a pair of paddle wheels, matched pairs of 55-gallon plastic drums scavenged from a car-wash, 30-gallon drums fashioned into a twin-hulled raft, and 21 4-gallon plastic buckets from a bakery’s Pastry Department. All hands learned a lot about buoyancy, hydrodynamics, marine construction and design, and teamwork. A raft-building workshop was held a couple of weeks before the event where troops were able to try out their ideas in ’real-time’ with various plans and schemes using a selection of ‘flotation’ and 4’x8’ plywood ‘decks’. The attached photos showcase the creativity and imagination of the Scouts as their ideas became reality.
The day finished with a pot-luck supper and the groundbreaking ceremony for a new pavilion at Durland Scout Reservation in memory of Tony Paterno.
Winning teams from the following troops received trophies for their efforts:
- First Place: Troop 353 Eastchester
- Second Place; Troop 1 Crestwood
- Third Place: Troop 8 Edgemont
The Commodore’s Award for Scout Spirit was presented to Troop 400 Port Chester for their outstanding display of teamwork and participation by Scouts and Leaders.
Special thanks to Algonquin Activities Committee members Sean Byrne, Paul Knudsvig and Bill Langham who resurrected and organized the event.
For an extensive gallery of photos from the event, please visit Troop 353’s web site: http://troop353.wordpress.com