A boating lake in the Scout Hall?

read Geoff’s account of just another Scout meeting:

Well, alright, not quite a boating lake, but Eric, one of our dads, had this brilliant idea of constructing a large rectangular trough using the six benches, some plastic joining pieces which he prepared, some made to fit wooden end pieces, rope to tie the whole thing together and two very large tarpaulins.

The result was the aforementioned trough which measured 6m by 1.5m which when filled to a depth of 20cm gave us 1.8 cubic meters of water!

Eric also provided a very large, self contained fan which we ducted, using small tables, to give a very reasonable air flow down the length of the course.

And the point of this, you may ask?

The scouts constructed their own little sailing boats using take-away containers for the hull, wooden kebab sticks for masts, string for rigging and various items for ballast. They used copious amounts of glue gun glue, small modelling drills for holes, (all carefully supervised, of course!) and any other bits and bobs they could lay their hands on. Sails were decorated in their own inimitable style and their boats were tried, tested and modified.

Each of the scouts “boats” was timed from the windiest end of the course to the other, with a little judicious poking for wayward steering, modifications were made and further runs were made.

At the end, the two fastest boats had a head to head race off to determine the winner.

Their ingenuity and enthusiasm was brilliant: no one fell in, the thing stayed together and they also learned a little about trim and balance.

They all went home smiling, as they usually do and left us to bail the 1.8 cubic meters of water, which took quite a while, and dismantle the trough.

Eric’s enthusiasm for the project was inspirational. Cheers Eric. A fine time was had by all.