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Logan David, left, of Cub Scouts Pack 353 explains water boats as part of the RainGutter Regatta to Jack Indahl, 9, at last week’s Downtown Thursday in Owatonna. Staff photo by Rick Bussler
A big challenge at Downtown Thursday
Rick Bussler, Publisher
rick bussler, editor, opinion, hot pursuit

Little did I know I was in for the challenge of my life last week at Downtown Thursday in Owatonna.

As I often do, I was snapping photos of various activities when I stumbled across the Cub Scouts. I had just planned to take a photo of Jack Indahl of Owatonna blowing his way with a water boat. That’s when Logan David, a 10-year-old Cub Scout, stopped and challenged me to take him on with the Raingutter Regatta, a popular racing event for Cub Scouts. Logan told me it's the sailboat equivalent of the pinewood derby.

I thought why not. A little Cub Scout action won’t hurt this old, grizzled journalist.

With a camera strapped around my neck and daggling to the side, I huffed and puffed my way along the standard rain gutter that is 10 feet long. The boats are propelled by blowing on the sail, either directly or through a drinking straw. I let it all out by blowing directly.

Somehow, I ended up coming out on the top end as I beat Logan by an eye lash or two.

Truth be told, I was about ready to call the paramedics for some oxygen as the boat sucked the life out of me. Well, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

“My boat got twisted,” Logan proclaimed. “Otherwise, I would have beat you.”

Logan was excited to share with me about Cub Scouts, an organization he first got involved in about six years ago. He has found scouts to be “very community based.” He also likes how the organization gets kids like himself outdoors more.

“I like it because I get to make friends, go camping and learn how to cook,” Logan said. “I get to do fun challenges.”

Jenny Richter, who is a leader with Pack 355, said scouts helps children build their social skills and gives them more confidence in themselves.

McKayla Graves, 15, quickly chimed in, “I had zero confidence and zero social skills in the beginning.” Now she’s not afraid to talk to strangers, including this columnist.

Scouts, Richter said, teaches kids “to be the best person they can be.”

Added Logan’s father, Loren David, who is a Cub master for Pack 353, “They will have skills that many others won’t have.”

The scouts are currently recruiting members, both girls and boys, to join this fall. They will be kicking off popcorn sales within the next few weeks. The proceeds go directly into accounts of the scouts to defray their scouting expenses.

Logan aspires to become an Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts, in a few years. His brother, Dalton, 15, is currently working on his Eagle Scout project by rebuilding two bridges at Rice Lake State Park outside of Owatonna.

“We’re helping the community get stronger,” Logan said.

And who can argue with a 10-year-old determined of going in hot pursuit of making the world a better place?

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