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Cardboard Boat Races PDF Print E-mail


Scouts build and captain their own cardboard boats

Boats are launched in pools or shallow ponds

Scouts build confidence and dexterity


One of  the adventures our Scouts take part in is the Cardboard Boat Race.  The Cardboard Boat Race was started at Southern Illinois University by Professor Richard Archer.  He used his philosophy “doing the most with the least” to invent this activity. 


Like many of our other activities, we also believe it is important for our Scouts to build resourcefulness as well as creative and critical thinking by building their boats out what is readily available.


What the Boat is Made From


Our Scouts make a boat out of cardboard.  Cardboard can be waxed and put together with glue and duct tape.  Boats are fully biodegradable.  The boat is meant to hold the weight of a Scout, and our Scouts captain the boat themselves with oars in a pool or shallow pond.  Boats can be built on a weekend day and raced on the next weekend, or built a little at a time during meetings and raced on the weekend.  boy and girl with boat


Scouts Have Fun Building Their Boats


Our Scouts build resourcefulness, dexterity, and confidence while they build their boats.  Scouts build the boats together, sharing techniques and having FUN.  Boats can be decorated to resemble pirate boats, Viking boats, sports cars, frogs, or anything our Scouts’ imaginations can think up.


Part of the FUN is to see which boats make it to the finish line!  Scouts have a blast paddling, pushing, and swimming, trying to get their boats to the finish line.  It is not who wins and how many boats reach the finish line that counts, but the FUN and good times our Scouts have with their friends.




Contests can be held for the fastest boat, best built boat, best design, and fastest sinker!

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 December 2007 09:07 )
Adventure Scouts USA