Nature Matters: Cardboard Boats Teach Water Stewardship

By KBJR News 1

August 25, 2012 Updated Aug 25, 2012 at 8:47 PM CDT

Island Lake (Northland's NewsCenter)
"On your mark, ready, set, go!" said the Cubmaster of Pack 7.

There are at least a few people who think the historical record indicates Viking boats may have plied Northland waters a thousand years ago.
One of them was back last week on Island Lake for Cub Scout Pack 7's annual cardboard boat regatta.
Cooper Magnusson was the little Viking aboard this long boat but the horned helmet wasn't his idea.

"No, it was my dad's." said Cooper.

All these craft consist only of cardboard, duct tape and paint.
The goal of the event was to replace computer mice with paddles in the hands of the kids.

"Anything that can get the kids out of the house and get them active out having fun." said Cubmaster Pat Sirois.

This summer is on track to be our warmest in the region's recorded history.
Because of that, many people are cooling off in the water and that has led to an increase in water rescues.
The cardboard boat regatta rules strictly enforce life jacket use.

"We stress water safety and having fun. The kids get to build the boats." said Sirois.

Some boats are more seaworthy than others.
The scouts, their parents and sibling are also taught stewardship of the water they sail upon and the land around it.

"You have to remember not to leave any garbage behind. We stress you take your garbage with you and keep things clean." said Sirois.

When the race was over, Cooper Magnusson cleaned up as the grand champion.
He credits his dad for race day advice.

"How I won is my dad told me to paddle fast." said Cooper.

Good advice for any paddle sport competitor.
On Island Lake north of Duluth for Nature Matters, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.

You don't need to be a cub scout to have fun this summer with a homemade cardboard boat.
In Minnesota, non-motorized craft nine feet long or less don't need to be registered.