Building a Scout camp takes dedication, imagination — and enough willpower to avoid eating all the construction materials before you finish.
That’s a lesson we recently learned from Douglas Clark, a 9-year-old Webelos Scout from Pack 53 of Auburn, Mass., part of the Heart of New England Council.
In December, Pack 53 held a competition to see which Cub Scouts could build the best log cabin using pretzels and other edible ingredients.
Douglas and his mom created the winning masterpiece seen above, which they modeled after one of Douglas’ favorite Scouting destinations: Treasure Valley Scout Reservation, located about 60 miles west of Boston.
“I have gone to Scout camp for two summers now, and I love being at Treasure Valley with my pack,” Douglas says.
Pack 53 Cubmaster Diane Keyes came up with the project idea. For the previous year’s contest, Diane asked the Cub Scouts to create gingerbread houses. But this time, the challenge was to use pretzels to create a log cabin. Any kind of pretzels would be acceptable, including rods, sticks, waffles, rounds, twists, nuggets, holiday shapes and any other variety offered at the local grocer.
Once the house was built, Cub Scouts brought their edible construction projects to the next pack meeting so everyone could vote on their favorites.
“They really used this opportunity to work together as a family and created something different and unique,” Diane says. “Most of them added their own personalities to their creations.”
Building special moments
We love Cub Scouting because it creates opportunities for families to experience magical moments together.
Heather Baker, Douglas’ mom, says the program has brought her and her son closer together. Building the log cabin pretzel camp was just the latest example.
“When he gets projects assigned to him, we start talking about ideas and game-plan how we’ll tackle the project,” she says. “Being able to see him get creative and enthusiastic about these projects has been a gift.”
Because Douglas is an older Cub Scout, Heather let him do most of the work as she sat beside him.
“It was great seeing Douglas come up with all the details and creating ways to make the whole cabin come together,” she says. “The best part was in seeing his pride in a job well done.”
After four days of work — from the first sketch to the finishing touches — Douglas and his mom were done. And only a few of the ingredients had gone missing.
“We definitely had to buy extra construction materials so Douglas didn’t eat all of the logs for the log cabin,” Heather says.
Douglas says building the cabin with his mom was extra special, because she “helped my vision come to life.
“I learned that it takes a lot of effort and planning to create a log cabin made of pretzels and snacks from scratch,” he says. “Learning all the parts that would need to go into building a cabin was fun, and the final result was awesome to see.”