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Marysville and Arlington Scouts test their skills during annual camp

MARYSVILLE — An annual tradition got a big boost July 30, as the egg-drop contest on the last day of the July 27-30 Cub Scout event in Jennings Park received some assistance from the Marysville Fire District.

The Tyee District of the Mount Baker Council of the Boy Scouts of America conducted their annual four-day camp for boys from ages 7-11 in Jennings Park, and when the more-than-100 Scouts and their siblings tested their insulated eggs to see how far they could fall without breaking, the Marysville Fire District’s ladder truck helped them out by taking their den leaders up in the ladder’s “bucket” for the first time to drop the eggs.

On July 27, the Scouts received their instructions for the egg-drop. The eggs had to be fresh uncooked chicken eggs, the Scouts could not use packing that was fused onto the egg, but they could use suspension systems to buffer the eggs. Furthermore, the eggs’ containers could not be larger than six inches cubed, nor could they include any streamers or parachutes.

Camp Director Jennifer Robinson estimated that roughly one-third of the dropped eggs managed to survive impact without a crack, and noted the diversity in packages designed to protect the surviving eggs.

“One boy had his egg insulated by rubber gloves filled with water,” Robinson said. “When it hit the ground, the gloves exploded, but the egg didn’t break. Last year, a completely unprotected egg survived the fall.”

Bubble-wrap was among the common denominators of many surviving eggs, among them those eggs submitted by Arlington’s Brandon Nuttall and Marysville’s Dylan Richards. Both boys spent between 15-20 minutes bubble-wrapping their eggs, and advised strongly against placing one’s eggs in hard-sided boxes or other containers.

“I listened for a crack when it came down, but I couldn’t hear anything,” Richards said. “You should use layers of bubble-wrap.”

“At first, I felt like it had broken, but when I unwrapped it, it hadn’t,” Nuttall said. “Even when I unwrapped it and it rolled out, it didn’t break. You want to put it in something thick and soft.”

When asked if the egg-drop is intended to teach the Scouts how to follow directions or develop their fine-motor skills, Robinson insisted that it’s simply a way for the Scouts to have fun and show off for their families, who were invited to attend the day’s lunch.

The egg-drop was one of many events conducted during the camp, whose theme this year was “Treasure Island with a Survivor twist.” Robinson explained that next year’s nationally directed theme for the camp will be the 2010 Olympics, which has added significance for Scouts in this region.

“Our Scouts here range from Tigers to Webelos, coming from Lynnwood to Stanwood, and Granite Falls to Everett,” said Robinson, who added that other activities during the camp include BB gun shooting, fishing, archery, badminton, woodworking, nature studies, first aid, games, participating in skits, songs and flag ceremonies.

“They made their own ‘treasure chests,’ in keeping with this year’s theme, and worked toward their whittlingships,” Robinson said. “This camp helps them fulfill their requirements for their ranks. It’s great to give kids a sense of purpose and good character development. They learn some skills here that can’t be taught.”

Those interested in Scouting or other Scouting camps can contact the Mount Baker Council Office at 425-338-0380, or visit their Web site at http://mountbakerbsa.org.

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