Area youth complete Boy Scouts of America Kodiak Challenge

| August 6, 2018

COSHOCTON – Five adult staff, two youth staff and five Venture Crew members recently completed the Kodiak Challenge, which is a national program of the Boy Scouts of America.

Venture Crews are co-ed and are made up of youth, age 14- 21. The youth staff for this trip – Matthew Mulholland and Rowan Roberts – went through leadership training and had to plan and prepare for the five day trip. The trip began at Mohawk Dam on July 19 and ended south of Zanesville several days later. The group travelled in boats that they built themselves.

“We started building the boats in March from lauan plywood, zip ties, bondo and fiberglass,” said Connie Roberts, Kodiak Challenge Director. “Everyone worked together on each boat, as one person just can’t build it alone. When the boats were done, each crew member took them home to paint them. I didn’t see the boats until the day we were leaving and it was an awesome surprise. One boat was painted like the Titanic and one was like the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. Each was unique.”

Each boat was 7’10” long and had to be inspected by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and then registered with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. “Dan Lindsley, from ODNR, came to inspect the boats and Charity, from the BMV, was so helpful and positive when we went to register them.”

The youth staff had to prepare presentations about the trip and plan it. Even during the trip, the group worked on team building, leadership and other aspects that Boy Scouts live by. Each evening, the group discussed what had happened that day and planned for the next. Every Venture Crew member had a job that rotated each day – such as cooking supervisor, first aid or navigator.

The trip began at Mohawk Dam and they stopped at Lake Park for the night. The next night, they camped at the Muskingum Valley Scout Reservation and another night they camped at Ellis Dam in Muskingum County. The boats even travelled through the double locks near Zanesville. The entire trip was about 54 miles.

“At every stop, the crew did some type of service project while we were there.  They pulled weeds, picked up trash or cleared hiking trails. We left each place better than it was when we got there,” said Roberts.

“We had a few mishaps – a few skegs got broken and an adult staff crashed his boat. A kayak was brought to him so he could finish the trip. The weather was awful. I had prepared for extreme heat and ways to keep everyone from becoming dehydrated. Instead, it poured rain and I had to worry that they were too cold.  One set of parents saw our misery in pictures on Facebook and brought us hot chocolate when we stopped for the night.”

“It was such a learning experience and so much fun for everyone,” said Roberts.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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