MARQUETTE - The bitter cold temperatures didn't keep Boy and Girl Scouts from as far away as Munising and Big Bay from getting together in record numbers at Marquette Mountain Saturday for an annual winter ritual - the Cardboard Classic sled race.
Scouts from 20 different area troops entered 59 sleds into the race and the design competition, the most in the 10 years the event has been held at Marquette Mountain, according to Jim Edwards, member of the Hiawathaland district committee and organizer of the event.
Scouts spent the late morning and early afternoon racing their homemade sleds - which rules stipulate must be made using only cardboard and duct tape - down Marquette Mountain's "bunny hill" in double elimination rounds according to age group.
A Cub Scout from Marquette Pack 395 pilots the Purple Bomber down the hill during a race at the Cardboard Classic at Marquette Mountain Saturday. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
Girl Scouts Sofia Vandenende, left, and Lauren Ossenheimer of Big Bay's Troop 5047 pose in their sled before their races at Marquette Mountain Saturday. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
Cub Scouts in the Silver Toboggan from Pack 333 prepare to go head to head with a scout in the Red Demon from Pack 395 in the Cardboard Classic sled race at Marquette Mountain. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
"In their (local troop) meetings (the scouts) have been making cardboard sleds with duct tape, and they race against each other numbers of times, and we've got ribbons and badges to give out," said Edwards. "We give awards for best sleds as well as best racers, so there are a lot of reasons for doing it."
"(My favorite part is) probably going down in the sleds," said Sofia Vandenende, 10, from Girl Scout Troop 5047 of Big Bay. "It's super fast and you never know who's going to win."
"For me, it's the reckless fun of it," Edwards laughed. "Well, almost reckless fun. All of the (scouts) are wearing helmets, and there are EMTs on hand."
In addition to the winter festivities, each scout in attendance was encouraged to bring cans or other nonperishable foods to be donated to a local food pantry.
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 256. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org