Challenge accepted

Scouts, athletes test their skills against each other

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CORALVILLE — Local celebrities competed against several Boy Scout troops in a series of physical and mental events Saturday.

“Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?,” based on the National Geographic television series, brought competitors and spectators to S.T. Morrison Park. Many Scouts and community members could be found preparing for the activities: fire-starting, slingshot, archery and a U.S. Capitol quiz.

Lucas Kowalski, 15, of Troop 120 from Solon, said he felt confident in fire building but not the quiz. Nearby, fellow troop member Matt Quinn, 16, said being a Scout is “more common sense than physical.”

The first event for Ben Brandauer, 15, of Troop 2000, was “slingshot-ery.” The goal was to use rocks and a slingshot to knock down 10 half-filled plastic bottles around 20 feet away.

“I just can’t see out of these goggles,” Brandauer said.

Several minutes later he knocked down two with one stone. “It doesn’t count, it was the vibration,” he said as friends and family members cheered.

“Ben means business,” David Brandauer said of his son.

Troop 2000 took a lead toward the end, beating the Cedar Rapids Titans by nearly three bottles.

“You’re beating the football team,” a small child said from the crowd. “Since when does football have anything to do with slingshots,” Ben Brandauer replied with a laugh.

Brandauer hit the last of the bottles from the wooden stand and hugs and cheering erupted from the crowd. He said there was a lot of talking, so focusing was very difficult. But he echoed Quinn, saying there is a lot of mental preparedness in these events. “I’m not ripped,” Brandauer said with a smile.

Everyone was awarded a medal regardless of which team won more events.

Hawkeye Area Council District Executive John Myers said the event was about showcasing the Boy Scouts’ values, not necessarily strength.

“It’s about putting youth next to quality role models,” Myers said. “Working with them is the meat of our value-driven program.”

Cedar Rapids’ event will be May 4 at Mount Mercy University, 1330 Elmhurst Dr. NE. The Gazette will be represented with a trio from Team Hoopla.

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