When Boy Scout Troop 31 sponsored the construction of a new pavilion at Seven Mountains Scout Camp in Spring Mills, the Scouts decided they wanted to cover the costs.
The pavilion cost $5,000, said assistant senior patrol leader Hayden Davidson, 15, but the boys in the troop wanted to be the ones to raise the money, not the adults. The troop fronted the money to the Scouts, who began devising ways to pay back the funds.
“I took it upon myself, with support of other members of the troop and some adults, to organize and raise some funds,” Hayden said.
The first fundraising effort came together Sunday as the troop hosted a 5K run/walk at Tom Tudek Memorial Park. Scouts and members of the State College community came together as about 40 participants lent their help to covering the cost of the pavilion.
Scouts were able to gather more than 20 sponsors to cover the cost of the event, as well as provide some prizes to the top runners. The event was expected to raise about $700, Hayden said, but more fundraisers are to come.
“We want to include everyone in the community in the fundraising,” he said. “So people who maybe can’t run can do a dinner later on. We just really want to get the community in all these activities.”
Participants stepped off under a blue sky for two laps around Tudek park. Shortly after the run began, Scout Sean Kelleher, 15, crossed the finish line in 19 minutes and 38 seconds, followed closely by Joe Messner, 15, and Noah Witt, 15.
Sean, who holds the Life rank — one below Eagle Scout — said it felt good to come in first.
“I don’t really run races that much,” he said. “I play soccer, but I figured I’d give this a try.”
Sean said he still has to earn a few more merit badges and complete his service project before he can achieve Eagle Scout status.
Scoutmaster Jon Pitt said 67 boys from around the State College area are members of Troop 31. The troop is unique in that it has existed for more than 100 years under the same charter — St. Paul’s United Methodist Church — for that entire period.
Only five other troops in the nation can make that claim, he said.