The Gleaner

Scouts build picnic tables, skills, and funds

A decade since the youth group was last active, Ormstown Scouts are back with a bang. Along with volunteers Cory Ovans and Sahra Ross, fifteen youth aged 11 to 14 years have been meeting weekly since September. “It’s awesome!” exclaims Ovans, a former Ormstown Scout himself, about the return of the movement to his hometown. He notes that they started in the fall, “running all over the Valley,” before finding a regular meeting place at Chateauguay Valley Regional High School which he says thankfully, “has been really good to us.” Ovans also expressed gratitude for help provided by Huntingdon volunteer Ken Watson and Venturers Olive Watson and Makayla Krause.

After autumn activities, including a weekend at Dunn Memorial Camp, various hikes, and a visit to the Ormstown fire station, the troop was looking forward to sleeping in quinzhees (shelters made in large hollowed out piles of snow) on February 11. Though recent warm weather and rain washed away sleepover plans, the group still enjoyed a day of play, cooking lunch over a fire, and planning for the future.

From July 9 to 19, Ovans, Ross, and longtime Howick Scouter Cecile Antink will travel with the youth to Florida for the Central Florida Council 6th International Jamborette and a visit to Orlando’s Universal Studios. The Ormstown Lions Club and OHO Quilters have made donations to help with trip expenses while the Scouts have been busy with a variety of fundraisers. An online auction closed on February 20; a hundred items, including goods and services, were donated by local businesses and individuals. As of press deadline, bids totalled $2827 and counting.


Three young boys with a drill, wood planks in a school gym.
With late orders coming in on Saturday morning volunteers scrambled to buy more lumber so that the construction crew could keep the picnic table assembly line running Scouts took turns at different stations practicing new skills as they helped with various aspects of the building process PHOTO Lorelei Muller


To provide some hands-on experience while working on fundraising goals, the troop also undertook to build and sell picnic tables. Construction took place at the Ormstown Recreation Centre on February 18 where the youth were assisted by several volunteers including family, former Scout members and leaders, and the Huntingdon Venturers (who shared in a portion of the funds raised).

Fifteen tables were built to satisfy the needs of Dunn Memorial Camp and various individuals who placed orders. With picnic season on the horizon, if you realize you missed out, not to worry, another table-building session is in the plans.

With hardly enough time to sweep the sawdust out of the way, the Scouts donned their rollerblades for a 1970s themed evening which welcomed guests from the community for some fun and exercise. About the community rollerblading event, Ovans says, “We did it when I was in Scouts and it was a blast,” a sentiment echoed by many present on Saturday who expressed hopes that it will become a monthly event.

After their guests left, the Scouts spent the night at the recreation centre, enjoying popcorn and the 1985 film The Goonies before settling down for some much-needed sleep after a long day.

Plans are underway for a bottle drive on April 8. The Scout Seeds sale is ongoing until April 30; seed packets include various vegetables and flowers, and delivery is expected in early May.

For information about fundraisers or other activities, contact Cory Ovans at

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