Go over the edge to help Scouts

Local News

You can rappel down the side of Rochester’s Kodak Tower to support the Scouts!

This year’s 21 Stories for Scouts is set for Friday, May 31 from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. Scout Executive/CEO Stephen Hoitt of the Seneca Waterways Council, Boy Scouts of America discussed the annual fundraiser and the new options being offered this year Wednesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“We’re going to rappel at dusk,” said Hoitt. “Normally we would’ve gone like 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We’re going to go about 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. We’ve added a third rope this year, so we have more rappellers. This will be the most rappellers we’ve ever had, so if we completely fill the event, 114 people will have the opportunity to rappel down the side of Kodak Tower.”

This will mark a decade of 21 Stories for Scouts. “Ten years ago we merged we Boy Scout Councils together,” explained Hoitt. “So Geneva and Rochester merged. In doing that, we had to look for a new fundraiser. What do we want to do? We connected with this company in Nova Scotia called Over The Edge. They do these extreme descents, rappelling events for different non-profits all over the country. We were, I think, the second Boy Scout Council to sign on, but now we’re the longest running with them to do that program. We started at First Federal Plaza. It was a wonderful experience there for the first eight years. Then last year it was switched over to Kodak Tower. We give individuals the opportunity to rappel down the outside of the building 300 feet. It’s an adrenaline rush event and I love the event because it really does exemplify what we do in Scouts. We really kind of push kids to go outside their comfort zone, to try new things. The experience that you and I have rappelling, which is definitely an adrenaline rush, is the same experience that an 11-year-old kid has on top of the climbing wall at camp. And so for a little bit, you get to be an 11-year-old kid again.”

Hoitt said the adrenaline rush also helps fund Scout programs. “All of the money we raise goes to help kids that couldn’t afford to be in the scouting program. Most of that goes to the City of Rochester, but it goes to kids all over our five-county area providing things like camperships, books, uniforms, registration fees, and even program support for leaders who need support running programs.”

News 8’s Josh Navarro will take part in the Media Rappel on Thursday, May 30. There’s still time for you to get involved too! “If you want to get involved, there are still spots left to rappel,” Hoitt said. “I think we have seven openings still. With that, you can go to the web site which is 21StoriesForScouts.org. You can sign up to rappel or you can sponsor one of the rappellers who are still trying to raise their $1,000 to get their spot secured, or even leave a goodwill testament, comments, to people who are rappelling.”

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