This year the Boy Scouts Seneca Waterways Council is moving its popular 21 Stories for Scouts rappelling event to Kodak Tower in Rochester on Thursday and Friday, May 17 and 18.
Scout Executive/CEO Stephen Hoitt and News 8 Meteorologist James Gilbert, who will be part of the media contingent which rappels on Thursday, discussed the event.
“We’ve been rappelling at the First Federal Building for the prior eight years, and this year we’ve moved to Kodak Tower,” noted Hoitt. “It is an exciting opportunity. It’s an iconic building in Rochester, and obviously everything Kodak means for Rochester. It’ll be an interesting opportunity for those who want to do it. We’re pretty much sold out for the event this year, which is exciting. It’s the first time we’ve sold out that early. We’ll have 96 people rappelling on Friday, though some of them are still trying to raise their money to get their spot secured. We do have a wait list in case someone doesn’t. They’ll be 96 people rappelling and they’ll be rappelling all day on Friday.”
Gilbert acknowledged he’s never done anything like this before, but he’s ready. “No, definitely not! I’ve looked over cliffs, but that’s about it. I’ve never gone over, what feels like a cliff, which is the Kodak Building. I’m looking forward to it. We’re ensured that we’ll be safe, although I may be one of the first to go, it seems like the ropes will be tested, so I should be okay.”
Hoitt said the idea behind the thrilling fundraiser was to create some of the excitement scouts feel during their activities. “Nine years ago when we merged our Scout Councils together, we were looking for a new fundraiser and we were trying to come up with something that was really kind of unique. We clicked on this ‘Extreme Descent Rappelling’ event idea, because it really exemplifies what we do in Boys Scouts. When a kid goes — twelve-years-old — goes to summer camp and he gets to that thirty-foot climbing wall, that adrenaline rush, and that fear of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, it is no different than what James or I or anybody would have rappelling over the side of Kodak Tower. For a chance, you get to be a twelve-year-old kid again and have that moment as an adult, and we get to raise some money to help kids who can’t afford the scout program.”
There’s still time to support this unique and important fundraiser. Click here to learn more about 21 Stories for Scouts.