The Y in Central Maryland Blog

Monday Mission Update

No Y summer camp experience is complete without our annual Cardboard Board Regatta, a sort of rite of passage at which Y campers from across the region converge at Camp Whippoorwill on the Magothy River in Pasadena to put to the test their competitive cardboard boat building and operational skills. It’s a wet, soggy, happy blast cleverly disguising the fundamentals of hands on scientific inquiry, teamwork and critical thinking so necessary to succeed in school and life. While the photos and news stories from last Thursday’s event below depict the fun, a quick peak into curriculum instructions to counselors (this one adapted for younger campers), sheds light on the bigger objectives underlying this hot, fun mess of day!


Title: Cardboard Boats

Curriculum: Science             

Description: Make a Cardboard Duct Tape Boats

Objective: Challenge Camper. Have fun.

Prep: Make example, fill bin with water

Materials: Corrugated Cardboard, Duct Tape (rolls), Ruler, Scissors, Water, Weights (Gems, Marbles, Pennies, Rocks)

1.   Apply It:

  • Test, fix and repeat as many times as possible
  • Compare and contrast the different designs
  • Debrief the building process by discussing what happened, how it affected the process and what participants would do differently if they had to do the project again.

2.   Variations:

  • What adaptations need to be made to make the boat float or not get soggy?
  • What other materials do you wish you had?
  • Which boat is able to hold the most items?
  • Which boat is able to hold the most weight?
  • Which boat lasts longest in the water?

The local news coverage showed some of the fun:  Reporter Amber Miller also tweeted from the event multiple times:

Thanks to the many Y volunteers and associates from around the region who came together to make this Y camp experience one more memorable chapter in a long and growing book that help us know why “It’s Deeper Here!” The truth is that the connections that are made, the fun, the learning and the inclusion that happen every day through Y experiences like the Cardboard Boat Regatta are all in a day’s work!  If only these lessons of having to work together and solve problems would carry over to some of our elected leaders.  One can only hope.  In fact, these young people give us all a lot of hope!All the best,


John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland


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