Photo by Scott Franz
Charlie Smith clears weeds on the Stanko Ranch on Sunday as part of a Boy Scout Troop 194 community service project. Smith and other scouts spent the day helping prepare the Steamboat Stock Dog Challenge arena.
Steamboat Springs After spending more than three hours batting away weeds and hammering on t-poles at the Stanko Ranch on Sunday afternoon, Boy Scout Christian Paulus said what many of his fellow scouts already had declared earlier in the day.
“It was hot and it was tiring, but it was worth it,” Paulus said.
Paulus and a dozen other scouts from Troop 194 spent Sunday afternoon working on a community service project where they learned how many hours it takes to give the Steamboat Stock Dog Challenge’s contestants a playing ground.
On Saturday, the open arena they helped groom at the ranch west of Steamboat will host sheep herding dogs from across the country in an annual competition.
“I think a big part of scouting is the community service,” scout master Dan Ragan said as he watched his scouts finish mowing grass and help set up gates that will hold the sheep in. “I’m glad to see they’re out here working together and getting a taste of labor.”
Evidence of the boys’ progress was easy to see from a large hill that will provide a spectators with a vantage point of this weekend’s sheep herding activities. The hum of lawnmowers and bushwhackers were only interrupted by the sounds of hammers that pushed gates and poles that make up the open arena into the earth.
Wilder Gray, 12, who was clearing the weeds that lined a bridge that crossed an irrigation ditch on the property, said the work was difficult but worthwhile.
“It teaches us discipline and other things,” he said.
Sunday’s workday was just one of several projects this summer that had the scouts pitching in to help a certain part of the community. In June, the troop helped plant about 600 trees on Emerald Mountain during ReTree Steamboat. Last month, they put on a pancake breakfast for Humble Ranch, and next week, they’ll help man the Stock Dog Challenge.
Stock Dog Challenge organizer Mariane Sasak, who spent much of Sunday helping coordinate the scouts’ volunteer efforts, said she’s used to setting up for the event mostly by herself.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be because I’ve never had so much help before,” she said. “Having all these guys here has made this set up process a lot easier than it has been before.”
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email ScottFranz@SteamboatToday.com