Putting ‘Survivor’ skills to good usePublished 11:44pm Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
If any of the Boy Scouts from Troop 579 in Niles make it onto the reality show “Survivor,” they will have a distinct advantage, according to their troop leader Brian Wozniak.
The troop, along with troop 550 from Brandywine, 593 from Edwardsburg and 744 from Elkhart, built a massive wooden suspension bridge at the 100th anniversary Boy Scout Council Jamboree at the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds last weekend.
The troops, made up of 11- to 17-year-old boys, used 126 2-by-10-foot pieces of wood and more than a mile and a half of rope to construct the bridge.
“Pioneering is a dying skill,” Wozniak said. “You teach a kid how to do this and if he’s lucky enough to get on ‘Survivor,’ he’ll go far.”
Wozniak also said it was a real confidence booster for the boys, who tackled the project over the course of one week with six weeks planning beforehand.
“It was a massive project, but it shows them that they can do it,” he said.
The bridge was built in honor of local scouting legend, Richard Dunnuck, who passed away at the end of last year.
Dunnuck was involved with Boy Scouts locally for 65 years, both with Niles Troop 550 and a South Bend troop. Twenty scouts became Eagle Scouts under his watch.
He always wanted to see a project like this completed, so the scouts built it in his honor and called it “Dunnuck’s Dream.”
The troops are planning on reconstructing the bridge for the Apple Festival in September.