CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Team building and critical thinking skills are important whether it’s at work or school.
Sophomores at South Range High School get out of the classroom one day a year to develop those skills through a wild water event.
On Monday, more than 20 boats lined up along the reservoir behind the old South Range football stadium for the 22nd annual Raider Regatta.
The boats are built out of only cardboard and duct tape.
“The Incredibles” was the first boat in the water and set an incredible pace.
The idea is to carry two to six people across the lake and back.
The boat “Don’t Look Down” started having trouble in the water.
“I was scared we were going to go down,” said Don’t Look Down member Seth Gavalier.
Gavalier and his teammates didn’t want to sink. They pulled on the rope as fast as they could to return to shore.
“The back wall of the boat started to pull down towards the water and the base wasn’t holding up too well,” Gavalier said.
The competition is part of an English class but was designed to be cross-curricular, so it also includes math, chemistry and art skills — and just as important, getting the students to work together.
“They may not, if they get wet, think that they succeeded, but they have something, they have a product to show and they’ve had fun doing it,” said South Range English teacher Laura Elder.
That showed up when “The Hippie Van” was in the water. All of a sudden, member Alexa Rhoton fell out of the boat and was left swimming back to shore, alone.
“I don’t know. I started leaning back and I just flipped, that’s pretty much what happened. I was prepared. It’s pretty brutal. I thought we were going to win,” she said.
The Raider Regatta was also added as an off-campus learning tool. It teaches team building, problem solving and a range of simple skills the students will use in college or just down the road in life.
“They want people who can be part of a team and who can problem solve and come up with creative ways to do things in that group team manor,” Elder said.
“Stay prepared. Don’t expect anything. Just have fun,” Rhoton said.
Monday was the ultimate test for the boats, but the competition is not over. Awards will be given out later this week, including best design, best costumes, even “The Titanic Award” for the best unintentional sink.
The ultimate award is best in show, and the students on that boat will get to judge next year’s Regatta.