21 Stories For Scouts Descends on Rochester for 8th Year

By on May 15, 2017

Annual rappelling event supports youth development programs 

Seneca Waterways Council Boy Scouts of America’s 8th annual 21 Stories For Scouts rappelling event will return to downtown Rochester on Friday, May 19, 2017.  Participants will rappel down 309 feet (21 stories) from the roof of the First Federal Building.  This unique “extreme” fundraising event is open to the community. Almost anyone, 14 or older, who wants the thrill of a lifetime and enjoys helping the community, can take the challenge and rappel 21 stories down the First Federal Building.

All participants must pre-register online at www.21storiesforscouts.org  and raise $1,000 in either a single contribution or through collected pledges. For a parent/child team to rappel together, it’s $1,500 for the experience.  A corporate team with five rappellers can take to the ropes for $4,000.

“Registrations have already begun and nearly half the available spots are filled,” said Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn who is chairing this year’s event. O’Flynn who has rappelled twice added, “The goal for this year’s event is to raise $88,000.”

Event officials also announced they have partnered with corporate sponsor, RG&E/NYSEG for this year’s event.  “RG&E is excited to take part of the 21 Stories for Scouts program,” said Carl Taylor Vice President, Customer Service.  “Our company is dedicated to supporting agencies that provide essential services for youth throughout the Greater Rochester area.”

Scouting provides opportunities for personal growth, character development, and leadership training for nearly 10,600 youth in over 450 Scouting programs across Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates Counties including urban Scouting programs serving nearly 1,233 youth in the City of Rochester including 36 after school programs. Proceeds from the event support the council’s ability to keep Scouting available and affordable to all families regardless of economic or social background.  Through fundraising support, the council granted over $35,000 in financial aid last year enabling over 640 boys to attend camp who might not otherwise have been able to afford it.

Event organizers noted that there are many ways to participate and make a difference in a Scout’s life:  be a rappeller, sponsor a rappeller, rappel as a company team, Toss Your Boss, or make a general donation.  Companies are also encouraged to participate with employee teams of five or more rappellers and use the event as a team building opportunity.  The team goes through training together and will share a common experience through their rappel.   To learn more, sign up or to sponsor someone, visit www.21storiesforscouts.org.

Stephen Hoitt, Seneca Waterways Council Scout Executive/CEO remarked that eight years ago, the council looked to break away from the traditional fundraisers and host one that more closely identified with Scouting. Rappelling was a great fit as it is something Scouts do at camp, Hoitt added, but it was more about the impact of the experience on the individual.  “It challenges you to push beyond your boundaries to accomplish something you didn’t think you could.” said Hoitt. “When an 11-year old Scout is standing at the top of a 30-foot climbing wall at camp, he feels anxious and doubts his abilities. But by challenging himself, and with encouragement, he gains self-confidence in realizing that nothing is out of his reach if he just tries.  It’s no different for an adult preparing to rappel 309 feet!  There is trepidation yet exhilaration at the accomplishment of overcoming barriers that may hold you back from being successful.”

Seneca Waterways Council was one of the first Boy Scout Councils in the country to host an extreme rappelling event with Over The Edge, a Canadian company that organizes extreme rappelling events throughout North America.  Seneca Waterways Council is also currently the longest running Scout council to offer this experience.

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About Seneca Waterways Council – Seneca Waterways Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves the youth in Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca and Yates Counties. The Council provides an educational program for boys and young adult men and women to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness. More information about Seneca Waterways Council is available at  www.senecawaterways.org.

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Photo by Karen Fien

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