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6th Annual Cardboard Canoe Race

Sponsored by the Forest Products Society (FPS) Student Chapter, School of Forest Resources, and Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, the 6th Annual Cardboard Canoe Race took place on Saturday, October 2.  For the second time, Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir at Bald Eagle State Park was the venue for the event.

Race rules specify that a canoe must be made from only uncoated cardboard and duct tape, and the tape can be used only to cover a seam, thus preventing a canoe from being completely coated in tape.  The Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation donated the cardboard for the event.

FPS members prepared a picnic lunch, including grilled burgers and hot dogs, for participants and spectators to enjoy while the canoes were being constructed. 

Six canoes, each constructed by a team of two, were entered into the race.   All but one, which capsized at the dock, successfully navigated to, around, and back from a buoy (actually a bucket!) that was anchored 30 or so yards away from the dock.

The paddlers were also cheered on by four Egyptian furniture producers who were visiting Penn State as part of a USDA Cochran Fellow trade mission.  They had two weeks of classroom training plus visits to numerous production facilities that gave them the knowledge to specify more of our wood products. They spent the weekend at the new Bald Eagle State park Nature Lodge to learn more about building with hardwoods and were thoroughly impressed with the beauty of the park and the engineering skills of the cardboard canoe race participants.

The Forest Products Society thanks everyone who made this event a successful and fun event, including the staff at Bald Eagle State Park, and Mike Powell who transported all the materials to and from the lake.