Cardboard Boat Races

May 26, 2021

Each year near the end of summer Royal Rangers outposts from across the Southern Missouri district gather on the shores of Stockton Lake for one of the most anticipated events of the year. The annual Cardboard Boat Regatta brings together leaders, boys, and families from across the district to witness a spectacular display of skill, craftsmanship, determination, and at times, complete disaster.


The Cardboard Boat Regatta is an event where outposts build boats out of standard corrugated cardboard and race them across the lake. The boats are crewed by a team of boys and powered by nothing but the boys themselves. Boats must be made entirely of cardboard although limited amounts of duct tape, glue, or similar material can also be used. Boats must race across an inlet of the lake and then pass along a stretch of shoreline where “friends,” competitors, or scoundrels from other outposts assail them with water balloons from the shore before reaching the finish line.


Trophies are awarded to the winners in each race. The coveted “Titanic Award” is given to the boat that sinks most magnificently, and there are usually many to choose from. Other features, such as a BBQ rib dinner and evening service, are also included.


A sample video of this event in 2014 can be found at this link:


If you would like more information on how your outpost, section, or district can organize and host a cardboard boat race, contact John Hicks, Southern Missouri district director, at [email protected].