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Monday, May 2, 2016

We Igloo. Do You?

Monday, March 8, 2010

MARCUS - As you may remember from Winter 2007, the Greater Marcus Area Troop (GMAT) 113 of the Boy Scouts of America dug an 8-man snow cave into a drift next to the farm drive at the Hoefling Family farm south of town and camped overnight inside it. Everyone involved never once thought we could come up with something as fantastic as that in the dead of winter in Iowa again.

Until this year.

Members of the Greater Marcus Area Troop 113 of the Boy Scouts of America recently built an Igloo and camped overnight. Assistant Scoutmaster Judy Heidesch, left, along with Boy Scouts Jordan Gengler, Jerome Holmes, Kyle Davis, and Snickers the cat, stayed snug and warm in their Igloo at the Hoefling family farm. Photo contributed
Thanks to an idea and some research by Scout Master Bob Hoefling and a generous donation to the troop by First Trust and Savings Bank of Marcus, we believe we have topped ourselves in the winter achievements category.

Bob found a kit to build an igloo. Well that sounded like something GMAT 113 could do given enough snow and some time. Winter Camporee in Sharnberg Park near Everly was coming up quickly and two igloo kits were purchased. Then we just waited for the snow.

As you have undoubtedly noticed, we got some. In fact we got plenty! On Saturday, February 6 we knew conditions were right. It was time to try out the kits and see how tough igloo building was going to be.

It turned out to be quite an intense process and all the scouts worked most of the day to finish one. Two were started but only one was completed.

The kits allowed for several sizes with 11 feet being the largest. We settled on 10 feet and began.

With each row an adjustment is made and the angle of the wall starts sloping toward the inside more and more with each layer. When the walls are shoulder height on a grown man the blocks slope dangerously toward the inside. If the snow is packed properly the block will stay attached to the structure when the form is moved. Sometimes it isn't and the entire block had to be done again. And again.

For the last row to close up the igloo, the snow is shoveled on top of a sheet if plastic held up by the 'inside man' and packed down with shovels by some very tall scouts. Good thing we have them. Thanks Sawyer and Zach!

Then one just needs to push out the door. Since we built the igloo on top of the 3 feet of snow in the yard we decided to dig up through the snow underneath it. Then the archway was built over and around the doorway and we were finally finished. Bob was inside the igloo from start to finish. Once he came back we piled inside for a troop photo.

Jordan Gengler, Jerome Holmes, Kyle Davis, Snickers the cat and I all stayed inside it overnight. We earned our Polar Bear Patches because it was below freezing and we were 'camping' outside. It was the first one for all three of the boys but Snickers and I are both old hats at sleeping outside in the dead of winter.

The igloo is still standing in the yard of the Hoefling Family Farm south of town and you are welcomed to go see it. It is as solid as concrete by now.

Our thanks go out to our charter partner Little Sioux Corn Processors. We are also thankful to First Trust and Savings Bank for their very generous donation of the kits and to Jeffs, Casey's, and Pizza Ranch for the 'fuel' for the builders. We can't do it without the support of our community and these businesses are always willing to help us out. Be sure to thank and support them with your wallets.

What do you do with a used Igloo?

That's a great question. One I bet you never thought you would ask yourself. Me either.

So I asked Scoutmaster Hoefling since he has one on his front lawn. Of course he had a variety of answers and if you get a chance you should ask him for a couple of them, as most are quite entertaining.

I believe he is settling for my personal favorite:

Scoutmaster Bob's Blue Lips Bed and Br-r-reakfast.

Where, you are welcomed to climb in, on and around it and take as many photos as you please. It's a wonderful afternoon activity for the grandkids. After all, how many times have you been able to say you were inside an igloo in Iowa?

A small free-will donation will help secure financing for future frigid developments Or, for a larger free-will donation, you and a few of your closest friends can stretch out in arctic style and enjoy the great outdoors of Winterland in Iowa. Bob can be easily persuaded to tweak the breakfast menu to suit your requests and I can guarantee there will be something to warm you up for your drive home.

Be sure to call him at 712-376-2189.

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