Children and Youth

200 Boy Scouts to Build and Launch Rockets

Boy Scouts will have a day of activities at San Benito High School for the "Rocket Into Scouting" event on Saturday

More than 200 boys, ages 5 to 13, are expected to blast off during “Rocket into Scouting,” a fun-filled day on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to build and launch rockets at the San Benito High School soccer fields.

“This is the very first year we’re doing this,” said David Westrick, Hollister’s chief of police and Boy Scout chairman for the San Benito County District for the past two years. “We, as a group, as Boy Scouts of America in San Benito County, decided we wanted to think outside the box and try something that was a little more interesting. What’s more fun than building model rockets and shooting them off? We thought it would be a great draw and a lot of fun the boys.”

Westrick said each boy will be given a rocket motor and rocket body to assemble under adult supervision. Then they will take the rocket to one of several launch pads.

“It’s an event designed to have fun, but it’s also to increase the number of boys in scouting in our county,” he said. “There will also be other events like a fully functional pinewood derby racetrack. We want to show kids who are not involved in scouting some of the fun things we do.”

There will be troops of boys who will answer questions about camping and other events with which the parents can also be involved. Westrick said the district also offers Exploring and Venturing programs for boys and girls older than 13.

“I think because the program is pretty unique there will be a lot of interest in it,” he said. “It’s only about $5 a plate for lunch. It’s a really good program to get boys involved, but also to our scouts as well to come out and fellowship with each other. We’re always in a mode to attract leaders, former scouts or those who have kids in scouting. We’re always trying to develop the next group of leaders.”

The goal, Westrick said, is to have a rocket for every boy who shows up, which represents a considerable investment, but a worthwhile one.

“We want to have these kids enjoy a robust program,” he said. “For us to do that you have to make an investment in these kids. They are our community leaders for the next generation.”

For more information, visit the Boy Scouts of America, San Benito County District Facebook page at

John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a freelance photojournalist with additional experience as a copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter, and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer, having worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John worked as a scriptwriting consultant, and his own script, "God's Club," was produced and released in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime, which are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: [email protected]