Boy Scouts Do Their Best

By Darlinda McDonald

The Boy Scout motto begins with “On my honor, I will do my best…” and that is just what Boy Scout Troop 45 from Sharpsville, PA did at the Bill Rudge Ministries Ultimate Obstacle Course this week.

DSC_0006They began their evening with a salute to the flag before Bill Rudge led them through the multi-faceted course. Troop Leaders and others aided the scouts as they faced a variety of physical challenges. The scouts did their very best as they tested their arm strength on the monkey bars, discovered their agility jumping and running through the tires, found their balance on the balance beam, and were DSC_0034challenged with different exercises on the stumps and logs. They worked as a team when they helped each other scale the wall and joined together in the fun “chariot race.”

Before heading to the campfire to enjoy some hotdogs, the scouts sat in a circle attentively as Bill talked with them about how the skills they used on the obstacle course, such as diligence DSC_0068and determination, could be used in their life.




Volunteer Aids in Obstacle Course Expansion

By Bill Rudge


Dick Hetrick cuts tree trunks for the new Obstacle Course stations.

Dick Hetrick volunteered more than a week of his time and talents to take down several trees, then cut up the trunks and branches to build several new stations for the Obstacle Course at Bill Rudge Ministries.

The Obstacle Course has provided many opportunities to train sports teams, youth groups, church groups, military personnel, soldiers, sailors, new recruits preparing for boot camp, groups preparing for mission trips, Boy Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, as well as to challenge individual children, teens and adults. Bill Rudge also incorporates innovative sports, relay races, and games (several of which have been published in various magazines), as well as team building and individual challenges to develop strength, balance, courage, determination and self-control.


Facing a Challenge

By Darlinda McDonald

In June, many groups and individuals were challenged by the obstacle course at Bill Rudge Ministries. It was a delight to see the diversity within each group, from young people who were athletically gifted to those who looked at the obstacle course with apprehension. Several of Bill’s grandchildren assisted the groups through the course.

As Bill gave the instructions, he took the opportunity to help the young people see attitudes (such as courage, determination, confidence, etc.) that could help them navigate the course. All the youth met the challenges with great effort but one lesson was especially highlighted when one of the smallest boys volunteered first to scale the course’s 7-foot wall.

DSC_0064_2With great determination, this young Boy Scout valiantly ran and leaped toward the top of the wall repeatedly. After finally realizing he couldn’t reach his goal alone, the other Boy Scouts boosted him up and over. This encouraged others to try. In addition, this same young teen accepted the ultimate challenge of breaking the record for crossing the large monkey bars as many times as possible. He fell short of this goal also but gave it all he had. Like David facing Goliath, he did not let the size of the challenge deter him. As Christians, we, too, can face challenges with courage and determination because the “battle belongs to the Lord.”


The youth groups, from the Assembly of God and Neshannock Alliance, faced two challenges the day they came. One was navigating the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course on an exceptionally hot and muggy morning. The second was a five-hour workday at the ministry grounds in the hot sun. They weed-whacked and pulled weeds, raked and picked up sticks and debris, washed windows, trimmed tree branches and cut them up and burned them, cleaned up the obstacle course area, and power-washed two decks and furniture as well as the side of the ministry center. We are so appreciative they chose our ministry for their workday project. Because of what they accomplished, the time we had to minister to others was multiplied.


Right after the youth group work was done, two visitors from the military arrived to look at the obstacle course. They were most impressed and asked to schedule troops to train at BRM. Many other groups and individuals already have (or will) take on the challenge of the obstacle course this summer.