Dabbling with Dibbles

By Beacon Staff

On Saturday, Boy Scout Troops from Columbia Falls, Whitefish and Kalispell got together with the Montana Conservation Corps for a conservation project at Grizzly Base Camp between Creston and Bigfork.

360 tree seedlings were planted in a continuing conservation project managed by Society of American Foresters (SAF) member Carl Sobczak at the Grizzly Base Camp tree farm. Carl’s wife Heidi is also forestry professional and has been supervising and training the boys to plant seedlings properly over the last two years.

In addition to boys from troop 41 (Columbia Falls), 36 (Whitefish), 1 and 73 (both from Kalispell), the Cub Scouts from Pack 101 in Columbia Falls and their parents joined in the fun.

Boy Scouts range in age from 11 to 18, while Cub Scouts are from 6 to 10. Adding to that mix was at least one parent for each of the Cubs and a Suburban load of Montana Conservation Corps volunteers. The MCC team, all in their 20’s, supervised the teams, which matched up an older Boy Scout with a young Cub Scout and his parent.

It made for a fun time for all, with the older boys helping the younger ones, the parents watching and helping and the MCC team members supervising a group of teams.

In less than two hours, all 360 trees were in the ground.

Almost forgot – a dibble is the metal planting tool you see in a couple of the pictures. Think “pogo stick with a pointed hoe on the end”.

Finally, the photos:

Carl and Heidi Sobczak pass out seedlings to a crowd of anxious boys.


Taking great care of seedlings while sharing the fun with a young Cub Scout.


Dad hams it up for his boys’ photo.


A MCC volunteer takes on another volunteer duty – picking the burrs out of Jacob’s hair.


While under the watchful eye of a curious onlooker, Carl Sobczak sprays a planted seedling with an rather unpleasant smelling mixture that keeps the deer away until the tree has a chance to take root.


Andrew and his new friend plant a seedling near the shore of a spring-fed pond.


Father and son plant a seedling.


A young Cub Scout takes a well-deserved rest.


Mom basks in the joy of a well-done planting.


Columbia Falls Pack 101 Cubmaster Rich Wicks and 2 Cub Scouts are the last in the line of boys heading up the hill for the Cubs’ graduation ceremony after the planting is done.

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