Arnold Packaging Sponsors the McDonogh School’s Annual Cardboard Boat Race

For 27 years, Arnold Packaging was unknowingly part of a longstanding rite of passage for the high schoolers of the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md. These students are tasked every May with the challenge of constructing a functional boat with just five items:

  • Nine sheets of 10′ by 5’8″ double-wall corrugated sheets of cardboard
  • Hot glue
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Packing tape
  • Water-based latex exterior primer and paint

Eric Conn, who is the head of the science department at McDonogh, contacted Arnold Packaging in the spring of 2016 to find out if they would like to sponsor the school’s 27th annual race. That’s the big day when the boats are launched into the McDonogh duck pond in front of an audience of about 1,300 students, parents and staff.

Conn mentioned that the school had been purchasing corrugated cardboard from Arnold Packaging since the tradition began.

When Paul Appel, Vice President of Sales, heard that, he eagerly suggested that Arnold Packaging donate the double-wall corrugated cardboard, along with 20 new lifejackets for the rowers of each team for the 2016 race.

This year, Arnold Packaging again donated about $1,200 of cardboard in support of the 14 participating teams.

“It’s easy for a company to get caught up in the day-to-day sales of their product, so when we saw this opportunity to support a Baltimore-area school we jumped in right away.”

About 80 students competed this year for awards that included speed, engineering, craftsmanship, best artwork, max payload, most outrageous concept and the coveted BOB designation (best overall boat).