The Marriott Scout Service Center was proud to host the annual Akela Chess Classic this February, as Cubs, SBSA and STEM Scouts took on the fun and challenge of chess in great stride! At the SBSA event alone, over 11 Districts and 22 registered – a great representation of NCAC.
The youth demonstrated incredible sportsmanship, perseverance, and chess knowledge. For the SBSA youth working on the Chess Merit Badge, Mr. Roger Claff, Tournament Director even offered chess notation sheets. A number of SBSA youth took him up on it, and we surely may see some chess aficionados go on to earn the Designed to Crunch Nova.
The tournament has become a banner event for NCAC STEM, with its success owed to the dedication of Powhatan STEM Leader Mr. Roger Claff. For over 2 decades, Mr. Claff has perfected the tournament to a point where even his inspiring scoutmaster minute about winners with a journey is requested by many youth after the tournament! Last year the tournament was not held owing to covid, but scouts benefited from the return of this annual tradition of fun and challenge.
- Roger Claff, Tournament Director, for conceptualizing the Chess Belt Loop decades ago, developing a tournament nearly 2 decades ago, and evangelizing it into a Council Classic.
- Ellen Claff, for her steadfast support and stepping in as Tournament Director whenever needed for double proctoring!
- Michael Hanson, who drove from Powhatan to NCAC to serve as the proctor of both events! He represented STEM Scouts with the double uniform of a Class A + lab coat.
- Jim Boyce from Potomac and Bill Wacek from Powhatan, who also served as proctors throughout the SBSA tournament, to help ensure double proctoring of the event.
- Susan Plano-Faber from the NCAC STEM Committee for educating waiting parents about the many STEM opportunities across NCAC!
- Peter Snow of Snow’s Chess Academy, for loaning all of the chess sets/boards to make this tournament a reality for so many consecutive years.
In between tournament rounds, youth played friendly chess games, practicing, sharing tips, having fun, and making friends. Waiting parents also were able to explore the MSSC HQ and learn about STEM activities across NCAC. Parents flipped thru the DC STEM Trek Guide, learned about the Council PWD and STEM Scouts. For more information about STEM events, please visit our STEM Page and Facebook page.