Scary Scouts keep haunted forest tradition alive

Brothers David and Jonathan Liszenski are the images of terror at the Boy Scout haunted forest in Yukon. (Photo by Mindy Ragan Wood)

By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – Yukon Boy Scouts are showing people a scary good time while also raising money money for the troop’s expenses.

The haunted forest tour is located in the woods behind Yukon Church, 11618 NW 10th Street.

Guests can wander down a trail of terror where howling winds and ghoulish characters await. The haunted forest is open every night through October 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 on weekdays and until 10 p.m. on Saturday night and Halloween night.

Admission is $8 for those age 12 and older, $5 for under age 12, and free for ages two and under.

The troop was founded 30 years ago and has been putting on the haunted forest show for 26 years in various locations. This year is the first time they will be set up in the woods near the Yukon Church. The lot is owned by Lutheran Resurrection Church and gave the troop permission to use the acreage, saving the troop an inexpensive insurance policy they might have had to pay elsewhere.

“This is our main fundraiser,” volunteer Robert Green said. “We raise about $2,200.”
Scout Master Richard Trevor said the funds go toward expenses throughout the year.
“Every year we have to buy tents,” he said. “We have summer camp, and meetings, and that can be expensive especially when it’s out of state.”

For 35 years, Trevor has been a scout master and he said it might surprise some people to know not much has changed over the years.

“Boys are still boys and they want to be outdoors and do stuff. They want to learn,” he said. “We teach them leadership and character building.”

Teaching leadership includes letting the boys plan and conduct as many activities as possible with some supervision from adults.

The troop has accumulated various items for the haunted forest over the years including a casket, Halloween props, chairs with vintage lighting, light electrical equipment, and costumes for the tour. There are 30 boys in the troop.

Brothers David and Jonathan Leszeski said they enjoy scouting and they are enjoying the haunted forest.

“What makes me like scouting more is when I learn something,” David said. “This (project) is fun. Even though there were only three groups last night, I scared two of them and they screamed at the top of their lungs.”

Jonathan said he enjoyed learning how to use a compass and a map, and both boys said they love camping. Scaring people has also been fun for Jonathan, who revealed his alter ego on the forest trail.

“I was the one covered in blood,” he said. “It was pretty cold last night, but tonight I’m wearing this rob so I think I’ll be warmer.”