Archive for the ‘story’ Category

This is the time of year when the unknown and unnatural walk the earth. When ghouls and monsters creep up to our lawns. When small boys and girls in costume knock on our front doors and say “trick or Treat!”  That is right. It is that Halloween time of year.

Scoutmaster Steve and Buttons decided to put together a special episode of Around The Scouting Campfire to celebrate this scary time of year. Each host tells a ghost story that you could use during your own campfire programs. Steve tells us about the cremation of Sam Magee. Buttons has a story about two Eagle Scouts who make a solemn oath. Don’t worry though. The stories are alright for the young listeners too.

Send us your emails. You can contact Buttons at You may contact Scoutmaster Steve at Please rate the show and/or leave a comment at the iTunes store.

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter at or .

Download episode #19 by clicking HERE.
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Show notes:
The Cremation of Sam Magee –
The Boy Scouts’ Oath –
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    Back in the 1980’s, when the troop was attending Crow Wing Scout Reservation for summer camp, the camp staff performed a skit that would become one of the Scouts, and one of mine, favorite skits. We call it the Radio Skit. You will need five people to be the announcers. It requires practice and great timing to pull off properly. Your audience will love it. Here is the script we use:

    On the way to the (meeting/outing/camp) tonight, we were listening to the radio, but we were having trouble keeping a single station on the air. The stations kept overlapping each other. Just as we starting getting interested in one thing the station would switch and something entirely different would come on. It sounded something like this….

    Are you missing something in your life? Do you always find yourself unprepared? Do you like camping and hiking in the great outdoors? If you do then join the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting today – it’s a lot more than…
    …a beautiful day at the county stadium were the (team name) are hosting the Twins. It looks like it will be a very close battle today as both teams are very strong and led by two great pitchers, Scott and (other team pitcher). The Twins will be at the plate first. Leading off the batting order will be…
    …meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, peas. And we will top it off with apple pie for desert. Okay ladies, get out your note pads and your cooking utensils. Listen carefully and you will learn how to prepare this scrumptious dish to please that hard working hungry husband of yours after a long day’s work at…
    Story time:
    …Fantasy land, where all of your dreams come true. Hello boys and girls. Today’s story is an old time favorite. It is about a famous little girl and her dear old grandmother who…
    …dirty, rotten, no good two bit, double crossing crook and when I get my hands on him I’ll pulverize him to a pulp, fit him to a pair of concrete shoes, and he will never be seen in my territory again. Even if the low down, dirty rat is…
    …the next batter at the plate for the Twins. Here’s the first pitch… It’s a ball, outside. The pitcher gets his signals. He winds up… Whoa! It’s a hard fast ball right down the pipe. Strike one. The count is one and one. The pitcher delivers again. The batter swings…
    …the meatloaf into the pan and fry for fifteen minutes or until brown. Now ladies, this next step is very crucial to the success of your meatloaf. If you don’t get it correctly…
    …I’ll bash your head in and make mash potatoes out of your face. So don’t mess up or I’ll send you to…
    …the Boy Scouts of America. Just imagine the fun you’ll have swimming, boating, hiking, and sitting around the campfire at night. Only you, the stars, the moon and…
    Story time:
    …Little Red Riding Hood”, said the wolf. “What do you have in your basket?” “Well, Mr. Wolf”, said Little Red Riding Hood, “I have…
    …two outs! Twins on first and second at the bottom of the third and they are down by two runs. They’ve got to have a hit with this batter or they’re…
    …meatloaf will be burnt, so be careful ladies, because burnt meatloaf can cause…
    …a home run! And that will put the Twins in the lead, 6 to 5, in the bottom of the sixth inning here at county stadium. Wow! What a change of events. This game has changed from a dull, typical pitchers battle to an…
    …afternoon of fun and adventure at the beautiful (campground name). And remember, as the Boy Scout motto states, Be Prepared to…
    …get your guts blown out if you double cross me again. I’ll put so many holes in you that you’ll look like a screen door. No one fools around with me except…
    …the Boy Scouts of America…
    …have struck out again, and boy is the (other team)’s manager giving it to the ump. I can just imagine saying…
    Story time:
    …My, what big eyes you have grandmother”, said Little Red Riding Hood. “The better to see you with my dear,” said the wolf. “And grandmother”, said Little Red Riding Hood, “what a big you have…
    …says the ump to the (other team)’s manager as he throws him out of the game. Well, Bob, it looks like the only thing that can save the (other team’s name) now is…
    …the Boy Scouts of America…
    …and your piping hot peas. By now your pie crust should be tender and flaky, just like …
    Story time:
    …Little Red Riding Hood was about to be gobbled up by the wicked old wolf. Suddenly, the door burst open, and the woodsman said…
    …you dirty bugger. I’ve got you dead to right now. Mess with my girl, will you? Well, no one messes with my girl and gets away with it. The only thing that can save you now is…
    …the Twins…
    …your crisp apple pie..
    Story time:
    …Little Red Riding Hood..
    …and the Boy Scouts of America.

    If yo would like to see this skit performed check out episode #70 of the Melrose Scout Production Podcast. Or, if you would like to listen to it while jogging or driving in your car download episode #12 of Around The Scouting Campfire.

    Also available on iTunes.

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      Late last night, on Christmas Eve, several of us from around the country joined Chris for his live “An Hour A Week” Christmas show. The chat room was very lively as we listened to Chris and the various Christmas music he was playing.

      He invited us to join him on the show, so I thought I would try reading the story “A Christmas Scout”. It is one of my favorite Scouting Christmas stories (not that there are that many too choose from). I recorded it while Chris was playing some music and sent him the mp3 file to use during his show.

      The first thing I noticed when the mp3 was playing is that it did not take long for the chat room to become pretty quiet. Nearly everyone stopped typing to listen to my reading. I must have done a decent job, because after it finished people started writing about how well I had done. Even a tear or two had falling by the end of the story. Immediately, a couple people asked for a copy of the mp3. Within minutes Chris had a copy available through the PTC Media site.

      After thinking about it this morning, I thought I should make it available through this blog also. If you would like to hear my reading of the story of the Christmas Scout which was written by Sam Bogan, all you have to do is click on this LINK.

      And one more thing… I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.

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        As Christmas approaches I have tried to find a new Boy Scout related Christmas story for you to read. There does not seem to be very many of them, which is not too surprising. But I did find one for you, thanks to the Cumberland Times of West Virginia. The story is called “A Lone Scout’s Christmas“. It was written in 1917 by Cyrus Townsend Brady as one story of a book titled “A Little Book For Christmas.” The main character is a Boy Scout who is stranded in a Midwest snowstorm when the passenger compartment of the train in which he is the only occupant becomes detached from the rest of the train on Christmas Eve.

        The story is a bit long to post as part of this blog, but here are the first several paragraphs of the story:

        Every boy likes snow on Christmas Day, but there is such a thing as too much of it. Henry Ives, alone in the long railroad coach, stared out of the clouded windows at the whirling mass of snow with feelings of dismay. It was the day before Christmas, almost Christmas Eve. Henry did not feel any too happy, indeed he had hard work to keep down a sob. His mother had died but a few weeks before and his father, the captain of a freighter on the Great Lakes, had decided, very reluctantly, to send him to his brother who had a big ranch in western Nebraska.

        Henry had never seen his uncle or his aunt. He did not know what kind of people they were. The loss of his mother had been a terrible blow to him and to be separated from his father had filled his cup of sorrow to the brim. His father’s work did not end with the close of navigation on the lakes, and he could not get away then although he promised to come and see Henry before the ice broke and traffic was resumed in the spring.

        The long journey from the little Ohio town on Lake Erie to western Nebraska had been without mishap. His uncle’s ranch lay far away from the main line of the railroad on the end of the branch. There was but one train a day upon it, and that was a mixed train. The coach in which Henry sat was attached to the end of a long string of freight cars. Travel was infrequent in that section of the country. On this day Henry was the only passenger.

        The train had been going up-grade for many miles and had just about reached the crest of the divide. Bucking the snow had become more and more difficult; several times the train had stopped. Sometimes the engine backed the train some distance to get headway to burst through the drift. So Henry thought nothing of it when the car came to a gentle stop.

        The all-day storm blew from the west and the front windows of the car were covered with snow so he could not see ahead. Some time before the conductor and rear brakeman had gone forward to help dig the engine out of the drift and they had not come back.

        Henry sat in silence for some time watching the whirling snow. He was sad; even the thought of the gifts of his father and friends in his trunk which stood in the baggage compartment of the car did not cheer him. More than all the Christmas gifts in the world, he wanted at that time his mother and father and friends.

        “It doesn’t look as though it was going to be a very merry Christmas for me,” he said aloud at last, and then feeling a little stiff from having sat still so long he got up and walked to the front of the car.

        It was warm and pleasant in the coach. The Baker heater was going at full blast and Henry noticed that there was plenty of coal. He tried to see out from the front door; but as he was too prudent to open it and let in the snow and cold he could make out nothing. The silence rather alarmed him. The train had never waited so long before.

        Then, suddenly, came the thought that something very unusual was wrong. He must get a look at the train ahead. He ran back to the rear door, opened it and standing on the leeward side, peered forward. The engine and freight cars were not there! All he saw was the deep cut filled nearly to the height of the car with snow.

        To read the rest of the story click on this LINK. By the way, this story is old enough to be in the public domain, so go ahead and use it in your troop and pack.

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          I do not know if you have heard or not, but Christmas will be here next week. It is only ten days away. Boy, am I glad I have all my Christmas shopping done and all the gift wrapping completed. Now I can kick back and relax, and maybe read a couple stories.

          Speaking of stories, here are a couple Scouting stories that feature Christmas themes. I wrote about them last year, so I am not going to post them again. However, I will give you the links so that you can bring them up quickly.

          The first story was written by a father of one of the Scouts who attended a Philmont trek in 1992. There was a contest at Santa Claus Camp and a few of us decided to enter it. Al wrote a great story. You can read it by clicking HERE. The article also includes the crew’s Philmont Twelve days of Christmas.

          The other story is one of my favorites about Christmas and Scouting. It was sent around the internet quite a bit last year. It is about a Boy Scout who learns about the true meaning of giving during the Christmas season. You can read it by clicking HERE.

          Have you heard of any other Christmas Scouting stories. Let me know about them by contacting me through this blog. Thanks.

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            A friend of mine sent me a story about a Japanese soldier and an American soldier meeting on the battlefield during World War II. The story takes quite a turn when they discover each had been a Boy Scout as a youth. Here is the story as it was sent to me:

            Kyoto, Japan, is a city of many temples, among those temples stands a statue somewhat different than its surroundings. It is a statue of two young men, an American Scout, and a Japanese Scout, clasping hands. How it came to be there is a story worth telling.

            Some of the worst fighting of World War II was in Okinawa. It was protracted, and bloody, and fought with fierce determination by both sides. In the midst of one of the battles, near the beach, a young American soldier fell wounded. As he lay there, bleeding and in pain, his vision out of focus, and about to lose consciousness, he saw a Japanese soldier standing over him, bayonet at the ready, poised to strike. He said afterwards he did not even know himself why he did what he then did. He was weak from blood loss and blacking out. But he raised his right hand in a familiar sign – the universally recognized Scout sign. Then he lost consciousness, expecting never to awake.

            He did wake, though.

            When he came to, he was in an American field hospital. His wounds had been dressed. And in his pocket was a note, written in Japanese. He was able to find someone to translate the note eventually, and this is what it said: “I could not bring myself to kill a fellow Scout.” The note also bore the name and address of the Japanese soldier who, instead of taking his life, had spared it, and tended to his wounds before moving on.

            When the war had ended, the young soldier was assigned to the occupation force. He went to find his savior at the first opportunity. He discovered that the Japanese soldier who had both spared and saved his life had died later in the fighting on Okinawa. But his family had survived, and the American became their friend and helped them in every way he could during his time in Japan When asked why, he explained what had occurred, and showed the note, which he still kept. The people were so touched by this story, that they erected a monument which stands in Kyoto today.

            It is a monument to our shared humanity – that in the midst of war and violence, of hatred and bloodshed, two young men found that they were in fact brothers. It is a monument to the ideals of Scouting – that even when thus deeply divided, Scouting is a link that joins us and encourages compassion, mercy, understanding, and peace. The statue stands among the temples of Kyoto, a monument to the spiritual values of the worldwide movement known as Scouting. It is also a monument to hope – the hope that if we can only recognize our common bonds, the world would be a better place.

            I really like this story. After reading it I went online and tried to find a picture of the statue. To my surprise, I could not find one. Even Google did not help me. So I have a quest for you, the readers of this blog. I would like to see a picture of this statue. Do you have one? Do you know were I could find one? If you do, would you contact me at this address?

            Thanks for your help.

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              I first read this tale years ago in a book of short stories. The title caught my attention, The Christmas Scout, so I just had to see what that was about. It turned out to be a great tale about a Boy Scout who does a great Good Deed for the unfortunate in his community. A couple years ago I read this story to the boys in my troop at our December court of honor. I debated with myself for the last week whether I should post this story here on the blog and finally decided it was worth it.

              By the way, I did not write this. It was written by Sam Bogan. I do not know if this is a true story or a fictional one, but to tell the truth, it really does not matter.

              The Christmas Scout

              In spite of the fun and laughter, 13 yr. old Frank Wilson was not happy. It was true, he had received all the presents he wanted, and he enjoyed the traditional Christmas Eve reunions with relatives for the purpose of exchanging gifts and good wishes………. but Frank was not happy because this was his first Christmas without his brother, Steve, who during the year, had been killed by a reckless driver. Frank missed his brother and the close companionship they had together.

              He said good-bye to this relatives, and explained to his parents that he was leaving a little early to see a friend, and from there he could walk home. Since it was cold outside, Frank put on his new plaid jacket. It was his FAVORITE gift. He placed the other presents on his new sled, then headed out, hoping to find the patrol leader of his Boy Scout troop. Frank always felt understood by him.

              Tho’ rich in wisdom, his leader lived in the Flats, the section of town where most of the poor lived. His patrol leader did odd jobs to help support his family. To Frank’s disappointment, his friend was not home.

              As Frank hiked down the street toward home, he caught glimpses of trees and decorations in many of the small houses. Then, thru one front window, he glimpsed a shabby room with limp stockings hanging over an empty fireplace. A woman was seated nearby….weeping.

              The stockings reminded him of the way he and his brother had always hung theirs side by side. The next morning, they would be bursting with presents. A sudden tho’t struck Frank–he had not done his “good deed” for the day. Before the impulse passed, he knocked on the door. “Yes?” the sad voice of a woman asked. Seeing his sled full of gifts, and assuming he was making a collection, she said, “I have no food or gifts for you. I have nothing for my own children.”

              “That’s not why I am here, ” Frank replied. “Please choose whatever presents you would like for your children from the sled.”

              “Why, God bless you!” the amazed woman answered gratefully. She selected some candies, a game, a toy airplane and a puzzle. When she took the Scout flashlight, Frank almost protested. Finally, the stockings were full.

              “Won’t you tell me your name?” she asked, as Frank was leaving.

              “Just call me the Christmas Scout,” he replied.

              The visit left Frank touched, and with an unexpected flicker of joy in his heart. He understood that his sorrow wasn’t the only sorrow in the world.

              Before he left the Flats, he had given away the rest of his gifts. His plaid jacket had gone to a shivering boy. Now, Frank trudged toward home, cold and uneasy. How could he explain to his parents that he had given his presents away?

              “Where are your presents, son? asked his father as Frank entered the house. “I gave them away,” he answered in a small voice.

              “The airplane from Aunt Susan? Your new coat from Grandma? Your flashlight?? We tho’t you were happy with your gifts.”

              “I was……very happy,” Frank said quietly.

              “But, Frank, how could you be so impulsive?” his mother asked. “How will we explain to the relatives who spent so much time and gave so much love shopping for you?”

              His father was firm. “You made your choice, Frank. We cannot afford any more presents.”

              With his brother gone, and his family disappointed in him, Frank suddenly felt dreadfully alone. He had not expected a reward for his generosity, for he knew that a good deed always should be its own reward. It would be tarnished otherwise. So he did not want his gifts back. However, he wondered if he would ever again recapture joy in his life. He tho’t he had this evening….but it had been fleeting. He thought of his brother…..and sobbed himself to sleep.

              The next morning, he came downstairs to find his parents listening to Christmas music on the radio. Then the announcer spoke:

              “Merry Christmas, everyone! The nicest Christmas story we have this morning comes from the Flats. A crippled boy down there has a new sled this morning left at his house by an anonymous teenage boy. Another youngster has a fine plaid jacket, and several families report that their children were made happy last night by gifts from a teenage lad who simply called himself the ‘Christmas Scout’. No one could identify him, but the children of the Flats claim that the Christmas Scout was a personal representative of old Santa Claus himself.

              Frank felt his father’s arms go around his shoulders, and he saw his mother smiling thru her tears.

              “Why didn’t you tell us, son? We didn’t understand. We are so proud of you.”

              The carols came over the air again, filling the room with music–“Praises sing to God the King, and peace on Earth goodwill to men.”

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                The Black Forest is an original campfire horror story developed in the 1980’s by the members of Melrose Troop 68. It all began with a couple of the Boy Scouts writing a poem while on a camping trip. The poem described the deaths of four people, each death occurring in a different manner. It was a short poem, but one that served well as the foundation for the story of The Black Forest.

                The story changes a little each time I tell it to the troop, but the basic plot remains the same. If I am tired and not really in the mood the story is quicker, shorter. On one of those nights when I am in a groove, then look out! New bits may be added to the storyline and the details become more graphic. The television of the mind can really go into overdrive during one of those evenings.

                The story opens with George, the central character, when he receives a notice that a distant, nearly unknown relative has died and left him a cabin located deep in a remote wilderness area. George, his brother, and his parents decide to pack up, drive the couple hundred miles, and spend the weekend at the cabin that they have never been to before.

                As they near the forest they drive into a huge thunderstorm. The downpour cuts the visibility as the father carefully drives the car through the thickening forest. The dirt road becomes so narrow and and overgrown with weeds that it appears to be nothing more then a wide animal trail.

                As the family finally arrives at the cabin the rain is coming down so hard that the group almost expects to see an ark float by the ravine located about fifty yards away from the building. At least the nearly continuous lightning helps to light the way as they unload the car of supplies, although the thunder makes it difficult to carry on any sort of conversation.

                Luckily, the four room cabin has electricity and light as the family begins to unpack the groceries, bedding, and clothing. The rooms consist of two small bedrooms, a small bathroom, and a larger great room which seems to take half of the cabin. Toward the end of the great room is a small kitchenette. It would be a cozy little getaway if the weather would cooperate.

                Suddenly, lightning strikes a tree near the cabin. The thunder rattles the windows to nearly the breaking point. As the winds howls around the cottage, the family hears a tree crash to the ground. And the house goes dark as the electricity goes out.

                As the story continues the members of the family leave the relative safety of the cabin, one by one. One by one, they disappear. Soon George finds himself alone in this dark cabin in the middle of the wilderness during a storm to end all storms. George finally makes a decision and….

                Sorry to cut the story short, but you really did not expect me to write the whole thing in this blog, did you? But now that I have your attention I would like to take a moment to wish you a happy and safe Halloween!

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