Archive for the ‘campfire’ Category


Boy Scout skit: Is It Time Yet?

Boy Scout Troop 68 held its 2019 Laughs For Lunch Show on Saturday, January 26, at the Melrose High School auditorium. The hour long campfire-style program began at 1:00 in the afternoon. Over 100 people attended to watch the Scouts perform songs and skits. The Scouts did a great job and the audience had a lot of laughs. Many audience members said they really enjoyed the show and would come back for another one.

This was the current troop’s second annual show, but it was the troop’s fourteenth program. The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 held their first show in January 1996. They held twelve shows over a thirteen year period. The troop needed to put the show on hold when membership dropped too low. With membership increasing once again the boys decided it was time to bring back the program.

As an adult Boy Scout leader I see several benefits for the Scouts who perform for these shows. The first, of course, is that the Scouts learn a lot of different songs and skits that they can then choose from when they are at summer camp or a camporee. For example, this year’s show contained eighteen songs and skits of which fifteen were new to the Scouts.

A second benefit of the show is the teamwork needed to carry out this type of program. Not only does each Scout need to learn his own part of each skit or song in which they participate but they also work together as a troop to do it well as they can so that they can tickle the audience’s funny bone. Scouts also help each other during the more difficult portions.

The third benefit is it sometimes forces the Scouts to learn how to ad lib and think fast on their feet. If your are involved with Scouting you know that many skits only have a basic premise and a good punchline. Much of the skit is made up by the Scouts acting in the short play. Add a few audience members and you can never be sure you know what is going to happen. A Scout has to think quick to use anything that could happen on the stage.

A fourth benefit is a big one. The Scout learns skills in public speaking. Many adults have a fear of public speaking. Imagine being an eleven year old Boy Scout on a stage performing a silly sketch in front of a hundred people. Not only do the new Scouts rise to the challenge during their first show, they begin to look for bigger parts during the future shows. Think about it for a moment. If a boy learns to overcome his stage fright and be silly on a stage when they are young, it will be much easier to speak in front of a group of people as they get older.

The fifth benefit almost does not need to be stated, but I will. The Boy Scouts have FUN while doing the show. The more the audience giggles and laughs, the more fun the Scouts have, and the harder they try to perform well. This is the reason the troop has done fourteen Laughs for Lunch Shows. And it will be the main reason for doing more shows in the future.

Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 became well known locally for performing campfire songs and skits in the 1980s and 1990s. The scouts had a great time performing and started getting good at creating revised and new songs and skits. The troop was even asked to chair a district Camporee campfire and did a fantastic job.

In 1996, the troop took their love of campfire programs to the next level. The troop decided to create a two hour campfire style show to be held at the Melrose high school auditorium. The show would be open to the public. The Scouts asked people to bring a nonperishable food item for the local food shelf. Thus the name Laughs For Lunch was created. The troop would provide the laughs as the audience members brought the lunch for those in need. It turned into a nice food drive.

The Laughs For Lunch show became a tradition that lasted for 13 years. While most of the audience were family members and friends of troop members, there were also people from neighboring towns. Boy Scouts of other troops would attend, including a troop from the Twin Cities who attended for a couple of years.

As Troop membership began to decline through the early 2000’s we found it more difficult to keep the show going each year. I believe the final show was held in January 2008. It was sad to see the tradition come to an end.

Membership in both the Cub Scout pack and the Boy Scout troop begin increasing once again in the mid 2010’s. During the troop’s yearly program planning session held in August 2017, the youth leadership decided to bring back the Laughs For Lunch Show. Both the committee chairperson and I were glad to see it returned to the schedule.

Bringing the show back would be a challenge. Over eight years had gone by since the last show. Not one of the current Boy Scouts were members of the troop when the last show was held. Only three members of the adult leadership were still involved with the troop. The scouts would have to learn nearly everything, both the skits and the songs.

As planning for the 2018 show began we quickly decided to cut the program down to an hour long. This proved to be a smart decision since we would only have four practice meetings of two hours each to prepare. The Scouts worked hard learning the songs and skits. They did great on the day of the show. The Boy Scouts and the audience had a great time.

When the patrol leader council held their yearly planning session last August they scheduled another Laughs For Lunch Show for January 26, 2019. The performing bug had bit the Scouts and they were ready to do a second show.

On Sunday, December 30, troop members got together to plan this month’s new show. And I do mean new. Nearly every skit and song would be new to the current Boy Scouts, similar to how it was with last year’s show. They also decided to lengthen the show by adding a few more songs and skits. The 2019 show could end up about 90 minutes long.

Like I mentioned earlier, there will only be four practices again to prepare. Each practice will be two hours long. The Scouts will have to work hard, but if previous years are any indication they will do very well and have another successful Laughs For Lunch Show.

Most Boy Scouts realize very quickly when they start camping with a troop, that if they want a campfire in the evening they better prepare the firewood during the day. If the Scout does not find and cut the wood needed early on his campfire will be a very small and short lived one. The darkness comes sooner and becomes thicker.  (Dum, dum, dum)

Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, is not one who shuns his duties on a troop outing. He loves to sit around an evening campfire as much as the next guy does. He knows that when it is his turn to prepare the campfire he needs to take the time to gather the fuel, and then cut it into pieces so that it is ready to be used. He knows how to use the tools in a safe area, and to use them without any other Scouts in harm’s way.

When the patrol leader council of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 planned their year long program in August 2017 they decided to bring back an event that had not been on the program since 2008. They decided to add the Laughs For Lunch Show back into their schedule!

The Laughs For Lunch Show was based on skits and songs seen at summer camps across the country. The Scouts would plan a two hour show which featured their favorites, along with several they developed themselves. They would practice during their January troop meetings, which were two hours instead of the usual 90 minutes. The last practice was held during the afternoon before the evening show. I was always amazed that the troop could pull this off with only four practices totally about eight hours.

The troop member ship began declining during the 200o’s so Troop 68 held their last Laughs For Lunch Show in January 2008. A few former members agreed to come back for the last show to fill in the two hour program.

The troop has begun to see an increase in membership recently so they thought it was a good time to bring back the show. There would need to be a few changes to the show since we still had a small troop that was somewhat inexperienced.

The troop would still hold the show at the end of January and use that month’s three meetings to practice. The show would be cut down to an hour long since many of the skits would be new to the boys and would have to be learned from scratch. The time of the show would move from the evening to the afternoon, meaning the final practice would be in the morning.

The planning meeting was held on Monday, January 1st. Six of the fourteen Scouts attended.We began by watching some video footage from previous shows. We discussed other songs and skits that were new to the group. By the end of the meeting the Scouts had planned an agenda in which they felt comfortable, and one that I thought would make a fun show.

The Scouts worked well during the January troop meetings as they practiced the songs and skits. It did not take long before they began to tweek little things in the skits to change them up slightly and make them more fun.

As we met on the morning of January 27th for our last practice I was feeling pretty good about the show. The Scouts had really stepped up to the plate and learned their lines and actions. This final practice was held at the high school auditorium where the show would be held in the afternoon. It was the only time they would have to practice the show from start to finish on the stage.

The troop had planned on one skit being performed by alumni members. Unfortunately, neither one of the young men was able to make it to the practices during the troop meetings, and they had not shown up for the final morning practice. The Scouts decided to add one more skit to the show to replace the one to be done by the alumni. The boys had the chance to run through the new skit twice but felt confident they could do it for the show. When one of the two young men showed up later in the morning I decided to do the original planned skit with him, but the Scouts also decided to keep the added skit in the program. This surprised me but also made me feel a little proud that they were willing to do it.

The 2018 Laughs For Lunch Show began at 1:00 pm. There was about 60 people in the audience, so it was a nice crowd. Other than for two small glitches the Melrose Boy Scouts did an outstanding job! The performed the skits and songs very well. The audience had a great time which meant the boys had an awesome time.Several people commented after the show that they hoped the Boy Scouts would do another show next year.

You know what? The Scouts are talking about it!

img_1049The Bears Den of Melrose Cub Scout Pack 68 had fun last weekend. They had their first overnight camping trip. It was held a couple miles south of Melrose in the backyard of one of the families. With a nice big backyard, and hiking trails nearby, it was a good spot for this fun activity. Eight of the ten Bear Scouts were able to attend the outing. I believe they each had a parent in attendance.

The Bears were kept busy with several activities. They assisted in setting up the tents and laying out their gear. They took a hike to a nearby gravel pit, watching for animal tracks along the way to complete an award requirement. They learned about pocket knife safety as they earned their Whittling Chip badge. And, of course they played games. It is amazing how much noise eight third grade boys can make when they are having fun together. After it got dark, it suddenly grew very quiet, like someone had turned off the volume switch. It did not take long to discover the boys had decided to play a game of hide and seek. After that game was done the noise level rose again.

I did not stay for the overnight. I did attend for a few hours, enough time to have supper with the den, chat with the parents in attendance, and have a little fun with the boys. My true reason for being there was to tell a story around the campfire before they turned in for the night. The story I chose? The Purple Gorilla story. It is a good story for that age group. Even the adults enjoyed it. As the story’s suspense reached its peak toward the end of the tale, I had everyone’s full attention. In fact, at one point I think everyone one of the boys jumped, and maybe even a couple adults. As I finished the tale with its interesting twist, the Scouts laughed and the adults smiled.

It may have been a quite suspenseful story, but it really is not a scary story. In fact, one of the fathers told me the next day that the Scouts fell asleep very quickly once the turned in for the night. No nightmares were to be had. Let’s face it, the boys were worn out. The night did get a bit chilly though. It temperature dropped into the upper thirties Sunday morning. The young Scouts did not seem to mind very much. It was just another part of their weekend adventure!

As a take a break from writing today I thought it would be a good time to introduce to you, or reintroduce to you, a song performed by the Boy Scouts of Troop 68. Years ago the troop would do an annual show they called Laughs For Lunch. It was a two hour campfire style show that featured songs and skits that were performed around many Scouting campfires. The troop did thirteen of these shows over the years but had to quit when the membership shrunk to seven Scouts.

This song was performed by the Scouts as the opening song of one show. I think it reflects their humor quite well, and they did a good job with it. What do you think of it?

Wow! Has it really been a month since I last posted an article to this blog? I guess so. I suppose I should write a few articles again. In the meantime, have fun watching this video performed by the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 about a furniture store. Audience participation is required.

MPSC2014P1The opening campfire of a week of Boy Scout summer camp. It is time to meet the staff that will play an important role during the success of your troop’s time at camp. Is the staff enthusiastic? Are they energetic? Are they ready to provide you with the totally awesome program you have come to expect from camp? Are they a little bit crazy? In the case of the 2014 Many Point Scout Camp Buckskin staff, the answer is yes to all the above, and their opening campfire was a great demonstration of how enthusiastic and crazy they could be.

This video was recorded during the July 6, 2014, opening campfire. This will be the first of a few videos filmed during the campfire that will be posted to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. As you can see when you watch this, this year’s staff was pumped to start working with a new week of Boy Scout campers. This video features the staff introductions and the singing of the Many Point Rouser. As all “repeat after me” songs, it gets pretty loud and rowdy by the end.

Video Information: 960 x 540, time 05:22, 145.4 MB. m4v format.

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