Archive for the ‘campfire’ Category


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!

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    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!

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      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?

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        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.

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          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.

          Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
          Subscribe to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
          or through iTunes  (and rate the show).
          Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store. It is great to read what you think of these videos.

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            carly-rae-jepsen-call-me-maybeI admit it. Once in awhile I get bored. And when I do strange things sometime happen. Like the other week for example.

            I was listening to the Carly Rae Jepsen song, Call Me Maybe, when other words started popping into my head. For some reason I saw a Boy Scout at summer camp walking up to his merit badge councilor, hand him his blue card and ask, “But here’s my blue card, so sign it maybe?”

            Hmmm. Could this be the start of a campfire song? I soon had pencil and paper out and was writing down words for a new version of the song. A couple lyrics gave me a spot of trouble, but I think I have it. Here is what I came up with:

            Scoutmaster gave me a list,
            Merit badges with a twist
            My hand turned into a fist,
            Nervousness in my way

            Summer camp is coming soon,
            Packed my clothes, shoes, food, and a broom
            What is this feeling of doom?
            Nervousness in my way

            Your stare was holdin’,
            My head, eyes are rolling
            Hot night, wind was blowin’
            Where do I think I’m going, baby?

            Hey, I just met you,
            And this is crazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!
            It’s hard to earn one
            When you are lazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!

            Hey, I just met you,
            And this is crazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!
            And all the other boys,
            Are really lazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!

            You took your time with the crew,
            I did not know what I knew
            You gave all lots to do,
            But still, you’re my councilor
            I beg, and borrow and steal
            My need for this badge is real
            I didn’t know I would feel,
            Like it’s some Indian Lore

            Your stare was holdin’,
            Beads of sweat were showin’
            Hot night, wind was blowin’
            Should I cry like a baby?

            Hey, I just met you,
            And this is crazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!
            It’s hard to earn one
            When you are lazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!

            Hey, I just met you,
            And this is crazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!
            And all the other boys,
            Are really lazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!

            This merit badge I need for Life
            I need it so bad
            I need it so bad
            I need it so, so bad
            This merit badge I need for Life
            I need it so bad
            And you should know that
            I need it so, so bad (bad, bad)

            It’s hard to earn one
            When you are lazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!
            Hey, I just met you,
            And this is crazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!

            And all the other boys,
            Are really lazy,
            But here’s my Blue Card,
            So sign it, maybe!
            This merit badge I need for Life
            I need it so bad
            I need it so bad
            I need it so, so bad
            Tenderfoot, First Class, and Life
            I need it so bad
            And you should know that
            So sign it, maybe!

            Your goal is now to have your Boy Scouts sing this during the evening campfire at summer camp and send me the video!

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              startrekking2000It is time for for the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 to add another skit, or is it a song, to the list of videos on the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. The video comes from the troop’s Laughs for Lunch Show performed in January 2000. It features the members of the Hazardous Hawk Patrol doing their version of a troop original, Star Trekking: The Next Generation.

              This is a skit that takes a bit of practice. The Hawks did an excellent job of claiming this skit as their own for a couple years. It is also an excellent example of performers really getting into their roles. By the end of the skit the boys (Josh, Alex, Mike, Nathan, Sergio, and Blake) are acting like they are excited, hyper, or something. It is all in good fun and really adds to the song.

              Here are the words to the refrain:
              Star Trekking, across the universe.
              On a ship that splits in two, with Q who’s such a jerk.
              Star Trekking, across the universe.
              Only going forward ’cause Worf has broke reverse.

              Another version of this song can be found at MSPP #54: Star Trekking: The Next Generation. Watch them both and let us know which one you enjoy the most.

              Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
              Subscribe to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast
              at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
              or through iTunes  (Please take time to rate the show).
              Leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

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                Birch Lake State Forest 2013I walked into my house shortly after nine o’clock tonight and I smelled it almost immediately. Smoke! No, it was not the house on fire or anything like that. It was me. More specifically, my clothes. You see, I stopped by the Birch Lake State Forest campground tonight to visit the nine Boy Scouts of Troop 68 who were camping this weekend. And as is so common when standing around a campfire, the smoke seemed to follow me no matter where I stood around the ring.

                When the Scouts left for the campground last night (Friday) the weather was wonderful. The sun was shining. It was just cool enough to wear a jacket or not, depending on how warm blooded you were. It was going to be a cool but clear night, great for camping.

                But this afternoon (Saturday) a low front moved into the area and the rain began. I kept thinking about the Scouts as I sat in my warm, dry living room at home. Four of the nine Scouts had just joined the troop. This was their first Scout overnight weekend camping experience. I wondered if they had brought raingear. Were they having a good time or were they miserable and wanting to go home?

                I was invited to my parents for supper. It was still raining slightly when I left their home, but instead of turning to the left I turned to the right and headed out of town to Birch Lake State Forest to pay the Scout troop a quick visit. The park was less than ten miles from town. It was raining lightly when I arrived at their campsite. Only four of the nine Scouts were there to greet me. The other five had gone fishing. I soon discovered that all the boys were having a good time, even though they were damp. I did not hear any of them say a word about going home.

                As darkness fell the Scouts wanted me to tell a story, but not a scary one. We decided on a story with suspense, not too scary, since there were first time campers among us. The story chosen was the Purple Gorilla. Yes, it was a long story that took place out in the middle of nowhere, during a terrible thunderstorm, that brought the main character of our story to a lonely old rundown looking farm place with no cell phone coverage. The new Scouts were listening to every word. Even the Boy Scouts who heard the story last spring paid attention to hear how I changed up the story a bit. This was the first time that cell phone became a major prop in the story.

                After the story, and the end of the rain, we left the shelter of the tarp we were sitting under, and stood around the campfire. As the fire died and the coals glowed bright, it was time for me to teach the boys a couple campfire songs. The first was a song I learned as a Boy Scout at summer camp in the mid 1970’s, “The Hole in the Ground Song”. The second song I learned at Many Point Scout Camp in the 1980’s, “Vista!” Both are “repeat after me” type songs that get faster as the song goes on. I think the boys had fun signing them. I know my voice was just about shot when I was done. It was time for me to go home.

                Sunday morning, after breakfast and one last time fishing, the Scouts will came back to town and end their camping trip. I have a feeling they all will be counting this trip as one for the good memories mental scrapbook. I was only there for two hours and I can tell you I added it to mine.

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