Archive for the ‘campfire’ Category


mpsc2000The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 used to be very good with performing campfire songs and skits. The troop looked forward to performing at camporees and summer camp campfire programs. There were many times we would take a popular skit or song, change it up a bit, and make it something new. Today’s post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast demonstrates one example of that trait.

Our troop had been attending a week of camp at Many Point Scout Camp in northern Minnesota for a few years when we came up with the idea for a new song to perform. We wanted to do something that poked some fun at the camp, and something the campers could identify with. We picked the popular song by the Village People because everyone knew the tune to YMCA. We completely changed the lyrics and the actions and came up with our version of M.P.S.C.  The song was a hit when we performed it at the closing campfire.

This video features the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 performing this song during their 2000 Laughs For Lunch Show, held at the Melrose High School auditorium. So get out of that chair, stand up, and join the Scouts as they sing their version of M.P.S.C.

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    MSPpodcastsAh, the Laughs For Lunch Shows. They were a yearly campfire-style program that the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 performed for our community for 13 years, the first one held in 1996. We had a lot of fun doing them and I believe the audiences really enjoyed them. An extra bonus was that the Scouts received experience in public speaking (and singing) which was something that would help them later in life.

    I recently transferred the 2000 show from a VHS tape to DVD. As I was doing some touch up editing and chapter marking for the DVD I noticed the Boy Scouts did some really good performances doing the show. I decided to clip some of the better songs and skits and share them with you for this podcast.

    The first post from this show for the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast is the campfire favorite, the Dirty Sock Song. How dirty do your socks get? How smelly do they become? Do they get strong enough to give your tent an awful scent or could they be used as a method of rat population control? The Boy Scouts chose a few members of their audience to poke some fun at during this song.

    Has your troop used this song during a campfire program? Or have you seen it performed by another troop? How did your Boy Scouts like it?

    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.

    Thanks for Sharing!

      As a scoutmaster I constantly preached about having a campfire “cold out” before going to bed or leaving a campsite. The Boy Scouts probably got tired of me being on their case when I discovered a fire ring of which I was told was cold, but my hand said otherwise. Too bad. I was the scoutmaster, and it was my job to train these young men how to camp safely and responsibly. Get the water bucket and get that fire COLD OUT!

      A couple of my neighbors came over Tuesday night to help remove a few dead branches from a large tree in my backyard. I ended up with a nice pile of new firewood and a lot of branches to burn. Wednesday night I decided to have a campfire using my newfound fuel wood. For nearly three hours I, along with my nephew, enjoyed sitting around, shooting the breeze, and burning a large pile of dead wood and branches. We never let the fire outgrow the fire ring, and I had my garden hose next to my chair just in case any little sparks tried starting a new fire on the dry lawn. I even wetted the lawn around the fire site before I began burning anything. You can never be too safe you know. (All that BSA training!)

      When 9:00 arrived I decided to start letting the fire die down to coals and quit putting new fuel on the flames. There was already a large pile of coals. At 10:00 I decided it was time to go inside and call it a night. I wet down the fire, stirred the coals, wet it one more time, and stirred the coals again. I put my hand over the fire site and felt a little warmth, but nothing really hot. I went inside the house.

      At 1:30 I woke up and went into the kitchen for a glass of milk. I looked out the window and noticed there were a few red coals glowing in the fire ring. That is interesting, I thought. Did I go outside and put out the coals? No, I did not. I went back to bed.

      In the morning I woke up, ate breakfast, and prepared to go to work. I thought I should check out the fire ring as I walked by it on the way to the garage. I put my hand near what I thought should be cold coals, but I felt some heat. Not burning hot, but very warm. Did I take the garden hose to the fire remains? No. I walked into the garage, hopped into the car, and went to work.

      I decided to eat lunch at home. The warm coals had been nagging the back of my mind all morning. Before I even made lunch I walked to the backyard to check out the fire ring. The first thing I noticed was that there was more white ash then there had been when I left for work. My hand quickly determined there was more heat then this morning also. I did not see any red coals but there definitely was something smoldering inside that decorative metal ring. I turned on the garden hose and drenched the coals and stirred them well. I did not need the neighborhood going up in flames after I left to go back to work.

      When I arrived home tonight I walked straight to the fire ring. This time it was cold out. There was not any heat or warmth to be felt. But it had me thinking about it all day. Even after 15 hours of “putting out” the fire there was still enough heat to turn coals to ash. I had better start practicing a COLD cold out test from now on. It would be quite embarrassing for this retired scoutmaster to start a lawn fire in his own neighborhood.

      Maybe I should tear off a corner of my Firem’n Chit card?

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        Two new boys joined us for their first Boy Scout camping trip at Camp Watchamagumee over the weekend of May 6-8, 2011. They had a great time on the outing but we did have an interesting and unexpected experience Friday night.

        The four boys attending the outing had joined us at the adult’s campsite to sit around the campfire. Eymard, my assistant scoutmaster, had made popcorn. One of the boys had brought marshmallows. The boys wanted me to tell them a story but I kept changing the subject, pushing it off a little longer, letting it get good and dark.

        Suddenly, we heard distant barking. I thought it was the dogs of a nearby home but the barking was coming from the wrong direction. When it turned to howling we realized it was coyotes, a pack of them from the sound of it. The mood around the campfire changed instantly. I could the younger boys become a bit anxious so we discussed the nature of coyotes and that those animals usually avoided human contact. They really did not need to be worried.

        I waited several minutes before I began the story of the Purple Gorilla. The story begins with a salesman traveling on night through a terrible thunderstorm and finally ends up spending the night at a farmhouse far away from any cities. During the story, the salesman must go through ten doors to find a suspense filled discovery. I was having fun building up the scenario but I was also keeping an eye on the new boys. As I described the opening of the third door we all heard movement in the woods near the boy’s campsite. It sounded like something large.

        Interest in the story evaporated as everyone’s thoughts turned to the coyotes we had heard earlier. The young boys were very nervous. I was a little nervous also, I have to admit. All four boys huddled close to me as we grabbed our flashlights and walked to their campsite to discover what had caused the noise. We walked around the site, shining our flashlights in all directions, but seeing nothing. The younger boys wanted me to check out the inside of their tent to be sure nothing had crawled into it. We found nothing in the tent or around the campsite. We heard nothing more. I told the boys it was probably a deer that was passing nearby.

        The boys were relieved that we did not find anything, but decided that it was time to go to turn in for the night. The new boys asked me to stay near their tent as they prepared to go to bed. Then I checked on the other boys and walked back to my own campsite.

        The story of the Purple Gorilla was all but forgotten. I will have to finish the story at a future outing. As I distinguished the fire I thought that it was a good thing I had not told the story of the Wolfen. If I had, the two new boys probably would not have gone back to their tents.

        (By the way, the picture shown was not from this outing but from a weekend in the 1980′s. I do not remember what story they were listening to when I took the picture.)

        100 Days Of Scouting: Day 96.

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          I enjoy a good campfire program. You can easily tell when a camp staff has rehearsed the skits and songs, and when they themselves are having a good time. That good time spreads to the campers and makes for a great evening. When you get the campers laughing you know you have done your job well.

          Today’s video for YouTube Tuesday features a camp staff that must have spent a lot of time practicing because the skit they performed was done flawlessly. The timing was perfect. The audience had a fantastic time watching them. You really do not want me to explain this video. You just need to sit back, watch and enjoy it. Then grab a few people and start practicing it yourselves for this summer camp programs. (1349)

          100 Days Of Scouting: Day 36.

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            This entry to the YouTube Tuesday Boy Scout video was actually placed online two year ago. It features Boy Scout Troop 80 singing their song about root beer to the Cub Scout Scout pack. I had never heard this before and got a chuckle out of it so I thought I would share it with you.

            100 Days of Scouting: Day 22.

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              Scout Vespers is a song sung by Boy Scouts and Scout Leaders to close a campfire program, to end a meeting, or to finish an evening on a camping trip. It is a great song that is beloved my millions. It holds a special place in the hearts of many Scouts and Scouters. But did you know there are three verses to the song?

              Rhonda Kay recorded the song in 2009 on her cd titled Never Too Late. She also posted a video for the song on YouTube in November of that year. It can be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxTH6lSDNZs , or by watching the clip below.

              Do you think you can get the boys in your troop to learn all three verses?

              100 Days of Scouting: Day 15.

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                Every year since 1982 I have attended a long term camp with the Boy Scouts of Troop 68, Melrose. Most of these have been week-long summer camps, but they also included five treks at Philmont Scout Ranch, one trip to the High Knoll Trail of West Virginia, one trip to the Northern Tier High Adventure Base, and a trip to the 2001 National Jamboree in Virginia.

                The troop has attended three summer camps during the last three decades. We have been to Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Wisconsin twice. Crow Wing Scout Reservation in Minnesota was a favorite of the troop for five years. Many Point Scout Camp became our home in the early 1990′s. We have been attending camp at MPSC now for 23 years. The boys really seem to enjoy themselves there.

                Five Boy Scouts of Troop 68, along with Eymard, the assistant scoutmaster, and myself, attended camp this year. Once again, we stayed in the Buckskin subcamp of MPSC. This was the fifth year we stayed at the Seton campsite, which is a small site located on the top of a small hill. The site is in the middle of Buckskin, near the lodge, trading post, and shower house.

                Troop 68 was one of the first troops to arrive at MPSC on Sunday, July 11th. I think we may have been the first troop in Buckskin for the week. Four of the five boys had already attended camp in the previous years so they knew the routine. They set up their tents, moved in their gear, changed clothes, and headed to the beach front for their swim checks. Eymard and I set up the screen porch and dining fly after they left.

                The troop had supper in the camp’s dining hall but the senior patrol leader and his assistant had supper at the lodge with the other SPL’s and ASPL’s in camp. It would be the first of a few meetings they would have during the week with the staff.

                After supper, the troops participated in a tour of the camp which took the boys to each of the program areas. It was during this tour that the boys discovered were their merit badge classes would be held. All five of the Troop 68 Scouts would be working on the Weather merit badge. Three would be working on archery (a two hour course), and the other two would work on Lifesaving (also a two hour course). The boys would be busy all morning with classes. Troop activities would fill our afternoons. Open program areas would keep the boys busy in the evenings.

                Sunday evening ended with the staff’s opening campfire program. The program was great. It was very entertaining while introducing us to this year’s staff. It was a fantastic start to the week. (Check out the Melrose Scout Production Podcast for videos from the campfire.)

                As we walked back to our campsite the boys declared that they would be going straight to bed. They were tired. I was quite surprised. Usually, the boys want to stay up a bit later the first night at camp. It was one of the few times I was in bed at summer camp before 10:30. As I laid there on my cot I thought to myself, “It is good to be back again. Almost like coming home.” As the MPSC rouser states, “Many Point Scout Camp, that’s the place to be.”

                I slept well that first night.

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