Archive for May, 2013


As I continue a campfire theme this week, I thought it would be fun to post at least one skit that would be easy for two Boy Scouts to learn for your next weekend camping trip. The only prop needed is a flashlight.

Two Scouts meet, and the first scout begins to brag he can climb anything.
Scout 2 “I can climb anything!”
Scout 1 “Can you climb that tree?”
Scout 2 “Sure I’ve done it lots of times.”
Scout 1 “Can you climb the steep hill over there?”
Scout 2 “No sweat, no problem for me.”
Scout 1 “How about the Empire State Building?”
Scout 2 “Done it, Did it.”
Scout 1 “How about Mount Everest?”
Scout 2 “Boy that was I cold day, I’ve done that too. I told you I am the world’s greatest climber, I can climb anything.
Scout 1 “I’ll bet you ten bucks I can show you something that you can’t climb.”
Scout 2 “Your on!”
Scout 1 pulls out a flashlight and shines the beam up into the sky. “All right climb that!”
Scout 2 “Are you crazy? No Way!”
Scout 1 “I knew you would back out, now pay up!”
Scout 2 “I won’t pay because its not fair. I know you, I’d start climbing and I’d get half way and you’d turn the flashlight off!”

Thanks for Sharing!

    campfire45Here is a story for your next troop campfire. I do not know who wrote it, or even remember where I picked it up, but it is a good story. Iy is a story about a promise made by two Eagle Scouts who were best friends and even worked at summer camp together. There is even a bit of a ghost story involved. How far would you go to keep your promises?

    “Tom and Paul were best friends. They went to the same schools, right from kindergarten. They were best friends right from the beginning. Tom was a little bigger, not afraid of anything. Paul was smart, inquisitive, and ready to try whatever Tom came up with.

    Their families got used to seeing them together, more like brothers than friends. They were Cub Scouts in the same Den, and they both got their Arrow of Light at the same ceremony and crossed over into Boy Scouts together. They joined Troop 17, it met at the Methodist Church and had a reputation as a Troop that did a lot of camping.

    They were active Scouts, picked up rank, went on almost all the camp outs. Tom was a Patrol Leader when he made Star, and Senior Patrol Leader as a Life Scout. Paul was Quartermaster the same year, 1965.

    They weren’t just Scouts, of course. They had school and girlfriends, family, part time jobs. Tom worked summers on his grandfather’s farm. Paul lifeguarded at the community pool. The summer they graduated from high school, class of 1966, they both decided to work at Scout Camp. Tom got assigned to the Camp Quartermaster, drove the camp truck and worked maintenance jobs. Paul had his Red Cross certifications, and he worked at the waterfront.

    They had a great summer, and promised each other they would come back the following year. Well, more than promised, really. They swore an oath, on their honor, that they would come back to camp together, that nothing, not girlfriends or jobs or anything, would prevent them from coming back to camp.

    Promises like that are hard to keep.

    Paul went to college in the fall, he had decided to study engineering, and joined Navy ROTC. It would help pay for school, and in those years, it meant he had a sure deferment from the draft.

    Tom got drafted. He went to Army basic training and shipped out to Vietnam. He wrote letters home, even sent a couple to Paul. He had been there eight months, and his unit had seen a lot of action, when he sent on a patrol as part of a larger operation. His platoon got ambushed. The after action reports pretty much told the tale, they got hit hard, and in the effort to set up a defense and bring in the wounded, Tom had gone out under fire three times. On the way back that last time he was shot and fatally wounded.

    There was a military funeral, and a small collection of ribbons, including a Silver Star. Paul spoke at the funeral, and told everyone of the promise they had made and how now it could not be kept, of their adventures, and the trouble they got into now and then, and what it was like to have a friend like Tom.

    Paul graduated from college in 1970. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy, and selected for flight school.

    He wanted to be a fighter pilot, just like everyone who goes to flight school, and he came close, but didn’t make the cut. He was assigned to A-6 Intruders, and excelled at that. He qualified for carriers, joined up with a Squadron and went to war. The Vietnam War was in it’s final years, but there was still a lot of air support missions being flown, and his carrier was off the coast of Vietnam most of his first year at sea.

    He was on a close air support mission, trying to protect South Vietnamese troops and their American advisors when his plane was hit. He came up off the target, but before he regained control, his plane crashed into the jungle. The plane burned, he and his copilot were never recovered.

    Now that’s just a sad story from the past, I suppose, two good men, two Eagle Scouts, both lost in the Vietnam War, but there’s some more to this story. Because they had made a promise, an oath, on their honor, to spend at least one more summer at this camp, and they didn’t give themselves an out just because they died.

    The first I heard of it was in the 80′s, an 8 year old Cub Scout on a family overnight got lost on the trail out to the Wilderness area. All the Scout troops in camp and the local Sheriff’s department had started a search. A Scoutmaster found him walking out of the woods up on the hill by the horse barns. The kid said 2 adults in Scout uniforms had walked him up there, only when they asked him to describe what they looked like, he described the old green uniforms that were used in the 60s.

    The next time was a Scout on wilderness survival overnight on the ridge. He had built his shelter and was bedded down when he saw 2 Scouts walking along together. Same description, young adults in old time uniforms. They looked over at him, but didn’t stop, just continued their hike out on the ridge trail. He was pretty spooked by it, being alone overnight and trying to tell his Scoutmaster the next morning. That time the word got around and it turned out some of the Staff at camp said that they had seen them too.

    Now, I never saw them, but the camp ranger says he did, winter before last, right after that big snow in February. He had walked into camp late in the day, going to the dining hall and the bath house to check the pipes. He said they were in front of him on the main trail, in those same uniforms, walking along like it was a summer day. He was bundled up against the cold, crunching through the snow, and started to speed up to catch them. He said he wasn’t thinking about it too clearly, just wanted to know who the heck was in camp when they weren’t supposed to be.

    He stopped when they turned around. Because when he saw their faces, well, the camp ranger used to be a Boy Scout, too. A Boy Scout in Troop 17, and when he made First Class in 1965, his Senior Patrol Leader was named Tom and his Quartermaster was named Paul. He still had Troop pictures, but he wouldn’t have forgotten what they looked liked, especially in their summer uniforms. He said they smiled, and Tom waved, and then they turned and hiked down the trail toward the waterfront like they were on patrol.

    The night the ranger told me this, he didn’t expect me to believe any of it, and I don’t expect you to believe me, either. But he stood there for a few minutes as dusk gathered, and when he looked down, there weren’t any tracks in the snow. He looked back and his footprints were right there in the snow, but only his, and none on the trail in front of him.

    He told me he believed that they had kept their oath. That they were here in camp, and that they were content, that they had come back to the camp they had loved.

    So when you’re out on the trail in the evening tonight, or on an overnight somewhere remote in the Wilderness, remember those two Scouts and their promise, and how maybe, just maybe, they managed to keep it after all.

    Good Night, Scouts.”

    Thanks for Sharing!

      victorborgeMany of today’s Boy Scouts have never heard of Victor Borge. Borge was a great entertainer. He was a superb pianist and a fantastic story teller, and somehow was able to put those talents together and create a humorous musical show. I have not seen many of his television programs but the couple I have seen I have enjoyed immensely.

      One of Borge’s most famous stories was called Inflationary Language. It demonstrated what our language would become if it showed inflation like the prices in the grocery store. Just add one to everything in the language. Thus, wonderful becomes twoderful. Tonight becomes threenight. You get the idea. It is very funny when told correctly.

      We have a gentleman in our council who has learned this story and occasionally tells it during a campfire program. It is a tough story to learn, and even tougher to recite, but he does it quite well and does not miss a beat. We have had Boy Scouts in our troop try to learn it or read it aloud and I can tell you, it was quite a challenge for them. So here is your challenge, learn this story and recite it at your next troop campfire.

      Twice upon a time there lived in sunny Califivenia a young man named Bob. He was a third lieutelevenant in the U.S. Air Fiveces. Bob had been fond of Anna, his one and a half sister ever since she saw the light of day five the second time. And they were both proud of the fact that two of his fivefathers had been among the creninetors of the U.S. Constithreetion. They were dining on the terrace. “Anna,” he said as he threek a bite of marinnined herring, “You look twoderful threenight. You’ve never looked that lovely befive.”

      Anna really looked twoderful in spite of the illness from which she had not quite recupernined.

      “Yes,” repeated Bob, “You do look twoderful threenight, but you have three of the saddest eyes I have ever seen.
      The table was tastefully decornined with Anna’s favorite flowers, threelips.

      They were now talking about Anna’s husband from whom she was separnined while on the radio the Irish elevenor sang Tea five Three. It was midnight. The clock in the distance struck thirteen. And suddenly there in the moonlight stood her husband, Don Two, obviously intoxicnined. “Anna,” he brawled, “fivegive me! I’m only young twice! And you are my two and only!”

      Bob jumped to his feet. “Get out of here, you threefaced triplecrosser!”

      Anna warned, “Watch out, Bob, he’s an officer!”

      “Yes, he is two, but I’m two three!”
      Any two five elevennis? Ahahaaha!

      “All right,” said Don Two as he wiped his fivehead.”

      He then left, and when he was one and a half way through the revolving door, he said, “I’ll go back to Elevennessee and be double again.”

      “Farewell, Anna! Threedeloo; Threedeloo!”

      Thanks for Sharing!

        crthonorI do not know if you have ever read this poem but I thought you may enjoy it. It is a poem by Bill Chiappi about the adult Boy Scout leader. It is called “The Scouter”. I happen to come across this many years ago. This might come in handy for that special event.

        He hasn’t much in worldly goods,
        Yet he’s richer than you know,
        For he’s chosen to be a Scouter
        And his spirits are aglow.

        He’s just a Scouter, nothing more,
        But he molds the lives of boys.
        He teaches them how to do their best,
        And he shares their many joys.

        They work on badges, go on hikes,
        Share campfires in the night.
        They practice skills and follow laws,
        And learn to do things right.

        He watches them grow from boys to men,
        And it makes it all worthwhile,
        When they turn to him and say, “Gee Thanks!”
        And their face wears a golden smile.

        Thanks for Sharing!

          cmpfr3How about a short story for your next troop outing? – - -

          A Grandmother, a Boy Scout, a Teacher, and the smartest man in the world were on a plane. After a while, it became known that plane was failing and was about to crash. There were only three parachutes, and four passengers. Being the smartest man in the world, he took a parachute and jumped out of the plane.

          The teacher, also being smart, thought to herself, ‘Teachers are needed in the world to teach their knowledge to others.’ So with that, she took a parachute and jumped out the plane.

          The Grandmother, being very wise, said to the boy scout, “I am old. I have lived my life. You are still a young boy. Go, take the last parachute.” But the Boy scout said, “No, it’s okay. There are two parachutes left. The smartest man in the world took my backpack.”

          Thanks for Sharing!

            flint and steelCamp Watchamagumee was the place to be for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 during the weekend of May 17-19. The six Scouts, including four new members, and two adult leaders may have got a bit damp during the evening hours but they had a lot of fun during the day.

            Friday night was a pretty laid back schedule. The troop left Melrose about 6:30 pm. The boys spent the evening setting up camp, reviewing fire safety rules, and enjoyed sitting around the campfire until the first drops of rain send them running for the safety of their tents.

            The Scouts had a busy Saturday schedule. After breakfast they worked on their advancement and began building their primitive shelters that would would sleep in that night. It did not take long to discover that the boys did not bring along enough tarps and plastic sheets to build what they wished to build. After a lunch of baked beans and hot dogs roasted over an open fire the troop played a round of nine holes of disc golf.

            Saturday afternoon was time for the annual Egg Drop Competition. Each of the Scouts received a raw egg. Their challenge was to create a package for their egg using other natural materials found around the campsite. These packages would than be dropped from higher and higher distances until only one egg remained. Daniel Klassen was this year’s Egg Drop Competition winner. He took home a Boy Scout campfire cooking grille as his prize.

            The next event tested the Boy Scouts fire making skills. Each boy was to start a fire and keep it going long enough to burn through a string seven inches above the ground. Matches were not allowed for this contest. The Scouts needed to start their fires using flint and steel. A strong wind turned out to be the villain of this event. Even though the Scouts created hundreds of sparks, the wind blew out many of the flames the boys were hoping to use to start their fires. Alex Engelmeyer was the troop’s winner of this competition.

            The boys finished the afternoon by finishing their primitive shelters, playing a couple of games, and making a great supper of fried potatoes and spaghetti and meat sauce. There was not much food left over. The boys had worked up quite an appetite.

            A short chapel service was held at 7:30 that evening. This was followed with the boys moving their sleeping bags and pads into their primitive shelters for the night. As the Scouts gathered for the evening campfire they learned a troop song about Camp Watchamagumee, heard the story of the Purple Gorilla, and learned how to protect themselves from a wolfen attack.

            Half of the Scouts discovered that their primitive shelters did not do a sufficient job of keeping them dry once the rain showers moved in overnight, but a couple did stay in their shelter for the entire night. Important lessons were learned which will be used the next time they build a shelter, which could be as soon as their June weekend outing.

            Attending the Watchamagumee outing were Boy Scouts Alex, Daniel, Zack, Adrian, Sam, and Macoy. Adult leaders for the weekend were Scoutmaster Jim and assistant scoutmaster Eymard. Committee member Steve provided program assistance. The troop would also like to thank Melvin and Vern Klassen for allowing them to use their land for the outing.

            More pictures of this outing can be found on the troop’s website.
            http://melrosetroop68.org/yearlygalleries/yh13.html#Camp_Watchamagumee .

            Thanks for Sharing!

              FirstClassSmallThe Boy Scouts of America offers a unique youth program. It has five distinct features that other clubs and organizations do not offer today’s youth. Granted, some clubs do offer one or two of these features, but no other youth organization offers all five of them.

              What are these features that makes Scouting so special?

              Scouting is a value based program. The B.S.A. asks boys to take an oath when they join, and then live up to that oath. Scouting teaches values, promotes good citizenship, and provides good adult role models. The program is diversified. It is not the same thing every day as some youth activities can be. In fact, Scouting compliments other organizations by providing program that they may be missing.

              Developing leadership is another feature of Scouting. The boys plan their own troop program. They learn new things through hands-on experiences, not just by text book learning. They will receive the chance to be a leader by holding a position of responsibility in the troop. (Troop 68 holds elections every 6 months so many of its members will be given the chance to hold a troop or patrol office.)

              Scouting is an educational program. Through the advancement program a boy will learn many new skills. Some of these will be just for fun, but many will help him later on in life. Subjects introduced through the merit badge program may help a boy discover a new life-long hobby or even a career choice. As he earns his merit badges and ranks he is recognized in front of his parents and peers for his accomplishments. This builds self esteem and helps him to develop a sense of pride.

              Scouting encourages service to the community. An important part of Scouting is doing service for others. The Scout Slogan states that a Scout will “Do a Good Turn Daily”. Troops do countless hours of service conducting food drives, road and park cleanups, and conservation work, to name a few. By doing service a boy develops a pride in his community, a pride that will carry into adulthood.

              Scouting can be a vehicle to bring families together. Many families find scouting to be a neutral topic, one in which parents and children can participate together. It offers parents a chance to spend ‘quality time’ with their sons. And the program is already there. All you have to do is participate.

              The Scouting program does has its advantages. And families that participate in the program can attest that Scouting pays good dividends.

              Thanks for Sharing!