Two practices are done, and there are only two more to go as the Boy Scouts prepare for this year’s Laughs For Lunch Show. I can not help but think that there are only eight Scouts this year to perform in a show that used to take over thirty Scouts to do.
For those of you who may be new to this blog, the Laughs For Lunch Show is an annual campfire-style show done for the community by the Boy Scouts of Troop 68. The boys perform various songs and skits during the ninety minute production. Many of the videos seen on the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast feature performances from these shows.
The show is open to the public. Family, friends, and families from surrounding troops and packs who are looking for an evening of live entertainment attend the show. People have traveled over one hundred miles to attend the shows. The troop does not charge anything, but we do ask that people bring an item for the local food shelf. Thus we provide the laughs, and the audience provides the lunch for the needy in our area.
I affectionately call this year’s show our “gross out” show. The Scouts have included skits and songs as “My Dead Dog Rover”, “God Bless My Underwear”, and the Ice Fisherman skit. Of course, they will be doing a few troop favorites like The Movie Skit and the Mad Scientist Skit. Nearly thirty songs and skits are part of this year’s program.
The troop uses its three January meeting to practice. The meetings are two hours long instead of the usual ninety minutes. The fourth and final practice takes place during the afternoon before the evening performance. Many of the skits only get practiced twice, and a couple will only get one quick run-through. I have been amazed each year that we can put together a show of this scale with only four practices. It proves how dedicated the Scouts are to this show.
Do we make mistakes during the show? Of course! Does it matter? Not usually. The best thing about doing campfire songs and skits is that you can usually work a mistake right into the skit. Adlibbing is part of the process. We do not take ourselves so seriously that we forget to have fun with the show.
As the scoutmaster I also serve as the producer and director of the show, but do not let that fool you. After the Scouts get comfortable with a skit they begin to change it, add to it, and make it their own. They are always trying new things. During the last practice the boys were constantly making each other break out laughing as they tried various adlibs. It is surprising how many of them will be finding their way into the show. One thing I like about our shows is how we combine pieces of various skits within other skits. For example, the Scouts will be using characters from the Bell ringer skit, the Mad Scientist skit, and the Group Jump skit during the Trip To Hell skit. I think it adds a nice continuity to the show.
We still have a lot of work to do during our remaining practices, but I am confident that the Scouts will do their best to once again entertain the audience when the curtains open on Saturday, January 26th.