The idea was first discussed in the fall of 1994 (I think). The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 had decided it was time to do a campfire-style program for the local community. The troop had become known in the council for performing at campfire programs. The boys thought it would be a good idea to show people outside of Scouting what they could do.
The school auditorium was reserved for a Saturday in late January, 1995. A few of the boys got together in December to plan an agenda for the program. Various ideas for songs and skits were discussed. The boys chose many of their favorites, but also added several they had not done before. After the songs and skits were chosen the boys decided the order of the performances. They also talked about how to advertise the program. It was decided to place posters around town and in school, and get some coverage in the local newspaper and the local public access television station.
By the time they finished their planning, the troop had a show that would be nearly two hours long. That included a ten minute intermission.
The decision was made not to charge admission. However, people would be asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the local food shelf. Thus, the show was named “Laughs For Lunch”. The audience would provide the lunch for the needy in exchange for the Boy Scouts providing the laughs. Hopefully.
Our three meetings in January were used to practice for the show. The meetings were lengthened from our usually one and a half hours to two hours long. Since many of the songs and skits we had already performed at campfires we just needed to practice them a little to polish them up. However, the new skits needed a little more work.
I, the scoutmaster, became the director of the show. After our three practices I began to wonder if we could really pull this off well. I was thinking we could use another couple of meetings to get the kinks worked out. Alas, we were out of time.
Saturday night had arrived. It was time for the show. Approximately one hundred people were sitting in the audience. The boys were excited, and a little nervous. I have to admit, I was too. I was the master of ceremonies. I would also be performing with the Scouts in a few of the songs and skits.
The curtain opened. The show began. And so did the laughs. The audience had a great time. So did the Scouts. The show was a success!
This year we held our tenth “Laughs For Lunch Show”. We now hold four practices instead of three. People still enjoy coming to the shows, and we have had a lot of fun doing them. The boys receive a lot of compliments after the shows. I think the best part of the show is seeing the smiles on the Scouts when they realize they have done well.
Some of the skits from the Laughs For Lunch Show can be scene on this troop’s website at http://www.melrosetroop68.org/campfirestuff.html