Last Saturday, February 25th, was the day Boy Scout Troop 68 held a party to recognize my thirty years of service as the troop’s scoutmaster. (I retired at the end of last year.) The party was held at the Melrose American legion. It began at 2:00 in the afternoon and lasted 5:00 pm.
The committee planned to begin decorating at 10:00 am. They had asked me if they could use my photo albums and wall hung pictures. Of course, I said they could. I thought it would be fun for any alumni who attended the party to look through the old photographs. I packed up the 36 albums, all the group photos and Eagle Scout portraits that hung on the walls, and a few of the awards I had earned over the years.I added four Boy Scout uniforms to the pile, including the uniform I had worn as a young Boy Scout and the one I wore to the 2001 National Jamboree. Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, also decided he needed to go along.
By the time I finished packing their were over six boxes of stuff representing over 32 years of the Scouting program in Melrose. It was a good thing we had a couple of vehicles to transport it all.
Once everything was carried into the American Legion the question arose of how should we set it up? I did not know what the committee had in mind for the afternoon for at first I just shrugged my shoulders. It soon became evident that no one really knew what to do since none of us had ever done anything like this. I suggested that we make a long line of tables to display the photo books. Someone else suggested that we should keep the tables away from the wall so people can view the books from either side.
That was when we discovered that 36 photo albums take up a lot of room when they are open. It took five eight foot long tables to display the the regular troop albums. At the end of the room we used four more tables for the 8×10 group photos, the high adventure albums, and the three shadow boxes. Two more tables were used to display the Eagle Scout portraits. I think we ended up with 80 or 88 feet of tables filled with photos and other memorabilia.
A couple of small table were set by the entrance. A guest book was there for people to sign as they arrived, along with a basket for cards. People were greeted by Buttons who stood on a table in his Boy Scout uniform. In the back of the room was a television on which a slideshow of our 1989 trip to Philmont Scout Ranch was playing. The four uniforms were hung on the wall behind the podium serving as a backdrop to the speakers. Snacks, cake, and refreshments were placed on a couple other tables.
Five rows of tables were set up in the center of the room. Bowls of candies and pretzels were placed at each table. To tell the truth, I did not think we would need all the tables for people to sit at, but I was wrong.
It took nearly two hours to get everything ready for the party. We all thought it looked impressive with all the albums, photos, and other memorabilia. We looked things over once last time and then left for lunch. Show time was only a couple hours away.