Posts Tagged ‘Scout Spirit’

Boy Scout Troop leaders are parade grand marshals.

When I received a phone call from the Melrose Chamber of Commerce a few weeks ago I thought it might be about the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 handing out the small USA flags before the Riverfest parade again, like the troop has done for many years. I was about to receive a big surprise.

During the Chamber’s Riverfest festival planning meetings they choose a person or persons to be the grand marshal(s) of the parade. This year it was suggested the Eymard Orth and myself should be the grand marshals in recognition of the many years each of us has not only put into the local Scouting program, but also the other organizations we have been involved in over the last 4 decades.

The phone call was to ask if I would accept the honor of being a parade grand marshal. I said if Eymard would than I would also accept the honor. He did, so we are.

The local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, interviewed the two of us last week. The article based on that interview was on the front page of this week’s edition. As always, Carol, the writer, did a great job with the article. (The picture seen with this article is the one used in the newspaper.)

So, on Saturday night, Eymard Orth and myself, Steve Borgerding, will ride down Main Street in Melrose in a red convertible. We will be wearing our Scout uniforms. We will be representing the Scouting program. We will also be drinking a lot of water since the temperature is forecasted to hit the 90s. We might even have to carry an umbrella to provide some shade along the route.

As this night approaches I can not help but think of how the movie Follow Me Boys ends with a parade for their scoutmaster of 20 years. I realize the parade we will be in is not a Scouting parade like the one in the movie, but I still feel there are a couple parallels there. Eymard now has 30 years with the troop, while I have 39 years.

cwazyrabbit1The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 have had an interesting connection with rabbits during the last three years. In fact, I think rabbits could become the troop mascot if things continue…

It began late in the winter of 2004. The troop attended the council’s annual Ripley Rendezvous which takes place at Camp Ripley in Minnesota. Five Scouts from the troop attended. Two of them were newly graduated Webelos Scouts, two were boys who had not yet reached Second Class, and one was an experienced Scout.

The program at Ripley is based on patrol competition. Each of the twenty-some stations would test the patrols on their Scout knowledge, teamwork, and patrol spirit. The top three patrols of each of the four districts, along with the top three patrols overall, are recognized for their achievement at the Saturday evening program.

This year the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 were actually from three different patrols so they formed a new patrol for the outing and called themselves the Cwazy Wabbit Patrol. The came up with a pretty good patrol call before they left for the stations Saturday morning.

I knew this was a very inexperienced patrol so I made a deal with them Friday night. If they would take a spot in the top three patrols on Saturday night then I would buy the pizza on the way home Sunday morning. I thought I had made a pretty safe deal. I was sure there would be no way this patrol would take first, second, or third place.

It is amazing what boys will do to make their scoutmaster buy pizza.

When the Saturday night program began I was not very worried. Yes, the boys had done well at the stations during the day, and most of the station captains were impressed with the patrol’s call and spirit, but there were a lot of patrols at this year’s event.

It was time in the program to announce the winners. I am sure my jaw dropped when the Cwazy Wabbit Patrol of Troop 68 took first place for the Scenic District. The boys were very excited and were grinning from ear to ear as they went to the stage to accept their ribbon. I have a vague memory of someone saying how good the pizza would taste on the way home as they left me to approach the stage, or maybe I just imagined that.

The second shock came when the Cwazy Wabbits were called on again to come to the stage to accept the ribbon for second place overall. I knew then that it would be a long time before I would hear the end of this from the Scouts. But my smile was just as big as theirs was as the received their honors. They had made me proud. The boys’ faces were smiling the whole time they ate their pizza on the way home Sunday morning.

The spirit of the Cwazy Wabbit had made his first contact with the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 from Melrose.
(to be continued…)