Jamboree Traditions Added to the Fun

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

ENJOYING THE JAMBOREE TRADITIONS ADDED TO THE FUN

As I began sharing my Jamboree memories, I mentioned that any Jamboree is a combination of fun and tradition.  One of those long-standing Jamboree traditions that was a lot of fun was a “wide game” involving all boys and leaders of the camp.  For our wide-game, each participant was given a large letter from the Jamboree theme “GROWING TOGETHER”.  The object of the game was to find other people with the rest of the letters.  Once a new letter was found, we linked arms and set out to find the rest of the letters needed for the words.  The game made us think about the theme of the Jamboree, Scouting brotherhood and all of that.  It was a lot of fun.  And it is a great Jamboree tradition.  I am sure that they still do this.

The most impressive moment of the Jamboree was the final closing campwide campfire program.  The vision of those 28,000 Scouts and their leaders was really something.  I’ll never forget that scene.  The famous actor, Bob Hope, conducted the opening campfire program.  (He died a few years ago at age 100.)  Those fireworks were really something.  I am quick to admit that it was better than any 4th of July celebration that I have ever seen.

As the ceremony started, the arena of 28,000 plus Scouts and leaders was pitch black as all lights were extinguished.  Toward the end of the program, and at the given signal, we each took a three-inch candle from our pockets.  As we were directed to do so, the Scoutmaster from each troop lit his candle.  He then lit the candle of his assistants and troop leaders. Together they then lit the candles of all of the boys in their troops.  Within moments the place was lit up as bright as if it were noonday.  It sure was impressive.

We then heard a little talk about the influence that just one person could and does have upon the world.  We were told that we each had something to contribute and we were challenged to “let our light shine” to the world.  The principle of Service was very beautifully portrayed.  (I have since experienced this candle lighting ceremony at various times and at various Scouting camps. It is impressive each time – but it was particularly so at the Jamboree as I participated in it for the first time.)

In that beautiful moment, I reflected upon the many wonderful experiences that I had known over the past eight years of my Scouting days in the troop.  It had indeed been a glorious climb from Gnubie to Eagle Scout and beyond.  Tears came to my eyes as I recalled the service I had been privileged to give and to receive.  I realized that in the process, I had discovered me – Kevin Hunt.  I knew of my own potential and welcomed the opportunities for service and continued growth through the great Scouting game.  I realized that this is what Scouting is all about.

I reflected too, on the selfless service given to me by Scoutmasters Kimball Nelson and Jim Johnson and the many other adults.  I caught a small glimpse of the great blessing that Scouting had been in my life.  I counted my blessings and all that Scouting had given to me.  It had been such a big part of my life.  I was grateful for the experiences of “Growing Together” with my many friends in Scouting.

 

I stepped out of that campfire bowl with a renewed desire to serve the Lord and my fellowmen.  I thought:

“On my honor … I’ll do my best … to DO IT”

One more thought came to our minds as we silently made our way back to camp:  “Troop 155 … THE BEST ALIVE!”  We really felt that we were the best alive. What a grand experience.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

Jamboree Preparation Takes Work and Dedication

 

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

IT TOOK A LOT OF WORK AND ADVANCE PREPARATIONS TO GET US TO THE JAMBOREE

Most of the Jamboree memories I have been sharing were recorded years after the events transpired.  (And I might add that those memories get better all of the time – PHD – piled higher and deeper – with the passage of time!)  But, there is nothing like a “primary source” (recorded close to the event) to truly “tell it how it was”.  So, although there might be some duplication of stories, it might be of interest (to some of you) to hear of the Jamboree through a “Primary Source”.  That source is my own personal journal which I recorded on each day that it happened.  At that time, I had started my journal writing only a few months before.  So, I was truly a “journal neophyte” and the entries are kind of sparse.  Now forty plus years later, and having made a daily entry for each day since then, my journal entries have become much more comprehensive and detailed.  The journal entries include many about pre-Jamboree preparations – since these are truly a part of the total experience – as well as entries for the event itself.   It took us almost two years to get ready for the Jamboree – but I have journal notes for only the three months just before the Jamboree.  (And I wish that I had started the journal sooner!)

But, such as they are, I am now happy to share these entries with you:

SUNDAY, MAY 20TH, 1973

[On this day I was 18 years old.  And after the challenge from Darwin Gunnell, my young adult Sunday school teacher – this was the day that I began keeping a daily journal …]  …  I spent the afternoon trying to get our order in for Scout Jamboree camping equipment [and that was long before computers so this would have been a paper order – and the supplier somehow found without the use of computer search engines].  Leon Jones of Lehi finally got his Jamboree tent money over to me.

TUESDAY, MAY 22ND,

Tonight I took our Scouts out selling tickets for the chuck wagon dinner we are having to raise money for our Jamboree funds.  We sold about $30 worth.  Kent Jones told me that he and Jayne will not be able to help on square dancing at our dinner – nor with the promised generator.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23RD,

… I went to Scoutmaster Jim Johnson’s house to talk about the chuck wagon dinner.

THURSDAY, MAY 24TH,

…  I went and picked up our jamboree personal equipment at the LeSueur’s Men Store [A Scout Distributor in town].  I got cashier’s checks for the troop tents and equipment.  … I spent the rest of the day worrying about tomorrow’s chuck wagon dinner.  I hope that tomorrow is long enough to get everything done.  Boy, I’ll sure be glad when the dinner is over.

FRIDAY, MAY 25TH

I spent the whole day today getting ready for the Scout chuck wagon dinner (to raise funds for the Jamboree).  I had to go many places trying to “get it all together”.  The dinner got off to a rotten start because no one was at the church at the right time.  We arrived at “Crismon Hill” and the Scout mothers and I tried (frantically) to get the biscuits cooked.  Dilworth Brinton was going to cook them but had to go out of town at the last minute.  I made 25 gallons of root beer in a big 50-gallon drum.  We drank all of it.  The dinner itself turned out pretty good.  I was afraid we would not have enough salad but I guess everyone but the last 15 people had some.  The campfire program went as well as could be expected after everything else flopping.  Half of the performers did not show up.  We connected the microphone and record player to a small generator that Jim bought.  Louise Nuland helped with dancing after Kent Jones fell through.  I came home exhausted and went to bed.  [Note:  In spite of the challenges, all participants seemed to have a grand time and they talked about the event for a long time afterwards.]

TUESDAY, JUNE 5TH

I went to a meeting about the Jamboree pre-training. …

FRIDAY, JUNE 8TH

…  Some of our troop Jamboree equipment came today from Mercantile in St. Louis.  I typed another letter tonight to Colorado Tent and Awning Company.  I think I finally got all of the Jamboree tentage ordered and paid.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13TH,

… In our Scout meeting tonight we discussed Scout camp and the Jamboree and then went shopping for some material for new troop neckerchiefs.  We picked out some pretty green and gold material.  My sister, Lesa, volunteered to make them tomorrow.

MONDAY, JUNE 25TH, (after a week of Scout Camp with our troop Scouts)

The tents for the Jamboree came today from Colorado Tent and Awning Company.  Scoutmaster Jim and I took the tents over to the two Lehi troops (which they had ordered with us).

TUESDAY, JUNE 26TH,

“… [Tonight] I worked on the plans for the chuck boxes for the Jamboree.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28TH

Today was my day off from work.  Scoutmaster Jim and I worked all morning and until 2:00 PM making the chuck boxes and equipment boxes for the Jamboree.  We got them all assembled.  Now to add the finishing touches!

FRIDAY, JUNE 29TH

After I got home I painted the chuck boxes and equipment boxes until 11:30 PM

SUNDAY, JULY 1ST

…  At 4:30 PM I went to a Jamboree meeting.  We got most of our plans finalized.  …  When I got home I typed four stencils about the National Jamboree equipment, etc. to send to the Scouts and parents.  [I really had to think about this for a minute.  That was long before printers and computers.  So, this was the old stencil for the round drum “ditto machine”.  Wow!]

 

MONDAY, JULY 2ND

… I immediately started on the chuck boxes – putting the handles on.  I got most of them on and found that I had done them wrong.  I dittoed off the letter for the Scouts about the Jamboree and got them ready to mail.

TUESDAY, JULY 3RD,

I put some more handles on the chuck boxes.  I then got in a “pit” and couldn’t do anything.  As a last resort to relaxation, my brother Darc and I went for a sundae at Dairy Queen.

THURSDAY, JULY 4TH,

Today was a day of leisure.  I slept in until 9:00 Am.  …  All afternoon Dad and I put the handles and hinges on the Jamboree boxes.

FRIDAY, JULY 5TH

This morning Darcy and I worked on the gateway for the Jamboree.   …  Many of the Scouts and I sold sno-cones at the baseball games at Ellsworth Park (to try to earn some more jamboree money). We made about $30.

FRIDAY, JULY 6TH,

I spent the whole day on Scouting.  I planned menus, worked on equipment boxes, gateways, etc.  And tomorrow we are having our pre-Jamboree training.  We are now at Bushnell Tanks – up by the town of Sunflower.  It is really a nice place and I think we are learning a lot about what we’ll have to do on the Jamboree.

SATURDAY, JULY 7TH,

We continued our Jamboree training this morning.  There were only six (of the 13) Scouts – Delane, Markley, Don, Darcy, John and Kenny up here with us.  We fixed breakfast and then had some discussions about the Jamboree.  After lunch we came home.  This afternoon I cut out two more Saguaro cactus men for the gateway.

MONDAY, JULY 9TH,

After work I passed Robert on his camping skill award.  I then cut out the last cactus guy for the gateway.

THURSDAY, JULY 12TH,

Another hectic and busy day off.  I was on the go all day.  I worked on the gateway again and painted the guys green.

MONDAY, JULY 16TH,

…  I worked all of my spare time on some puzzles for the boys to do on the bus on the way to the Jamboree.  I wish that I could think of everything I need to do to get ready for the Jamboree.  It’s really coming fast!

TUESDAY, JULY 17TH,

We earned $26 selling sno-cones tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18TH,

…  We sold sno-cones again and are nearly out of supplies.  I sat and worked on baggage tags and the duty rosters.  I have decided we will not sell sno-cones again because it would not be worth buying new syrup.

THURSDAY, JULY 19TH,

I worked on menus, duty rosters and the troop name sign today.

FRIDAY, JULY 20th,

After work I goofed off and worked on the Jamboree menus.

SUNDAY, JULY 22ND,

…  We had a final meeting about the Jamboree with the other two troops.

MONDAY, JULY 23RD,

Scoutmaster Jim and I packed the equipment boxes to take to Chuck Miller’s home in Lehi.  I spent the rest of the night just worrying about the Jamboree.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25TH,

My last day of work until the last of August.

THURSDAY, JULY 27TH,

I spent the day getting ready for the Jamboree.  I bought food and finished everything that needed to be done.  I can’t believe that the day is finally here.

 

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

Personal Jamboree Memories Live On

 

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

In my last article, I talked of how our dream to take our Troop 155 (“The Best Alive”) to the 1973 BSA National Jamboree became a reality.

We took our time getting from our Arizona home up to the Jamboree in northern Idaho.  We stopped for a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona.   I still chuckle at a photo I took of our thirteen boys with only their backsides to the camera as together they looked down – bent over – over the guard rail looking down to the river below.  That photo was fun to show after we got home and at a parent’s meeting.  “There’s me!” each boy said proudly.  (And I wonder why I can’t locate the photo now!)

Our second night was spent at Richfield, Utah.  We stayed in a church yard and did our cooking on our Jamboree charcoal stoves there on the parking lot.  The next two nights we stayed at a campground in Salt Lake City.

We stayed in Salt Lake City over Sunday so that we did not have to travel on that day.  That day also turned out to be a “fasting” day for our church.  The Scouts were less than thrilled when we reminded them of the 24-hour fast and our intent to observe it.

We spent Sunday morning at a church near Salt Lake’s LDS Temple Square and that turned out to be quite the experience.  The church congregation was almost entirely older people.  They all cried (literally) as the fifty two of us marched in – wearing our complete Scout uniforms.  Many of the folks who were shedding tears told us that they had not seen that many young people in years.

We spent the afternoon at the Temple Square visitor’s center and had a little church meeting of our own there – with the permission of the Center leaders.  Later we went to dinner at a nearby smorgasbord restaurant where we broke our fast and ate once again.  The boys all thought that they were going to die of hunger before the meal.  Then when they saw all of that food, they piled their plates up about six to eight inches high.  They immediately chomped down and ploughed into the food.  Their eyes were bigger than their now shrunken stomachs, however.  Some of them literally turned green as they were so overstuffed and as they looked at the rest of the food that went uneaten.  It was really quite a comical scene.

The next day we again headed north.  We spent the night in Montana at a military base.  There were Scouts there from all parts of the country.  It was fun to see the operation there at the base.  The next day after that, we drove to Farragut State Park – located at the top of Idaho’s panhandle.  The whole area there was converted into one gigantic tent city of Scouts.

The first thing that we noticed as we entered the camp was an umbrella tent flying or whipping around high in the air on one rope pegged to the ground. The wind was blowing hard and the tent was circling the sky on that one tether.  We later learned that the tent was the KYBO (toilet) tent belonging to the Canadian Scouts who were camped near us.  I guess the wind had whipped the tent off – even as some poor Canadian Scout was in their doing his duty.

We were right on the western edge of the massive camp (of some 28,000 boys and leaders) so we saw all of the people … and huge amounts of dust … coming into camp.  We also got the full force of the fierce winds which howled constantly all while we were there.  The area had not had rain there for over forty days and everything was very dry. That is what made the dust so horrible.

Each campsite at the Jamboree (or in our case our troop) was urged to create a campsite entry or gate to welcome visitors and to tell who we were.  Being from Arizona we wanted something representative of our area.  We decided to feature four Saguaro Cactus men (the Saguaro cactus is the cactus variety that stands twenty or more feet tall and has many long arms.)  We put the official Jamboree red Scout berets on their heads.  Two of the men were on each side of the campsite and they had red ropes strung between the cactus men and to the other side.   Their stickery arms had a friendly wave for everyone who passed by.  At the Jamboree we had a lot of comments on our Saguaro men and everyone noticed our sign which told who we were and where we were from as it hung from the red ropes strung between the cactus men.

Of course on any outing, every boy Scout is crazy and wants to go swimming if there is a lake or stream.  At this Jamboree we camped on the banks of Lake Pond Oreille.  We waited in line one day for a couple of hours just to be able to swim in the FREEZING Lake Pond Oreille.  What a mistake!  That has got to be the COLDEST water that I had ever experienced in my entire life (and I have been in some pretty cold water at summer camps).  It was SUPER COLD – to give a great understatement.  We got a headache just being in the water for a couple of minutes.

That brings up the subject of the showers.  These were also extremely cold.  I am sure that they must have pumped the water straight from the bottom of that lake and into the showers. Then, to make matters worse, we would be dust-blown just trying to walk back to camp after the shower. We’d be dirtier when we got back to camp than when we got into the shower.

These showers were also the subject of many a humorous conversation by the throngs of Jamboree visitors.  The main frame of the apparatus was made of 2×4” boards.  A sheet of orange plastic was then rolled around and stapled onto the frame around these boards.  The orange plastic was placed above the shower platform about eighteen inches – and extended up about three feet.  When I stood in the shower, my legs from the knees down showed through underneath the tight sheeting.  And then my chest and above showed above the plastic. Add to this image that of a naked silhouette against the plastic and the scene was a total scream.    This became an unusual conversation piece to all who passed by and saw the scene.  What a hoot! And to make matters worse, as we showered, we could see and hear many lady visitors pointing out the unique scene to their daughters as they passed by together.  They really got a show that day.

One of the top leaders from our church  was at the Jamboree for the entire week as a camp chaplain.  He made a point to go around to meet all of the Scouts belonging to our church.  One day he rolled into our camp on his bicycle.  The camp was a filthy mess from all of the dust and wind that kept the tents down more than up.

Scoutmaster Jim and I recognized the visiting authority at once – Elder Vaughn J Featherstone – and went into a state of shock because of our campsite mess.  We did have a good visit with him but as he left, one of the boys asked, “Who was that man?”  …  “Uh, you mean that you don’t know?” we asked.  Anyway, we were horrified.  We hoped that the leader remembered the visit but not the state of affairs in which he found us in our dust bowl.

When the wind and dust were not killing us, we really did have a nice campsite.  I guess I’ll go ahead and admit that it was quite impressive.  I was Scoutmaster Jim’s Assistant Scoutmaster by this time and he and slept in a large white wall tent.  Our Scouts were camped as two patrols – in our new Baker tents – in a semicircle around us.

We had made little name tags which we posted on small poles in front of each tent and with these we could tell who occupied each of the spacious tents.  Our Saguaro cactus men looked great at our gate entry.  We had a lot of good comments about our Jamboree home.

Everyone at the Jamboree wore a complete Scout uniform consisting of a short sleeve shirt, red beret, and Scout shorts and knee socks (with those lovely garters and tabs).  There were about six inches of our legs that were not covered by either the sock or the shorts.  We really got sunburned there as we wore our uniforms through the Jamboree – and our 19-day trip.  Consequently, our legs were very sore.  My sunburn was so deep that I could still see the six-inch sunburned band for nearly two years after the Jamboree.  It was a funny reminder of the Jamboree, however, and it made for interesting conversations when my legs were revealed.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin The Scout Blogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

Jamboree Time full of Fun and Tradition

 

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By Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

It’s Scout Jamboree time and the hype and excitement is probably building in your council and throughout the country.  There are not enough adjectives to describe the jamboree experience – but most descriptions of a Jamboree begin with “FUN!” and “TRADITION”.  Jamborees certainly bring all of that together.  National BSA Jamborees come around every four years.  And international or world jamborees also happen every four years – but between the BSA events.  (So literally, there is a Jamboree is held every two years.)  Every Scout and leader “should” have opportunity to attend a Jamboree.  They are the ultimate!

Though each Jamboree is unique and different in their own way, yet too, they are much the same.  There is so much of tradition in the Jamboree that Scouts attending the Jamboree this year – in 2017 – will likely experience many of the same great feelings, events, and activities as a Scout might have in 1937 when the first Jamboree was scheduled.

Back in October, I blogged a bit about the National Scout Jamboree that my Troop 155 “The Best Alive” attended together.  This was hidden in a blog of tribute to my Scoutmaster, Jim Johnson, who had just died.  But, since it is Jamboree time, I thought that I would re-visit the Jamboree theme – in this and a couple more blogs.

You might all know by now that I might be as old as dirt.  And our Jamboree experiences might be years apart.  Yet, even so, perhaps as you read you can relate to or get excited about your Jamboree experience whether it is upcoming or like mine – a part of ancient Scouting history.  Anyway, with that in mind, I’d like to share some of my Jamboree experiences with you.

My own experience was actually a bit unique.   For most Jamborees, Scouts and leaders work hard to earn or to get funds to attend a future Jamboree.   Then as the Jamboree event gets closer, the Scout or leader registers with the local council and becomes a member of a Council Jamboree troop.  And a council could have a single such troop (of Scouts from all over) or it could have many troops – each with its own adult leaders and sometimes even different itineraries to and from the event.

When I attended my Jamboree (in 1973) the BSA staged two different Jamborees simultaneously (one in Farragut, Idaho and one at the Morraine State Park in Pennsylvania).  I attended the one in the north Idaho pan-handle.  Also, for that Jamboree, they opened up the event the regular home-town troop to attend under its own regular adult leadership.  And so each troop could create its own Jamboree plan, how to finance it, where to stop along the way, etc.

I had forever heard of Jamborees and had always had an intense desire to attend one.  But, money (as it always does) seemed to play a big role in the decision.  So generally lacking it, my hopes of attending a Jamboree were always “dashed”.  But, when I was about age 16, I read in the BSA “Scouting” Magazine of the opportunity to attend the Jamboree with one’s own troop.  And man, did I ever get excited.  That would be an understatement.  As I read the announcement, I knew that that it was plausible – and too, that I could make such a trip possible for me and my troop.

I don’t know exactly when Scoutmaster Jim Johnson came on the scene but I believe it was also when I was about 16.  And as the Troop JASM, I took on the task of “training him” in his Scoutmaster duties.  Jim and I hit it off immediately and we soon developed a pattern for great things in the troop.  I can still remember those wonderful “Patrol Leader Council Meetings” – held in his living room – wherein we planned and created the troop meetings and outings.  I worked very closely with Scoutmaster Jim and in many ways he treated me as if I was an adult Assistant Scoutmaster.  I helped plan activities, hikes and other programs.  Those were great days and they bring back such great memories.

Anyway, as I read that article that day, I was elated!  I could not believe it.  I had always wanted to attend a National Jamboree – and now suddenly out of the blue – here was my chance.  I rode my bike over to see the new Scoutmaster Jim Johnson.  I said, “Hey, Jim (that is what I always called him) … look where we are going in two years!” (as I showed him the magazine).  He said, “We are????”  But, he was willing to talk about it.  I was ecstatic as I worked to persuade him and he soon bought off on the plan.  And this would be a very major sacrifice for him since the Jamboree was about a ten or twelve day affair and with travel to and from, it would be about nineteen days.   And Jim was a self-employed painting contractor.  So, if he didn’t work, he didn’t get paid.  Jim was soon as excited about the plan as I was.

We went to our church leader – Max Killian – and presented the plan to him.  With a Scout son in our troop, he bought into the plan immediately.  He gave us the charge to earn as much of the money as we could over the next two years – and then gave us the promise that “whatever else you need, you will have”.

So we were then off and running.  The next two years were hectic and busy but glorious and wonderful.  Jim and I met often to talk about our plans and to put them into place with the Troop Leader’s Council.  There was so much to do.   We staged every fund-raising event possible.  (We could do those things in those days.)  We planned and bought equipment.  We trained and re-trained our youth leaders.  We had shake-down meetings, activities and outings.  We made saguaro cacti men – four of them – to be our gate entry into our campsite.

Once we made the decision to attend the grand event, we recruited two other troops (from the nearby village of Lehi – and from our local Mesa, Arizona LDS Stake) to go on the outing with us.  Ultimately we chartered a 51-seater bus for the 52 of us and we were on our way.   Our Troop 155 had 13 Scouts plus Scoutmaster Jim and me.  What a glorious and wonderful trip or adventure it was.  It was the grandest of adventures.  We all had a really great time.

We were to be gone for nineteen days!  I thought then, and have since, how few men would be willing to make a time commitment like that to Scouting and to boys.  But such was the commitment of Scoutmaster Jim Johnson!  I will always be grateful to Jim that he and his family were willing to make that sacrifice for us.  The trip was a dream-come-true for each one of us.

Out Troop 155 group included Robert Wagner, DeLane Davidson, my brothers Kyle and Darcy, Don Carroll, Smith Skouson, Lance Gardner, Scott Johnson, Marvin Peterson, David Killian, Jim’s son – Markley Johnson, John Ray and Kenny Smith.  What a great crew!  We were ready for the fun and grand traditions of a National Scout Jamboree.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

 

NEW TWIST ON THE TRADITIONAL BLUE AND GOLD

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By Kevin V. Hunt  – Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

Hey, Cub Scouters …  Are you tired doing the same old Blue and Gold Banquet year after year.  Are you getting tired of the spaghetti and all the work for the cutesy place mats and other decorations?  Do you think that “do one blue and gold … done them all?”  If so, here is an idea you might want to try.

Like many of you, I have been to my share of blue and gold banquets over the years.  In fact, because of my previous Scouting roles, I have probably been to a lot more of them than the “normal Joe Scouter or Parent”.   Well, this year, I attended a blue and gold event that got my attention – and a big WOW from me.

It was another windy but very beautiful Saturday morning in our sunny Mesa, Arizona.  And that same LDS Stake (that had the innovative pinewood derby races) staged another fabulous event for all of the packs within the stake boundaries.  There were eight or nine packs there.  The leaders from each of the packs worked together to plan and stage the big event.  It was a Blue and Gold circus or fair held out in the parking lot of one of the churches.  And it boasted of FUN from the moment one entered the area.  It was fun for the Cub Scouts, fun for their siblings, parents and the leaders – for EVERYONE!

Now I admit it wasn’t your usual banquet.  It was actually kind of non-traditional … but that sometimes makes for great events.  It was a great thing that day – even in the wind.

 

Each pack had selected one theme or activity for their own booth.  And each participant was given a full color “Circus Bingo Chips” card to make sure that he or she got to experience each booth.

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So, one pack staged bowling and yet another let kids create a simple rocket.  Then with a fancy (but simple) machine, a few of the rockets (at a time) were launched off into outer space.  Of course the Scouts had fun watching it climb to the clouds and then excitedly raced toward it when it began to come down.  The “Whirliegig swing” was fun for all.  I’ll leave that one to your imagination – but you probably know a grandpa or someone who might create such a thing!  Yet another booth lured kids and families in under the guise of “face painting” but then they hit you upon entering about recruiting neighborhood friends to come join the Cub Scout fun.

Another booth featured what must be now “trending” for Cub Scouts (families and others).  I had seen it recently at another Cub Scout event with a new Cub Scout grandson.  It is called “Hungry Hippos”.  For this event, you lay down on your chest on a small platform built with wheels (can be home-made – or even now bought on-line).  And then with legs sticking out – to help the hands propel around – one moves about trying to gather up as many blown-up balloons as possible – and to get them back to the starting point.  (This can be an individual event or can be a relay with groups of people.  And it is great fun as a “cartwheel” with one guy chested on the deal and the other holding his legs in the air as they quickly swirl around the floor for balloons.).  And do the kids ever love it!

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Happy Hippo Game

 

The Cup Cake Walk was a great hit.  They had a wide variety of cupcakes – in decoration and flavor.  And at the end, they had a problem …  too many cupcakes left.  Wow!  I did my part to assist them with this one!  And the fish pond was a definite hit.   The stake leaders made sure that there were real special “fish” for each Cub Scout.

As noted previously, my daughter is the Cubmaster in her pack and her husband is her assistant.  She is a photographer so naturally, she thought of something along that line.  So, Kaylea and JD came to our house – and raided “Momma Lou’s costume closet” for costume parts for folks to dress and pose in as their photo was taken against a fun background.  JD and Kaylea dressed as clowns and fit in with their roles.

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Cubmaster Kaylea and Assistant J.D. Stoddard at Blue and Gold Carnival

Now these were not just ordinary photos.  The photos came out of a super mini Poloroid-type camera – that came with its own printer.  And once printed, there were materials with which to create or craft a small frame to “house” the picture.  Kids thought this was cool and fun – and of course all moms were ecstatic with yet another – and even an instant – photo of their handsome Cub Scout (and siblings or family).   Lou and I donned Mexican outfits and we got our own photo taken.  Cool!  (Or we thought so!)

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Kevin and Lou Hunt at Blue and Gold Carnival Photo Booth

Well, now, … you ask, “So, where does the banquet part come in?”  Glad that you asked.  Of course it was there!  No such event is complete without FOOD.  “Food, glorious food …”  (You have probably heard that song from “Oliver”.)  And yes, one of the squares on the Bingo card (to make sure you went there) was for food.  Here at this booth there were hot dogs and a couple of kinds of soups.  (White chili … yummy!)  And after you got your food, you could make your way to one of several tables – all gaily decorated in the traditional blue and gold – but maybe not in the traditional way.  IMG_4891And the wind played havoc a bit with the decorations and tablecloths.  And that is probably why I found and photographed one decoration holding down a chair – or vice versa.  Wow!  That’s when it hit me …  There it is!  This is their blue and gold “banquet”.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Such a great novel idea!

It truly was a wonderful event.  Novel and different, but so much fun for everyone!  I’ll bet with a bit of imagination and creativity – and teamwork – your pack families – or a group of packs working together as these did – could come up with your own new twist on the old traditional.  Blue and Gold … have fun with it and celebrate it … in a new and fun way!

Best wishes along your Scouting trails!

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

 

Franklin District 2017 Klondike – Thank you Camp Chef for your support!

What a weekend! There was plenty of cold, snow and fun to be had at the Franklin District Klondike the weekend of February 24-25. By the time 9:00 p.m. came, Friday night, you couldn’t find a place to park at the Copenhagen Campground up near Strawberry Summit. Everybody pretty well spent their time digging and preparing their places of sleep for the night.

At 7:30 p.m. we all gathered around a campfire and through the blowing and drifting snow listened to a guest speaker, Jed Nield from Afton (Crow Creek) Wyoming.  He told of an experience he had 10 years ago while drilling holes for dynamite to blast for JR Simplot.  He got wrapped up in the drill and lost his left arm and his right leg as a result of the accident.  It was very faith promoting as he still maintains a great desire to live and can do many things in spite of his loss of limbs.  All the boys and leaders were very attentive to the program.

After the program the boys were just excited to get out of the cold weather and into their new home away from home.  It was 12 degrees at 4:00 p.m. and a breeze blowing which I am sure with the windchill brought the temperature down to below 0 degrees after the keynote speaker.

At 8:30 a.m. the following morning, a flag ceremony began the days events and A Klondike race and Snow ball toss began.

The Klondike race consisted of 4 Troops at a time pulling their sleds with one rider and as many pulling and pushing as they could with the remaining group running along beside the sled. A snowmobile made track to the 1st Station.  Station 1 consisted of a race to see who could pile up snow to the bottom level of a pre-placed marker.  After that it was off to the Station 2.  Station 2 was a snowshoe race.  Each troop took their fastest man and put him in snow shoes.  He then raced to a stations some 50 yards away and grabbed a pre-placed red ribbon which he needed to carry throughout the remainder of the race.  Off to Station 3.  Station 3 involved the placement of a bale of straw on the sled and taking it across a designated finish line.

The 3 fasted teams/troops were awarded one of three Camp Chef Stoves,  which Camp Chef generously donated.  One was a two burner, one a 3 burner with fold out shelves, and one a 3 burner with shelves and a griddle for cooking bacon, pancakes etc.  Thank you Camp Chef!

As each of the Troops finished up the Klondike race they then went to a snow ball toss contest.  They were awarded points for the number of bottles they knocked down, the ability to hit a moving target, and the skill of hitting a stationary target.  The 3 best winners of the Snow Ball Toss received a certificate to receive a pizza from one of the local Pizza Places in town.

It was cold on Saturday, but you would never know it as you watched the youth have fun.

We awarded all of the prizes, had donuts and hot chocolate furnished by the Preston South Stake and began to clean up and head home.

Our thanks goes out to all who made this possible.  We had a great attendance with somewhere between 60 and 70 boys,( we haven’t got an exact count as yet) and another 30 or so leaders.  I would like to really express my thanks to the Preston South Stake Young Men’s Presidency who worked so hard to make it all happen.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

By Robert Child img_0049img_0050img_0051

What Does Scouting have to do with Family History?

 

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Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger , Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

Recently I had the unique opportunity to showcase some Scouting history at our stake’s Family History Discovery Day.  I thought that Scouting and family history actually fit well together.  But, a couple of people came to my display tables and acted a bit confused.  A couple of people said under their breath – not knowing that I was listening – “What does Scouting have to do with family history?”  Good question!

Months before this event I had been invited to be a part of the steering committee for this big stake and community event.  I joined the planning committee wearing two hats.  One was in my role as the Stake Historian.  The committee wanted to have the event well documented in our history for this year.  My other requested role (by the committee chairman) was to show some of the Scouting history of the stake.  Sure …  I could do that!

My display tables – and I had three of them – one for Scouting and two for general personal and family history were kind of unique.  And I admit, they did stand out a bit.

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This was a major family history conference and displays were plenteous in the large gymnasium and conference room – in the historic Interstake Center in Mesa, Arizona.  Many local genealogical and family history groups or organizations had been invited to participate.  Most of their displays had a computer as their main feature.  And on these computers, volunteers or companies showed off their latest and greatest tools to do family history research. My Scouting table was full of “Scouting stuff” that I have collected through the years.  So, the tables did catch a few eyes – but I think a great many people enjoyed browsing it all.

First I’d like to take a moment to define “family history”.  When most folks think of family history, I believe they think of Grandma or Great Aunt Clara – who spent their lives researching the family lines and creating pedigree charts and family group records.  That is actually how I got started.  I was age twelve – when I took up most of my life hobbies and interests – many of them through Scouting leaders.  At twelve, I was put into a Sunday School genealogy class that went for six weeks.  That was kind of a short class but it was enough to get me hooked.  And so for most of my teen years – when I wasn’t doing Scouting – I was doing family history research and created many of those charts which I put into a “Book of Remembrance”.  (And Grandma Augusta Hunt and I were a team!)

Over the years, I have come to learn that family history goes way beyond all those charts and family trees.  I believe that family history really is creating a record of our lives and those of our ancestors.  The family history I have enjoyed the most is when I have been able to find photos and histories for the people on those charts.  That is when their lives have come alive for me (even if they have been dead for decades).   Also, I now believe that each one of us has the opportunity and even the responsibility to create records of our life and times here on earth.  And these records can be for ourselves as well as for our current and future posterity.  The Book of Revelation in the Bible says (Rev. 20:12), “… and the books were opened, And another book was opened, which is the book of life …”  Joseph Smith expanded on that theme when he taught that “the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the records which are kept on earth.  And the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven …”  (D&C 128:7)  And then in the next verse, he says, “… Whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven.”

Wow!  That is pretty strong.  So, yes, records of our lives really are an opportunity and a responsibility.  And so, with that background, I believe that we should work hard to create records of our lives – all facets of our lives.  But, those records don’t need to be limited to paper and computer files.  I think that there are a myriad of ways that we can record our personal histories and those can be different for each individual and family.  I would suggest that each one of us figure out some way to use and show our talents in the preservation of our histories.

Our histories can include various chapters of our lives – such as our spouse and families, our education, our life’s work or vocation, our hobbies and interests, and much more.  As I look back at my own life, I realize that most of my life has included involvement in Scouting in one way or another.  That is probably true for most of us.  If we were Cub Scouts and Scouts in our youth, and then served for even a few years as a Scouting volunteer, we soon see that Scouting has been much of our lives – and so well worth documenting as a major chapter of our lives.  If it is worth doing, it is worth recording.  And that applies to Scouting.

So, how to do it?  What can we do to document our Scouting history and heritage?  There really is no set way to go about it.  Use your imagination and begin to create some interesting records of your Scouting lives.  It doesn’t matter what you do … just do something!  And begin to do it now.

I might be a bit overboard with history and records and Scouting heritage, but here are some ideas that I have done.  I am not saying that you should do them all.  Pick a few of them for yourself and begin to document your Scouting life and times.  Here are some items that were a part of my Scouting family history display that day:

Personal Journal:  I have blogged on this subject many times.  But, with a personal journal with daily entries for over forty years, I have much written about Scouting events and good times that I have been a part of through the years.  And it is such fun to go back and read those entries.  It is almost like doing it all over again.

JOURNAL IMAGE FROM WEB

This past summer my wife and I were on the staff at Camp Newfork – operated by the Trapper Trails Council.  I wrote extensive journal entries of the summer experience and added many photos to them.   I later blogged these journal entries on The Scouting Trail with the full series summarized in the blog It was Quite the Summer at Camp New Fork.

Walking Sticks:  This may sound unique, but I have a hobby of carving walking sticks.  I don’t just carve them to be carving but they actually contain a lot of history.  I try to carve a new stick at or for each camp that I go to – and each one has carved into it memories about the particular camp.  These are great conversation pieces with my children and grandchildren – and Scouts everywhere.

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Framed Awards:  As I completed my youth phase of Scouting, my mother had me collect all of my badges and she put them into a nice frame for my future enjoyment.  She made one for my Cub Scout awards and another for my Boy Scouting years.

Neckerchief Blanket:   My wife did a great thing for me.  She got all of the neckerchiefs that I had earned or received through the years (including those from when I was a Cub Scout, Scout, camps, and for everything since).  She sewed these all together into a giant king-sized (at least) blanket.  And then she sewed the patches from the various events – onto the appropriate neckerchief.   So, there is a multitude of neckerchiefs and a couple of hundred patches.

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Excel SpreadsheetI created a spreadsheet to document my years of Scouting service.  I have a line for each Scouting position and then columns for the positions, when I served, the unit number, the chartered institution, people involved in that role, and more.  When I wanted to provide documentation for a major service award, I went back through my journals and recorded information for each position through the years.

Slide Show:  I went through the house and collected my Scouting photographs from their various hiding places in closets, drawers, boxes, etc.  I then sorted these by date and experience.  I then created Word documents for the various Scouting events through my life.  I could have used PowerPoint to create these but didn’t.  On each page, I had a title, sometimes a brief description of the event, people, etc.  And I scanned and inserted into each page four or five photos.  And after I created these pages, I then saved each page as a PDF document.  This was a major feature of entertainment for a Jubilee Celebration which I recently staged for myself.  I showed the slide show at the event but also printed each page and had it bound into a nice book for me and for my posterity.

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Scouting Book CollectionScouting has changed much through the years – yet it is so much the same as ever.  And through the years, a plethora of books and handbooks have been generated.  I have a major handbook collection.  It has my old “Lion” Cub Scout book, my own Scout Handbook, a 1928 “Rally Book” and more.  I even have a collection which includes every edition of the Scout Handbook.  My son, Rusty, and I created a beautiful red oak with glass doors display case to keep these in.  It is magnificent!

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Kevin Hunt Scout Handbook Collection in Red Oak Frame

 

Awards:  I am not one to tout or brag about awards that I have received, but I do have them collected in a single spot/box for my own enjoyment.

UniformsI have kept my uniforms that I have worn through the years.  And some of these are really “vintage” now.    I have my old Cub Scout uniform, several of my Scout uniforms, and many uniforms, jackets, hats, etc. that I have worn through the years.  When our first daughter was born, my mom even took one of the old uniforms and created a little girl dress that Jackie wore in parades (when we marched with Scouts) and to other places.

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PhotosTake photos at every event.  You never know when you will want these for a slide show or other special event.  Mark the photos with the name of the event, when it was, who is in the photo, etc.  And with today’s electronic technology, there are a multitude of great programs or ways to organize and store your photos.

Court of Honor ProgramsI created PowerPoint presentations with a lot of photos for each of my three sons on the occasion of their Eagle Scout court of honor programs.  These have become valued treasures for them and for me.

Books from Journals and Personal ExperiencesI go a bit beyond what most folks would, but I have compiled several books from my Scouting experiences as recorded in my journals and personal memories.  I am just now beginning to market and publish these.

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Troop Reunions and HistoriesI have been the catalyst to stage several troop reunions through the years.  “155 … The Best Alive”.  At these reunions I take a lot of photos and have old Scout friends record a paragraph or two of their memories.  And then I have compiled all of these into a history of the troop through the years.   I have created a mini book or history and have shared this with those who came to the reunions – and any others that I’ve run into beyond the reunions.

Letters and CertificatesI am only about half way through this project but I collected all of the certificates, thank you letters, correspondence, and anything paper about my Scouting times and am scanning these and putting them into a book for my own use – and for my own posterity.  I will create a printed book – or book of originals for myself – but after it is scanned, I can store it and share it with my posterity.

TraditionsThese are not always visible (though you can use the ideas presented here to make them such), but it is important to have strong family Scouting traditions.  Keep these alive and keep doing them.  For instance … in our family we have a long-standing tradition of becoming Eagle Scouts.  And in the case of me and my sons, we each have maintained the tradition of each receiving three or four palms beyond Eagle.  Have traditional events, outings, and programs with traditional family or Scouting friends.  Document you and your group doing these things.

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Oral HistoriesSet yourself – or your Scouting parents, wife and children – down and have them tell stories of their Scouting experiences.  With today’s electronics there are so many options for recording your histories and memories.  FamilySearch.com has some great ways to permanently record your history and your photos.  Check it out!  You might want to interview and record your old Scoutmaster, Scouting Friends and troop-mates, and others who have been a big part of your Scouting experience.  (And don’t forget to do this for yourself!)

Well, again, you may not be able to do all of these things.  I have done them … but that it is me and who and what I am.  My challenge is to look at your own life of Scouting (and other) experiences and then find the best way(s) – that is so you – and which uses your abilities and talents (and the help of others) to record those great Scouting moments.  And when you start doing this, you’ll probably catch the spirit of the whole history thing and you’ll want to do more and more.

And so, back to our original question:  What does Scouting have to do with family history?  I think it has a lot to do with it …  Scouting is a big part of your life so it deserves to be a part of your personal, family and troop histories.  Find ways to get the two together … and you will have much joy and happiness through bringing them together.  You’ll be glad that you did it – and so will your posterity and Scouting friends.  Scouting with family history … what a novel and wonderful idea!

And I would love to help you personally to explore ways to do all of this.  Feel free to contact me!  I would also enjoy hearing or seeing what you come up with for yourself!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and the Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to: amazon.com/author/kevinhunt

Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt