Jamboree Time full of Fun and Tradition



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




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.


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!


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.


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!)


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?



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.






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.


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.


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









Order of the Arrow Lodge Annual Report

Kyle Jekyleppesen, Lodge Chief for the Awaxaawe’ Awachia Lodge, presented the Lodge Annual Report to the Executive Board of the Trapper Trails Council on February 8, 2017.

To access the 2016 annual report,  Click here.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the web page, then download the annual report.

Great things are happening in the Awaxaawe’ Awachia Lodge!  The Lodge met the criteria to be a Silver Level Journey to Excellence Lodge for the second year in a row.

Kyle was elected 2017 Lodge Chief by his youth peers in the Order of the Arrow, and is the only youth member of the Trapper Trails Council Executive Board.

In addition to the Annual Report presentation, Scout Executive Allen Endicott talked about the 2017 Lodge charter, which is displayed in the board room of the Ogden Service Center. 2017-lodge-charter

Alumnus of the Year

Neil Butterfield does not seek the accolades of the world.  This is one reason why Neil is the Trapper Trails Council, BSA Alumnus of the Year.  This recognition was presented to Neil at the council’s annual business meeting held on February 8, 2017.

The Trapper Trails Council takes pleasure in presenting the Boy Scouts of America Council Alumnus of the Year Award to Neil A. Butterfield.neil-butterfield

The BSA Council Alumnus of the Year Award is the Scouting Alumni Association’s highest council recognition.  The award was established to recognize alumni of the Boy Scouts of America who, over a sustained period of time, have used the skills and values they learned through their association with Scouting to make significant and long-lasting contributions to their local communities through their careers, avocations, and Scouting.

Neil was a Boy Scout in Salt Lake City in the 1940’s and was one of the very few who earned the Explorer Ranger award before it was discontinued in 1950.

After service in the US Air Force he began his professional Scouting career in Ephrata, Washington in 1958.  Later he served in Boise, Idaho and Medford, Oregon.  His successes led to his selection as Scout Executive in the Juneau, Alaska council.

After a lengthy and successful service there he served at Idaho Falls, Idaho until he was selected as the Scout Executive of the Cache Valley council in 1979.  He served there until the council merged to form the Trapper Trails council in 1993, when he retired.  Since that time he has been an invaluable member of the Council Executive Board in solving numerous administrative challenges.  He is a well-known face throughout the council to Scoutmasters and Scouts, as well as to Council and District leaders.  Though adept in overseeing high level board meetings, he can also often be found with a hammer or drill, making repairs to buildings at camps or brewing up tasty Dutch Oven delights at Camp-o-rees or at Summer Camp.

Because the Scout Oath is the creed by which he lives, he has become the Scouter’s Scouter to thousands of adults and youth who admire him.  He was recognized for his contributions as a volunteer with the
Silver Beaver award in 2001 and has over 72 years registered service in the Boy Scouts of America.

Neil is a prominent member of his community and church in Logan, Utah.  As Scout Executive of the Cache Valley Council for 14 years, his gentle and efficient manner enabled him to develop Scouting advocates among the business, education and government leaders throughout northern Utah and southern Idaho.  His legacy continues to this day.  Through his quiet and gentle leadership, scores of former Scouts have become firm supporters of Scouting throughout the Cache Valley for over 30 years.  His positive example and gentle encouragement have made better Scouters of all those who have known him.

The Trapper Trails Council is honored to present the Boy Scouts of America Council Alumnus of the Year Award to Neil A. Butterfield.  Congratulations Neil!


Pinewood Derby Cars Race Down Tracks Again


About this same time each year – and all over the country, an interesting phenomenon occurs as pinewood derby cars race down tracks again.  It’s something that Cub Scouts live for and dream of for months before it happens.  And for most dads (and a few moms), the big races come around all too soon.


So, “When” – you ask – “did the pinewood derby come into Vogue?”   Well, that is an interesting question.  You probably all know that I was around when dirt was organized and I have known the pinewood derby races to be around at least as long as I have.    And since you can find the answer to almost anything on Google, I decided to see what it could come up with.  And was I surprised.  According to Pinewood Derby in Wikipedia the first pinewood derby race was held on May 15, 1953.  “Within the year, the Boy Scouts of America adopted the pinewood derby for use in all Cub Scout packs.”  And, it continues, “In its October 1954 issue, Boy’s Life publicized the event and offered plans for the track and a car which featured ‘four wheels, four nails, and three blocks of wood.’”   Well, I told you that the pinewood derby had been around as long as I could remember … and no wonder …  that October was the exact month that I began my sojourn here upon the earth!  Thanks, Wikipedia!

And so, yes, 63 years later, the pinewood cars are still going strong as each year they race down the tracks again!  It might be the one of the few times that father (or mother) and son truly do something together.  So for that reason, it truly is a grand tradition as it brings fathers and boys together to create their dream cars.

This year I have a unique vantage point as five grandsons are all Cub Scouts and have their engines revved for their own races.  And with that situation, I took the opportunity to talk to each of the five grandsons about their cars, races, and their excitement that goes with it all.

Just this past Sunday night, the Pinewood Derby became a dinner discussion item.  My wife and I and my 88-year old father, Russel, were having dinner with our daughter, Kaylea, her man, JD and their six children (five of which – all the boys –  are current or former Cub Scouts).  JD is an engineer so naturally, he HAS to design the best and fastest cars.  And with five sons, that is and has been a challenge.  And my father, father also to five sons, has probably made fifteen of the pinewood cars in his day.  As the topic came up, Dad and JD swapped war stories about their own cars.  It was a great conversation.  And hearing them talk, I guess it is all in the wheels.  My dad hasn’t built a pinewood car in over forty years but the tricks seem to be the same – but maybe they’ve gotten better with age.  JD blew me away as he talked of sanding the wheels with 2,000 grit paper – and then progressing to 5,000 grit.  Talk about fine … I can’t even comprehend that degree of fineness.

Then JD went to the other room and produced a bag that was full of the family cars of the past.  When lined up together, they looked like the Indy 500.  And as each car came out of the bag, each of the sons shared their stories about their cars and their losses and glories.  Each car had its own story.image1-2

One year JD had to construct three different cars for sons.  Wow!  He ought to get a medal for that one!  He notes – and the boys did too – that in that year, one son took first place, another took second and the third son took third place in the pack race.  Impressive.

This year Lou and I got to attend the pinewood race for Brodey and Jett.  Our daughter was actually the Cubmaster and JD is her assistant.  They had an interesting scenario.  All of the seven or so Cub Scout packs in their local church stake – or group of congregations – held their races on the same day.  Each pack had its assigned block of time for their own races.  This meant that they rented the fancy electronic track but the guy and the poor owner of the track (Steven Peterson – a member of my old Troop 155) had to remain there directing races all day on a Saturday.

And they pooled resources and talents to create a beautiful racing room as well as an awards presentation room – both gaily decorated in race track décor.  So, after their race, a new pack would gather in the awards room – getting off the track and out of the room just in time for the next pack to come in.   It was a grand scheme!

JD’s engineering skills didn’t do so well this year, however.  Instead of getting first place, Brodey and Jett were in last place.  This was a shock to poor JD.  Of course he had excuses …  Anyway, poor Brodey took dead last.  His car was the absolute slowest.  I asked Brodey how he felt about having the slowest car.  His answer surprised me:  “It was delicious!”  I said, “How do you mean?”  He said, “They had a cake (from a bundt pan) decorated as a flat tire and I got the “flat tire award” and the cake was all mine!”  Brodey also received the “Sportsmanship” certificate for taking it like a man.  Jett was excited about his “Superman” car that he and his dad had created – and which got the certificate for “the best paint job”.  And Jett said “I got to sand and paint the car!”  “They may not have won, but they looked nice,” said father, JD.  Jett said, “I still have my car and Brodey and I race them sometimes.”

Craig and his father – our son – live in St. George, Utah.  Craig had his first car last year.

When I called him to talk of his coming race – less than ten days away, he said that they haven’t yet started on their car.  I asked him when the race will be.  He said, “I think it is just after Valentine’s Day”.  His mother, hearing the conversation said, “The race is actually on Valentine’s Day!”  (How’s that for a sweetheart deal?”)  Craig – always quick on the draw – said, “Oh, good!  Then I can make it a heart and can paint it pink.”  I said, “Or red …”  He said, “No, it will be pink!”

I asked him about last year’s car and he said, “It was basically the shape of a wave – and the front was tipped like a wave.”  (That is so Craig!)  He noted that he got 3rd, 4th, or even 5th in every heat of the race.  His pack invited any family members who wanted to do so, to create their own car.  So, his sister, Savannah, said that her car was a musical car – made in the shape of a piano – and little Jason had a “school bus car” (a man after the heart of his school bus driving grandfather!)”

Also talking of last year’s car, Craig said, “I came up with the design but mostly Grandpa Farr did most of the work.  But, I got to paint it!”

Tanner, and his father, Paul, live in Ohio – where Paul is stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB – as a trainer of flight nurses.  I call their car the “miracle car”.  His race was on a Thursday night in Ohio.  And they were visiting us in Arizona – and flew home late in the afternoon on Wednesday.  He showed me his car before they headed home – and it was just a plain pine board – cut to shape.  But somehow in the ensuing 24-hours, they miraculously created a fabulous scorpion car.  (You can read about Arizona scorpions in my recent blog “Our Arizona Fauna is Unique and Different” at https://thescoutingtrail.org/2016/05/19/arizona-our-fauna-is-unique-and-different/)


Tanner said that his car had won first place last year. Then he added, “So, I don’t have to win this year.  I’m going more for style!”  And boy, did he ever go for style with the scorpion car!  Wow!  I had never seen anything like it.  Amazing, Tanner and Paul!  Of his car, Tanner said, “We designed it together.  We spray painted it and as it dried, we worked on the wheels.  We made the scorpion out of aluminum foil.”  He noted too, that he got to sand and paint the car.  And he said, “I won five out of six races”.  So, he had a FAST stylish car!

Blake lives near our home so we were able to attend his race just a couple of weeks ago.  This was his first one.   Blake was all decked out in his crisp, clean and complete Cub Scout Uniform.  He was definitely a proud Cub Scout.

And I was proud to stand with him at his side.  Blake said, “Dad and I designed the car.  Then we went to uncle JD’s house and he helped us cut it out.  Then we sanded it.  Dad and I painted it and put the stripes on it.”  And again, “Uncle JD” is credited for his engineering expertise as he told Blake and his father how to do the wheels.

As I entered the race hall, I noted several Spanish-American families.  That was a first for me to see them at such a race – but why not?  Those boys and their dads had a grand time – and just as much fun as anyone putting their cars together.    I talked to Fernando – and he and his son, Saul, loved the opportunity to be a part of the race.  Fernando said that Saul had a really fun time.  And I think that dad did too!

Blake was bubbling over with energy and enthusiasm over his car.   To say that he was excited was a major understatement.  I took several photos of Blake but one still shot captured some of that excitement in his face as he saw his car coming down the track.  img_4844He was animated and so very happy.  And what made him even happier was that he noted that his car won every race – but tied the last one.  As with many packs, this pack had unique certificates which they presented to each boy.  So, Blake did not get any more recognition than did any of the other boys.  No one said that his car was the fastest – but his certificate said it all: “Speed Demon”.img_4854

So, it has been a fun adventure this year being a grandpa and sharing the Pinewood excitement with my five Cub Scout grandsons – and their fathers.  So glad that the grand tradition is still alive and well – as pinewood derby cars race down tracks again!  And it is really fun now to enjoy the activity with the grandsons – without having to help produce the cars.  This is a pretty good arrangement!  I kind of like it!