Saturday, May 16, 2009


The Los Amigos District Scout-O-Rama event was held this weekend. Scout-O-Rama? What's that you say? I wondered the same thing when I heard about it many years ago when my oldest boy had joined a local cub scout den. If I had attended it back when I was a boy, I do not recall.

Scout-O-Rama is a special annual event where all the units in the district come together to display scout skills. I'll say that it is something like a carnival/fair. Every unit (Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and Venture Crews) get a booth or display area. There is a nominal admission fee of $10 per family which mostly covers rental of the grounds and insurance, and there is typically a parking fee charged by the facility owner which was $5 this year. A few vendors are invited to supply food and beverages, the scout shop sets of a store, but otherwise there are no additional fees to participate in anything. An excellent deal, but it get's better!

There are several hundred booths manned by the units each year. The booths cover all areas of interest, including:
  • Some cook and serve food (typically camping style) which you eat at your own risk, though most of it is from very safe recipes. Food includes stews, muffins cooked over open fires, dutch oven cobblers and desserts, solar cooked wienies and even pizza. I never have a need to buy food from the vendors.
  • Scout built bridges, towers and climbing walls, as well as a regular attraction of a scout built May-Pole swing that seats about 10-12 people per turn. The swing often has hour long lines to get on.
  • Booths to earn Cub Scout Belt Loops, Webelos Pins, and Boy Scout Merit Badges. These usually entail completing a number of requirements. The units usually provide the materials needed to complete the tasks.
  • Crafts and art booths. In the past, the pack my sons belonged to provided materials to build pine cone bird feeders, a very popular activity. Cheap peanut butter spread on pine cones collected from local parks then roll the pine cones in bird seed and add a string to hang it.
  • A few booths specialized in providing shaded resting places or misting stations or cold drinks.
  • Many other things I am probably forgetting including panning for gold or fancy rocks, mazes, displays and exhibits.

My son's Boy Scout Troop 1201 has traditionally run a canoe event. We brought 6 canoes and provided canoe rides. My sons and I worked the booth from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and I have included a picture of my younger boy helping me unload passengers I just took around the pond. This is a very popular booth that has had two hour lines in the past. It is great advertisement for our troop. We even won an award this year. We only had one incident during the day where a canoe tipped over and dumped the passengers. Accidents happen, and the life jackets we make everyone wear is a clear indication that unexpected dips in the pond are a distinct possibility. With that one exception, I think everyone else had a nice time.

I have to say that the location of this years event was by far the best; much better than the two other locations that have been used in past years. There was lots of shade and parking was good, taking less than 15 minutes to get in and out. I hope the district will be able to use this same location in coming years.


The Muse said...

was the award for dunking the passengers? LOL...sorry, but i could not resist!

i am happy to hear that your scouts won an award...i think when the boy scouts study hard..they deserve to be recognized.

in this world..i think there needs to be more scout attitude!

David said...

I love playing with words and get great humor out of seeing the ridiculous in poorly phrased wording. Muse, you caught me at my own game.

I had intended to end my paragraph on a happy note, but indeed it sounded funny to comment about the award after dunking our guests. So I made a minor edit and moved the mention up a bit.

Now I may have to go back and find a happier ending for that paragraph. :)