Troop 868 in Action

SCOUT-O-RAMA (April, 2005)

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Scout-O-Rama in Louisville, Kentucky is the oldest annual Boy Scout exhibition in the country.  For most of it's history, it has been co-sponsored by the Louisville Rotary Club.  For most of the 50s, 60s, and 70s the show was a multi-day event held in a large exhibit hall at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center.  Sometime during the 80's it was shortened to become primarily a Saturday event and moved to the infield at historic Churchill Downs racetrack.  Many Boy Scout troops elect to camp in the infield on Friday and/or Saturday nights;
most Cub Scout packs simply come out on Saturday and set up a display booth under one of several large circus-style tents in an area called "the Big Top."  Though Boy Scout troops are invited to set up display booths under the Big Top, few elect to do so.  Troop 868, of course, is an exception.

Planning for this year's booth display began in January when our PLC chose THEATRE MERIT BADGE as both our booth theme and our advancement focus for the month of March.  During the five weeks preceding Scout-O-Rama, scouts learned and practiced skits during weekly troop meetings and an adult merit badge counselor taught theatrical terms and offered pointers to help scouts become better actors.  Several evening and weekend work sessions were held to construct a mobile stage complete with lighting and a curtain.  A variety of props were gathered together; other props were made and painted.

On Friday night of Scout-O-Rama weekend, scouts dismantled the stage in the warehouse where it was constructed, transported it by truck to Churchill Downs, and re-assembled it in our assigned area under the Big Top.

Throughout the day on Saturday, Troop 868 scouts performed a variety of different skits, pantomimes, and one-act plays on a rotating schedule.  The scouts rotated roles as actors and also handled sound, lighting, and announcing.  Troop leaders did little more than keep a watchful eye, as scouts ran the entire show --- and had a great time doing it.

Tim, Vincent, Matt, John, and Philip perform a skit about a distraught reporter about to jump off a bridge. (L to R) Alex, Vincent, Tim, and John test the microphones before beginning their performance.
Vincent, Chris, Trey, John, and Matt do a good job of passing the microphone so that everyone can be heard. Vincent sells John a "barely used" brain formerly owned by Scoutmaster Meek in a skit that was the scouts' favorite.
Tim takes a turn working the light board while Stephen handles the sound.  The scouts rotated jobs throughout the day. Thugs played by Matt, John, and Vincent attack unsuspecting camper Tim while patrol leader Philip sleeps undisturbed nearby.