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.

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Contact Kevin directly via email: kevin@scoutingtrails.com

@ 2017 Kevin V. Hunt

 

 

Janith Creager: Her Blood ran Blue and Gold

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Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

“Janith Creager … now there is a name that I recognize.”  That was my thought a couple of weeks or so ago as I read on-line the obituaries in the “Deseret News”.   It has been a long time since I have lived in Utah, but for some reason I am still drawn to the Utah obituaries.  I actually read them every day … and it is amazing how many people I recognize.

I should have put pen to paper right then (or in today’s world, fingers to the keyboard).   I should have … but I was pretty swamped that day.  I am the historian for my local stake and with the need to create the annual stake history, I was pretty pressed upon that day (and since).  But, now I have repented and will attempt to make a go of it.

Janith Creager …   JANITH CRAEGER

Janith  was a member of my district Cub Scout Committee when I was the Scouting professional serving the great Mt. Ogden District thirty plus years ago.  With the passage of time, one’s mind can play funny tricks.  So, I can’t remember the exact position that she held on my District Cub Scout committee.   (I guess I could dig out some journals from that day but that might turn into a rather major research project.)  But, I do remember Janith for her dedication, her organizational skills, her energy and her enthusiasm.  And I do know that if it was blue and gold, she was there.  She was so willing to help and serve in any way that she could.

Janith was willing to help plan Cub Scout activities of all kinds.  She served in various ways and on various committees.  She lent her full support.  She visited units.  She helped with training.  Anything blue and gold, in those days, had her fingerprints on them.

The obituary stated, “When her three sons were young she became a Cub Scout Den Mother, making sure that each of them and many neighborhood boys experienced Scouting at its best.  Jan was awarded the Eagle Scout Mother Pin three times.  Jan was a merit badge counselor and remained involved with Scouting for many years in leadership positions.  In recognition of her dedication to the Scouting program, she was honored with the silver Beaver Award.” [And age 88 – born in 1928 … just like my dad!]

What a legacy to boys … Cub Scouts. Thanks, Janith!

And with thoughts of Janith, I began, as I wrote this blog article, to think of other members of the “old guard” for my Mt. Ogden District.   I enjoyed a fun walk back down memory lane.  I really should not start mentioning names – for with 1,000 district volunteers, I am likely to forget a few – even the noble and great ones.  But, I guess I will mention a few and I apologize if I don’t mention your name. Just know that I did then and still am grateful for your service and dedication.

I thought of my district chairmen – first Lowell Clontz (now deceased) and Richard Moyle.  Those guys sure put out a lot of time and effort for me and the volunteers of the district.   I thought of my district commissioner – Ron Harrison.  How could I forget Ron?  He was the mastermind behind giving Weber Stake President a dead fish – as encouragement to give new life to the Scouting program in his stake.  And gratefully, Pres. Dean Barnes took the bait (ha, ha) and rose to the occasion.  His stake program soon saw major change and it became one of the best in the district.

I had the privilege to work with some fabulous Cub Scouters.  Luana Gilbert was my Cub Scout committee chairman.   Lloyd Bartschi was another great Cub chairman.   It was a real sad day – and a real shocker – when he died of a heart attack at a Cub Scout roundtable he was conducting – and after recognizing the Cub Scout of the Year in the district.  Then there was Dennis and Carol Hill.  Like Janith, their fingerprints were all over everything blue and gold.  And there was Dionne Halverson and Darlene Allen (another do-everything Cub Scouter – and also the mom of my Bartlett camp staffer, Terry).

From the Boy Scouts, I remember Ken Reed, Scout committee chair, LaVon Jennings and Lola Patterson.  (LaVon lent me two of her great sons to serve on my Bartlett staff. And Ken’s son was also on my Bartlett team!)   Ron Smith was a great camping chairman.  And he also married LuDeen Bartschi after the death of Lloyd.  Gene Froerer was a great commissioner – and he and I still exchange e-mail messages once in a while even now.

Richard Moyle was my Varsity Scouting chairman (before becoming my district chairman) and was fantastic in his implementation of the new Varsity Scouting program (back in pre-historic days – when it was a “pre-pilot program” … “and look at it now!”).  Paul Warner was a great Varsity Scouting training chairman– and I think that he and Richard and I conducted the first ever Varsity leader training, the first youth leadership course and the first ever Varsity Scout games.   That is the first in the Scouting world for all of those things!  Great job, guys!  We even created the national leader insignia patches that for decades were worn by Varsity leaders everywhere.   Dr. Lindsay Curtis also made a major contribution to Varsity Scouting.

And from Exploring there was Darius Coker – who died while serving in the position of Exploring Chairman.  He was really dedicated and gave Exploring his all.  And he was kind of everything Exploring.

I remember too, Carole McCain, Milan and Susan Mecham, Pres. Bob Poll, and Pres. Robert Walker – all from Morgan County.  (Carole was mother to yet another Bartlett staffer – Matt.)    Sometime I will have to blog about district service and Friends of Scouting – as it ties to Bob Walker.  (And Bob’s daughter married another great Bartlett staffer, Paul Kearl – after she came up to camp with a girl’s camp group that came after the Boy Scouts.  I think they are now living their “happily ever after” in Wyoming!  I loved all the Morgan County folks.  And I even gave one of my sons the middle name of “Morgan” in recognition of those great folks.

And remember Vince Quan …? That guy was a dreamer, a mover and a shaker.  He staged the greatest Scout-O-Rama ever as he inspired us all to create that fabulous Western fort.  Our show even made it to the Scouting Magazine.   Remember that?    Click and read for a refresher course:  Mt. Ogden District Scout-O-Rama 1981

Rodney Brady was the President of Weber State College, located in the heart of the Mt. Ogden District, and he assisted with facilities and other resources in many ways.

I could go on and on in praise and thanks and wish that I could remember and mention everyone – who all gave so much to make our Mt. Ogden District and the unit programs the best for the boys.  I am sure that I have only scratched the surface – even of the district committee.  What a great team!  Thanks to all of you – even 30 plus years later.  (I guess it is never too late!)

I wasn’t around to honor Janith Creager after her death, but I hope that she was given a proper blue and gold send-off.  She deserved it.  But, just in case she didn’t get that, perhaps we should do it now.  “CUB SCOUTS and LEADERS …, ATTENTION!!! …  Cub Scout hand salute … [pause] … And Two!”  Thanks to you, Janith, and to all of the “old guard” of the Mt. Ogden District.  Thanks for all that you do and all that you have done in the past.  My hat goes off to all of you!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin

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(To read more of Kevin’s writing, see “Scouting Trails” Books at Scouting Trails)

© Kevin V. Hunt 2016