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San Diego Council’s Scout Fair April 18, 2010

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

This past Saturday, my council (the San Diego-Imperial Council) had its annual Scout Fair, in the parking lot of San Diego’s football stadium. It’s an event they hold each year, and every year it’s so much fun. My son and I had the privilege of going there all day with our troop. (And I mean all day! We left the house at 6:45am and got home after 7pm!) Here’s a run-down of what happened at Scout Fair (and sorry about the quality of some of the pictures – they were taken with my cell phone’s camera).

I don’t have the actual blue-prints of the layout, as I’m not involved in the fair’s planning, but here’s what I found as I walked around the fair:

1) They had a large information area. There were booths set up for general information, then Scouting booths such as one for Eagle Scouts, council training, Woodbadge training, Sea Scouts, Venturing, Order of the Arrow, the Religious Emblems program, and many more. My district even had a booth there! One great booth there was for Mexico Scouts. They had wonderful bright yellow uniforms!

2) As you walked along, you came across the fun area. Different packs and troops set up games, activities, and challenges. You could spend all day there playing box hockey, putt-putt golf, rope games, spin the wheel games, etc. At the end of this area, there was a large section dedicated to Boy Scout pioneering displays like rope bridges, log towers, and catapults and trebuchets. And towering over this area was a rock-climbing wall!

3) In the midst of the fun zone was an eating area. Packs and troops did delicious outdoor cooking. I saw a lot of Dutch ovens and stoves going, and I sampled donut holes, wire-hanger pancakes, cobblers, and of course, chili for the Fair’s chili cook-off.

4) One of the areas we used to spend a lot of time in, back when we were Cub Scouts, was the Belt Loop Alley. This is an area dedicated to earning belt loops. Our former pack hosts a booth there every year, with adult leaders volunteering for “shifts”. As I walked around this area I even saw some of the new belt loops being worked on there, like Skateboarding. (No Video Games belt loop booths, though. Go figure.)

5) The last area is the Merit Badge Midway. Merit Badge (MB) counselors and/or troops can set up booth dedicated to a specific MB. Classes are held throughout the day, and the classes are so popular that they are usually filled up early in the day! The classes at our Scout Fair included First Aid, Cinematography, Theater, Railroading, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Art, Dentistry, and Space Exploration (see below for this one). Most of the MB’s can’t be completed at this Fair. So boys would get their Blue Cards partially filled out and must finish the MB later.

My troop’s Scoutmaster is a MB counselor for the Space Exploration MB, and our troop hosted this one. We had 3 booths set up for this: one for the lecture, one for the model rocket build, and one with a lot of information for the administrative part of this MB. Scouts could purchase rocket kits at the Fair and build them there and then launch them! We had a dedicated area in the parking lot where we shot off the rockets the boys built. One great thing about our booth is that a Scout could complete this MB here. Ours was rare – most of the booths only did part of the MB.

I worked for a couple of hours at our booth’s registration table, which was somewhat sad because I had to turn a lot of boys away (by 9:45am, our class was filled for the entire day, including a “waiting list” for each class). After working at the table I went down and helped in the rocket launch area. We taught the boys how to build a rocket and then launch it. Of course, we didn’t do it for them; we just taught them how to do it.

It was so much fun to help work this MB booth, and it was truly inspiring to see how hard our Scoutmaster worked at this booth. Us volunteers from the troop had shifts. He showed up at 6:30 am to set up and left at 6:30 pm, with no breaks in between. My son is lucky to have a Scoutmaster like that!

My council’s Scout Fair is always a fun event. What makes it so great is that the activities are all run by the individual units. A lot of dedicated Scouters work hard to deliver a fun day to the Scouts that come, and every year they make for a great Fair. Me and my son came home tired, with sore legs and a sunburn, but we had so much fun. I cannot wait for next year! I hope your council does a fun event like this. It’s great for Scouting!

In Scouting,

 - Scouter Jeff <><

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