A Tribute to BP
(Staging: divide staff into groups, preferably three. Singers on the back half of stage, script readers in back of campfire bowl (alternate readings based on numbers), and stage actors. Works best with 5-8 actors, 3-4 readers, one song leader, and the rest as singers.)
Chant: “Engunyama” (Singers walk in from back of campfire bowl to stage.)
Engunyama gunyama invoboo.
Yaboo yaboo invoboo
(repeat as many times as necessary.)
1. Tonight, the staff of Camp Cooper proudly presents to you our tribute to Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his legacy of Scouting in America and around the world. As part of his legacy, we will also recognize your involvement in his dream as Scouting continues to make a difference in the lives of boys.
(Lady comes out to sit on stage holding a baby while staff sing “Blowin’ in the Wind”)
Song: “Blowin’ in the Wind”
How many roads must a man walk down, before they call him a man?
Yes, and how many seas must the white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly, before they are forever banned?
The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
2. On February 22, 1857, a leader was born. A man, who after living only three years would lose his father and at the same time learn to be strong from his mother. A man, who would revolutionize the world by developing a program that would turn young boys into outstanding leaders. Lord Robert Smyth Baden- Powell brought Scouting to boys and boys to Scouting.
3. Crouched under a thick tangle of brush lay a boy of thirteen. What had he heard? It must be hostile Indians!
(Young B-P is crouched in the bushes. Sneaks a few looks out at teachers. Three teachers come out.)
Teachers: “I could swear one of those rascals came out here.”
“If I catch him he’ll be in trouble.”
“Well I don’t see anything, we better get back to teach our lessons.”
4. And so Baden-Powell continued to learn his skills out in nature by himself; whether it be hiding from teachers or tracking animals.
(B-P crosses stage looking for tracks. Exits.)
5. Robert was expected to attend Oxford University where his father had been a professor and where his older brothers had obtained scholarships. Robert failed the entrance exam and brought shame to his family and himself.
6. Robert had heard of another opportunity to become an officer in the British Army, but only the top 130 scores would be admitted. B-P studied and scored amongst the very best.
(B-P’s mother enters from one side of stage. B-P from the other. Meet in the middle of stage.)
B-P: “Mom, I failed at Oxford and brought shame and humiliation to my family. This time I will not fail. I will do my best.” (Mother and B-P walk off stage together.)
Song: “On My Honor”
On my honor, I’ll do my best, to do my duty to God.
On my honor, I’ll do my best, to serve my country as I may
On my honor, I’ll do my best, to do a good turn each day.
To keep my body strengthened
To keep my mind awakened
To follow paths of righteousness
On my honor, I’ll do my best.
7. B-P was sent to India and then to South Africa to fight against the Boers. B-P was stationed at Fort Mafeking, which was at the bottom of a valley with few natural defenses. B-P was hopelessly out-gunned, ill equipped, and out numbered. To hold out, he needed strategy.
8. It was not long before B-P ran out of barbed wire to protect the city. One Saturday, he watched the Boers crawling through their barbed wire and he came up with a plan.
(B-P and one soldier take the stage. Boers crawling on ground as if going through barbed wire on opposite side of stage.)
B-P: “I have an idea! Look out there at the Boers. Can you see the wire?”
Soldier: “ No, sir!”
B-P: “ Gather up as much rope as you can find and start putting it up as if it were barbed wire. Then get everyone crawling!”
Soldier: “Do you think it’ll work?”
B-P: “I hope so!”
9. B-P’s plan worked out perfectly, but B-P was running out of many other supplies. Lacking land mines, B-P had his soldiers fill boxes with sand and bury them. To convince the Boers, he had his soldiers pretend to set off the land mines by using dynamite instead.
(As person is talking, two actors come out as soldiers. Using shovels, act like you are digging. Then make large motion like setting off dynamite mines. On other side of stage have two Boers come out slightly and then run for cover offstage.)
10. B-P held out in Mafeking for 217 days. B-P was seen as a hero not only in England, but also by his Zulu friends. The name that they called him that he was most proud of was “impeesa” which means “the wolf that never sleeps.” Thus, B-P was an honorable chief.
Song: “Zulu Warrior”
I koomba zimba zimba zia
I koomba zimba zimba zie
I koomba zimba zimba zia
I koomba zimba zimba zie
See him there, that Zulu warrior
See him there, that Zulu chief. Chief Chief Chief.
11. B-P wrote a book titled Aids to Scouting specifically for soldiers.
(B-P comes out on stage, sits down, and in midst of writing talks out loud to self.)
B-P: They were trained as a herd in the Army, they simply did as they were told and had no ideas of their own. (While saying this, a leader comes out on one side followed by his troops 2-4). In action they carried out orders. (Leader: Charge that hill), but if their officer was shot (From the other side comes two to four troops who shoot the leader) they were as helpless as a flock of sheep (Troops from first side scatter, not knowing what to do. Second set of troops grab them and take them hostage. Run off side of stage). (One individual other than B-P stays or must come back on). I want them to be able to find their way by the stars or a map (The individuals points to the sky and then acts like they are looking at a compass). I want them to have courage, confidence, and a sense of duty (Individual can do poses ending with the Scout sign). I want each man to be an efficient, reliable individual (Individual leaves stage. B-P stays and acts like he is busy writing).
12. Boys around the country had read Baden-Powell’s book, wanting to learn more about the skills of this honorable soldier. So Baden-Powell rewrote Aids to Scouting and titled it Scouting for Boys.
13. To test his ideas, Baden-Powell organized a camp. In 1907, twenty-two boys set out for Brownsea Island. They were an odd mixture – hard working farm hands, youth from private schools, and boys from poor urban areas. The boys were grouped into patrols and learned many camping skills.
(B-P is sitting on stage where we left him writing. Brownsea patrol enters and stands between the two fires.)
B-P: “The boys should be able to light fires and cook in the outdoors. Let’s see…the first thing you need…” Patrol: “Come on let’s get a fire going…I know I know! “Big wood, big fire…” (tries it). “Hey why don’t we check the book?” “Yeah check the book.” “It says the first thing you need to start a fire is dry twigs and small branches.” “This books the best!” (Quick rock game. Line up around the fire in time for chant.)
Song: “Brownsea Island Song”
Singers: We’re here for fun and Scouting play the good old fashion B-P way.
Brownsea Scouting is here to stay.
We are the royal bulls, of the Brownsea camp
All for one (All for one) One for all! (One for all)
We are the royal bulls, of the Brownsea camp
Of the Brownsea double two camp.
We’re here for fun and Scouting play the good old fashion B-P way!
Brownsea Scouting is here to stay!
(Actors leave stage area.)
14. Lord Baden-Powell’s philosophy that Scouting is done through games and competitions spread throughout the world. Using the patrol method, based on gangs of six to eight boys, leadership skills were developed as well as the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law. The Scouts learned to “ Be Prepared” which was a motto B-P founded off his own initials.
15. Scouting was introduced to America in 1910 because of one unknown Scout in London who did his good turn for the day. An American businessman named William Boyce became lost in the thick fog one night. A boy dressed in a uniform that wasn’t a school uniform suddenly appeared out of nowhere to ask if he could be of help. After being lead to his destination, Mr. Boyce tried to offer the boy a tip, but the boy refused, identifying himself as a Scout who couldn’t take money for doing his duty. As a result of this good deed, Mr. Boyce enthusiastically brought this idea to America.
(Unknown Scout helps William Boyce in the fog. On the way Boyce offers money. Boy says no, he’s a Scout. Boyce asks what a Scout is and the boy says he’ll explain along the way.)
16. American boys were ready for the Scouting challenge. Our country’s ideals of democracy, liberty, and justice for all, created a perfect environment for the Scouting ideals to take root. As a result, the Boy Scouts of America has been in existence for 91 years (change to adjust for the current year).
Song: “ God Bless the USA”
Well I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land—
God bless the USA.
17. Scouting adapted well to the traditions and history of our country. One way that this is best exemplified is through the incorporation of the spirit and customs of our Native American Indians in the foundation of the Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow, founded by E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson, became the brotherhood of cheerful service, to recognize honored campers who show leadership skills and unselfish service to others. The ceremonies and regalia used in the Order, as well as their tradition of service, comes from the Leni Lenapi Indians in the Valley of the Delaware.
(Indians in regalia give mini-legend and ask Arrowmen in the audience to stand and be recognized.)
18. Scouts in America soon learned that they were not alone in the world, being part of the quarter of a million Scouts by 1920. The dream to share the fellowship of Scouting with boys from far away lands became a reality with the first Jamboree. Scouts from all over the world have gotten together for World Jamborees. The first Jamboree was held in London in 1920. The largest contingents of the eight thousand boys from 21 different countries were from America and Holland. It ranged from the Dutch who were four hundred members strong to two Scouts from Japan. Scouting had indeed formed into an international brotherhood, fathered by B-P; the chief Scout of the World.
Song: “Robert Baden-Powell”
(One singer leads the audience. Get them all to stand up. Teach them the motions and get them to sing along.)
Robert Baden-Powell had many Scouts
Many Scouts had Robert Baden-Powell
I am one of them, and so are you
Let me show you what to do with your…
1. Right Arm 2. Left Arm 3. Right Leg 4. Left Leg
(by end of the song all four parts should be included and moving.)
19. Baden-Powell would call this gathering more than a rally or exhibition; he would call it a Jamboree. Even though the dictionary only calls it “any noisy merry making”, the term Jamboree quickly earned a new meaning, at least by those in Scouting. Those who have attended a Jamboree will probably agree with B-P’s choice of “any noisy merry making” as a definition. We would like to recognize all those in attendance here tonight who have been to a National or World Jamboree by asking you to please stand. (Clap) You may be seated.
20. As the opportunities for Scouts have grown through the years, so has our image. We aren’t just seen helping old ladies across the street for a good turn… (Old lady walks across…Scout comes out and tries to help...She chases him off. Can be really humorous, especially if old woman is played by a male staffer (especially Chachi or Yoder).)
21. We help by providing relief in food bands and drives, clothing and shelter for the homeless, and assistance in disaster situations.
22. Scouting any more has become not just knots. Scouts are known to… (A different reader reads each of the statements below)
---Get out of town (Actor: Scouts go across with daypacks. “Hey (name), let’s go on a day hike” “Okay” zip (pull cords on backpacks). Scout comes out on a bike…”Instead of a hike why not take a bike?”)
--Just hang out (Actors: On Belay. Belay on.)
--Get lost (Actors: “Hey…do you know where we are?” “Oh, no I think we’re lost!”)
--Get in touch with nature (Actors: come out with a leaf “Give a hoot don’t pollute!”)
--Go jump in a lake (Actors: “Where’s the lake? Where’s the lake?” If daring, someone (or many) can jump in the warm waters of Lake Hurl. If not, at least throw in a rock.)
23. Many of these great things can be done at summer camp, just as you have this week. We hope that we have helped to strengthen your Troop so that you can enjoy Scouting the other 51 weeks of the year until we see you again next year. Hopefully your week with us has been the experience of a lifetime with fun memories to inspire you on your trail to Eagle.
Song: “Cooper Song”
When you get out of the city
Looking for a place where Scouting lives
Baden in the lead, Oath and Law our creed
We’re the best camp in CPC!
Tenderfoots’ keep on climbing, Eagles keep on flying
Doot Doot Doot Doot
Cooper (Cooper) Cooper (Cooper ) (Yell this LOUDLY)
Camping at Camp Cooper.
24. You would not be able to attend summer camp unless your adult leaders gave their time to supervise your fun and share their wisdom and experience with you. Scouting’s success is due to your leaders who emulate Baden-Powell’s example of a Scouting adult role model. Will all the adult leaders who have accompanied Scouts here at Camp Cooper this week please stand? (Clap) Thank you for your dedication.
25. Many times a leader doesn’t know the fruit of their dedication and service, just as boys don’t know exactly what they will become as adults. Many will rise to great heights, having the skills, courage, and discipline to follow noble aspirations. Among Scouting’s alumni, Scouts make up 85 percent of student council presidents, 68 percent of West Point graduates, 63 percent of Air Force Academy graduates, and 89 percent of senior class presidents. Of the 214 former and present astronauts, 142 have taken part in some form of Scouting.
26. For every 100 youth that join Scouting: 12 will have their first contact wit the church, 18 will develop hobbies that last through their adult lives, 8 will enter a career they learned through a merit badge, 1 will enter the clergy, 1 will use Scouting to save a life, 1 will use Scouting to save his own life, 17 will become Scouting volunteers, 2 will become Eagle Scouts.
27. Boys who earn the Rank of Eagle Scout will be in prestigious company. The Eagle’s Nest is full of great men like Apollo Astronauts Neil Armstrong and James Lovell Jr., director Steven Spielberg, and Bill Bradley. The first Eagle Scout was Arthur Eldred and Gerald Ford was the first president to become Eagle.
28. At this time we would like to recognize those who have met Scouting’s highest and most prestigious goal, the rank of Eagle Scout. Will all the Eagle Scouts in the audience please rise to show the result of Scouting’s highest ideals? (Clap) You may be seated.
29. “The Voice of the Eagle”
I am the Eagle…I am prepared to stand for the virtues of freedom, strength, pride, and wisdom.
I am the Eagle…I am prepared to stand for honesty, truth, and integrity.
I am the Eagle…I am prepared to lead others and to accomplish tasks to the best of my abilities.
I am the Eagle…I am prepared to be self-reliant and resourceful.
(Singers leave stage. Split in half on each side.)
30. Robert Baden-Powell had many things to leave to Scouting. His messages and ideas on Scouting are still growing strong. As you go on your way in this world, your job, as in the words of Baden-Powell, is to spread and keep alive this Spirit of Brotherhood and by doing so, to help bring about peace and goodwill to earth.
31. No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way. The Boy Scouts speak to every heart in its message of duty and honor. “Be Prepared” to stand up faithfully for Right and Truth, however the wind may blow.
32. The Boy Scouts has continued to grow. Baden-Powell gave it a helping hand, but it is all of those involved that has kept the Scouts going and growing. Each person involved in Scouting makes a difference. Do your best to be prepared to do your good turn each day with the leadership that our country so greatly thirsts for. You can build your tomorrow.
33. (Reading of the last letter from Baden-Powell.)
--Baden-Powell’s Hole in the Blanket
(Staff light candles towards middle of “Hole in the Blanket” story. One comes out to give this address, preferably the Program or Camp Director. This individual is brought out by the Unknown Scout, who will light the Directors candle at the end. The hole in the blanket can be exchanged for the Directors own suitable ending or just edited. )
The founder of Scouting had an interesting idea about how stars were formed in the night sky. As you look up at a starlit sky, you can see the infinite number. B-P determined that a dark blanket separated heaven from earth, and that the light of heaven could break through the blanket when a good turn was done by someone who unselfishly helped another person. Notice how many good turns have been done, and how much room is left for your future good deeds to be done. Keep on striving to punch your hole in the blanket.
(Staff enters with candles.)
As a final tribute to Baden-Powell, we encourage you to carry the light of Scouting with you as is seen in the stars and in the candles held by the staff. Thank you for joining us here this week.
--Scout Oath/Law (led by Unknown Scout preferably.) (Staff sings Cooper Goodbye Song and lines the path to the campfire bowl with their candles. Have staff stand on opposite sides of trail from the bowl all the way to the bridge. Shake hands (left) and say good-byes and thank people for coming.)
Cooper Goodbye Song:
Boom boom we had an awesome week
Boom boom at Boy Scout summer camp
Boom boom makin’ friends and havin’ fun
Boom boom boom boom
And in the future Boom boom we’ll all remember
Boom boom the times we shared at Camp Cooper
Boom Boom (repeat whole song as many times as necessary.)
Originally drafted by Rob Patton 1993/1994. Updated by Melanie Kirkman 1998/1999.