Troop 868 in Action

SCOUT-O-RAMA (April 2006)

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2006 marked the 50th anniversary of Louisville's Scout-O-Rama, an annual exhibition of the Scouting program sponsored by the Downtown Louisville Rotary Club.  Initially held at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center, the show has been held in recent years in the infield of historic Churchill Downs racetrack.  Troops, packs, crews, and posts are invited to set up displays to display their activities or demonstrate Scouting skills or merit badge topics under circus-like "big top" tents.

Since troops are permitted to camp onsite, many units setup displays in or near their campsites and the number of troops sponsoring booths in the big top area has markedly declined.  Troop 868 was one of only a few troops having such a display at this year's show.

Our Patrol Leaders' Council picked the Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge as the theme for this year's booth.  Scouts hauled out the stage they built for last year when we did Theatre Merit Badge.  The walls painted to become the inside of a house rather than a forest and furniture was arranged to create a typical living room.  The general public (mostly other Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) were invited to be blindfolded then use a cane to navigate their way through the room, just as a blind person would have to do.  Since a sight-impaired person wouldn't have any advance knowledge about the layout of the room, furniture in the room was re-arranged after participants were blindfolded.  We also had a wheelchair and participants were allowed to navigate the room in that, as well.

The booth turned out to be very popular and drew a steady crowd of both observers and participants all day.  Troop 868 scouts enjoyed staffing the booth and rotated jobs with each other so that everyone also had time to walk around and look at all the other booths and displays.  The troop earned a blue ribbon for their efforts.

Philip and Stephen discuss the placement of a coat rack as Tim moves a wheelchair out of the way. Clinton repositions a couch.
A Cub Scout uses a broomstick to avoid furniture as he moves from one side of the room to the other. Philip stays out of his way but stands ready to stop him when he reaches the edge of the elevated stage.
Our display attracted a steady crowd of both observers and participants throughout the day. Stephen, Tim, Chris, and a couple of troop moms prepare to exit the infield via one of the tunnels that go under the racetrack.