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Top 3 Scouting Experiences

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Hey here's a good idea for a thread:

Many of us in these forums are VERRRY experienced scouts/scouters, and I'm sure all of us have a favorite personal scouting experience...

What are your "TOP 3" most meaningful or memorable scouting experiences?


Whether you want to briefly list them, or provide an explanation, it's up to you. This is meant to be one of those "charge your batteries" type threads, so feel free to whatever you want about your personal favorite scouting experiences.


I'll start y'all off by listing my own top 3:


1. NOAC 2004 -- my first NOAC, but not my last....seeing so many scouts in one place, and participating in the fantastic activities and shows, all in the most amazingly friendly OA atmosphere, meeting so many people, making so many friends, realizing I actually had THOUSANDS of brothers across the nation who all hold the same ideals of brotherhood in common with each other----easily puts this event at the top of my list.


2. Order of the Arrow National Leadership Seminar -- Overall, this was an amazing learning experience. No training course I've been through is quite like this, and I recommend any serious scout/scouter who's an arrowman to go through this. I really like how the top officers from across the entire region come together to teach and inspire fellow arrowmen, all in a very fun and trusting atmosphere.


3. Troop camping trip about 3 years ago -- This was a VERY RARE camping trip that it rained non-stop all weekend. Yet, the entire troop -- both youth and adult -- seemed to maintain extremely high spirits the whole weekend. Seeing all three patrols try and try and fail to light their campfire, and each patrol helping the other with this endeavor, yet never lighting it...then the patrols proceeding to sit around the unlit campfire in their ponchos to tell campfire stories and sing songs and do skits in the rain...it was one of those very awesome sights that one can only see during a scouting experience.



Please share your own personal favorite scouting experiences and make this thread great!

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1) Completing my Ordeal at Jubilee Scout Ranch, CA, in 1970.


2) Making this "cheeful service" stuff a lifetime thing with my Brotherhood in 1971.


3) Watching my son nail his District Advancement Committee approval for his Eagle Leadership Service Project!

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My top four:


C.O.P.E.. I don't know about how other councils do it, but here in Capitol Area Council, our COPE weekend is world class. It easily ranks among my top Scouting experiences.


Philmont. Not a surprise, but still an experience to last a lifetime.


Jamboree. I attended as a youth in 1969 and as an adult in 2005. Every scout should have this opportunity.


Scoutmaster. Topping my list has to be the privelege of serving as Scoutmaster to a great troop. I am constantly renewed and invigorated by my association with these terrific young men.

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So many wonderful memories over a lifetime of scouting...


My first campout with my troop in a NSP. That first REAL campout with Snipe hunting, cooking over an open fire, and just the excitment of being a Boy Scout.


Philmont. The memory of sharing wonderful times with my Dad and climbing the tooth of time at night to see the sun rise on the last day of our trek.


SeaBase. Eating the red snapper we speared an hour before, diving in the blue hole, snorkling at Pennekamp, sailing that beautiful ship.


Ironing my son's uniform shirt each week watching as badges are added and the color shifts from blue to tan.


I am so looking forward to all the other milestones yet to come in his scouting career including his ordeal weekend, Eagle court of honor, and our trips to Philmont, Florida Seabase, and Boundary Waters.



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West Point, Valley Forge and Hiking the Alpine trail with the Leadership Corps.


Canoeing and camping down the Delaware.


All the many camping trips @ KMSR and now having to the privilege to return there with my son and being able to show him where his grandfather and I camped.


Eagle BOR and Court of Honor. My Ordeal and Brotherhood over 20 years later.


And so many more.


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!. Earning my Eagle in 1964 and seeing 22 of my scouts earn thier Eagle since I became SM.


2. Attending the New York World's Fair in 1965 as part of the BSA Service Corps and working at the BSA pavilion for 2 weeks.


3. Being a Jamboree SM in 1997.

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Had to think about it. It's hard to come up with the top 3, but here goes.


1. Philmont as a youth. Summer of 1970.


2. 1st campout as a Boy Scout. No new scout patrol, a good old fashioned integrated patrol with an 8th grader as PL who I, as an 11 year old thought was cool. Patrol cooking over wood fires, old style canvas tents, snipe hunts, etc. Fall of '67?


3. Adult leader of a crew to High Knoll with a group a scouts & scouters from the unit I currently serve with my son elected as youth crew leader.


Honorable mention: Youth trips to Washington D.C. & Valley Forge. Earning Eagle Scout. SPL at summer camp. As an adult; Having son elected SPL. Whitewater rafting and trips to Gettysburg.



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Most memorable:


The first time I took a group of Webelos Scouts to Camp Old Indian for Cub/Webelos Resident Camp. I volunteered to be the den leader for a mix of boys from throughout our Council. While watching the boys at the archery range, one of the boys said "Hey, let the WOMAN do it!"


I hadn't realized how much I stuck out at Scout Camps until I found out calling me the WOMAN was indeed a unique moniker - no other females around.


To this day, there are some folks out there that still call me "the Woman - Crazy Arrow"




Last fourteen years of my life has been priceless time spent with my sons and a bunch of their peers doing this Scouting Stuff!



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1. My first Boy Scout campout, Catholic Scout Retreat Oct 3-5, 1973.

I had joined the Monday before.


2. Taking my son on his first Cub Scout overnight (and now staying home this weekend while he goes off on his on to his first Boy Scout weekend camp)


3. Philmont - In the Winter - Our Explorer Post in Houston would drive to NM and stay at Philmont (A number of years in the Hunting Lodge!) and ski at Angel Fire


4. Being Patrol Leader and our Patrol winning a Blue Ribbon at Camporee.


5. BWCA trips - all 4 of them.


6. Being on Staff at Cub Day Camp (@ Camp Strake '76 and '77).



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1. High adventures: Seeing the faces of scouts on a whitewater canoeing trip after shooting some rapids. The year before had been what I call a "beach vacation" type high adventure. While the scouts loved it, I did not see the same enthusiasm as was generated by canoing through mild rapids in Northern Wisconsin.


2. Watching my son make mistakes as crew chief at Philmont, and learn from them. At closing ceremony, hearing him get louder cheers from his crew than any other crew chief.


3. Self reflection that I am a better at my day job as a result of my time spent as a ScoutMaster.

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Limiting it to three is tough. I guess I would say:


1-Is actually two experiences working and living with Bill Hillcourt at two camporees of which he was camporee chief.


2-The 1969 Jamboree in Idaho as a leader. Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon while we were there around noon Pacific time. If you've never heard dead silence from 35,000 people holding their breath and then yelling when the announcement came, you can't quite grasp it.


3-Scoutmaster at Junior Leader Instructor Training at Philmont, 1966. We had the best and brightest Boy Scouts in the country to work with for two weeks at a time all summer. Totally uplifting.

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Top 3?


1) The day I joined Cub Scouts


2) The day I crossed over to Boy Scouts


3) The day I joined my first Explorer Post


As I reflected on this, I realized that everything else - including earning the Eagle Scout award and being honored with the Vigil Honor, all flowed from these three events.



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1) 2005 National Scout Jamboree

Served on the Youth Staff at the Rappelling Tower as a part of the Action Center D! I was able to meet at least one SCOUTER member as well as at least one MERITBADGE.NET member (Eamonn and WagionVigil). I was about 15 feet away from BOBWHITE I believe, but was not able to speak to him. I got to see President Bush from about 75 yards. The biggest thing I got out of this was the feeling of satifaction and such a rewarding feeling when a Scout (or Scouter) was able to overcome his (or her) fear to descend the fall trusting the equipment, themself, and I to aid them in getting down the wall. It is an AMAZING feeling!!!!!


2) COPE course I took two summers ago. COPE was just an amazing experience. I can't describe it any more than that really. COPE is one reason I applied for the above position. And Climbing merit badge the year before was the reason I took COPE. See how things build?


3) My first canoe trip. I'm not a fan of canoe trips and this trip is one of those reasons. So, how could I pick it as a great experience? I learned A LOT from it. It was an October trip and it was cold. Being the inexperienced, younger Scout, I was unprepared. My sleeping bag for the weekend- one of those fleece liners! I was wearing a Carhart-type jacket which got soaked, jeans, and boots that the next morning I was only able to get on with help from half of the guys on the trip. Also, I was using one of those bags used to store bed covers as my dry bag. Not a good idea. I still don't own a dry bag or quality outdoor clothes really, but I now own 3 sleeping bags and a couple pairs of boots. Also, I avoid the water;)


Couple other good ones I've had included the Lincoln Pilgrimage as Cub Scouts we went up there several times. I've completed a couple of Junior Leadership trainings. Being thanked by Veterans for recognizing them on Veterans' Day and on Memorial Day seemed weird.

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1) Camping on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation with my youngest son and taking him away from the campfire to lay on our backs and look at all the stars.


2 Watching the personal character and leadership growth of my sons. Often watching Loren as SPL of a boy-led troop of 70+ and watching Eric as SPL for a Boy Scout staff led Webelos Woods of 25 staff and 400 webelos and parents. The only Boy Scout adults were with me in the "Parking Patrol"


3) Wonderful times with my fellow scouters around campfires etc. Heaven mst have a special place like this where we can laugh, have fun, brotherhood and a wonderful sense of acceptance that I feel with these people.


4) ?? ... (The best is yet to come)

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