Campfire Skits & Stunts
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by W. Edgar Wiley

In putting on camp fire stunts the first thing to remember is that no matter where you get the idea for it, it may be expanded on and improved by you to suit your own needs. When you hear of a stunt which was put an well with five characters, don't leave one of your fellows out if you happen to have six.  Change the stunt to make a part for him.   If you only have four, don't abandon the stunt; combine two parts of it into one character.  Remember the stunt is yours and should meet your personal needs or be made to fit them.

As for properties for stunts, improvise them.  If you need a top hat, take a piece of card board about a foot and a quarter wide and fasten it around the crown of your Boy Scout hat so that it gives the impression of being a high hat.  Unraveled rope makes excellent whiskers.  A blanket's uses as properties are practically unlimited, as are those of stockings and tin cans. 

Even a locomotive may be represented by several fellows who line up and hold in their hands two staves, each fellow having a hand on each of them. They then walk forward, shoving first one stave forward and the other one back to represent the driving rods, and going choo-choo-choo while one Boy Scout blows a Scout whistle occasionally.   There are few properties which might be wanted in a camp fire stunt which a little ingenuity and less effort cannot devise in camp.

As to the actual production of the stunt, there is one great error which must be avoided.  The actors must never laugh while going on with the stunt.  This is the biggest failure any stunt may make, and no matter how good the stunt is its effect is lost when the characters laugh. 

Every actor should know the exact point at which he goes in and comes out, and the play should not be allowed to drag.  As soon as it begins to drag wind it up quickly and it will leave a much better impression.  If a character forgets or says the wrong thing go right on and cover it up, lead the stunt right back into its track again.   Above all be natural, let yourself go and imagine that you really are going through the action you are supposed to be doing in the stunt.  The poise of its actors is probably the greatest single factor in the success of any stunt.

Let's Have a Stunt Night!

Many Boy Scout Troops have a stunt night once a month as part of their regular program. Each Patrol is expected to put on some sort of an act which may be either amusing or instructive, or both. It sometimes happens that the Troop is called upon to entertain at an open meeting, and may desire suggestions in working out a suitable program.

It is always possible to put on some sort of a play, but it frequently happens that the Troop has neither the time to rehearse nor the facilities to plan anything pretentious. It is then that the need arises--for a source of information from which Scout Leaders may draw material for short and interesting Troop and Patrol stunts. 

The Use of Competitive Events

There are a great many interesting and quite exciting competitive events such as Friction Fire Lighting, Chariot Race, Knot Tying Relay, and the like. Forty such events may be found in "The Rally Book." These will always be valuable in connection with Parents' Nights and Inter-Troop gatherings.

Demonstration Events

A Boy Scout Troop or Patrol may prefer to put on as a stunt some non-competitive demonstration. Such demonstration events are generally of considerable educational value showing, as they do, Scouting activities. The Rally Book contains thirty non-competitive demonstration events such as Use of the Neckerchief, Triangular Bandage Demonstration, Yucca Patrol Drill, Uses of the Staff, etc. It is suggested that Scouters make a careful study of these demonstration events, because they offer endless possibilities for illustrating what Scouts do, what the activities of Scouting really are.

Musical Stunts

The Boy Scout song book, Songs Scouts Sing, contains a number of action songs and rounds. These are good entertainment, and the boys enjoy singing them. It is suggested that these may be incorporated into Patrol and Troop stunts to good advantage.

Opportunities for Using Stunts

A Troop that has a repertoire of good stunts, songs and cheers will always be outstanding in any Scout gathering or public meeting. Inter-Troop affairs give an opportunity for this sort of entertainment, and it is hoped that some of the stunts herein suggested may be used in that connection.

Inter-Patrol Competitions, which are a feature of the activities of many Troops, will be made more colorful and interesting through the use of Inter-Patrol stunts, put on for the purpose of instruction or entertainment.

For Parents' Nights, Patrol stunts and Troop stunts are well worth while, not only for the purpose of entertaining the parents, but also in order to show what the Program of Scouting is like and what Scouts really learn in their meetings and on their hikes.

Scout and Dad Dinners generally call for some sort of a program after the "eats." Here again a good snappy program put on by Patrols and by the Troop will make the evening a success.

In connection with financial campaigns, both in a community sense, and in order to raise a small fund for the Troop treasury, it frequently happens that the Troop wants to put on a stunt of some kind. It is well to "Be Prepared" and to have a good repertoire of Troop and Patrol, demonstrations.

And last, but by no means least, at camp, whether a Troop or a Council camp, Scouts are always glad of entertainment. Around the camp fire or during a rainy afternoon some of these stunts will help to entertain and amuse the campers. 

See Also: 

Ernest Seton's Woodcraft Plays & Skits

Ernest Seton's Woodcraft Council Ring Dances

Ernest Seton's Woodcraft Council Ring Games

and Additional Links Below:

Campfire Helps

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

After Dark ] Barber Shop ] Baseball Game ] Blindfold Boxing ] Boxing ] Bull Fight ] Comedy Kitchen ] Dagger ] Dagger - 2 ] Deadeye Dick ] Dentist ] Dramatize Flag History ] Dwarfs & Giants ] First Aid Class ] Flivver ] Fun Stunts ] Historical Tableau ] Indian Villiage ] Krazy Kamp ] Levitation Stunt ] Lily of Alley ] Magic Turban ] Merit Badge Pageant ] Mind Reading Stunt ] Mock Mind Reading ] Model Camp ] Mother Goose Drama ] Oath & Law Pagent ] Operation ] Oratory ] Physical Stunts ] Railroad Crossing ] School Room ] Scout Pageant ] Scout Skit ] Sea Lions ] Shadows ] Show Them Up ] Side Show ] Sinking Ship ] Smudge Boxing ] St. George and the Dragon ] Strong Man ] Terrible Temper ] Trained Animal ] Ventriloquism ] Week in Sing Sing ] Worst Aid Class ]

Peer- Level Topic Links:
5 Camp Fires ] Bibliography ] Firelight ] Council Fire ] Week Program ] Heart of the Camp ] Ceremony from India ] Invocation ] Mowgli Story ] Oath Ceremony ] Pantomime ] Pointers ] Evening Pow Wows ] Accounted For! ] Scout Law ] Story of Fire ] Good Story Telling ] Timber Wolf Ceremonies ] Traditions ] Scout Yells ] What To Do? ] The Gray Areas ] Philmont Song Book ] [ Campfire Skits & Stunts ] Scout War Songs ]

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Last modified: July 03, 2013.