The unofficial amendment to the Scout Law, "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, . . . clean, reverent and hungry," seems to be holding true.
A hot dog cookoff was just one of a backpack full of activities enjoyed by thousands of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity and Explorer Scouts during the Scout-O-Rama in the Salt Palace on Saturday.The Scouts came up with their own variations on the basic hot dog to impress the judges. The judges apparently enjoyed them. But it seems many of the boys were more interested in eating their entries than winning the contest.
"They really hope the entry they make will be rejected so they can eat it themselves. That's the bottom line," said Scoutmaster Daryl Moss of Troop 663 of West Valley City. The boys in his troop, some who said they hated hot dogs and some who said they loved them, ate several apiece before the contest ended. The troop did win a merit award for its chili-cheese hot dog.
The Scout-O-Rama showed that Scouting is no longer just camping, compass-reading and knot-tying; many members of the Boy Scouts of America have gone high-tech.
Science exhibits such as one on atomic exploration and another on music exploration filled the exhibition hall.
Explorer Post 9262 of Bountiful entertained children and adults with a rock concert of sorts. Backed up by synthesized music and a bass guitar, two Scouts sang songs that neither in lyric nor beat could be confused with Boy Scout camp songs of old.
But mixed in with the new were the standard Scout activities that have become the hallmark of the organization.
Demonstrations on Dutch oven cooking (albeit pizza in one of the ovens), knot-tying, tepee-building, outdoor survival, mountaineering, fire building and first aid were among the more than 1,600 exhibits filling the Salt Palace, both inside and out. There was so much to do that some children wanted to stay longer than their exhausted parents would tolerate.
"They should make it three days long," Shane Sykes, a 13-year-old Scout said.
"Kids participate and the adults stand back and watch. That's what the whole program is about - kid involvement," Moss said. The adults might think up the ideas for the exhibits but the kids implement them.
Sports were also a big attraction at the event. The Scouts from Troop 101 in Magna constructed their own bowling alley. But it's definitely not your typical bowling alley.
Instead of bowling balls, old car tires were used to knock down not pins, but sawed-off landscape ties. All of this was set up on three lanes constructed of two-by-fours and plywood.
Scoutmaster Forrest Hancock came up with the idea, but his Scouts constructed it using his tools. It was a hands-on experience for them.
"It's the hardest some of these boys have worked in their lives," he said.
It was a team effort. And that's what Scouting is all about. But never forget the food.