Be Prepared for Fun, Learning at Scout-O-Rama 'Convention'
Womer, Kelly, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Kelly Womer Daily Herald Correspondent
For anyone who has ever wanted a hands-on experience and behind-the-scenes look at the world of Scouting, there's an event that promises to offer more than just tips on knot tying and camping.
A record 200 troops and packs from throughout DuPage and surrounding counties are gearing up for Scout-O-Rama, an annual event that shows what Boy Scouting is all about.
"We're taking Scouting out of the church basements and schools and letting the general public see what the boys are doing," said David Russell, organizer of the event and assistant director of field service for the Scouts' Three Fires Council. "The main thing we're trying to do here is acquaint people with what we're doing."
Scouts, parents and visitors are invited to the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road in Wheaton, where the six-hour event kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday. It has become quite a renowned event.
Earlier this year, the Illinois Festival Association even named the Scout-O-Rama the best one-day show in the state.
"It's like a Scout convention," said Andy Joseph, an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 34 in Wheaton. "It's fun to see the magnitude of the organization you're a part of, and families get a glimpse of everything."
A campfire at 8 p.m. Friday officially launches the Scout-O-Rama. The opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Saturday when all troops and packs can join the parade with their unit flags.
Special guests, surprises and awards will highlight the ceremony, while special stage performances will entertain the crowds throughout the day.
To give people a taste of Scouting, many of the boys will get out their recipes to cook everything from pancakes to deep-fried doughnuts over a campfire. Others make candy, trail mix and other treats for passers-by to sample. "The objective is to pull people into your booth," Russell said. …