Sunday, July 16, 2017

National Jamboree - Monticello and Hard Rock Cafe - Day 1 and 2

We started our trip in Bunkie and with 26 of our 40 person contingent it was off to Monroe. About halfway to Monroe my attention was brought to the back of the bus where the temperature was pushing the upper 90’s. The boys were complaining that a hatch on the floor kept flying up and hot air was blowing in from under the bus. A quick study of the hatch was conducted and we discovered that several hex bolts were not secured and another hatch was only partially secured.
When we arrived in Monroe one of the parents had a set of Allen Wrenches and we were able to secure both of the hatches.  We loaded up the bus with the rest of the contingent and took off. Shortly afterwards my attention was once again brought to the back of the bus where hot air was still seeping through one of the hatches causing the back of the bus to be uncomfortably warm.

Fortunately, Tex Reed had some gorilla tape and I was able to seal the air leaks with the tape. Problem now solved I returned to the front of the bus where I soon came to realize that this was one rough riding bus.

A conversation with the bus driver revealed that this particular bus has over 500,000 miles on it.  Either my memory of other bus rides is foggy or this is one rough bus. Several others on the bus agreed that this bus has a particularly rough ride.

As night fail it was lights out and time for sleep. The only problem with sleeping was the ride and the fact that it was now freezing. We all did our best to sleep and while I might have gotten an hour I know several others who slept well. I guess it just depended on how tired each of us were. As morning came we continued our journey and for some odd reason I was then able to sleep.
We arrived in Charlottesville, Virginia and ate buffet style at the Woodfire Grill. The food was good and everyone seemed to eat till their hearts were content. We then drove to the La Quinta Inn where we stayed for the night. We had a little time before lights out and several took the opportunity to swim. I was once again able to sleep and had one of the best hotel night sleeps ever!

Venture Crew on the steps of Monticello
The next morning we had a continental breakfast and loaded the bus to head to Monticello. Our schedule had us at Monticello, former home of President Thomas Jefferson, for 6 hours and we all had a discussion on why we were spending 6 hours at Jefferson’s house.
On the steps of Monticello

We quickly discovered that there is a lot to see and do while at Monticello. The tour of the first floor of the house lasted 45 minutes and our tour guide was very knowledgeable. Following the house tour we then took a garden tour which was interesting as we learned that Jefferson was an avid gardener who enjoyed discovering what would grow best at Monticello.
There was also a lot of history about Jefferson’s slaves and an area where you could learn the history of the slaves. In addition we were able to walk under the home and view the cellars which house wine and beer when they were in use. There was also an area where you could try your hand at using an ink well pen and play a few games from Jefferson’s time period.

We left Monticello after discovering why one needs six hours (we could have stayed longer) and headed for our hotel in Washington, DC. A short 4 hour ride and we arrived at the Holiday Inn. We unloaded our luggage and it was off to the Hard Rock Café.
Vinson with Bill Clinton's saxophone
Tex with Bill Clinton's saxophone.
On our way we caught our first glimpse of Spiderman. Yes, Spiderman is here in Washington D.C.  We also saw the Capitol and Washington Monument from a distance. The Hard Rock Café was located right next to Ford’s Theater where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
At the Hard Rock Café the scouts really seemed to enjoy seeing the memorabilia and just hanging out. Afterwards it was back to our hotel and hopefully a good nights rest!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

NOAC - Friday

Josh, Scott, Jacob, and Tanek dance at the Hodag.
The Comanche Lodge Contingent started the day’s activities by participating in an emergency evacuation drill of our dorms. The evacuation began at 9 AM and we evacuated to the Spartan Stadium.
Once in the stadium we were addressed by one of the cast of “Fat Guys in the Woods” TV show. He encouraged us to participate in #daretodo which is the 100 days of service to others.
Closing show.
Afterwards we participated in an emergency evacuation of the stadium. There were 16,000 Arrowman in the stadium so it took a little while to exit as we were only allowed to use a few exits. 

We evacuated to one of the dorms where we were issued a meal on the go. (Sandwiches, chips, fruit, cookies, and water)
Closing show.
Everyone headed over to the Hodag at the Hub. There were live bands, circus performers, games, midway booths, lodge booths, rock walls, vendors, the OA Warrior Obstacle Course, games, games, and so much more.
Joseph H. and Ben H. enjoy the Band Taylor and Tuckey
The closing show started at 8:30 PM and the first portion was a play about a camp changing. The point of the play was that times are changing and we need to listen to the youth. The play reminded us that scouting is still scouting because it is about the youth not the camp. Regardless of the programs it is still scouting.
The second portion of the program was after the change of the camp and featured lasers, pyrotechnics, music and a light show on the floor. This portion brought the crowd to its feet and all the Arrowman joined in singing with the music. The final song for NOAC 2015 was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing!”
After the final show, as Arrowman were exiting, they were given ice cream. Nearby, the Country and Western Band Taylor and Tuckey were playing on a bandstand. Many Arrowman stopped and listened including a few from the Comanche Lodge.


More photo's follow!

Cameron and Colin take a rest at the Hodag.
Performer at Hodag. This guy could stretch.
Closing show.
Closing show.
Closing show.



Friday, August 7, 2015

NOAC - Thursday

Jacob V. and Thomas S. Add firewood to the Centennial Fire.
On Thursday morning the Comanche Lodge Contingent went to the Centennial Fire Ceremony. Lodges from all over the U.S. brought firewood for the fire. Two scouts from each lodge placed firewood in the fire. There was a brief rededication ceremony.

Following the Centennial Fire our contingent met up at the Wharton Center for a large seminar with about 2100 Arrowman. The seminar was titled ‘How to Rule the World!”

Scott W. regaled the lodge with his piano playing ability
prior to the "How to Rule the World Seminar!"
The seminar lasted about 1 ½ hours. We were shown why leaders such as Napoleon, Hitler and Alexander the Great failed. The jest of it was they focused on one thing and did it well but they showed no care for anyone else.

We were encouraged to serve others, help others and improve ourselves and through this we could change the world. We were told if we to set the example and do right, others will follow.

Thomas sings with the NOAC choir.
When the seminar let out we each went different ways. Joseph, Tanek, and Jacob went with me back to the Trading Post. We then met up with Jody Cole, an advisor from my lodge during my days as a youth. I traded a few patches with Jody and then we headed back to our dorms.

After lunch there was a huge Hodag in the Hub. In essence it was a huge carnival/fair. The NOAC choir, of which Thomas was a member, sang songs. There was a top five talent show, inflatable slides and games, OA radio, free popcorn, free cotton candy, free root beer, vendors, and more.
The Hodag ended at 11 PM and it was off to bed.


 More photos from the days events are below!

Identifying the lodge at the Centennial Fire.

They called this dancing at the Hodag!
More dancing!
Jacobs ladder at the Hodag!
Fire eater at the Hodag!
Entrance to the Hub!
Order of the Arrow Hot Air Balloon.
No one was allowed to ride. It was just for viewing.

Waiting for the Centennial Fire Ceremony to start,
Brothers at NOAC.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

NOAC - Wednesday

Wednesday morning started out like most for the Comanche Lodge Contingent. Everyone woke up between 6:30 AM and 8:00 AM and went and got some breakfast.
Tanek was used as a volunteer to demonstrate
fancy dance regalia for the class.
At 8:30 AM many of our members went to the various classes offered around campus. Tanek and I attended an overview of Fancy Dancing. The class was great. We stayed for the first two of three hours.
During the first hour we discussed the dance regalia. Several different pieces of regalia were shown and passed around the class. There was some brief discussion of the differences of Southern and Northern Fancy Dance Regalia.
The second hour of the class was even better than the first. We proceeded into the dance portion where we were explained how the drum and music go so that we might understand the basic premise of the dance and how it ties into the drum. Then we moved into actual dancing.
Fancy Dancer during completion.
One of the instructors showed the entire class some basic fancy dance steps. The entire class got up and danced, including myself although I had to stop early.  
Choctaw Chapter Chief Jacob Thompson said on Tuesday he attended a class, “How to Make a Dance Bustle.” Thompson said, “I loved that class. It was great!” During the class Thompson said the instructor was very detailed and went step by step to explain the bustle making process.
On Wednesday Thompson went to the Munson Ice Center and watched some of the Fancy Dancers. He said while he was there he also got to see a group of Eagle Dancers.
After watching the dancing he went to an American Indian Association Booth and put into practice his lessons from Tuesdays and built a bustle feather.
Comanche Lodge Members pose with the
National Vice Chief.
In the afternoon it was free time for everyone. Several Lodge Members went to the Trading Post, Rock Climbing, Patch Trading, Watching Indian Dancing, Boulder Climbing, Ice Climbing, and more.
The Wednesday Night Show was about reminding us about remembering the past and looking to the future. We were dared to do 100 good turns every day for 100 days and post it on social media.
The stage from the convention floor.
The only negative aspect of Wednesday’s event was our seating in the stadium. It was great on the first row of bleachers to have access to the floor but when the show started we really could not see the stage and the jumbotron was mostly not being used on our side and was in an inconvenient position.
Concerning the overall NOAC Event, Choctaw Chapter Member Thomas Strebeck said, “I did not believe it when people said NOAC was better than the National Jamboree, but it is!”

 More Photos below of the days activities!

In the bleachers. We were right next to the fog machine.
On the floor. The big cannon shoots shirts into the audience.
National Chief during the show on Wednesday.
In the bleachers near the floor. Next to fog machine!
Cameron with a Palm Tree on his head. Courtesy of Joseph.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NOAC Tuesday - Days Events and Evening Show

Tuesday morning saw the Comanche Lodge Contingent waking between 6 AM to around 8 AM depending on what activities various members had scheduled for the day.
Josh and Colin climb the rock wall at the hub
Breakfast was a wide variety with the main dish being scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and waffles. In addition cereal and fruit were also available.
At 8:30 AM classes started and many of our Lodge Arrowman traveled to various destinations across the campus for classes on Historical Team Dance, Pow Wow Team Dance, Ceremonial Time Machine,  Skills for Advisors, Before the Ordeal, Leave No Trace and more. Classes were three hours long. Some reported back that the classes were great and a few reported back that there class was not what they had hoped it would be.
Lunch was served from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM and consisted of Philly Cheese Steak (Scott said it did not have enough pepper), some kind of enchilada, steamed rice, steamed vegetables, fruit, cookies, and donuts.
Following lunch the Arrrowman were free to explore the many activities offered. I traveled over to the Hub with Josh and Colin. There were about 6 rock walls to climb and both Colin and Josh headed straight for them. I watched them for a while but it was soon obvious that they were staying at the rock walls for some time so I headed out on my own.
Juggling at the Tuesday Night Show
In the Hub there are a lot of different challenges and booths. I headed into a giant tent which housed 50 to 60 vendor booths. There were free pens, patches, sunglasses and more. One really cool part of the tent were all of the registrations for drawings. I registered to win a free backpack, tent, and three separate trips to BSA’s High Adventure Bases. (If I win a trip to the high adventure base I will have to give it away to a youth Arrowman.)
Charles Peachock juggling bowling balls
I met up with my son and then we boarded a bus to the Trading Post (It took about 15 minutes and then we  had to walk another 5 minutes to get to it. When we arrived the line was so long (at least 100 people in front of us waiting to get in) that we decided to try later.
Instead of the Trading Post we went to the Goodman, Edson Observatory where we watched a short video on the first Vigil Member. Following the video we went through the observatory which had a collection of all OA sashes, all OA Handbooks, and a lot of history.
Charles Peachock playing the keyboard with tennis balls
After the observatory it was back to the dorm rooms and putting on Class A Uniforms and then off to supper. The evening meal consisted of Baked Pork Chops, Lasagna, rice, chicken pot pie and more.
At 7:45 PM it was time for the Tuesday Evening Show. It was awesome!!!!
National Boy Scout President Robert Gates
The show started with a juggler whose name is Charles Peachock. I know you might be thinking a juggler? This guy was a top contender on America's got talent and he definitely has talent. He really fired the crowd up and received a standing ovation.
Former Defense Secretary and National Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates followed the juggler. Gates received a standing ovation as he took the floor. He started his speech with a few light hearted jokes before turning to a more serious topic.
Gates talked about the future of our country and how the scouts here today are the leaders of tomorrow. His speech was well received and also received a standing ovation.
Maddie and Tae
To close out the show the band Maddie and Tae performed several country songs including their # 1 hit "Girl in a Country Song."
Following the Tuesday Night Show our section held a pizza and ice cream party back in one of the dorm conference rooms.
Most of our contingents Arrowman attended.
P.S - Who in their right mind serves rice without brown gravy? Every day we have had rice with no gravy! It must be a Yankee dish, cause it sure ain't that way south of the Mason Dixon Line.

Below are more pictures from todays activities.