I was going through my dad’s old stuff the other day and stumbled across a folder containing scripts and notes he made for a several skits my Boy Scout troop performed at Camporees and Summer Camps over the years. In the interest of preserving them, I have typed them up and put them up here for the world to see.
My scout troop went to two Camporees a year hosted by our local district. Saturday would feature various scouting themed-competitions (which we would usually win), while that night there would be a campfire where each troop would perform a skit or song. However, a lot of them had minimal effort, were done out of obligation, and would frequently recycle the same joke year after year. Johnny Got Hit and Gravity Check I remember were the most famous repeat offenders.
My dad, a guy who initially went to college to study drama, was not happy with the uninspired status quo and resolved to ensure that Troop 1018 always had the best and most original skits. They were almost always successes, since for once there was some originality and kids making some effort at acting. The culmination of our efforts were a performance of “If Your Scoutmaster Ran on Windows” to much applause at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland and one Camporee where we were allowed to run the entire campfire and do our greatest hits.
Below are the scripts that I had found. These aren’t all of them (I remember one called “Order of the Sparrow” which was a written because my dad was particularly annoyed at the Order of the Arrow that Spring), but I believe these include the most successful and inspired ones. There’s a lot of satirizing 2000s pop culture (that he and I consumed) and scouting tropes. Several of these scripts came with notes, which I have kept as-is with only formatting changes, and I have ordered the skits in more or less chronological order.
Without further ado, let’s start with:
This skit is a parody of the TV show “Survivor”. The scouts vote one at a time at a simulated tribal council. The punch line is that, instead of being voted off an island, the loser has to perform latrine duty. The punch line can be altered for special occasions.
The skit is simple to perform and has more action and movement than words. It offers a chance for participation by many scouts, including the shy ones who want to take part but prefer not to have any lines.
There are two principle roles. The Host, who tallies the votes, and the losing Scout who gets selected for latrine duty. (His cry of “Oh, no!” and subsequent frustration need to come through.)
To make the skit as successful as possible, the scouts need to replicate the serious overall mood of the tribal council as seen on “Survivor”. Also, the initial moments of the skit need to move at a steady pace. If rehearsals seem too slow, you can speed up the skit by having the next voter get out of his chair and approaching the table while the previous voter is walking back to his chair.
- Bucket sitting on small table front and center.
- Mop leaning against table.
- Second bucket on ground next to table.
- A magic marker and several large strips of paper (i.e. the ballots) sitting on the table behind bucket, out of view as much as possible from the audience. (A cut-up paper bag works well for the strips of paper.) On each ballot, write the name of a scout in large print so that the audience can read it when displayed.
- Scouts (preferably at least 5, no more than 9) in Class A uniforms sitting on camping chairs to one side and well back from the table. The losing Scout should have a torch (a walking stick works fine) lying beside his chair.
- Host, standing a few feet away from the table on either side.
When the skit begins, the Scouts approach the table one at a time. Each will pick up the magic marker and pantomime writing another scout’s name on one of the ballots. The Scout may hold the paper up so the audience can see the name. He then folds the paper and puts it in the bucket on the table.
When the Scout holds up his ballot for the audience to see, he may say one of the following lines, filling in the blank with the name of the scout he voted for:
- “_____ voted for me last time, so I’m voting for him this time.”
- “_____, you’re going down!”
- (shaking his head) “_____, I know you’re my best friend, but I’ve got to do it.”
- “My vote is based on the third root of the n-th integer of pi, which I have calculated as 3.14159265358979…” (By this time, the Next Scout has walked up to the table)
Next Scout: “Hey, will you cut it out and just vote?” (The Scout deposits his vote, then Next Scout proceeds with his voting.)
- Harry’s Note: This was my role, since 12-year-old me was proud at knowing a bunch of digits of pi.
Of course, there are many variations of these lines.
Other Scouts can simply vote without saying anything, or can make facial expressions to show deviousness, secrecy, etc. Not every Scout needs to reveal his vote to the audience.
Note: It is best not to have all the Scouts cast votes, especially if there are 9 or more Scouts and if the time is limited for the skit. The Scouts not seen voting will be assumed to have voted before the skit began.
Note II: Obviously, the strips of paper must be arranged ahead of time so that each Scout holds up the correct ballot. Alternatively, you can leave the ballots blank and have each Scout actually write the name with the magic marker — just make sure he writes large enough for the audience to read it.
After all scouts have voted, the Host says, “I will now tally the votes.”
The Host picks a ballot out of the bucket, shows it to the audience and announces the name. He continues to do this, occasionally stopping to update the tally, i.e., “That makes two votes John, two votes for Chaz, and one for Julio.”
The ballots should be arranged so that the final vote breaks a tie and determines the loser. When the Host announces the final name, the loser yells, “Oh, no!”
Host: “(Name of scout receiving most votes), bring me your your torch!”
Scout picks up his torch and walks dejectedly toward Host.
Host: “(Name of scout receiving most votes), the troop has spoken.” Host pantomimes putting out Scout’s torch. “Here is your bucket.” Hands Scout the bucket on the ground beside the table. “Here is your mop.” Hands Scout the mop. “Now, go!”
Scout (turning his Class A backward and addressing audience): “I can’t believe I got selected for latrine duty again!”
This was Troop 1018’s first true original script. When performed as above, it gets a decent, good laugh at the end.
When we performed this skit on the Fourth of July at Summer Camp, we had the Host give the losing Scout a book and a flashlight. The Scout then took two steps forward, turned on the light, held it up and said, “I can’t believe they’re making me play the Statue of Liberty again!” The losing Scout then froze in his position, even as we took all the props offstage. Finally, two of the bigger scouts had to come back and carry the losing scout off. This brought a huge round of laughs and applause.
Essentially a sequel to “Scout Survivor”, this skit makes reference to several reality TV shows, including “Survivor”, “The Apprentice”, “American Idol”, “The Bachelor”, and “Fear Factor”. It is in intricate skit, that, when done well, keeps the audience smiling and engaged as it swings from one scenario to the next.
The skit has two demanding roles, the Host and the Uber-Host, who need to be performed by scouts who have better-than-average drama skills and are adept at playing to an audience. Also, three scouts are needed to impersonate the three judges from “American Idol”. While their roles are small, those three need to be able to convey to the audience that they are indeed Simon, Paula, and Randy. Paula obviously needs to speak in a high, girlish voice. For full effect, the scout can wear a mop as a wig.
The skit can also include several smaller roles, and some scouts may have no lines at all. The beginning can be expanded (see Final Notes at end) to give more scouts speaking parts.
- Host: Host of “Survivor”
- Uber-Host: Overseer who performs “Reality Check” on host
- Simon: American Idol judge (Harry’s Note: This was my role, since, y’know, English accent)
- Paula: American Idol judge
- Randy: American Idol judge
- Losing Scout: Gets most votes in tribal council
- Other Survivor Scouts (4 to 8): Other members of tribal council
- Bucket sitting on small table front and center.
- One large strip of paper (i.e. the ballot) inside the bucket. (A piece of a cut-up paper bag works well.) On the ballot, write the name “Chaz” in large print so that the audience can read it when displayed.
- A simulated rose (a long, flowering weed is fine), leaning behind camping chairs to one side and well back from the table. The Losing Scout should have a torch (a walking stick works fine) lying beside his chair.
- “American Idol” judges Simon, Randy, and Paula seated in camping chairs on the opposite side of the table.
- Host, standing at the table.
Skit opens with Host standing at table, about to read the last ballot from a “Survivor” tribal council.
Host: Currently, the vote stands at three votes Chaz, three votes John. Now the final vote.
(Note: This assumes there are seven Scouts sitting in the tribal council area. If there are five, the vote should be 2-2. If there are nine, it should be 4-4, etc. Also the real names of the Scouts can be substituted for “John” and “Chaz”.)
Host reaches into bucket and takes out ballot, shows it to audience and announces: “Chaz.”
Losing Scout: Oh, no!
Host: Chaz, bring me your torch.
Losing Scout picks up torch and walks dejectedly to Host. Host pantomimes putting out torch, then steps back and points finger at Losing Scout.
Host: Chaz, you’re fired.
Losing Scout: Wait a minute. That’s not right!
Uber-Host: (entering from off-stage) Hold on, hold on. Everybody stop. That’s not what you’re supposed to say. “You’re fired” — that’s from “The Apprentice”. This is “Survivor”. You’re supposed to say, “The tribe has spoken, it’s time for you to go.”
Host: Oh no. I got my reality shows confused.
Uber-Host: (addressing audience) Ladies and gentlemen, this is Jeff (or use the scout’s real name), and he’s in need of a reality check.
Host: I don’t know how it happened. They’re my two favorite shows.
Uber-Host: Well, that’s too bad because I know know what the judges are going to think about this. Judges, what do you have to say?
Simon: (in irritating British accent) I thought it was dreadful. It was the worst performance I’ve ever seen.
Randy: (interrupting) C’mon, Simon. Show ’em some love, show ’em some love. He wasn’t that bad.
Simon: Oh yes, he was. My blind grandmother could do better than that.
Paula: (crossing her legs and speaking in girlish voice) Well, I thought he was just cute and adorable.
Uber-Host: (to Host) Well, you know what this means.
Host: You mean, I’m not going to be named Scout Idol? (Note: Feel free to substitute an appropriate term. For instance, if this is being performed at a Camporee, say “Camporee Idol”, etc.)
Uber-Host: I’m afraid it’s worse than that. (Picks up “rose” from behind table and gestures toward Scouts in tribal council.) You now have to give this rose to the scout you love the best.
Uber-Host hands rose to Host. Host recoils in horror. Scouts in tribal council stand in panic.
Host: What? One of those guys? Are you kidding? Huh? Aaaaaahhh!! (Runs of screaming. Scouts in tribal council run off screaming on opposite direction.)
Uber-Host: (addressing audience after commotion has died down) Now that’s what I call “Fear Factor”.
This skit never failed to get good reviews. This was our first skit in which we had most everyone running off the stage screaming, a successful ending we recycled many times in skits to come.
Our only hiccup would come when we would try to go for one laugh too many. For instance, we performed it a couple of times with two more lines at the end. The Losing Scout would say, “But what about me,” to which the Uber-Host would reply, “You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.” It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it served to weaken the ending considerably.
We were more successful when expanding the beginning of the skit, which would give more of our scouts a chance to speak. We would start midway through the tribal council voting, with scouts one at a time uttering a line. One scout always got a good laugh by saying, “Chaz, you’re going down,” in a mean voice. Then he’d start back to his seat, turn back and wave to the audience and say cheerfully, “Hi, mom.” I would not have all of the scouts vote because it would make the skit too long. For tips on how to stage the voting, see the “Scout Survivor” skit.`
If Your Scoutmaster Ran on Windows
This might very well be our most popular skit. We could perform this one over and over and still get a good reception. We performed this one before scouts from many countries at the campfire at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland. We also like to do this before Cub Scouts interested in joining our troop. It has a little of everything, including pratfalls and a chance to make fun of Microsoft.
It’s not a difficult skit — it has parts big and small to get everyone involved — but it’s important to have the one prop that draws the biggest laugh: the huge hourglass. We make it by cutting a big piece of white cardboard into an hourglass shape. Then we support it by taking a stick on the back side for the Scoutmaster to hold.
- Scouts A, B, C, D, E, and F
- Man from Next Camp
- Scoutmaster stands center stage for entire skit. He has a postcard, a magazine, a can of Spam, and a white cardboard cutout of an hourglass. He is also wearing a reversible cape, with one side blue. (Harry’s Note: I’m pretty sure the cape came from one of those kid’s magic sets as part of a costume.) The hourglass needs to be hidden from the audience at the start of the skit, preferably in a box in front of the Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster is holding the postcard, magazine, and can of Spam behind his back when skit opens.
- Scouts A, B, and C are standing to one side, addressing audience when skit opens
Scout A: Good evening, we’re the Troop 1018 players.
Scout B: And tonight, using the latest technology, we’re going to show you what would happen if… your Scoutmaster ran on Windows.
Scout C: There he is now — Scoutmaster Version 1.0.
Scouts A, B, and C run over to Scoutmaster
Scoutmaster: Good evening, scouts. You’ve got mail.
Scouts A, B, and C say “All right”, “Oh boy”, etc. as Scoutmaster hands them their mail.
Scout A: I’ve got a magazine!
Scout B: I’ve got a postcard from my father!
Scout C: I’ve got Spam again. (tosses it away) I think I’ll just hit delete.
Scouts A, B, and C depart as Scouts D and E enter running.
Scout D: Scoutmaster! Scoutmaster! There’s a strange man coming into our camp.
Scout E: He’s right behind us.
Scoutmaster: Don’t worry, scouts. I’ve got virus protection.
Man from next camp: I just wanted to see if I could borrow some firewoo…
Before he can finish, Scoutmaster turns and punches out the man.
Scouts D and E react approvingly and leave. Scout F enters, holding finger.
Scout F: Scoutmaster! Scoutmaster! I cut my finger. It’s bleeding. What should I do?
Scoutmaster picks up his hourglass and holds it up. After a few seconds, he turns it upside-down. After a few seconds, he turns it upside-down again. All this while, Scout F is grabbing his finger in pain, saying things such as “C’mon Scoutmaster. It hurts”, “What should I do?”, etc.
Eventually, Scoutmaster puts down the hourglass and says, “Is it bleeding bad?”
Scout F: Yes! Yes! It’s bleeding real bad.
Scoutmaster picks up hourglass again and holds it up, flipping it over every few seconds.
Meanwhile, Scout F starts to collapse.
Scout F: Losing blood… feeling faint… can’t hold on much longer.
Scout F falls to the ground.
After a few more seconds, Scoutmaster puts down hourglass and says, “You need first aid. Open first aid module now.”
Scouts A, B, and C enter running, in sheer panic.
Scout A: Scoutmaster, Mark fell out of a tree.
Scout B: Scoutmaster, Johnny put his hand into the campfire.
Scout C: Scoutmaster, Branson tipped over a canoe.
Scoutmaster: Scoutmaster overloaded. Scoutmaster is shutting doowwwwwn. (puts head down and shuts eyes)
Scout A: Oh no. What are we going to do?
Scout B: I know — reboot!
The three Scouts go behind the Scoutmaster and kick him in the rear
Scoutmaster: Greetings, scouts! (Scouts react happily) Illegal shutdown detected. (Scouts moan) Scanning hard drive for errors. One percent. … Two percent. … (As he counts, Scouts grow impatient … “We’ll be here all night” … “There are other skits to perform” etc.) Three percent. … Four percent. … Five percent. … Six percent. … Seven percent. …
Scout A: I know. Let’s try pressing F1.
Scouts A and C press either side of Scoutmaster’s temples
Scoutmaster: You have performed an illegal operation, 4-point-2-5-6-dash-7-8-5 … dash-1 (Scoutmaster flips the cape over his head so that the blue side is facing the audience)
Scouts A, B, and C: Oh, no. It’s … the Blue Screen of Death! Aauugh! (Scouts run offstage)
After all have left, Scoutmaster peaks from under cape.)
There are several modifications that can be made to the script. Our real Scoutmaster suggested the second line of the skit be changed to add the word “Microsoft”, just in case someone thought we were talking about the other kind of windows.
Also, our original version had the Scoutmaster holding a recycle bin in which the Scouts put the trash from their mail, but that didn’t really work.
The scout who played the one with the bleeding finger simulated a flow of blood by stuffing a red poncho up his sleeve. He gradually pulled it out as he “bled” to death. In the darkness of the campfire, it looked very effective.
By far the biggest laugh comes when the Scoutmaster reveals the hourglass. Make sure to ride the laughter. Have him flip it several times, if necessary, before speaking again once the audience is quiet.
It helps if Scouts A, B, and C are good at showing panic. Troop 1018’s Dan acted as if the world were coming to an end when telling the Scoutmaster about someone falling out of a tree.
Just before we performed this skit at Hawk Mountain, we found a rickety cart near the campfire and decided to work it into the skit. Will drew up a “Recycle Bin” sign and put it on the side of the cart. Someone wheeled it on at the end of the skit and picked up the two bodies that were lying on stage.
Finally, when we performed this one at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland, Scout A (Dan) opened by announcing the Troop 1018 players were from the United States. Everyone applauded. Then he said that the U.S. is the home of Microsoft. Everyone booed.
Who Wants to be a Zillionaire
Can’t go wrong with a good theme, huh? This time we poke fun at “What Wants to Be a Millionaire?” In addition, we take a mighty stab at the tedious bad jokes and stale skits that are performed over and over again at every campfire (which, in turn, prompted Troop 1018 to start writing its own).
This is our longest, most intricate skit. To be honest, we’ve yet to perform it the way it was intended. The one time we had it well-rehearsed, a thunderstorm cancelled the Friday night campfire at Summer Camp. We ended up performing it in front of two camp workers just to say we did it, but it wasn’t the same.
The only other time we performed it, we were on a lousy stage at a Camporee, instead of gathered around a campfire. The audience was already miserable from sitting on wet grass, our timing was off, and the (anticipated) bug laugh at the end never happened because our Regis slipped on a wet spot and tumbled to the stage instead of running off like a madman.
So gather a couple of patrols together and give this a try, but be warned: This isn’t a skit you can just throw together two hours before a campfire. It needs a lot of practice, but I think it can be very entertaining when done right.
- Regis: Host of “Who Wants to Be a Zillionaire?”
- Tim: Contentant
- Aunt Prude: Tim’s relative, sitting in the audience
- A: Person holding answer “A”
- B: Person holding answer “B”
- C: Person holding answer “C”
- D: Person holding answer “D”
- Computer: Dispassionate part of the show, wears sunglasses
- Phone-a-Friend (Harry’s Note: This was the role I played)
- (Optional) Orchestra/Lights Crew: Group (at least 2 scouts) that sings the show’s theme and shines flashlights to create a TV mood
- Two camping chairs at center stage. Regis sitting in one chair, Tim in the other. A medium-sized box is under Regis’ chair.
- Aunt Prude sitting in front row of audience, mixed in with the regular spectators. Carries a walking stick.
- Phone-a-Friend sitting in camping chair at edge of staging area, opposite side of Aunt Prude. Has cellphone in pocket.
- A, B, C, and D are offstage. Each holds a brightly-colored strip of paper with a possible answer on it.
- Computer, wearing sunglasses, is offstage. Also has cellphone in pocket.
- Orchestra/Lights Crew, if used, is sitting on ground at very front of staging area, holding flashlights.
Skit opens with Regis welcoming us back from a commercial.
Regis: (addressing audience) Welcome back to “Who Wants to Be a Zillionaire?”
Orchestra/Lights Crew stands and starts shining their flashlights all over the staging area, focusing more or less on Regis and Tim. As they do this they sing the popular notes from the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” theme — “BAHM, BAHM, BAHM, BAHM, BAHHHHM _ dee-dee-dee-dit”. At the end of those nine notes, the Crew shuts off their flashlights and immediately sit back down.
Regis: We’re back with our contestant, Tim.
Orchestra/Lights Crew once again stands, shines the flashlights, sings the theme song, etc. This time, Regis looks a little bit annoyed that he has been interrupted. Regis continues once the Crew has sat down again.
Regis: And Tim, here, has already won one trillion dollars, and he’s only one question away from winning the grand prize of one zillion dollars!
Once again, the Orchestra/Lights Crew stands, shine the flashlights, starts to sing the theme song, etc.
Regis: (interrupting) Hey, cut that out. Enough, already!
The Crew hastily retreats to their seated positions.
Regis: And what’s remarkable about our friend Tim here is that he still has all three lifelines remaining: ask the audience, phone-a-friend, and 50-50. But first, Tim, let’s take a moment to learn more about you. What do you do?
Tim: I’m a water farmer.
Regis: A water farmer. Fascinating. What does that mean?
Tim: I farm water.
Regis: I see. Now do you have any friends or relatives with you in the audience to offer support?
Tim: Yes, my Aunt Prude is here.
Aunt Prude stands, limps with walking stick toward Regis and Tim.
Aunt Prude: (speaking in older woman’s voice) Yeah, I’m Aunt Prude. My nephew here’s going to win lots of money, and he’s going to buy me one of them double-wide trailers and a satellite dish…
Regis: Yes, thank you very much, Aunt Prude.
Aunt Prude: (walking back to seat): You go get ’em, boy.
Regis: Well, Tim, this is it. Are you ready for your zillion dollar question?
Tim: Yes I am, Regis.
Regis: Well, let’s do it. Let’s play “Who Want to Be a Zillionaire?”
Orchestra/Lights Crew stands and do its act again, only this time they finish with all of their flashlights shining directly into Regis’ face.
Regis: Hey, cut it out. I can’t see! (Flashlights go out) Ok, Tim, here’s your question: Since Lord Baden-Powell founded the scouting movement about 100 years ago, how many bad jokes have been told at Boy Scout campfires? Is it A: 5,661,217,…
A runs onto stage holding sign that says “A: 5,661,217”.
Regis: B: billions and billions,…
B runs onto stage holding sign that says “B: Billions and Billions”.
Regis: C: 265,942,…
C runs onto stage holding sign that says “C: 265,942”.
Regis: Or D: six.
D runs onto stage holding sign that says “D: 6”.
A, B, C, and D freeze while holding signs. B and D should be kneeling, so that B’s sign is below A’s and D’s sign is below C’s.
Tim: Well, this is a pretty tough one, Regis. I’m going to need some help. I think I’ll use my 50-50.
Regis: Ok. (calls offstage) Computer!
Computer enters. He wears sunglasses and a serious expression. It’s clear he is all business.
Regis: Computer, please take away two incorrect answers.
Computer walks over and slugs A and C, knocking them down to the ground, then walks offstage.
Regis: Thank you, computer. We’re now left with B: billions and billions, and D: six. What do you think, Tim?
Tim: Well, I’m still not too sure. They look like a smart group out there. I’m going to ask the audience.
Computer returns onstage.
Regis: Ok audience. The computer is going to ask you which answer you think is correct. When he gives the signal, shout out either B or D.
Computer gives a countdown, silently holding up 1, 2, then 3 fingers to the audience, then spread his hands, signaling them to yell out their answers. After a few seconds, he waves his hands to cut them off.
Regis: Ok, Time, you heard what the audience thinks. Some were saying B. Some were saying D. What do you think?
Tim: You know, Regis, I’m still not sure. I think I’m going to phone my friend Harry. He’s pretty smart.
Regis: Ok, computer. Let’s get Harry on the phone.
Computer pulls phone out of pocket and dials number. Phone-a-Friend’s phone rings. Computer hands phone to Regis.
Phone-a-Friend: Hello, this is Harry.
Regis: Hello, Harry. This is Regis from “Who Wants to Be a Zillionaire?” I have your friend Time here, and he needs your help.
Phone-a-Friend: Ok, how much is he going for?
Regis: Well, he’s won a trillion dollars and he’s going fro the one zillion.
Regis: Tim, when I hand you the phone, you’ll have 30 seconds. (Hands Tim the phone) Go.
Tim: Ok, Harry, in the history of Boy Scouts, how many bad jokes have been told at Boy Scout campfires? Is it billions and billions or six?
Harry: Oh, that’s simple. First you take the Nth root of the seventh square of the basic joke nominal modifier, then multiply it by e and divide it by pi. Once you’ve eliminated all the redundant factors and subtracted the variant multiple of the square root of negative one, you’re all done. I can say absolutely, positively, and with 100 percent certainty that the answer to your question is…
Computer takes phone away from Tim.
Regis: Oops, I’m sorry, your 30 seconds are up. Tim, it’s time to give us the zillion dollar answer. Or you can walk away with the one trillion dollars.
Tim: Well, Regis, I’m going for it, and my final answer is D.
Regis: D. Ok. Is that your… final answer?
Tim: No. My final answer is B.
Regis: Well, Time, we have good news and bad news. The good new is… the answer’s B! You’ve win a zillion dollars!
Tim jumps up to celebrate. Aunt Prude returns and joins in. Orchestra/Lights Crew starts singing the song and waves their flashlights.
Tim: Wait a minute. What’s the bad news?
Regis: The bad news is that we don’t owe you any money.
Tim and Aunt Prude: Huh?
Regis: See, if you had stopped at a trillion dollars, we would have owed you a trillion dollars. But now you’ve won a zillion, and there’s no such number as a zillion.
Tim and Aunt Prude: (getting angry and bearing down on Regis) What? You can’t get away with this.
Regis: (stepping back, a little fearful) Hey, look at the bright side. (pulls box from underneath chair) You get to take home the home version of our game.
Tim snatches box from Regis and tries to hit him over the head with it. Regis runs in circles around the chairs, trailed closely by Tim and Aunt Prude, who are yelling “Get him” and similar cries. Regis then runs offstage screaming, with Tim and Aunt Prude in hot pursuit. Skit ends. Audience applauds wildly.
Note that the Orchestra/Lights Crew is optional. In fact, we had trouble assembling one because none of the scouts wanted to do something that felt so silly. If we ever perform this skit the way it was intended, it will be cause for celebration.
And yes, the skit is very long. It’s best done early in the campfire, before attention spans start to fade.
Lazy Merit Badges
This is our most simple skit: three scouts, very few props, and only a few lines to learn. In fact, three scouts sitting in the back seat of my car mastered this one from scratch during the 45-minute drive to the Camporee on a Friday night.
This one pokes fun at lazy scouts who always seem to be making excuses for not doing any work around camp. The audience identifies with the theme and buys into it easily.
The audience doesn’t get all the jokes. There’s a reference to Seinfeld, and not even the scouts in the skit were sure what it meant. It’s one of those jokes understood more by the adults who are watching along with their kids, which is perfectly fine. Sesame Street does it all the time.
- Scout A
- Scout B
- Lazy Scout
- Camping chair in center of staging area.
- Pen and paper sitting on arm of chair, or in Lazy Scout’s pocket.
- Bucket and firewood sitting offstage.
Skit opens with Lazy Scout sitting in chair. Scouts A and B enter, carrying firewood.
Scout A: Hey, what are you doing?
Scout B: Yeah, the Scoutmaster wants us to carry this firewood to the campsite. Why aren’t you helping?
Lazy Scout: I’m working.
Scouts A and B: Working?
Lazy Scout: I’m working on the Seinfeld merit badge.
Scouts A and B: The Seinfeld merit badge?
Lazy Scout: Yeah. It’s a merit badge about nothing.
Scouts A and B shake their heads and keep walking. They dump their wood at the edge of the staging area and walk past the Lazy Scout again.
Scout A: What are you doing now?
Scout B: Yeah, don’t tell us you’re still working on the Seinfeld merit badge.
Lazy Scout: No. Now I’m working on the energy conservation merit badge.
Scouts A and B: The energy conservation merit badge?
Lazy Scout: (stretching his arms) Yeah, and I need a lot of practice.
Exasperated, Scouts A and B keep walking. Once they’ve gone, Lazy Scout takes a pen and writes a quick note on the paper. He leaves the paper on the arm of the chair, then leans his head back and falls asleep, snoring if possible.
Scouts A and B return with more wood. They see Lazy Scout asleep. Scout A picks up the note and reads it.
Scout A: “Do not disturb. Am working on the Sleeping merit badge.”
Scout B: The sleeping merit badge?
Scout A: That does it. Hey, I’ve got an idea.
Scout A whispers to Scout B, who nods his head. Both hurry offstage and return with a bucket of water. They pour the water on Lazy Scout’s head.
Lazy Scout: Hey, what’s going on. What are you doing?
Scout A: Nothing much. We’re just working on the Raw Sewage merit badge.
Lazy Scout: Raw Sewage? (runs offstage) Ahhhhh!
Scouts A and B high-five.
Scout A: Good job.
Scout B: Yep, and you know what that means?
Scout A: What?
Scout B: I get the comfy chair! (picks up Lazy Scout’s chair and runs offstage, with Scout A trailing close behind)
We performed this skit with three young, enthusiastic scouts — and they were perfect. The effect probably works better if the Lazy Scout is an older scout, but it’s certainly not necessary.
Mission: Almost Maybe
This is a take-off of “Mission: Impossible”, but it also served to reflect a familiar scenario played out at many a campout: The young, eager scouts end up doing all the work at the expense of the older, lazy ones.
You need five strong performers — two younger ones, two older ones, and a fifth that can be either — to pull this off. To accent the skit, you can have several scouts standing in the background playing the “Mission: Impossible” theme on kazoos.
Unlike most of our skits, this one was completely written before it was performed, with virtually no changes made to the script. In the interest of historical accuracy, we reprint below the skit in its original form. At the end, we’ll add a few performance notes.
- Lazy A: Lazy older Boy Scout
- Lazy B: Lazy older Boy Scout, slightly more dim-witted than Lazy A
- Agent 1: Younger scout who thinks he’s cool and therefore isn’t
- Agent 2: Younger scout who thinks he’s as cool as Agent 1
- Mortimer: Head of Boy Scout Secret Agent Service
- Sign Guy: Carries a sign across stage
Scene: Campfire at Camporee. Lazy A and Lazy B sit in camping chairs at stage L. Table with washing-up bowl is nearby. Agent 1 and Agent 2 enter R as skit begins.
Agent 1:We are secret agents, and we’re cool.
Agent 2: Really cool.
Agent 1: Get this. I’m so cool, I got ice forming on my shoulders.
Agent 2: (wiping his hand on Agent 1’s shoulder) Uh, that’s dandruff. (Agent 1 realizes this bit of uncoolness and hastily wipes off his dandruff)
Agent 1: Look. Someone’s coming.
Agent 2: Oh, that’s cool.
Agent 1: Really cool.
(Mortimer enters R)
Mortimer: Hey guys. You must think you’re cool.
Agent 1: Think we’re cool?
Agent 2: We ARE cool.
Agent 1: We can handle anything.
Mortimer: (darts eyes both ways, produces ID, whispers) James Mortimer, BSSAS, Agent number 6394720.
Agent 1: BSSAS?
Mortimer: Boy Scout Secret Agent Service.
Agent 2: (momentarily losing his cool) Wow! A real spy!
Agent 1: Hey! Stay cool.
Agent 2: (collecting himself) Oh yeah, I’m cool.
Mortimer: I have a mission for you.
Agents 1 and 2: A mission?
Mortimer: If you dare…
Agent 1: Oh yes, we dare. We’re cool.
Mortimer: See those two scouts over there?
Agents 1 and 2: Uh-huh.
Mortimer: Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to get them to volunteer to wash the dishes from tonight’s supper.
Agents 1 and 2: What?
Agent 1: We can’t do that. That’s… a Mission: Impossible.
Mortimer: No. It’s not a Mission: Impossible. It’s a Mission: Almost Maybe.
Agents 1 and 2: Mission: Almost Maybe?
Agent 1: Okay, we’ll do it.
Mortimer: The assignment is all yours.
Agent 2: (pulling Agent 1 aside) How are we going to do this?
Agent 1: I’ve got a plan. (gets himself cool-looking, walks up to Lazy Scouts) Hi, fellows.
Lazy A: Who are you?
Agent 1: Doesn’t matter who I am. But I’ve got news for you.
Lazy B: Huh? What?
Agent 1: I have word from the highest authority that the scout who volunteers to was tonight’s dishes will get a newly created, just-for-this-occasion, washing-up patch to put on your Class A uniform.
Lazy A: (laughs) Washing up patch?
Lazy B: (laughs) That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard!
Lazy A: (laughing harder) Can you believe it? A washing up patch.
(Lazy A and B laugh uncontrollably. Agent 1 walks away, dejected.)
Agent 2: How’d it go? They sound happy. Are they going to wash the dishes?
Agent 1: Well, no. But I think I softened them up a little.
Agent 2: Well, I have an idea. Let me give it a try. (walks up to Lazy Scouts) Hi guys.
Lazy A: Oh, no.
Lazy B: It’s an evil twin.
Agent 2: Guys, don’t know if you’ve heard the rumor…
Lazy A: What rumor?
Agent 2: Well, I heard that the scouts who wash the dishes tonight can get any item they want free at the trading post tomorrow.
Lazy B: (momentarily excited) Hey, you hear that? Something free at the trading post.
Lazy A: Calm down. You forget. This is the Camporee.
Lazy B: Oh, yeah.
Lazy A, Lazy B, and Agent 2: There is no trading post. (Agent 2 walks back to Agent 1)
Agent 2: This is not working out.
Agent 1: Well… Wait! I have one more idea. (whispers something to Agent 2)
Agent 2: Oh, yeah! But, wait, we’ve both tried already. If we go back there, they’ll recognize us and know we’re up to something.
Agent 1: Not if we disguise ourselves. (turns his hat around, raises his coat collar in a silly-looking attempt to disguise himself; Agent 2 does the same) There! Ready?
Agent 2: Ready. (Both run over)
Agent 1: Fellows! Fellows! You won’t believe what happened!!
Lazy B: Huh? What happened?
Agent 2: Walter, the new Tenderfoot, dropped a $200 bill in the washing up bowl!!
Agent 1: Just think. All that money there for anyone who does the washing up.
Lazy B: (starts to get up) Let’s go!!
Lazy A: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Waaaaait a minute. (pauses, thinks it over) There’s no such thing as a $200 bill.
Lazy B: (pauses, things about it) You’re right. And even if there were, Walter wouldn’t have one anyway.
Agent 2: Well, it was a good try.
Agent 1: Well, there’s only one thing left to do.
Agent 2: What’s that?
Agent 1: Beg.
Agent 2: Beg? That’s not cool.
Agent 1: Yeah, but we can’t let down the BSSAS.
Lazy B: What on earth are you guys talking about?
Agent 1: We really, really, need someone to do the dishes!
Agent 2: Yeah, what would have to happen for us to get you guys to volunteer?
Lazy A: (pauses, thinks, gestures expansively) World peace.
Agents 1 and 2: World peace?
Lazy B: Like that’s going to happen.
Lazy A: Exactly.
(Agents 1 and 2 walk to middle of stage)
Agent 1: Well, I guess it is a Mission: Impossible.
Agent 2: What are we going to tell Mortimer?
Agent 1: We can’t let him down. We’ll just have to do the dishes ourselves.
Agent 2: Ok. (They start pantomiming washing the dishes)
(Sign Guy walks across stage, carrying a sign that reads “30 minutes later”)
Agent 1: Phew. Well, that was a lot of work, but we’re all done.
Agent 2: Just in time. Here comes Mortimer.
Mortimer: Agent 1, Agent 2. Have you accomplished your mission?
Agent 2: (holds up bucket of clean dishes) Yes, look!
Agent 1: Wait a minute, I just realized something. None of these dishes look familiar.
Agent 2: Yeah, this doesn’t look like Boy Scout dishes at all.
Mortimer: (taking the bucket) They’re not Boy Scout dishes. They’re my dishes. Thanks for doing them, secret agents.
Agents 1 and 2: We’ve been had! After him, yaaaahh!
Agents chase Mortimer offstage. Audience erupts in rapturous applause.
Our two younger scouts were excellent in their roles, adding quite a bit of physical comedy. One would do a clumsy somersault as he approached the older scouts. Another would accidentally drop his hat in the washing-up bowl.
We also experimented with having a band. Several scouts would line up near the campfire and play the “Mission: Impossible” theme on kazoos every time the younger scouts would approach the older scouts. We never rehearsed the music properly, though, so the audience didn’t get the full effect of the added “soundtrack”.
Also, the dialogue makes mention of a Camporee. If you’re performing the skit at another event, you need to change the dialogue accordingly.
By the way, we usually did without the Sign Guy. Usually Mortimer would just duck his head onstage and say, “One hour later.”
Skit in Need of a Bailout
Harry’s Note: This one did not come with any notes, and this was most likely one of the last skits made before I graduated high school in 2009. I don’t recall this one as much, but clearly he was still very annoyed at all the lazy skits other troops were still doing.
Scouts begin by performing “Johnny Got Hit” or some other tired skit. They do it badly, flubbing lines, looking the wrong way, etc. Maybe someone from the crows yells, “Louder! We can’t hear you.”
After about 30 seconds, two guys walk on:
Guy 1: Hold on, hold on. Stop it right now.
Guy 2: This is horrible. This is embarrassing. This is the worst skit I’ve ever seen.
Guy 1: From Troop 1018, no less. (mention other skits)
Guy 2: Can’t you guys do something original?
Guy 1: Or at least do it right?
Skit Performer 1: I’m sorry. It’s just that we’re just caught in this worldwide skit recession.
Guys 1 & 2 (together): Worldwide skit recession!
Guy 1: Well, we have just the thing for you, right here in this suitcase: A massive federal government skit bailout! Look, $1 billion from the TARP program to get you back into tiptop performing shape.
Skit Performer 2: Wow! Do you really think we could qualify for TARP money?
Skit Performer 1: Why not? We’ve got lots of “tarps” back at the campsite, keeping our stuff dry.
Skit Performer 2: But what about interest rates?
Guy 1: Well, judging from the audience’s reaction, the “interest rate” in your skit was at an all-time low.
(Guys 1 & 2 step downstage toward the audience, while the Skit Performers go upstage and form a quick huddle)
Skit Performer 1: All right. We’ll take the money and use it to come up with a better skit. Give us about 30 seconds to setup and get started.
Guy 2: (looks at watch) Ok, sounds good to us!
(As Guys 1 & 2 turn to face audience, the Skit Performers take off running with the suitcase, far away from the campfire area)
Guy 1 (to audience): Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present Troop 1018, presenting a skit funded by your federal government.
Guy 2: Well, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s great to see our federal tax dollars at work.
Guy 1: It’s a great way to show you when we know how to invest wisely!
Guy 2: (looks at watch) Well, that’s about 30 seconds. Time for the skit. Here they are, the Troop 1018 Players!!!
Guy 1: Ah, say it louder. Maybe they didn’t hear you.
Guy 2 (louder): Here they are, the Troop 1018 Players!!
Guy 1 (looks offstage): I don’t see them.
Guy 2: I don’t either.
Guy 1: You don’t suppose…
Guy 2: They’ve run off with our $1 billion!!
Guy 1: (sees the Skit Performers far off away from the campfire) There they are. Let’s get ’em!!!
(They run offstage, chasing the Skit Performers. Crowd goes wild, applauds and throws money at the stage.)