D-Day the 6th of June, 1944 was the date of the allied invasion of France during World War II. It had been originally scheduled for the fourth, but bad weather delayed the event. This year’s invasion of Forest Park by the Scouts went off on schedule, no weather delays, so by the sixth of June, their objectives had been secured and they are now ready to move out.
Scouting is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Saint Louis area Scouts convened in the Park this weekend as part of this anniversary. Somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 Scouts descended upon the Park this weekend. The Park regularly hosts this weekend campout, regularly being about once every ten years. The Park doesn’t require ten years to recover from one of these weekends, but I do believe that the Park’s administration does.
At one point on Saturday morning, I overheard two Scout leaders remarking, “I have never seen so many boys, having so much fun.” I have to agree with those two leaders, because there was a lot of fun to be had. I rode through the Park in the morning and again in the afternoon, this time with Anne, we got 22 and 11 miles respectively. Even though the Scouts outnumbered everyone else there were other constituencies in the Park on Saturday.
The Muny had their Muny Kids performing song and dance out in front of the theater. This helped to entertain the hundreds of Muny ticket goers that had braved the Scout’s gauntlet, to exchange individual tickets. Then there was International Paint Yourself Day. Participants of this holiday are young and colorful. They do this on the first Saturday of June, to bring happiness and joy.
The Scouts had lots of activities to keep their following occupied. Historical re-enactors descended on the Park to portray their particular niches. Portrayed were enactors for the Lewis and Clark exposition, American Indians and the Civil War. There were also many athletic activities. A few of them were floating, a slip-and-slide and the climbing walls. The most stupendous event of the day though was the cardboard boat race.
I wish that we had this activity when I was a Scout. The event is pretty simple, two Scouts, one boat, cardboard. There were three prizes offered, the fastest, the best looking and the most stupendous failure. Each of the heats produced a fastest. Each heat also produced many stupendous failures. In my humble opinion the best looking boat was the Pikachu, it also happened to win its heat. My buddy Dan, is the explorer troop leader for the crew of the good ship Pikachu. We didn’t stay for the final tally, but wish Dan’s Scouts, good luck.
While I was playing with the Scouts in the Park, Anne was supporting the three-day MS-Challenge Walk. She manned the Team Kaldi’s rest stop there for most of the day. This is a charity event similar to the one that Jay regularly does. Jay, it is way hotter here in Saint Louis, don’t even think about coming here.
If they do a 3-day or Avon walk in St. Louis I will come! Of course I will demand participation, which might mean you have to get off of the bike for a few days. While in TN my training has essentially stopped. Part of it is the heat (mid 80’s) and the humidity, but part of it is the lack of nice walking near our base camp. I will just forgive myself this week.
Mark makes it sound like I manned the Team Kaldi’s MS Walk rest stop all by myself. This is not true! I would name names, but I’m sure my heat frazzled brain would leave someone out, or get the names wrong. The iced coffee that Kaldi’s provided appeared to be a big hit among the walkers.
As bikers, we know that the MS 150 can be challenging, but walking 50 miles in 3 days (or 60, Jay!) is a much bigger challenge. We can coast down hill and use all those gears to make going up the hills easier. Of course, there are even bigger challenges, just ask the people who are living with MS or breast cancer or diabetes. (Kudos to the Tour de Cure riders this weekend)
The Pikachu boat not only won it’s heat, but took the honor of the “Best Decorated Boat”. All in all, The Pikachu, the Princess Andromeda both took 1st in their respective heats, the Mountain Dew Canoe took third and the fourth boat of our flotilla took a “Not last place” with my son pushing the boat through the course because their homemade paddles failed immediately, so much for the engineering course that he took this past year at school.I’m thinking naval engineering isn’t in his future.
Dan, I’m glad that it worked out so well for some of your Explorers. Now about your son, how about considering a career as a propulsion engineer? After the first year or two he could move into management and simply view any engineering failures of his past, as lessons learned.