Concho Valley Council

The "Field Meet" was a very popular activity held for all the Scout troops.  The event, held twice a year, determined the top competitive troops in the Council.

The first such meets were held outside the old fire station in San Angelo.  It was located across the street from the Tom Green County Court House in what is now the parking lot for Central National Bank.

The first meeting was held on November 11, 1926, Armistice Day, in the Fire Station Park.  The James J. Goodfellow post of the American Legion furnished the judges and conducted the meet which started at 9:30 a.m.  Contests were held in Signaling, First Aid, Wall Scaling, Fire Building for cooking and fire by friction.
Wall Scaling Event

The scaling wall was set up in the park.  The wall, as described by Robert Hardgraves, was nine and a half feet high.  A "team" of eight boys had to run to the wall, starting ten yards in front of the wall, get everyone over the wall as quickly as possible, and run ten yards behind the wall.  The two largest members of the team would assist the other members over the wall and then take a running leap themselves to get over it at the end.  This was the most demanding event of the meet and took a lot of practice to accomplish.  Troop 4 won the event the first year.  J. T. Henderson tells of the time when all the members of Troop 7 wore track shoes.  They hurled the small boys over the wall and then, with their track shoes, literally walked up the wall and over the top in record time!  Needless to say, track shoes were barred after that year.

Wins Silver Cup

Troop 1 won the silver cup that first year.  Dicky Arnold, Troop Scribe of Troop 1 at the time, wrote "We had a special member (at our troop meeting) that beautiful loving cup.  Mr. Rogers put it on the table in front of our meeting (there were 24 members present) and boy howdy, we sure did how and how for us winning it, and above all we will get to keep our good old Scoutmaster Mr. Rogers for as you know he said that if we didn't win it that he would quit if and for that special reason we certainly did work hard at the big Rally Day, Nov. 11th.  We had a cause for winning the cup and the other troops did not."

R. W. Rogers, their Scoutmaster, was a local lumberman and for his good services he received the first of two Silver Beaver Awards presented for the first time in the council in 1932.

First Spring Field Meet

The first Spring Field Meet was held the first Saturday in May of 1927.  According to the SAN ANGELO DAILY STANDARD there was a parade and a "monster barbecue" that morning with events throughout the afternoon, followed by a Court of Honor late in the afternoon.  The James J. Goodfellow post of the American Legion again sponsored the meet.  Rev. M. S. Epperson served as Chairman.

The parade started from the Court House lawn at 11 a.m., barbecue was served at noon, followed by the Field Meet and a Court of Honor.  Troops came from eight or ten outside towns.  A total of sixteen troops were expected to be present for the meet.

Five boys represented each troop in Signaling.  Two of these were senders, two receivers and one was a spy who attempted to intercept the message of an "enemy troop."  If the spy was successful, the other troop was disqualified.

During the First Aid Contest, the boys tied a head bandage, hand bandage, collar bone bandage, and arm splints to determine their proficiency.

The Archery Contest was held under the direction of Neal W. Sanders.  Each Scout had to bring his own bow and arrows, most of which were made at Sanders' cabinet shop.  The four-foot square target used in the contest was made by the San Angelo Mattress Factory and was a new wrinkle in archery.

The fire by Friction Contest was fast and furious with many of the Scouts making a fire in just a few seconds.  They had to use material found in Texas.

The Shoe Race was a humorous event.  Three boys from each troop with high lace shoes placed their shoes in a large ring and the shoes were mixed up.  At the signal, the boys raced from a line twenty yards from the pile of shoes to the ring and tried to get their own shoes out of the pile, put them on, lace them up, and report to the judges.  If a contestant picked up the wrong shoe he could throw it as far as he could.  A shoe could be thrown any number of times but couldn't be hidden.

Each team of two boys were given two pieces of 2 X 4 that were fifteen inches long.  At the signal, they had to chop up the material and build a fire set not more than twelve inches square at the base and not more than twelve inches high.  After lighting their fires with only two matches, the fires had to burn a twenty-four inch high string in two.  The fire was built under strings attached eighteen and twenty-four inches from the ground.  The first team to burn their string won.

The Wall Scaling Event was the same as the previous year.  Mr. K. N. Klapp of Lubbock, Vice President of the South Plains Council, was in charge of the Court of Honor held later that afternoon.  Bronte Troop 52 won the Council Trophy Loving Cup.

Bronte Troop 52 again won 1st place in the third Field Meet held December 10, 1927.  They had a total of 34 points.  Troop 2 was second with 18 points, Troop 7 third with 15 points and Troop 6 fourth with 12 points.

Bugling Contest Added

A Bugling Contest was held at the third Meet.  Ford Boulware won the contest, received an official bugle donated by the Baker-Hemphill Company, and was appointed "Chief Council Bugler."

More than 400 Scouts participated in the third Meet.  Troops came from Bronte, Paint Rock, Robert Lee, Sterling city, Menard, Christoval, Eldorado, Sonora and Miles.

The fourth Meet was held April 21, 1928, in the Civic League Park in San Angelo.  The events included two kinds of signaling, the wall scaling, fire by friction, string burning, water boiling, first aid, knots, and fireman's carry.  Troop 52 of Bronte and Troop 7 of San Angelo were tied.  After some discussion Troop 7 gave the cup to Bronte who had won it the two previous times.  The Troop that won the Field Meet for three times became the owner of the cup.  Troops 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, from San Angelo, Troop 19 from Sonora and Troop 52 from Bronte entered the events.

By the time of the fifth Meet, the Log Cabin Village was completed and the meet was held there.  The Meets continued on a semi-annual basis through 1931 and were a very popular event with the Scouts.

Camporee at Alamo Village

Photo of Scouts in front of Alamo at Alamo VillageSome 341 Scouts and leaders from 27 Troops participated in a fun-filled council camporee held at Pappy Shahan’s Alamo Village near Bracketville, Texas, the weekend of October 1-2, 1983.  The troops camped around the stage set of the Alamo used in the filming of “The Alamo.”  The Saturday night stage show was held in front of the Alamo Chapel and the show was highlighted by the Sahawe Indian Dances of Uvalde performance including a fire lit hoop dance.

The Scouts toured the Alamo Village, its museum and participated in many fun events on Saturday.  Ray Smith of San Angelo led the devotional service on Sunday in front of the Alamo Chapel to close the weekend.  During the weekend, the Scouts killed two rattlesnakes but no rattlesnake stew was served.

Diamond Jubilee Camporee

Over 1,000 Cubs, Webelos, Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Explorers, Scouters and parents participated in the Diamond Jubilee Camporee held on the site of the first Council Summer camp held in 1926.  Fifty-nine years later, the Council returned to the site on the South Concho River in Christoval, April 12-14, 1985, for their celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Boy Scouts of America.

There were fun events for Cubs and Webelos, competitive events for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts, historical displays, Indian dancing by the Sahawe Indian dances of Uvalde and a large campfire.  The Explorers helped with judging, traffic control and security.

The Cobra Patrol of Troop 9, San Angelo, won 1st Place in the skill competition, the Beaver Patrol of Troop 346, San Angelo, took 2nd Place and the Hawk Patrol of Troop 57, Robert Lee, won 3rd Place.  In the Patrol Flag Contest, the Apache Patrol of Troop 309, San Angelo took 1st Place, Dakato Patrol, Troop 19, Sonora, 2nd Place and the Panther Patrol of Troop 36, San Angelo too 3rd Place.  A special plaque was given to Troop 323 of Christoval for providing the camporee gateway and for coming out to the area and cleaning up the site prior to the camporee.

It took over 100 volunteers to help put on the camporee.  Bill Ruth of San Angelo served as chairman of the camporee committee.  This was the largest event staged by the Council.

West Texas Rendezvous

John Clark, Scout Executive of Chisholm Trail Council of Abilene, and Frank T. Hilton, Scout Executive of  Comanche Trail Council, Brownwood, met together several times a year for lunch and at other activities.  At one of these meetings the idea of having a joint camporee between the two councils was born.

A year was spent in putting together an organization to make this camporee happen.  Along the way, Concho Valley Council of San Angelo as well as the Buffalo Trail Council of Midland were incorporated in the planning group, and the “West Texas
Rendezvous” was born.  This was the first time that these four councils had come together for such an event.

Several sites for this big event were considered.  The committee selected Hord’s Creek State Park as having the best facilities
for such a large gathering of Scouts in one place.  The site was centrally located for the most number of troops that would be
coming to this event.

The date April 18-30, 1995, was selected and the various events and activities for the weekend were divided up among the
four councils.  Each council was responsible for a given number of competitive events.   Camping areas were surveyed so that
each troop had the same amount of camping space, approximately 100’ by 100’.

Over 2,000 Scouts, Scouters and visitors came to the Rendezvous.  This was the largest event ever held in this part of Texas.  For most Scouts this was the next thing to a National Boy Scout Jamboree that they were able to see.

There were over sixteen competitive events, a snake display, model airplanes, the National Guard, Religious Awards display,
hot air balloon, a helicopter from the Border Patrol, mountain men camp, Indian teepee camp and a flyover by the Confederate Air Force.   Some twenty-five Scouters from the council served on the staff of the Rendezvous and helped make it a success.

The second West Texas Rendezvous was held on April 25-27, 1997.  The weather was rather wet and cold, but twelve troops and two Webelos Dens from the council made the campout anyway.  Some 1,200 Scouts from the four councils participated in as many events as they could considering that they had four to six inches of rain that weekend.  Seventeen volunteers from the council helped to put on this event which was another success.  A third event was held a Hord's Creek in April  2000, minus the wet and cold weather!  From 2002 through 2004 the Rendezvous has been held at the O. C. Fisher State Park in San Angelo.

Material for this story was taken from "Panjandrum A History of Scouting in the Concho Valley Council 1911-2001," by Frank T. Hilton, 1990.

Last Updated:  January 5, 2003
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