Competitive Events

Comanche Trail Council

Competitive events had many different names but were basically the same activity, competition between troops in Scout skills.  The first events of this nature were Scout Field Meets.

Field Meets

The first know contest between troops was held in Coggin Park in Brownwood in the latter part of June 1922.  They had a series of contests between the troops in wall scaling which consisted of a team of eight Scouts running fifty feet, scaling an eight foot wall and then running another fifty feet to the finish line.  Troop 3 accomplished this event in 20 seconds and Troop 4 in 23 seconds.

They also had a Scout pace contest wherein one Scout from each troop ran a mile using the Scout Pace.  The winner was Duncan McCulley of Troop 5 who finished in 12 minutes flat.

A signaling contest was held between Troops 1 and 5.  Troop 1 won on time, but both troops received messages incorrectly.   Another event called Message Relay was canceled when one of the troops fail to show up with a contesting team.

The first baseball game of the Scout series was called in the 12th inning with the score being tied at 12-12.  Other games were scheduled for later in the week.

One hundred Scouts participated in a Field Day held in Eastland on February 20, 1930, in the Oil Belt Council.  They had events in archery,  water boiling, fire building, tug of war, knot tying, signaling, first aid and obstacle race  The Carbon Troop 12 won the meet with Troop 15 of Rising Star coming in second and Troop 6 of Eastland coming in third.  They noted that this was the first attempt at having a general field day meet, and they were pleased enough with the results to plan another one in the following year to be called a Spring Jamboree.

Another Field Meet

The Pecan Valley Council held a Field Day in November of 1931 with some 130 Scouts participating.  The events were held at the Howard Payne park followed by a Court of Honor that night in the Brown County Court House.

Two football games were held with the Brownwood Scouts defeating the San Saba Scouts 6 to 0 and Stephenville beating Hamilton 13 to 0.  They also held an archery contest with Brownwood carrying off the honors.  Other events held were a hundred yard dash, half mile relay race, three-legged race, first aid race, fire by flint and steel and dressing race.


First Aid Prepared!Soon after the two councils merged to form the Comanche Trail Council, a big “Camp-O-Ral” was held on the campus of Howard Payne in May of 1933.  They erected a large “three-pole tent” on campus, and the Scouts set up exhibits in the tent for the public to see.  The exhibits included a reproduction of Camp Billy Gibbons, Indians in costume, teepees set up along with demonstrations in Indian lore.

They had a big parade that Saturday, and the Scouts were guests of the Lyric theater for a free matinee. That Sunday the Scouts attended church in uniform and served as ushers.

Monday evening they had the High School Band give a concert, and several people gave speeches.  The first Scoutmaster, Dr. John Power, was present and all the Eagle Scouts of the council were on stage.  Scout stunts were presented, and the Howard Payne orchestra provided additional music.   Several hundred people came out to view the exhibits, participate in the night programs and help with the events.

On Wednesday morning, a Chuck Wagon breakfast was held on campus and workers went out after breakfast to ask for funds to continue the work of Scouting.  They had another Chuck Wagon supper that night so that the workers could report on their progress in getting funds.

Camp-o-ral held in Eastland in 1944 - Firebuilding
Camp-o-ral held in Eastland in 1944, Firebuilding

Camp-o-rals had changed by the 1940’s.  One such event held in Brownwood in May of 1941  consisted of troops camping in the park, cooking supper and attending a campfire that evening. At the campfire they had a Court of Honor and O’Grady Drill.  The following morning they had an adventure trail and finished up by 8:35 that morning.

Camp-o-rals continued to be held in the 1950’s in each of the four districts.  In 1958 some thirty-four troops and posts participated with 417 Scouts and Explorers in thirteen events.  They camped in tents and cooked their own meals.


During the 1950's Expositions were held at the Memorial Hall in Brownwood.  Pictured to your right is a photo taken by Nobs with the following caption:

"SCOUT EXPOSITION INDIANS - Brownwood Explorers Johnny Minear, left, Bryan Healer and Robert Brummett are shown in Indian regalia preparatory to their participation in the eight-county Comanche Trail Council Scouting Exposition from 2 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Hall.  Cubs, Boy Scouts and Explorers will participate in the various Scouting exhibitions and activities."

These Expositions were designed to showcase Scouting to the general public.  Tickets were sold to the public by the various units and each unit had a booth to show off a merit badge, skill or activity.  The Exposition continued until the early 1990's when they moved them to the Heartland Mall.   At that time, the council discontinued the selling of tickets as the Mall was open to the general public and there was no way to control entrance to the Exposition.

Ribbons were given out to units in competition for the best booths in each program group and for participating in the Exposition.


The word “Camporee” replaced Camporals in the 1960’s.  District Camporees were held in May 1964 at the Ethel Scott Ranch for the Noreast District and at the Camp Bowie Rifle Range for the South Central District.

Each May, beginning in 1966, they started having council camporees with the first being held at Promontory Park on Lake Proctor.   For several years this was the favorite gathering spot for council camporees.

One year, Troop 14 went to the camporee there, set up camp, and it began to rain.  It seemed to always rain at the camporee, so two of the leaders, Dr. Billy Dippel and Dr. Dale Wheelis of Brownwood, decided to sleep in the troop trailer to stay dry.  A big wind storm came up during the night and started pushing the trailer down the slope to the lake.  They were bouncing around in the trailer not being able to do anything.  The trailer was almost to the lake when it hit some small trees.  Dr. Dippel was thrown out of the trailer, and not knowing what was going on, he just knew the trailer was going to run over him and kill him.  He said his whole life flashed before his eyes.  Fortunately, the trees held the trailer from moving any further.  Needless to say, that was the last time they attempted to sleep in the trailer during a camporee.  This story was told to the author by a couple of the boys in the troop, and this was the only thing they could remember about that particular camporee.  Both men confirmed the story.

One year the camporee was held at Ringling Lake Camp two miles NW of Eastland.  The owner was attempting to give the land to the council for a camp and holding the camporee there was a way of selling people on the possibility of the camp.  However, the board turned down the offer and the next year they went back to Lake Proctor.

     Camporee held at Camp Billy Gibbons - Campfire
Camporee campfire at Camp Billy GibbonsIn March 1979, they decided to have the camporee at Camp Billy Gibbons, and except for a couple of years when district camporees were held, the camporee has been held there.   A special Brownsea Island Camporee was held,  April 1982, and another special camporee was held in 1986 to celebrate Texas’s 150th birthday.

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.  Of  that number, over 244 came from the Comanche Trail Council from 16 Scout Troops.  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! 

The fourth Rendezvous was held at O. C. Fisher State Park in San Angelo in 2002 and the fifth Rendezvous was also held at O. C. Fisher State Park.  This popular multi-council camporee will be held in the same place in 2004..

Material for this story was taken from "Ninety Years of Servie," by Frank T. Hilton, 1999.  Our thanks to Bob Brummett for providing us with the Exposition photo.

Last Updated:  June 24, 2006
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