Scout Shows

Comanche Trail Council

Councils were always looking for some method of displaying Scouting to the public.  At first, they had exhibits in local stores and on the grounds of public places.  Then they went to larger exhibit halls to have Scout circuses, exhibitions and Scout-O-Ramas.

Scout Circus

The first known Scout circus of the Comanche Trail Council was held May 14, 1940, in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Brownwood.  It was billed as the “first annual Boy Scout Circus.” Tickets were sold for 35 cents each and a whole family could get in the circus for 70 cents.  Ticket sales were to pay for the event with any profit going to the building fund of Camp Billy Gibbons.  They billed the circus as having a hundred clowns, balloons, peanuts, popcorn, candy, pink lemonade and even  three Donald Ducks.

They had some 450 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts from all over the council involved in ten acts of the circus.  The Howard Payne College band provided the music for the acts and nine between-the-acts stage events.  They also presented a musical tableau scene as part of the evening activities.

Towers were built during the circus.  The Scouts had cut enough poles to build both little and big towers. They had some 500 or so parents and visitors attend the circus and came away well pleased with the performances.  The circus was quite popular, and they eventually moved the event over to the old Lion’s Stadium.  Bill Lynn remembers when they built a pioneer bridge at one of the events and drove the camp truck across it.

Another time they built a bridge from one side of the stadium field to the other side, and while crossing the bridge it fell right in the middle when the ropes gave way.  They also built many a monkey bridge and had Scouts walk across them.

The circus was dropped in favor of an Exposition which was held for six years starting in 1955.  The second Scouting Exposition was held March 24, 1956, in Memorial Hall with thirty-two units participating.

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."

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

By 1957, the number of units participating in the third Scouting exposition had come up to thirty-five exhibits and stage attractions.  The same number participated in the fourth Scouting exposition.

Then, in 1961, the circus was brought back and was very successful for several more years.  However, by 1970 the Council calendar proposed another exposition be held.  There was a resistance to out-or-town units participating in any event not held in their town.Scout-O-Rama


Scout-O-Ramas were booth style events held in Stephenville and Brownwood during February of each year.  The first ones were held in 1970.  Tickets sold for 25 cents each and commissions and prizes were given to units and individual boys who sold them.

At first, the Scout-O-Rama was alternated between Brownwood and Stephenville, and later they went to one in each town.  For instance, one was held in the Coliseum in Brownwood in 1977;  the next year it was held in the Show Barn at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, then back to Brownwood in 1979.  By 1980, they decided to have one in each community a week apart.

Scout-O-Ramas were also held in the National Guard Armory in Brownwood and the City Recreation Building in Stephenville.  In other years, a Scout-O-Rama was held once in the National Guard Armory in Breckenridge and Cisco Junior College in Cisco.

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Scouting, one Scout-O-Rama was held at Heartland Mall in Early.  The event continued until 1992 when it was discontinued for lack of attendance and ticket sales..

Information for this page came from "Ninety Years of Service," Frank T. Hilton, 1999.  Our thanks to Bob Brummett for providing us with the Exposition photo.

Last Updated:  June 24, 2007
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