Be Prepared for the 21st Century

Pioneer Network News 2007 - Troop 37 Camp fire kit

(Editor note: This was the Troop 37 final campfire skit for the fourth week of Massawepie 2007.  The last Harry Potter book was released at Midnight Thursday night prior to the week incamp.  People all over camp, including Scouts and leaders in Troop 37, were seen reading the book all week long.)

CHET: Good evening: This is PNN the Pioneer News Network – the fake news network that only tells you what you want to hear. Chet Chetson reporting. Our top story tonight: 146 Scouts killed in a horrible kiln explosion at the Handicraft lodge. But more on that later. (Real cheerfully) First up, a musical interlude by our favorite maestro, Father Dave!

FATHER DAVE: Guys, birthdays are happy events, and so the Massawepie birthday song is suppose to by upbeat and JOYOUS! You make it sound like some sort of dirge. OK now lets try it joyously! A-one and a-two and – (Facing the audience, Father Dave conducts wildly; exits end of song)

CHORUS: (very very very fast!) Happy Birthday, Oh, Happy Birthday. There is sorrow in the air, people dying everywhere; Happy Birthday, oh Happy birthday!

CHET: Thanks, Padre. And now to our linguist correspondent, Alf Alfabetason. What word magic have you been pondering recently, Alf?

ALF: Chet, have you ever wondered; why is “abbreviation” such a long word? (Pause) Think about it. And what’s another word for “synonym”? (Pause) And why isn’t “phonetic” spelled the way it sounds? (Pause) And why isn’t there a shorter word for “monosyllabic”? Words, Chet - without them we’re speechless.

CHET: Food for thought, Alf; thank you. This evening, we dedicate the bulk of our news broadcast to an in-depth report of a peculiar and unspoken force that seems to have gripped Massawepie this past week. Strange, unspoken and mysterious events, almost magical in nature, have been manifesting themselves under our mugle eyes. With more on this phenomenon, we go to our special correspondent, Harry Harrison: (Chet exits, replaced by Harry)

Note: the intervening field reports are to be inserted right on top of Harry’s report, with no pauses. Each field report actor should come bounding out right before his line and jump on the lime immediately, or even before, the cue from Harry. Unless otherwise noted, enter from the center of the fire area wall and exit round the outside edge, quick as bunnies):

HARRY: Chet, these strange events actually started almost exactly one week ago, at 12:01 Am Saturday morning, when last week’s campers, rather than dreaming sweet thoughts of the trip home and non-dining hall food, lined up instead outside the Trading Post:

TRADING POST GUY: OK, OK no pushing, no shoving, plenty for everybody.

HARRY: The line serpentined down the Trading Post porch, winding through the Dining Hall, and tailing off at the handicraft lodge, slowly slithering through the gaping maw of the fang-like Trading Post doors.

TRADING POST GUY: Only $99 per copy! (Evil laugh!) Good reading for that long trip home! (Another evil laugh)

CHORUS: (recited all together, as one voice) Me! Me! Gotta have book! Please! Please! Sell me book! Now! Now! Must Read book! Must Read book! Must Read book! (Softly fade out)

HARRY: Yes, the Massawepie Trading Post really raked it in that night, But the real significance of this strange turn of events was not clearly understood until five days ago, Sunday morning, when this week’s Scouts gathered for the trip to camp.

FIVE ZOMBIES: (enter, walking Zombie-like, with stiff knees, arms outstretched strait, tongues hanging out of mouths, heads rolling, walking aimlessly and occasionally bumping into each other.) AAAAUUUGGGHHHH (traditional “Zombie” noises. The CHORUS makes the same noises backstage)

HARRY: The scouts looked unusually tired that morning

ZOMBIES and CHORUS: AAAUUUGGGHHHH TIRED! TIRED! AAUUUUGGGHHH!

HARRY: And not the typical “I started packing at eleven o’clock last night” tired. No, this was a special kind of tired, the kind caused by being up 36 straight hours reading “the Book”

ZOMBIES and CHORUS: AAUUUGGGHHH! MUST READ BOOK! MUST READ BOOK! AAAAUUUUUGGGHHH! (Zombies exits)

HARRY: When these glassy-eyed Scouties arrived at camp, they were subjected to a new medical inspection procedure, allegedly to update their medical forms, but the real reason was more insidious:

MEDICAL INSPECTOR: (With clipboard, as if interviewing a Scout; quickly) Any changes since your checkup? No? (Checks off form with each ‘no’) Taking any medications? No? Any scars that emit searing pain when contemplating your Scoutmaster? Any manifestations of hexes, spells, curses, charms, mysterious warts, lesions or poxy pustules? No? Thank you – NEXT! (Exits)

HARRY: Swim checks were modified:

WATERFRONT GUY: (Wearing a PFD and waiving wand) Flotus Onyourbackus!

HARRY: And was it mere coincidence that a video crew just “happened” to arrive this very week, taping everything in sight? Obviously collecting evidence. Their cover story, that they were making a Massawepie promotion vid, was as transparently phony as Santa’s beard!

SANTA (with an even more fake copy of Mark’s fake Santa beard) Merry Christmas! Ho Ho Ho!

HARRY: As the week progressed, strange, rhythmic incantations emanated from the far corner of the dining hall. Clearly the Death Eaters from the High Lands of Cobbs Hill Park were summoning He-Whose-Name-We-Can’t-Remember.

Chorus: Rapping the dining hall drum circle rhythm on the back of the campfire wall.

HARRY: Some attempted to quiet the growing panic by summoning forth older traditions of supernatural fantasy:

RING GUY: (rubbing hands) Yesssss! My presssssiousssss!

STAR WARS GUY: (Hands in front of face for hissing sound) Luke, I am your father!

CC GUY: (One fist in front of him, thumb up) I am a compassionate conservative!

HARRY: But the power of the Book was not to be denied: (Staff member enters, center, reading a very large book. Cute little Boy Scout enters from the side and crosses over to the Staff member):

CUTE LITTLE BOY SCOUT: Please sir! Won’t you show me how to weave a basket? I need this merit badge real bad!

STAFF: (Reading, paying no attention to Scout) Go away, kid! Can’t you see I am reading? (Brandishing wand) Skramus! Departum!

HARRY: It got worst: all ginger-headed Scouts in Camp were consistently mis-identified

HASENAUER (doesn’t matter which one) No! For the last time I am not a Weasley!

HARRY: Long-haired Scouts got it especially bad

LONG HAIR SCOUT: No! For the last time, I am not Hermione!

HARRY: And when did Hagrid learn to play the Mandolin?

BILLY/HAGRID: Hi, Y’all!

HARRY: And, pardon the expression, what was up with the camp flag?

FLAG WIZARD: (with wand, hexing the flag at the top of a flag pole) Stayupus Flagpolus!

HARRY: More evidence? What about the innocent young scouts transformed at dawn every morning into polar bears? Or how about the caldron-cooking competition at Scoutcraft? Or that old guy singing about dead cats in the Dining Hall? Or the magical creatures contest at Econ? For that matter, how else would you explain the entire Econ Staff? All this leads up to tonight – this moment – when the secret all were attempting to suppress can at last be revealed!

CHORUS: NOOOOOO!

HARRY: Yes! For those who have not yet read the book and don’t want to know the ending – tough nuggies! I can now reveal that, in a climatic struggle with the Forces of Darkness, our Hero acquired a super wand, a super-duper wand, a wand so powerful that by itself can extinguish even the mightiest of flames. . .

Hero appears out of the far end of the wall wearing an Indian Pump.

HARRY: Summoning all of his inner strength, he casts the ultimate spell, an incantation so powerful that he blasts away forever the evilness that has enveloped his world – the darkest of the dark forces, the Ending Spoiler!

HERO: ACQUIFY! (Sprays “Harry” off the stage)

CHET: (returning) Sorry we couldn’t throw an invisibility cloak over that whole report. Now for some words of inspiration from our camp director, Steve Wisenheimer (Editor note: a “wisenheimer” is an old-fashion phrase for a wise guy)

(Chorus, humming Scout Vespers)

STEVE: (Very slowly and reasonable; this is great wisdom): Scouts, as you come to the conclusion of this wonderful week at camp, consider this: some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield. (Thoughtful pause.) Some days you’re the dog and some days you’re the hydrant. (Thoughtful pause.) If at first you don’t succeed, (pause, look up) skydiving is definitely not for you. (Thoughtful pause.) True, the early bird gets the worm, but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. (Loooong thoughtful pause.) Some day you’ll think back on all this, (pause) and you will plow right into a parked car. (Thoughtful pause.) In conclusion, never say anything bad about a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. But then you can say anything you want, because he’s a mile away, (pause for laugh) and you’ve got his shoes! Thank you, Scouts and good night!

CHET: Finally in the news, breakfast tomorrow in the dining hall is Big Macs and fries!

(Chorus: YEAH!)

CHET: And all day long free slushies in the Trading Post!

(Chorus: YEAH!)

CHET: And next summer, Mountaineer across the lake will become a Girl Scout Camp!

(Chorus: YEAH! YEAH!)

CHET: And pigs will fly. That’s it for me tonight; this is Chet Chetson for PNN, the Pioneer News Network!