History of the Scoutmasters Camporee

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As the Scoutmasters Camporee continues its long history, many of our Past Chiefs have passed on to the "Camporee Eternal." We will miss these fine Scouters, their names are ITALICIZED.

1960. The Scoutmasters Camporee was born during a field competition between the following troops. (Scoutmaster in parenthesis):

T-131 (Zeke Landis) T-108 (Bill Dubbs)
T-189 (Guy Stanton) T-107 (Oliver Lovendahl)
T-105 (Jack Weaver) T-198 (Gabe Sorrentino)
T-114/176 (Ray Heaton, Sr.) T-174 (Pete Hite)
T-195 (Woody Chambers) T-104 (Bud Farnsworth)
T-192 (Cliff Christian) T-120 (Shorty Bishoff)

Zeke LandisZEKE LANDIS was elected by the Scoutmasters to serve as "Camporee Chief," hence becoming the "Father" of all Scoutmasters Camporees. Photo taken in 2004.

1961. ZEKE LANDIS served his second stint as Camporee Chief. "Troop Competition Events" was the theme. Participation was increased by 23 troops.


1962. RAY HEATON, SR., as Camporee Chief introduced, "Inter-Patrol Competitions" as his theme, with 36 troops participating. Ray will certainly be long remembered by his many Scouting friends following his passing in 1989.

1963. PETE HITE, Camporee Chief, saw a rainy Camporee. Even though many of the events had to be curtailed and the evening show canceled, the Camporee will long live in the memories of those Scouts and Scouters who participated.

1964. GUY STANTON, JR., Camporee Chief headed a Camporee that was heralded as the "Best Camporee Yet," with 41 troops participating.

1965. ZEKE LANDIS, third time Camporee Chief, introduced the "Jamboree Type Camporee" with the theme "Adventure Trail of Scouting." Fifty-four troops participated under the leadership of this "three-time loser" (Last Time, he says).

1966. JACK LINDEMAN, Camporee Chief, introduced an "International Theme" by having a troop from Fort Lauderdale's Sister City, Medellin, Columbia, South America, as guests of the Camporee Committee.

1967. JIM "Big Daddy" BRYAN, Camporee Chief, had what may be our most spectacular arena show. A 50-piece US Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Ceremonial Team from Washtington, DC, spotlighted it. We enjoyed the largest attendance to date.

1968. CLAY OLSEN, Camporee Chief, incorporated Merit Badges, with the theme of "Scouting Advances Youth." Through his very capable leadership, attendance records were shattered with 56 troops and 1,484 registrants participating in the Camporee. This was the first Camporee to have Troop Floats depicting the theme symbol - Merit Badges.

1969. "Wet Back" BILL THATCHER, Camporee Chief, celebrated the 10th Anniversary with "Banners of Freedom" as the theme, setting new attendance records. Though rain was in evidence, the high level of enthusiasm of the Scouts and Scouters was not deterred. Sixty-seven troops and 1,650 registrants were in attendance. Bill will be long remembered by his Scouting friends.

1970. A.M. ARCHIE WILSON, Camporee Chief, led us in what was the "Sixty Years of Boy Scouting Anniversary Year Camporee." The weather was ideal and the largest fireworks display was presented at the Arena Show. The show was a holdover from the rained-out show the year before, with the theme "Banners of Freedom." This again was a record year as 70 troops were registered from Miami, Melbourne, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Key West, Boca Raton, as well as many from New River District.

1971. HOWARD SYPHER, Camporee Chief, followed tradition with another exceptional Camporee theme: "Frontier Scout-In." The weather was good and a fine arena show was presented. Participating was the "Precision Drill Drum & Bugle Corps" from Camp Lejeune, NC who were flown here for the special event. The "Gator Gun Fighters" of Davie to top off the events presented a pageant of the "Old West." Sixty-seven troops were represented, with I,600 participants registered. Howard was certainly "one of a kind" and will be remembered and missed by his Scouting friends.

1972. BOB SHIPMAN, Camporee Chief, introduced boy participation in the arena shows with the theme "Transportation." There were 69 troops and 1,500 participants in this great Camporee. Bob passed away in 2007 and will be remembered by his Scouting friends.

1973. HENRY SWEN, Camporee Chief, featured an Indian Pageant show with the theme "Indian Lore." There were 68 troops in attendance with 1,552 Scouts and Scouters registered. A tribute must be given to these hardy Scouts and Scouters. It was COLD!

1974. JOHN JORDAN, Camporee Chief, had 69 troops and 1,663 participants registered. The weather was typical beautiful days, but with cold, windy nights. With the theme "Merit Badges," how could the Camporee be anything but a success? Scouting will certainly miss this fine Scouter, especially his O.A. buddies.

1975. DICK KAISER, Camporee Chief, with the theme "Communications," had a record setting year with 105 troops and Webelos dens. Registered attendance was 2,089. The Camporee was fabulous with warm weather and outside cracker barrels.

1976. DICK KAISER, Camporee Chief, second time around, had the honor of being Chief of the "Heritage '76" in salute to the 200th Birthday of the United States of America. Warm, pleasant weather was with us for the second year in a row. The arena show was held at Lockhart Stadium. What a Fantastic Show!

1977. DAVE THOMPSON, SR., Camporee Chief had a theme of "Personal Fitness." The weather was perfect and 73 troops were in attendance. The arena show was highlighted by an adult tricycle race. It was just the "Little Boy Scout" coming out in them.

1978. JIM GRIEWISCH, Camporee Chief, had the theme of "Energy," but he didn't have enough to stop the storm that canceled the arena show. He came back strong Sunday morning with a bangup competition and show. Registration was 1,084 Scouts and Scouters and Webelos.

Steve Welch1979. STEVE WELCH, Camporee Chief, enjoyed "The Good Life" as his theme. The Camporee was PERFECT with TV coverage and fantastic weather conditions. Registration was again over 1,000.

 

1980. TOM FOSTER, SR., Camporee Chief tested the boys' skills with his theme "Backwoods Engineering." Although he wasn't able to keep the rain away, registration still reached 1,100.

1981. JIM FIELDS, Camporee chief, reintroduced "International Scouting" with four Scouts attending from Australia. The rain stayed away and the attendance was 1,394 Scouts, Scouters and Webelos.

1982. HORACE NARDONE, Camporee Chief, shared his theme, "Solar Energy," with the nation, as Boy's Life Magazine covered the entire event showing 1,462 Scouts, Scouters, and Webelos as they enjoyed a tremendous Camporee.

1983. RON BROMAN, Camporee Chief, encouraged Scouters to look ahead with his theme "Scouting in the Future." The weather was cool and nice with just a few drops of rain to end the fantastic arena show.

1984. JIM HAYES, Camporee Chief, celebrated the 25th "Silver Jubilee" Anniversary of the Camporee. The weather was beautiful and there were 1,500 registered Scouts, Scouters and Webelos.

1985. JOHN HOWE, SR., Camporee Chief, heralded "75 Years of Scouting" with his theme "Scouting Spirit." A few drops of rain fell on the arena show but the Spirit definitely lived on, just as John will live on in our hearts.

1986. TOM FOSTER, JR., son of 1980 Camporee Chief Tom Foster, Sr., followed in his father's footsteps as Camporee Chief, featuring the theme of "Wilderness Survival." The theme was evident in some spectacular gateways and the Camporee was capped off by one of the best arena shows ever seen!

Al Gericke1987. AL GERICKE, Camporee Chief, promoted the Scouting Spirit with his theme "Scouting, Pass It On." Although the heavy rains canceled the arena show, nothing could dampen the spirits of this Camporee Chief or the Scouts and Scouters present.

 

1988. RAY HARRIS, SR., Camporee Chief, had as his theme "Scouting in Action." There certainly was plenty of action with over 100 Scout troops, over 20 Webelos dens and over 2,100 total registrations. The arena show was great with some dazzling fireworks and special effects. All will remember some rain at the end of the arena show and on Sunday morning, but it did not dampen a fantastic, action-packed weekend.

Dan Lavrich1989. DAN LAVRICH, Camporee Chief, headed a successful Camporee with over 2,200 participants. The theme "High Adventure" was evident at a special 30th Anniversary arena show complete with rappellers, fireworks and a 30-foot Birthday Cake.

 

 

1990. MIKE McDANIEL, Camporee Chief, had as his theme "An American Adventure." This truly was an adventure for the Scouts and Scouters. The largest fireworks show ever displayed at the end of the arena show. Our American Heritage was very evident at tins year's arena show. An old concept was revisited this year in the judging area. It was very successful.

1991. JACK QUINLAN, Camporee Chief, had "American Folklore" as his theme. This Camporee will go down as one of the coldest on record. The wind chill factor placed the temperature in the "teens." Many warm fires were present to soothe the body, but the spirit was never broken. We all remember the arena show with all of our favorite Legends and Heroes present. Right from the start, Jack said: "It will be no sweat."

Walker Ellis1992. WALKER ELLIS, Camporee Chief, used his theme "Pioneer Days" to introduce the very successful "Buckskin Games" activity area into the Camporee. Scouts, Scouters and Webelos from 129 Scouting units enjoyed this Camporee and its great arena show.
 

Doug Carlton1993. DOUG CARLTON, Camporee Chief, will always be remembered for his theme, "Environmental Protection" which emphasized to all of us that our world's resources must not be wasted as he introduced over 2,000 registrants and 90 Troops to the "toxic" camp site and a unique arena show.

CLAUDIA HITE was named Honorary Chief. A well-deserved recognition for New River District's "First Lady."

1994. JOE LATONA, Camporee Chief with his theme "Physical Fitness," welcomed over 2,200 registrants to the Camporees' new home at Markham Park with a real gully whomper, an arena show featuring a juggler, aerobic exercises, Hanz and Franz and the most spectacular fireworks display ever.

1995. BILL CASSON, Camporee Chief with "Scouting, A Star-Spangled Experience," as his theme. 94 troops attended, with over 2000 registrants. Several people visited us from our history, which told about their lives and their times. The arena show reflected the theme, and the fireworks were extra special. We also entertained our first visiting troop from the Southwest Florida Council.

DICK WHITE was named Honorary Chief. We appreciate Dick for his many acts of kindness over the years.

Chris Zimmerman1996. CHRIS ZIMMERMAN, Camporee Chief, with the unique theme of "Music and Scouting," inspired many fun and fascinating gateways. There were 96 troops in attendance, with over 2,000 registrants! The weather was cold and clear with 38-degree temperatures inside the tents. Despite the cold weather, the highlight of the Camporee was the arena show featuring musical themes and a live band.

Kit Taylor1997. KIT TAYLOR, Camporee Chief, who's theme was "Scouting: Past, Present, and Future." The weather was mild and the skies were clear which made for a great weekend enjoyed by all. A milestone was set by inviting the local Girl Scout Council to participate. The Arena Show, as usual, went over with out a hitch to rave revues.
 

Rick Kaiser1998. RICK KAISER, Son of 1975-76 Camporee Chief Dick Kaiser, was the second to follow in his father's footsteps as Camporee Chief. Rick served as Camporee Chief 30 years after attending his first Camporee at Holiday Park as a Scout (in founding Scoutmaster H.W. "Zeke" Landis' Troop 131) in 1968. The theme was "BadenPowell's Vision Turns Ninety." All who attended this years Camporee will certainly remember it as a wild, windy, and cold weekend. Attendance dropped due to the threat of severe weather, and tornado strikes the weekend before in Miami-Dade County.  Those who did brave the weather found a weekend filled with the "Spirit of Scouting."  New Council Scout Executive Jeff Herrmann addressed the crowd for his first South Florida Scoutmasters Camporee and Arena Show which also included the rededication ceremony.  Getting back to Baden-Powell's original concept of building character in boys was the order of the day.

1999. LARRY HUDSON was the last Camporee Chief of this century and the host for the 40th anniversary of the Camporee. As the longest running event in the South Florida Council, almost 80,000 Scouts have attended the Camporee this century. His theme of "Celebrate Scouting" gave the Scouts freedom to express the concept of celebration in many different ways. The Camporee added expanded field activities, provided live music, introduced the Chili Cook-off competition for the adult Scouters and updated many of the events. Good weather was plentiful for the more than 2,000 attendees.

Jeff Griewisch2000. JEFF GRIEWISCH, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Campfire Memories" to begin this new century. Attendance was again over 2000 Scouts and Scouters from four different Florida councils. Jeff was the third chief to follow his father's footsteps, as Jim Griewisch was chief in 1978. The arena show was visited by Croc, the oldest Scout, and was closed out with an excellent fireworks display. This marked 30 years since Jeff attended his first Camporee in 1970.

2001. JAY FOSTER, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Space - The Final Frontier" as a tribute to the last flight of the Challenger Space Shuttle. Among the members of the crew of this ill-fated flight, as mission specialist, was his college roomate Ronald E. McNair and the first teacher in space Sharon Christa McAuliffe. Approximately 2000 Scouts and Scouters enjoyed beautiful sunny weather from start to finish of the Camporee. A working model rocket display was a big hit at the merit badge midway. The Arena Show featured black lights and a light saber duel. The fireworks display, as usual, did not disappoint the Scouts and was coordinated with music from several different space movies.

2002. DEAN KUBLER, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Many Cultures - One Spirit" as the theme to recognize one of the most diverse Scouting communties in America, where 42.7% of the South Florida residents were born outside the United States and it's territories. Although the weather was less than ideal, it didn't dampen the spirits of nearly 1700 participants. Past Chief Bill Casson and his staff put on another spectacular multi-culture show that began with the 0-Shot-Caw Lodge's award winning drum team, a local middle school's steel drum band, Scottish bagpipers and lots of patriotic music and other performers to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the 911 attacks and in memory of two time Past Chief Dick Kaiser, who passed away during the year.

2003. MARTY TRUSS, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Scouting in the Wild West." This theme was in response to the many requests for it in the critiques turned in after each Camporee. The weather was fine. We added several games, which were enjoyed, and our Webelos area started a reawakening with the new leadership in that area. Close to 1800 Scouts and Scouters attended, and all had a great time. As usual, the fireworks were beyond belief, and this year's arena show featured some great acts, including a lariat artist who was only 16 years old.

MIKE and JOYCE GEORGE were named Honorary Chiefs for so many years of unselfish service to the Camporee.

2004. BILL SCHULZ, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Scoutvivor - 3 Days - Out Last, Out Camp, Out Scout." Perfect weather and a great theme combined to make this one of the best Camporees ever. Webelos attendance climbed as we are using the resources that Terry Pierce brings to the Cub program. All units competed in five Challenge Events in the morning and the top 15 teams competed in 5 more events in the afternoon. All but three teams were eliminated and these final three teams competed in the Final Challenge at the Arena Show, where a menu of delectable items was consumed. The Arena Show also featured a special, well-timed recognition for Zeke Landis and the usual spectacular fireworks display.

John Griffith2005. JOHN GRIFFITH, Camporee Chief, with the theme "One Nation United" lead what will always be remembered as the Civil War Camporee. As part of the theme, over 50 Civil War Reenactors from both the North and the South provided a Living History Display during the day and followed it with a skirmish in the afternoon in front of an estimated 3,000 spectators. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Webelos Scouts, and adults from five South Florida Councils enjoyed this along with a multitude of other Camporee activities and competitions. Despite concerns about the controversial nature of the Civil War, the Scouts demonstrated that they can celebrate history while respecting the feelings of all individuals, and there were no problems. The weather was threatening and overcast all weekend, but the rain held off until Sunday morning and no activities were interrupted. The Arena Show featured the reenactors, a stirring tribute to Zeke Landis who passed away during the year, and a spectacular fireworks display.

2006. MITCH KATZ, Camporee Chief, with the theme "Do A Good Turn Daily." This year's Camporee was a welcome delight to the thousands of Scouts who attended since Hurricane Wilma blew through South Florida a few months before. The camporee's focus on the theme "Do A Good Turn Daily" reminded Scouts why the Scout Slogan is so important to all Americans and the Scouting Movement. Scout units displayed numerous Good Turns that they took part in during the year. During the spectacular arena show, "William Boyce" stopped by to re-enact his encounter with a special young Scout on a foggy night in London and remind us how one "Good Turn" can start a movement.

Jimbo Carlsen2007. JIMBO CARLSEN, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Scouting An Olympic Event" that brought Olympic type competition back to the Camporee. The Arena show featured live acts from both Scouts and Scouters, especially the "Hat People" made their Infamous return along with Scouter bike races. The weather held out for an enjoyable weekend, which really made the fireworks sparkle. Participants and campers were treated to marvelous displays and activities. The theme was well received by all the participants.

Fred Kimball2008. FRED KIMBALL, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Aquatic Environments." Florida is surrounded by salt water and filled with fresh water from the springs in north Florida to the river of grass known as the Everglades. This theme provided an opportunity to learn more about our aquatic environments. Swimming races were added as a competitive event. A theme oriented event called the "Snorkel Walk" on land by the Scouts determined which adult leaders participated on stage in a funny relay race to transfer oil coated balloons across the stage. The arena show ended with a remarkable fireworks show. All of the campers enjoyed a beautiful weekend.

2009. GEORGE GILMORE, Camporee Chief, of the 50th Anniversary of the Scoutmasters Camporee chose the theme of "Fifty Years of Camporee History." Every unit was allowed to pick any theme of the past years and build their gateway based on that theme.  This opportunity led to gateways and campsites recognizing Wilderness Survival, Backwoods Engineering, Indian Lore, Aquatic Environments, and many other exciting gateways.  Weather was great but a little too cool for swimming sports but there is always next year.  Our Arena Show included the Air Force Jr. ROTC Drill Team from Northeast High School in Fort Lauderdale and they put on a spectacular display of intricate maneuvers for our enjoyment.  Some of our "Adult" Leaders showed that they did know how to eat cake and the show ended with a special fireworks show celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Scoutmasters Camporee.

Gary Beerman2010. GARY BEERMAN, Camporee Chief, of the 51st Anniversary of the Scoutmasters Camporee selected the theme "100 Years of Scouting - The Anniversary." The year 2010 was an important year for Scouting in the United States as it was the 100th Anniversary of Scouting. Many new theme based activities created by Lord Baden Powell were added to the Camporee which provided a challenge for all scouts; including Canoe Tag, Fire by Flint and Steel, Fire by Friction, First Aid Stretcher Run, Morse Code, Semaphore, Signal Flags, Trail Signs and others The Gateways were built symbolizing any period of time in Scouting's 100 year history. The gateways looked great. The Sunset parade was a sight to see as the Drum Corps led the way as we stretched out over a mile with American flags waving proudly. The Area show started with a guest appearance of Lord Baden Powell, included a victim dropping Stretcher Run and ended with a Fireworks display that was fitting for the 100th Anniversary celebration. The arena show had a professional sound system that was awesome!

Cliff Freiwald2011. CLIFF FREIWALD, Camporee Chief, selected the theme "Scouting - An Outdoor Adventure." The theme was selected because the outdoor moments are those that are remembered most by Scouts in later life. The camping trips, the campfires, the hikes and the trips form the basis of what Lord Baden Powell called a "game with a purpose." Many new events were added, including the highlight of the Human Foosball! Gateways were spectacular as always and provided a very tight competition. The arena show introduced youth emcees for the first time in history of the camporee. These young men gave us an arena show of firsts, including glowing Chinese yo-yos, Cub Scouts on stage, and a live band.

Andy BuglioneANDY BUGLIONE was named Honorary Chief for so many years of unselfish service to the Camporee. Andy can be found at the BB gun range as the Rangemaster during the Camporee.

 


2012. MATT KINSEY, Camporee Chief, chose the theme, "The Wide World of Scouting." One of the most important events in my life as a volunteer leader was the 2007 World Jamboree, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Scouting. This event brought 40,000 Scouts and Scouters, boys, girls, and adults, from every country where Scouting exists. It exemplifies the spirit of Lord Baden-Powell and shows the significance of his vision. In speaking to the young men who went as part of my troop, they all speak of the realization they had that Scouting is far bigger than their troop, their district, their council, or even than the Boy Scouts of America. It is a worldwide organization of young men and women who are dedicated to serving one another. It is a worldwide organization of volunteers who have chosen to invest their time, efforts and  skills in the development of tomorrow’s leaders. It is a force for good throughout the world and continues to be a beacon.

Rick Putman2013. RICK PUTMAN, Camporee Chief. The Boy Scout program is Scout lead and after being a Scoutmaster for 14 years, I have come to understand the role of adult leadership in this context. Thus when coming up with this year's theme, I went to the Scouts of the South Florida Council and asked them what they would like to see. They came up with several ideas that we then sat back down and talked over. All the suggestions were considered and we picked the one that we believe will bring the most fun and excitement to the Camporee. Thus it was that the Scouts themselves decided on the theme for the 54th Scoutmasters Camporee: "Scouting Building the Future, Scout Basics to Robotics."

Jack Daugherty2014. JACK DAUGHERTY, Camporee Chief, chose the theme "Camping With Eagles - Climbing to the Summit." As a Tiger Scout in 1962, I began my journey to the summit of the Scouting experience. In 1974, I reached that summit and received my Eagle rank. Along the journey many people contributed to a great Scouting experience. The program that is Scouting was well organized and offered opportunities to advance and grow. As time went on, I was blessed to have a son that I was able to introduce to the same experience that I enjoyed as a youth, and he too received the rank of Eagle Scout. South Florida Council Boy Scouts of America has been a great environment for a Scouting experience that has continued to promote great activities and opportunities for our youth to climb their way to the summit of their Scouting experience. The 55th Scoutmasters Camporee is dedicated to the Scouters young and old to continue to promote the advancement of our youth, with the guidance of our adults toward the ultimate goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Ken Wiedman2015. KEN WIEDMAN, Camporee Chief, selected the theme "Amerian Indian Culture Past and Present." Ken’s passion for learning about American Indian History started after he attended the 2nd annual Florida Indian Hobbyist Association Pow-Wow (FIHA) with his brother Dennis, who at that time was on the O-Shot-Caw Lodge Dance Team. As time went on, the entire Wiedman family had this passion. When Ken’s daughter turned 15 they had started “Explorer Post 4” with the emphasis on American Indian Culture / High Adventure.  The emphasis was on the proper way for the “Youth Members” to share and educate the American Indian Culture through Dance & Drum programs to the public in a way that was presented with proper Etiquette. This was very evident for the past many years in the Indian Village of this Camporee.

    At this camporee the O-Shot-Caw Lodge 265 was also celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Order of the Arrow.

    Ken started in the scouting program at age 8 ½ in Pack 439 and then crossed over to Troop 438 in Opa-Locka, FL. Ken has now been a registered Boy Scout for 51 years.

2016. JOSE QUINTERO, is of Puerto Rican decent and is the first Latin-American to serve as Camporee Chief. Having been in the Scouting and Exploring programs as a youth in the 1970's and 1980's, I lived the transformation that the world has experienced as we have moved to a digital age. Hence our theme: "Scouting in a Digital World". From corded phones and black-and-white television, to our current smartphones and hundred plus channel TV offerings; the world has been fully transformed due to digital technologies and communications. Likewise, the Scouting program has evolved, and continues to evolve, to meet the new world that we live in, WITHOUT abandoning our core values and goals. That is our opportunity and our challenge. During the Camporee we strived to bridge these worlds. Retaining our core and popular traditional events and activities, while introducing some of the ways that technology can be incorporated to enrich and enhance the Scouting experience for our youth. From introducing a Scavenger Hunt using GPS systems to airbot races and the arena show lip-sync battle and online voting, technology was on display throughout the Camporee.

2017. Fernando Gutierrez, chose the theme, "Scouting the New Frontier: The Moon, Mars and Beyond."