It is a huge task and takes a lot of work but the troop earns enough money off of the events to attend summer camp and cover other troop costs throughout the year.
The troop has worked for years with a local business to set up a base camp in their parking lot for us to hang out, play and eat for the few hours in between setting up and taking it down. This year we had hamburgers and sausage for lunch during the day parade and Saturday we were treated with brisket and all the fixings for dinner!
The entire process amazes me. For approximately 1 hour an entire fleet of boys, young men, leaders, parents and even siblings decked out in red troop shirts can be seen working together in such rhythm that any bystander may confuse them for a team of worker ants.
Organized lines feed out of the semi trailer used to store chairs and other equipment all the way to the street curbs. Chairs are passed in a very orderly fashion from one set of gloved hands to the next until they reach the street where they are stacked for placement.
Once all equipment is out to the street the worker ants (scouts, leaders, and various family members) then turn to the next phase of the process: setting up risers and placing chairs.
Now, previously mentioned were the various family members. These folks range from adults all the way down to younger siblings. The younger siblings have been appropriately named by the older scouts as the chain gang.
The chain gang folks are a very vital part of the entire process as they are to secure all equipment with long chains to avoid any removal of troop property. This job requires a great deal of stooping and bending not to mention maneuvering in and out of the public that have already sat their rears down even though it is really clear that they are definitely in the way of our set up.
With this knowledge you can now understand why the troop was so excited last year when Megan (remember vertically challenged Megan??) came onto the scene. She was quickly crowned as the chain gang girl. Being so small and not to mention sweet looking she has the perfect stature and personality to get in and out of those rows filled with the big, rude people sitting their rears in the chairs before it's time. At any given time I can sit and watch for her head to pop up out of a row smiling at someone to get them to move and all the while working that chain around the chair legs. This year Megan teamed up with a troop member, Cole, and they made quick work of the chains. (Of course Chris being the leader type personality he had to oversee the process.)
Chris being an older scout took his friend Zach under his wing to show him the routine.
After everything is set up the worker ants return to the parking lot, close the big metal gate securing themselves from the crowd and evolve back to boys, adults and family members. Some choose to watch the parade from the best vantage point on the lot:
Some found a great spot for a quick game of UNO:
New friends were made: (Megan and Ashley)
Of course I am a bit biased but I think that the best of both days were the hugs from Megan Beth!
In the end the troop did an amazing job and the boys will be heading to summer camp in a couple of months!
But one question does remain in my mind. Why oh why do people leave SO much trash after the parade??!!