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May 29, 2012 > Discover the Pioneer Spirit

Discover the Pioneer Spirit

By Julie Grabowski
Photos By Robert West

What do Basketry, Robotics, First Aid, Reading, Salesmanship, Plant Science, Traffic Safety, Metalwork, Horsemanship, Wilderness Survival, and Public Speaking have in common? Boy Scouts probably have a pretty good handle on all of them. Witness the vast array of skills and fun fostered by Scouting at "Tres Ranch-O-Rama" on Saturday, June 2 at Hayward's Kennedy Park.

Organized by San Leandro-based Tres Ranchos District of the Boy Scouts of America, San Francisco Bay Area Council, the event is an opportunity for Scouts to show their stuff while encouraging others to get involved. Ages seven through 18 can experience Scouting in a variety of units including Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venture and Varsity Scouts, Explorers, and Sea Scouts. The organization strives to develop character, leadership, decision-making skills, good citizenship, and personal fitness through fun and educational activities. Tres Ranchos District includes over 80 units from Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo.

"It's kind of a public appearance for us and the Scouts in general," says Event Chair and Scoutmaster Robert West of the event. "To let them know we're out there doing things, and this is what we do."

For many years this event was known as "Scout-O-Rama" but it was discontinued in the '80s. Now in its fifth year as "Tres Ranch-O-Rama," the exposition is rebuilding and becoming strong again. Last year, all but rained out, 200 Scouts still showed up. West says they are hoping for around 450 participants this year and representation from 20 to 45 units throughout the East Bay.

Under the theme "The Pioneer Spirit," units will set up a variety of booths to host an activity or game, displaying old world craftsmanship and pioneering skills sure to impress visitors. Previous events have included a giant slingshot, rope toss, rope bridge, woodshop demonstration on how to make a footstool, a demonstration of cooking skills to make homemade apple cobbler and a stomp rocket that launches handmade rockets. But no one truly knows what will be presented at this year's event; many participants keep their plans hush-hush until it's time to wow the crowd.

A new addition this year is the performance of skits, taken from a longstanding tradition at closing campfires. Units will perform prepared skits for judges early in the day and the best three or four will compete later on for what West calls "crowd roar." Prizes will be awarded for Best Booth and Best Skit.

Scouting units are not permitted to sell any food items but those who have worked up an appetite can check out the Kennedy Park snack bar. There will be some free snacks on hand, such as snow cones.

Visitors will have an opportunity to ask questions and, if interested, sign up for Scouting; those interested can be introduced to a unit in their area.

"Tres Ranch-O-Rama" promises a great time of fun for all and a chance to witness the breadth of knowledge and skill local Scouts possess. Everyone is encouraged to come by Tres Ranch-O-Rama to learn about Scouting and explore a wide range of skills that may spark a personal interest.

For more information, contact Robert West at (510) 912-0555. To learn more about Scouting in the Bay Area, visit

Tres Ranch-O-Rama
Saturday, June 2
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Kennedy Park
19501 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
(510) 912-0555


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