Re: Nat'l Scout Musuem
Milt Forsberg (miltf@UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU)
Tue, 18 Jun 1996 10:44:10 -0500
The National Scout Museum is excellent! My troop has visited there each
year for the past 8 or so years. Our most recent visit was June 1, this
year. It is managed very well and the outdoor area was reorganized this
year in how it is run. All the fixed objects are the same, but the staff
really takes time now to explain the events and discuss each one after it
is completed. In the past, it was more of a rush-rush through the
course. Our boys got a lot out of it this year. The past was not bad,
but this time was better.
The museum consists of 2 parts, the inside, mostly static displays, and
the outside with a low and high cope-type courses. The low course is
balancing, swinging on a rope, low cable traversing, etc. It takes about
2 hours. The high course is about 30 feet up with a log to cross, cable
crossing, and the hour glass where the hand cables come to the base cable
and cross at the mid point. All the time people are on the high course,
they are wearing a helmet and harness attached to a safety cable above.
Rope ladders are used to get up and down from the area. That course
takes about an hour.
The inside portion has many static displays of uniforms, patches, old
movies, and a huge collection of Norman Rockwell original paintings (like
what used to be in the handbooks). There are 2 theaters where a patrol
can go in and view a video. The video is about a patrol in decision
making situations. Input is requested from the patrol viewing by means
of buttons on a panel. The video continues, but changes depending on the
input of the boys watching. Also, there is a compass course in a box.
It is a huge box with tunnels, doors, etc. Small groups go through this
course. One area has animated figures of Baden Powell, West, and Beard
talking with each other about the creation of Scouting. At times, live
storytelling is part of the inside display. Inside the entrance is
Murray, the robot. He will talk with you and put on a little show. Of
course, there is a good size store with many Scout items and museum items
(patches, t-shirts, etc.)
This year there is a small food service on the patio. It appears to be a
private individual who has a small push cart selling hot dogs, chili
dogs, brats, chips, and drinks. Food is good, reasonable, and his whole
operation is very neat and clean. That was an excellent addition to the
museum. I hope it remains. Otherwise, the museum has drink machines
Cost for inside and outside for groups is $6.50. One or the other is
about half that or maybe $3.50 each.
The important item to remember is that you do need a reservation to go
through the outside course. That area sometimes fills up months ahead.
You do need to call to make a reservation. Groups must be 15 or less, or
be split for control.
To call the museum, it is 800-303-3047. The toll number is 502-762-3383.
As for places to stay, there is one camp near Murray which sometimes
takes Scout groups. The best place to camp is at Land Between the Lakes,
just East of the Museum. Groups can camp in the public campgrounds.
Fees are a bit high, but probably worth it. Energy Lake Camp is for
groups and will take reservations. In the past, there has been a very
active program for Scouts, including offering Merit Badges. The phone
there has been 502-924-1351. The main number for LBL is 502-924-5602.
Reservations are not needed in the public campgrounds. The larger ones
don't fill up except holiday weekends.
There are a few motels in Murray. Holiday Inn used to be there, but they
sold to another chain this past year. The building is still there and
Overall, I highly recommend the museum to any and all units.
SM, Troop 7
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City