Baloo's Bugle

August 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 1
September 2007 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Express
Webelos: Citizen & Communicator
Tiger Cub



A Reenactment Script for the Golden Spike Ceremony

Cast of Characters

  Narrator: Telegrapher

  Edgar Mills: Sacramento Banker and Master of Ceremonies

  Dr. Harkness: Sacramento Newspaper Editor and Publisher

  Reverend Todd: Reporter of the Boston Congregationalist

  Leland Stanford: President of the Central Pacific Railroad and Ex-Governor of California

  Dr. Durant: Vice-President of the Union Pacific Railroad

  General Dodge: Union Pacific Railroad Chief Engineer and former Civil War General

  Mr. Tritle: U. S. Railroad Commissioner and Candidate for Governor of Nevada

  Governor Safford: Governor of the Territory of Arizona

  Major Cogswell: 21st Infantry Band Leader

  Mormon Band Leader: Leads the Salt Lake City Mormon Band

  Railroad Worker: Who drives the last spike

(The Narrator sits at the telegrapher's key and the rest of the cast stands between the two locomotives. The audience quietly murmurs and then becomes quiet as the Narrator begins to speak.)

Narrator: The date is May 10, 1869. The place is Promontory Summit, Utah Territory. It is a happy gathering, awaiting the great moment when a common railroad spike driven into an ordinary tie will join a continent. A gentle breeze blows under an almost cloudless sky. It is 69 degrees in the shade. Above the voices can be heard the sound of the steam locomotives. A polished tie has been placed in its spot by the construction superintendents of the two railroads. Edgar Mills, a rich banker from Sacramento steps forward, and signals for silence. The drama of men's hopes and dreams begins on this the 10th day of May 1869, and YOU ARE HERE!

(If desired, Major Cogswell and the Mormon Band Leader lead the audience in song at this time. Divide the audience down the center into two equal groups and have each half portray a different band.)

 Mills: Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you. We are gathered here to join the ends of the earth, to join the raw riches of the American West with the finished products of the industrial East. We also meet with mixed feelings; with joy that the work of thousands of men has joined the railroad, and with sorrow we remember the hundreds of men who gave their lives in building the railroad. They finished six years ahead of the time allowed. We are honored to see a number of Pacific Railroad officials here today. We are pleased to have reporters from some of America's great newspapers. The telegrapher, Mr. Shilling, is keeping the entire nation informed of today's events. We are happy to have the soldiers of the 21st U.S. Infantry here with their band, commanded by Major Cogswell. A second band, with their new instruments, is from the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City. Now, to give thanks to God, may I welcome Reverend Todd from Massachusetts.

(Reverend Todd comes forward. Todd and Mills shake hands.)

Narrator: (Tapping the key as he speaks.) Bulletin! Almost ready. Hats off! Prayer is being offered.

Todd: Let us pray. (Everyone stands quietly for one moment of silence.) Amen.

Narrator: (Tapping the key as he speaks.) Bulletin! We have got done praying. The spike is about to be presented.

(Reverend Todd steps back and Mills steps forward)

Mills: Thank you Reverend Todd. Now I present Dr. Harkness from Sacramento, who will give to Dr. Durant, Vice-President of the Union Pacific, two railroad spikes. Dr. Durant will then place these spikes in holes already made in the polished laurel wood tie (Mills points in the direction of the tie). Ladies and gentlemen, these are not every day spikes, these are GOLDEN SPIKES MADE FROM PURE CALIFORNIA GOLD! (The audience Oohs and Aahs). Dr. Harkness...

(Harkness steps forward and shakes hands with Mills as audience cheers.)

Harkness: Mr. President: The last rail needed to complete the greatest railroad of the world is about to be laid; the last spike needed to join the Atlantic and Pacific is about to be driven. The East and the West have come together. California, where the Pacific Railroad was begun wants to express her appreciation. From her mines of gold she has given a spike, and from her forest she gives the last tie. With them accept the hopes and wishes of her people to the success of your railroad.

(The audience cheers. Harkness gives the spikes to Durant who places them in the prepared holes in the laurel tie, at the outside of each rail.)

 Mills: Thank you, Mr. Harkness and Dr. Durant. Now we welcome the gift of two other spikes. One made of silver from Nevada, given by Mr. Tritle (Tritle bows), a candidate for governor of that new state. A spike of iron, silver, and gold given by Governor Safford (Safford bows), the new governor of the Territory of Arizona. Both spikes will be given to Governor Stanford President of the Central Pacific Railroad.

Mr. Tritle: To the iron of the East and the gold of the West, Nevada adds her silver spike to span the continent and wed the oceans.

(Audience cheers. Tritle shakes hands with Stanford and gives him the spike).

Governor Safford: Arizona presents her gift to the railroad that has banded the continent and made a new pathway to commerce.

(Audience cheers. Safford shakes hands with Stanford and gives him the spike.)

(Stanford raises the two spikes into the air, showing them to the audience. Then he places them in the holes of the laurel tie, on the inside of the rails.)

Mills: Now Friends, I present a man of vision and courage. Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the Central Pacific Railroad, Governor Stanford.

(Audience applauds and cheers.)

Stanford: Gentlemen: The Pacific Railroad Companies accept with pride and satisfaction these golden and silver spikes. (While Stanford speaks Durant gets a severe headache, suddenly shows it, and steps over to whisper in Mill's ear). The day is not far away when THREE tracks will be necessary to provide transportation for commerce and travel across the continent (people murmur in disbelief). Now, gentlemen, with your help we will lay the last tie, the last rail, and drive the last spike.

(Audience cheers).

Mills: Thank you, Governor Stanford, for your remarks. We regret that Dr. Durant has asked not to speak. In his place General Dodge, Chief Engineer, will now speak for the Union Pacific. General Dodge...

(As Dodge come forward, he hands a silver maul to Mills and shakes his hand).

Dodge: Gentlemen, Senator Benton said that some day a giant statue of Columbus should be built on the highest peak of the Rocky Mountains, pointing westward to the great route across the continent. You have made this a fact! THIS IS THE WAY TO INDIA! (He raises his hand with the spike and points to the West).

(Excitement grows and cheers increase).

Mills: Thank you, General Dodge. Ladies and gentlemen, we have just about reached that moment for which you and the nation have been waiting for - the driving of the last spike. This silver plated maul donated by Mr. Coe, president of the Union Express Company, will now be used by Governor Stanford and Mr. Durant to make a few taps on the gold and silver spikes.

(Mills gives the silver maul to Governor Stanford who makes a few taps. Stanford then hands the maul to Durant who also taps the spikes).

Mills: At this point we should explain that the last spike is a regular iron spike which can be driven with a maul. Both the spike and the maul are wired to the transcontinental telegraph wire so that the entire nation can hear the blows as the spike is driven. Now ladies and gentlemen, the time has arrived. As Mr. Shilling, the telegrapher, gives the signal over the wire, that the spike is driven, bells and whistles will sound across the nation. Dr. Durant and Governor Stanford will now share the honor of driving the last spike in the Pacific Railroad. Gentlemen, are you ready?

Stanford and Durant: (In unison). We are ready!

Narrator: (Tapping the key as he speaks). Bulletin! All ready now. The spike will soon be driven. The signal will be three dots for the start of the blows.

(Stanford swings the maul and misses the spike. Everyone laughs. Stanford hands the maul to Durant).
(Durant takes the maul, swings and misses. Everyone laughs and cheers).

Durant: Will someone lend a hand? Here, you try it! (The railroad worker steps forward and takes the maul from Durant. With a few swings the iron spike is driven).

Narrator: (Tapping the key as he speaks). Promontory to the country. Bulletin: D-O-N-E  Done!

(The audience cheers especially loud, exclaiming "it is finished! and "it is driven!").

Durant: Let's give three cheers for the Central Pacific Railroad! Hip, hip... (everyone: HURRAY!). Hip, hip... (everyone: HURRAY!). Hip, hip... (everyone: HURRAY!).

Stanford: Let's give three cheers for the Union Pacific Railroad! Hip, hip... (everyone: HURRAY!). Hip, hip... (everyone: HURRAY!). Hip, hip... (everyone: HURRAY!).


Santa Clara County Council

Boys enter with magnifying glasses as if following a trail.

Cub # 1:       Look at those tracks!

Cub # 2:       Wow! They look like wolf tracks!

Cub # 3:       No, they look like bobcat tracks!

Cub # 4:       I think you're both wrong. I think they're bear tracks!

Cub # 5:       No, wolf tracks!

Cub # 6:       Bobcat tracks!

Cub # 7:       I told you, bear tracks!

They continue arguing until they are suddenly run over by a train - several boys linked together making "Chug, chug, chug, choo, choo choo" sounds.

Den Chief: (Raising his head and looking at the audience.) I think we were all wrong - they were TRAIN TRACKS! (He falls back down.)

The Railroad Crossing

Heart of America Council

Cast: A conductor who sits on a stool and holds a very thick book; a hillbilly family, including father, mother and several children. All are dressed to fit their roles.

Props: Two ropes laid parallel in front of the acting area to represent a railroad track.

Father:          (Addressing the mother) Be there a train from the North today?

Mother:         (To first child) Be there a train from the North today?

(Each family member passes this same message down the line to the Conductor, who thumbs through his big book.)

Conductor:   No. There's no train from the North today. (speaking to last child.)

Last Child:   (To the next child in line) No there's no train from the North today.

(This procedure is repeated, with message being passed back up the line until it gets to the Father.)

Father:          (Addressing the mother) Be there a train from the South today?

(The same procedure is repeated with the conductor responding negatively. The Father then asked about trains from the East and West, with the message being passed from person to person. When the last message gets back to the

Father, he says...)

Father:          O.K. It's safe to cross the railroad tracks.

(The family proceeds to walk across the tracks).

Train Skit 1

Baltimore Area Council

Set Up: Two gentlemen were riding a train for the first time. They each had brought along lunch to eat on the trip. One man had two bananas, so he offered one to his friend. They began to peel the bananas and the one man takes a bite as the train enters a tunnel.

1st man:        "Have you eaten your banana yet?"

2nd man:      "No"

1st man:        "Well, don't touch it! I took one bite and I went blind".

(You could turn off lights as first man takes bite of banana)

The Ticket Line

Heart of America Council

Four people are standing in line waiting to buy a train ticket.

Person #1:    Wow, I hear this train ride is great.

Person #2:    Ive been waiting six months to go on this train ride. I cant wait for it to start!

Person #3:    Hope the tickets arent all sold out.

Person #4:    I wonder when the ticket window will open to sell tickets. Ive been standing here for twenty minutes.

(Person #5 walks up to the front of the line.
The four others get upset.)

Person #1:    Hey, you cant butt into line. We were here first!

Person #2:    Back to the end of the line, buddy!

Person #3:    The nerve of some people!

Person #4:    We were here first!

(They push him to the end of the line.
Person #5 tries again and again with the same result.)

Person #5:    I give up! They can get someone else to open this ticket window!

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