More than 15,000 Boy Scouts will converge on Harvard's athletic fields this weekend to participate in "Scouting Spirit '76," a mammoth extravaganza including camping, bicentennial games, an air show, track and field events, swimming, and a pageant in Harvard Stadium.
As many as 40,000 people including troopleaders, parents and friends of the scouts, are expected to gather behind the stadium on Saturday. The event is sponsored by the Boston Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
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The activities will begin Friday evening when 2000 scouts will get the "Jamborette" portion of the event under way by setting up camp for three days. In addition to pitching tents and cooking out, the scouts plan an electrically generated campfire near a baseball diamond for Saturday night.
Among the traditional Boy Scoutskills to be practiced at Harvard are rope work, signalling and leaf identification.
On Saturday thousands more scouts, their leaders and families will pour in from all over New England for the weekend's main events.
Early activities after the initial flag-raising ceremony will include softball throwing and relay races, followed by Bicentennial games such as "Slipping the Blockade" and "Fortifying Bunker Hill."
Dozens of younger Boy Scouts will set up various games and booths and sponsor displays ranging from model cars running around on tracks to splatter paintings.
Other morning activities include physical fitness tests, first aid demonstrations and a display of flags from the fifty states.
At noon, the air show will begin, courtesy of the U.S. Army 10th Special Forces Unit stationed at Fort Devens. The show features high altitude parachuting (to continue throughout the afternoon), helicopters and a "smoke jump" trick in which participants free fall through smoke rings before parachuting to the ground.
Officials of the Metropolitan District Commission will rope off parts of Soldiers Field Road during the parachuting to prevent accidents resulting from missed targets.
During the air show, the Boy Scout "Olympics" will get under way with track and field events in Harvard Stadium, swimming and basketball in the IAB and tennis on the Palmer-Dixon courts.
Later the Pageant Show will begin with a "Grand March" into the Stadium led by a drum and bugle corp. After the pageant and an evening bonfire with songs, the scouts who remain will climb into their tents for one more night of camping at Harvard.
After the scouts leave on Sunday at noon, 1000 members of the coed "Exploring" division of the Boy Scouts of America will move in for their Olympics.
Proceeds from admissions and concessions will go towards sending underprivileged children to Boy Scout summer camp.
Scout leaders contacted yesterday said they have no fears of racial confrontation during the activities. "Getting kids together--this all goes above racial tension," Daniel M. O'Neill, Boston Council field director, said.