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37 Scouting-related ‘Jeopardy!’ answers (and questions) in memory of Alex Trebek

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Some of the most indelible non-Scouting memories from my childhood are of watching Jeopardy! with my parents. This wasn’t entertainment; it was competition.

After school, we’d fire up the VCR to watch the latest episode as a family. I’d grab a yellow legal pad and pen from my dad’s desk, sit down cross-legged and scoot as close to the TV as I could before pushing play on the remote. Win or lose, we were keeping score.

My love of Jeopardy! has continued into adulthood, and I join fans around the world who were heartbroken to learn that Alex Trebek died on Nov. 8 at age 80.

As far as I can tell, Trebek was never a member of Scouts Canada while growing up in Sudbury, Ontario. But he exhibited Scouting values like bravery and cheerfulness as he continued to work after his cancer diagnosis. And he showed helpfulness and kindness by creating scholarships at the University of Ottawa (his alma mater) and supporting the nonprofit World Vision.

Trebek took the reins of “America’s Favorite Quiz Show” in 1984 and continued hosting Jeopardy! for nearly 37 seasons, setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show.

Today, in Trebek’s memory and in honor of those 37 seasons, we’re sharing 37 of our favorite Scouting-related Jeopardy! answers (and questions).

Scouting and Jeopardy!: American icons

Because of its standing as an enduring element of Americana, Scouting has been featured nearly 200 times on Jeopardy!, both in individual clues and entire categories devoted to the BSA.

There was a category called “Famous Eagle Scouts” in 1997, a Scout Law-themed category called “A Scout Is…” in 2011 and a “21st Century Merit Badges” category in 2018.

In 2010, the Jeopardy! Clue Crew visited Camp Winton in California for a special category celebrating the BSA’s 100th anniversary.

Scouting even showed up in an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! in 1993 when Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak donated his $10,000 winnings to the BSA.

37 Scouting-related Jeopardy! clues

Using the incredible J! Archive digital resource, we scoured all 8,200 Trebek-hosted episodes of Jeopardy! and found nearly 200 BSA-related clues.

Here are 37 of our favorites, listed in reverse chronological order. Test yourself, challenge your family, or quiz your Scouts at a future pack, troop, crew or ship meeting.

Air date: Nov. 3, 2020
Category: Compound Words
Value: $2,000
Answer: It’s a 10-letter word for a newbie as well as the second rank in Boy Scouts.
Question: What is Tenderfoot?

Air date: Dec. 4, 2019
Category: Ends With 2 Vowels
Value: $1,200
Answer: It’s a large, festive gathering, often of Boy Scouts nationwide.
Question: What is a jamboree?

Air date: Sept. 13, 2019
Category: Mottoes
Value: $400
Answer: When asked “For what?” with regard to this motto of the Boy Scouts, Robert Baden-Powell said, “Why, for any old thing.”
Question: What is Be Prepared?

Air date: Jan. 30, 2019
Category: Starts With 3 Consonants
Value: $800
Answer: An adjective in the Boy Scout Law, it means not wasteful with money.
Question: What is thrifty?

Air date: Feb. 22, 2018
Category: 21st Century Boy Scout Merit Badges
Value: $1,000
Answer: That’s a GPS unit on the badge for this new 10-letter orienteering hobby.
Question: What is Geocaching?

Air date: Dec. 5, 2017
Category: Feeling Your Oaths
Value: $800
Answer: “On my honor” this oath says to “help other people at all times.”
Question: What is the Scout Oath?

Air date: Sept. 29, 2016
Category: Boy Scout Law Words
Value: $600
Answer: Immaculate is a synonym for this word that can precede “getaway” or a “sweep.”
Question: What is clean?

Air date: May 30, 2016
Category: The Eagles
Value: $200
Answer: The Boy Scouts logo features an eagle on this French-named item, a stylized lily.
Question: What is a fleur-de-lis?

Air date: April 1, 2014
Category: American Novelists
Value: $600
Answer: In the early 1920s he briefly served as a scoutmaster for an Oxford, Mississippi, Boy Scout troop.
Question: Who is William Faulkner?

Air date: July 22, 2013
Category: Animal Groups
Value: $200
Answer: Kangaroos & gorillas gather in these groups (as do Boy Scouts).
Question: What are troops?

Air date: July 11, 2013
Category: Where Am I?
Value: $1,000
Answer: California’s Boy Scout Camp Winton is near a gold-bearing area called “the Mother Lode” in the foothills of this mountain range.
Question: What is the Sierra Nevada?

Air date: June 27, 2012
Category: Boy Scout Ties
Value: $800
Answer: This practice, also done by film editors, joins two ropes & makes them almost as strong as the original ones.
Question: What is splicing?

Air date: June 27, 2012
Category: Boy Scout Ties
Value: $1,000
Answer: A clove hitch is useful in camping; tie a rope to your sack of food, which you’ll hang high to make this alliterative “bag.”
Question: What is a bear bag?

Air date: April 26, 2011
Category: A Scout Is…
Value: $800
Answer: This synonym for “amiable” linked with a comic book ghost.
Question: What is friendly?

Air date: April 13, 2011
Category: Thinking Green
Value: $200
Answer: Since 1974, mulch from this annual Rockefeller Center sight has gone to Boy Scouts to use as ground cover in camps.
Question: What is the Christmas tree?

Air date: Sept. 28, 2010
Category: Boy Scout Activities
Value: $400
Answer: To qualify for a Bugling merit badge, a Scout must know 15 calls, including this one sounded at the end of the day.
Question: What is Taps?

Air date: Sept. 28, 2010
Category: Boy Scout Activities
Value: $600
Answer: When Scouts swim safely, they use this system in which one Scout looks out for the other & vice versa.
Question: What is the buddy system?

Air date: Sept. 28, 2010
Category: Boy Scout Activities
Value: $1,000 (Daily Double)
Answer: From the French for summoning, it’s the practice of a Scout safely lowering himself down a mountainside.
Question: What is rappelling?

Air date: Feb. 25, 2010
Category: The Boy Scouts of America
Value: $1,000
Answer: The first Scout to go on to be the president was this man who, in a youthful letter to his father Joe, asked for a bigger allowance to buy canteens and other Scout supplies.
Question: Who is John F. Kennedy?

Air date: Jan. 26, 2010
Category: Of Discipline
Value: $1,200
Answer: Making a plankton net and drawing a trench and seamount are two steps to your Boy Scout merit badge in this.
Question: What is Oceanography?

Air date: July 24, 2009
Category: Tough-Pourri
Value: $800
Answer: In 1907, the first four groups in this organization started in England were the Bulls, the Wolves, the Curlews & the Ravens.
Question: What are the Boy Scouts?

Air date: Dec. 15, 2008
Category: Podge-Pourri
Value: $400
Answer: The Guinness record for knot-tying measures the fastest time for tying the 6 knots listed in this handbook.
Question: What is the Boy Scout Handbook?

Air date: May 16, 2007
Category: The Boy Scouts
Value: $400
Answer: Of 10, 21 or 25, the number of merit badges a Scout needs to qualify for the rank of Eagle Scout.
Question: What is 21?

Air date: May 26, 2006
Category: Around the USA
Value: $400
Answer: The Boy Scouts of America headquarters is in this state where all of George Strait’s exes live.
Question: Where is Texas?

Air date: May 9, 2006
Category: Americanisms
Value: $2,000
Answer: This was once a braided cord worn by Boy Scouts; it’s now a wasteful project that often involves graft.
Question: What is a boondoggle?

Air date: May 16, 2003
Category: The Boy Scouts
Value: $800
Answer: Arthur C. Clarke, Alex Haley & John Knowles have written for this 90-year-old Scouting publication.
Question: What is Boys’ Life?

Air date: May 16, 2003
Category: The Boy Scouts
Value: $1,600
Answer: In 1928, Boy Scout Paul Siple was chosen to go along on this admiral’s Antarctic expedition.
Question: Who is Richard Byrd?

Air date: Feb. 4, 2003
Category: Tell ’em What They’ve Won, Johnny
Value: $1,000
Answer: The Boy Scouts of America’s highest award for service is “The Silver” one of these Plains animals.
Question: What is Buffalo?

Air date: Nov. 28, 2002
Category: 15-Letter Words
Value: $1,200
Answer: A goal of the Boy Scouts is to foster this 15-letter word through activities like fishing, hiking & canoeing.
Question: What is outdoorsmanship?

Air date: Sept. 26, 2000
Category: Boy Scout Merit Badges
Value: $400
Answer: If you can describe a float, trap and drainpipe, you’re on your way to a badge in this field.
Question: What is Plumbing?

Air date: Dec. 29, 1999
Category: Travel USA
Value: $1,000 (Daily Double)
Answer: Ape Cave in this state is named for the St. Helen’s Apes, the local Boy Scout troop who first explored it.
Question: Where is Washington?

Air date: March 19, 1999
Category: Popcorn
Value: $200
Answer: In 1995, some Boy Scouts in Wisconsin produced a Guinness-record 2,377-pound one of these.
Question: What is a popcorn ball?

Air date: Feb. 13, 1998
Category: “Rock” and “Roll”
Value: $300
Answer: For an incredible 50 years, 1926-76, he illustrated the official Boy Scout calendar.
Question: Who is Norman Rockwell?

Air date: Sept. 25, 1997
Category: Famous Eagle Scouts
Value: $200
Answer: This Eagle Scout film director depicted Indiana Jones as a Boy Scout in “The Last Crusade.”
Question: Who is Steven Spielberg?

Air date: Oct. 29, 1996
Category: Song Standards
Value: $600
Answer: Irving Berlin’s royalties from this song popularized by Kate Smith were donated to the Boy & Girl Scouts.
Question: What is “God Bless America”?

Air date: March 27, 1987
Category: “Square” Deal
Value: $100
Answer: For a Boy Scout, it’s the tie that binds.
Question: What is a square knot?

Air date: Dec. 31, 1986
Category: Vice-Presidents
Value: $300
Answer: Later vice president, he first visited the capital while leading Boy Scouts from Minnesota.
Question: Who is Hubert Humphrey?

How’d you do?

For how many of the 37 answers did you know the correct question? Share your score — or your favorite Alex Trebek memories — in the comments below.

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