Most Boy Scouts realize very quickly when they start camping with a troop, that if they want a campfire in the evening they better prepare the firewood during the day. If the Scout does not find and cut the wood needed early on his campfire will be a very small and short lived one. The darkness comes sooner and becomes thicker.  (Dum, dum, dum)

Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, is not one who shuns his duties on a troop outing. He loves to sit around an evening campfire as much as the next guy does. He knows that when it is his turn to prepare the campfire he needs to take the time to gather the fuel, and then cut it into pieces so that it is ready to be used. He knows how to use the tools in a safe area, and to use them without any other Scouts in harm’s way.

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    It has been quite awhile since I have posted a video to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast so I thought I would try something different this time. In the past I have posted articles about the two Scouting patch blankets I have. I thought it might be fun to record a short film highlighting the blankets. So, here it is!

    Click here to Watch  this Podcast.
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      It is that time of year once again. Hallmark has released its 2018 Christmas ornaments. Once again, it is time to add a Scoutmaster Snoopy ornament to the collection.

      This year’s decoration features Snoopy and the gang practicing their first aid skills. It looks like Snoopy is the one in need of treatment. Woodstock and his friends are doing their best to bandage their scout leader.

      I have been collecting these ornaments for quite a few years. I always look forward to seeing what Hallmark has in store for the gang each year.

      Do you collect these ornaments also? How many do you have in your collection?

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        In May I discovered that four Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 had signed up to attend the new S.A.L.T. program at the Summit Betchel Reserve in West Virginia. The Summit Adventure Leadership Training is a five day program designed to give participants a chance to sample many of the activities found at the Summit, along with some training on how to promote the Summit in their troops, districts, and councils.

        I have never been to the Summit. I wanted to visit the base during the 2017 National Jamboree but things did not work out for that to happen. I decided to call the council office and check if they needed any adult leaders go to on the trip. They told me they were looking for leaders and if I was interested I should send in a “resume”. The last time I needed to send a resume to the council was when I applied to be a Scoutmaster of one of the troops for the 2001 National Jamboree.

        It took me week to get around writing a resume. As I was writing it I thought to myself, as I listed my Scouting accomplishments, this could work for me or against me. The council may decide to choose younger leadership or a couple Scoutmasters for this trip. Oh well, the decision was theirs. I sent it in and waited for a reply.

        For the next week I waited for a reply. To tell the truth, I was starting to have second thoughts about the whole thing. I would soon be 58 years old. Maybe I did not want to camp out for a week long trip anymore. I have not spend a week camping since I stepped down as Scoutmaster in 2011. The hot, humid, and possibly rainy weather known to be in West Virginia during July was another concern. I think I have grown a bit soft since I moved on to a committee position. I was also a little concerned because I had very little information about what would be required from the adult leaders.

        After a week I received a reply from the Central Minnesota Council. They would be glad to have me join the crew if it still worked for me to get vacation time. That would not be a problem. I had already been approved the time off at work. I would have to let the Scoutmaster know I would not be spending a couple of days at summer camp which the troop would be attending the week before the trip to the Summit.

        I called the council to inform them that I would be glad to attend the Summit. I would soon add a third Boy Scouts of America high adventure base to my list of bases attended.

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          The Melrose Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Spring Expo each year which is held at the Melrose School gymnasium. This year’s Expo was held on Saturday, April 14th. Even though the Minnesota weather was not very nice that day there was a good turnout for the event, both in Expo booths and visitors.

          The parents of one of the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 had registered to have a booth for their business and asked the troop if they would also like to have a booth. Since they were both going to be there all day the troop would have the two deep leadership requirement covered. The troop was also asked to provide assistance to the people who had a booth as they brought their items into the gym at the start of the Expo and help to carry out items at the end of the Expo.

          It has been 13 years since the troop has been a participant of the Melrose Expo. Our booth back then was full of Scouting memorabilia and literature. It even had a television playing videos of various troop activities. This year’s booth was more modest and was put together the night before the Expo. We included some photo albums, literature, and a couple shadow boxes of memorabilia. The booth was located in the first aisle and it did get some attention from folks as they walked by. Who knows, maybe the troop could get a new member or two to join. The best part of having a booth of course, is that it was one more way to get the Scouting program into the public eye and let people know that yes, Scouting does still exist in Melrose.

          The planners of the Expo, and the people who had booths at the Expo, really appreciated having the Boy Scouts there to assist them before and after the event. The Melrose Chamber of Commerce was very impressed with the Scouts and even offered to give a $50 donation to the troop for their work. It was a great example of demonstrating that a Scout is Helpful.

          Does your troop participate in local city Expos? What do they do? Leave a comment below and let us know what your Scouts have been up to in their community.

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            The Melrose Lions Club invites volunteers from the city’s various organizations to attend an annual dinner to recognize and commend them for their service to the community.The firemen, police reserves, and ambulance personnel are invited as well as the volunteers of the area food shelf, Project Give-A-Gift, Meals On Wheels, Melrose Area Museum, and other groups. The Melrose Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack were well represented this year by seven people, including the scoutmaster and cubmaster.

            It is a fun time to visit while having a great meal. This year’s dinner included chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, rolls, and cookies. If anyone left that dinner hungry they had no one to blame but themselves.

            After the meal, the president of the Melrose Lions Club thanked everyone for attending, and for their service to the citizens of Melrose. Another Lions members walked around the room with a microphone so that every volunteer could introduce themselves and state which organization they assisted. Nearly 100 people attended the meal.

            The evening ended with one member of each organization going to the front of the room to receive a numbered ticket. A drawing was held for three $100 prizes. The first number drawn went to the Melrose Boy Scout Troop. The second prize went to the Melrose Food Shelf. The third went to the Girl Scouts.

            The membership and leadership of Boy Scout Troop 68 and Cub Scout Pack 68 would like to thank the Lions Club for a great meal, and for the support they have given the Melrose Scouting program for nearly 40 years.

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              This year marks the eleventh year that the Central Minnesota Council has created a special council shoulder patch, featuring a point of the Scout Oath, as an incentive for their annual Friends of Scouting campaign. Of course, that means the point used this year is Clean. A bar of soap with the words “Scout Clean” is the focal point of the patch.

              I have collected these patches since they began, placing them in my three ring binders. A few of the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 wear one on their uniform. We are already wondering what next year’s “Reverent” patch is going to look like.

              Does your council create special patches for their Friends of Scouting drives? What have they recently done as a theme for the patch? Leave your answer as a comment below.

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                When I retired as the scoutmaster of Troop 68 at the end of 2011 we only had a membership of 8 or 9 boys. The Cub Scout pack was also going through a tough time. There had been several years that we did not have any Webelos Scouts graduate into the Boy Scout Troop. Luckily, both groups survived and began to turn things around.

                This year marks the second year in a row that the troop had Webelos graduate into Boy Scouting. The ceremony was held at the Melrose City Hall meeting rooms on Tuesday, March 27th. The Webelos Scouts were grinning from ear to ear as they crossed the bridge and joined the troop, taking their first steps in a new Scouting adventure.

                The newly formed Ninja Patrol has already grown to four members. They have been having a blast as new Boy Scouts. They already have a disc golf marathon under their belts and went to the Central Minnesota Ripley Rendezvous at Camp Ripley in central Minnesota this weekend. In May they will have their first real camp out as a Boy Scout when they go to Camp Watchamagumee. Most of them have already signed up for summer camp in July.

                The boys have quickly discovered the Boy Scouting is a far different program than what they had when they were Cub Scouts, and they seem to be loving every moment of it.

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