homepageIn some ways it is hard to believe. It was in May 2006 that I began the website for Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. Over 11 years ago! I spent a lot of time posting to the site. Too much time some months. The site has grown to over 200 pages and features thousands of photographs from the last three decades.

That was then, and this is now. I do not spent very much time updating the site since I stepped down as the scoutmaster a few years ago. In fact, it has been nearly four months since I have updated anything. Until today. I had a little free time this morning so I decided to work on a few pages. First was the home page. I updated the meeting schedule, posted a current group picture, and made a note that the annual popcorn sales have begun. Then I went to the yearly program page and posted the recently approved program for the 2015-2016 year. Last, I updated the Order of the Arrow patch gallery with the 2015 NOAC patches of the Naguonabe Lodge.

There is still a lot of work to be done updating various others pages but that is enough for this morning. I wish I new more about the current way to create awesome photo galleries and pages but I am stuck in the 2000’s. I have not had, or maybe should say taken, the time to learn the latest and greatest in web design. Maybe some day.

Or maybe some day I will just pass this site off to someone new and let them manage it. It could happen.

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    derbyBoyScouts(I just found this article on my desk. I guess I forgot to post it. It might be a little late, but what the heck.)

    Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose held its 2015 Pinewood Derby on Sunday, January 25th. As the current cubmaster I asked the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 if any of them would be able to help with the event. Five of them took me up on the offer.

    Adrian was the first Boy Scout to arrive. His brother is a Cub Scout. Since he was the first I gave him my camera and made him the official photographer. His job was to take pictures of the Cub Scouts holding their derby cars before they turned them in. I also took him to take plenty of pictures during the event and of the award presentation at the end. I am not sure if he had ever been a photographer before, but he had plenty of practice during the derby.

    Alex and Daniel were the next Boy Scout to arrive. They also happened to be the troop’s senior patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. I had Alex work with the two Tiger Cubs who were to do the flag presentation. The Tigers would count this toward one of their Tiger Cub requirements.

    I put Daniel to work as our official time keeper. He would keep the time of each car in each race. Each “race” would actually consist of two races so each car would race on each of the two lanes. If a car did not win both races we would take the average time from the two races to declare a winner. Unfortunately for Daniel, we did not need to check the race times but his job would have been critical if the races would have been closer.

    Jacob and Carter were the other Boy Scouts to help during the event. They became out derby car handlers. Their job was to take the cars from the table and place them on the track. They would then receive the cars from the end of the track and replace them on the table, or the track again for the second heat. These two guys definitely had the most exercise of the five Boy Scouts.

    All five Scouts did an excellent job with their assigned duties. Each participating Cub Scout received a derby patch. Since we had purchased enough of them we also gave each Boy Scout a patch for their help.

    After the award presentation, we opened the track for exhibition racing, or what we called “racing for the fun of it”. Three of the Boy Scouts had brought their derby cars with them. The Cub Scouts had a blast racing the Boy Scouts and the other Cub Scouts they did not get to race against during the competition.

    As the event came to an end and the track was packed away for the next year I think I can honestly say that everyone had a good time; the families, the Cub Scouts, and the Boy Scouts.

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      peanuts-the-race-is-on-snoopys-beagle-scouts-pinewood-derby-ornament-rootThis year’s Scouting themed Snoopy ornament is now on sale at your local Hallmark store. The 2015 piece features Snoopy the Beagle Scout, or scoutmaster, and three of his “Scouts” racing their Pinewood Derby cars. It is nice to see a Cub Scouting themed ornament this year.

      I was not even thinking of this until I walked into the Crossroads Mall Hallmark store this afternoon. I was going to check if they had any of last year’s ornaments at close out prices. I should have known this year’s decorations would be on display already. It did not take me long to find Scoutmaster Snoopy. I bought two, like I do every year. One to put on the tree, and one to add to the collection.

      Have you been collecting the Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments?

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        This week nine Boy Scouts from Melrose Troop 68 are attending summer camp at Many Point Scout Camp in northern Minnesota. I was there with them from Sunday through Wednesday and I can tell you, they are having a blast, even though the weather could be a little less humid and a little dryer. It rained almost every day I was there.

        The adult leaders gather every Wednesday at the Buckskin dining hall for a leader’s recognition dinner. The camp leaders tell us about the new programs and additions to the campsites, and they also play a video made from pictures taken earlier in the week. The pictures is this year’s video highlighted the adults who attended MPSC with their troops. Dave, a father of one of our Scouts, and I both made it into the video. We were both surprised by that. Neither of us knew that our photo was taken. I was playing lacrosse with the Scouts while Dave was watching the boys play gaga ball.

        The team at Many Point have posted the video on their Youtube page. Here it is for you to enjoy. It is a little over three and a half minutes long.

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          2001 Jamboree Marvel patch setI attended the 2001 National Jamboree as the scoutmaster of Troop 1417. I had a great time. I had a great troop. And I collected quite a few patches from the event. In fact, I still collect patches from the event when I find some for a reasonable trade or cost.

          One set of patches that I was not able to attain at the Jamboree was the seven piece Marvel shoulder patch set from the Theodore Roosevelt Council of New York. Each of the patches featured a different super hero: Spiderman, Thor, Wolverine, Captain America, Ironman, the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four. The patches were extremely popular at the Jamboree and soon became hard to find, and very hard to get when you did find them. The National Office may have stated that patches should be traded one for one, but after a couple days you did not find that rule being followed very well. Once I discovered how many patches it would “cost” me to get them I decided to let them go and trade for other CSP’s.

          Well, time moves on and years pass by us. Occasionally I would check out eBay to see what I could find for 2001 Jamboree patches and memorabilia. Once in a while I would find a good deal and was able to add to my Jamboree collection. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the Marvel patches for sale at what I considered a reasonable price. It did not take me long to press the BUY button and add this set to my notebook.  I should point out that I did not buy the patches as one set, but bought them individually over the span of a few weeks. I paid anywhere from $5 to $10 each.

          Have you been to a National Jamboree? Did you collect any patches? What were your favorites?

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            Naguonabe NOAC 2015 CYou were given a preview of the trader’s two patch set in May. Yesterday I wrote a post about the participant’s set. But did you know there is one more option available for the Naguonabe Lodge members who will be participating in this year’s National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC)? Yes there is!

            You may have noticed in the previous posts that the original pocket flap patch and the pocket patch did not “flow” together in their design. Do not get me wrong, I like both patches. But I thought it would have been nice for the two patches to “share” a continuous design like the patch sets of the last few years. Maybe it is just me being an old fuddy duddy. I think the reason for the design was to allow all lodge members to buy a pocket flap patch to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow. I understand this. I think they did a great job designing the patch and I am glad to have it as a part of my collection.

            The picture above shows the recent third option of this year’s patch set. Yes, there is a final option in which the patches “flow” together into one continuous design. The wolf’s ears and forehead can now be seen. I like it! I also like the bright color scheme chosen for this year’s set. I am willing to bet this will be a popular set traded at this year’s event. Yes, this set is a trading set. Note the dark gray border. No, I do not have any patches to trade since I am not attending the conference.

            So, you have seen the three options of the 2015 NOAC patches for the members of the Naguonabe Lodge of the Central Minnesota Council. Which set do you like best?

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              Naguonabe NOAC 2015BIt was over a month ago when I wrote a post about the Naguonabe Lodge’s patch design for the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference, otherwise known as NOAC. The two patch set also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow. I like the patch set. Unfortunately, I will not be attending this special function so I was able only to show you what the trading set looks like.

              Well, today I was able to see, and take a picture of, the participant’s set of patches. It is the same design except that the border is silver instead of dark gray. Each person attending NOAC this year had the opportunity to buy one of these sets for their uniform. I know of one participant that may put his silver bordered set into his collection and place the trader’s set on his uniform instead. He does not want anything to happened to this very limited set, and to tell the truth, I cannot blame him.

              What do you think of this patch set? What does your lodge’s patch set look like?

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                06.2015 Parade FlagsWhen does something become a tradition? If it is done for seven years, does that qualify? If it does, than the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have a tradition to be proud of. This was the seventh year that they have handed out 4″x6″ United States flags before the Riverfest parade in town.

                The troop committee began discussing this activity a few months ago. Letters were sent out to the local VFW post and American Legion Club to help with the cost of the flags. I found American-made flags on sale at the United States Flag Store website for 18 cents each. I placed an order for 1250 flags before I heard from the two organizations, counting on them to come through on covering the costs, which they did. The flags arrived in May. We were set to hand out colors once again.

                That is, if enough Boy Scouts showed up to walk the parade route. With thirty minutes to go before the start of the parade only three Boy Scouts and one Cub Scout had arrived. We knew it was going to be a busy family weekend so I was glad we had at least four Scouts to walk. One mother and I grabbed the two backpacks. Two Scouts and one adult would walk along each side of the street handing out flags to those who wanted one. By the end of the one and a half mile route all the flags were gone! Kids loved receiving a flag, as did many of the adults along the route.

                We finished with the flags in time to walk back along the route to sit with our families and friends to watch the parade. You should have seen all the candy thrown out by the parade participants. You should have seen the candy still laying on the street, along with some trash, after the parade. Actually, it was not as bad as other years, but there is always some clean up required. I am happy to report that we did not see one USA flag laying around unwanted after the festivities! Everyone took them home.

                This is a tradition we shall probably continue for a few more years. As long as the VFW and the American Legion support it, and the people lining the parade route want them, I think the Melrose Boy Scouts will continue their version of a patriotic hike.

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