Now that the Scouts of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 have left on their trip to Philmont Scouts Ranch I have been thinking about my trips to the ranch, and the DVD I have in my collection known as The Philmont Documentary Collection. It is one of my favorite Scouting DVD’s. I was even able to chat with Larry McLaughlin, the producer and creator of the DVD, during a Leader’s Campfire podcast episode. (More of that interview can be heard at http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=1920 )

Recently, while browsing Facebook, I scrolled across information about another DVD about the ranch. It is a collection of 40 short films created by David E. Carter during the years of 2006-2008. The DVD includes segments on all 36 of Philmont’s backcountry camps, as well as 3 special features.  It was only sold for two years in the Philmont trading post, and has not been available since then. This newly-edited version includes additonal content that has never been seen before. It contains over two hours of video.

It looks like this is a DVD I need to add to my collection. The price of $22 includes shipping. Not a bad price if you ask me. My only wish is that it was filmed in high definition, but alas, it was created before all the new tech was readily available.

More informations can be found on the website at http://www.sanibelfilms.com/philmont-dvd.html

Do you plan to order yourself a copy?

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    Remember my last post? I went shopping at the local Scout Shop and bought several closeout items, some for actual use, and some for the collection. I left one item out of that article, the one that was rolled up in the tube. It was something I thought the troop could find useful. In fact, it was something the troop has not used for several years, but as the advancement coordinator I thought it night be time to use one again. What is it? It is a troop advancement chart with the current requirements listed.

    When I was in the Scout Shop I stopped at the advancement chart rack to see if the B.S.A. had come out with a new chart yet. I found a few of the old advancement charts, a lot of Cub Scouting charts, and a few posters, but not a current advancement requirement chart. So I asked Jenny, who was working the at the store, if one was available. She told me there was and we walked back to the rack. I felt like a fool when she showed me the new chart hanging on the wall above the rack. I never even noticed it when I was looking. My eyes were on the advancement rack’s contents, not the wall.

    She looked through the rack for the new advancement chart. She did not find one. Well, now I felt a little better. She checked the computer and it said they had three of them. She went to the back room and found them. The chart is not small. It measures 36″ wide by 23″ high. It will not fit on the old chart’s piece of hardboard. I was quite happy with the price which was only $2.49.

    I wish I had a larger picture to show you. I guess you will just have to go to the nearest Scout Shop and see it for yourself.

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      Buying Spree.There are some days you just should not go to the local Scout Shop. If you want to save your money, that is. But than, you have to go if you want to get the closeout items, don’t you? Remember the Christmas in July Sale? I went Tuesday night, and the credit card took a hit. Oh well, it is only money, right?

      The Scouting stadium seat was on sale for only $14.99. I somehow misplaced mine so I needed to buy a new one. I bought the binder on sale for $3.98. I would have bought a second one if they would have had another one. The Eagle Scouts book was only $14.98. It will be a nice addition to the library.

      When you do not have very much hair on your head you cannot own too many caps. I thought the Boy Scout cap would be good for troop activities. Since I will be serving as the cubmaster for one more year I thought the Cub Scouts had would be fun. Each cap was on sale for $7.99.

      Speaking of being the cubmaster, it was had to turn away from the Cub Scout flashing pins. I bought all three on the hook since they were only $1.48 each. I may give one to the assistant cubmaster to wear. Mine will go on the cap I just bought. The napkins were only $2.98 per pack which makes a nice start for next spring’s Blue and Gold Banquet. I have not read very much about the new Lions Cub program so I bought the packet which was only one of two things that were not on sale.

      The last item is rolled up in the tube. I will tell you what it is in the next article. And no, it was not on sale but I thought it might be useful for the troop.

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        village saleIf you have been reading this blog for a few years you realize that I have been collecting the BSA Scouting Village pieces as they come out each year. After writing yesterday’s article about the Christmas In July Sale, I thought I would check if the 2016 pieces were listed online. I know it is early, but you never know.

        I did not find any new items listed but I was surprised to see two of last year’s pieces still listed. Usually the pieces sell out before the end of the holiday season so I was surprised to see the Resident Camp Tents Lighted House still available. I was not as surprised to see the Lighted Porcelain Villa Philmonte still listed since it was a very expensive piece. It was the piece I almost did not purchase last year. So. you still have a chance to add these pieces to your Scouting Village collection before the 2016 pieces arrive, which I guess might be in late August or September.

        By the way, I also checked the Walmart website since I found a really nice “vintage village” set last year. Nope, nothing listed for this year yet, except for some tree ornaments.

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          PhilmontLeaving - 5The crew is on the way! The Scouts and advisors of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 left for their trip to Philmont Scout Ranch last night. Everyone seemed to be excited for the trip. They will have a great time. Hopefully, I will be getting a few photos sent to me as they travel that I will be able to share with you.

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            Clearance-eblastThere was an email last week from the Boy Scouts of America Online Catalog. They had a sale going on. It was the Christmas in July Sale! Well, that is what they were calling it. It was actually a closeout sale. Here is what the email stated:

            Think about it. There’s back-to-school, back-to-Scouting, and the actual holidays just around the corner, so a little Christmas in July really couldn’t hurt! 

            Our gift to you? A chance to save up to 75% off original price on the best Scout-gear deals you can find… perfect year-round gifting ideas, nice little Christmas add-ons, and great-value gear updates for every Scout you know. 

            Check out what’s new in the closeout collection, online, and in-store today. Once items sell out they’re gone, so shop now.

            So what did I do? I checked it out. Was there anything the troop or pack could use? Was there any hot bargains I could use as gifts? Christmas is only 6 months away, after all. Was there anything I did not realize I needed or wanted until I saw it on sale?

            As it turned out, there was quite that made the list. I found 12 items to add to the cart, several of them in more than a single quantity. I took a screen shot of the list and emailed it to my council Scout Shop. After all, I may as well give them the business if they had any of the items in stock. It turns out they only had four of the items on hand, but those four items (multiple qualities of two of them) would cost me over $80. Two items were for myself, one for the pack, and one to use as gifts. I emailed her a note that I would pick up the in stock items and would let her know about the rest of the list when I arrived to pick them up.

            Have you checked out the Christmas in July Sale? Did you find anything you needed, or did not need until you saw it on sale?

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              PTC Trip 2014 - 175Today is the day that seven Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68, along with two adults, head out for the trip of a lifetime. They are going to Philmont Scout Ranch for a ten day backpacking trek in the backcountry of one of Scouting’s favorite locations. They will be driving to the ranch with a stop at Mount Rushmore.

              I have been to Philmont seven times, five times on treks and two times for training. I know the Scouts are going to have a great time. In some ways I wish I was going with them but I also realize it is time for others to pick up the mantle and help the new generation learns about the magic of Philmont.

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                MPSC 2016 patchThe Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have completed their weeklong summer camp for the year. Once again, the troop went to Many Point Scout Camp which is located northwest of Park Rapids in Minnesota. Only four Scouts of the troop attended camp because the older boys will be going on a high adventure trip this week.

                Three adults spent a week at the camp, two fathers and Eymard, our 89 year old assistant scoutmaster. I believe this was Eymard’s 27th year attending summer camp, and his 24th or 25th year at Many Point. I did not spend the week at camp but did take one day off work to visit the troop, and it was a full scheduled Thursday that I picked to spend with the boys.

                I arrived at camp an hour later then I had planned. I forgot it took 2.5 hours to get there. For some reason I was thinking it was only going to take two hours. I walked into the Seton Campsite at the Buckskin Camp at 10:00 that morning. I was not to worried about missing anything though. I knew the Scouts had merit badge sessions in the morning and would be scattered around the camp. I took a few minutes to chat with Eymard and Dave, the dad who was there for his second year of camp, to see how things were going before I grabbed my camera and started the hunt to find the Scouts. Jason, the other dad and first time camp attendee, was checking out the older boy program camp.

                I discovered I was not the hunter, or at least not a very good one. The Scouts found me. As I walked past the old handicrafts lodge, which I now call the gaming lodge since it is the location of the Chess and Game Design merit badges, I heard someone yell my name. As I turned around I saw three of the four Scouts standing in the doorway inviting me into the lodge to see what they had been doing. I quickly discovered all four Scouts were in the building working on the Game Design merit badge.

                As the next merit badge session began, the boys separated as they headed to three different classes. I visited each class and took a few pictures of each of the Scouts. After all, that was my unofficial job, troop cameraman. It was funny when one of the Scouts made a comment that now someone will be taking pictures during camp. I guess he thought the dads had been a little lax in this area. But than, in their defense, I am well known for taking lots of pictures. I do mean lots of pictures. I went home after that one day of camp with nearly 180 pictures. Yeah, maybe I take too many, but you know, everyone likes to look at them later.

                We did not eat lunch in the dining hall. Instead, we grabbed bagged lunches because we were going on a field trip. We were going to spend the afternoon at Itasca State Park, which is located only 45 minutes from camp. It was time for the Scouts to see the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. There would be a lot of photo taking opportunities for me.

                We arrived back in camp the the 4:00 merit badge session. There was a little free time after that session to goof around and chat. Then it was time to retire the colors and head to supper at the dining hall. After being well fed the Scouts did some merit badge homework and attended some of the  open programs. When the boys started coming back to the campsite about 8:30 we prepared to start a fire for making s’mores. I had stopped on the way to camp that morning to pick up the ingredients.

                Unfortunately, I was not able to stay around to enjoy the campfire. I had to go to work the next morning. I left camp at 9:30 that evening to start the long journey home. I walked into my house at midnight, tired, but glad I had spent a day at camp. I had a good time, and it looked like the boys and adults were having a great time.

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