Good News AwardThe Central Minnesota Council has several special awards they present each year at their recognition banquet. I received an email from Mary at the council office asking if I was planning to attend. The way she worded the email made me a little suspicious, so I gave her a call. I attended the recognition banquet.

One of these special presentations is the Good News award. The council usually gives the award to a newspaper, radio station, or television station who have done a great job covering Scouting events and promoting the program. Our local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, has received this award. So did our community access television station. Unfortunately, the city has closed the tv station, but the Melrose Beacon continues to include articles about Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting events.

This year the council decided to give the award for promoting Scouting on social media. They looked at local troop and pack Facebook pages and chose two who they felt did an outstanding job covering their local program and activities. One of those two units was Troop 68 of Melrose. And that is why Mary was wondering if I was going to attend the banquet. She knew I was the administrator of the site and did most of the posting to the troop’s Facebook page. She wanted me to accept the award on behalf of Troop 68.

A week later I “received” the award again at the Scenic district’s annual program kickoff and award presentations. It is not often you can receive the same award twice. ;-)

It is nice to realize that the council has noticed our work promoting the local Scout program. It is really nice to receive recognition for the the years of work toward that purpose. Troop 68 would like to thank the Central Minnesota Council for this award.

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    Scoutmasters are proud of their Scouts.  They welcome them as they come into the troop as a 10 or 11 year old, sometimes frightened, Webelos graduate from a Cub Scout Scout Pack and than watch them grow as they develop Scouting skills and become leaders within the troop. Sometimes they even acheive Scouting’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout. But there are many more ways a scoutmaster becomes proud of his Scouts. Many of them come to pass after the young man leaves the troop.

    On example is when a scoutmaster receives word that a former troop member does well with his chosen occupation. I have two alumni, that I know of, that now work for the Boy Scouts of America. Keith works in Texas at Boy’s Life magazine, after spending several years at Northern Star Council. When Keith moved on his position opened up and another alumni of Troop 68 applied for the job, and got it. Sergio is now a Communications Specialist at Northern Star Council.

    Sergio recently posted a new video to Youtube that he created about Scouting. This video was shown at the Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America 2015 Annual Meeting. The name of the video is Vitamin N. You will understand after watching this three minute video.

    Great job Sergio!

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      Melrose Historical Museum Visit - 22The president of the Melrose Area History Museum and I met at the museum this morning to set up my shelf display and Scouting coffee mugs. We both thought this would be a quick process but the cabinet had other ideas. In order to place the shelves in the cabinet we needed to remove a partition. The partition decided it did not want to be removed. The above photo from 2012 shows the two dividers that were painted tight into the shelf grooves. We spent over 15 minutes trying to get the left one to come out. Once we finally removed it we decided to take out the second one also. It was also stubborn but it did not take as long to remove.

      Then came the fun part of reorganizing the display with the new shelves and the coffee mugs. I discovered a batch of membership and award cards that I thought should be set up for everyone to see and was able to use the new shelf rack to do that. We also put a piece of rigid insulation into the Girl Scout uniform so more of the shirt could be seen. The newly arranged display may look a bit more cluttered than the old arrangement but a lot more items can now be seen. To tell the truth, I think i like the new arrangement better. What do you think?

      The pictures below show the new arrangement. I am already starting to form some ideas for other changes to this cabinet and two other cabinets that Roger said we could use for Scouting displays.

      Museum Display #2

      Museum Display 2015 #1

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        Scouting mugs displayI have collected a lot of Scouting memoribilia during my 35 years as an adult leader in Scouting. I have hundreds of patches, dozens of handbooks, a large tote of 2001 National Jamboree souvenirs, and enough coffee mugs to go over two months without needing to wash one. One wall in the family room is covered with honors. Another features pictures of the troop’s Eagle Scouts. And there are the Beagle Scout Snoopy Hallmark ornaments, in addition to all kinds of other stuff. Yep, I have quite a collection. Maybe too much.

        In December I became a member of the board for the Melrose Area History Museum. They have a small Scouting display featuring items from local Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Most of the Boy Scouting display features items I donated over the years, but they do have some interesting items donated by other people including a Boy’s Life article featuring an Eagle Scout from Melrose. (See the post about that article HERE.)

        On Wednesday I stopped by the museum and took a look at the display. It could use a few more items, I thought to myself. I had an idea. Maybe it is time to thin out my collection of coffee mugs. I took a few measurements of the display case and designed a little three level shelf that could display 15 coffee mugs, and still allow some other items to be placed in front of it.

        Today I decided to put my idea into action. I bought a couple 1×4 pine boards to make the two foot wide shelf. This evening I took the time to nail it together. Then I choose fifteen mugs from the collection to donate to the museum to be part of this addition to the Scouting display. The picture shows the shelf and the mugs chosen. Now I need to paint the boards white to brighten the display and highlight the mugs.

        Yes, I will loose fifteen coffee mugs from my collection, but that still leaves over sixty of them on display in my family room. The 15 I chose to give are doubles I have and Central Minnesota Council mugs used as incentives during various promotions over the decades. I think these mugs will make a nice addition to the museum display. What do you think?

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          Lions volunteer supper 2015Every year the Melrose Lions Club invites folks from the various volunteer organizations in town to a special meal to be recognized for all the work they do during the year for the community. This includes members of our volunteer fire and ambulance corps, the food shelf, Project Give A Gift, the history museum, and others.

          The Boy Scout, Cub Scout, and Girl Scout leaders are also invited. Scoutmaster Jim Engelmeyer and assistant scoutmaster Eymard Orth represented Boy Scout Troop 68. Cubmaster Steve Borgerding represented Cub Scout Pack 68. It was a great meal and good fellowship.

          The evening ended with the Lions Club giving $100 donations to two lucky volunteer organizations in attendance during the meal. Boy Scout Troop 68 was one of the lucky ones to take home a check. The Melrose Ambulance Corps took home the other.

          Boy Scout Troop 68 would like to thank the local Lions Club for all their support during the last 35 years. Their financial assistance has allowed the troop to purchase need equipment and send Scouts to the National Jamboree, just to name a couple things. Thanks again Melrose Lions!

          Lions Donation

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            2015FOSpatchIt is that time of year. Units in the Central Minnesota Council are being visited by council representatives for the annual Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaign. Families are being asked to contribute what they can to the council to assist in providing a quality program for the boys.

            Like many councils, the Central Minnesota Council offers gifts for donors who meet certain levels of financial support. For many years they offered a framed Norman Rockwell Scouting print as an upper level gift. I am proud to say that a wall in my home office is covered with these prints collected over a decade.

            During the last several years a special council should patch has been offered as a gift. Each year has been a different patch featuring a point of the Scout Law. I happen to be one of those Scout leaders who like to collect patches so yes, I have every one so far. This year’s patch feature the law point of Cheerful, especially cheerful service. By the way, when you think of cheerful service don’t you think of the Order of the Arrow? Did you know this year is the 100th anniversary of the OA? Can you guess what else is featured on the 2015 patch?

            Once again, I like the design of the shoulder patch. I will not be wearing it on my shirt though. It will go straight into my three ring binder of council patches. This is number eight of the twelve patch series. I wonder what the next four will look like.

            What do you think of this year’s patch design? Does your council do something similar?

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              IMG_2470Monday night will be my first Blue and Gold Banquet as the Cubmaster of Pack 68 in Melrose. And maybe my only one. After all, I would like to see someone else step forward to take over as cubmaster next fall. But this year it is my turn to try to make a Blue and Gold Banquet a little special for the boys and their families. At last week’s committee meeting we planned the agenda. I need to find a good sing-along song for the evening. I still have two days to think of a good one the Cub should like.

              I have also decided to put together a little display featuring the history of B.S.A.’s Cub Scouting program. I have several old Cub Scout and leader handbooks I plan to use. I wish I had more stuff but I was a scoutmaster for three decades and did not do a whole lot on the Cub Scouting front. The Cub Scouts may not be overly impressed with the collection I am putting together but I hope it adds a little more of a Cub Scouting atmosphere to the room.

              I tried to have some special guests show up for the evening but no one from the local 501st Legion (a Star Wars costume group) was able to make it. I understand that week nights are tough for these volunteers to make, especially when Melrose is not very close to any of the members. Maybe the pack can plan a different evening next year so we could have a few stormtroopers escort the Cub Scouts to the stage to receive their awards.

              What is your pack planning for this year’s Blue and Gold Banquet?

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              What do you think of these displays?

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                2015carsCub Scout Pack 68 held their annual Pinewood Derby on Sunday, January 25th, at the Melrose American Legion. Ten Cub Scouts and their families attended along with friends a several Boy Scouts. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

                I have been to several derbies through the last few decades, usually as an observer. Back in the 1980′s, before their was electronic timers, I was asked to be a judge for a derby. In the last couple years I showed up with my camera and acted as the unofficial photographer. I took lots of photos that I shared with the Cub Scout families.

                This year was a little different. Since I am the cubmaster this year I had a few more derby duties than I have ever had in the past. Not only did I learn how to assemble an aluminum Pinewood Derby track but I acted as the master of ceremonies for the event.

                I am sure our derby was just like many derbies held around the council and the nation. There were the fast cars and the cars that did not quite make it to the finish line. There were the fancy looking cars that had a look of work applied to them and a couple that did not. In fact, there was a nice variety of car designs. A few races were extremely close that added to the afternoon’s excitement. In fact, one race was one thousands of a second difference between the two cars.

                Every Cub Scout who participated received a patch. The three fastest cars received trophies. A trophy was also given to the “best of show” car which was given to a car that featured Mario from the video game. It was cool to see the Cub Scout of the Mario car grinning from ear to ear as he accepted his trophy because his car did not do very well in the races.

                Next on the Cub Scout Pack agenda is the Blue and Gold Banquet in February. I am working on a special surprise for the pack but I am not sure if I will be able to pull it off. If I do, it will be a Blue and Gold the Cub Scouts and their families will not soon forget.

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