Advancement and your Patrol

Many of you may remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about finding a 1955 training flip chart in my Scouting collection. It was called Advancement and Your Patrol. I stated that it might be fun to do a video using this old training device and many of you seemed interested in the project.

Well, I did get one of the Scouts of our troop to record audio for the project. We spent a couple hours going through it page by page, getting the Scout to read it just right. Then we did one quick run through of him reading it the way he wanted to read it.

I have not finished my “serious” version of the project, but the Scout’s version is now complete and ready to be watched. You can see it at https://youtu.be/VhzBBrNO31k

It turned out pretty well, I think. In fact, I do not know if I even want to make the “serious” version any more. Let me know what you think of it. And I would appreciate it if you left a comment and a like on the YouTube site.

I recently saw this picture online, smiled, and thought to myself that this describes my life for over 30 years. That is how long I was the scoutmaster of Troop 68 in Central Minnesota. I worked with patrol leader councils during those years to plan troop programs, and thus at least one weekend each much of my life.

I have to say, most of those weekends were very enjoyable. It is amazing what a council of 13 year olds can come up with.

I am now a committee member of that troop and the current patrol leader council still gets to plan an occasional weekend on my schedule.

My family room has served as the troop’s Scout room for over two and a half decades. Patrol Leader Council meetings were held there, along with training sessions and some smaller troop activities. Committee meetings were held around the table once a month. One third of the room is a showcase for Scouting awards, memorabilia, and Eagle Scout photos.

I was cleaning up and sorting through some things last night and discovered a little gem I forgot was part of my Scouting collection. It is a training flip chart from 1955 regarding patrol advancement. It is for patrol leaders and discusses how to make their patrol become a First Class Patrol! It is 36 black and white pages, with the cover page, and is in excellent condition considering it is 65 years old.

As I was looking through it (yes, I had to stop and look at it) I began thinking it could be fun to scan the pages and turn it into a training video. Well, at least an interesting look at an old training resource. I was thinking about reading each page myself but then thought it would be much better if I could get one of our Scouts to read it.

I began working on it tonight. I have been in contact with one of the troop’s dads and he thinks his son may be interested in doing the reading. I have begun scanning the pages, which it going to take awhile. My old scanner is not the quickest by any means. In fact, each page is taking me over 3 minutes to set up and scan.

I will have to work with the Scout to be a good narrator. I do not think he has ever done anything like this but I think, after a couple read throughs and a few pointers, he will do an excellent job. I have even thought of trying to find an old uniform for him to wear during an opening introduction, but I am not sure if that will happen.

Would you be willing to take ten minutes or so to watch a video featuring an old training resource from 1955? Is this a project that is worth my time? Let me know in the comments!

It is that time of year once again. Hallmark has released its 2020 ornaments for the holiday season. Once again, they have created a special Scouting themed ornament featuring Scout Leader Snoopy, the world famous Beagle Scout, along with a few of his troop members. I believe this is the fourteenth year we have seen an ornament in this series. (If I am wrong, leave a comment.)

As you can see from the photo, canoeing is this year’s featured activity. This is the third time that water sports has been chosen as a theme, although this is the first time that portaging a canoe has been featured. As you can see, I do not believe Woodstock and his pals are offering much help with this portage.

Have you been to Hallmark yet to purchase your ornament? What do you think of this year’s design? Leave a comment and let us know.

Photos from hallmark.com.

Everyone seems to have their favorite music playlists these days. They could be on your mp3 player but chances are you have them on your mobile phone. I do. Too many of them in fact. But you never know what kind of music you will be in the mood to listen to so you need to have several playlists from which to choose.

One playlist on my phone is labeled Scouting Songs. It only has nine songs in it but all the songs are Scouting related. It is a fun list to listen to when I am working on troop paperwork or getting ready for the next meeting. It can help me get in the mood for Scouting. What songs does it include, you ask? Well, let’s take a look.

As you can tell from the picture with this post this playlist includes the theme song from Scout Camp: The Movie. “Born To Be A Scout”, by Alex Boye, is a fun upbeat song that may start your toes tapping. The song can be found through iTunes or whatever store you happen to use to download your music.

“The Scout Zone” is a song I ripped from the Scout Zone video which promoted the Scouting program nearly 20 years ago. It is another upbeat song telling about the adventures you could find in the Scouting program. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKFnGDRaMQU .

“The Scout Law” is a fun song about The Scout Law and the meaning of the twelve points of the Scout Law. It is from the album suck, by the Croutons. You can listen to it and download it at https://thecroutons.bandcamp.com/album/suck .

“Boy Scout Rap” (a Tik Tok parade) is a fun video I discovered on YouTube nearly ten years ago. Created by Wild Youth Productions and sung by Thirty100, it pokes a bit of fun at Boy Scouts. I found it to be funny and enjoyed the song. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rps1zdppqBA . It can be downloaded through iTunes.

“We Do It” is another song from a Scouting promotional video from a couple decades ago. Once again, it features fun things you could do in the Scouting program. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tok9gePil3E .

“Proud To Be A Scout” is a song from one of the videos from the BSA’s Inspirational Shows DVD. Check out the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKxXx-6rOVg

The “Scout Song” was song by the Buckskin Staff of Many Point Scout Camp during a campfire program in 2007 (I think). I videotaped the program and ripped this song from the video. It is a nice easy listening song about Scouting. The video from this campfire can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxSGiY_XuvY .

Of course, a Scouting playlist would not be complete if it did not contain the theme song from perhaps the greatest Scouting themed movie of all time. That is correct, I am talking about Follow Me Boys. I tried to find a link to download this song but I am having some problems finding one.

The newest song on my playlist I heard for the first time at an Eagle Scout court of honor a few months ago. It was used during the slideshow. After the ceremony I asked what the song was told it was “Growing Wings”, by David Shipp. It is a song written about Eagle Scouts and the author has given permission for Scouts to use it for their court of honor. The video and song information can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xnEbRKvouA .

That wraps up my playlist. Do you have a Scouting playlist? What songs have you included? What songs do you think I should add to my list? Leave a comment and tell my about it.

The motorcycle gang skit has been a favorite of Troop 68 for decades which is probably why it was performed during the troop’s Laughs For Lunch Show on many occasions. Here are the Scouts performing it in 2019.

Scout Ranks

Melrose Troop 68 Scout meetings have been put on hold as social distancing has become the new normal as the virus moves across the nation and the world. While I feel sorry about meetings and activities being cancelled for the next month I feel worse about the high school and college students and athletes whose activities and games have been cancelled for the year. While I understand the need for social distancing I often wonder if things could have been handled differently. But that is just my opinion.

Meanwhile, Scout Troop 68 is trying to work their way through this new challenge. Troop meetings have been cancelled. Our March outing was cancelled, as was the March court of honor. The patrol leader council meeting has been postponed. The council’s Ripley Rendezvous has been rescheduled for later this year.

The troop has their spring pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser, which was planned for March 29, put on hold. Due to state government regulations and the American Legion not being available anymore it will probably get cancelled.

The troop committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, was conducted in a new format. It was the first time in my forty years of being an adult Scout leader that the committee met online for a video chat conference. We held a second online meeting on Monday, March 23.

Today, March 28, I plan to try an online meeting with some of the newest members of Troop 68 to work on their Scout Rank requirements. On Monday, we are going to hold an online troop meeting and try to get the Scouts started on a couple different merit badges.

Of course, we are all frustrated with the current restrictions but we understand why they are in place. My fear is that if this lasts too long we may start to lose membership in Scouting. Online sessions may work fine but they cannot really replace a troop outing or outing. Hopefully this will soon pass as we can return to Scouting as it was meant to be.

The Star Shopper is one of our local weekly newspapers. For several years they have placed a special insert in the issue just before Scout Week that features the local troops and packs. This year was a four page spread that included Scouting units from eight communities, including Melrose. It is very well done and features several photos of Cub Scouts and Scout BSA troop.

The units would like to thank the Star Shopper for their recognition of Scouting units. We would also like to thank all the sponsors who made this insert possible.

Does a local newspaper in your community do something similar to this for Scout Week?

(Names of the Scouts have been removed from these pictures in occurrence with online youth protection policies.)