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.)

Many years ago our troop began an activity on a camping trip that has since become a yearly tradition. We call it the egg drop competition. Each Scout gets a raw egg and has to create a package of natural materials. These packages are then dropped from higher points until only one egg remains unbroken. Has your troop ever tried something like this? #boyscouts #camping #activity

Here is the video we made from the 2012 Competition.

I was having lunch with my dad today when I noticed he had a copy of the American Legion magazine laying on his coffee table. I picked up the January 2020 issue and paged through it while we were eating our chicken fries. There were several good articles but one page really caught my attention.

A page named “Still Serving America” had several interesting facts, most about how the American Legion financially supported various groups over the years. The last fact did not list any dollar amounts but did list an interesting number. Did you know that a minimum of 45,373 Boy Scouts were sponsored worldwide by the American Legion in the most recent membership year? That is a lot of Scouts! (The page did not say anything about if this was just Boy Scouts or if Cub Scouts were included in that number so I think it may have just been Boy Scouts.)

The factoid did not list the ways the Legion sponsored these Scouts but I am sure many of those Scouts’ troops were sponsored by a local Legion club. We all know that the American Legion and the V.F.W. sponsor many troops and packs across the country. In Melrose, the Legion is the charter sponsor of the Cub Scout Pack while VFW post 7050 is the charter sponsor of the Boy Scout troop. Both units have also received financial support from the other club.

The Scouts, parents, and leadership of Boy Scout Troop 68 and Cub Scout Pack 68 would like to thank the American Legion for their support over the last 40 years and hope we can work together in our community for the next 40 years.

Earlier this year I was asked to run a class at a council merit badge clinic. The council has been trying to hold these on a monthly schedule this year. They had asked me once before to run a class but I had to pass do to my schedule. This time they asked me to run a class for the Collections merit badge. The date worked for me so I agreed to do it. I have a hunch I may not be asked back.

As the evening approached I gathered a couple boxes of stuff from my house to demonstrate different types of collections. I brought along some comic books, Star Wars toys, and a couple other things I collect. I also grabbed a package of Scout Handbooks that I had just received from eBay. I had reviewed the merit badge requirements so I was all ready for the class.

I arrived a little early so that I had enough time to set up my display and ask any questions I might have before the class began. Six Scouts had signed up for the Collections merit badge which I thought was a nice manageable group. If the Scouts came prepared we should not have a problem completing the requirements in the three hour session.

I knew we were going to have a problem once the Scouts arrived. Only two had come to the session somewhat prepared. Two others had only found out they were signed up for the class a night or two before the class so they had no idea what to expect. Well, we will make the best of it, I thought to myself.

We did what we could during the next few hours. The Scouts paid attention and seemed to want the badge. As a merit badge councilor I am trained to pass off requirements once they are completed. I am not going to sign a requirement that the Scout has not even tried to complete which means that all six Scouts went home from the session with a partial. I was proud that we at least completed three quarters of the requirements. I gave each Scout my contact information so they could finish the badge later.

I hoped that the Scouts would decide to finish the badge but only one Scout ever contacted me to do so. It is nearly a half year after the session and the other five boys still have not contacted me. Either they are not interested in finishing the merit badge or they found another counselor to work with, I guess.

I have not been asked to come back and run another class, and I think I know why. The cost of attending a class was $25.00. A Scout and their parents probably expect to receive a merit badge after attending a session. Sorry, but I am not signing off on a badge unless a Scout completes the requirements, whether they pay a fee for the class or not.

I have heard complaints from a couple Scouts in my troop who have attended a some of these classes. They go to the session prepared with the prerequisites for the councilor to review. They have stated to me that it is not fair that they prepare for the class to receive the badge, but other Scouts attend that are not prepared yet received a signed blue card stating they completed the requirements. If this is true, what kind of statement are we sending to Scouts? That you can buy a merit badge?

I did not get paid for my time running my merit badge class. I thought maybe the council would give the councilors a few bucks for their time and gas but I was told the money collected went to pay for the use of the facility. While I am sure there was a charge for the use of the rooms I would bet it did not come close to the money collected by the council. After all, there were several merit badge sessions that evenings, each with a group of Scouts. I think the council uses these sessions as a bit of a fundraiser, but I could be wrong.

Like I stated earlier, I do not think I will be asked back to run a merit badge session since I did not sign the blue cards at the end of the evening. You know what? That is alright with me. I do not believe a Scout should receive an award if he did not try to complete all the requirements. What do you think about it? Does your council conduct merit badge courses?

A group of parents held a few meetings during the end of the year 1979. Their purpose was to plan the beginning of a Boy Scout Troop in Melrose, Minnesota. The community did have a troop earlier that decade but it had disbanded when it lacked adult volunteers. This new troop committee was to form a new troop with new boys and have a troop for the current Webelos to graduate into.

John Schofield became the scoutmaster during the November 28th troop committee meeting. Another gentleman may agree to be the assistant scoutmaster. The troop committee had six members. The VFW Post 7050 was asked to be the charter sponsor. (They accepted the sponsorship.) It was decided that a troop rally would be held on Monday, December 10.

The committee met again on December 6. The new scoutmaster reported on his training sessions. The district executive reported that he would be going to both grade schools in town to talk to boys and their parents about joining the Scouting program. Four names were discussed for potential assistant scoutmasters. It was also noted that there was a zero balance in the funds left over from the old troop. However, five tents and some cooking pots had been found.

The Boy Scout rally on December 10, 1979, was well received. Sixteen boys and their parents attended the meeting. Registration was paid through February 1981. Melrose had a Boy Scout Troop once again!

The troop has had seven scoutmasters during the past 40 years. John Schofield was the first. He was followed by George O’Brien, Don Gibson, Steve Borgerding, Mark Ettel, and Jim Engelmeyer. Dave Norling is currently holding the position of scoutmaster. There has been several people who have served as assistant scoutmasters and dozens of parents who have served on the troop committee. Without all these dedicated adults the troop would have been disbanded once again.

There has been hundreds of boys involved in the program during the four decades. Twenty five Scouts have earned Scouting highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout. The troop has been to a week long summer camp 39 times (only missing the first year), Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico six times, attended the 2001 National Jamboree, and attended a few other Boy Scouts of America high adventure bases. The troop has an outing planned nearly every month.

Melrose Area Scout Troop 68 currently has 15 members. Five Webelos Scouts from Melrose Area Cub Scout Pack 68 will be joining the troop in February 2020. The Cub Scout Pack has also been operating for over 40 years.

It appears that Melrose Scout Troop 68 will be around for years to come. The Cub Scout pack is doing well and will provide Webelos Scouts to graduate to the troop. The troop leadership is doing well, but can always use more help. Yes, it looks like Troop 68 will be around for awhile yet and who knows, maybe we will be celebrating an 80th anniversary down the road.