Over a year ago I downloaded an app for my iPhone that was created by the Boy Scouts of America called PatchScan. It looked like an interesting program. It was from the B.S.A. It was free! I just had to have it since it was from the National office.

I downloaded it to my iPhone and took a quick look at it. It looked like a very simple program. I scanned the code sticker on the back of an Order of the Arrow patch I recently bought. Luckily, the patch I scanned was an officially licensed patch since the app only works with officially licensed patches. That means any patches I have that are made in China probably will not work with the app, especially since they do not have a bar code.

Once the code was scanned the app displayed information about the patch that, to tell the truth, I found quite interesting. It told me who issued the patch, how many were made, the date it was issued, and the manufacturer of the patch. There was also a picture of the patch and patch detail information. This looked like it would be a handy app for a serious patch collector.

I closed the app, and then forgot about it for nearly a year. This week I opened the app to check it out once again, and scanned another patch. I really need to start scanning my patches when I get time.

Unfortunately, it does not appear to get updated very often. The last update was done over a year ago. There have only been two updates since the app came out six years ago. The app description talks about the 2013 National Jamboree but there is not a word about the 2017 Jamboree. I hate to say it, but it looks like the B.S.A. is letting the ball drop on an app that could be fun for Scouts and Scouters to use.

Have you downloaded the PatchScan app to your phone or tablet? Have you used it? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments section.

The Candy Store skit is one of Melrose Troop 68’s favorite skits. It is a simple skit that involves audience participation. Audience members are chosen to be “items” of the store including a door, a sign, the counter and more. It is a fun skit that will bring a lot of laughter when done well.

The Boy Scout of Troop 68 included The Candy Store skit when they brought back the Laughs For Lunch Show back in 2018. One of the Scouts played the new shop owner. A committee member played the customer. I think nine people were taken from the audience to help with the skit.

The video of this skit has now been posted to the Melrose Scouting Production channel on YouTube. Take a look at it and let us know if you enjoyed it. It can be found at https://youtu.be/p1y5P-hwSrA .

I am sure I am not the only long time Scouter that has accumulated a fair amount of Scouting memorabilia over the years. I think it is inevitable. But when you actively collect anything you come across the collection grows a lot faster, and you develop a lot of subcategories within the collection. Handbooks, novels, coffee mugs and patches are probably the most common Scouting related collections.

Last year I discovered that there was a short comic book series that featured a comical look at Boy Scouting. This series, printed in 1951, was named The Little Scouts. According to the Comic Vine website, there were five issues printed in this series, but a few more stories were printed in Dell Four Color comic series that featured the same characters. Each comic book featured a few short stories of a group of Boy Scouts.

I was able to pick up one of these comic books. It is shown above. According to the information on Comic Vine this is #5 in the series. I have looked through it and found it to be entertaining and fun to read. It may not be quite “socially correct” by today’s standards but it was published over 60 years ago. It like reading the humor found in the books back then. I think I need to begin the hunt to see if I can find the rest of them.

Do you know of any other Scouting related comic book series? Leave a comment and let us know about it.

FOS council shoulder Patch Set

The Central Minnesota Council has had a nice incentive to donate a certain amount of money over the last several years during their Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaigns. Each year they had a special council shoulder patch designed featuring a point of the Scout Law. This year, 2019, this patch set came to an end with the Reverent patch.

I like the patch set overall, although there were a few years I did not care for the patch. There were three years the council came up with printed patches instead of sown patches. I am sure they were trying to save a buck but I think the plan backfired. After those three years they went back to the sown patches. I bet they received quite a few complaints about the “cheap” council strips.

I wonder if they will continue some sort of patch set during the upcoming years. I am a patch collector so a new patch always catches my eye.

What do you think of the Scout Law patch set? Has your council done something similar to this? Let us know by leaving a comment.

I said I was going to do it. I did it. I started adding new videos to the Melrose Scouting Productions channel on YouTube once again. After a few years of the channel having a new video posted only a few times a year I decided it should be active once again. A dozen videos have been added this year with several more already lined up to be posted over the next couple of months. The videos feature several aspects of Scouting including some from the history of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 and the Scouts performing some skits and songs. Here are a few of the latest videos:

A scavenger hunt for the Boy Scouts at the Melrose Area Museum.

Boy Scouts practicing the six man lift during a visit to the Melrose Firehall:

The Boy Scout performing a skit which combines first aid with a story about an invisible bench:

The Melrose Scouting Productions channel can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClUOxM42AYjgLwGyoqgpx1w/ If you like what you see you are invited to subscribe to the channel and LIKE a few of the videos.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 have planned a disc golf marathon for each of the past few years when they planned out their schedule during the yearly planning conference in August. This year’s marathon was held on Saturday, March 30. The troop will try to play at two or three courses in central Minnesota during this activity.

This year’s event began at the Calvary Park 18 hole course in St. Cloud. This year was made a little more special because a member of the St. Cloud disc golf club met the troop and gave the Scouts some pointers on how to improve their skills. He then played a game with one of the three teams.

After lunch at Pizza Ranch, the troop moved on to the course at North park in Albany. Due to the extra time used for the disc golf instruction before the first game the Scouts would only be able to play at two parks this year. That did not seem to matter to them since they were having a great time.

A video of the disc golf instruction can be seen on the Melrose Scout Production channel on YouTube at https://youtu.be/aFUhiw07iUw

pancake and sausage fundraiser

Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68’s spring fundraiser is done and over. The troop did very well at this year’s pancake and sausage breakfast. Over 400 people were served and everyone who attended seemed to enjoy themselves and get enough to eat. The Scouts worked hard cleaning and setting tables.

The older Scouts made the pancakes, for the first time ever. That is usually the job of the parents, a duty claimed by a few of the fathers during most years. We were a little short on parental assistance this spring so the older Scouts gave it a try. The Scouts may have been a bit wet behind the ears when they started their shift but by the end of it they were getting good at making Mickey Mouse pancakes.

They troop would like to thank everyone who attended the fundraiser, and the parents who worked hard both behind the scenes and in the kitchen. The troop would also like to thank the Melrose American Legion for providing their facility.

pancake and sausage fundraiser
pancake and sausage fundraiser
Boy Scout display.

If you read the previous post then you know I was putting together a display for Boy Scout Troop 68’s spring fundraiser, the pancake and sausage breakfast. I made a comment that I would post a picture of what the display looked like at the breakfast, so here it is. What do you think of it?