Melrose Troop 68 had chosen the theme of hunting and gun safety for the month of October. This theme almost begged to have special guests brought in. After a short discussion it was thought to have someone from the Melrose police department come to talk to the Scouts during one meeting and someone from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources come in for another one.

The police chief himself came to the October 14th meeting. Police Chief Craig Maus spoke with the Scouts about gun safety and some of the different types of guns. He certainly kept the boys attention as he displayed a few items he brought to the meeting. It is always nice the have Chief Maus stop by for a visit. He was a member of Troop 68 for a short time as a youth.

At the following week’s meeting two officers from the Minnesota DNR stooped by to talk about the hunting rules in Minnesota. Officer Caleb Silgjord and his associate not only talked about hunting laws but they also brought along various animal furs for the Scouts to check out. Once again, the Scouts had a good time learning about hunting and gun safety.

The troop would like to thank the officers for coming to their meeting and sharing their knowledge.

Boy Scout top sellers with their prizes.

The Melrose Scout Troop 68 fall supper fundraiser is now a part of history. The troop did well and the Scouts and parents did a good job during the meal. One of the keys to having a successful fundraiser is to have the Scouts sell tickets for the event ahead of time.

Thanks to a few donations the troop had some prizes for the top ticket sellers. We did have one requirement toward the prizes. In order to qualify, a Scout had to sell at least $200 worth of tickets before the event.

We originally had three items to give away. We had a field bag, a soft sided briefcase/laptop bag, and a Sandbag pop-up mosquito netting. A few days before the supper we had another donation of a book bag to add to the prizes.

The first place seller would get his choice of one of the prizes. The second place seller would get his choice of the three remaining items. Third place would get to choose from the final two items, with forth place seller receiving the final prize. It is fun to watch which prizes are chosen for the first two places.

Six Scouts qualified by selling over $200 of tickets. The photo shows the four top sellers with their prizes. Trevor was the fourth place seller, Hayden took third, Austin was second place, and Ethan took the first place spot. Both Austin and Ethan sold over $300 worth of tickets, with a little help from their parents.

Way back in the 1980s (talk about a time trip) the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 would hold a Halloween party near the end of the month of October. It was a fun party, just getting together, playing games, eating food. They were good times.

Of course, some of the Scouts would come dressed for the occasion. Some would not, but everyone had a good time. For those who did dress up we held a costume contest. The troop members would vote for who had the best costume. Some years I dressed up, other years I did not. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and join the boys in the fun.

I remember the first troop Halloween party in the 1980s. I had a silicone two piece mask set similar to the makeup used in the Planet Of The Apes movies of the 1970s. It took a long time to apply and color but wow, did it look great. I wore it for that first party. I wish I had a picture of myself in that makeup. It looked awesome.

When the party for 1986 came along I did not have a costume to wear so I started rummaging through the closet to see what I could put together. I found my old Scout uniform and patch vest, some short shorts, a couple wrist bands, and an old wig my mother used to wear. Add different color socks and you get what you see in the picture. It was groovy, man!

Troop 68 has not held a Halloween party for many years, decades even. But they were fun when we did have them. Does your troop hold a Halloween party? How many of your Scouts dress up for the occasion?

As I was preparing items to put in a display for Friday night’s spaghetti supper fundraiser I happen to come across an old Scouting recruitment poster. This poster must be about 20 year old by now but you know the old saying, What was once old is new again.

I have always like this poster. I like the way the captions fit the pictures. I think it is well thought out. I am not sure how well it helped with recruitment across the country back then but I enjoyed the concept. Take A Hike (hiking). Hang Around (rock climbing). Get Lost (map and compass adventure). Fast Times (water skiing). All good!

It would be fun to see the Scouts BSA come up with a newer, more current, version of this type of poster. What do you think?

Melrose Scout Troop 68 held their annual fall meal fundraiser on Friday, October 25. The troop had a good turnout and served up a lot of spaghetti. The Scouts set tables, cleared tables, washed dishes and helped serve some of the food and beverages. Parents were in charge of the kitchen and serving the food.

One of my jobs was to set up a Scouting display. I tried to make it a little different then previous fundraiser but a few things stay the same. Of course, I included several photo albums featuring pictures of troop meetings and Scouting events. There were also some framed group pictures and both of my patch blankets. I stayed away from the small bookcases along with all the various handbooks and nicknacks this time. In their place I included a copy of framed posters and two binders of newspaper clippings of Scouting events through out the last several years. The merit badge poster was somewhat popular with the Scouts.

What do you think of the display? Leave a comment to let us know what was your favorite item.

Planning the display.

Melrose Scout Troop 68 has held two meal fundraisers per year for over three decades. During the last few years the troop has held a breakfast in the spring and a supper in the fall. This fall’s meal will be held tonight, October 25, at the Melrose American Legion. The spaghetti supper will be served from 5:00 to 8:00.

One of my jobs during the fundraiser is to plan and set up a Scouting display for people to view before and after their meal. The display features items I have collected over the decades and photo albums of the troop activities. Last night I gathered the materials for tonight’s display.

The background of the display will feature the two patch blankets I made with the patches I collected during my thirty years serving as the troop’s scoutmaster. I plan to cover two tables with items. The photo albums will use a large portion of the tables but I also plan to show a merit badge poster and a shadow box of Scouting ranks. Scouting themed popcorn tins will serve as centerpieces on some of the tables. Handbooks, framed photos, and a few miscellaneous items will finish the display.

I did not set up the display at home before packing it into the car, but I have a good idea what I want it to look like when it is set up at the Legion. Stay tuned for an upcoming article which will show you what it looked like when it was finished.

Do you set up a Scouting display at your fundraiser? What do you include with them. Leave a comment and let us know.

Some people involved with Scouting may collect handbooks. Others may collect coffee mugs. A lot of Scouts and adult leaders collect patches. How many do you know that collect bolo ties?

I have accumulated a couple dozen bolo ties over the years. I could have a lot more in the collection, but I have stuck to bolo ties from events or places that I have attended. That self imposed rule has kept the cost of this collection down a bit.

There are four bolo ties from Philmont Scout Ranch but only one from the Summit high adventure base. I think you can get an idea how many times I have attended each base. I was a little surprised that I only have 5 different bolo ties from Many Point Scout Camp since the troop has been going there for nearly 30 years. I wish I had bought a few more of the Order of the Arrow bolo ties.

Do you collect Scouting related bolo ties? Do the Scout of your troop? How many have you collected over the years?

It is nearly time for Melrose Scout Troop 68 to hold its fall fundraiser. The event will be held at the Melrose American Legion on Friday, October 25th. The spaghetti supper will be served from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. The Scouts are selling advance tickets for the event, and tickets may be purchased at the door.

The fall and spring meal fundraisers do a good job of financing the troop program. Since the Scouts also earn credit for tickets sold it is a good way to finance their fees for the various outings during the year.