When you are an adult leader, or a former Cub Scout or Boy Scout who is now grown up, it is fun to look back at the Scouting days of your youth. It is fun to reminisce about those Pinewood Derbies, camping trips, or award ceremonies. That is one reason I take so many pictures when I attend a troop or pack function. I know the boys and their parents will enjoy looking back at them several years from now.

Since the national office of the Boy Scouts of America does not seem to do much of anything to promote Scouting outside of their own organization (or if they do, I never seem to catch it) I always appreciate it when I see Scouting represented in a good light in the newspaper or in a magazine. Thanks to my parents I have been reading some issues of a magazine called Reminisce. It features stories written by the readers of those days gone by. Articles include stories from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. At my age, somewhere in my fifties, I find many of these articles fun to read and even historical.

A few times I have stumbled across pictures and stories in Reminisce that are Scouting related or feature pictures of Scouting events. I really enjoy reading these stories, and the pictures are a blast to look at. One issue a few months ago even featured Cub Scouts participating in a soapbox derby of the cover of the magazine. Another larger photo was included inside. I have spotted Scouting pictures in other issues. Oh, those long ago days…

Have you read any magazines lately that feature Scouting related stories, that are not Boys Life or Scouting magazine? What magazines were they? What was the story? Leave a comment and let us know about it.

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    I subscribe to the Bryan On Scouting blog, found at https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org . I recently received an email about a post stating the online program Scoutbook would be free to use after January 1, 2019. I remember looking at the online program a few years ago but never went very far with it. I decided to take another look.

    I like that it would be a good tool for keeping track of advancement but I question if the program as a whole would be a good fit for our troop of fourteen Scouts. So here is my question. How many of you who read this blog use Scoutbook? What do you think of the program? Has it worked well for your troop or pack? What do you like the best? Is it easy to use?

    I would really appreciate your comments before making a decision to use it for our troop.

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      I am a member of a few Scouting related groups on Facebook. These groups include Boy Scout Collectables and Scout Patch Collectors. Both are fun to belong to, and once in awhile you can find some nice items for sale or trade.

      Recently, a post was made from someone who had a batch of rank patches and advancement cards for sale. The old rank patches from the 1980-1990’s caught my eye. After a few messages being sent back and forth I decided to buy the set of patches and cards for $60 shipped. True, that is not a rock bottom price, but it was comparable to the price I would pay the the Scout shop. The current patches we could use in the troop as the boys attained their ranks. The older patches, and one set of the older cards, I would keep for my Scouting collection. Unfortunately, I did not receive the Eagle Palm Pins.

      The older rank cards are going to be fun to use. I asked the troop’s patrol leader council if they would like to use the cards for their current advancement until they run out. They thought that would be a fun idea. They liked the idea of the “retro” rank cards. I wonder if we should set a time limit though. A time period may add an incentive to the Scouts to finish their ranks. The goal could be the end of the year. Of course, they will be used on a first come, first awarded basis. I will have to ask the troop leaders what they think of the idea. I also plan to use the merit badge cards for the Scouts who earned badges at summer camp.

      Would your Scouts enjoy getting retro cards with their ranks? Leave a comment and let me know.

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        The Boy Scouts of America needed a new place to hold the 2013 National Jamboree. Fort A.P. Hill, located in Virginia and the site of several previous Jamborees, would no longer be available for this major event. After a lot of searching and fundraising, the B.S.A. purchased property in the mountains of West Virginia and quickly began developing the site for its needs. The Summit Bechtel Reserve opened on time for the 2013 Jamboree and became a hit with the Scouts and adult leaders.

        A special program was held during three weeks of the summer of 2018 at this new high adventure base. The Summit Adventure Leadership Training course, also known as SALT, introduced Scouts to the various programs offered at The Summit. Thanks to a generous donor, the cost of the 5 day course was reduced to $45 per participant, plus the cost of transportation.

        When the Central Minnesota Council received this information they began the process of trying to create a contingent of 40 or more Scouts. If they could find the forty Scouts the cost would be $325 per participant, which included the cost of a charter bus. Four Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 quickly registered for this event. Two of the troop’s adult leaders applied to be adult leaders. One was chosen to be one of the four chaperones for the trip.

        The contingent of 42 Scouts and four adult leaders left the council office in Sartell Sunday evening on July 22nd and arrived at The Summit Monday afternoon. During the next few days the crew members received a sampling of many of the high adventure activities which included BMX biking, mountain biking, skateboarding, a high ropes course, rock climbing, shooting sports, and more. They even visited areas of the base that most campers never get a chance to visit, such as the logistics center. Two highlights of the trip were the 3200 foot long zip line Tuesday morning, and the white water rafting adventure Thursday morning.

        Was the trip a success? Did the Scouts have fun? Well, let’s put it this way. When the Melrose Scouts were asked if they would like to go back for a full high adventure program they all agreed they would love to have the chance to go back to The Summit. I guess the answer to the question would be “Yes!”

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          Most Boy Scouts realize very quickly when they start camping with a troop, that if they want a campfire in the evening they better prepare the firewood during the day. If the Scout does not find and cut the wood needed early on his campfire will be a very small and short lived one. The darkness comes sooner and becomes thicker.  (Dum, dum, dum)

          Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, is not one who shuns his duties on a troop outing. He loves to sit around an evening campfire as much as the next guy does. He knows that when it is his turn to prepare the campfire he needs to take the time to gather the fuel, and then cut it into pieces so that it is ready to be used. He knows how to use the tools in a safe area, and to use them without any other Scouts in harm’s way.

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            It has been quite awhile since I have posted a video to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast so I thought I would try something different this time. In the past I have posted articles about the two Scouting patch blankets I have. I thought it might be fun to record a short film highlighting the blankets. So, here it is!

            Click here to Watch  this Podcast.
            Subscribe to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast
            at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
            or through iTunes  (Please take time to rate the show).
            Leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

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              It is that time of year once again. Hallmark has released its 2018 Christmas ornaments. Once again, it is time to add a Scoutmaster Snoopy ornament to the collection.

              This year’s decoration features Snoopy and the gang practicing their first aid skills. It looks like Snoopy is the one in need of treatment. Woodstock and his friends are doing their best to bandage their scout leader.

              I have been collecting these ornaments for quite a few years. I always look forward to seeing what Hallmark has in store for the gang each year.

              Do you collect these ornaments also? How many do you have in your collection?

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                In May I discovered that four Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 had signed up to attend the new S.A.L.T. program at the Summit Betchel Reserve in West Virginia. The Summit Adventure Leadership Training is a five day program designed to give participants a chance to sample many of the activities found at the Summit, along with some training on how to promote the Summit in their troops, districts, and councils.

                I have never been to the Summit. I wanted to visit the base during the 2017 National Jamboree but things did not work out for that to happen. I decided to call the council office and check if they needed any adult leaders go to on the trip. They told me they were looking for leaders and if I was interested I should send in a “resume”. The last time I needed to send a resume to the council was when I applied to be a Scoutmaster of one of the troops for the 2001 National Jamboree.

                It took me week to get around writing a resume. As I was writing it I thought to myself, as I listed my Scouting accomplishments, this could work for me or against me. The council may decide to choose younger leadership or a couple Scoutmasters for this trip. Oh well, the decision was theirs. I sent it in and waited for a reply.

                For the next week I waited for a reply. To tell the truth, I was starting to have second thoughts about the whole thing. I would soon be 58 years old. Maybe I did not want to camp out for a week long trip anymore. I have not spend a week camping since I stepped down as Scoutmaster in 2011. The hot, humid, and possibly rainy weather known to be in West Virginia during July was another concern. I think I have grown a bit soft since I moved on to a committee position. I was also a little concerned because I had very little information about what would be required from the adult leaders.

                After a week I received a reply from the Central Minnesota Council. They would be glad to have me join the crew if it still worked for me to get vacation time. That would not be a problem. I had already been approved the time off at work. I would have to let the Scoutmaster know I would not be spending a couple of days at summer camp which the troop would be attending the week before the trip to the Summit.

                I called the council to inform them that I would be glad to attend the Summit. I would soon add a third Boy Scouts of America high adventure base to my list of bases attended.

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