Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Bottomless Lake song may have been new to the Boy Scouts at this Many Point Scout Camp summer camp campfire, but they sang good and loud by the end of it.

boy scout memorabilia

Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose holds two meal fundraisers each year. The spring meal is usually a pancake and sausage breakfast that includes scrambled eggs. The fall meal has been a spaghetti supper for the last few years. The troop does well with both fundraisers and is able to keep up with the yearly expenses.

The 2019 spring breakfast fundraiser takes place this weekend at the Melrose American Legion. The parents will be working in the kitchen while the Scouts take care of the tables and the dishes. I will probably do the same thing I have done for the last thirty years, pour coffee, visit with the people who come by for breakfast, and keep an eye on the Scouts to make sure they get their work done.

Another of the jobs I have, and one that I really have made my own, is to create a table top display for the meal. I began to take items out last night to prepare for Sunday’s meal. As you can see from the picture I will have both Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting items in this year’s display. The Cub Scout Pack has been doing well and I wanted to include something for the elementary aged children.

One item not shown in the picture is the patch blanket I plan to hang. I may even bring both of them. I do have clothing racks that work very well to display them. Add in a few photo albums and I think there will be enough Scouting memorabilia for families to view.

How often do you set up a Scouting display in your community? What do you include in it? When do you set it up? Leave a comment and let us know about it.

ice bucket challengeI am sure you have all seen it online, on one social site or another. One person challenges another to donate to the ALS foundation and/or pour a bucket of ice water over their head. It is currently quite popular, and at the time I write this the organization has received over $70 million dollars from nearly two million donors in only 27 days. Not a bad fundraiser.

I have watched videos of people I know on Facebook accepting the challenge. Videos of friends I know, relatives, and even former Boy Scout Troop 68 members. No one has named me to the challenge. Until today. Nathan Blommel, an alumni of Troop 68, and a former tennis and racquetball buddy, decided to include me in his challenge.

I do not do well with cold. I seldom went swimming with the troop unless it was a very hot day and the water was fairly warm. I did not do very much winter camping when I was a scoutmaster. My body temperature drops quickly and I start shivering uncontrollably. It is not a very pleasant experience. I can easily see myself turning into one of those Minnesota winter snowbirds, who travel to the warm southern states, once I retire.

But a challenge is a challenge, and needs to have a response, so here is the video for you all to see.

Philmont Wagon 1984

Philmont!  I attended a week long session at the Philmont Training Center (PTC) this month and on the way back from the trip to New Mexico Bob and I looked at the pictures I had taken of my trip to the facility in 1984, which also happened to be the first time I visited Philmont Scout Ranch. It was interesting to see what had changed over the last three decades, and also what had stayed the same. If you have been to the ranch a few times over the decades you will know what I mean.

I thought those of you who have been to training center years ago might enjoy seeing this slideshow of my 1984 trip posted to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. Even those of you who have been there recently will enjoy seeing the new buildings and other changes to both the training center and the base camp from which the Boy Scouts leave on their 12 day treks into the backcountry. You will notice that one of the biggest and best changes has been the new Welcome Center at the base camp.

By the way, three of the songs used in the video are song by members of the Philmont staff over thirty years ago. They are from a cassette tape I bought in 1984 at the base camp trading post. The album is called Philsongs: Remembered Days. I checked the store this month and did not see this available to buy anymore, is cassette or cd formats. I converted the cassette to mp3’s several years ago so I could listen to the songs on my iPod.

Video Information: 640×360, time 10:31, 108.9 MB. m4v format.

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tabletopdaylogoA friend of mine recently posted a link on Facebook to something called International TableTop Day which will be held on Saturday, April 5th. I have never heard of this but it caught my interest so I decided to check it out. It is pretty much just like it sounds. Here is a short quote from the website:

International TableTop Day is a celebration for all the fans of tabletop gaming. A single day where the whole world is brought together in a common purpose of spending time together and having fun. We hope you find the resources you need — to connect new fans to experienced group organizers, retailers with their community, and publishers with the international community — all in one place.

This sounds like an event that would be right up my alley. I like to play board games, card games, and Dungeons and Dragons. Gosh, they all happen to be tabletop games! I enjoy the thrill of competing against my friends as we sit around a table playing Munchkins or Risk. Of course, I also prefer to win, but as they say, you can’t win them all.

As I considered this event I thought this could be an excellent activity in which Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops could participate, even if it was just within their own units. I can vision dens of Cub Scouts playing Sorry, CandyLand, Pokemon, or various card games. I can see Boy Scouts playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Magic, or D&D. I see scoutmasters and cubmasters being beaten at their own games by competitive Scouts of all ages. Could you imagine local packs and troops getting together for this one day of gaming that does not involve a video screen?

What do you think of this? Would your troop or pack be interested in joining an event that is international?

I usually get a bit irritated when only three of the ten members of the troop show up for a troop meeting, but tonight it worked out very well. It was a true boy run meeting.

The boys in attendance were the assistant senior patrol leader and the two newest boys. After the opening, the ASPL discussed the points of the Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. The new boys had a couple requirements left to finish their Tenderfoot Rank so he worked with them to complete the rank.

Eymard, the troop’s assistant scoutmaster, took the new boys to one side of the park shelter for their Tenderfoot scoutmaster conference. I sat down with the ASPL to review his upcoming Eagle service project. The boys then played a few holes of disc golf, did some planning for the menu for this month’s outing, and closed the meeting.

I was proud of the boys for what they were able to accomplish during the meeting. I look forward to Tuesday night when two Boy Scouts attend the committee meeting for their Tenderfoot board of reviews.

This week has been a very busy week. I have had something going on every night, usually Scouting related. I seem to be tired all the time. I never get caught up with my work at home. I am not as patient as I used to be.

I think it may be time for a change. I have been doing this Scouting thing for over 30 years. That includes nearly a thousand troop meetings, hundreds of of camping trips and activities, six trips to Philmont, and a National Jamboree. I have seen hundreds of boys come and go through Scouting, including dozens of parents and other adult leaders.

I am the webmaster for the website of Boy Scout Troop 68. I produce the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast, and Around The Scouting Campfire. I am a co-host for The Leader’s Campfire. A few month’s ago I began a Facebook page for the troop. I sometimes feel like I am spending too much time online.

Like I said, I think it is time for a change. I need to get out and meet more people. I need to be more social in real life. I need to find more time to do this.

So, I would like to announce that I am retiring as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. In fact, at least for a year or two, I will step away from anything Scouting related. It is time to reorganize my schedule and restart my life in a new direction.

Now, before you write me about my decision I want to remind you that I have had thirty great years as a leader in Scouting. Nothing will ever change that. I also want to remind you that today is april first, and that you should keep this date in mind as you read this article.

Monday nights are troop meeting nights. Tonight the older boys will be reviewing things for the Personal Management merit badge. Our two younger Boy Scouts will be finishing their Tenderfoot Ranks requirements (at least, that it the plan). I am hoping that the boy who came to our meeting last week to “test the Scouting waters” will be back this week. I also plan to show the Cubmaster the first draft of the Pinewood Derby trading cards I made to see what he thinks about them.

It will be a busy night, but I am used to it. I have been doing it for 30 years. In fact, if this troop ever folds, or if I decide to resign someday, I am going to have a hard time filling all the free time I will suddenly have.