Archive for the ‘Memorabilia’ Category


I began collecting Scouting themed books soon after becoming a Scoutmaster in the early 1980s. I collect handbooks, leadership books, history books, and the fictional novels that were written in the 1910s and 1920s. After 35 years of collecting I would say I have a very nice collection.

The old Scouting themed fictional novels written a hundred years ago have a special place in the collection. I love finding those old books if they are in decent condition. It can be a challenge to find these old books that are still in one piece. I don’t think anyone really thought they were meant to last more then a generation or two so when I find one, at a reasonable price, I like to buy it.

I recently saw a post on a Facebook group called Scout Patch Collectors. It is a great group for trading and buying Scout patches. Once in awhile other Scouting memorabilia is posted. Last week I saw a post featuring three of the old Scout novels for sale. While they looked a little frayed around the edges I noticed they were three books I did not have in my collection.

The Boy Scouts at the Panama Canal, written by Lieut. Howard Payson, was published in 1913. The other two books were written by Herbert Carter. The Boy Scouts Afoot In France was published in 1917. The Boy Scouts On War Trails In Belgium was published in 1916.

After a few messages back and forth between the seller and myself I agreed to purchase the books for a price we both agreed upon. Since I was buying the books based on the one photograph posted I hoped they would not be in terrible shape.

The books arrived last Saturday. The covers are in decent shape, showing a bit of wear which is to be expected. The covers are coming loose but a little glue will take care of that. Two of the books have a loose page in the front of the book, but at least the page is still with the book. Otherwise, the books are in decent shape for being one hundred years old.

Two of the books have handwriting inside the front cover. I think one was a gift to a young man. The other book I believe has the owner’s name written on the first page. This does not bother me in the least. I think I adds a little character and history to the book.

I am going to have to rearrange my book cabinet to make room for these three new additions. While they may not be in great shape they do fill in three holes in my collection and I am glad to be able to add them.

Do you collect old Scout themed novels? Which ones do you own? Leave a comment below.

I bought my first digital camera in 2004. I was going to Philmont Scout Ranch with the troop and thought this would be a good trip to start using digital photography. I have been using a digital camera ever since that trip.

I soon began using the digital photos to make slideshows of the troop events and activities. It was fairly easy to create a slideshow using the programs of the Mac Pro computer I owned. The next step was to burn the slideshows to a DVD so I could watch them on the television.

As Christmas approached I decided to copy the pictures to a compact disc and print one for each of the Boy Scouts in the troop. The slideshow DVDs soon followed. The Boy Scouts and their families seem to enjoy watching the shows so I kept doing it each Christmas.

It is now the year 2018. I have finished this year’s annual DVDs. Once again there will be a DVD of the slideshows, but the yearly photo collection has grown too large to put on CDs anymore. I take thousands of photos each year so the collection is now burned as a data DVD. This year’s photo collection was over 3 GB, and that does not include the photos of the trip to the Summit high adventure base. The data DVD does include some short videos taken during some of the monthly events.

I hope the Boy Scouts and their families enjoy watching the slideshows and looking at the pictures. It does take several evenings to create the DVD package each year. But I think it is well worth it.

PS: after posting this article and viewing the picture I noticed a mistake on the DVDs. Do you see it?

I became an assistant scoutmaster at the young age of 19 in June 1980. Shortly thereafter, I began receiving Boy’s Life and Scouting magazines, the two official publications of the Boy Scouts of America. I enjoyed reading them, and they were a part of my training during those early years of being a scoutmaster of Melrose Troop 68.

Instead of recycling those early magazines I held onto them. I thought they could come in handy as a reference. As the years went by and the pile grew larger I bought some magazine file boxes to store and organize them, still thinking I may look back at them some day. As the decades went by I continued to save the issues. The collection grew!

It has now been over 37 years since those first issues arrived. For over 37 years I have been collecting and filing both magazines. I probably have about 450 issues of Boy’s Life (12 per year) and over 185 issues of Scouting magazine (5 per year). The collection, seen in the picture, covers more than ten feet of shelving.

I have now reached the point at which I am wondering why I have kept all these magazines. I have only looked at a few back issues a couple of times. What should I do with them all? There are over 600 of them, with more coming every month. I doubt there are many people with as large of a collection as I have. I would hate to just throw them away. I know of no one who would want them. I doubt the local museum has a need for them. I am sure the local Scout office would want them for any reason.

What do you think? Do you have a suggestion on what to do with this collection? Leave your comments and suggestions below. Thanks.

In October 2016 I wrote a post in which I stated that I was going to quit making photo albums about Boy Scout Troop activities. I currently have 38 albums covering over 35 years of Troop 68 history. It is quite the collection of books. Since I am not the scoutmaster any longer and do not attend most of the events any more I thought it might be time to stop creating albums. In the digital age, are photo albums even relevant?

Well, I guess they still are. During one of last year’s meal fundraisers some of the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 noticed that there were not any current photos. The younger Scouts noticed they were not even included in the last album. You see, I usually bring some of the albums to the meal for people to look through as they wait in line or to look up pictures of activities of years gone by. Troop alumni seem to have fun looking through them.

Last weekend I decided to finish out the last album which was only half way filled, and do one more new album. I looked through the thousands of photos I have taken in the last two years (yes, thousands) and picked out 468 pictures of 2016 and 2017 to have printed since Shutterfly had unlimited free prints this past week. It still cost over $40.00 in postage, but what the heck, it is for the kids.

(Maybe I should ask the troop committee if they could help pay for some of that postage, huh?)

I guess I have my work cut out for me this weekend. The photos arrived today. Now to sort them, insert them, and label them in the photo albums. The goal is to have them ready to view at the spring breakfast next month. Wish me luck!

discsI bought my first digital camera in 2004 for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch. It was great! I was able to take many more pictures than I would have with a film camera. It was very easy to share the windows once we returned home. Every participant of the trek received a disc with the photos allowing them to print whichever photos they wanted to for their own photo albums.

A tradition began with that trip. At the end of the year I would burn compact discs with all the photos I had taken during the year at troop meetings, courts of honor, and troop activities. Each Boy Scout received a disc of photos for Christmas. I also made slideshows of each troop event. I burned those videos to DVD’s and gave one of those to each Scout. I would do the same thing of pictures taken at family events and give one to each of my family members at our Christmas gathering.

Even after I retired as the scoutmaster I continued the tradition of giving each Boy Scout a photo disc of troop events. When I became the cubmaster of Pack 68 I decided to do the same with the Cub Scout pack. Each Cub Scout received a photo disc, but I did not burn DVD’s of sldieshows of pack events.

When I awoke last Saturday morning I realized I only had a few days before the Pack’s Christmas party. It was time to make the photo discs. I would need to create a lot of discs. The Pack had grown from 17 Cub Scouts to 49 Scouts, including the Lion Cubs. I needed to make 50 discs. The pressure was on! The Pack’s Christmas party is on Tuesday, December 7th.

I began working on the discs Saturday morning at 7:30. The first step was to go through all the year’s photos, toss out the blurry ones, and sort them by date and event. Once I had a master file it was time to start burning the discs. Since the file was nearly 2.5 gigabytes I ended up use blank DVDs. I soon realized that one computer would not be enough. I set up a second older computer to also burn discs. I soon ran out of sleeves for the discs so I had to make a trip to the store. The discs I use are have a printable surface on them so I was able to print a nice picture on the discs along with a label. I finished the project close to 7:00 that evening, just before company arrived.

The Cub Scouts and parents seem to appreciate receiving the discs. I enjoy giving them. After all, it is a special gift that shares the memories of the year in Scouting. The Scouts and parents can look back on these photos for the rest of their lives.

Now it is time to start working on the discs for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. I was able to burn the slideshows to DVDs on Sunday but I have not started on the photo discs yet. When those are done it will be time to start the family photo discs.

My computers are really going to get a workout this month.

rockwellwallMany Boy Scout councils use incentives during their Friends Of Scouting campaigns. During the last several years, our council has used special council strip patches to entice donors to give a little more. Each year’s patch features a different point of the Scout Law. Of course, since I collect patches, I am one of those people who end up giving enough to get the patch. Or two.

Before there were patches, our council used a different Norman Rockwell Scouting themed print each year as an incentive for the upper tiers of giving. These framed 11″ x 17″ prints were fairly popular. At least they were with me. I own all 15 prints. (I own doubles of a few of them after a family that used to be involved with Scouting decided to clean house and offered their collection to me.) Actually, 14 prints were of Norman Rockwell artwork. The one for 2010 used a painting by Joseph Csatari created for the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.

All fifteen prints are found in my home office. The doubles I have on the wall of my office at work. Did I use these in Scouting displays as I did with the print sets I wrote about in the previous articles? Yes, I did, but not very often. After all, these are framed and contain glass, so I had to be more careful of were they would be used.

The photo shows the prints on the wall. They are hung in the order as I received them, from left to right, top to bottom. At least I am pretty sure that is the order. There have been a couple times they have all been off the wall so I may have a couple mixed up. If you don’t tell anyone, I won’t either.

Has your council ever used framed prints as incentives in its F.O.S. drives? How many have you collected? Leave a comment below.

jc_6088The Norman Rockwell reprint set I wrote about in the last post is not the only Scouting print set I own. I also have The New Spirit Of Scouting set featuring ten paintings of Joseph Csatari. These prints are also 11″ x 17″ and are great to have as part of my collection. Once again, I did use them in some displays, but since they are newer I did not use them as often. They are in much better shape than the Rockwell print set I have.

I love the Joseph Csatari paintings nearly as much as Norman Rockwell. He is a fantastic artist. You can easily see that Joseph was paying attention as he learned from the master. While the Rockwell prints captured the early days of Scouting, Csatari’s paintings capture more of today’s spirit. During his 60-year association with the BSA, he created more than 150 Scout-themed paintings and drawings. Did you know that his permanent Boy Scout collection of paintings is housed alongside Norman Rockwell’s at the National Scouting Museum? That is one more reason that I need to make a trip to the museum someday.

I wish the national Scout Shop would sell the Rockwell and Csatari print sets again. I bet there are a lot of current friends of Scouting and Scouters that would buy a set for themselves or as gifts. I would probably buy all three sets myself just so I could have an unused set of each in my collection.

Which one of the ten is your favorite? Do you or someone you know own this set? Leave a comment below.

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nr_6086A long time ago, in a galaxy… Oh wait, Let me start again. Way back in the 1980’s, which is prehistory to today’s Scouts, a young scoutmaster began collecting Scouting memorabilia. That collection continues to grow to this day, although not as fast as it once did. Tonight, as I was looking through a closet downstairs, I came across a few items that I bet most of today’s Scouters did not even know existed for sale at one time. One of those items is a set of Norman Rockwell reprints.

The set is called “Scouting Through The Eyes Of Norman Rockwell”. It contains ten 11″ x 17″ reprints of various paintings by Norman Rockwell, which I believed were used for the annual Boy Scouts of America calendar. The ten prints feature some of the most iconic paintings of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts done by Mr. Rockwell. (See the picture below for the names of the prints in the set.)

I bought the set as soon as I saw it in the local Scout Shop back then. These prints did not just stay in the package. I used them, and used them well. They were used for courts of honor. They were used in displays set up around town. If I thought they fit into something I was doing I was not afraid to get them out and put them to use. The many tape marks are proof of that.

I have not used them in any displays for over ten years or more. They are now keepsakes in my Scouting collection. In fact, I kind of wish I never used them in displays. The tape marks and slight crinkles do mare the looks a bit. But I did, and that is the way they are. Maybe the prints mean even more to me since I did use them. I know people enjoyed looking at them.

The set is labeled as Series II. Unfortunately, I did not pick up a set of Series I when it was available. To tell the truth, I do not even remember seeing Series I for sale. I did a quick search on eBay and did find a Series II set for sale at a Buy It Now price of $45.00. I don’t think I am quite ready to buy another set at that price, even though it does appear to be in much better shape then mine. Although at $20.00 I would maybe think about it.

Do any of you have this Norman Rockwell print set? Have you put it to use like I did, or did you keep your set in pristine condition? Add a comment below.

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