Archive for the ‘Memorabilia’ Category


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.

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    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!

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      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.

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        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.

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          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.

          jc_6089

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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.

            nr_6087

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              Buying Spree.There are some days you just should not go to the local Scout Shop. If you want to save your money, that is. But than, you have to go if you want to get the closeout items, don’t you? Remember the Christmas in July Sale? I went Tuesday night, and the credit card took a hit. Oh well, it is only money, right?

              The Scouting stadium seat was on sale for only $14.99. I somehow misplaced mine so I needed to buy a new one. I bought the binder on sale for $3.98. I would have bought a second one if they would have had another one. The Eagle Scouts book was only $14.98. It will be a nice addition to the library.

              When you do not have very much hair on your head you cannot own too many caps. I thought the Boy Scout cap would be good for troop activities. Since I will be serving as the cubmaster for one more year I thought the Cub Scouts had would be fun. Each cap was on sale for $7.99.

              Speaking of being the cubmaster, it was had to turn away from the Cub Scout flashing pins. I bought all three on the hook since they were only $1.48 each. I may give one to the assistant cubmaster to wear. Mine will go on the cap I just bought. The napkins were only $2.98 per pack which makes a nice start for next spring’s Blue and Gold Banquet. I have not read very much about the new Lions Cub program so I bought the packet which was only one of two things that were not on sale.

              The last item is rolled up in the tube. I will tell you what it is in the next article. And no, it was not on sale but I thought it might be useful for the troop.

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                museumdisplay0I am not sure how many small town communities have their own museum of local history, but I am happy to say the Melrose has one. The Melrose Area Museum is located in the old St. Mary’s convent building, found near St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Lake Wobegon Trail. It features historical artifacts from the communities of the Melrose School District which include Melrose, Freeport, Greenwald, Meire Grove, Spring Hill, and New Munich. Items from the Birch Lake area are also included. Two of the three floors are filled, with the upper floor dedicated to storage.

                Over the last few decades several people, along with myself, have donated items related to the local Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs. The Scouting display is found in the same room as the school and sporting items. Recently, a third display case has been added for the Scouting related items.

                I have already told Roger, the museum’s chairman, that someday the museum would probably get all the Scouting memorabilia that I have collected over the last 35 years. In fact, I kidded that he may need one room in the museum just for all this Scouting related stuff I have. To tell the truth, I bet I could fill up a good portion of that “new room”. After all, my own collection features dozens of coffee mugs, 2001 National Jamboree items, three ring binders full of patches, thirty photo books, camping gear, and over a hundred Scouting handbooks and fictional novels. And don’t forget the two patch blankets. (Which reminds me, I should get started on the third blanket.)

                This post features a few pictures of the current Scouting display in the Melrose Area History Museum. I would like to read your comments about it, and what your community museum has in its display.

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