Archive for the ‘Memorabilia’ Category


Over a year ago I downloaded an app for my iPhone that was created by the Boy Scouts of America called PatchScan. It looked like an interesting program. It was from the B.S.A. It was free! I just had to have it since it was from the National office.

I downloaded it to my iPhone and took a quick look at it. It looked like a very simple program. I scanned the code sticker on the back of an Order of the Arrow patch I recently bought. Luckily, the patch I scanned was an officially licensed patch since the app only works with officially licensed patches. That means any patches I have that are made in China probably will not work with the app, especially since they do not have a bar code.

Once the code was scanned the app displayed information about the patch that, to tell the truth, I found quite interesting. It told me who issued the patch, how many were made, the date it was issued, and the manufacturer of the patch. There was also a picture of the patch and patch detail information. This looked like it would be a handy app for a serious patch collector.

I closed the app, and then forgot about it for nearly a year. This week I opened the app to check it out once again, and scanned another patch. I really need to start scanning my patches when I get time.

Unfortunately, it does not appear to get updated very often. The last update was done over a year ago. There have only been two updates since the app came out six years ago. The app description talks about the 2013 National Jamboree but there is not a word about the 2017 Jamboree. I hate to say it, but it looks like the B.S.A. is letting the ball drop on an app that could be fun for Scouts and Scouters to use.

Have you downloaded the PatchScan app to your phone or tablet? Have you used it? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments section.

I am sure I am not the only long time Scouter that has accumulated a fair amount of Scouting memorabilia over the years. I think it is inevitable. But when you actively collect anything you come across the collection grows a lot faster, and you develop a lot of subcategories within the collection. Handbooks, novels, coffee mugs and patches are probably the most common Scouting related collections.

Last year I discovered that there was a short comic book series that featured a comical look at Boy Scouting. This series, printed in 1951, was named The Little Scouts. According to the Comic Vine website, there were five issues printed in this series, but a few more stories were printed in Dell Four Color comic series that featured the same characters. Each comic book featured a few short stories of a group of Boy Scouts.

I was able to pick up one of these comic books. It is shown above. According to the information on Comic Vine this is #5 in the series. I have looked through it and found it to be entertaining and fun to read. It may not be quite “socially correct” by today’s standards but it was published over 60 years ago. It like reading the humor found in the books back then. I think I need to begin the hunt to see if I can find the rest of them.

Do you know of any other Scouting related comic book series? Leave a comment and let us know about 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.

Cub Scout Display

A parent of one of the Boy Scouts of Melrose Area Troop 68 approached me after a troop meeting last month. She is a member of the Cub Scout Pack committee and asked if I could put together a Scouting display for the Blue and Gold Banquet which would be held on Tuesday, February 26. Well, of course, I said yes.

I have been an adult leader in Scouting for over 38 years so I have accumulated a lot of Scouting related items including handbooks, training materials, mugs, patches, and even stuff animals. Putting together a tabletop display would not be too difficult.

The weekend before the banquet I began to think about the display. I wanted it to be Cub Scout themed, of course, with something to catch the attention of both the Scouts and their families.Maybe something with various colors to attract the eye.

I began with the backdrop. One of my patch blankets would serve that purpose. The dozens of patches would attract attention with all the colors and designs. I chose my second blanket since the patches were closer to the date. I own a clothing rack so hanging it would not be a problem.

I made a decision to showcase the history of Cub Scouting with the other items. I chose that theme partially because the older handbooks have better cover designs than the current books. Since I was limited to a table top I could only choose a book or two from each grade level. I also used a couple of adult leader handbooks.

I added a large Norman Rockwell print of a Boy Scout teaching a couple Cub Scouts a new skill for one corner of the table. I finished the display with some Cub Scout awards, an old Cub Scout cap, and a few Scouting themed stuff animals. The table was nicely filled but not so much that it would look cluttered.

The display went over pretty well at the Blue and Gold Banquet. I saw both Scouts and parents checking it out. I guess you could say my mission was accomplished.

Did you have a display at your Blue and Gold? What was your theme? What did it include? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Jewish Shomer Shabbat Contingent 2001 National Jamboree patch set.

As I was gathering patches for my new Scout uniform shirt I went to the eBay auction site to find an adult leader 2001 National Jamboree patch since I did not want to remove it from my old shirt. I found one at a very reasonable price, for only $5.20 with shipping. As I was searching for it I came across a few other auctions that caught my attention.

Normally I just glance at the auctions since the prices usually end up going higher than I like. One auction did catch my attention. It was a patch set from the 2001 Jamboree that I had never seen before. The set included three patches from the Jewish Shomer Shabbat Contingent. I could be mistaken but I think it may include an adult leader, a participant, and a staff patch. It was a very good looking set.

I decided I would like to add it to my Jamboree collection. I checked the price and I thought it was very reasonable. The seller was only asking $9.95 for the set, and that included postage. I hit the Buy It Now button before I could change my mind.

The patches arrived last week and look sharp. I am glad I purchased them. But I do not know anything about this contingent. My mission to you is to leave a comment with some information of this group. I appreciate the help.

Nearly two weeks ago I posted an article about giving away a few Order of the Arrow patches to three lucky people who commented on the post. The time has come to give award the patches.

Only three people commented so all three of you will receive a Tonkawampus Lodge flap, if you want one. Drop me an email with your address and I will get them in the mail sometime in the next few days.

Congratulations to Dustin, Todd, and Brian!

The city of Melrose once had a cable access television station. It started up in 1986 and lasted for nearly twenty five years. It closed when the city decided to keep the cable franchise fees for the general fund instead of giving them to the station for operating funds.

I saw the potential of promoting our Boy Scout Troop on this television channel almost immediately, and decided to make good use of it. I would videotape our courts of honor to air on the station. I would take a VHS video camera with me on outings to create programs to inform people what the Boy Scouts have been doing. We even created some original programming using the Scouts as actors. I joined the station’s board of directors and created Scouting related programming for over twenty years.

One of the earliest Scouting related programs was an interview with five of the adult leaders of the Melrose Scouting program. It was titled The Leaders of Scouting. It was filmed in 1988. The guests included cubmasters, assistant scoutmasters, and committee members. I was a producer for the show and thought it turned out pretty good.

After Mel TV closed its doors the city donated all the programming to the Melrose Area Historical Museum. I am now a board member of that organization. The board’s chairman and I were talking one day and thought it would be a good idea to create a Youtube channel and post some of these old programs online for the community to watch once again. With the help of Shalon we have been digitizing some of the old VHS tapes and DVDs to post online.

Six programs have been posted online so far. I am happy to report that The Leaders Of Scouting was one of the videos uploaded to the channel. If you have 90 minutes some evening and are looking for something to watch I would like to suggest you watch this video. It is an interesting look at the Scouting program of Cub Scout Pack 68 and Boy Scout Troop 68 in the 1980’s.

The YouTube channel is called Mel TV3 Revived. The video can be found at https://youtu.be/cG7bjhYGqp4

Let us know what you think of the show. Do you think we should create a new show since we are now in the 2010s?

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.