Archive for the ‘Memorabilia’ Category


It is amazing the things you can discover while visiting a museum. Yesterday, Monday, May 7th, the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 had a field trip at the Melrose Area Historical Museum. While we were there we took a look at the Scouting display and saw some new items added since the troop visited two years ago. Some of these items came from the first Eagle Scout of Melrose, Minnesota. His name was John Johnson. He earned his Eagle Rank in 1966.

As John got older he joined the Explorer Scout Post in town. One day he saved the life of a young child who was playing on the train tracks. John received the B.S.A.’s Honor Metal for his quick action. Boy’s Life magazine, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, was notified about this. John was featured in the magazine during the mid-1960′s on the “Scouts In Action” page. A copy of the page from Boy’s Life is found in the museum.

I knew that John Johnson was the first Eagle Scout of Melrose. In fact, he was a guest speaker at an Eagle court of honor in 1992. But I never knew he saved a young child’s life and that he was mentioned in Boy’s Life magazine. Amazing what a person can discover at a local museum, isn’t it?

Here is a photo of the Boy’s Life page found at the Melrose Area Historical Museum.

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    The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 took their May 7 meeting night to have a field trip. They gathered at the Melrose Area Historical Museum for a tour of the facility which worked into their monthly theme of Historical Places. One of the museum curators, Roger Paschke, lead the Boy Scouts through the rooms while explaining several of the more interesting of the exhibits. The Scouts learned a little about the founders of Melrose, Minnesota. Mr. Paschke stopped the troop at the Charles Lindberg display for a short explanation of his famous plane trip and his links to Melrose. The boys enjoyed the “war room”, but quickly passed by the religious displays in the “chapel” for some reason. Other popular areas of the museum included the prohibition (moonshine and stills) area, the old printing press, the railroad displays, and the case with the old Scouting memorabilia.  The troop plans to go back to the museum later this month for a scavenger hunt.

    Here are a few pictures from the field trip.

     The Boy Scouts learn about the ties Charles Lindberg had to Melrose, Minnesota.

     

     

     

     

     

     This is part of the Scouting display found at the museum.

     

     

     

     

     

     
     The group photo was taken in front of some of the old farming machinery found in the museum.

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      It has been said that Boy Scout leaders will do nearly anything for a patch. I guess I may fall into that grouping. I have been to many camporees and Scouting activities over the last three decades, and yes, I attended a few of them just to get the patch, but I have to add that I did have fun at the events. Many of the activity patches I have collected are found on a 4′ x 4′ sheet of paneling that is hanging on a wall in my basement family room.

      However, the sheet was filled a few years ago and now I am looking for a different way to display them. A patch blanket quickly come to mind, but I do not like sewing. There are probably about 150 patches on the sheet of paneling and another 30 or so patches waiting for a home.

      How many patches do you have? How do you store or display them? Leave a comment and let us know.

      100 Days Of Scouting: Day 90.

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        High Adventure coffee mugs.I sometimes think I do not fit the typical requirements for holding the position of scoutmaster. For example, I do not drink coffee. I do not need to have a cup or three of java to get going in the morning. Yet, I do have a coffee mug collection. Which brings me to today’s memorabilia topic, high adventure coffee mugs. I currently own three mugs from Philmont Scout Ranch, one from the Charles Sommers Canoe Base, and one from the Blue Ridge Mountains High Knoll Trail base.

        And that brings me to the end of today’s Memorabilia Monday, which actually was supposed to be written last week on Monday, but I fell behind on my posting. Happy Scouting!

        100 Days of Scouting: Day 83.

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          The first thing you notice when you see the Boy Scout handbooks from the 1950′s is ghost of the American Indian as he rises above the campfire. This is the fifth edition of the Handbook for Boys. By the time the January 1957 version came out they had been a total of 15, 500,000 handbooks printed. They are still a small encyclopedia of outdoor knowledge. I own a few editions of this version.

          This one, like the previous editions, includes advertising on the front and back inside covers, and ads within the index in the back of the book. One thing I like about the book is that it lists the merit badge requirements for all the awards. All the drawings in the book are black and white. There are no photographs. I do like the chapters on Scoutcraft and cooking. They include more information then the current handbooks.

          Have you been lucky enough to add a 1950′s Handbook to your Scouting memorabilia collection?

          100 Days of Scouting: Day 70.

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            Pee-Wee Harris BooksThe Reading Merit Badge was introduced to the Boy Scouts of America advancement program in 1925. Boys already had plenty of reading material at that time, including books about fictional Boy Scouts named Tom Slade, Roy Bakely, and Pee-Wee Harris.

            I own five of the original Pee-Wee Harris novels, and they are the feature of this week’s Memorabilia Monday. A few were found in used book stores. The rest were picked up through online sites like eBay.

            I am happy to be able to include these books as part of my Scouting memorabilia collection. Even though they are books about fictional characters, they give us a glimpse into what life was like in the early 1900′s, nearly one hundred years ago. It was a world without video games, cell phones, the internet, and television. Boys made their own adventures instead of buying a pre-made one in a store.

            The Pee-Wee Harris books are now in the public domain. Many of them are available as free electronic versions through sites like Amazon, Google Books, and Project Gutenburg. Download them for your iPad, Kindle, or Nook. I have already downloaded them even though I still need a device on which to read them. Until then, I will read them the “old school” way, through the printed hardback versions.

            100 Days of Scouting: Day 42.

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              It’s Monday! The start of another workweek. The day of blogging about Scouting Memorabilia. This time I go back to the 1940′s and the Boy Scout of America handbook. I have been lucky enough to add two of these to my book collection. Both were used by boys when they were a Scout so they do show some wear. To tell the truth, these books are in better shape than some of the current handbooks that boys in my troop use.

              Most of this handbook is black and white, but the first dozen pages were done in color. There are several pages of advertising in the back of the book, along with the front and back cover. There are large sections devoted to trees, birds, and weather. There is even a list of United States of America presidents, up to F. D. Roosevelt. The books contains quite a few black and white drawings. It also seems to contain a lot more information than today’s handbook. (Maybe boys read more back then?)

              Have you been lucky enough to find a 1940′s Handbook for your collection?

              100 Days of Scouting: Day 35.

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                If you have been following me on this blog, you know I like to collect Scouting patches. On this Memorabilia Monday I would like to present my collection of Order of the Arrow lodge patches. Of course, I am not going to show the whole collection. I will highlight just a few of them.

                I began collecting OA patches shortly after going through my Ordeal in the mid 1980′s. I belong to the Naguonabe Lodge of the Central Minnesota Council. Collecting patches is somewhat of a challenge for me because my lodge frowns upon trading our lodge patches. Of course, this makes them highly tradable since there are very few Scouts within the lodge that will trade them, including me. Luckily, the lodge does design special “tradable” lodge patches for special activities like National Jamborees and Conclaves.

                My collection includes regular Order of the Arrow lodge patches from across the country and special National Jamboree patches from the 2001 National Jamboree. (I was the scoutmaster of one of the two council troops that attended that year.) The collection has been growing slowly. Usually, I only get to add a few patches a year. But grow it does. Someday, maybe I will have a large collection to fill a couple three ring binders. Time will tell.

                100 Days of Scouting: Day 28 .

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