Archive for the ‘News’ Category


IMG_5411The Melrose Lions Club holds a special dinner every year to recognize volunteers in the community. This year’s dinner was held on the evening of April 27th at the Melrose American Legion. Over 100 people from nearly a dozen volunteer organizations were represented, which included the local food shelf, Project Give-A-Gift, Meals On Wheels, the fire department, the ambulance department, the police reserve reserve, and others. Boy Scout Troop 68 and Cub Scout Pack 68 were each represented by three adult leaders.

At the end of the evening, after a great meal and a guest speaker, the Lions Club held a drawing for three $100 donations. Boy Scout Troop 68 was lucky enough to receive one of these gifts. Scoutmaster Jim Engelmeyer, along with committee chairperson Chris Massmann and assistant scoutmaster Eymard Orth, accepted the donation.

The Melrose Lions Club has been one of the community’s great sponsors of the Scouting program in Melrose.

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    imageDid you watch the Academy Awards last night? I watched the first thirty minutes and the last two hours. I thought Chris Rock did a pretty good job as the host. His opening monologue was funny and had a nice bite to it. I can not say I agree with most of the awards during the evening because, to tell the truth, I did not see most of the movies that were nominated.

    It seems that each year the host has to do something out of the ordinary to put his or her mark on the show. Ellen did one of the best ones when she posted the celebrity selfie. I like Chris’ little stunt this year. He had his daughter’s Girl Scout Troop sell cookies to the millionaire stars of the Academy. Talk about a great night for cookie sales. How can a millionaire say no to buying cookies when they are live on television? The girls sold over $65,000 worth of the treats.

    So here is my question. Do the Boy Scouts get to sell popcorn at next year’s Oscars celebration? Think about all the caramel corn and chocolate covered popcorn they could sell. Think of the p.r. the Boy Scouts could get with over a billion people watching worldwide. It would be awesome.

    Of course, I know it will not happen. Unless, maybe, next year’s host has a son or two who are Boy Scouts. I have to give Chris Rock a thumb’s up. It was a great way to sell a lot of cookies.

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      2016Handbooks - 1Gosh! I do not know if you have heard or not but the Boy Scouts of America have changed the requirements for the Boy Scout advancement program. Scout is now a rank, which means there are seven ranks instead of six. Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class have changed a fair amount. Star, Life, and Eagle Ranks not so much. These changes could bring a few changes to your troop’s yearly program.

      Of course, these changes to the advancement program need to be reflected in the Boy Scout handbook, which means a new handbook needs to be written. I was hoping to see a new handbook by the end of last year, but I was told during last month’s roundtable that they would be out some time in January. Knowing the B.S.A.’s history of getting things out on a timely basis. I thought that meant we would have to wait until February.

      I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email last week that stated the new handbooks were now on the shelves and available for sale. I drove the thirty miles to my nearest Scout Shop on Saturday to pick up one for myself, along with some items for the upcoming Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet. I ended up buying six handbooks; one for me, two for the scoutmaster and his assistant, and three for the Scouts. I like to keep a few on hand so new Scouts have them quickly available when they join the troop.

      I have already received an email from the father of one Scout who has asked me to put one handbook aside for him. I have a feeling the other two could be claimed by the end of the week. I bet I will need to pick up more of them when I attend next month’s roundtable in Sartell.

      I was caught a bit off guard when I saw the price of the new handbooks was $14.99. I should have known they would not be the same price as the old handbooks. Oh well, we have to have them.

      Did you get your new handbook yet?

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        Good News AwardThe Central Minnesota Council has several special awards they present each year at their recognition banquet. I received an email from Mary at the council office asking if I was planning to attend. The way she worded the email made me a little suspicious, so I gave her a call. I attended the recognition banquet.

        One of these special presentations is the Good News award. The council usually gives the award to a newspaper, radio station, or television station who have done a great job covering Scouting events and promoting the program. Our local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, has received this award. So did our community access television station. Unfortunately, the city has closed the tv station, but the Melrose Beacon continues to include articles about Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting events.

        This year the council decided to give the award for promoting Scouting on social media. They looked at local troop and pack Facebook pages and chose two who they felt did an outstanding job covering their local program and activities. One of those two units was Troop 68 of Melrose. And that is why Mary was wondering if I was going to attend the banquet. She knew I was the administrator of the site and did most of the posting to the troop’s Facebook page. She wanted me to accept the award on behalf of Troop 68.

        A week later I “received” the award again at the Scenic district’s annual program kickoff and award presentations. It is not often you can receive the same award twice. 😉

        It is nice to realize that the council has noticed our work promoting the local Scout program. It is really nice to receive recognition for the the years of work toward that purpose. Troop 68 would like to thank the Central Minnesota Council for this award.

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          Lions volunteer supper 2015Every year the Melrose Lions Club invites folks from the various volunteer organizations in town to a special meal to be recognized for all the work they do during the year for the community. This includes members of our volunteer fire and ambulance corps, the food shelf, Project Give A Gift, the history museum, and others.

          The Boy Scout, Cub Scout, and Girl Scout leaders are also invited. Scoutmaster Jim Engelmeyer and assistant scoutmaster Eymard Orth represented Boy Scout Troop 68. Cubmaster Steve Borgerding represented Cub Scout Pack 68. It was a great meal and good fellowship.

          The evening ended with the Lions Club giving $100 donations to two lucky volunteer organizations in attendance during the meal. Boy Scout Troop 68 was one of the lucky ones to take home a check. The Melrose Ambulance Corps took home the other.

          Boy Scout Troop 68 would like to thank the local Lions Club for all their support during the last 35 years. Their financial assistance has allowed the troop to purchase need equipment and send Scouts to the National Jamboree, just to name a couple things. Thanks again Melrose Lions!

          Lions Donation

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            Boy Scout troop disc golfIt is official! The Melrose city council appropriated the funds at last month’s meeting, and tonight the Melrose park board has approved the purchase of equipment needed for a nine hole disc golf course to be installed at the Sauk River Park in the spring of 2015. Get your discs ready!

            This all came about because the Melrose Boy Scouts set up a disc golf activity during the August “Night To Unite” evening. It caught the interest of quite a few people, including the right people at the city administration level. The Boy Scouts also helped to design the future course. The troop will be assisting in the assembly of the baskets and signs during the winter months, and helping in the installation in the spring.

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              disc golf albanyThe Boy Scouts of Troop 68 were asked to help by providing an activity for last August’s Night To Unite in Melrose. I volunteered my disc golf practice basket and the Scouts brought their discs. People had fun trying their putting skills, or discovering that they did not have any putting skills. Employees from the city of Melrose, and even a couple city council members, stopped by to throw a few discs and talk about the game.

              Melrose does not have a disc golf course, but the city now has an interest in one after watching the Boy Scouts and the public playing the game during that evening in the park. The city administrator asked the Boy Scouts and myself to attend the next park board meeting with a proposal to have a course installed in the park. Over the next couple days, a few Scouts and I worked out a plan for a nine hole course and, using my practice basket, actually played a game in the park. I worked up a cost estimate and other information and presented a plan to the park board at the end of August. The board members really liked the idea and the projected cost of the course. They stated that this idea would be a great project to bring more people to use the park, including tweens and teenagers.

              Earlier this month I received a phone from the city administrator asking me to attend the city council meeting on Thursday, October 16. The disc golf course proposal had passed the park board and had moved on to the city council for action. I needed to be there in case the council had any questions that needed to be addressed. I marked it on my calendar.

              The city council did have a few questions, but none of them were hard to answer. They all seemed to like the idea. When it came time to vote they all voted in favor of creating a disc golf course next spring. The budget they gave to it was lower than I originally proposed so we will not get the concrete tee boxes right away, but they would be a possibility in a few years.

              I was told I would be contacted over the winter to meet with the board to make the final preparations for the new course. I guess my work did not end with the proposal. It appears that I am the resident expert on disc golf courses. I had to chuckle to myself. I am probably one of the few adults in town who has played a lot of disc golf, and played on several courses in the area. I am not an expert but I guess I can help plan a local course.

              Boy Scout Troop 68 will have a hand in this park. I plan on getting a couple of them to help at the planning meetings this winter. I also plan to have them help build and install the course this spring. There should be plenty of service hours to go around. Unfortunately, the planning has already gone too far to allow one Scout to use this as an Eagle Project, but you know, those concrete tee boxes will need to be added in another year or two.

              Does your troop enjoy playing disc golf? Where do they play?

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                Internet_ExplorerI admit it. I am an Apple guy. My home computer is a 2007 Mac Pro. My last three computers were Apples. I own three versions of the iPod. I use my iPad several times each day. But I do not own an iPhone. At least not yet.

                What this all means is that I do not use Internet Explorer. IE has not been available on Macs for probably ten years or more. I do occasionally use it at work, when I am forced to. This also means that there are portions of the B.S.A. website that I cannot access from my home computer since you have to use IE to get to them. For example, advancement recording.

                This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Why in this day and age would a such a large organization create a website, or portions of a site, that are useable by only one browser? This makes absolutely no sense to me, unless Microsoft paid them to do it. Hmmmm…

                When I heard this past weekend that their is a major fault with Internet Explorer that could allow a hacker to remotely take over a computer I thought of the B.S.A. websites, and had a chuckle. When I heard on the radio this morning that the Homeland Security office is advising people not to use IE I had another chuckle. Thousands of Scouting families could be putting their computers at risk due to a flaw in the Microsoft program.

                Granted, from the sounds of it this risk should not apply to the Scouting websites. But could another fault be found that could make using those sites a risk? It seems that IE has had more then it fair share of problems over the years. Once again I ask, why would anyone tie their website to a browser that has had so many problems, and a browser that is not usable to many home computers?

                I do not plan to ever buy a Windows based computer for my home which means until the B.S.A. opens their whole website to all browsers I will not be able to access portions of it. If the B.S.A. does not feel that my access to their complete website is important, then so be it. I will continue to chuckle every time I hear about a new security risk about IE.

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