Archive for the ‘Program’ Category


The very first time Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 played disc golf was when they attended a week at Crow Wing Scout Reservation in the summer of 1981. The camp had a nine hole course set up near the beach area. There were not any baskets at this course 37 years ago. The Boy Scouts had to hit poles with their discs in order to complete a hole.

Things have changed in the sport since that first camp. Disc golf courses now have baskets and many have tee pads. Many Boy Scout camps have courses, as do many towns and cities. The sport has been growing and tournaments are held in several central Minnesota cities.

The Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have enjoyed the sport since those early years in the 1980’s. In fact, for the last few years, the troop has held a disc golf marathon as one of their monthly activities. They will usually play at two or three courses in central Minnesota, taking up most of a Saturday morning and afternoon.

This year’s marathon took the Scouts to three courses in the area, including two that have been recently installed. This year’s marathon, which was held on April 21st, began at the course in Albany, at which the twelve Scouts played a round of 18 holes. After lunch they moved on to the new Upsala course which was installed last summer. The final nine holes were played at the Long Prairie course, which was created a few years ago.

The Scouts kept their scores at all three courses. After the last disc was thrown, all the scores were added together to create a marathon total. The three Scouts with the best marathon score each received a three pack of disc golf discs. This year’s best scores were (3rd place) Jacob, (2nd) Luke, and (1st) Carter. Even though not every Scout received a prize, they did all agree they had fun and a great time.

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    When the patrol leader council of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 planned their year long program in August 2017 they decided to bring back an event that had not been on the program since 2008. They decided to add the Laughs For Lunch Show back into their schedule!

    The Laughs For Lunch Show was based on skits and songs seen at summer camps across the country. The Scouts would plan a two hour show which featured their favorites, along with several they developed themselves. They would practice during their January troop meetings, which were two hours instead of the usual 90 minutes. The last practice was held during the afternoon before the evening show. I was always amazed that the troop could pull this off with only four practices totally about eight hours.

    The troop member ship began declining during the 200o’s so Troop 68 held their last Laughs For Lunch Show in January 2008. A few former members agreed to come back for the last show to fill in the two hour program.

    The troop has begun to see an increase in membership recently so they thought it was a good time to bring back the show. There would need to be a few changes to the show since we still had a small troop that was somewhat inexperienced.

    The troop would still hold the show at the end of January and use that month’s three meetings to practice. The show would be cut down to an hour long since many of the skits would be new to the boys and would have to be learned from scratch. The time of the show would move from the evening to the afternoon, meaning the final practice would be in the morning.

    The planning meeting was held on Monday, January 1st. Six of the fourteen Scouts attended.We began by watching some video footage from previous shows. We discussed other songs and skits that were new to the group. By the end of the meeting the Scouts had planned an agenda in which they felt comfortable, and one that I thought would make a fun show.

    The Scouts worked well during the January troop meetings as they practiced the songs and skits. It did not take long before they began to tweek little things in the skits to change them up slightly and make them more fun.

    As we met on the morning of January 27th for our last practice I was feeling pretty good about the show. The Scouts had really stepped up to the plate and learned their lines and actions. This final practice was held at the high school auditorium where the show would be held in the afternoon. It was the only time they would have to practice the show from start to finish on the stage.

    The troop had planned on one skit being performed by alumni members. Unfortunately, neither one of the young men was able to make it to the practices during the troop meetings, and they had not shown up for the final morning practice. The Scouts decided to add one more skit to the show to replace the one to be done by the alumni. The boys had the chance to run through the new skit twice but felt confident they could do it for the show. When one of the two young men showed up later in the morning I decided to do the original planned skit with him, but the Scouts also decided to keep the added skit in the program. This surprised me but also made me feel a little proud that they were willing to do it.

    The 2018 Laughs For Lunch Show began at 1:00 pm. There was about 60 people in the audience, so it was a nice crowd. Other than for two small glitches the Melrose Boy Scouts did an outstanding job! The performed the skits and songs very well. The audience had a great time which meant the boys had an awesome time.Several people commented after the show that they hoped the Boy Scouts would do another show next year.

    You know what? The Scouts are talking about it!

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      t68logoI like working with the Scouts. I think it is one of the best organizations for a boy or young man to be a member of. That is why I was a scoutmaster for thirty years, and than stayed on as a committee member. That is why I am now serving as a cubmaster.

      I can usually juggle the troop duties and the pack duties without much of a problem. The pack meetings and activities are only three or four days a month. The troop only needs a few days a month of my time. It is pretty easy scheduling.

      March was more challanging. The Cub Scout schedule was easy. The den meetings were held on the first Monday of the month. The pack meeting was on the third Monday. The pack committee meeting was on the 23rd. There was only three evenings of Cub Scout meetings.

      My Boy Scout schedule, on the other hand, grew almost out of control. The troop decided to work on the Scouting Heritage merit badge in March. Guess who happens to be the merit badge councilor? I told the troop I would be able to attend the meeting the the second Monday, and could maybe get away from the den meetings on the first Monday, but the third troop meeting of the month I could not attend. I think this is a great merit badge for Boy Scouts to earn so I really wanted to help out as much as I was able.

      The troop also had a court of honor on the fourth Monday of March. As the troop’s advancement coordinator I planned to attend. The troop’s spring fundraiser was a breakfast held on Palm Sunday. Since a fire at the local church affected our plans we held a special parents meeting to find a new location. I love to play play disc golf, so I agreed to be a chaperone for the month’s disc golf outing held on Saturday, the 19th. I offered to conduct a junior leader training course for the newly elected junior troop leaders later that same day. And then, of course, there was the regular troop committee meeting. Oh, and don’t forget the district roundtable. As you can see, my Boy Scout schedule became very busy in March.

      It has been quite awhile since I have had ten days of Scouting meetings and activities in a single month. When I was the scoutmaster it happened quite often. In fact, it almost seemed normal. But this is not normal for my schedule anymore.

      Oh well, it may have been a busy month, but it was worth it. And it was fun. And hopefully, several of the Boy Scouts will earn their Scouting Heritage merit badge.

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        discgolf2016The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 sure like their disc golf. They like it so well that for the last few years they have planned a disc golf outing as part of their yearly program. Central Minnesota has several disc golf courses. In fact, I believe there are nine or ten within a 35 mile range of Melrose. Grab your discs and let’s play a game!

        This last weekend was a busy one for the Scouts. Saturday began with a disc golf triathlon, followed by a junior leader training session, and ending with Sunday’s breakfast fundraiser. It would be enough to tire out Boy Scouts, adult leaders, and parents.

        Saturday morning, March 19th, began with a strong chill in the air. That chill was partially due to the snowfall we had the day before and overnight. We had been hoping for a nice day since the weekend before had seen temperatures in the upper 60’s, and those temps had melted the remaining snow. Oh well, time to lace up the boots and grab the winter jackets as we loaded up the cars to head to our first course of the triatholon.

        We drove 35 miles to get to our first stop, the Riverside Park course in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It is one of the nicest course in the county. Unfortunately, it was not a good course to play one this day. We noticed very quickly as we drove along the park that all the disc golf baskets had been removed. We did not see a single one. Not even the practice baskets were in place. We needed a different course to play.

        Fortunately, the Calvary Park 18 hole course was only a few miles away. The Scout’s smiles returned as we saw the baskets were still in place. Since it was the first time the troop had played this course it sometimes took a few minutes to discover were the next tee boxes and baskets were located. The course was challanging as it contained a wooded hillside that presented many branches to deflect throws. Not that it mattered too much. The Scouts still had plenty of fun. And to make it even better, the snow had begun to melt before we left the course.

        Since it was nearly the noon hour we stopped at White Castle for lunch. Most of the boys had never eaten at the fast food chain before this stop. Most of them ordered a four pack of Sliders, the White castle hamburger. Later that day, some of the Scouts discovered the secret meaning of the Slider name.

        The second course of the tour was the 18 baskets found at Millstream Park in St. Joseph. By the time we arrived a lot of the snow had melted. That also meant the millstream was flowing. The well known water hazards of the park would now have to be considered as we threw discs around the course. Unfortunately, some of the discs did land in the water hazards. Some discs the Scouts were able to retrieve using long sticks and branches, but four of them were left behind in the deeper bone-chilling water. The nature of this course slowed us down to the point that by the time we finished it was too late to play the third planned course. We had a junior leader training session to begin at 5:00. The triathlon had turned into a biathalon.

        Even though we lost a few discs, and two of the boys decided to test the temperature of the water by sliding into the stream toward the end of the game, we all had a great time and look forward to playing a lot more games this summer.

        DGgroup032016

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          JTE-White1I would like to see Cub Scout Pack 68 earn the 2015 Journey To Excellence (JTE) award because I think we can do it. I made this statement during last night’s pack committee meeting, and than reviewed the requirements. By the time I finished I believe the committee was in agreement with me.

          Pack 68 of Melrose went into a reboot this fall. We have a brand new committee and a new cubmaster (me). We are all learning the Cub Scout program as we move forward and I would say we are making good strides. As we attempt to earn the 2015 JTE it will help us to provide a better blueprint for the program as we enter the new year.

          There are three levels a pack could attain when qualifying for the Journey To Excellence award. It starts with a Bronze Level. Silver is the next step up. Gold is the highest level a pack may earn. So which level could Pack 68 earn?

          The pack’s 2014 program year did not qualify for the JTE award. There are a number of factors why but I think it really came down to the pack did not know about the challenge and what requirements needed to be met. As this year’s cubmaster I want the pack to try to achieve it.

          After looking over the requirements for the 2015 Journey To Excellence, and reviewing them with the pack committee, we agree that this is attainable. While the Gold Level will be out of our reach we should be able to reach the Bronze Level by adding to and revising our program a little. There is a slight chance we could even achieve the Silver Level.

          The pack should be able to reach the Bronze or Silver Level of the first four objectives without too much problem. We feel that if we provide a good program and promote the pack more during the year we should see an increase in membership this fall, while retaining most of our current membership. I also plan to invite the Boy Scouts to attend a few pack activities to assist with making the Cub Scouts feel comfortable about graduating into the Boy Scout program.

          The Program objectives is where we need to do the most work. There has not been an emphasis on advancement so we need to promote more of that during the next year. We are planning to add more outdoor activities for the 2015 schedule, and promote the district’s day and resident camps. We will be planning 3, maybe 4, service projects, including one conservation project. We already plan to have 8 or 9 pack meetings, but having dens meet twice a month will probably not happen this year.

          The Leadership objectives will present a challenge. We should be able to attain the Bronze Level easily. We might be able to attain the Silver Level but it will take some work. The Gold Level will be out of our reach for the coming year, but you never know. Maybe the parents will surprise me before this fall.

          I did a quick estimate of each of the 2015 objectives. I did not check a Gold Level for any of them, but did mark a Bronze or Silver Level for each one. When I added up the score I discovered we should be able to make the Bronze Level. The Silver Level is within our reach if we work a little harder and plan a little better.

          My goal is to present a revised plan for the 2015 program to the pack committee at their January meeting. If they agree to it, and the pack gets behind it, the Cub Scouts will receive a new patch during the 2015 December pack meeting to add to their uniforms. That would be awesome.

          The requirements for the 2015 Journey To Excellence award can be seen at:
          http://www.scouting.org/filestore/mission/pdf/2015_JTE_Pack_Scorecard.pdf

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            discgolfwaterThis month is the beginning of the new 2014-2015 program for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. The Scouts got together one Saturday last month and plotted out their monthly themes and activities for another year. A few of the traditional outings made it in, and a few new ones joined the program. Here is a look at the schedule for the next twelve months.

            September 2014: Safe trip afloat/ canoe safety
            1, 8, 15 – Troop Meetings Popcorn sales
            9 – Committee Meeting
            18 – School night to join scouting
            22 – Court Of Honor
            26-28 – canoe trip and camp out
            29 – PLC Meeting

            October 2014: Leave no trace/packing
            6, 13, 20 – Troop Meetings
            6 – start ticket sales for supper
            6 – Popcorn Sales Due to Chris
            14 – Committee Meeting
            25 – Road Cleanup
            24-26 – Kramer’s/clay pigeon shoot
            27 – PLC Meeting

            November 2014: Knot tying
            1 – Troop fundraiser supper
            3, 10, 17 – Troop Meetings
            18 – Committee Meeting
            22-23 – Overnight/ rock climbing
            24 – PLC Meeting

            December 2014: Personal fitness/ management/advancement
            1, 8 – Troop Meetings
            9 – Committee Meeting
            13 – Snow Tubing/Christmas Party
            15 – Court Of Honor

            January 2015: first aid/ fire safety
            5, 12,19 – Troop Meetings
            20 – Committee Meeting
            24 – Water Park Brainerd
            26 – PLC Meeting

            February 2015: Uniforms/Sewing
            2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
            17 – Committee Meeting
            20-22 – Camp Stearns
            23 – PLC Meeting

            March 2015: Merit badge/Advancements
            2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
            17 – Committee Meeting
            21 – LPMRB Outing
            23 – Court Of Honor
            30 – PLC Meeting

            April 2015: Cooking
            6, 13, 20 – Troop Meetings
            17-19 – Watchamagumee
            18 – Scouting for food drop off
            25 – Road Cleanup/scouting for food pick up
            21 – Committee Meeting
            27 – PLC Meeting

            May 2015: Swim Safety
            4, 11, 18 – Troop Meetings
            15-17- Ripley Rendezvous
            18 – Summer Camp Meeting (Parents & Scouts)
            19 – Committee Meeting
            25 – PLC Meeting

            June 2015 Fire Starting/Campfires
            1, 8, 15 – Troop Meetings
            16 – Committee Meeting
            19-21 – Camp out/Disc Golf
            22 – Court Of Honor
            29 – PLC Meeting

            July 2015: Summer Camp
            12-18 – Summer camp

            August 2015: Geocaching/ Hike safety
            1 – Yearly Planning Session
            3, 10, 17- Troop Meetings
            18 – Committee Meeting
            21-23- Sibley Camp Out
            24 – PLC Meeting

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              2015RipleyFlyerThe 2014 council wide Ripley Rendezvous is now a part of history, but the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 can already look forward to attending a bigger and better rendezvous in 2015. Next year will be time for the Area-Wide Ripley Rendezvous which will bring Boy Scouts from all over the state of Minnesota, and a few Scouts from neighboring states, to the central Minnesota National Guard base. I believe at least four councils, if not five, work together to plan this activity.

              There will be three programs provided for the Boy Scouts, based on the Scouts’ age. The Extreme Program, for ages 14 and older will include Military Demonstrations, Team Challenges, Obstacle Course, Biathlon Course, Climbing & Rappelling, and a Zip Line. The Adventure Program, for 13 and older, will include Military Demonstrations, Hunting Instructionals, North Range Shooting Sports, Tomahawk Throw, Voyageurs Reenactment Group, and Historical Firearms Demos. The Action Center, open to all Scouts, will include Hands-On Activities/Displays, Rocket Launching, Outdoor Skills Training, Military Equipment, DNR & State Patrol Demos, and Pro Fishing Celebrities.

              Special events for the weekend include Interactive Drone Flights, Military Honor Guard, MN Military Museum Tours (which is a favorite of our Boy Scouts), a Saturday Night Stage Show, Saturday Night Fireworks, and a Celebrity Fun Run. The Trading Post will be loaded with all kinds of goodies and special weekend souvenirs.

              This event will be held on May 15-17, 2015. The cost per participant in only $45, which is not too bad considering the program offered. Troops will set up camp in a jamboree style setting.

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                2014_Ripley_Rendezvous_AdIt is time once again for the Boy Scouts of the Central Minnesota Council to gather at Camp Ripley for the Ripley Rendezvous, an annual event hosted by the council and Camp Ripley. Camp Ripley is a National Guard Base found in central Minnesota near Little Falls. I know this weekend outing has been going on for at least 40 years because I remember attending when I was a young Boy Scout.

                Ten Boy Scouts from Troop 68 are enjoying the fun offered by the program this weekend. What are they doing, you ask? Well, according to the council’s website:

                Ripley Rendezvous 2014 “Aim High!” will be held the Camp Ripley Army National Guard Training Facility, Camp Ripley, MN. This spring time event is truly a unique opportunity to utilize the traning facility’s ranges and buildings in presenting two distinct levels of involvement.

                The Adventure Program will be conducted at the ranges for everyone that enjoys shooting sports. Scouts will be using shot guns, .22 rifles, 50 cal. black powder inlines, archery, tomahawks, and sling shots; all skills that need a great deal of concentration to perform at your best.

                The Scout Ops is an Extreme program for the older Boy Scouts and Venturers, who are ready for a more rigorouse program using advanced physical and mental trials that go along with team work and goal accomplishment. The personal satisfaction of knowing you did your best, no matter the outcome is something to be proud of. This older Scout program will have several static displays, exhibits and hands-on activities for everyone who wants a tougher challenge.

                This is similar to the program of the last few years. While our Scouts were looking forward to attending the rendezvous I have heard that overall numbers of participants are down. It might be time to change up the program and offer something different next time.

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