Archive for the ‘Cub Scout’ Category


The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 began wearing a Troop T-shirt in the 1980s. The Scouts would wear the T-shirts for the summer outdoor troop meetings and some of the monthly activities. The full uniform was worn for winter indoor meetings, courts of honor, and other special events.

I do not remember Melrose Area Cub Scout Pack 68 ever having a T-shirt. Until now that is. About a year ago the pack committee decided the Cub Scouts should have a T-shirt to wear for certain meetings and activities. The parents agreed. The picture above shows the design on the pack’s shirt. The Cub Scouts like them. Even some of the parents wear one.

While the uniform is an important part of the Scouting program, it is not really needed for every event. I am glad the Pack finally has its own T-shirt.

When I retired as the scoutmaster of Troop 68 at the end of 2011 we only had a membership of 8 or 9 boys. The Cub Scout pack was also going through a tough time. There had been several years that we did not have any Webelos Scouts graduate into the Boy Scout Troop. Luckily, both groups survived and began to turn things around.

This year marks the second year in a row that the troop had Webelos graduate into Boy Scouting. The ceremony was held at the Melrose City Hall meeting rooms on Tuesday, March 27th. The Webelos Scouts were grinning from ear to ear as they crossed the bridge and joined the troop, taking their first steps in a new Scouting adventure.

The newly formed Ninja Patrol has already grown to four members. They have been having a blast as new Boy Scouts. They already have a disc golf marathon under their belts and went to the Central Minnesota Ripley Rendezvous at Camp Ripley in central Minnesota this weekend. In May they will have their first real camp out as a Boy Scout when they go to Camp Watchamagumee. Most of them have already signed up for summer camp in July.

The boys have quickly discovered the Boy Scouting is a far different program than what they had when they were Cub Scouts, and they seem to be loving every moment of it.

Wow! Has it really been over three years since I have done a Melrose Scouting Productions video podcast? I guess it has. The last one was posted on December 1, 2014. I think it is time to do something about that.

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the mayor of Melrose, Joe Finken, attended the annual Cub Scout 68 Blue and Gold Banquet. After the meal, but before the award presentations, Mr. Finken was invited to come forward and say a few words to the Cub Scouts. He gave a nice talk which focused on teamwork. He spoke well and had the Scouts’ attention the whole time. With this podcast we would like to share Mayor Finken’s talk.

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Every year, the Central Minnesota Council seems to offer an incentive to the boys who join the local Scouting pack during the School Night to Join Scouting meeting. This meeting is traditional held the third Thursday of September. A few years ago the new members received a rocket. Last year they were given a frisbee with the B.S.A. logo on it.

This year’s prize was sure to make every teacher in Central Minnesota happy. Yes, you guessed it. This year’s incentive was one of those spinners which was so popular with elementary boys. This fidget spinner was blue in color with the B.S.A. logo in the middle of it.

I have to admit, the boys who came to school night all seemed excited about receiving the spinner. Even the current Pack members who came to the meeting wanted one of their own. The parents did not seem to be quite as excited as the boys. The current Scouts could buy one for $5.00 each.I believe most of them did go home with one. I went home with two. One for my Scouting collection, and one for a friend of mine who lives in Arizona.

Does your council offer an incentive to new Scouts on School Night? What was it this year?

The Cub Scout Pack 68 Pinewood Derby is one of the highlights of the year for the Scouts. The boys and their parents work hard on their car designs. What will the design be? What colors should be used? Will it be fast enough? Could it receive “best of show”?

When I became the cubmaster of Pack 68 a couple years ago I decided to try to make the derby more fun than competitive. Yes, the pack did award trophies for first, second, and third places, but I wanted to make the derby more than just winning. I wanted to keep the fun in the derby.

For the last couple years we ran the derby as a double elimination. We have a two lane track. Each car had a chance to run a race on each lane in each heat. The best time would determine who moves up the bracket. The nice part was that each Scout was given a minimum of four times to watch their car race down the track.

That worked very well when we only had 17 Cub Scouts in the Pack. Last fall our Pack grew to nearly 50 Scouts. Most of them planned to participate in the derby. The double elimination plan of the past would not work well this year. It would take too long to conduct all those races.

The derby was a major topic at the committee meeting in January. Ideas were given and discussed before were decided on a derby suggestion based on how the council conducts their derby. This year’s derby would be done by “dens”. A first and second place would be given for each level, from Tiger Cub to Webelos Scouts. Each car would race twice per heat, once on each side of the track. The best time would move up the bracket as in past years. We would also try to use the computer program that came with the track for the first time.

We decided to award two Best Of Show trophies since the Pack had grown so large. We also decided to present one trophy for the overall fastest car in the Pack, based on time. In all, the Pack would award 13 trophies instead of the usual four. I thought this number would increase a Scout’s chance to take home a trophy but after doing the math I discovered it actually remained near the same as the last two years, if all the Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts participated.

Well, that January derby has been held and is now history. The plan worked out well and races moved along without much delay. The boys and their families had a good time. We even had a little time left over for the boys to race against other Scouts, their brothers, and in one case, his father. It was a good day and I went home pleased.

How did your Pack’s Pinewood Derby go this year? Leave a comment.

Pinewood Derby time has arrived for many Cub Scout Packs across the country. Thousands of derby cars have been made, or are being finished. Each will be a work of art. Many will have original designs. Some will race for speed. Some will try for the Best Of Show award. A few will probably not cross the finish line. The point of the derby is for the parent and Cub Scout to spend some time together to create the car, and then have fun racing against the others of the Pack.

Most Cub Scout Packs give trophies to the fastest cars. In Melrose Pack 68 we did something a little different this year. We awarded trophies to the two fastest cars in each den, thus giving the Scouts a greater chance of winning. Two trophies were also awarded for the Best Of Show. Of course, this means a lot of boys will not go home with an award so we gave each Cub Scout a patch for participating. The patch we choose this year is shown above. I think it is a sharp patch. The boys really seemed to like it.

In addition to the patch each Scout also received a special “race car cookie” baked by one of the grandmothers. I can testify that they are the best race car the boys have ever eaten! The cookie pictured below did not last long after the picture was taken.

 

Boy Scouts love a good story told around the campfire. I do not mind telling one, or reading one, if the opportunity presents itself. Of course, the Boy Scouts love the scarier tales as they sit in the darkness with only the reddish light of the campfire embers.

This year was my first chance to tell Cub Scouts a story around a campfire. The first time was to the Bears and Webelos in the spring. The second time was for the new Bears in the fall. Both times I told the story of The Purple Gorilla, a suspenseful and long story about a traveling salesman that has a comical twist at the end of the tale. The Cub Scouts and the adults loved it.

As I planned the Pack’s Christmas party earlier this month I decided it was time for the boys to hear the story of The Christmas Scout. The story is about a young Boy Scout who recently lost his older brother in a car accident and wonders if he can ever be happy at Christmas time again. It does get a bit emotional toward the end but it has a great ending and moral lesson. It is one of my favorite stories.

As the Pack’s Christmas party neared its end I picked up the paper copy of The Christmas Scout, raised my hand in the Scout sign, and asked for the boy’s attention. A few boys were still chatting as I began reading but by the second or third paragraph all 41 of the Cub Scouts, and their parents, were listening quietly. It was my largest ever Cub Scout audience.

The story ends on a serious note so instead of signing a jolly Christmas carol to end the meeting I invited everyone to join me in signing the hymn Silent Night. The evening ended with juice and Christmas treats for all. Later on, I was talking to the Pack committee chairman. He complimented me on my storytelling skills and commented on how I had the attention of all the boys. He was a bit impressed. I was just happy that the Cub Scouts and the adults enjoyed the story.

If you would like to read the story of The Christmas Scout go to this The Scoutmasters Blog POST from December 2007.

img_1049The Bears Den of Melrose Cub Scout Pack 68 had fun last weekend. They had their first overnight camping trip. It was held a couple miles south of Melrose in the backyard of one of the families. With a nice big backyard, and hiking trails nearby, it was a good spot for this fun activity. Eight of the ten Bear Scouts were able to attend the outing. I believe they each had a parent in attendance.

The Bears were kept busy with several activities. They assisted in setting up the tents and laying out their gear. They took a hike to a nearby gravel pit, watching for animal tracks along the way to complete an award requirement. They learned about pocket knife safety as they earned their Whittling Chip badge. And, of course they played games. It is amazing how much noise eight third grade boys can make when they are having fun together. After it got dark, it suddenly grew very quiet, like someone had turned off the volume switch. It did not take long to discover the boys had decided to play a game of hide and seek. After that game was done the noise level rose again.

I did not stay for the overnight. I did attend for a few hours, enough time to have supper with the den, chat with the parents in attendance, and have a little fun with the boys. My true reason for being there was to tell a story around the campfire before they turned in for the night. The story I chose? The Purple Gorilla story. It is a good story for that age group. Even the adults enjoyed it. As the story’s suspense reached its peak toward the end of the tale, I had everyone’s full attention. In fact, at one point I think everyone one of the boys jumped, and maybe even a couple adults. As I finished the tale with its interesting twist, the Scouts laughed and the adults smiled.

It may have been a quite suspenseful story, but it really is not a scary story. In fact, one of the fathers told me the next day that the Scouts fell asleep very quickly once the turned in for the night. No nightmares were to be had. Let’s face it, the boys were worn out. The night did get a bit chilly though. It temperature dropped into the upper thirties Sunday morning. The young Scouts did not seem to mind very much. It was just another part of their weekend adventure!