Archive for the ‘camping’ Category


It has been over 25 years since 1985 came to an end. It was a busy year for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. They went to winter camp at Parker Scout Reservation, attended the council’s Ripley Rendezvous at Camp Ripley, held a spring pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser, went to camp Watchamagumee in the early spring, hopped onto their bicycles for a weekend outing in June, attended summer camp at Tomahawk Scout Camp in Wisconsin, visited the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in September, took part in a city’s emergency drill in October, and even found time to hold a few courts of honor. Like I said, it was a busy but very fun year. Here is a slideshow featuring pictures from those events.

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    Cooking on a Boy Scout camping trip can be an interesting experience, especially with young inexperienced campers. I have seen many burned pancakes, half raw hamburgers, and overturned pots during my days as a scoutmaster. When I am eating something crunchy that really should not be crunchy I am reminded of a camping trip from my days as a youth…

    My troop was attending a district camporee one weekend when I was in my early teens. We were sitting around the campfire ring about to eat our meal. Our scoutmaster, Dr. Scanlan, was sitting next to me. There was a small amount of dirt on my food. I do not remember how it got there, if the patrol cook had done something during preparing the meal, or if I had kicked some dirt onto the plate somehow. I do remember I was not interested in eating this food with its “natural” seasoning. I was a very picky eater and this was not helping the situation.

    I made a fuss and commented that I was not going to eat this stuff. My scoutmaster heard me and replied that a little dirt would not kill me. Then he added something that I will never forget. He said, “A person will eat an average of seven pounds of dirt during his lifetime.”

    I am not ashamed to say that I was surprised and shocked by the statement. I did not know if he was telling the truth, or if he had just made it up. He was a doctor, after all. He would know about these things.  I do recall my reply to him. I looked at him, and at my food, and said, “I don’t want to add to that seven pounds.”

    I do not remember if I ate the food that day or not. I probably did because I was hungry. I have since come to the conclusion though that if you are a scoutmaster you will eat a lot more than seven pounds of dirt in your lifetime.

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      It has become a tradition of Boy Scout Troop 68. Usually, in February or March, the Scouts pack their gear and head to Camp Stearns for a winter outing. The camp is located in central Minnesota, about an hour from town. It is owned by the Northern Star Council of the Twin Cities. The troop rents a lodge to sleep in but the boys spend plenty of time outside having fun in the winter snow.

      This video of the Melrose Scout Productions podcast features a slideshow of the pictures taken at last year’s Camp Stearns outing. The Scouts had a great time at camp. They worked on advancement Saturday morning. After lunch they put on their snowshoes and played 18 holes of disc golf. In the evening they went to the awesome sledding hill. The boys wrapped up the day by watching a movie before hitting the sleeping bags.

      Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
      Or watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

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      or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
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        If you follow The Buckets comic strip you know that the youngest member of the household, Eddie, is a Cub Scout, and his father is a Pack leader. A few times a year Greg Cravens, the creator of the strip, uses his comic to share a humorous look at the world of Cub Scouting. Mr. Cravens obvious knows a little about the Scouting program because his comics can hit very close to home. I am sure many Pack Leaders and families can identify with the situations he shares with us. ( I sometimes wonder if Mr. Cravens is not a Cub Scout leader in his community.)

        Mr. Cravens recently featured a weeklong series in which the Cub Scout Pack goes on a camping trip. If you have ever taken Scouts on a camping trip I am sure you will find these hitting the mark. Here is a quick rundown of the comic strips and the links:

        A trip is announced / A pocket knife is needed: Click HERE.
        The first rule of camping: Click HERE.
        My last dry clothes: Click HERE.
        How to gather the Scouts: Click HERE.
        Texting while hiking: Click HERE.
        A tick is on me! : Click HERE.

        While these comic strips feature Cub Scout age boys, many of them could also apply to Boy Scout age youth. Enjoy.

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          The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 spent a week at the Buckskin Camp of Many Point Scout Camp this summer. They had an awesome time at camp. The Buckskin staff was terrific and very helpful. The dining hall staff provided great meals in a friendly atmosphere. Even the weather cooperated by not being too hot or too rainy. The biggest complaint was the sparrow-size mosquitoes that made camp their home. Overall though, it was a fantastic week.

          The Many Point Blog recently posted some interesting numbers from the 2011 season. I found them to be quite interesting:

           

          4139 Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts camped at Many Point.
          1451 Adult leaders watched their troops and crews grow while here at Many Point.
          37 CITs spent 5 weeks learning and practicing the essential skills needed to be a staff member. (Including one from Melrose Troop 68.)
          152 Scouts and Venturers participated in the Water Sports Outpost and had the opportunity to ride personal watercraft, a truly rare opportunity in the BSA.
          8606 Merit badges were earned.
          2830 Merit badges were started, to be completed at home.
          479 Certifications such as Kayak BSA, Snorkeling BSA, Boardsailing BSA, BSA Lifeguard and BSA Aquatic Supervision were completed. (Five boys from Troop 68 earned the Snorkeling BSA.)
          124,000 meals were served either “for here” or “to go” by our Dining Hall and Commissary, to fuel all the fun.

          How were the numbers at your summer camp?

          The Many Point Blog can be found at
          http://manypointscoutcamp.wordpress.com/ .

           

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            Join the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 as they attend Many Point Scout Camp during the week of July 10-16, 2011. This video of Melrose Scout Productions Podcast includes a look at their campsite in Buckskin Camp, along with a couple of the songs led by the staff before the Boy Scouts would go to the dining hall for their meals. The songs include The Duck Song and Herbie, the Family Pet.

            Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast

            Or watch it online at Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

            Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTunes (and rate the show)
            or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
            Leave feedback here or at iTunes.

            How was your summer camp this year?

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              This year’s weekend camping trip to Kings Lake near Freeport, Minnesota, was not a typical troop outing. We arrived Friday night, as usual, and set up camp. We left Sunday morning, as usual. Saturday was anything but the usual.

              Only three members of the troop attended this outing, and one did not arrive until after breakfast Saturday morning. We began the program with some map and compass work for the Second Class Rank. When it came time for the hike we decided to walk into Freeport, have an old style ice cream malt at Charlie’s Cafe, and walk back to camp in time for lunch.

              We jumped into the car after lunch and went to Albany to play disc golf at North Lake Park. We played nine holes before going back to camp to clean up a bit. It was time to go to the graduation party of our oldest Boy Scout, Dakota. He invited us to stop by for supper. We, of course, could not turn down that opportunity.

              Back at camp, the evening began with a leisurely pontoon boat ride around Kings Lake. The Scouts branded the Boy Scout logo onto an old canoe paddle, several times, which was then cut up into smaller pieces to take home as souvenirs. It ended with everyone sitting around the campfire. The boys must have been tired because they went to bed before the sun set in the western sky. It may not have been a typical weekend but the boys had fun and enjoyed the program. Isn’t that what really matters?

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                Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, had a lot to say about the program. A good source of his thoughts can be found in his book, “Scouting For Boys”. Now that we are in the summer camp season, there is one of B-P’s thoughts that I thought would be a good choice to share with you:

                The Value of Camp Life

                I CANNOT impress on Scoutmasters too highly the value of the camp in the training of Scouts; in fact, I think that its whole essence hangs on this.

                Many Scoutmasters who value the moral side of our training are almost inclined to undervalue the importance of the camp, but the camp is everything to the boys. We have to appeal to their enthusiasm and tastes in the first place, if we are ever going to do any good in educating them.

                An eminent educational authority assured me only to-day that our school education is all on wrong lines; that book learning was introduced by the monks in order to kill the more manly training in skill at arms and hunting which, in the Middle Ages, occupied the time of the boys, and which undoubtedly produced so large a percentage of men of character among them. It was done with a narrow-minded aim, and although it has done some good in certain lines, it has done infinite harm to our race in others.

                He said: “You should first of all develop the natural character of the boy by encouraging him in the natural athletic exercises which tend to make him manly, brave, obedient, and unselfish; later give him the desire for reading for himself which will eventually lead him on to study for himself. The fallacy of trying to force him to read what the pedagogue wants him to know is the secret of so much ignorance and absence of studious work amongst our lads to-day.”

                This same authority would like to see Scouting or some similar scheme introduced into our continuation schools, and attendance at these made obligatory for all boys of fourteen to sixteen.

                I hope that his wish may yet be gratified. I believe it will be if Scoutmasters continue in the way in which they have begun and prove to the education authorities in their neighbourhood the educative value which underlies our Movement.

                April 1911.

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