Archive for the ‘Service’ Category


 

The Melrose Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Spring Expo each year which is held at the Melrose School gymnasium. This year’s Expo was held on Saturday, April 14th. Even though the Minnesota weather was not very nice that day there was a good turnout for the event, both in Expo booths and visitors.

The parents of one of the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 had registered to have a booth for their business and asked the troop if they would also like to have a booth. Since they were both going to be there all day the troop would have the two deep leadership requirement covered. The troop was also asked to provide assistance to the people who had a booth as they brought their items into the gym at the start of the Expo and help to carry out items at the end of the Expo.

It has been 13 years since the troop has been a participant of the Melrose Expo. Our booth back then was full of Scouting memorabilia and literature. It even had a television playing videos of various troop activities. This year’s booth was more modest and was put together the night before the Expo. We included some photo albums, literature, and a couple shadow boxes of memorabilia. The booth was located in the first aisle and it did get some attention from folks as they walked by. Who knows, maybe the troop could get a new member or two to join. The best part of having a booth of course, is that it was one more way to get the Scouting program into the public eye and let people know that yes, Scouting does still exist in Melrose.

The planners of the Expo, and the people who had booths at the Expo, really appreciated having the Boy Scouts there to assist them before and after the event. The Melrose Chamber of Commerce was very impressed with the Scouts and even offered to give a $50 donation to the troop for their work. It was a great example of demonstrating that a Scout is Helpful.

Does your troop participate in local city Expos? What do they do? Leave a comment below and let us know what your Scouts have been up to in their community.

The Melrose Lions Club invites volunteers from the city’s various organizations to attend an annual dinner to recognize and commend them for their service to the community.The firemen, police reserves, and ambulance personnel are invited as well as the volunteers of the area food shelf, Project Give-A-Gift, Meals On Wheels, Melrose Area Museum, and other groups. The Melrose Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack were well represented this year by seven people, including the scoutmaster and cubmaster.

It is a fun time to visit while having a great meal. This year’s dinner included chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, rolls, and cookies. If anyone left that dinner hungry they had no one to blame but themselves.

After the meal, the president of the Melrose Lions Club thanked everyone for attending, and for their service to the citizens of Melrose. Another Lions members walked around the room with a microphone so that every volunteer could introduce themselves and state which organization they assisted. Nearly 100 people attended the meal.

The evening ended with one member of each organization going to the front of the room to receive a numbered ticket. A drawing was held for three $100 prizes. The first number drawn went to the Melrose Boy Scout Troop. The second prize went to the Melrose Food Shelf. The third went to the Girl Scouts.

The membership and leadership of Boy Scout Troop 68 and Cub Scout Pack 68 would like to thank the Lions Club for a great meal, and for the support they have given the Melrose Scouting program for nearly 40 years.

The carnival came to Melrose during the weekend of September 8-9. It was not brought to town by the Chamber of Commerce or any local service groups. It was brought to town by a group of of people in town who felt Melrose needed a fall event to bring its citizens together for a weekend of fun and excitement. The two day event also included several vendor booths, live music, and a classic car show.

The parents of one of the Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 were two of the people who organized this event. They asked the troop to assist with one of the activities in which children could purchase a ticket for 50 cents to play one of several games to win a prize. The money raised would go to the local food shelf. It looked like it would be a fun service project for the Boy Scouts.

There were five games the Scouts would be in charge of running. One was a Hot Wheels toy car race track. The other games were bottle ring toss, a bean bag toss, a bottle set up challenge, and a disc golf putting challenge. Early on it appeared that we may have trouble finding enough Scouts to work the games but when the day arrived we had plenty of help, along with a few parents.

The games were only open for four hours Saturday afternoon but they did very well. The Scouts had fun along with the children who played the games. Even a few parents got into the spirit of trying their skills. Over $120 was raised for the local food shelf. It was a pretty good, and pretty fun service project.

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A year and a half ago I wrote a couple of articles about how the Melrose Boy Scout Troop had inspired the Melrose city officials to think about having a nine basket disc golf course installed in the main city park. A quickly planned but simple service project activity during the city’s 2014 Night To Unite evening started the ball rolling on something I would have liked to have seen in town two decades earlier. You can read these posts Here and Here.

It recently occurred to me that I did not write any follow up articles to let you all know how things turned out. As stated in one of the earlier posts, I thought the Boy Scouts would assist in helping the city staff assemble the course equipment and installing it in the park. Well, it did not quite happen that way. The city park staff assembled everything themselves during the winter months, and installed all the signs and baskets early in the spring while the Scouts were still in school. At least a couple of the Scouts, who happened to be working on their Citizenship in the Community merit badge, were able to assist in creating the tee signs for each hole.

The Sauk River Park disc golf course was finished the first Monday of May in 2015. On a rainy night two weeks later, the Boy Scouts were present with various city and park officials for the official ribbon cutting. As the person who did a lot of the planning and design work for the park, I was given a scissors to cut the ribbon. Then the Scouts lined up for a picture throwing their discs at the basket for the local paper. The adults that were present also lined up for a similar picture. The newspaper did a great write up about the course.

The disc golf course received a good amount of use during the year of 2015. The local teenagers started making use of the course immediately, and many families discovered it was an activity they could do together. Even the high school started using the course as a Phys Ed activity since the course is located across the street from the school. Both city officials and the park board were happy with the use the course was getting, which made me feel good after the time and effort I had poured into the project. Not many people get to say they brought something to their city which everyone can play and have fun doing.

A few weeks ago we began a disc golf league in Melrose. There are about fourteen people in the league, most of them teenagers, and four of them Boy Scouts. There is even one Cub Scout and his father who play. Ages range from 9 years old to 55 years old. We have been having a great time playing and meeting the new members. I just wish I would have thrown a bit better last week, but then, we all wish to do better than we usually do when we play.

I sometimes still find it hard to believe that this course happened because of a little project in the park one night prepared by the Boy Scouts. It just goes to show, you never know…

 

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IMG_0148This year marked the eighth year that the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have handed out 4″ x 6″ United States flags before the Riverfest parade in Melrose. Once again the Scouts walked along the parade route and gave away 1250 flags, curtesy of the Melrose American Legion. People love receiving them, from the youngest toddler to the oldest senior citizen. And they are better for you than all the Tootsie Rolls that are thrown out during the parade, don’t you agree?

Last year we had a shortage of Boy Scouts attend the service project so this year we invited the Cub Scout to help out, hoping we would get enough Scouts to break up into four teams. The plan was to have two teams start on each end of the parade route, each team taking one side of the street, and meet up somewhere in the middle. Hopefully, by the time we would meet, we would be out of flags.

We ended up with plenty of Scouts. Six Cub Scouts and five Boy Scouts showed up for the project, in addition to five parents and Scout leaders. About 30 minutes before the parade was scheduled to begin, we split up and began handing out the flags. My team consisted of three Cub Scout brothers who were excited to participate in such a project. They were all smiles as they handed out the flags one by one, receiving smiles in return from the people who accepted them.

My team was starting to run low on flags by the time we met up with the Scouts who had started at the other end of the route. They still had a few hundred flags due to many people not being seated yet for the parade as they walked by. I had noticed a lot of people coming in after we had walked by a our route so my team took the extra flags and started retracing our steps, handing out flags to people who had recently arrived along the parade route. We even had a couple kids run across the street to get flags from us.

By the time we got to the spot were the Cub Scout’s parents were sitting for watching the parade, we had handed out all the flags. And just in time. The honor guard that was leading the parade was marching only a few blocks away from us. The parade had started. The only thing the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and leadership had left to do was to sit back and enjoy the parade. And eat the Tootsie Rolls thrown to us, of course.

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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.

P68FoodDrive - 1The committee of Melrose Cub Scout Pack 68 would like to see the Scouts earn the Journey To Excellence patch for 2015 so they have been coming up with service projects for the boys. In June the pack did a cleanup project in the city park, picking up trash along the pond and softball field. In November, the pack conducted a food drive.

During their November dens meetings the Cub Scouts decorated cardboard boxes to be placed at businesses throughout a few communities in our school district. The Cub Scouts worked hard to get these boxes ready. Not only did they color and draw on them but they also had some designs printed out on paper that they could cut out and glue to the boxes. I believe each of the four dens made three boxes for the food drive. The parents took the boxes home and were in charge of placing the boxes in businesses and establishments that had agreed to working with the pack for the drive. They would pick up the boxes in two weeks to bring to the pack meeting.

When the pack meeting arrived the Cub Scouts discovered more information about the drive. A representative from the local food shelf was on hand to talk to the Scouts about the food shelf and the local needs. She also answered quite a few questions that the boys came up with. It looked like everyone was having fun and maybe even leaning something at the same time.

As you can see in the picture below, the pack did quite well with the drive. It was a little different than the Scouting For Food drives in the past, but I think the Cub Scouts invested a bit more of themselves in this year’s drive.

 

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06.2015 Parade FlagsWhen does something become a tradition? If it is done for seven years, does that qualify? If it does, than the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have a tradition to be proud of. This was the seventh year that they have handed out 4″x6″ United States flags before the Riverfest parade in town.

The troop committee began discussing this activity a few months ago. Letters were sent out to the local VFW post and American Legion Club to help with the cost of the flags. I found American-made flags on sale at the United States Flag Store website for 18 cents each. I placed an order for 1250 flags before I heard from the two organizations, counting on them to come through on covering the costs, which they did. The flags arrived in May. We were set to hand out colors once again.

That is, if enough Boy Scouts showed up to walk the parade route. With thirty minutes to go before the start of the parade only three Boy Scouts and one Cub Scout had arrived. We knew it was going to be a busy family weekend so I was glad we had at least four Scouts to walk. One mother and I grabbed the two backpacks. Two Scouts and one adult would walk along each side of the street handing out flags to those who wanted one. By the end of the one and a half mile route all the flags were gone! Kids loved receiving a flag, as did many of the adults along the route.

We finished with the flags in time to walk back along the route to sit with our families and friends to watch the parade. You should have seen all the candy thrown out by the parade participants. You should have seen the candy still laying on the street, along with some trash, after the parade. Actually, it was not as bad as other years, but there is always some clean up required. I am happy to report that we did not see one USA flag laying around unwanted after the festivities! Everyone took them home.

This is a tradition we shall probably continue for a few more years. As long as the VFW and the American Legion support it, and the people lining the parade route want them, I think the Melrose Boy Scouts will continue their version of a patriotic hike.