Archive for the ‘Activity’ Category


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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    Hole #3.

    Hole #3.

    If you have been keeping up with this blog you know that both I and the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 like to play disc golf. I usually go to a nearby town to play since Melrose does not have a disc golf course. I like to get out at least once per week. Gotta keep that throwing arm a bit loose, you know?

    Today, Sergio, who is an alumni of Troop 68, and I tried a course at Rivers Edge Park in Waite Park that I knew of but had never played. Playing a course for the first time can be a bit of a challenge if the course is not marked well, and this one fit into that category. It took us a few minutes to discover where the course started (found out we parked in the wrong parking lot), and then where the tee off points and baskets were located.

    The course was only nine baskets, which was fine with us for the afternoon. None of the holes contained any long distance throwing, like the Albany course, but the course was a fair test of our skills. The fairways were mostly flat but some were narrow between the trees. There were a lot of trees. The Sauk River bordered three or four holes, and a few of the baskets were hidden within or behind groups of trees. Like I said, challenging, but fun.

    According to the DG Course Review website, the course has a par of 27. That means each hole is a par three. They gave it a rating of 2.73 out of five. I think I would have rated it a bit higher, except the course does need a little bit of maintenance.

    By the time we finished the ninth hole I thought I was losing by one throw. Sergio thought he was losing by one. We added up the scores and discovered a tie at 36. We had not made par, but we were both happy with our scores so we did not play another nine. We had a good time and that is what really counted.

    Now I have a new course to introduce the Boy Scouts to. They will have fun on it but will have to watch out for wild throws, or they may find themselves swimming in the river to retrieve their discs. (See picture.)

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      Philmont Sunset 0871aA few things came to mind as I took a late evening walk around Melrose tonight that was different from taking a walk at Philmont Scout Ranch:
      1) It is a lot more humid in Minnesota then it is in New Mexico.
      2) It stays lighter about an hour later in central Minnesota than it does at Philmont.
      3) There are a lot more mosquitoes in Minnesota than Philmont, which reminds me that MN is where skeeters are raised and then exported to the rest of the country.
      4) There is a lot more traffic in Melrose than at Philmont Scout ranch.
      5) I already miss those late night Philmont walks with Scouting friends that would take us to the Base Camp trading post for an ice cream cone before heading back to PTC.

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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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            boys life bracketI would guess that most Cub Scouts and many Boy Scouts receive the monthly Boy’s Life magazine so they are probably familiar with the cartoon characters found within its pages. But which character is the most popular? Is it Pedro, the burro? Is it PeeWee or one of his friends? How about Gus or Tiger or Dredd?

            The folks at Boy’s Life have decided to find out and have created a “Boy’s Life Bracket” in which you can vote for your favorite character. Round one is now over and the voting in round two has begun. Sixteen characters have been voted done to eight. At the end of the month we will discover who is Scouting’s favorite cartoon character.

            Cast your vote at:
            http://headsup.boyslife.org/vote-for-your-favorite-boys-life-character/

            Have fun, and may your choice be ever in Scouting’s favor.

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              PinewoodDerbyDesignGuess what. It is time for the Pinewood Derby! Has there ever been a more powerful comment that causes so much excitement for a Cub Scout and also creates a higher stress level for his father or mother?

              Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose, Minnesota, held its Pinewood Derby on Tuesday, February 25. Thirteen Cub Scouts, from Tigers to Webelos, and their families came together at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on the north side of town. It was going to be a fun filled Tuesday evening.

              The track had been set up a couple days earlier and everything had been tested. A few Cub Scouts arrived early and had started racing their cars down the track. Unfortunately, their moved something on the track and caused the electronic timer to work improperly. It took the cubmaster and a couple of the fathers several minutes to discover what the problem was and to fix it.

              During this time I was taking pictures of the Cub Scouts and their cars. The pack also used this time to have the boys vote on their favorite car design before the races actually began.

              The pack leaders decided to run the derby as a double elimination events so the each Scout would be a part of at least two races. While most of the boys took their loses in stride, there was one or two younger ones that took it a little hard. Most of the boys cheered on the ones still racing as the championship bracket began.

              The final race for the 1st place trophy came down to the cubmaster’s son, Ethan,  and the committee chairman’s son, Spencer. Both boys were smiling from ear to ear as I took a picture of them with their cars as they were place on the track.

              The lever was dropped. The cars began moving, quickly picking up speed as they moved toward the end of the track. Both cars were nose to nose all they way. It was going to be a photo finish.

              Even with a photo finish it would have been hard to declare a winner. Good thing the pack had bought an electronic timer when they purchased a new track last year. The timer showed that Ethan’s car had beat Spencer’s car… by one thousandth of a second! Could the final race have been any closer? No.

              Trophies were presented for the top three places. One trophy was presented for the best looking car. I took plenty of pictures during the event and promised the parents that each of them would get a cd of them all. I also had one of the Boy Scouts sitting at the end of the track recording the races with my video camera. It will be fun to see what he recorded.

              How did things go with your pack’s Pinewood Derby?

              PinewoodDerbyFinal

              PinewoodDerbyTop2

              PinewoodDerbyTop3

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                2014pinewoodderbyThe Scouting program snuck up on me a little as this week became a bit busier than usual. I guess I knew of everything that was coming up, but I was not really paying attention. Oh well, I can not think of many other programs I would rather spend my time on.

                On Monday the patrol leader council of Troop 68 met at my house for their monthly planning meeting. It did not take them long to plan the three March meetings, the court of honor, and other things, plus review how things went in February. They began at 6:30 and were finished before 8:00. That included eating the meat and cheese tray I set out during the meeting.

                On Tuesday I attended Cub Scout Pack 68′s Pinewood Derby. Thirteen Scouts participated in this year’s event. It was the first time I had seen a derby since the pack bought a new track with an electronic timer. I attended the activity to take some pictures. I ended up being the official photographer. I might have gone a little overboard. I ended up with over 100 pictures of the boys and their cars. I am going to burn the pictures to cd’s and give one to each family who had a Scout participate in the derby.

                On Friday the members of the Striking Cobra Patrol will be coming over for pizza, sodas, and a movie. They won the patrol flag competition in December. I am not sure what movie the Scouts will decide to watch but I have a feeling I better have at least two large pizzas ready for them. Boy Scouts always seem to be hungry, especially for pizza.

                How has your Scouting week been going? Is it a busy one?

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