Archive for the ‘Activity’ Category


boy scout memorabilia

Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose holds two meal fundraisers each year. The spring meal is usually a pancake and sausage breakfast that includes scrambled eggs. The fall meal has been a spaghetti supper for the last few years. The troop does well with both fundraisers and is able to keep up with the yearly expenses.

The 2019 spring breakfast fundraiser takes place this weekend at the Melrose American Legion. The parents will be working in the kitchen while the Scouts take care of the tables and the dishes. I will probably do the same thing I have done for the last thirty years, pour coffee, visit with the people who come by for breakfast, and keep an eye on the Scouts to make sure they get their work done.

Another of the jobs I have, and one that I really have made my own, is to create a table top display for the meal. I began to take items out last night to prepare for Sunday’s meal. As you can see from the picture I will have both Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting items in this year’s display. The Cub Scout Pack has been doing well and I wanted to include something for the elementary aged children.

One item not shown in the picture is the patch blanket I plan to hang. I may even bring both of them. I do have clothing racks that work very well to display them. Add in a few photo albums and I think there will be enough Scouting memorabilia for families to view.

How often do you set up a Scouting display in your community? What do you include in it? When do you set it up? Leave a comment and let us know about it.

The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 had a lot of fun on the climbing wall at St. Cloud State University in early 2014. I had my camera along, like I usually do, so I was taking a lot of photos of the Scouts as they tried their skills on the various climbs. A few times I switched the camera to video mood to record some of the climbs.

A few days later I was playing around with iMovie. I had never used their “create a movie trailer” function so I decided to give it a try using the footage I recorded from the climbing trip. I discovered it was fairly easy to use and made a trailer of the day.

It trailer has been sitting on my computer for the last few years. Last week I decided to share it on the Melrose Scouting Productions channel on Youtube. I invite you to take a look at at it. Hit the like button on the channel and subscribe to it.

It can be found at https://youtu.be/u6Tqn-j3CMU or viewed below.

I do not think it matters if it is a Cub Scout or a Boy Scout who visits a fire department, they are all going to enjoy the field trip. After all, fire trucks are cool, and so are the firemen.

A few years ago the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 visited the local volunteer fire department. After a tour of the facilities the firemen taught the Scouts the six man lift which the first responders use to place an accident victim onto a body board for transport to a hospital.

I was quick enough to grab my camera and record the Scouts trying to lift a few people using the six man lift. One of those people was their scoutmaster. The boys were having fun and learning an important skill in the process.

I recently upload the video to the YouTube channel Melrose Scouting Productions. You can view it at https://youtu.be/lHcFbJUgqGg
or watch it below.


2019 Pinewood Derby Trophies

Another January has come and gone which also means thousands of Pinewood Derby’s has been held across the country. Melrose Area Cub Scout Pack 68 held this year’s Pinewood Derby at the Melrose American Legion on Sunday, January 20. Twenty five Cub Scouts participated in the event.

I arrived at the Legion to help set things up before most of the families arrived. After asking the cubmaster what I should do she asked me to take photographs during the event. I guess she knows that type of work is right up my alley.

I took pictures of each Scout as they arrived. I took two pictures of the Scout holding his/her car, and one closeup of the car. I also took some pictures during the event. When I was asked by the cubmaster to hand out the Derby Patches after the races were complete I handed my camera to one of the Boy Scouts who continued to take pictures. I took the camera back when the cubmaster presented the trophies. I was also able to get a few group and den photos before families started to leave.

By the time the event was over I had over 160 photos from the Pinewood Derby. Since most of the families have a Facebook account I posted many of them to the site. I may also make a slideshow of the pictures and post it later. Of course, no names of the Scouts will be listed with the photos.

Does your Pack assign someone to take photo’s during its Pinewood Derby? How many photos did they take during the event? Did your Cub Scouts enjoy your derby?

Boy Scout skit: Is It Time Yet?

Boy Scout Troop 68 held its 2019 Laughs For Lunch Show on Saturday, January 26, at the Melrose High School auditorium. The hour long campfire-style program began at 1:00 in the afternoon. Over 100 people attended to watch the Scouts perform songs and skits. The Scouts did a great job and the audience had a lot of laughs. Many audience members said they really enjoyed the show and would come back for another one.

This was the current troop’s second annual show, but it was the troop’s fourteenth program. The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 held their first show in January 1996. They held twelve shows over a thirteen year period. The troop needed to put the show on hold when membership dropped too low. With membership increasing once again the boys decided it was time to bring back the program.

As an adult Boy Scout leader I see several benefits for the Scouts who perform for these shows. The first, of course, is that the Scouts learn a lot of different songs and skits that they can then choose from when they are at summer camp or a camporee. For example, this year’s show contained eighteen songs and skits of which fifteen were new to the Scouts.

A second benefit of the show is the teamwork needed to carry out this type of program. Not only does each Scout need to learn his own part of each skit or song in which they participate but they also work together as a troop to do it well as they can so that they can tickle the audience’s funny bone. Scouts also help each other during the more difficult portions.

The third benefit is it sometimes forces the Scouts to learn how to ad lib and think fast on their feet. If your are involved with Scouting you know that many skits only have a basic premise and a good punchline. Much of the skit is made up by the Scouts acting in the short play. Add a few audience members and you can never be sure you know what is going to happen. A Scout has to think quick to use anything that could happen on the stage.

A fourth benefit is a big one. The Scout learns skills in public speaking. Many adults have a fear of public speaking. Imagine being an eleven year old Boy Scout on a stage performing a silly sketch in front of a hundred people. Not only do the new Scouts rise to the challenge during their first show, they begin to look for bigger parts during the future shows. Think about it for a moment. If a boy learns to overcome his stage fright and be silly on a stage when they are young, it will be much easier to speak in front of a group of people as they get older.

The fifth benefit almost does not need to be stated, but I will. The Boy Scouts have FUN while doing the show. The more the audience giggles and laughs, the more fun the Scouts have, and the harder they try to perform well. This is the reason the troop has done fourteen Laughs for Lunch Shows. And it will be the main reason for doing more shows in the future.

Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 became well known locally for performing campfire songs and skits in the 1980s and 1990s. The scouts had a great time performing and started getting good at creating revised and new songs and skits. The troop was even asked to chair a district Camporee campfire and did a fantastic job.

In 1996, the troop took their love of campfire programs to the next level. The troop decided to create a two hour campfire style show to be held at the Melrose high school auditorium. The show would be open to the public. The Scouts asked people to bring a nonperishable food item for the local food shelf. Thus the name Laughs For Lunch was created. The troop would provide the laughs as the audience members brought the lunch for those in need. It turned into a nice food drive.

The Laughs For Lunch show became a tradition that lasted for 13 years. While most of the audience were family members and friends of troop members, there were also people from neighboring towns. Boy Scouts of other troops would attend, including a troop from the Twin Cities who attended for a couple of years.

As Troop membership began to decline through the early 2000’s we found it more difficult to keep the show going each year. I believe the final show was held in January 2008. It was sad to see the tradition come to an end.

Membership in both the Cub Scout pack and the Boy Scout troop begin increasing once again in the mid 2010’s. During the troop’s yearly program planning session held in August 2017, the youth leadership decided to bring back the Laughs For Lunch Show. Both the committee chairperson and I were glad to see it returned to the schedule.

Bringing the show back would be a challenge. Over eight years had gone by since the last show. Not one of the current Boy Scouts were members of the troop when the last show was held. Only three members of the adult leadership were still involved with the troop. The scouts would have to learn nearly everything, both the skits and the songs.

As planning for the 2018 show began we quickly decided to cut the program down to an hour long. This proved to be a smart decision since we would only have four practice meetings of two hours each to prepare. The Scouts worked hard learning the songs and skits. They did great on the day of the show. The Boy Scouts and the audience had a great time.

When the patrol leader council held their yearly planning session last August they scheduled another Laughs For Lunch Show for January 26, 2019. The performing bug had bit the Scouts and they were ready to do a second show.

On Sunday, December 30, troop members got together to plan this month’s new show. And I do mean new. Nearly every skit and song would be new to the current Boy Scouts, similar to how it was with last year’s show. They also decided to lengthen the show by adding a few more songs and skits. The 2019 show could end up about 90 minutes long.

Like I mentioned earlier, there will only be four practices again to prepare. Each practice will be two hours long. The Scouts will have to work hard, but if previous years are any indication they will do very well and have another successful Laughs For Lunch Show.

The Boy Scouts of Melrose Area Troop 68 have held a Christmas party every year since the early 1980’s. It is an activity which is well attended because we have a lot of fun. Thirteen of the fifteen troop members attended this year’s party which was held on Saturday, December 15th. Four second year Webelos Scouts also attended the event.

The evening began at 5:30 pm with a supper of tacos. Most of the Scouts were quite hungry since they had spend the day downhill skiing at Andes Ski Resort near Alexandria.

The first activity was the gift exchange. Each Scout who wished to participate bought a gift valued from $12 to $15. All the Scouts participated. Each wrapped gift was placed in the center of the room. The Scouts took turns rolling dice. When they rolled doubles they chose a gift. Once all the gifts were chosen they were unwrapped. Then the real fun began. For the next fifteen minutes we continued to roll dice. When a Scout rolled doubles he could swap his gift with someone else. At the end of the fifteen minutes everyone “received” the gift they had in front of them.

Like every year, there were a few gifts that were very popular and moved around the room quite often. They were also a couple not so popular gifts that also were traded when the chance presented itself. I also participated in the exchange. Once there were only a few minutes of game time left, I became serious about which gift I wanted to take home. I was lucky enough to shake doubles with a little over a minute left, and even luckier to have no one shake doubles to take my chosen prize away from me.

The next activity was unwrapping a gift wrapped with duct tape, while wearing garden gloves. Once again, the Scouts rolled dice to have a chance to unwrap the box. Until the next Scout rolled doubles, that is. The game when the final box was unwrapped. Oh yeah, I did not tell you there were smaller wrapped boxes within the larger boxes.

The final game was a Twister tournament. This was followed by a movie which was a really good high school sports film based on a true story. The Scouts really caught caught up in the movie, even cheering for the team during the final event. The Scouts went home after the movie finished.

Does your troop hold a Christmas outing? What do you do? Leave a note about it in the comments section below.

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The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 took some time during the month of October to learn about renewable energy. They did this during their meetings and their monthly outing.

The Scouts were camping during the chilly weekend of October 12-14. They took time Saturday morning to go to Padua for a tour of the Sempa Wind Turbine facility. The boys were very interested and asked a lot of questions which turned the hour long tour into a two hour event. The Scouts even discovered the tour guide is an Eagle Scout himself.

The troop met at the Stearns Electric Association building in Melrose for their troop meeting on Monday, October 15, for a presentation on how the co-op distributes power to its members and how renewable energy fits into its system. Once again, the Scouts and leadership asked a lot of questions which turned the 30 minutes presentation into an hour long. The troop learned that the association receives 25 percent of its power from renewable sources which include wind and solar installations. They also learned the squirrels cause the most animal related energy outages.

The troop would like to thank both organizations for their assistance in learning about renewable energies.