Archive for the ‘Activity’ Category


flint and steelCamp Watchamagumee was the place to be for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 during the weekend of May 17-19. The six Scouts, including four new members, and two adult leaders may have got a bit damp during the evening hours but they had a lot of fun during the day.

Friday night was a pretty laid back schedule. The troop left Melrose about 6:30 pm. The boys spent the evening setting up camp, reviewing fire safety rules, and enjoyed sitting around the campfire until the first drops of rain send them running for the safety of their tents.

The Scouts had a busy Saturday schedule. After breakfast they worked on their advancement and began building their primitive shelters that would would sleep in that night. It did not take long to discover that the boys did not bring along enough tarps and plastic sheets to build what they wished to build. After a lunch of baked beans and hot dogs roasted over an open fire the troop played a round of nine holes of disc golf.

Saturday afternoon was time for the annual Egg Drop Competition. Each of the Scouts received a raw egg. Their challenge was to create a package for their egg using other natural materials found around the campsite. These packages would than be dropped from higher and higher distances until only one egg remained. Daniel Klassen was this year’s Egg Drop Competition winner. He took home a Boy Scout campfire cooking grille as his prize.

The next event tested the Boy Scouts fire making skills. Each boy was to start a fire and keep it going long enough to burn through a string seven inches above the ground. Matches were not allowed for this contest. The Scouts needed to start their fires using flint and steel. A strong wind turned out to be the villain of this event. Even though the Scouts created hundreds of sparks, the wind blew out many of the flames the boys were hoping to use to start their fires. Alex Engelmeyer was the troop’s winner of this competition.

The boys finished the afternoon by finishing their primitive shelters, playing a couple of games, and making a great supper of fried potatoes and spaghetti and meat sauce. There was not much food left over. The boys had worked up quite an appetite.

A short chapel service was held at 7:30 that evening. This was followed with the boys moving their sleeping bags and pads into their primitive shelters for the night. As the Scouts gathered for the evening campfire they learned a troop song about Camp Watchamagumee, heard the story of the Purple Gorilla, and learned how to protect themselves from a wolfen attack.

Half of the Scouts discovered that their primitive shelters did not do a sufficient job of keeping them dry once the rain showers moved in overnight, but a couple did stay in their shelter for the entire night. Important lessons were learned which will be used the next time they build a shelter, which could be as soon as their June weekend outing.

Attending the Watchamagumee outing were Boy Scouts Alex, Daniel, Zack, Adrian, Sam, and Macoy. Adult leaders for the weekend were Scoutmaster Jim and assistant scoutmaster Eymard. Committee member Steve provided program assistance. The troop would also like to thank Melvin and Vern Klassen for allowing them to use their land for the outing.

More pictures of this outing can be found on the troop’s website.
http://melrosetroop68.org/yearlygalleries/yh13.html#Camp_Watchamagumee .

Thanks for Sharing!

    airshowUnfortunately, it has come to this. The St. Cloud Air Show, an event being sponsored by the Central Minnesota Council, has been cancelled. Here is the official statement from the website:

    St. Cloud Air Show Cancelled as Result of Sequestration
    ST. CLOUD, MN (Tuesday, April 2, 2013) As a result of the sequestration and with that the uncertainty of the appearance of the Blue Angels, The Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts has decided to cancel the St. Cloud Air Show scheduled for July 20th and 21st. Over 25 other shows have been cancelled across the country with more sure to follow due the Sequester. Because of the Sequester we have lost all of the military support needed to put on a successful air show.

    “Our decision to cease planning for the 2013 Air Show comes after careful review and consideration of the fiscal challenges we would face by not having the Blue Angels appear,” said Dave Trehey of the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts.

    “We are very disappointed, especially after all the hard work that has already been put into the show by our volunteers,” added Jill Magelssen, Air Show Chairwoman. “When you lose the headline act you lose the momentum going into the show. The St. Cloud Air Show was a fundraising event for the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts. We could not take the very real chance that the show would lose money.”

    The many people who have already purchased tickets will be refunded their money by the company that was handling ticket sales. Information on how the refunds will be handled will be on the air show website www.stcloudairshow.com by the end of this week.

    “We appreciate all of the support the community has given us in the planning of the Air Show,” added Trehey. “There is a very good chance that we will again have the opportunity to bring the Blue Angels back to Central Minnesota. We hope that you will be as excited about it again.”

    Many local troops and posts were planning to help with and/or attend this event. The local public and community were also supporting this show. Too bad it had to come down to this.

    Thanks for Sharing!

      The Central Minnesota Council, B.S.A. is taking Scouting to new heights this summer when they sponsor the St. Cloud Air Show on July 20-21, 2013. The weekend promises to be a blast and will feature special events for local Boy Scout troops and venture crews. Here is some show information from the website:

      The St. Cloud Air Show, presented by The Central Minnesota Council Boy Scouts of America, will be held at the St. Cloud Regional Airport on July 20th & 21st, 2013. Each day this show will feature the world-famous US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels as well as two days of performances by the world’s best military and civilian pilots. It will showcase world-class aerobatics champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment for the whole family.

      Show highlights include:
      Two days of great In-The-Air Acts plus each day featuring The Blue Angels.
      Unique ground displays, historic aircraft, supersonic fighters and interactive activities.
      A family inflatables play area, climbing wall and bungee jumping.
      Viewing chalets with VIP seating, parking and food and beverages.

      Tickets are now on sale! Entertainment for your whole family and a chance to make memories you’ll never forget.
      Check out the website at http://www.stcloudairshow.com/

      Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts of the Central Minnesota Council can participant in a weekend lock-in at the airport. They will camp at the site, participate in special events, and may even meet some of the pilots. It sounds like a great opportunity for the local Scouts, and a great way to promote the Scout program in our area.

      Has your council ever done something like this?

      Thanks for Sharing!

        Fast Start Orientation, The Outdoor ProgramThe last post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast contained the first of three parts of an eleven year old Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Orientation vhs tape I have in my Scouting collection. This post features part two of that training tape which covers the troop Outdoor Program. It is an excellent video that is still relevant to today’s Scouting program.

        I think it is fun to watch these old videos to see how, or if, Scouting has changed through the decades. What do you think about it? Have you seen this before?

         

        Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
        Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
        or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
        Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

        Thanks for Sharing!

          Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose will have a new Pinewood Derby track this year when the big day arrives. To tell the truth, it is long past time for a new track. The pack has been using the same one for the last 30 years. It is made of steel and is very heavy. It is also worn out. The pieces do not fit smoothly any longer. During the last two years some of the derby cars would jump their lanes when they hit the splices, even though the fathers did all they could to smooth the lanes with duct tape. Coats were used at the end of the track to cushion the cars as they came to a stop. Some races had to be rerun because the judges could not pick a winner during the close races. The pack does not have a track timer.

          Two local Lion Clubs have donated money to purchase a new track. The cubmaster has been doing some homework to determine which track might best serve the pack’s needs. Pack 68 is a small pack with only 16 Cub Scouts. Chances are the new track will have two lanes, just like the old one does. He is also checking out timers so we know who wins those close races. I joked with him that he should sell the old track for scrap steel to raise the money for the timer.

          The Cub Scouts and families are looking forward to this year’s races on a new Pinewood Derby track. It will be sleek. It will be smooth. It will be faster. And it will be super cool! It looks like it will be a great racing season in 2013 and beyond.

          UPDATE! The cubmaster has made his choice and ordered the track. It will be a two lane Besttrack, from besttrack.com along with a two lane timer. he also said there is software available that allows us to organize the entire event and that the timer plugs into the computer to track everything. He might buy the software and donate it to the pack. I am starting to looking to attending this year’s derby.

          Have any of you used a Besttrack track and timer? How do you like it?

          Thanks for Sharing!

            Cub Scout Gingerbread housesHere it is, the last post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast for the year of 2012. The goal has always been to post at least one video each month, or at least twelve per year. This podcast will keep that twelve per year goal.

            When the Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68 met for their December pack meeting, they knew it was going to be fun. The parents knew it could get a bit messy. The cubmaster knew he had a lot of baking to do. The Cub Scouts, along with help from their parents, were going to make gingerbread houses and decorate them with lots of candies, crackers, and other building accessories. Each one ended up being a masterpiece, but a couple of them did not make it home in one piece. I think they could have used a little more mortar (frosting) to hold them together.

            This video post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast includes video of the boys and their parents creating the houses and photos of the Cub Scouts with their finished projects. It is eight minutes long. I hope you enjoy it. Maybe this would be a good project for your Cub Scout Pack next Christmas.

            Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
            Watch it online at the 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
            Don’t forget to leave a comment here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

            Thanks for Sharing!

              The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 have been spending a spring weekend at Camp Watchamagumee each year for over twenty years. Many years ago we held a contest during the outing that has since become a Watchamagumee tradition – The Egg Drop Competition. The contest is played individually or by teams; it seems to vary from year to year. Each player, or team, is given a raw egg. Using only natural materials found around the campsite they are to create a package that will protect the egg when the package is dropped. No man made materials are allowed to create the package. The winner of the competition is the one whose package protects the egg the longest as we drop it from higher and higher heights.

              I video recorded the event in the spring of 2012. This post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast features that event. I am not going to give anything away but I will state the the winning package was thrown from the top of a step ladder onto a concrete patio block. Did the egg break? You will have to watch the video to discover that answer. (This video is about 20 minutes long.)

              Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
              Watch it online at the 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
              Don’t forget to leave a comment here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

              Thanks for Sharing!

                First of all, let us get something straight. When I say camping I mean staying overnight in a tent or sleeping under the stars. I do not consider staying in a cabin, lodge, or barracks as camping. Camping is sleeping outside, not in a building. Now that we have that understanding…

                I have not camped out even one night during 2012, and it looks as if this year will be my first year without a camping trip since 1979. I began camping with the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 when I became an assistant scoutmaster in 1980. There were a lot of camping trips during the next 32 years, both long term and short term outings.

                This is not to say that I did not attend any troop activities this year. I did attend a weekend outing at Camp Stearns in  March, but we stayed in a lodge. I did spend most of a day at Camp Watchamagumee in May but I did not spend the night. I did visit the troop for a day at Many Point Scout Camp in July but left when it was time for the evening campfire program. I was going to spend the weekend with the boys for a June camping trip at Kings Lake but it was cancelled due to a lack of participants. The August canoe trip was attended by several parents so there was no need for me to tag along. I was going on a weekend camping trip with some former troop members in May, but it rained that weekend and everyone backed out.

                It seems strange not to use my camping gear. Usually, I would have to pack up for at least five or six outing each year. My rain gear remains dry. My cot remains folded and my mat remains rolled. My eating utensils remain clean. It is kind of weird, but it was my own choice. I wanted the Scouts, parents, and new adult leadership to understand that I really have stepped down as the scoutmaster and that they should not be relying on me to attend the troop’s outings as they have in the past.

                Will I get back into camping with the troop during 2013? I am not sure yet. We will have to see how things turn out, but yes, I would enjoy camping with the Scouts again in the great Minnesota outdoors. I think everyone now understands that we have a new scoutmaster but that I am there if I am needed. Besides, I enjoy camping and I think I still have a skill set to offer the troop.

                Thanks for Sharing!