Archive for the ‘Activity’ 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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    Nascar may be one of the most popular sports in the country but it may not be on a Cub Scout’s radar during the next couple of months as Packs across the nation prepare for one of the biggest annual Cub Scout events: The Pinewood Derby! Hundreds of thousands of Pinewood Derby cars are about to be distributed across the 50 states. Young boys and their fathers (or mothers or older siblings) will take that block of wood and attempt to create an awesome work of art that is also speedy enough to race down the track and earn its owner the victory trophy.

    I attended Cub Scout Pack’s derby last year along with three of the Boy Scouts who had younger brothers in the pack. It was the first time I had been able to attend a derby in several years. The races were usually held the same night as our troop’s patrol leader council meeting. I brought my camera and became the evening’s unofficial photographer, taking dozens of pictures of the boys and their cars.

    It took the fathers awhile to set up the track and get the lanes to run smoothly because it had been a couple of years since the last Pinewood Derby. The pack membership had dwindled down to just a couple of Cub Scouts, but last year there were eight of them. And they were ready to race!

    The adults kept the atmosphere light. The emphasis was to keep the races fun and exciting. Even though it was a double elimination tournament, the competitive aspect of the evening was downplayed. Each of the eight Cub Scouts received a trophy, though the top place trophies were a little larger.

    The Cub Scouts had a great time. They continued racing their cars after the formal races had been completed. Even the Boy Scouts got to race their cars against each other. Toward the end of the evening the Cub Scouts were racing the Boy Scouts to see who had the better cars.

    The Pack has added a few more members this past year so the next derby promises to be a little bigger and a little more exciting. I plan to attend the event again and be the unofficial photographer. It should be a great night in February.

    By the way, here is a fun thing I did with some of the pictures taken at last years Pinewood Derby. I used them to create Derby Cards of each of the racers. The boys thought they were pretty cool. Check them out at Pinewood Derby Cards (100 DoS: Day 6) .

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      Last year, I thought we could have a little fun. I hung the four Hallmark Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments I own on my Christmas tree. I took a picture of it and posted it online. Then I asked you all to see how fast you could find them. It was a fun 30 second treasure hunt.

      Let’s do it again! This year there are five Beagle Scouts hanging on the tree. Try to find Snoopy and his friends as they camp out in their tent, roast marshmallows around the fire, canoe down the rapids, and hike to the top of the mountain. The newest, and fifth ornament, features Snoopy and his troop selling Christmas trees.

      Click on the picture for a bigger version. Time yourself and see if you can find them in under 20 seconds. Good luck!

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        This month’s troop outing was to be one day filled with several activities. The LPMRB, as it has become known by the Boy Scouts of Troop 68, starts with rollerskating and laser tag at the Skatin’ Place in St. Cloud, about 35 miles from Melrose. After a stop at Godfather’s Pizza, we would arrive at the Parkwood 18 movie theater to watch the latest flick. We end the day back in Melrose at Melrose Bowl for a few games of late night bowling. We gather at noon and the day ends about 1:00 am.

        We had a problem this year. A snowstorm moved into the area Saturday morning. By the time the Boy Scouts arrived at my house we had received reports that I-94  was closed near Albany, about 15 miles away from town, due to an accident and cars that had slid into the ditch. Parents commented that the road conditions were not very good. They had reached top speeds of only 35 mph on the rural roads.

        It was time to come up with a Plan B for the outing. Obviously, we would not be going to St. Cloud. We were not going to completely cancel the outing because everyone had already arrived. We gathered in the living room and discussed our options. It did not take long to come up with a new agenda.

        The boys would spend the afternoon at my house playing ping pong, darts, Wii games, and other games. For supper we would head uptown to John Dough’s, a local pizza house. We would go to a movie (Puss In Boots) in Sauk Centre which was located only 8 miles away. The evening would still end at Melrose Bowl. We would miss rollerskating and laser tag, but the rest of the outing would still take place.

        The Boy Scouts received a bonus after watching the movie. The movie theater manager took the troop into one of the projection booths to see the film and digital projectors. He explained how they worked and then answered the Scouts’ questions. I believe it was the first time that most of them had ever seen this type of equipment. I think they enjoyed the quick tour.

        By the time 1:00 am arrived at the bowling alley the boys were ready to go home. It had been a long but fun filled day. And to tell the truth, I do not think they missed rollerskating.

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          The Atlanta Area Council has posted a promotional video on Youtube titled “I Am Scouting”. I like it. A lot! It not only does a good job of showing Boy Scouts participating in outdoor activities, but it also features boys from all races and backgrounds. It really showcases the diversity of young men in the Scouting program.

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            Men like their trucks. Young boys like playing with their small trucks. Both like monster trucks. When Cub Scouts are invited to tour the shop of a monster truck you can bet they and their fathers are going to attend.

            Paul Strong, owner and driver of the monster truck, Martial Law, and Kaila Savage, driver of Heart Breaker, recently invited two Cub Scout packs and our Boy Scout troop to take a tour of their shop in Albany, Minnesota. Paul showed off some the parts commonly replaced in trucks while explaining how much time is spent working on them to get them ready for the shows. The boys enjoyed the tour and had plenty of questions for Paul.

            After the tour, the Scouts had the chance to crawl inside Heart Breaker to have their picture taken. They also had their photograph taken with Paul and Kaila in front of the truck. The drivers autographed photos of the truck for the boys. The tour ended with Paul and Kaila providing sodas for their guests. Paul even started up the engine of Heart Breaker for the boys to hear. There were a lot of small hands covering ears while the engine roared.

            Pictures of the event can be seen on the troops website at http://melrosetroop68.org/yearlygalleries/yh11.html#Monster_Truck .
            A video or two is being planned to post for the Melrose Scout Productions podcast.

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              Ripley Rendezvous Arial Photo
              Hundreds of Boy Scouts, troop leaders, and staff meet at a special location during this weekend’s Ripley Rendezvous to form a huge human outlined fleur-de-lis, the universal Scouting symbol. The Camp Ripley Public Affairs Office had their staff take this photo from a helicopter. (Start the Mission Impossible theme song.) Your job, if you decide to do it, is to find me, Scoutmaster Steve, in this photo.

              Click on the photo and it will take to to my Flickr page for a larger version.

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                Five Boy Scouts and two adult leaders of Melrose Troop 68 joined nearly 3200 other Scouts and leaders for the 2011 Ripley Rendezvous. The event was held at the Camp Ripley National Guard Base in central Minnesota. Boy Scouts from all over Minnesota attended, along with some Boy Scouts from neighboring States and even Canada.

                The program was divided into three activities areas, based on the age of the Scouts. The three activities were:
                - Action Center Midway (60+ Displays, Demonstrations, Vendors and Hands-on Activities)
                - Adventure Program (Shooting Sports and Voyageurs re-enactment group)
                - Extreme (Climbing, Rappelling, Team Challenges, Biathlon Course, Military Demonstrations) – for Boy Scouts 14+ and Venturers.

                Other highlights of the weekend were military displays and demonstrations, including live rounds fired by tanks, an arial photograph taken of the Scouts and leaders forming a huge fleur-de-lis (watch a future blog post for this picture), and the Camp Ripley Museum.

                Saturday evening finished with a grand stage show that featured a band, singers, a comedian, a juggler, and acrobats. There was also a special presentation in which the commander of the Minnesota National Guard was given a Boy Scout banner signed by hundreds of Scouts and adult leaders. This banner will be sent overseas to one of our National Guard units to remind them that we appreciate everything they are doing and are sacrificing to keep us free and safe back home.

                The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 had a great time at the Ripley Rendezvous. I believe I can safely say that all the Scouts and leaders that attended the event enjoyed themselves.

                More photos of the event can be found at:
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevejb68/sets/72157625840936002/

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