Archive for the ‘collections’ Category


Mel-TV was a cable access television channel of Melrose, Minnesota. It began broadcasting in 1986 and continued for about 25 years before the city council voted to close it down and use the cable franchise fees for the city’s general fund. A lot of people, including myself, were disappointed with the decision at the time. I thought it was a great asset to our community of 3000 people. When the station closed its doors the collection of VHS tapes and DVDs of local programming was given to the Melrose Area Museum.

I was a member of the Mel-TV board of directors for 20 years. I joined shortly after the station began and left the board a few years before it was closed. Almost immediately I saw the potential to use the station as a promotional tool for the local Scouting program. I began recording courts of honor to air on the station. I took the bulky VHS camera to troop outings and summer camp. It was a great tool to show the community what the Scouting program of Troop 68 offered to the local youth. Some Boy Scouts became active with the station, helping with filming and editing various programs, or creating their own shows.

I am now a member of the board of directors for the Melrose Area Museum. I have been helping with some of the displays, both rearranging them and creating some new ones. One of the projects I did was to finally get all the old Mel-TV tapes out of the cardboard boxes stored in various rooms and closets, and put them back on the shelving racks that were used at the television station. I also organized the tapes by number and/or subject matter. It came pretty natural for me to do this project since I had worked so closely with the television station but it did take quite a few evenings to complete this task.

I recently started entering the program information into a computer spreadsheet. There are nearly 1700 tapes in the collection. I am only a little over a third of the way complete with this project. One thing I noticed very quickly was the number of tapes that were about Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts. I would be willing to bet there will be over 100 programs about the Scouting program. That is a pretty high percentage when you think about it. Unfortunately, some of the early tapes were recycled so there is no longer a copy of some courts of honor or events but many of them still exist.

Another museum board member, who also happens to have a son in the troop, has begun transferring these old VHS tapes to a digital format. This is going to be a long process since each tape has to be played at normal speed to be recorded by the computer. I have made sure that some of the earliest Scouting programs were part of the first tapes to be transferred.

Some of the Mel-TV shows have been uploaded to YouTube so that the citizens of Melrose can watch the old programs once again. I plan to upload some the more interesting Scouting programs to the Melrose Scouting Productions channel.

It is that time of year once again. Hallmark has released its 2020 ornaments for the holiday season. Once again, they have created a special Scouting themed ornament featuring Scout Leader Snoopy, the world famous Beagle Scout, along with a few of his troop members. I believe this is the fourteenth year we have seen an ornament in this series. (If I am wrong, leave a comment.)

As you can see from the photo, canoeing is this year’s featured activity. This is the third time that water sports has been chosen as a theme, although this is the first time that portaging a canoe has been featured. As you can see, I do not believe Woodstock and his pals are offering much help with this portage.

Have you been to Hallmark yet to purchase your ornament? What do you think of this year’s design? Leave a comment and let us know.

Photos from hallmark.com.

Everyone seems to have their favorite music playlists these days. They could be on your mp3 player but chances are you have them on your mobile phone. I do. Too many of them in fact. But you never know what kind of music you will be in the mood to listen to so you need to have several playlists from which to choose.

One playlist on my phone is labeled Scouting Songs. It only has nine songs in it but all the songs are Scouting related. It is a fun list to listen to when I am working on troop paperwork or getting ready for the next meeting. It can help me get in the mood for Scouting. What songs does it include, you ask? Well, let’s take a look.

As you can tell from the picture with this post this playlist includes the theme song from Scout Camp: The Movie. “Born To Be A Scout”, by Alex Boye, is a fun upbeat song that may start your toes tapping. The song can be found through iTunes or whatever store you happen to use to download your music.

“The Scout Zone” is a song I ripped from the Scout Zone video which promoted the Scouting program nearly 20 years ago. It is another upbeat song telling about the adventures you could find in the Scouting program. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKFnGDRaMQU .

“The Scout Law” is a fun song about The Scout Law and the meaning of the twelve points of the Scout Law. It is from the album suck, by the Croutons. You can listen to it and download it at https://thecroutons.bandcamp.com/album/suck .

“Boy Scout Rap” (a Tik Tok parade) is a fun video I discovered on YouTube nearly ten years ago. Created by Wild Youth Productions and sung by Thirty100, it pokes a bit of fun at Boy Scouts. I found it to be funny and enjoyed the song. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rps1zdppqBA . It can be downloaded through iTunes.

“We Do It” is another song from a Scouting promotional video from a couple decades ago. Once again, it features fun things you could do in the Scouting program. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tok9gePil3E .

“Proud To Be A Scout” is a song from one of the videos from the BSA’s Inspirational Shows DVD. Check out the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKxXx-6rOVg

The “Scout Song” was song by the Buckskin Staff of Many Point Scout Camp during a campfire program in 2007 (I think). I videotaped the program and ripped this song from the video. It is a nice easy listening song about Scouting. The video from this campfire can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxSGiY_XuvY .

Of course, a Scouting playlist would not be complete if it did not contain the theme song from perhaps the greatest Scouting themed movie of all time. That is correct, I am talking about Follow Me Boys. I tried to find a link to download this song but I am having some problems finding one.

The newest song on my playlist I heard for the first time at an Eagle Scout court of honor a few months ago. It was used during the slideshow. After the ceremony I asked what the song was told it was “Growing Wings”, by David Shipp. It is a song written about Eagle Scouts and the author has given permission for Scouts to use it for their court of honor. The video and song information can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xnEbRKvouA .

That wraps up my playlist. Do you have a Scouting playlist? What songs have you included? What songs do you think I should add to my list? Leave a comment and tell my about it.

Some people involved with Scouting may collect handbooks. Others may collect coffee mugs. A lot of Scouts and adult leaders collect patches. How many do you know that collect bolo ties?

I have accumulated a couple dozen bolo ties over the years. I could have a lot more in the collection, but I have stuck to bolo ties from events or places that I have attended. That self imposed rule has kept the cost of this collection down a bit.

There are four bolo ties from Philmont Scout Ranch but only one from the Summit high adventure base. I think you can get an idea how many times I have attended each base. I was a little surprised that I only have 5 different bolo ties from Many Point Scout Camp since the troop has been going there for nearly 30 years. I wish I had bought a few more of the Order of the Arrow bolo ties.

Do you collect Scouting related bolo ties? Do the Scout of your troop? How many have you collected over the years?

When you are collecting things you sometimes accumulate other things while working on that collection. This is one example of that.

I was cleaning out a few cabinets in my kitchen the other day and came to the one in which I was keeping bags left over from shopping. While most of the bags were paper bags from grocery shopping there were quite a few plastic bags. As I pulled them out I realized that a theme was starting to form.

Several of the bags were Scouting themed. Most were from the local Scout Shop, but a few were from other Scouting events. What I found to be the most interesting was a few of the bags were kind of older, as you can see in the picture. After I took this picture I found one more that was from the 2001 National Jamboree.

At first I was going to put them in the recycle bin, but for some reason I did not. I folded all the bags and placed them into one bag and put the collection back in the cabinet. I am not sure why I did that. Maybe the collector in me said I just could not throw that collection of bags away.

Not yet anyway….

My new Hallmark ornaments arrived in the mail on Friday. That makes thirteen years of Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments in the collection. I know I do not have the earliest ones. but maybe someday I will. This year had the nice bonus of a Scout Leader Donald Duck and his nephew Scouts.

Some people have been wondering what the collection looks like so I though I would share a picture of it with you. The sad thing is that the biggest one of the collection was only $19.99 when I bought it back in 2007. Now look at how small this year’s ornament is, and the price was $17.99. A much smaller ornament for nearly the same cost. I guess that is the way things are these days.

How many of these do you own? Do you plan to collect all of them?

Earlier this week I discovered that Hallmark was selling the 2019 Snoopy Beagle Scout Christmas ornament. Since I collect them I had to place an order for a couple of them, but that was not the only thing I ended up ordering.

It seems that Hallmark decided to release a second Scouting themed ornament this year. This one features Donald Duck as the Scout Leader and his three nephews as the Scouts. The ornament is based on the 1938 Disney short film called The Good Scouts. If you have not seen it yet you should look it up. Donald is not the best Scout leader, but his nephews are not the best Scouts either.

I think is it cool that Hallmark released two Scouting themed ornaments in one year. I like it even more that one is based on the Peanuts characters and the other is based on Disney characters. I wonder what they have planned for next year? Maybe something from Follow Me Boys?

Do you already have your 2019 ornaments? Do you plan to buy them for yourself or as a present for someone this Christmas?

It is that time of year. Even though it is not yet Halloween the Christmas stuff is starting to find its way onto shelves at your favorite stores. While I agree it is too early to put out the Christmas decorations I always look forward to seeing what the next Hallmark Christmas ornament featuring Beagle Scout Snoopy is going to be. Today is the day I discovered what it is.

This year’s ornament features Scout Leader Snoopy helping Woodstock and friend work on their archery skills. Of course, the bow is longer than Woodstock and his friend but it gives a great example of a Scout leader helping his Scouts.

This year’s ornament is 2.5 inches tall. The cost is $17.99 and can be ordered online at the Hallmark website or picked up at your nearest Hallmark store. I usually get two of them, one to put on the tree and one to keep as part of my collection. This will be the thirteenth Beagle Scout Snoopy ornament in my collection.

Do you collect these ornaments? Do you have them all? I know I am missing a couple of the earlier ones.

(Pictures are from the Hallmark website.)