Archive for the ‘collections’ Category


img_6109I have a lot of photo albums. Scouting photo albums, that is. Most of them include pictures of troop meetings, weekend outings, summer camps, and courts of honor. There are also albums of the trips to Philmont Scout Ranch, the High Knoll Trail, and the 2001 National Jamboree. In total, there are 39 albums of Boy Scout Troop 68, covering activities from the mid 1970’s through this year.

The reason I am posting about this is because I just finished putting the last photograph in the 39th album this week. This brings me up to May 2016, the troop’s Camp Watchamagumee outing. It is time to start another album. Or is it?

As I was placing photos into the page sleeves I began thinking to myself, maybe this should be the last photo album I create of troop functions. After all, the only time they get viewed in when I use them for in displays for Scout Week in February or at one of the troop’s meal fundraisers.

I also began thinking about the cost of each album, not just the book but also the cost of printing the pictures. Each finished album runs about $40-$50 by the time it is done. When you stop to think about it, I have a lot invested in these albums.

Then I thought of a third point. Most people, including myself, are more into looking at photos on their phones and tablets than they are to picking up an physical album. That was the main reason I bought an iPad. Not to play games but to carry my photos with me. Add to this that we all share digital photos so easily these days it begins to make little sense to create physical photo albums.

Finally, what is going to happen to all these albums when I am done with Scouting? No one is going to want them. Our troop does not have its own hut or building. (We meet in a school gym for meetings.) The only place that may want the books is our local historical museum. Yeah, they would probably love to have over 36 years of local Scouting history to add to their collection.

So there it is. In this digital age I really do not see a reason to create any more Scouting photo albums for Troop 68. What do you think? Am I wrong for thinking this way?

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    2016holidayFor the last few years I, along with many other Scouters and Scouts, have been buying the Scouting Village collection pieces. Last year my village filled an area larger than two foot by four foot. That was without all the 2015 pieces as part of the display. It would be a fair size larger this year. The Villa Philmonte piece, which is the larger piece of the collection, takes a good chuck of real-estate by itself.

    I have been waiting for the B.S.A.’s holiday mailer to arrive to see what this year’s pieces would add to the collection. The mailer has arrived. Disappointment has arrived with it. There are no new pieces shown in the flyer. I always wondered how long there would be new “buildings” to add to a Scouting village. After all, the village seemed to be based on a summer camp theme. There are only so many buildings found at a summer camp. While last year’s Villa Philmonte building was nice, it really did not fit well with the rest of the collection.

    So, did the people in charge of the collection finally run out of ideas? Or did last year’s collection not go over very well. (I know the Villa piece was rather expensive.) Is the collection done, or could there be more pieces next year?

    It got me thinking. What other pieces could be added to the Scouting Village collection? Here are a few suggestions. How about a nature center, or a handicrafts lodge? A first aid/health lodge would be a good fit. A climbing tower, with climbers , would be something I would buy. How about a sauna for the beach area? We already have some larger wall tents, but how about some smaller backpacking tents? A summer camp needs an administration building. How about a horse stable and corral? Gosh, there are enough ideas for any other two or four years worth of buildings! And don’t forget the Scouts and leaders figurines.

    Maybe it is a good thing for this to come to an end. The village would just start taking up too much room in the house if it kept going. But then, I could really just change things up from year to year. The are no rules saying I have to put up all the buildings up every year, but knowing me I would have to try. My house is not that large which means a fair portion of my living room would get used.

    I may not set up the village this year. I have volunteered to have the troop’s Christmas party at my house so I think I will need all the room I have for the Scouts to use, especially since the patrol leader council has decided to invite the 5th grade Webelos Scouts to join us. The living room will already be a bit crowded as we gather to watch the movie. I would have to find somewhere else to set up the village if I do set it up.

    How do you feel about the lack of new Scouting Village pieces this year? Have you been collecting them?

    By the way, if you would like to see my set up from last year I do have the video posted to Youtube. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ2_xh_acto .

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      jc_6088The Norman Rockwell reprint set I wrote about in the last post is not the only Scouting print set I own. I also have The New Spirit Of Scouting set featuring ten paintings of Joseph Csatari. These prints are also 11″ x 17″ and are great to have as part of my collection. Once again, I did use them in some displays, but since they are newer I did not use them as often. They are in much better shape than the Rockwell print set I have.

      I love the Joseph Csatari paintings nearly as much as Norman Rockwell. He is a fantastic artist. You can easily see that Joseph was paying attention as he learned from the master. While the Rockwell prints captured the early days of Scouting, Csatari’s paintings capture more of today’s spirit. During his 60-year association with the BSA, he created more than 150 Scout-themed paintings and drawings. Did you know that his permanent Boy Scout collection of paintings is housed alongside Norman Rockwell’s at the National Scouting Museum? That is one more reason that I need to make a trip to the museum someday.

      I wish the national Scout Shop would sell the Rockwell and Csatari print sets again. I bet there are a lot of current friends of Scouting and Scouters that would buy a set for themselves or as gifts. I would probably buy all three sets myself just so I could have an unused set of each in my collection.

      Which one of the ten is your favorite? Do you or someone you know own this set? Leave a comment below.

      jc_6089

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        nr_6086A long time ago, in a galaxy… Oh wait, Let me start again. Way back in the 1980’s, which is prehistory to today’s Scouts, a young scoutmaster began collecting Scouting memorabilia. That collection continues to grow to this day, although not as fast as it once did. Tonight, as I was looking through a closet downstairs, I came across a few items that I bet most of today’s Scouters did not even know existed for sale at one time. One of those items is a set of Norman Rockwell reprints.

        The set is called “Scouting Through The Eyes Of Norman Rockwell”. It contains ten 11″ x 17″ reprints of various paintings by Norman Rockwell, which I believed were used for the annual Boy Scouts of America calendar. The ten prints feature some of the most iconic paintings of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts done by Mr. Rockwell. (See the picture below for the names of the prints in the set.)

        I bought the set as soon as I saw it in the local Scout Shop back then. These prints did not just stay in the package. I used them, and used them well. They were used for courts of honor. They were used in displays set up around town. If I thought they fit into something I was doing I was not afraid to get them out and put them to use. The many tape marks are proof of that.

        I have not used them in any displays for over ten years or more. They are now keepsakes in my Scouting collection. In fact, I kind of wish I never used them in displays. The tape marks and slight crinkles do mare the looks a bit. But I did, and that is the way they are. Maybe the prints mean even more to me since I did use them. I know people enjoyed looking at them.

        The set is labeled as Series II. Unfortunately, I did not pick up a set of Series I when it was available. To tell the truth, I do not even remember seeing Series I for sale. I did a quick search on eBay and did find a Series II set for sale at a Buy It Now price of $45.00. I don’t think I am quite ready to buy another set at that price, even though it does appear to be in much better shape then mine. Although at $20.00 I would maybe think about it.

        Do any of you have this Norman Rockwell print set? Have you put it to use like I did, or did you keep your set in pristine condition? Add a comment below.

        nr_6087

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          Version 2I happen to be doing some cleaning today in the basement family room. When I opened the cabinet to put away the latest Hallmark Snoopy Scout ornament I decided instead to take them all out for a picture. I now have ten years of the Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments. I thought it would be cool to put them all in a row, by year, 2016 on the left to 2007 on the right. How many of these do you own? What figures, if any, am I missing?

          Click on the picture for a larger view.

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            s-l1600I am always keeping an eye out for Beagle Scout Snoopy items. I just like the combination of Scouting and Peanuts, I guess. After writing the last article I decided to have a quick look on eBay to see what other Beagle Scout Snoopy items were being offered for sale. Like usual, there are a lot of Hallmark ornaments for sale. One item in particular caught my eye because I never knew it even existed.

            There is an auction for a vintage “new in box” Snoopy’s Beagle Scouts Stand Up Colorforms Play Set. I remember playing with Chloroforms when I was a kid. I do not ever remember seeing this playlet on the store shelves. Of course, maybe this set is not that old. I am not able to see a date on the box cover. I thought it might be fun to have this in my collection… until I saw the price of $39.99, plus $14.00 postage. Sorry, I do not want it that badly.

            I found another auction of the same playlet in used condition going for less than $10.00, plus postage. Notice the word “used”. After reading the description I decided I did not want to bid on that one either.

            I am not going to list the links here because they will soon be outdated, so if you wish to find the play set just do a search for it yourself. I still think it is a pretty cool item. What do you think?

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              snoopy2016It is that time of year again. Hallmark stores have started selling the 2016 Christmas ornaments. And yes, once again, there is a Snoopy the Beagle Scout ornament for us involved in Scouting to enjoy.

              This month’s ornament features Scout Leader Snoopy and three of his “Scouts” as they head out on a white water rafting adventure. They must be moving pretty fast because Snoopy’s ears are nearly flat in the rushing wind. You can almost imagine the little guy on the back of the raft being thrown overboard as soon as the raft hits its first serious white water. No reason to worry though. Snoopy is a Beagle Scout and knows what to do in case of an emergency. As you can see, everyone is wearing a PFD.

              The cost is $15.95 each.  The ornament can be found in Hallmark stores and on the online site at: http://www.hallmark.com/ornaments/keepsake-ornaments/the-peanuts-gang-snoopys-white-water-adventure-rafting-ornament-1595QXI3294.html . These ornaments always seem to sell out.

              I picked up mine already to add to the many others from previous years. I actually bought two of them, one to put on the tree, and one to store away for the collection. Do you plan to get one for yourself or someone you know in Scouting? Or did you get one already?

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                Philmont75Seven Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 recently participated in a trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. I was there to see them off when they left and wished them a good trip. After I returned home I was in a Philmont mood and noticed I had an email from the Tooth of Time Traders website, which is the place to buy all things Philmont related. ( https://www.toothoftimetraders.com )

                I noticed a book was available for the 75th anniversary of the high adventure base. The hardcover book was named A Million Miracles, 75 Years at Philmont Scout Ranch. It was published by Donning Company Publishers, and written by David Mullings. The website says:

                   In commemoration of Philmont’s 75th anniversary this book was written to explain Philmont’s Prehistoric History, Cimarron and its Wild West History, Waite Phillips’ Story, 75 Years of Scouting, Philmont Today and Philmont Tomorrow. 
                   Within the 120, full color, pages is the history of many years with great photos to document and memorialize those who came before us and helped make Philmont what it is today. A great gift for anyone with Philmont history.

                I decided I wanted the book. Instead of ordering it through the website and paying postage, I sent a text message to one of the Troop 68 adult advisors, Dakota, who was on his way to the ranch. He replied that he would pick one up for me.

                I stopped by his house yesterday and picked up my book. I am glad I had him pick one up. I have quickly paged through it and noticed it has great photographs from the history of Philmont. I look forward to reading it. It is a great addition to the other Scouting related books I have picked up over the years. Dakota also liked the book and picked one up for himself.

                The book can be found online at http://www.toothoftimetraders.com/A-Million-Miracles-75-Years-at-Philmont-Scout-Ranch/-3155101591808044816/Product .

                Have any of you read this book? What did you think of it?

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