Archive for the ‘collections’ Category


I have been collecting the Boy Scouts of America Scouting Village series since it began several years ago. I even have a lighted Scouting building set sold by Walmart a few years ago that fits pretty well with the B.S.A. pieces. I was a little disappointed last year when there were not any new village pieces sold by the Scout Shop. In fact, I wondered if the new yearly pieces had come to an end. Oh well, I would save money for other things if it had ended.

Well, I guess I was wrong. They are not done yet.

A new piece was added to the collection for 2017. (Yes, just one piece.) The item is the “Lighted Scouting Village Climbing Tower.” This means we can add a summer camp activity to our “summer camp village” of lodges and tents. The size of the tower is listed as 5″ x 5″ x 19 3/4″, which will make it the tallest piece of the set so far. Unfortunately, it is out of proportion to the the people pieces and tents released a few years ago so I will probably place the tower to the back of the layout to try to keep it looking a little more in perspective to the rest of the village.

I noticed the tower on the scoutstuff.com website a month ago but it was listed as not available until September 27. I called the local Scout Shop today to check if they had received any yet. They have not, but my name is on the list to purchase one when they do arrive. I guess I have to wait a little longer to add one to my collection.

The Lighted Climbing Tower can be seen and purchased at
http://www.scoutstuff.org/house-lighted-climbing-tower.html#.Wc58MDVrwdU

Do you plan to add a tower to your Scouting Village?

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    That time of year has arrived! Hallmark has released their holiday ornaments for 2017 and yes, there is another Beagle Scout Snoopy to add to the collection!

    This year’s ornament features Snoopy, Woodstock, and friends folding the United States Flag. Written on the Hallmark website: Known as the Beagle Scouts in the long-running Peanuts® comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, troop leader Snoopy and his small yellow bird friends show their patriotism. Scout families will really “flock” to this Christmas ornament that shows the lovable characters in the middle of a flag-folding ceremony.

    As you know, if you have been reading this blog over the years, I collect these ornaments. I think they have nicely captured bits of the Scouting program. I plan to pick up at least two of the ornaments, one for the tree, and one to store away. Maybe I will even buy another one or two to give as gifts.

    One little extra note this year is that Hallmark will donate $1.00 to Toys For Tots for each of these ornaments purchased this year. A win-win situation!

    It can be found online at  http://www.hallmark.com/ornaments/keepsake-ornaments/peanuts-snoopy-flag-folding-ceremony-ornament-1595QXI3295.html  or at your local Hallmark store.

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      Friends of Scouting. The annual visit of a council representative to troops and packs throughout the country. The annual visit for the council to ask parents and families to help with the expenses at the district and council level. Some units welcome the council representatives with open arms. Other units, not so much.

      I do not mind the F.O.S. visits. I understand the need for the council to visit the units. Oh, there have been a few times over the last few decades that I was upset with the council for one reason or another and almost told them they could forget coming to our troop court of honor, but I never denied them the opportunity to talk to the parents.

      There is one thing I look forward to seeing whenever it is time for the Friends of Scouting campaign. I am always curious to see what the incentives will be to entice people to donate at the various levels. The right incentive could just boost that donation up to the next level after all.

      The Central Minnesota Council offered a different framed Normal Rockwell print for several years in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. I collected them all. The mugs and tumblers really did not grab my attention very well.

      This is the tenth year the the council has offered a special council should patch (csp) for meeting the first level of incentives. Each year has featured a different point of the Scout Law. This being the tenth year so the patch features the theme Brave.

      As a collector of shoulder patches this FOS patch has always had my attention. I like the look of this year’s patch. The red color will really stand out on the Boy Scout uniform sleeve, and I like the action picture of Scouts white water rafting. I do not wear these patches on my uniform. I place them in a three ring binder with the other council patches of the Central Minnesota Council and the Noguonabe Lodge that I have collected over the past 40 years.

      What does your council offer during its annual Friends of Scouting campaigns? Do they offer any special patches?

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        Like I stated in the previous post, I collect Scouting memorabilia. A large portion of the collection is books: handbooks, merit badge books, Fieldbooks, training books, and fictional novels. Most of the fictional novels are from the 1910’s through the 1920’s.

        Last year I found a set of four books in a comic book shop in Alexandria. I almost looked past them. After all, you do not expect to see Scouting books in a comic book store, but the edge design of the books happen to catch my eye since they are similar to other fictional Scouting themed novels from the early 1900’s. The dust jacket on the one book gave a clue that this could be a Scouting series. I was right. This Dan Carter, Cub Scout series, written by Mildred Wirt, was printed from 1949-1953.

        I looked them over, thought about the price marked on the books, and decided they would make a nice addition to my collection, especially since the one book still had the dust jacket, which I have since discovered makes a book more collectable to some collectors.

        Later, I took a look in the iTunes store to see if these books were available as digital versions. They were! A six book mega-pack was available for a very reasonable price. Yes, you read that correctly. There are six books in the series which means I am missing two of them. Oh well, I have the digital versions so I may read all six books, when I find the time to do so. I have too many books sitting on my bookshelves waiting to be read, and more on my iPad.

        Do you collect old Scouting themed books? Which ones do you have?

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          I collect Scouting memorabilia. That includes a collection of coffee mugs. Sometimes I forget what I really have in the collection so I was a little surprised to discover something the other day.

          I am a member of a few Scouting groups on Facebook, including a brand new group called Boy Scout Collectables. The group was created by a member of the Scout Patch Collectors page after a discussion started that a group was needed for things other than patches. The new group has grown slowly and has about 21 members as I write this. I have a feeling it will grow as the word gets out.

          Since this is a new Facebook group I decided to share a few of the things I have collected with the members. I decided to take a picture of these coffee mugs since they had a cool Scouting caption and picture on one side. I was surprised to discover the Viking Council logo on the other side. Since the Viking Council of Minneapolis no longer exists I guess they have really become a bit more collectable.

          I invite you to join the Boy Scout Collectables group on Facebook and share your collection. It can be found at
          https://www.facebook.com/groups/323868214332022/

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            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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