Archive for the ‘collections’ Category


Boy Scout Patch BlanketIt is only five more weeks until Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs around the country celebrate B.S.A. Scout Anniversary Week. Local units will be setting up displays in their communities to promote their Scout programs. We will probably be doing the same here in Melrose. We have four businesses in town that allow us to set up displays. Soon it will be time to plan what will be on the tables in each establishment. (Check out our 2012 displays at http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=2892 )

If you have been following this blog you know that I completed my first Scouting patch blanket a month or so ago. It took several months for me to finish it but I think it turned out well. I plan to use that blanket as a part of one of the displays this coming year. I think it will attract a fair amount of attention.

I have now been working on the second blanket. This new blanket will hopefully display the rest of my patches (from 1996 to present day). I am also hoping their will be some room left over to apply future patches. At least a couple years worth. I think it will, but I will not be sure until I add a few more rows. If not, well, I guess I may have to start a third blanket.

Back to Scouting anniversary week. I really would like to be able to display both blankets, but that means I will not be able to take several months to complete the new one. In fact, I cannot even take several weeks. I have five weeks left. I guess I will not be able to drag my feet this time. I finished the third row tonight, and laid out the patches for the fourth row. As you can see, this will bring me to the year 2001. I guess you could say I have 14 years worth of patches to apply in a one month period. Lucky for me there are not as many patches in this 14 period as there was in the previous 14 years.

Thanks for Sharing!

    2001JamboPatchesThe 2001 National Jamboree may be ancient history to today’s Boy Scouts but it is not to me. Not yet anyway. That is the Jamboree I attended as a scoutmaster of one of two troops sent from the Central Minnesota Council. I had a great time at Fort A.P. Hill, as did the Scouts in my troop.

    I did not get to do a lot of patch trading while I was at the Jamboree. That is why I occasionally check eBay and other sites to find patches at decent prices to fill in the council shoulder patch and Order of the Arrow patch collections. I recently found one auction on eBay which netted me a six patch set from the Old North State Council. The six patches have the same design but sport different color borders. I like this addition to my collection.

    I have a question for you readers. Were there only six patches from this council, or were there others? Did the different color borders represent six troops sent or did they mean something different? Thanks for the help.

    Thanks for Sharing!

      Scouting Village 2013It is finished. I have set up my Scouting Village for the 2013 Christmas season. What do you think of it?

      The village fills a 2.5 foor by 3.5 foot sheet of plywood. It contains the 2012 and 2013 collection pieces. Except for the Trading Post, that is. But at least I have two Ranger Cabins. ( I am still a little upset with myself over that.) I also bought two lighted tents because a campsite is just not a troop campsite with only one tent. I set the church higher than the rest because it is a smaller scale. I thought it might help it look further away and more in proportion to the rest of the scene. The campsite is across the river from base camp because I do not think a troop would want to camp next to the busiest part of camp.

      The “snow” was picked up at a hobby store. The blue river is simply felt paper. The scene contains two sets of the trees from the Scouting Village collection. The rest of the trees came from my Dept. 56 Dickensville collection. I think the trees really add to the looks of the campsite. I also found a little wood pile which fits well with the Boy Scout cutting wood for the evening fire.

      Have you set up your Scouting Village yet? How does it look? Send a picture or two to me and I will feature it in a post to this blog.
      Click on the pictures to see the scene in more detail.

      ScoutVillage2013.16


      ScoutVillage2013.40

      ScoutVillage2013.49

       

       

       

       

       

       

      I wonder what pieces will be added to the village next year. I bet I will need a bigger sheet of plywood.

      Thanks for Sharing!

        I screwed up. I took out all my Scouting Village pieces this afternoon to set them up for Christmas. I was kind of excited because not only was I able to get all of this year’s pieces but my local Scout Shop was able to find the piece I missed from last year, the lighted Ranger’s Cabin. I thought I would be able to set up the whole collection!

        I was wrong.

        I discovered that I now own two Ranger’s Cabins. I was not missing the cabin. I was missing last year’s Trading Post! Arrrrrggggg! I should have looked in the cabinet one more time before I had the Scout Shop find me the piece I thought I was missing. I am rather upset with myself. I thought I would be able to post a picture to this blog featuring both year’s collections.

        I took a quick look on eBay and did not like what I found. People are selling the $12.99 Trading Post for $75.00 as a starting bid. The cheapest bidding I found was for $40.00, but there are three days left in the auction so I know where that is going. One seller posted a Trading Post as a “buy it now” purchase of $129.00. Sorry, but I am not interested in paying that much for one piece. This are not Dept. 56 Village pieces, you know.

        Well, I guess my Scouting village will have two Ranger’s Cabins. I will have to pretend that one is used as a trading post.

        Thanks for Sharing!

          patchblanket2layoutI recently completed my first Scouting patch blanket. I have received several positive comments about it already. One Scouter even wrote to say he may start his own after seeing the pictures of mine. I say, go for it. It is a great way to display the patches collected through the years. Much better than a notebook anyway. Unfortunately, my first blanket only displays patches collected to 1996. I have a lot more patches so it is time to think about creating a second blanket.

          Today I began laying out the patches for that second blanket. The 4 foot by 4 foot piece of paneling I used to staple the patches to only went up to 2004, so I had to start looking around the house for last nine years worth of patches. You see, I did not have one nice place that I would put them after each outing. This could be interesting.

          I began looking in the closet cabinet in my basement family room. I keep a lot of Scouting stuff in there. I did find quite a few in the various small totes but I knew there was more of them. I checked my briefcase, the bedroom, the office, and the kitchen. (I did actually find a couple in the kitchen.) I soon had enough patches to make a couple more rows.

          I found a few Many Point Scout Camp patches but they did not have years shown on the design. Time to do a online search on the Many Point virtual patch collection. I discovered the years of all the patches on the site except for one. For some reason the site only shows patches to 2010. I hope that one patch is for 2012 because that is were I plan to place it.

          No one will be playing table tennis at my house for awhile. As you can see in the picture, the second blanket is laying on half the table. The patches are laid out on the other half. Last time it took me nearly a year to create a patch blanket. The goal this time is to finish the new blanket by Christmas. This year. Or at least by the end of 2013.

          I do have a question for those of you who have created your own patch blankets. Have you put your Scouting knots on your blanket?

          Thanks for Sharing!

            2013-11-26 patch blanketIt is hard to believe that it is nearly three years since I first seriously began thinking of taking thirty years of patches from various Scouting events and sewing them on a blanket like so many Scouters have done. In the summer of 2012 I laid out one of my Scouting blankets on my ping pong table and started placing patches to see how it would look, and play around with an arrangement. After six months I came to the conclusion the patches were not going to sew themselves so in January of this year I began sewing patches.

            After the first row was sewn, the blanket laid untouched for a few months. I do not like to sew. Finally, the second row was complete. By the time I was working on the third row I discovered I had a hard time keeping the patches straight and that the blanket was starting to bunch up a bit. I tried an experiment when I began the fourth row. I had a bottle of Fabri-Tac so I tried spot glueing the patches into place to try to keep them straight. It worked, very well in fact. I decided to try using only glue on a few patches to see if they would stay without sewing. They did. Sewing was now done. The rest of the patches would be glued into place.

            Last Sunday I finished the last three rows on the blanket. It took me nearly 11 months from when I first grabbed a needle and thread. If the Fabri-Tac had not worked well I would bet the blanket would not be even one third of the way completed today. I was able to glue 4 patches in the same time I was able to sew one patch. I just had to be careful. I only had one chance to place a patch properly when I glued it.

            There one hundred forty two patches in twelve rows on the blanket, including the segment patches from summer camp. For the bottom half I used a straight edge to keep the patches in line. The first patch is from a 1980 council camporee. The last patches were from the 1996 summer camp at Many Point Scout Camp. Patches from Wood Badge, Philmont Scout Ranch, and awards earned at the summer camp rifle range are included. In the middle of the blanket I placed an assistant scoutmaster and a scoutmaster patch to represent those troop positions I held during those 16 years. A roundtable commissioner patch can be found along the left edge. Order of the Arrow conclave patches and one from the 1995 B.S.A National Meeting complete the blanket.

            The only thing left is to find a way to display the blanket when it is part of Scouting displays set up around town. The best thing I have found online so far is an expandable garment rack. I am open for suggestions if you have any.

            If you click on the picture a larger version will appear. Which one is your favorite patch? Do you see the one from America’s Funniest Home Videos? How does this blanket compare to your patch blanket? Send me a picture and I may post a future article featuring your blankets.

            Now it is time to consider starting work on the second blanket….

            Thanks for Sharing!

              wall tent village pieceRemember last year? Scout Shops around the country and scoutstuff.org sold the first(?) three pieces of the Scouting Village collection. Those pieces were the Ranger’s Cabin, the Camp Chapel, and the Trading Post. I never heard anything whether this was the start of a new yearly collection or if this was a one year deal, and the folks at my local Scout Shop could not answer my question either.

              I decided to buy the collection anyway. At least I tried to buy the collection. By the time I decided to do it my council Scout Shop was already out the the Trading Post, but I bought the Chapel and the Ranger Cabin thinking I could by the Trading Post online. When I got home I went to the website and discovered they had sold out of the Trading Post. I called back to the Scout Shop to ask if they would be getting more Trading Posts in stock. They said they would try.

              The story ends sadly. I never received a Trading Post. I almost returned the other two pieces since I would not be able to complete the set, but for some reason I kept them. And to tell the truth, I forgot about them. Until today.

              I received a comment today on last year’s blog post of my village dilemma. Debora wrote to tell me that the Trading Post has reappeared on the scoutstuff.com website, so I went there to check it out. Sure enough, there it was. I would be able to complete my set. And I discovered something else. There are more pieces this year! That’s right, there is a 2013 Scouting Village collection.

              It looks like accessories are the theme for this year’s collection. There is a snow covered bridge, and a set of pine trees. There are two sets of people/Scouts figurines: Scouts On A Fence and Campfire And Rowboat. There is only one “building” this year, and it is not really a building but it is something you need if you are going to have a Scout camp – the lighted BSA Wall Tent. The accessories and people figurine sets are $5.99 each. The wall tent is $14.99.

              I know that I will be ordering the Trading Post, but should I order this year’s collection? I am leaning toward buying one of everything, but I almost feel like I need to buy two or three wall tents to make a campsite setting. That is maybe the reason they only put out one lighted piece this year. They want us collectors to buy several tents! The least they could have done is to make two different looking tents so there would be a little variety when everything is set up for the holidays.

              I am never satisfied, am I?

              What do you think of the new 2013 collection? Will you be purchasing them?

              Thanks for Sharing!

                Roundtable StaffLast Tuesday was my second meeting as a member of the roundtable staff once again. I have to admit, I am having fun. And I think the Scouters who have been attending have discovered my method of roundtable training is a bit different then other peoples’ methods. I do not like to just stand there and talk. I like to move around, change up my voice tone, and even get everyone up on the feet to do things. I think the roundtable commissioner likes what I have brought to the table. At least I hope he has. Here is a review of things we both covered at this month’s Scenic District roundtable.

                This year we start our roundtables with a two part opening, one part patriotic and one part Scouting related, and we plan to change it up for each monthly meeting. For this month we began with the American Creed and the Scout Law.

                We would usually go into skill development next but since it gets dark early this time of year we switched things up and went outside for our game. Yes, you read that correctly. We played a game. The goal is to introduce troop leaders to possibly new games they can bring back to their troop to play. This month’s game was Tip, played with a frisbee. The two teams tossed the disc to each other. Team members would try to “tip” the disc to other team members and then have someone catch it. The team scores one point for each successful tip, but only if the disc is caught at the end of the tipping. The Scouters had a blast playing the game and really got into it. I believe a few grass stains may have been taken home.

                Back inside the meeting room, Al and I conducted a brief uniform inspection and talked about the uniform being one of the methods of the Scout program. I opened a discussion of this month’s Jamboree On The Air and the Jamboree On The Internet. Many of the Scouters had not heard of these events. Al lead a discussion about the duties of a troop’s junior leaders.

                Before the meeting I had set up a table display of my patch collections, including OA lodge patches, council shoulder patches, and patches from the 2001 National Jamboree. I also had several old Scouting themed books set out to view. We talked about the fun of patch trading, who trades with who, and about B.S.A. policy regarding trading.

                Al finished the day’s skill development by discussing how to plan a troop meeting, or I should say, how the troop’s junior leaders should plan a troop meeting. A few Scouters were eager to share their thoughts on this subject. We closed the roundtable with Scout Vespers.

                After the meeting, I caught up with a Scouter who is a fairly new scoutmaster and asked him if he had been finding this year’s meetings helpful. He said that he has been learning quite a bit and is discovering good ideas to bring back home to his troop. I walked to my car with a grin on my face. I guess Al and I are doing a good job so far.

                Thanks for Sharing!