Archive for the ‘collections’ Category


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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      village saleIf you have been reading this blog for a few years you realize that I have been collecting the BSA Scouting Village pieces as they come out each year. After writing yesterday’s article about the Christmas In July Sale, I thought I would check if the 2016 pieces were listed online. I know it is early, but you never know.

      I did not find any new items listed but I was surprised to see two of last year’s pieces still listed. Usually the pieces sell out before the end of the holiday season so I was surprised to see the Resident Camp Tents Lighted House still available. I was not as surprised to see the Lighted Porcelain Villa Philmonte still listed since it was a very expensive piece. It was the piece I almost did not purchase last year. So. you still have a chance to add these pieces to your Scouting Village collection before the 2016 pieces arrive, which I guess might be in late August or September.

      By the way, I also checked the Walmart website since I found a really nice “vintage village” set last year. Nope, nothing listed for this year yet, except for some tree ornaments.

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        2010drapeMelrose Boy Scout Troop 68 has been using the Boy Scout decorative drape for many years, decades even, at its court of honors and special functions. It adds a nice bit of color to the ceremony and makes things look a bit more official. At least I think it does. They are a little pricey (they are sold for $64.99 on the scoutstuff.org website) but I think the troop has got their money’s worth from ours.

        I was at the council Scout Shop today to look around and found something else that could be used to add a bit more color to the ceremonies. The 2010 Boy Scout Centennial drape was on closeout. It was priced for only $9.88. That was too good of a deal to pass up. I own one now. It will become part of my Scouting collection, but I may let the troop use it if they want to for their courts of honor. It might even be a good thing to display during the fall School Night To Join Scouting. I am sure I will find some uses for it.

        Will you be heading to your local Scout Shop to pick up one of these closeouts? Or does your troop already own one?

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          EaglePicsIf you were reading this blog last December, you probably read the article I wrote about my “Eagle Project”. It is not an Eagle project in the normal use of the term. I am too old to be working on my Eagle Scout requirements, after all. No, this was a project which would recognize those Scouts who attained Scouting’s highest award. It was to be a display for the local history museum which would feature a picture of each of Troop 68’s Eagle Scouts.

          I finished my project in February and presented 22 framed 5″x7″ portraits to the museum chairman, representing the Eagle Scouts from the 1980’s to present time. He took these photographs, found a stand for them, and added them to the museum’s Scouting display. I was not sure how the pictures were going to become a part of the display but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Roger, the museum chairman, was even able to get a picture of the one Melrose Troop 68 Boy Scout who earned the Eagle Rank in the 1960’s. That was a great addition to the photos and now makes the collection of Troop 68 Eagle Scouts complete.

          Last month the troop had another Boy Scout turn in his Eagle Scout application to the local council. We may have to expand this photo collection very soon. Hopefully, we will be adding a lot more portraits in the next few years.

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            2016fosSeveral years ago the Central Minnesota Council added a new incentive to the annual Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaign. If you met a certain donation level you would receive a specially designed council shoulder patch (CSP). Each year would feature a different point of the Scout Law. Twelve points meant twelve patches that could be collected. Being the patch collector that I am, I was hooked from the very first year.

            This year marks the ninth year of this promotion so the 2016 patch has Thrifty as its theme. The csp features a vintage Boy Scout at the bank, ready to add some money to his saving account. There is a “ghost” design on the left side of the patch of a squirrel ready to store his acorn for future use. Even the animal kingdom practices being thrifty.

            This means there are only three years left of the Scout Law council shoulder patches. I wonder what the design of the next one, Brave, will look like.

            Other incentives of this year’s Central Minnesota Council FOS drive included an electronics cleaning cloth, a Ripley Rendezvous water bottle or frisbee, and an Eagle Scout statuette.

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              I set up my Scouting Village today and decided to share the flyover video. (It takes a small drone to video this. lol)

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                2015villageIt is that time of year. Time to think about Christmas! Well, the retail community wants us to think about Christmas and the holidays. After all, they have lots of things they would like to sell us and they seem to think they need the last three (sometimes four) months of the year to convince us of that. Buy your decorations! Plan your family meals! And make sure you get your Christmas shopping done early!

                For the last few years the Boy Scouts of America has created its own Scouting Village Collection. It started with a Ranger’s Cabin, Trading Post, and Church and has expanded nicely over the last two years. A person can set up a very nice Christmas Scouting Village (summer camp) scene with the pieces, if you have them all. I combine the Scouting pieces with some accessories from the Department 56 Village to create a rather cool Scouting scene.

                I was looking forward to see if they would continue offering new village pieces this year. Last time I walked into the local Scout shop a couple weeks ago the clerk pulled me off to the side to show me what would be coming out. Cool, I thought when she said there would be new pieces. Unfortunately, I was not thinking it was so cool after seeing what was offered.

                First, there is the Resident Camp Tents “lighted house” piece. This one does not look too bad but I have a feeling it is going to look out of proportion when placed with BSA Wall Tent from two years ago. I may have to use this new item as a background piece to gain a bit of perspective to the village scene. I will find out after I spend $16.99 to buy it.

                The second piece offered is the Philmont Trek Accessory. When I first saw the picture for this piece I thought it would make an excellent addition to the collection. After all, it featured three Scouts climbing to one of the mountainous peaks of Philmont Scout Ranch. When I saw the piece for the first time I lost my enthusiasm for it. It is very small, only 4″ high and 3″ long. I have a feeling its scale will look totally out of place with the rest of the collection. The cost is only $6.99 so it is not a big investment at least.

                The third and final piece for this year is the Villa Philmonte Lighted House. It is a nice looking addition to the series. My main concern is the cost. The nice thing about the Scouting Village set is that the pieces were very affordable. Lighted pieces usually sold from $12 to maybe $20 each. The Villa Philmonte breaks this tradition is a big way. This piece sells for $49.99. Wow. Last year’s eight piece starter set was only $80, and that included four lighted buildings. Granted, this new piece is 13″ long and nearly 8″ high, making it one of the largest pieces of the collection, but I have a feeling the price is going to turn a lot of people off of collecting the set. I cannot help but remember that $50 used to be able to buy all the pieces for each year’s set. Looks like that price point will no longer be carried on.

                I am not sure yet if I will buy this year’s collection or not. To tell the truth, I think it is the weakest of the four year’s sets so far. What do you think? Do you plan to purchase any or all of them?

                Residential Camp Tents: http://www.scoutstuff.org/house-lighted-camp-tents.html#.ViWrzdY-AUE
                Villa Philmonte Lighted House: http://www.scoutstuff.org/house-light-villa-philmonte.html#.ViWr0NY-AUE

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