Archive for the ‘collections’ Category


I wrote an article last month about the new collectable lighted miniature buildings being sold on the scoutstuff.com website. There were three pieces available: the Ranger’s Cabin, the Trading Post, and the Church. I liked the looks of the ranger’s cabin and the trading post, but I was not really impressed with the church.

A couple weeks later I noticed the ranger’s cabin had been removed from the website. Boy, I thought, they must be sold out already. I wonder how many they made. It did not bother me because I did not plan to buy the pieces anyway.

Last Saturday, I called the council Scout Shop and just for the fun of it I asked if they still had a Ranger’s Cabin. They did, and suddenly I had a change of mind. I decided I wanted the three pieces. I had the shop set the cabin aside and told them I would pick it up on Tuesday before the roundtable meeting.

When I arrived Tuesday, they had the Ranger’s Cabin and the Church but they were out of the Trading Post buildings. They were trying to get more in so I bought the other two buildings. I could always buy the Trading Post online, I thought.

I checked the Scout Stuff website when I returned home and discovered the Trading Post was no longer available. Two of the three pieces were now sold out. I called the council Scout Shop Wednesday morning and was told that they were having difficulty finding more Trading Posts, but they were still trying. Two other people were also on they waiting list for the same piece.

Yesterday, Friday, I called the shop again and was told they still do not have an answer as to whether they will be receiving any more of the buildings. I explained that I would really like to have the three piece set. She understood, asked if I could give her another week, and told me that if she could not find any I could return the pieces I had bought.

Now the wait begins. Do I begin my lighted “Scouting Village” with all three pieces or do I return them and forget about starting a new collection? I guess I will have the answer next weekend.

Have you purchased any of the pieces? What do you think of them?

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    Fifteen years ago I collected pieces of the Department 56 Dickens Village Collection, the Christmas Carol pieces in particular. For a few years I enjoyed setting up my buildings around Christmas time, and I believe people enjoyed it when they paid a visit to my home. It was a lot of work setting it up because I hard a fair number of building, trees, people, and other pieces. It also took up a fair portion of my living room. After a few years I quit setting it up and no longer added pieces to the collection. It now sits in a cabinet in the basement.

    I noticed that this year the Boy Scouts of America store at scoutstuff.org has begun their own Scouting Village collection. This first year (?) begins with three pieces for Scouts and Scouters to own: the lighted Chapel House, the lighted Trading Post, and the lighted Camp Ranger Cabin. (Click on the links to go to the scoutstuff.org page.)

    I like the Trading Post and the Ranger Cabin, but I have never been at a Scout camp that has a small enclosed church. Even here in Minnesota the Scout camp chapels are usually outing settings, like a campfire ring, or a building open on at least three sides to keep the outdoors feel to the service. In other words, your rain jacket may be required at your religious services. But maybe I am looking this the incorrectly. The website states, “A yard sign beside the steps proudly boasts the message “Scouts Meet Here.” so maybe this is meant to be a troop meeting place.

    I wonder how long the Scout Shop plans to continue with this series, and how many pieces it plans to release each year. Are the pieces to be sold for one only year, with new pieces introduced each year? Will there be “people” pieces? Trees and shrubbery? Tents, beach fronts, and climbing towers? The buildings have snow on them so I would guess there will not be any beach front pieces.

    I cannot help but think that this series is about ten years too late. Are the various village collections even popular anymore? Am I just out of the loop? Oh well, at least the Scouting Village pieces are reasonably priced at only $12.99 each. I think they could make for fun Christmas presents. What do you think about them?

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      It is that time of year again. Hallmark is now selling the new Snoopy, the Beagle Scout, 2012 ornament. It is available only at Hallmark stores and is not available for purchase online, although their site does have a page for it at http://www.hallmark.com/Product/ProductDetails/1795QXI2941_DK .

      This year’s collectable features Beagle Scout (or is it scoutmaster?) Snoopy with Woodstock and a couple friends as they raise the flag of the United States of America one morning on a camping trip. As the Hallmark page states: “Recall wholesome camp mornings with a trio of scouts ready to salute the start of their day. Snoopy’s got the flag on hand, so it’s time to get going on your own winter adventure together.”

      I guess I will be making a trip to St. Cloud to purchase a few of these. A couple will be added to my collection (one for the Christmas tree and one to put away) and a couple may find themselves under someone’s tree Christmas morning.

      How many do you plan to purchase? How many previous ones do you already own?

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        Doesn’t it seem like every time you go to summer camp you end up bringing things home with you that were not in your pack when you arrived at camp? The camp trading post can be a dangerous place. Money can quickly disappear from your pockets. Strange items vanish from the shelves and somehow reappear in your tent when it comes time to pack up to return home. It can be very strange.

        In my younger days I would usually come home from camp with a new tee shirt or two, or maybe a bolo tie, or a coffee mug, or some other items I just felt I had to have. Many years it was three, four, or five items. These items accumulated after a couple decades. I finally had to find the willpower to stop buying stuff while at camp. Unfortunately, it was sometimes hard to find Will Power.

        This year I attended camp for only one day. I only made two quick trips to the trading post. As I walked around the store I heard the souvenirs call out to me… “Pick me!” said the tee shirts. “Buy me”, yelled the tall glass mugs. “Take me home with you”, whispered the colorful magnets. “I will keep you warm on those cool nights”, tempted the sweatshirts and jackets.

        I did not leave empty handed. I bought four small items to take home. Two were Order of the Arrow lodge patches to add to my collection. One was the 2012 Many Point Scout Camp patch. (I did attend camp after all, even if it was just for a day.) The fourth item was a small furry raccoon wearing a tee shirt that said “I Love Many Point”. (If it would have been written out.) It was just too cute to pass up. It thought it would look great on the shelf with the other Scouting related critters I have collected over the years.

        Did you buy any souvenirs at camp this year? What snuck into your pack for the journey home?

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          Boy Scout patch blanket

          When you have been involved in Scouting for as long as I have (over 32 years) you end up accumulating a lot of patches. Some are earned by simply attending a Scouting event. Others are earned by being on staff for an activity. Others have requirements that must be completed before being awarded. And finally, there are those that you buy just because they look cool. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “A Scout (or Scouter) will do anything for a patch.”

          I probably have nearly 200 Scout related patches. For many years I stapled them to a four foot by four foot sheet of paneling and hung it on the wall. The patches were placed in rows, by year in the order I received them. I was fun to be able to view all the patches at one time. It was a colorful item used in some of the Scouting displays I would place around town during Boy Scout anniversary week in February.

          Unfortunately, a few years ago, I ran out of room on the patch board. I had teased the Boy Scouts that when the board was full it would be time for me to retire from Scouting. The last patch was stapled to the board in 2005. I remained as scoutmaster (until the end of 2011) and currently serve as a committee member. I guess you could say the board really did not have any say on when I would retire from the Scout program.

          I now have a problem. I have a lot more patches that need a home. I also need wall space to hang photos, art prints, and other items. It is time for the old patch board to come down off the wall, but I really have no place to store it. It may be time to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is time to create a patch blanket. Or two. Yep, definitely two blankets.

          Several Christmases ago my sister gave me a Scout blanket as a present. A few years ago a couple Eagle Scouts gave me another Scout blanket as a gift. Last year I received a third Scout blanket at another Eagle court of honor. I guess I have enough blankets to make this work.

          Tonight I began taking patches off the board and started placing them on the first blanket, which happens to be a Boy Scouts of America 100th anniversary design. I am placing more patches on it them I originally thought I would be able to place on it. I think it is going to look pretty sharp. I am far enough along to see that I will need two blankets for all the patches.

          There is one major problem with my plan. I do not sew. I hate sewing. I am not good at it. And I do not plan to get good at it. I think I will use some Badge Magic to hold the patches in place and take them to a person in town has a sewing business in her home. I realize it will cost me some bucks to have this done put I think it is going to be well worth it. I plan to ask her if she can put a couple loops at the top of the blanket so that I could hang it on a wall or rod. This way I could continue to use it as part of Scouting displays.

          What do you think about my first blanket? Do you have a patch blanket? I would appreciate hearing your comments.

          Here is what is left on the board yet.

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            The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 took their May 7 meeting night to have a field trip. They gathered at the Melrose Area Historical Museum for a tour of the facility which worked into their monthly theme of Historical Places. One of the museum curators, Roger Paschke, lead the Boy Scouts through the rooms while explaining several of the more interesting of the exhibits. The Scouts learned a little about the founders of Melrose, Minnesota. Mr. Paschke stopped the troop at the Charles Lindberg display for a short explanation of his famous plane trip and his links to Melrose. The boys enjoyed the “war room”, but quickly passed by the religious displays in the “chapel” for some reason. Other popular areas of the museum included the prohibition (moonshine and stills) area, the old printing press, the railroad displays, and the case with the old Scouting memorabilia.  The troop plans to go back to the museum later this month for a scavenger hunt.

            Here are a few pictures from the field trip.

             The Boy Scouts learn about the ties Charles Lindberg had to Melrose, Minnesota.

             

             

             

             

             

             This is part of the Scouting display found at the museum.

             

             

             

             

             

             
             The group photo was taken in front of some of the old farming machinery found in the museum.

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              I thought I would post links a few of the Flickr groups that are dedicated to sharing pictures of Scouting taken in the United States and other countries. I enjoy checking these groups and see how the Scout program is being enjoyed around the world. Check them out when you get some time. You just might get a few ideas for your troop’s or pack’s program. Don’t be afraid to join the groups and add your own pictures to the groups.

              For Scouts all around the world, sharing great, nice an beautyfull Scouting moments in pictures.
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              This group is about Scouting in the United States. Hopefully this will become a place were ideas are shared and different Scouting techniques can be shared for the benefit of everyone.
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              Lots of Boy Scout photos from the U.S.A.
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              Pictures of Cub Scouts and their Akelas.
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              The Group is for showcasing Scouting or Guiding, from any section and anywhere in the world. It is meant as a resource, for showing what Scouts and Guides do in different countries.
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              A group for all those Scouting moments. Posts include summer and winter camp, Klondike, Pack & Troop Meetings, Courts of Honor and other scouting photos.
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              Order of The Arrow, BSAhttp://www.flickr.com/groups/oa/
              A group that shares pictures pictures of lodge and special OA events.
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              A group to share pictures of your Eagle Scouts, courts of honor, and service projects.
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              A great group for pictures of the BSA’s well known high adventure site.
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              A Flickr site to share your photos from Woodbadge training.
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              Do you know of other Flickr groups devoted to Scouting?
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                Yes, I realize that it is still July, but it is time to go toward your nearest Hallmark store and buy this year’s Snoopy, the Beagle Scout, Christmas ornament. It features Beagle Scout Snoopy along with a couple of his bird Scouts as they try to sell Christmas trees. Hallmark has named it “Holiday En-tree-preneurs”. It can be seen by clicking HERE, but who knows how long the link will be available. Or, for that matter, how long will they be in the stores? Keep in mind that these ornaments are available only in the stores, not through online sales.

                I have been collecting these ornaments for several years now and always buy two of them, one for the tree and one to store away. Too bad the BSA does not list these in the Scout Stuff store during the holiday shopping season.

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