Archive for the ‘collections’ Category


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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            It has been said that Boy Scout leaders will do nearly anything for a patch. I guess I may fall into that grouping. I have been to many camporees and Scouting activities over the last three decades, and yes, I attended a few of them just to get the patch, but I have to add that I did have fun at the events. Many of the activity patches I have collected are found on a 4′ x 4′ sheet of paneling that is hanging on a wall in my basement family room.

            However, the sheet was filled a few years ago and now I am looking for a different way to display them. A patch blanket quickly come to mind, but I do not like sewing. There are probably about 150 patches on the sheet of paneling and another 30 or so patches waiting for a home.

            How many patches do you have? How do you store or display them? Leave a comment and let us know.

            100 Days Of Scouting: Day 90.

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              I know there have been quite a few books written about that magical place we Scouters know as Philmont Scout Ranch. I own a few of them. Four to be precise. Here is a quick description of each of them.

              Return To The Summit Of Scouting is “A Scouter’s midlife journey back to Philmont” written by William F Cass. It follows Mr. Cass’ return to Philmont as an advisor and father after having left the ranch as a summer staffer over two decades earlier. Not only does the book follow the expedition of him and his son, but it also gives great nice in-depth outlook from the staff and rangers point of view. This book was first printed in April, 1993.

              Head For The High Country was written by David L. Caffey and published in 1973. Mr. Caffey was a member of the Philmont Scout Ranch staff for several seasons. He is also an Eagle Scout and has received the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. The book covers the five years he spent working on the staff in various camps around the ranch.

              The oldest Philmont-themed book in the collection is The Tooth Of Time, A Philmont Adventure, written by the radio scoutmaster the 1940′s, Gray Sterling. This book was published in 1955. I picked up my copy at a used book store which must have received it from a library because it still has the sign out card on the back cover. I have not read it yet but when I skimmed it for this article I noticed it may be a fictional account of a Scout crew’s trip to Philmont Scout Ranch. I also noticed one more thing today. The book appears to have the author’s signature on the first page of the book, under his picture. Cool.

              Beyond The Hills, The Journey of Waite Phillips, written by Michael Wallis, is really not about Philmont Scout Ranch. It is about the life of Waite Phillips, the man who donated to land to the Boy Scouts of America. It is a fascinating book that belongs in any collection of Philmont-themed books. This book does contain a lot of photos.

              The final two books, The Scoutmaster and The Scoutmaster II, are not actually books about Philmont. They are written by scoutmaster Jim Boeger who was one of two excellent instructors for Scoutmaster’s Fundamentals, a course I took at the Philmont Training Center in 1984. The books are about Mr. Boeger’s experiences as a scoutmaster. (By the way, he is 6′-9″ tall, which brings some unique experiences to the Scouting table.) The first chapter about his first experience going on a camping trip with a troop of Boy Scouts had me laughing out loud. Mr. Boeger did sign my copy of The Scoutmaster before I left Philmont.

              What Philmont-themed books do have own? Do you have any suggestions for us. or a special book perhaps? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

              100 Days of Scouting: Day 84.

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                Patches, patches, and more patches. I have quite a few patches. I have already written about my collection of 2001 National Jamboree council shoulder patches, and the collection of Order of the Arrow lodge patches. Add these two together and you may get close to how many patches are in my regular Council Shoulder Patch (CSP) collection, the subject of today’s Memorabilia Monday.

                I began collecting CSP’s shortly after attending a scoutmaster training session at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1984. It was during that conference that I was introduced to the world of patch trading. Unfortunately, I did not bring along any patches to trade, but I have made an effort to bring patches to any other national event since then. Patch trading offers a great opportunity to meet people from around the country, and even from other nations.

                The picture shows a small part of the collection. I am sure the collection could be much larger, but I am still a shy guy and the opportunities to trade have been few and far between. Sometimes, If I happen to drive by a council office I will stop by and but a patch or two. You could say I trade currency for a patch at those moments. I would guess that the collection currently has over 130 patches, including every Central Minnesota Council patch variation since 1980. (I think.) This does not include the Jamboree patches or Order of the Arrow patches.

                Do you collect council shoulder patches? How many do you have? Do you have any that have a special place in your collection?

                100 Days of Scouting: Day 56.

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