Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category


Way back in the 1980s (talk about a time trip) the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 would hold a Halloween party near the end of the month of October. It was a fun party, just getting together, playing games, eating food. They were good times.

Of course, some of the Scouts would come dressed for the occasion. Some would not, but everyone had a good time. For those who did dress up we held a costume contest. The troop members would vote for who had the best costume. Some years I dressed up, other years I did not. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and join the boys in the fun.

I remember the first troop Halloween party in the 1980s. I had a silicone two piece mask set similar to the makeup used in the Planet Of The Apes movies of the 1970s. It took a long time to apply and color but wow, did it look great. I wore it for that first party. I wish I had a picture of myself in that makeup. It looked awesome.

When the party for 1986 came along I did not have a costume to wear so I started rummaging through the closet to see what I could put together. I found my old Scout uniform and patch vest, some short shorts, a couple wrist bands, and an old wig my mother used to wear. Add different color socks and you get what you see in the picture. It was groovy, man!

Troop 68 has not held a Halloween party for many years, decades even. But they were fun when we did have them. Does your troop hold a Halloween party? How many of your Scouts dress up for the occasion?

My new Hallmark ornaments arrived in the mail on Friday. That makes thirteen years of Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments in the collection. I know I do not have the earliest ones. but maybe someday I will. This year had the nice bonus of a Scout Leader Donald Duck and his nephew Scouts.

Some people have been wondering what the collection looks like so I though I would share a picture of it with you. The sad thing is that the biggest one of the collection was only $19.99 when I bought it back in 2007. Now look at how small this year’s ornament is, and the price was $17.99. A much smaller ornament for nearly the same cost. I guess that is the way things are these days.

How many of these do you own? Do you plan to collect all of them?

Earlier this week I discovered that Hallmark was selling the 2019 Snoopy Beagle Scout Christmas ornament. Since I collect them I had to place an order for a couple of them, but that was not the only thing I ended up ordering.

It seems that Hallmark decided to release a second Scouting themed ornament this year. This one features Donald Duck as the Scout Leader and his three nephews as the Scouts. The ornament is based on the 1938 Disney short film called The Good Scouts. If you have not seen it yet you should look it up. Donald is not the best Scout leader, but his nephews are not the best Scouts either.

I think is it cool that Hallmark released two Scouting themed ornaments in one year. I like it even more that one is based on the Peanuts characters and the other is based on Disney characters. I wonder what they have planned for next year? Maybe something from Follow Me Boys?

Do you already have your 2019 ornaments? Do you plan to buy them for yourself or as a present for someone this Christmas?

It is that time of year. Even though it is not yet Halloween the Christmas stuff is starting to find its way onto shelves at your favorite stores. While I agree it is too early to put out the Christmas decorations I always look forward to seeing what the next Hallmark Christmas ornament featuring Beagle Scout Snoopy is going to be. Today is the day I discovered what it is.

This year’s ornament features Scout Leader Snoopy helping Woodstock and friend work on their archery skills. Of course, the bow is longer than Woodstock and his friend but it gives a great example of a Scout leader helping his Scouts.

This year’s ornament is 2.5 inches tall. The cost is $17.99 and can be ordered online at the Hallmark website or picked up at your nearest Hallmark store. I usually get two of them, one to put on the tree and one to keep as part of my collection. This will be the thirteenth Beagle Scout Snoopy ornament in my collection.

Do you collect these ornaments? Do you have them all? I know I am missing a couple of the earlier ones.

(Pictures are from the Hallmark website.)

The Boy Scouts of Melrose Area Troop 68 have held a Christmas party every year since the early 1980’s. It is an activity which is well attended because we have a lot of fun. Thirteen of the fifteen troop members attended this year’s party which was held on Saturday, December 15th. Four second year Webelos Scouts also attended the event.

The evening began at 5:30 pm with a supper of tacos. Most of the Scouts were quite hungry since they had spend the day downhill skiing at Andes Ski Resort near Alexandria.

The first activity was the gift exchange. Each Scout who wished to participate bought a gift valued from $12 to $15. All the Scouts participated. Each wrapped gift was placed in the center of the room. The Scouts took turns rolling dice. When they rolled doubles they chose a gift. Once all the gifts were chosen they were unwrapped. Then the real fun began. For the next fifteen minutes we continued to roll dice. When a Scout rolled doubles he could swap his gift with someone else. At the end of the fifteen minutes everyone “received” the gift they had in front of them.

Like every year, there were a few gifts that were very popular and moved around the room quite often. They were also a couple not so popular gifts that also were traded when the chance presented itself. I also participated in the exchange. Once there were only a few minutes of game time left, I became serious about which gift I wanted to take home. I was lucky enough to shake doubles with a little over a minute left, and even luckier to have no one shake doubles to take my chosen prize away from me.

The next activity was unwrapping a gift wrapped with duct tape, while wearing garden gloves. Once again, the Scouts rolled dice to have a chance to unwrap the box. Until the next Scout rolled doubles, that is. The game when the final box was unwrapped. Oh yeah, I did not tell you there were smaller wrapped boxes within the larger boxes.

The final game was a Twister tournament. This was followed by a movie which was a really good high school sports film based on a true story. The Scouts really caught caught up in the movie, even cheering for the team during the final event. The Scouts went home after the movie finished.

Does your troop hold a Christmas outing? What do you do? Leave a note about it in the comments section below.

I bought my first digital camera in 2004. I was going to Philmont Scout Ranch with the troop and thought this would be a good trip to start using digital photography. I have been using a digital camera ever since that trip.

I soon began using the digital photos to make slideshows of the troop events and activities. It was fairly easy to create a slideshow using the programs of the Mac Pro computer I owned. The next step was to burn the slideshows to a DVD so I could watch them on the television.

As Christmas approached I decided to copy the pictures to a compact disc and print one for each of the Boy Scouts in the troop. The slideshow DVDs soon followed. The Boy Scouts and their families seem to enjoy watching the shows so I kept doing it each Christmas.

It is now the year 2018. I have finished this year’s annual DVDs. Once again there will be a DVD of the slideshows, but the yearly photo collection has grown too large to put on CDs anymore. I take thousands of photos each year so the collection is now burned as a data DVD. This year’s photo collection was over 3 GB, and that does not include the photos of the trip to the Summit high adventure base. The data DVD does include some short videos taken during some of the monthly events.

I hope the Boy Scouts and their families enjoy watching the slideshows and looking at the pictures. It does take several evenings to create the DVD package each year. But I think it is well worth it.

PS: after posting this article and viewing the picture I noticed a mistake on the DVDs. Do you see it?

It is that time of year once again. Hallmark has released its 2018 Christmas ornaments. Once again, it is time to add a Scoutmaster Snoopy ornament to the collection.

This year’s decoration features Snoopy and the gang practicing their first aid skills. It looks like Snoopy is the one in need of treatment. Woodstock and his friends are doing their best to bandage their scout leader.

I have been collecting these ornaments for quite a few years. I always look forward to seeing what Hallmark has in store for the gang each year.

Do you collect these ornaments also? How many do you have in your collection?

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?