Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

2016holidayFor the last few years I, along with many other Scouters and Scouts, have been buying the Scouting Village collection pieces. Last year my village filled an area larger than two foot by four foot. That was without all the 2015 pieces as part of the display. It would be a fair size larger this year. The Villa Philmonte piece, which is the larger piece of the collection, takes a good chuck of real-estate by itself.

I have been waiting for the B.S.A.’s holiday mailer to arrive to see what this year’s pieces would add to the collection. The mailer has arrived. Disappointment has arrived with it. There are no new pieces shown in the flyer. I always wondered how long there would be new “buildings” to add to a Scouting village. After all, the village seemed to be based on a summer camp theme. There are only so many buildings found at a summer camp. While last year’s Villa Philmonte building was nice, it really did not fit well with the rest of the collection.

So, did the people in charge of the collection finally run out of ideas? Or did last year’s collection not go over very well. (I know the Villa piece was rather expensive.) Is the collection done, or could there be more pieces next year?

It got me thinking. What other pieces could be added to the Scouting Village collection? Here are a few suggestions. How about a nature center, or a handicrafts lodge? A first aid/health lodge would be a good fit. A climbing tower, with climbers , would be something I would buy. How about a sauna for the beach area? We already have some larger wall tents, but how about some smaller backpacking tents? A summer camp needs an administration building. How about a horse stable and corral? Gosh, there are enough ideas for any other two or four years worth of buildings! And don’t forget the Scouts and leaders figurines.

Maybe it is a good thing for this to come to an end. The village would just start taking up too much room in the house if it kept going. But then, I could really just change things up from year to year. The are no rules saying I have to put up all the buildings up every year, but knowing me I would have to try. My house is not that large which means a fair portion of my living room would get used.

I may not set up the village this year. I have volunteered to have the troop’s Christmas party at my house so I think I will need all the room I have for the Scouts to use, especially since the patrol leader council has decided to invite the 5th grade Webelos Scouts to join us. The living room will already be a bit crowded as we gather to watch the movie. I would have to find somewhere else to set up the village if I do set it up.

How do you feel about the lack of new Scouting Village pieces this year? Have you been collecting them?

By the way, if you would like to see my set up from last year I do have the video posted to Youtube. It can be seen at .

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    Version 2I happen to be doing some cleaning today in the basement family room. When I opened the cabinet to put away the latest Hallmark Snoopy Scout ornament I decided instead to take them all out for a picture. I now have ten years of the Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments. I thought it would be cool to put them all in a row, by year, 2016 on the left to 2007 on the right. How many of these do you own? What figures, if any, am I missing?

    Click on the picture for a larger view.

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      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: . 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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        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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          Clearance-eblastThere was an email last week from the Boy Scouts of America Online Catalog. They had a sale going on. It was the Christmas in July Sale! Well, that is what they were calling it. It was actually a closeout sale. Here is what the email stated:

          Think about it. There’s back-to-school, back-to-Scouting, and the actual holidays just around the corner, so a little Christmas in July really couldn’t hurt! 

          Our gift to you? A chance to save up to 75% off original price on the best Scout-gear deals you can find… perfect year-round gifting ideas, nice little Christmas add-ons, and great-value gear updates for every Scout you know. 

          Check out what’s new in the closeout collection, online, and in-store today. Once items sell out they’re gone, so shop now.

          So what did I do? I checked it out. Was there anything the troop or pack could use? Was there any hot bargains I could use as gifts? Christmas is only 6 months away, after all. Was there anything I did not realize I needed or wanted until I saw it on sale?

          As it turned out, there was quite that made the list. I found 12 items to add to the cart, several of them in more than a single quantity. I took a screen shot of the list and emailed it to my council Scout Shop. After all, I may as well give them the business if they had any of the items in stock. It turns out they only had four of the items on hand, but those four items (multiple qualities of two of them) would cost me over $80. Two items were for myself, one for the pack, and one to use as gifts. I emailed her a note that I would pick up the in stock items and would let her know about the rest of the list when I arrived to pick them up.

          Have you checked out the Christmas in July Sale? Did you find anything you needed, or did not need until you saw it on sale?

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            This old Scouter would like to wish every Scouting family out there a very Merry Christmas. May you have a great time with your family and friends, and safe journey as you go out to celebrate the holiday.


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              P68Christmas - 1I am currently serving as the cubmaster of Melrose Pack 68. I am into my second year of holding this position. While it was not a position I was looking for when I joined the Cub Scout pack committee, I have been having fun. I tell you, Cub Scouts are a lot different than Boy Scouts. And I am not just talking about the size difference.

              I wanted to do something a little different for the December Pack Meeting this year. I had bought each of the Cub Scouts a little gift (a Star Wars tote bag and play pack) and wanted to do something more fun than just handing them out. After a couple of days of thinking I came up with a plan to be Scouter Claus!

              Scouter Claus would be similar to Santa Claus but not quite the same. I did not want the boys and other children to actually think I was the jolly old man. I bought a red Santa hat and a cheap four dollar beard that I thought would not put me in the league of the real Santa. Instead of a red suit, I would wear my Scouting uniform with my red wool Scout jacket. No one should mistake me for Santa Claus but we should still be able to have fun with it.

              The evening began with the Cub Scouts making Christmas cards for the residents of Pine Villa nursing home. Then we began the pack meeting to recognize the Scouts who had earned awards. As the Scouts and families had cookies and juice after the pack meeting, I left the room to become Scouter Claus.

              Most of the Cub Scouts recognized me right away as I walk into the room in my costume, but I think a couple of the younger children were not quite sure what was going on for a moment or two. A few of the Scouts wanted to pull my beard but of course, Scouter Claus could not let that happen. The boys enjoyed the Scouter Claus idea. Even the parents where smiling and seemed to be enjoying it.

              The Cub Scouts were quite excited to receive the Star Wars items, especially since that little movie had just been released. All eighteen Scouts were in attendance. There were about six different designs on the tote bags so I had handed them out right down the line and told the boys they would swap with each other if they liked, and swapped they did. The boys were having a blast.

              Each of the Scouts also received a dvd of slideshows featuring photos from pack meetings and activities during the 2015 year, along with a disc of photos for their computers. I have done this for several years with the Boy Scout troop and decided to also do it for the Pack this year since I had taken a lot of photos during the year. I also gave a box of chocolates to each of the three committee members who have done a great during the year and, with tongue in cheek, told them not to share the candies with the Cub Scouts.

              Did your Pack do anything special to celebrate the Christmas season?

              P68Christmas - 2

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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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