Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category


wall tent village pieceRemember last year? Scout Shops around the country and scoutstuff.org sold the first(?) three pieces of the Scouting Village collection. Those pieces were the Ranger’s Cabin, the Camp Chapel, and the Trading Post. I never heard anything whether this was the start of a new yearly collection or if this was a one year deal, and the folks at my local Scout Shop could not answer my question either.

I decided to buy the collection anyway. At least I tried to buy the collection. By the time I decided to do it my council Scout Shop was already out the the Trading Post, but I bought the Chapel and the Ranger Cabin thinking I could by the Trading Post online. When I got home I went to the website and discovered they had sold out of the Trading Post. I called back to the Scout Shop to ask if they would be getting more Trading Posts in stock. They said they would try.

The story ends sadly. I never received a Trading Post. I almost returned the other two pieces since I would not be able to complete the set, but for some reason I kept them. And to tell the truth, I forgot about them. Until today.

I received a comment today on last year’s blog post of my village dilemma. Debora wrote to tell me that the Trading Post has reappeared on the scoutstuff.com website, so I went there to check it out. Sure enough, there it was. I would be able to complete my set. And I discovered something else. There are more pieces this year! That’s right, there is a 2013 Scouting Village collection.

It looks like accessories are the theme for this year’s collection. There is a snow covered bridge, and a set of pine trees. There are two sets of people/Scouts figurines: Scouts On A Fence and Campfire And Rowboat. There is only one “building” this year, and it is not really a building but it is something you need if you are going to have a Scout camp – the lighted BSA Wall Tent. The accessories and people figurine sets are $5.99 each. The wall tent is $14.99.

I know that I will be ordering the Trading Post, but should I order this year’s collection? I am leaning toward buying one of everything, but I almost feel like I need to buy two or three wall tents to make a campsite setting. That is maybe the reason they only put out one lighted piece this year. They want us collectors to buy several tents! The least they could have done is to make two different looking tents so there would be a little variety when everything is set up for the holidays.

I am never satisfied, am I?

What do you think of the new 2013 collection? Will you be purchasing them?

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    wood badge ChristmasYes, I know it is not even Halloween yet, but Christmas commercials are already on television and the stores have already begun decorating for the season, so I thought now would be a great time to tell those of you who have completed their Wood Badge training to check out the scoutstuff.org website for this year’s Wood Badge themed Christmas cards. That is correct. There is now a Christmas card featuring all our Wood Badge animal pals as they try to help pull Santa’s toy filled sleigh.

    Well, except for the beaver and the fox, who have decided that a snowball is much more fun then helping to spread the joy of Christmas. The owl almost seem poised to join them. And why is the bear riding in the sleigh? Should he not be helping the buffalo to pull it? For some reason the antelope thinks this is funny. At least the eagle is bringing the lights to brighten the way. The bobwhite is were he should be, overlooking everything and trying to be in charge. Note that I said trying.

    By the way, in case you have not figured it out yet, I am a member of the Bobwhite Patrol. NC-269.

    You can order the Christmas cards at http://www.scoutstuff.org/set-card-wb-10pk.html

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      beagle-scouts-rock-keepsake-ornamentIt is August 1st, and that means this year’s new Hallmark Keepsake ornaments are in the stores and ready to sell. Beagle Scout Snoopy and his friends once again make an appearance as the Scouting series continues. This year captures the Beagle Scout as he  climbs to the top of the mountain with the help of Woodstock and his friends. It is a fitting theme when you think about how popular rock climbing has become with Boy Scouts and how many summer camps now feature climbing towers.

      Unfortunately, it is not one of my favorite Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments. To me it looks like the characters are climbing a piece of frosting covered chocolate. Maybe the characters are climbing a gigantic s’more instead of a mountain! That would be quite tasty. The sticky marshmallow topping would make the climb a little easier, or would it make it worse?

      Anyway, I bought two when I was in the store today. One will actually be used on the tree, and one will be stored away as part of my collection. I believe this is the seventh Beagle Scout ornament in my collection. Here are my articles from the previous years:
      Campfire Fun 2007
      Beagle Scout Day Out (canoeing) 2008
      A Spooky Story 2009
      The Fearless Crew 2010
      Holiday En-tree-preneurs (selling Christmas trees) 2011
      Salute The Flag 2012
      Beagle Scouts Rock! (this year’s)

      http://www.hallmark.com/products/general/keepsake-ornaments/beagle-scouts-rock-1495QXI2175_DK/

      It looks like you may have to find a store to buy it. The Hallmark website does not to seem to include it as an online purchase. Will you be picking one up for yourself or that special Scout in your life?

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        Cub Scout Gingerbread housesHere it is, the last post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast for the year of 2012. The goal has always been to post at least one video each month, or at least twelve per year. This podcast will keep that twelve per year goal.

        When the Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68 met for their December pack meeting, they knew it was going to be fun. The parents knew it could get a bit messy. The cubmaster knew he had a lot of baking to do. The Cub Scouts, along with help from their parents, were going to make gingerbread houses and decorate them with lots of candies, crackers, and other building accessories. Each one ended up being a masterpiece, but a couple of them did not make it home in one piece. I think they could have used a little more mortar (frosting) to hold them together.

        This video post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast includes video of the boys and their parents creating the houses and photos of the Cub Scouts with their finished projects. It is eight minutes long. I hope you enjoy it. Maybe this would be a good project for your Cub Scout Pack next Christmas.

        Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
        Watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.
        Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
        or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
        Don’t forget to leave a comment here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

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          Those of you that follow Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, on Twitter (@buttonst68) have noticed that he has been posting a Scouting themed Twelve Days of Christmas. The twelve days follow the twelve points of the Scout Law, beginning with trustworthy and ending with reverent on the twelfth day. Here are the twelve verses, in case you missed them.

          One the twelfth day of Christmas my Scout Leader gave to me…
          Twelve reverent chaplain aides,
          Eleven clean mess kits,
          Ten brave teddy bears,
          Nine thrifty gift cards,
          Eight cheerful campfires,
          Seven obedient Cub Scouts,
          Six kindly Eagles,
          FIVE COURTEOUS SCOUTS,
          Four friendly camp staff,
          Three helpful maps,
          Two loyal dogs,
          and a trustworthy GPS.

          Now that you have that song stuck in your head, have a great day!

          For those of you who like the poem Twas The Night Before Christmas check out this post from a few years ago:

          http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=1233

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            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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