Archive for the ‘Promotion’ Category


canon video cameraA long time ago, 1987 actually, I joined the board of directors for our local community access television station, Mel-TV. I was a member of the board for 20 years, many of those as the chairman. I retired from the board a few years before the City of Melrose decided to shut it down and keep the cable franchise fees in the general fund. Many people, myself included, thought this was a big mistake. After all, how many cities of our size had a community access channel that was actually being used, and used well. Citizens thought the station was a huge asset but the city council did not feel the same way.

During those 20 years I videotaped a lot of Boy Scout courts of honor and troop activities. I would edit them at the studio and they would be scheduled during the week’s programming, usually a few times. It was a fantastic way for the community to keep up with what the Scouting program offered the youth. It was a great promotional and public relations tool.

I still video record most of the troop’s courts of honor and some of the activities, even though I do not have the station available to show them any longer. I guess I just got into the habit and have not quit it yet. I do edit some of the shorter videos to use on the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast, but the bulk of it just sits on the computer or on tapes, unedited.

There are videos from summer camp, of the Watchamagumee egg drop competition, of courts of honor, and more. I would guess these files are using hundreds of gigabytes on my hard drives. I really should do something with them or just delete them, but I find I have a hard time deleting them. Some people hoard material items and fill up their house. I hoard video files and fill up my hard drives.

My goal this winter is too sit down at the computer and get serious about editing these video projects and share them with the Scouting families. I should be able to find some to share on the MSPP podcast. Maybe the local cable company would like some of the courts of honor for their local channel. I just need to sit down and start getting to work.

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    scoutingpromotiondvd2For the last 15 or 20 years I have been collecting videos of Scouting commercials and promotional films. I have a few dozen of them. Some of them are very good. Several not so much. A few are just plain weird. But they are interesting to watch.

    At tonight’s district roundtable I plan to give away some dvd’s I created featuring many of these videos, along with a couple old training videos. I plan on giving two of these discs to the Cub Scout roundtable. The other six I will give away to lucky winners at the Boy Scout roundtable. I am also hoping to have a projection screen set up during the roundtable to show a few select videos since promoting Scouting within your home community is a theme for the evening.

    Some of these videos can be seen on our troop’s website. Check them out at
    http://melrosetroop68.org/videos.html

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      Winter Drift Murder practiceI had a hunch I would be receiving a phone call so it did not come as a surprise when the phone rang two days after the first meeting of this year’s mystery dinner theater group. I had been in the play two years ago and probably would have been in last year’s play if I would not have had neck surgery. When the director called in January I agreed to be in the production if I could have a small role.

      This year’s play would be “Winter Drift Murder”, written by a local writer. It would be a western that takes place during the time when the railways were being built across the country. Would the audience be able to solve the murders before the sheriff did at the end of the play?

      My role would be Vil Ion Badgoi. (Yes, that is a pun.) He is a local gunslinger also known as Mr. Murder. He may not have liked the Judge, but he didn’t kill him. The role had a whopping 13 lines. I was only on stage during the last ten minutes of the play. When I first read the script I thought it was a serious role but the director thought it should be played as a comic villain. Even during the last night of practice we were still developing things for this character to do.

      When it came time to create our costumes the men raided their own closets at home for as much as they could find. I used my own black jeans, a dark long sleeve shirt, and a brown cowboy hat. The vest and boots came from the high school prop room.

      I have been involved in the Scouting program for too long to not try to “sneak” something Scouting related into my costume. I was able to get three items into my wardrobe. On the cowboy hat I wore a small red B.S.A. pin. The leather belt came from Philmont Scout Ranch. The belt buckle represented my Bobwhite Patrol from a Wood Badge training course.

      Did anyone notice these Scouting related Easter Eggs? No. The pin was too small for the audience to really see. The belt and buckle were pretty much hidden by the vest for most of the performance. Do I care that no one noticed? Not really. I was just happy to bring a little bit of Scouting onto the stage with me. After all, it was because of performing Scouting skits and campfire songs that I was asked to be in my first play years ago.

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        1985Displays07In my last post I wrote about the four displays that Troop 68 set up around town for this year’s Scouting Anniversary week. I have collected quite a bit of Scouting related stuff during the past 33 years so it is not very hard finding items and photos to fill four displays. In fact, I could probably do a couple more if we had more places to set them up.

        All this got me thinking about how many years I have been setting up displays in town, so I opened the old photo books and did a little looking back. I discovered that our Scouting display was set up in February 1985 at the Melrose State Bank. It was a project done by Cubmaster Joe Timmins and myself who was the scoutmaster. It was a fairly large setup. It contained Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting memorabilia, enough to fill two small tables. We also included a tent and some camping gear. You were not going to miss this display when you entered the bank lobby.

        I scanned some of the photos of this first display so I could share them with you. Our current displays are a little different these days (as you can see from my last post) and do not include any tents. The lobbies of the current establishments are not big enough to set up a campsite.

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          2014display1It is that time of year to once again celebrate another anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. It has been 104 years since William D. Boyce was granted a charter by the Congress of the United States of America to begin this great institution. Just think about the millions of boys who have participated in Scouting, all the fun they have had, the skills they have learned, and the service they have done for their communities. It practically boggles the mind!

          Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose, Minnesota, has been going strong since December 1979. During those 34 years the troop has sent hundreds of boys to summer camp, seen dozens of young men attend high adventure bases, and has had 22 Scouts earn the program’s highest award, the Eagle Scout Rank. There is a lot of history in this troop.

          Troop 68 has a portion of this history on exhibition this month to celebrate Scouting’s anniversary. Four displays have been set up around town, each with a different theme. The displays contain old books and handbooks, framed photos and photo albums, patches, toys, coffee mugs, and other memorabilia.

          The theme of the display at the Central Minnesota Credit Union is “troop activities”. At the US Bank you will discover the troop’s trips to high adventure bases. Visitors to the Melrose City Hall will learn a little about the history of the B.S.A.  At the local branch of the Freeport State Bank people will see photos of each of the Eagle Scouts since 1979.

          The displays were set up on Friday, January 31st, and will be on exhibit for 2 weeks.

          Does your troop or pack have the opportunity to do something like this in your community? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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            2014 Melrose Beacon Boy Scout Ad

            It is that time of year again. Next week the Boy Scouts of America will celebrate its birthday. For 104 years boys and young men have enjoyed participating it the exciting program Scouting offers. I was one of those boys in the 1970′s. I enjoyed the program so much that when I was 19 years old I rejoined my hometown troop as an assistant scoutmaster. Shortly after I reached the age of 21 the troop committee appointed me as the scoutmaster, a position I held for over 30 years. I currently serve as a committee member.

            Our local weekly newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, has been a great supporter of Scouting for over 30 years. They have printed hundreds of articles I have submitted, along with hundreds of photos of the Scouts enjoying their program. They have recognized nearly every Eagle Scout of Troop 68 with his own article.

            In today’s issue of the Melrose Beacon there is a two page spread recognizing Scouting in our community. Five photos are included of the Boy Scout having fun on outings and doing service in the community. I think the editors did a great job putting this together. (Click on the picture to see a larger version.)

            The troop would like to thanks the Melrose Beacon for once again recognizing Boy Scout Troop 68 during Scouting Anniversary Week. We would also like to thank the sponsors of the spread: the Melrose VFW Club, Midwest Dental, Kraemer Lumber Co., Spaeth Sodding and Landscaping, Coborn’s Grocery, Freeport State Bank, Heartland Security, and Hennen Lumber Co.

            Has your local newspaper done anything like this?

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              The National Capital Area Council, BSA, recently posted a new promotional video to YouTube. I thought you might enjoy watching it.

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                scoutsreview072380I learned early on that promoting Scouting seems to fall into the hands of the local troops and packs. During my 33 years of being involved with the Boy Scout program I have very rarely seen the national office or the local council do much to promote the Scouting program outside of the Scouting program. In fact, even with the all negativity thrown during the past dozen years at Scouting I have seen little positive promotion done by the national office. Take away any news of the 100th anniversary or the National Jamboree and what are you left with?

                Are those crickets I hear?

                Anyway, my issue with the national office and the local councils can wait for another article. Let’s get back to what this article is about, and that is local promotion of the Scout program, that which is done by local packs and troops. Namely my troop, Melrose Troop 68.

                Shorty after becoming an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 68, like within a month, I began writing articles about troop activities for the local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, and called it the Scout’s Review. For awhile, I wrote the article with Sharon, the oldest sister of one of the Boy Scouts and a cousin of mine. The first article was published on July 23, 1980. It covered the first troop camping trip held at a local lake in June. It also covered a second outing, a father and son camping trip, and the troop elections. It covered a lot of stuff for a short article. (Click on the picture for a larger version to read the article.)

                The purpose of the articles was to get the word out within town that the Boy Scout program was back and going strong. The previous troop had disbanded four or five years earlier. It was time to start anew. Time to get your son involved in this worthwhile program.

                I believed it helped. Articles and pictures appeared in the paper regularly, usually at least once a month, sometimes two times a month. Boys not involved in Scouting were able to see what the Scouts were doing and the fun they were having. Even the Cub Scout Pack would submit articles which I am sure helped the pack to grow strong. When the troop went to Philmont the story of the trip filled half of a page of the newspaper. Stories of Eagle Scouts began to appear, and people enjoyed reading about them. When our community had its own public television station we put that to work to add to the troop’s public image.

                For three decades I wrote articles about Scouting and submitted them to the paper. I had a great relationship with the newspaper. But three decades is a long time to write articles. I started to burn out. I received very little help from the parents. It finally got to the point were I really did not care to write and submit any articles anymore. The Scout’s Review began to appear less regular. Sometime months would go by without an article. I was also burning out as the scoutmaster. I know that did not help my mood for writing articles.

                I am not the scoutmaster anymore. I stepped down nearly two years ago. But somehow, this year has been turning out to be a great year for getting the Boy Scouts back in the press locally. One reason is because I still submit pictures to the newspaper, along with a short description of the activity. I may not write a full story along with the photo, but at least we get something in the paper.

                The second reason is because the editor of the paper, Carol, has covered the troop during a few of its activities. She was there to take pictures at the last troop meeting of the year at the Jaycee park. She came to our waffle breakfast fundraiser and took a couple pictures. She wrote an article about the troop’s decades of use and meetings at the Jaycee Park, which the city council decided to sell to the hospital this year for a new expansion project. In other words, she sees stories about Scouting that she thinks should be shared with the community. It has been great.

                I have four three ring binders that contain the articles printed in the Melrose Beacon over the past 33 years. I think I have every article, but I may be missing one or two. Those four binders contain quite a history of the troop, beginning with that first camping trip at Uhlenkolts Lake, to the Scouting For Food Drive held this month. They contain articles about trips to Philmont, and BWCA, and the mountains of Virginia. There are also articles of most of the eighteen Boy Scouts who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Like I said, quite a history in those binders.

                How does your troop get the word out about Scouting in your community? Does your troop or pack have a person appointed to submit articles and pictures to your local newspaper?

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