Archive for the ‘Promotion’ Category

IMG_0638School Night To Join Scouting will be held throughout Minnesota on Thursday, September 22nd. This year’s theme is “Heroes Start Here”, which nicely fits in with the current wave of superhero movies and television shows. I have to say, I like this theme better the the Rocket Into Scouting used over the last few years.

As the recruitment event approaches there are a few other things we can do as a pack and troop to prepare for the big evening. One of these to to have a table set up at the local schools’ open houses coming up next week. The idea is to get Scouting out in front of the boys and parents early so they can begin to think about everything this program can offer their families.

Of course, if we are going to have a table at a school’s open house we will need someone to sit at that table and hand out materials, and answer any questions. We have three elementary schools in our area at we would like to have a table set up. St. Mary’s Catholic School has their open house on Tuesday, August 23rd. The Melrose Public Elementary School has theirs on Wednesday, the 24th. Sacred Heart Catholic School in Freeport has theirs on Thursday, the 25th. I believe each school is holding the event from 4:00 to 7:00 in the evening.

I have been preparing a few items to place on the table to try to catch the attention of the boys and, more importantly, their parents. The picture shows a few items I have thought about having on display. A Pack committee member, who attended this month’s kickoff at a district meeting earlier this month, also has a few items from the council to add to the display, including flyers about School Night To Join Scouting.

We will need people to sit at the tables. Jesse, our new assistant cubmaster, has agreed to sit at the Sacred Heart School open house. I may be able to attend the Wednesday night one, but I have a Boy Scout event I wish to attend on Tuesday. Hopefully some parents will come through and volunteer a bit of their time to get out the word about Scouting.

Does your troop or pack set up a table during your school’s open house? What do you set out on the table. Leave a comment and let us know. Thanks.

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    bookstandI have been on the Melrose Area History Museum board of directors for a little over a year now. I have been finding it to be interesting. I have a feeling that if I am still on the board when I am old enough to retire from work I may spend quite a bit of time there helping out with various projects. Unfortunately, since I am working full time I do not get to spend very much time with the museum, other than going to board meetings.

    Since Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting are such a big part of my life, I have been trying to do little things at the museum to improve the Scouting display and make it look better. I do mean little things. A year ago I built a little Scouting coffee mug stand for the display case and provided enough Scouting themed mugs to display on it. This past winter I printed and framed a photo of each of the troop’s Eagle Scouts (of the last thirty years) for the museum. Previous articles to this blog describe these projects in more detail.

    My latest project is more of an experiment. The Scouting display has a few handbooks and other misc. books that people can only see the edge binding of because we really do not have good way to display them. I have decided to try making a book display using some odd jamb material found at the lumber yard I work at. The moulding gives the backboard a slight back tilt which should help display the books, but yet keep enough weight at the bottom of the rack to keep the display from tipping over.

    The picture above shows the display before I painted it white this past weekend. I am thinking of looking through my Scouting collection to find doubles of Cub Scout handbooks since there is not very much Cub Scout related material in the display yet. If this display works well, I plan to make one or two more for the cases. After all, the museum display already has some books that need to be shown off better then they currently are displayed.

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      EaglePicsIf you were reading this blog last December, you probably read the article I wrote about my “Eagle Project”. It is not an Eagle project in the normal use of the term. I am too old to be working on my Eagle Scout requirements, after all. No, this was a project which would recognize those Scouts who attained Scouting’s highest award. It was to be a display for the local history museum which would feature a picture of each of Troop 68’s Eagle Scouts.

      I finished my project in February and presented 22 framed 5″x7″ portraits to the museum chairman, representing the Eagle Scouts from the 1980’s to present time. He took these photographs, found a stand for them, and added them to the museum’s Scouting display. I was not sure how the pictures were going to become a part of the display but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Roger, the museum chairman, was even able to get a picture of the one Melrose Troop 68 Boy Scout who earned the Eagle Rank in the 1960’s. That was a great addition to the photos and now makes the collection of Troop 68 Eagle Scouts complete.

      Last month the troop had another Boy Scout turn in his Eagle Scout application to the local council. We may have to expand this photo collection very soon. Hopefully, we will be adding a lot more portraits in the next few years.

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        Good News AwardThe Central Minnesota Council has several special awards they present each year at their recognition banquet. I received an email from Mary at the council office asking if I was planning to attend. The way she worded the email made me a little suspicious, so I gave her a call. I attended the recognition banquet.

        One of these special presentations is the Good News award. The council usually gives the award to a newspaper, radio station, or television station who have done a great job covering Scouting events and promoting the program. Our local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, has received this award. So did our community access television station. Unfortunately, the city has closed the tv station, but the Melrose Beacon continues to include articles about Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting events.

        This year the council decided to give the award for promoting Scouting on social media. They looked at local troop and pack Facebook pages and chose two who they felt did an outstanding job covering their local program and activities. One of those two units was Troop 68 of Melrose. And that is why Mary was wondering if I was going to attend the banquet. She knew I was the administrator of the site and did most of the posting to the troop’s Facebook page. She wanted me to accept the award on behalf of Troop 68.

        A week later I “received” the award again at the Scenic district’s annual program kickoff and award presentations. It is not often you can receive the same award twice. 😉

        It is nice to realize that the council has noticed our work promoting the local Scout program. It is really nice to receive recognition for the the years of work toward that purpose. Troop 68 would like to thank the Central Minnesota Council for this award.

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          Scoutmasters are proud of their Scouts.  They welcome them as they come into the troop as a 10 or 11 year old, sometimes frightened, Webelos graduate from a Cub Scout Scout Pack and than watch them grow as they develop Scouting skills and become leaders within the troop. Sometimes they even acheive Scouting’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout. But there are many more ways a scoutmaster becomes proud of his Scouts. Many of them come to pass after the young man leaves the troop.

          On example is when a scoutmaster receives word that a former troop member does well with his chosen occupation. I have two alumni, that I know of, that now work for the Boy Scouts of America. Keith works in Texas at Boy’s Life magazine, after spending several years at Northern Star Council. When Keith moved on his position opened up and another alumni of Troop 68 applied for the job, and got it. Sergio is now a Communications Specialist at Northern Star Council.

          Sergio recently posted a new video to Youtube that he created about Scouting. This video was shown at the Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America 2015 Annual Meeting. The name of the video is Vitamin N. You will understand after watching this three minute video.

          Great job Sergio!

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            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

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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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