Archive for the ‘pictures’ Category


discsI bought my first digital camera in 2004 for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch. It was great! I was able to take many more pictures than I would have with a film camera. It was very easy to share the windows once we returned home. Every participant of the trek received a disc with the photos allowing them to print whichever photos they wanted to for their own photo albums.

A tradition began with that trip. At the end of the year I would burn compact discs with all the photos I had taken during the year at troop meetings, courts of honor, and troop activities. Each Boy Scout received a disc of photos for Christmas. I also made slideshows of each troop event. I burned those videos to DVD’s and gave one of those to each Scout. I would do the same thing of pictures taken at family events and give one to each of my family members at our Christmas gathering.

Even after I retired as the scoutmaster I continued the tradition of giving each Boy Scout a photo disc of troop events. When I became the cubmaster of Pack 68 I decided to do the same with the Cub Scout pack. Each Cub Scout received a photo disc, but I did not burn DVD’s of sldieshows of pack events.

When I awoke last Saturday morning I realized I only had a few days before the Pack’s Christmas party. It was time to make the photo discs. I would need to create a lot of discs. The Pack had grown from 17 Cub Scouts to 49 Scouts, including the Lion Cubs. I needed to make 50 discs. The pressure was on! The Pack’s Christmas party is on Tuesday, December 7th.

I began working on the discs Saturday morning at 7:30. The first step was to go through all the year’s photos, toss out the blurry ones, and sort them by date and event. Once I had a master file it was time to start burning the discs. Since the file was nearly 2.5 gigabytes I ended up use blank DVDs. I soon realized that one computer would not be enough. I set up a second older computer to also burn discs. I soon ran out of sleeves for the discs so I had to make a trip to the store. The discs I use are have a printable surface on them so I was able to print a nice picture on the discs along with a label. I finished the project close to 7:00 that evening, just before company arrived.

The Cub Scouts and parents seem to appreciate receiving the discs. I enjoy giving them. After all, it is a special gift that shares the memories of the year in Scouting. The Scouts and parents can look back on these photos for the rest of their lives.

Now it is time to start working on the discs for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. I was able to burn the slideshows to DVDs on Sunday but I have not started on the photo discs yet. When those are done it will be time to start the family photo discs.

My computers are really going to get a workout this month.

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    img_6109I have a lot of photo albums. Scouting photo albums, that is. Most of them include pictures of troop meetings, weekend outings, summer camps, and courts of honor. There are also albums of the trips to Philmont Scout Ranch, the High Knoll Trail, and the 2001 National Jamboree. In total, there are 39 albums of Boy Scout Troop 68, covering activities from the mid 1970’s through this year.

    The reason I am posting about this is because I just finished putting the last photograph in the 39th album this week. This brings me up to May 2016, the troop’s Camp Watchamagumee outing. It is time to start another album. Or is it?

    As I was placing photos into the page sleeves I began thinking to myself, maybe this should be the last photo album I create of troop functions. After all, the only time they get viewed in when I use them for in displays for Scout Week in February or at one of the troop’s meal fundraisers.

    I also began thinking about the cost of each album, not just the book but also the cost of printing the pictures. Each finished album runs about $40-$50 by the time it is done. When you stop to think about it, I have a lot invested in these albums.

    Then I thought of a third point. Most people, including myself, are more into looking at photos on their phones and tablets than they are to picking up an physical album. That was the main reason I bought an iPad. Not to play games but to carry my photos with me. Add to this that we all share digital photos so easily these days it begins to make little sense to create physical photo albums.

    Finally, what is going to happen to all these albums when I am done with Scouting? No one is going to want them. Our troop does not have its own hut or building. (We meet in a school gym for meetings.) The only place that may want the books is our local historical museum. Yeah, they would probably love to have over 36 years of local Scouting history to add to their collection.

    So there it is. In this digital age I really do not see a reason to create any more Scouting photo albums for Troop 68. What do you think? Am I wrong for thinking this way?

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      IMG_4450Most of the time when you hear of someone talking about their Eagle project they are referring to their project for their Eagle Scout Rank. I am too old for that type of Eagle project. However, my Eagle project does involve work for a local organization. No, it is not a group that works with rehabilitating wounded birds. The organization is our community museum. My project is to have a framed 5×7 picture of each of the young men of Boy Scout Troop 68 who have earned their Eagle Scout Rank on display at the museum.

      There have been 22 Eagle Scouts of Troop 68 over the decades. The first was earned in the 1960’s, I believe, before I became a Boy Scout. The rest were earned from the 1980’s to present day. Eighteen of these Scouts became Eagles during my tenure as the troop’s scoutmaster. My project is to make a display featuring every one of these special Boy Scouts. Each photo also contains the Scout’s name and the year they earned the award. You can see in the picture above that I have most of them framed and ready to go. Unfortunately, I ran out of frames so it is time to run to the store and find some more.

      Does your troop have a special “Eagle Scout Hall of Fame” or wall of fame? Do you have a local museum that features an Boy Scout display? Right a comment and let us know about it.

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        2014 Boy Scout DVDIt is that time of year. Time to add Christmas parties to the schedule. Time to get the gift shopping done. And for me, time to create the yearly Boy Scout Troop 68 dvd’s for each member of the troop.

        I began this tradition in 2004, the year I switched to digital photography. I bought a digital still camera early that year to take along on the troop’s trip to Philmont Scout Ranch that summer. I never looked back at film. The new camera allowed me take take hundreds of pictures during the year, several times more than I would have taken with film.

        By the end of the year I had quite a collection of digital photos taken during troop meetings, courts of honor, and troop activities. Instead of keeping them to myself, I decided to copy them to compact discs and give a set to each Scouting family. The parents would be able to see what their boys had been up to during the year, and they could print any pictures they would like to add to their photo albums.

        I also took the photos and used them to create slideshows of each troop activity, along with music. Using iDVD, I create discs of these slideshows and gave each Boy Scout one for Christmas. They became quite popular with the families. They were also fun to watch with the Scouts during the annual Christmas party.

        I have completed creating the dvd+r’s of this year’s photographs. I have also created this year’s slideshows. (Is slideshow even the correct term in this day and age?) This weekend’s project is to create the slideshow dvd’s and cases. If I have enough time I may make a second disc featuring this year’s courts of honor and/or other events.

        The year’s slideshow dvd will include nine videos totally about 50 minutes of memories. The picture dvd+r’s will contain about 3 GB of photos. The boys sometimes get annoyed with me during the year when I am taking the pictures but everyone like viewing them at the end of the year. The parents really like seeing them.

        I only have about a week to finish this project. The troop’s Christmas party in Saturday evening, December 13th. It will be fun to watch the Scout’s reactions to this year’s videos and see if they approve of the music I used.

        Does your troop do anything like this? What do think of this idea?

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          PTC Trip 2014.511When I was at the Philmont Training Center for a week last June, I gave my camera quite a workout. I think I came back with around 900 pictures from the trip. That is a lot, even for me. I remember my first trips to Philmont for 10 day backpacking treks in the 1980’s when I took 150 photographs and thought that was a lot of photos. Just goes to show the difference between film and digital technology I guess.

          Almost every night during my stay at PTC I would wonder on over to the Philmont Base Camp and look around, take a look through the trading post, and maybe stop by the snack shop for a bag of popcorn or an ice cream cone. One evening I decided to play with the camera and see what kind of night shots I could take. Would this simple point and shoot Canon camera take good pictures when there was little light? I was going to find out.

          I was pretty happy with the pictures. So was Bob, the district executive from our council who also went to PTC that week. I thought it might be fun to share the pictures with you so I posted 14 of them to a Flickr album for you all to view. Check them out and let me know what you think of them. The link can be found at
          https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevejb68/sets/72157645252031607/  .

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            I thought I would post links a few of the Flickr groups that are dedicated to sharing pictures of Scouting taken in the United States and other countries. I enjoy checking these groups and see how the Scout program is being enjoyed around the world. Check them out when you get some time. You just might get a few ideas for your troop’s or pack’s program. Don’t be afraid to join the groups and add your own pictures to the groups.

            For Scouts all around the world, sharing great, nice an beautyfull Scouting moments in pictures.
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            This group is about Scouting in the United States. Hopefully this will become a place were ideas are shared and different Scouting techniques can be shared for the benefit of everyone.
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            Boy Scouts of America – http://www.flickr.com/groups/scouts/pool/
            Lots of Boy Scout photos from the U.S.A.
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            Pictures of Cub Scouts and their Akelas.
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            The Group is for showcasing Scouting or Guiding, from any section and anywhere in the world. It is meant as a resource, for showing what Scouts and Guides do in different countries.
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            A group for all those Scouting moments. Posts include summer and winter camp, Klondike, Pack & Troop Meetings, Courts of Honor and other scouting photos.
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            Order of The Arrow, BSA – http://www.flickr.com/groups/oa/
            A group that shares pictures pictures of lodge and special OA events.
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            A group to share pictures of your Eagle Scouts, courts of honor, and service projects.
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            A great group for pictures of the BSA’s well known high adventure site.
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            A Flickr site to share your photos from Woodbadge training.
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            Do you know of other Flickr groups devoted to Scouting?
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              It is usually not a problem keeping Boy Scouts busy when we go to summer camp. Between merit badge sessions, troop activities, and open programs there is plenty for them to do. Summer camp is designed to keep boys busy.

              Adult leaders have more free time. Oh, we could follow the boys around as they go to their classes. We can partake of a few training adult leader training sessions or activities, but we still end up with time to kick back and relax. And think of things to do.

              I do not know why, but when I packed for camp this year I threw a little Piglet figure (Winnie Pooh’s friend) into my briefcase. When I got to camp he moved into my day pack with his head peaking out so that he could see where we have been. The Boy Scouts pulled him out during lunch early in the week and had a little fun with him. When the dining hall steward walked by our table we gave him Piglet. He put it on his hat and made a face while I took his picture.

              Then it hit me! I have a mission for the week. How many members of the camp staff could I get to pose for a picture with Piglet?

              I took Piglet with me nearly everywhere I went: to the beach, to the ranges, to the climbing tower, wherever.  The staff had fun with it. I was even able to get the camp director and the program director to pose with the little guy. But the end of the week I had pictures with 17 members of the staff, plus a few other pictures with the troop.

              The pictures have been posted in an album I created on Facebook. Check them out by clicking HERE.

              You can also view the pictures on Flickr by clicking HERE.

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                I have finally completed a major part of a goal I have which is to scan all the Scouting pictures I have taken over the years. On Friday, I finally scanned the last of the pictures from the 1980’s. That is over 2050 photographs that use over 1.5 GB on the hard drive. I have already backed them up onto two other hard drives, and plan to copy them all to a data-dvd. I also plan to post many of them to my Flickr account as another way to back them up, and to allow other Scouts and leaders to visit our troop of the past.

                It has been a lot of work, but also fun reliving memories that come from looking at those photos again. Many of the Scouts from that time have families of their own. I know of a couple who have boys in the Cub Scout program. Some of them are now friends of mine on Facebook. Unfortunately, I have lost touch with many of them. I know of three of them who have died since they left Scouting.

                Now it is time to start working on the photos from the 1990’s, and I know there will be even more photos to scan than I had from the 1980’s. As the years went by I began taking more photos during troop activities. I would be willing to bet that the number of pictures will be between 3500 and 4000. The pictures from the 2000’s will not take as long to scan because in 2004 I switched from film to a digital camera. Of course, with the digital camera I began to take 3 to 4 times as many pictures.

                If you would like to see the pictures from the 1980’s that I have posted to Flickr go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevejb68/sets/

                100 Days of Scouting: Day #68.

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