Archive for the ‘committee’ Category


Cub Scout CharactersCub Scout Pack 68 held their Blue and Gold Banquet last night, Tuesday March 25, at the American Legion in Melrose. Pizza was brought in with hot dogs, chips, and desserts provided by the families. The Cub Scouts were pretty excited to receive their achievements during the award ceremony.

I am a member of the pack committee and attended the event for two reasons. First, I wanted to video record the awards ceremony. Second, I wanted to chat with the second year Webelos and their parents to promote moving on to the Boy Scout troop. Unfortunately, only three of the six Webelos Scouts attended the ceremony. I did get to chat with the three boys who did attend, along with their fathers.

Mark, the current cubmaster, will be stepping down from his position in May. His youngest son is one of those second year Webelos who will become a Boy Scout of Troop 68. Mark has been the cubmaster since his oldest son, who is now 14, was a Cub Scout. Near the end of the evening’s ceremony Mark spoke briefly of his tenure with the pack and thanked the parents for allowing their boys to be a part of the Cub Scout program.

It was then time for Dave, the committee chairman, to say a few words and thank Mark for all he has done for the pack. Dave’s son is also a second year Webelos Scout and will be joining Troop 68. Dave has agreed to join the troop committee.

This means it is time for new leadership to step forward to continue the program of Pack 68. After the meeting I chatted with a few of the parents about filling these leadership roles. One father is seriously considering taking over the position of cubmaster. Another is willing to join the pack committee, and may even be willing to take over as the chairman.

I offered to stay on the committee for another year and offered my home as a place to hold the committee meetings. Mark and Dave have also stated they would be willing to help the new leaders as they learn about their new roles within the pack. Our district executive has offered to come to town and conduct a training session for all the new pack leaders.

It is starting to look like things are falling into place for Cub Scout Pack 68′s program to continue strong as things kick-off again with a new program this fall.

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    The last two posts to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast contained the first and second parts of an eleven year old Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Orientation vhs tape I have in my Scouting collection. This post features part three, the last part of that training tape which covers the Troop Committee. Who makes up the committee? What does the committee do? What are they responsible for? Are they really necessary? It is an excellent video that is still relevant to today’s Scouting program.

    I think it is fun to watch these old videos to see how, or if, Scouting has changed through the decades. What do you think about it? Have you seen this before? This is a great video to watch if you are new to the Boy Scout program.

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      It has been one year since I retired as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. It has been an interesting, but sometimes confusing year. After thirty years of serving as a scoutmaster I am trying to figure out what my role should be and where I now fit in with the troop.

      I knew one of those new roles would be as advisor to the new scoutmaster. When the new scoutmaster stepped down after five months (he was also serving as the pack cubmaster) I found myself to be an adviser to the NEW new scoutmaster, Jim. Jim has taken to his role well and is not afraid to ask questions. He has taken all the online training and has been attending the monthly district roundtables. He has continued many of the things I brought to the troop but he is also adding a few of his own touches, which is to be expected.

      When I visit a troop meeting, I have to watch myself. I find that I sometimes will step back into the role of scoutmaster when I see some help may be needed. When I catch myself I take a step back. I am getting better. The Scouts still seem to enjoy that I come to some of the troop meetings.

      Patrol Leader Council meetings are still held at my home. It is a center point for the out of town families. The scoutmaster likes it because I am there to offer suggestions when needed. It has also offered a continuity to the meetings through the last year of adult leader changes.

      I will admit that it has been strange not attending the monthly troop activities. I like that I may now pick and choose which outings I will attend instead of being expected to attend everyone of them. It was weird not attending a long term camp with the troop in 2012. After all, I have spent every summer vacation for the last 30 years with Boy Scouts, either at summer camp, Philmont Scout Ranch, a Jamboree, or some other high adventure outing.

      I currently serve as the troop treasurer on the committee. After a year I have decided that although I guess I am doing a good job, I really do not enjoy doing it as much I as thought I might. I miss working with the Scouts. It may be time to look at changing to something new. I wonder if the troop could use an assistant scoutmaster?

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        It has been interesting how many people in the area think that I have retired from the Scouting program when they hear that I have stepped down as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. I explain to them that I am still active with the troop, that I serve on the committee as the treasurer, and that I am still assisting the new scoutmaster through the transition.

        I am not ready to leave the Scout program completely. It has been a part of me for nearly 3/4 of my life. I was a Boy Scout in my youth. I was an assistant scoutmaster before being appointed the scoutmaster. The Scout Oath and Law have literally become the guidelines in my life, along with the ten commandments.

        Oh, I am sure that someday I may step away from the program, but it will be a slow transition. We have a Boy Scout who is going to Philmont this summer and I want to be there to help as he prepares for his adventure. Some Scouts want to earn merit badges for which I serve as a counselor. A few of the boys have a good chance of becoming Eagles Scouts and I want to be around to see that happen and celebrate their accomplishment with them. Plus, there are still troop activities I plan to attend. I am even thinking about going back to spend a week with the troop at Many Point Scout Camp this summer. (I did not attend last year and I missed it.)

        No, I am not ready to retire from Scouting just yet,  but I am ready to try some new things outside of Scouting with the extra time I have. Any suggestions?

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          I received a call this morning from a father of one the Boy Scouts, who is also a troop committee member, asking if I was going to attend the troop meeting tonight. He and his family would be gone on vacation next week and his son would not be able to attend the committee meeting for a board of review. I said I could be at the troop meeting but other committee members would have to be called. Little did I know it would be a weird, but fun and interesting evening.

          As a new committee member and former scoutmaster I find that I sometimes need to pull back from things I am used to doing myself, and learning how to help others in new ways. For example, at the board of review tonight, I found that I wanted to step in and ask questions, lots of questions. But it was not my place to do so. There were two other people sitting on this board, not just me. I was now part of a team, not the scoutmaster doing a conference. Added to the situation was a new advancement chairperson who was learning his new responsiblities. Yes, I had to bite my tongue a couple times so that I would not dominate the board of review.

          The Boy Scouts are getting used to the idea of a new scoutmaster. (He just registered last Tuesday.) He is very serious about talking on this new role. The boys get along with him but I needed to remind a couple of them that I am no longer the one to be talking to about some things. They need to go to the new scoutmaster. I had to smile to myself and they headed off to get their question answered.

          Could I have answered their questions? Yes, I could have, but I need the boys to realize that I am not the scoutmaster anymore. And besides that, I want the new scoutmaster to build that bond with the boys. That will not happen very well if the boys keep coming to me every time they need something.

          Once the First Class board of review was completed I noticed one of the Life Rank Scouts was not doing anything at the moment so I called him over to the board for an update on his Eagle Rank. We took a few minutes to find out what his plans were. After all, he turns 18 years old in four or five months. I think I caught him a bit off guard but we had a good discussion. I will be meeting him later this week to review his eagle packet. Why am I doing this? Because the new scoutmaster already has enough on his plate this month learning his responsibilities so I thought I could help hm out on this one.

          After the troop meeting the scoutmaster and I spent some time reviewing the new tour permit, or troop outing guide, or whatever they call it now. We also talked about other things. I like that he is pouring himself into his new role and is trying to learn things as quickly as he is able. I think he will do well as the new troop leader.

          So what was weird about tonight? That it seemed that I was still in the middle of things, even though I am not the scoutmaster. It is like my troop is now made up of adults. Instead of training boys I have now moved to the position of training parents in their roles.

          And you know what. I am kinda enjoying it. It is a different challenge. And I am having fun.

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            As the newest treasurer of the Boy Scout Troop 68 committee it will be my job to pay bills and keep the checkbooks balanced. Some of the responsibilities I am familiar with, but others are presenting a bit of a challenge. I hope to have it all figured out by this month’s committee meeting.

            Our troop’s treasury is divided into three funds: the individual Scout’s funds, the high adventure fund, and the general fund. The general fund is used for normal troop operating cost like patches, awards, and some activity expenses. The individual Scout’s fund is the credit earned by the Scouts during fundraising. The high adventure fund is money set aside to assist with the cost of attending a high adventure base or jamboree, thus making it more affordable for a Scout to attend the event.

            Troop 68 holds two fundraisers each year. In the spring we hold a Lenten Belgian waffle meal on a Friday night. In the fall we hold a waffle and sausage breakfast on a Sunday morning in October. The Boy Scouts earn credit for the individual funds based on the amount of tickets they presell. The balance of the spring fundraiser profit goes into the general fund, the fall is used to build up the high adventure fund.

            The Scouts are given the option of participating in the council’s annual fall popcorn sales. All profits the troop receives from this fundraiser goes into the boy’s individual fund. It provides a great way for the Scout to build up his credit for summer camp or other troop activities.

            The troop’s funds are kept in two local financial institutions. The general fund is with the credit union. The other funds are in the bank. Both are checking accounts so it is easy to switch money between the accounts.

            Another of my duties will be to give a treasurer’s report at each of the monthly committee meetings. I will explain what our expenses were during the last month, were any income came from, and what, if any, money was transferred from one account to another.

            While the job of troop treasurer does include some serious responsibilities I believe it will be fun and rewarding. Best of all, it allows me to remain active with the troop although in a smaller capacity than I did as the scoutmaster.

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              The Troop 68 committee met tonight. The troop’s two newest Boy Scouts attended for their Tenderfoot board of reviews. They were very excited. In fact, they arrived before the committee did.

              The committee holds board of reviews at the beginning of their meeting. I, as the scoutmaster, present each Boy Scout to the board and then leave the room. The committee conducts the review and then asks the boy to leave the room for a few minutes so they can discuss his progress. I go back with him when they call him back into the room for their decision and congratulations.

              Both boys did very well during their board of review. After the boys left, the committee told me that both Scouts were well prepared. They also commented on the differences between the boys. One was very talkative and maintained good eye contact, while the other was more shy and quiet. They were impressed with each Scout.

              Both boys were beaming as they left the meeting as the troop’s newest Tenderfoot Scouts. They are anxious to work on their Second Class Rank. These boys have enough enthusiasm to easily attain the First Class Rank by the end of the year.

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                Our local community access television station, Mel-TV, and Boy Scout Troop 68 have worked together during the last 23 years to provide programming about local Scouting. Courts of honor, troop outings, and Laughs For Lunch Shows were regular features. It was a great way to keep Scouting in the public eye.

                Due to recent budget cuts Mel-TV closed its doors on December 31, 2010, and the channel went black. I was a member of the board of directors for twenty years but retired one year before the decision was made to close the station. I had invested hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to the station and programming. I was sorry to see it close down. It was a great asset to the community.

                During the last six months of 2010 the board of directors began the process of shutting things down. Some of the thousands of video tapes and dvd’s were given to another local television station, but most of them went to the Melrose Area Historical Society. The equipment was divided among several local organizations. The Boy Scout troop was offered some things. We ended up with a set of lights, a tripod, a microphone and stand, and the music library.

                Monday evening, during the troop meeting, a member of the Mel-TV board walked in and handed me an envelope. He explained that the remaining funds needed to be distributed to various non-profit organizations. I joked with him about getting a new iPad 2. He asked how much one would cost. When I told him he replied that there was enough to buy one. Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope and found a check for $1000.00.

                This donation to the troop comes at a great time. The committee has been talking about replace some of our twenty year old equipment. This check will go a long way toward doing that very thing.

                As for the iPad 2? I do not think that would be the best use of this donation. Sorry about that Mr. Jobs.

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