Archive for the ‘council’ Category


Being a Boy Scout leader can be serious work. And it can be a lot of fun. Sometimes we can look at ourselves and have a spot of fun at our own expense. That is why I like some of the “special” awards I have seen some councils and troops develop over the years.

A few years ago our council developed a special award for Scout Leaders, The Nap On Safely Award. After all, naps are serious business! If you need to take one during an afternoon while at camp you want to be sure you are doing it properly and safely. This is so important we took time during one of our roundtables to have a training session for this critical award. Here were some of the subjects covered to earning it:

Remember the S.L.E.E.P. acronym.
Safety
Lifestyle
Environment
Enjoyment
Practice

Safety: location, equipment, preventative measures .
Locations: shelters, cots, mats, tables prefer not, chairs, benches.
Environment: hydration, shade, air conditioning or wind, become one with nature.
Enjoyment: relax, timing, find your happy place.
Practice: frequently, consistency, trial and error, repeat, more than 45 minutes is sleeping and not napping.

Once a Scout Leader completed the training he or she received the patch to hang on the right pocket of their uniform. Does your council have a similar award?

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    Friends of Scouting. The annual visit of a council representative to troops and packs throughout the country. The annual visit for the council to ask parents and families to help with the expenses at the district and council level. Some units welcome the council representatives with open arms. Other units, not so much.

    I do not mind the F.O.S. visits. I understand the need for the council to visit the units. Oh, there have been a few times over the last few decades that I was upset with the council for one reason or another and almost told them they could forget coming to our troop court of honor, but I never denied them the opportunity to talk to the parents.

    There is one thing I look forward to seeing whenever it is time for the Friends of Scouting campaign. I am always curious to see what the incentives will be to entice people to donate at the various levels. The right incentive could just boost that donation up to the next level after all.

    The Central Minnesota Council offered a different framed Normal Rockwell print for several years in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. I collected them all. The mugs and tumblers really did not grab my attention very well.

    This is the tenth year the the council has offered a special council should patch (csp) for meeting the first level of incentives. Each year has featured a different point of the Scout Law. This being the tenth year so the patch features the theme Brave.

    As a collector of shoulder patches this FOS patch has always had my attention. I like the look of this year’s patch. The red color will really stand out on the Boy Scout uniform sleeve, and I like the action picture of Scouts white water rafting. I do not wear these patches on my uniform. I place them in a three ring binder with the other council patches of the Central Minnesota Council and the Noguonabe Lodge that I have collected over the past 40 years.

    What does your council offer during its annual Friends of Scouting campaigns? Do they offer any special patches?

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      2016fosSeveral years ago the Central Minnesota Council added a new incentive to the annual Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaign. If you met a certain donation level you would receive a specially designed council shoulder patch (CSP). Each year would feature a different point of the Scout Law. Twelve points meant twelve patches that could be collected. Being the patch collector that I am, I was hooked from the very first year.

      This year marks the ninth year of this promotion so the 2016 patch has Thrifty as its theme. The csp features a vintage Boy Scout at the bank, ready to add some money to his saving account. There is a “ghost” design on the left side of the patch of a squirrel ready to store his acorn for future use. Even the animal kingdom practices being thrifty.

      This means there are only three years left of the Scout Law council shoulder patches. I wonder what the design of the next one, Brave, will look like.

      Other incentives of this year’s Central Minnesota Council FOS drive included an electronics cleaning cloth, a Ripley Rendezvous water bottle or frisbee, and an Eagle Scout statuette.

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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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          2015FOSpatchIt is that time of year. Units in the Central Minnesota Council are being visited by council representatives for the annual Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaign. Families are being asked to contribute what they can to the council to assist in providing a quality program for the boys.

          Like many councils, the Central Minnesota Council offers gifts for donors who meet certain levels of financial support. For many years they offered a framed Norman Rockwell Scouting print as an upper level gift. I am proud to say that a wall in my home office is covered with these prints collected over a decade.

          During the last several years a special council should patch has been offered as a gift. Each year has been a different patch featuring a point of the Scout Law. I happen to be one of those Scout leaders who like to collect patches so yes, I have every one so far. This year’s patch feature the law point of Cheerful, especially cheerful service. By the way, when you think of cheerful service don’t you think of the Order of the Arrow? Did you know this year is the 100th anniversary of the OA? Can you guess what else is featured on the 2015 patch?

          Once again, I like the design of the shoulder patch. I will not be wearing it on my shirt though. It will go straight into my three ring binder of council patches. This is number eight of the twelve patch series. I wonder what the next four will look like.

          What do you think of this year’s patch design? Does your council do something similar?

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            2015RipleyFlyerThe 2014 council wide Ripley Rendezvous is now a part of history, but the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 can already look forward to attending a bigger and better rendezvous in 2015. Next year will be time for the Area-Wide Ripley Rendezvous which will bring Boy Scouts from all over the state of Minnesota, and a few Scouts from neighboring states, to the central Minnesota National Guard base. I believe at least four councils, if not five, work together to plan this activity.

            There will be three programs provided for the Boy Scouts, based on the Scouts’ age. The Extreme Program, for ages 14 and older will include Military Demonstrations, Team Challenges, Obstacle Course, Biathlon Course, Climbing & Rappelling, and a Zip Line. The Adventure Program, for 13 and older, will include Military Demonstrations, Hunting Instructionals, North Range Shooting Sports, Tomahawk Throw, Voyageurs Reenactment Group, and Historical Firearms Demos. The Action Center, open to all Scouts, will include Hands-On Activities/Displays, Rocket Launching, Outdoor Skills Training, Military Equipment, DNR & State Patrol Demos, and Pro Fishing Celebrities.

            Special events for the weekend include Interactive Drone Flights, Military Honor Guard, MN Military Museum Tours (which is a favorite of our Boy Scouts), a Saturday Night Stage Show, Saturday Night Fireworks, and a Celebrity Fun Run. The Trading Post will be loaded with all kinds of goodies and special weekend souvenirs.

            This event will be held on May 15-17, 2015. The cost per participant in only $45, which is not too bad considering the program offered. Troops will set up camp in a jamboree style setting.

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              2014_Ripley_Rendezvous_AdIt is time once again for the Boy Scouts of the Central Minnesota Council to gather at Camp Ripley for the Ripley Rendezvous, an annual event hosted by the council and Camp Ripley. Camp Ripley is a National Guard Base found in central Minnesota near Little Falls. I know this weekend outing has been going on for at least 40 years because I remember attending when I was a young Boy Scout.

              Ten Boy Scouts from Troop 68 are enjoying the fun offered by the program this weekend. What are they doing, you ask? Well, according to the council’s website:

              Ripley Rendezvous 2014 “Aim High!” will be held the Camp Ripley Army National Guard Training Facility, Camp Ripley, MN. This spring time event is truly a unique opportunity to utilize the traning facility’s ranges and buildings in presenting two distinct levels of involvement.

              The Adventure Program will be conducted at the ranges for everyone that enjoys shooting sports. Scouts will be using shot guns, .22 rifles, 50 cal. black powder inlines, archery, tomahawks, and sling shots; all skills that need a great deal of concentration to perform at your best.

              The Scout Ops is an Extreme program for the older Boy Scouts and Venturers, who are ready for a more rigorouse program using advanced physical and mental trials that go along with team work and goal accomplishment. The personal satisfaction of knowing you did your best, no matter the outcome is something to be proud of. This older Scout program will have several static displays, exhibits and hands-on activities for everyone who wants a tougher challenge.

              This is similar to the program of the last few years. While our Scouts were looking forward to attending the rendezvous I have heard that overall numbers of participants are down. It might be time to change up the program and offer something different next time.

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                2014CMCPatch2Yep. It is that time of year. Boy Scout councils are conducting their annual Friends of Scouting campaigns to raise money to support the local council and its program. Our district executive from the Central Minnesota Council visited our troop’s court of honor on Monday, March 24th. The troop almost met the goal set by the council, and still may. A few of the parents took the forms home with them to consider how they could financially support the council.

                In our council, as I am sure in many councils across the country, there are various tiers at which a donor is recognized for their financial gift. For several years now, the Central Minnesota Council has presented donors with a special council shoulder patch for meeting the first level of support. These patches have featured a design based on a Norman Rockwell painting. The year’s patch was based on the painting of a Boy Scout saluting. I am not quite sure of the name of the painting, but it might be called We, Too, Have A Job To Do from 1944. As you can see from the picture, it is a fully embroidered patch, not a print like two patches a few years ago.

                At another gift level the donor would receive a framed print of this Norman Rockwell painting. I think it was ten years ago that the council last offered this print. My home office wall displays 15 different framed prints offered by the council over the years. There is not much room left for any new ones.

                I think the council did a good job with this year’s patch. I am happy to add it to my csp collection. This patch takes us nearly to the halfway point of the Scout Law. I look forward to seeing what the next seven years of patches will look like.

                What sort of incentives does your council offer during its Friends of Scouting campaigns?

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