Archive for the ‘council’ Category

airshowUnfortunately, it has come to this. The St. Cloud Air Show, an event being sponsored by the Central Minnesota Council, has been cancelled. Here is the official statement from the website:

St. Cloud Air Show Cancelled as Result of Sequestration
ST. CLOUD, MN (Tuesday, April 2, 2013) As a result of the sequestration and with that the uncertainty of the appearance of the Blue Angels, The Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts has decided to cancel the St. Cloud Air Show scheduled for July 20th and 21st. Over 25 other shows have been cancelled across the country with more sure to follow due the Sequester. Because of the Sequester we have lost all of the military support needed to put on a successful air show.

“Our decision to cease planning for the 2013 Air Show comes after careful review and consideration of the fiscal challenges we would face by not having the Blue Angels appear,” said Dave Trehey of the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts.

“We are very disappointed, especially after all the hard work that has already been put into the show by our volunteers,” added Jill Magelssen, Air Show Chairwoman. “When you lose the headline act you lose the momentum going into the show. The St. Cloud Air Show was a fundraising event for the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts. We could not take the very real chance that the show would lose money.”

The many people who have already purchased tickets will be refunded their money by the company that was handling ticket sales. Information on how the refunds will be handled will be on the air show website by the end of this week.

“We appreciate all of the support the community has given us in the planning of the Air Show,” added Trehey. “There is a very good chance that we will again have the opportunity to bring the Blue Angels back to Central Minnesota. We hope that you will be as excited about it again.”

Many local troops and posts were planning to help with and/or attend this event. The local public and community were also supporting this show. Too bad it had to come down to this.

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    Central Minnesota Council Friends of Scouting 2013 shoulder patch.

    Central Minnesota Council Friends of Scouting 2013 shoulder patch.

    I don’t know about your council but ours, the Central Minnesota Council B.S.A., is in full swing for its 2013 Friends of Scouting (FOS) drive. Representatives from the council or district will visit each of the troops, packs, and crews to talk to families about the Scout program, and ask for donations to help the council provide a great program for thousands of youth. In Melrose Troop 68, this visit usually takes place at the March court of honor which will happen on Monday, the 25th.

    The council will accept any donation but does have a couple of “levels” at which the person or family who donates enough financial support will receive a special token of appreciation. At the lowest of these level points the donator will receive a patch. At the next levels he/she will receive a Norman Rockwell unframed print or framed print.

    I visited with Bob, my district executive, for awhile yesterday and found out the design of this year’s patch. This will be the sixth year that the council continues a theme based on the Scout Law. Each year has featured a point of the Law. This year has Kind as its theme. Is it a sharp looking patch, in my opinion. It is also nice to see that the council has returned to a stitched patch, instead of the cheaper looking print patches it used during the past three years. As you can see from the picture, this year’s FOS council patch is one you could proudly wear on your uniform.

    What does your council do to show its appreciation during its Friends of Scouting drive?

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      The Central Minnesota Council, B.S.A. is taking Scouting to new heights this summer when they sponsor the St. Cloud Air Show on July 20-21, 2013. The weekend promises to be a blast and will feature special events for local Boy Scout troops and venture crews. Here is some show information from the website:

      The St. Cloud Air Show, presented by The Central Minnesota Council Boy Scouts of America, will be held at the St. Cloud Regional Airport on July 20th & 21st, 2013. Each day this show will feature the world-famous US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels as well as two days of performances by the world’s best military and civilian pilots. It will showcase world-class aerobatics champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment for the whole family.

      Show highlights include:
      Two days of great In-The-Air Acts plus each day featuring The Blue Angels.
      Unique ground displays, historic aircraft, supersonic fighters and interactive activities.
      A family inflatables play area, climbing wall and bungee jumping.
      Viewing chalets with VIP seating, parking and food and beverages.

      Tickets are now on sale! Entertainment for your whole family and a chance to make memories you’ll never forget.
      Check out the website at

      Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts of the Central Minnesota Council can participant in a weekend lock-in at the airport. They will camp at the site, participate in special events, and may even meet some of the pilots. It sounds like a great opportunity for the local Scouts, and a great way to promote the Scout program in our area.

      Has your council ever done something like this?

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        Five Boy Scouts and two adult leaders of Melrose Troop 68 joined nearly 3200 other Scouts and leaders for the 2011 Ripley Rendezvous. The event was held at the Camp Ripley National Guard Base in central Minnesota. Boy Scouts from all over Minnesota attended, along with some Boy Scouts from neighboring States and even Canada.

        The program was divided into three activities areas, based on the age of the Scouts. The three activities were:
        – Action Center Midway (60+ Displays, Demonstrations, Vendors and Hands-on Activities)
        – Adventure Program (Shooting Sports and Voyageurs re-enactment group)
        – Extreme (Climbing, Rappelling, Team Challenges, Biathlon Course, Military Demonstrations) – for Boy Scouts 14+ and Venturers.

        Other highlights of the weekend were military displays and demonstrations, including live rounds fired by tanks, an arial photograph taken of the Scouts and leaders forming a huge fleur-de-lis (watch a future blog post for this picture), and the Camp Ripley Museum.

        Saturday evening finished with a grand stage show that featured a band, singers, a comedian, a juggler, and acrobats. There was also a special presentation in which the commander of the Minnesota National Guard was given a Boy Scout banner signed by hundreds of Scouts and adult leaders. This banner will be sent overseas to one of our National Guard units to remind them that we appreciate everything they are doing and are sacrificing to keep us free and safe back home.

        The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 had a great time at the Ripley Rendezvous. I believe I can safely say that all the Scouts and leaders that attended the event enjoyed themselves.

        More photos of the event can be found at:

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          I was probably a 13 year old Boy Scout when I attended my first Ripley Rendezvous. This annual event was sponsored by the Central Minnesota Council, BSA, and the Camp Ripley National Guard Base, located north of Little Falls, Minnesota. It was a weekend event which brought hundreds of Boy Scouts together. The Scout troops slept in the barracks, ate in the dining halls, and had plenty of activities to have fun with. One activity that I will always remember is when Billy Kid, the Olympic skier, gave us skiing instructions. I think I even got his autograph.

          When I became an adult leader for my home troop I once again began attending the Ripley Rendezvous. Our troop has not missed many of them during the last thirty years. The boys have always had a great time and enjoy being on the base. One of their highlights has been visiting the camp’s military museum.

          Scouts will once again gather at Camp Ripley this weekend for the sixth state-wide Ripley Rendezvous. Thousands of Boy Scouts and adult leaders from five councils will be in attendance. The boys will participate in one of three age-based activity areas. It will be a jamboree-style event with all troop staying in tents and cooking meals by patrol.

          Rumor has it that this could be the last Ripley Rendezvous. Our council does not have one listed on next year’s schedule. I have not heard the official reason for this, but I would bet it has something to do with the base becoming a very busy place over the last years. Hopefully, in the near future, things will settle down and the Rendezvous tradition can continue once again.

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            The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 recently spent a weekend at Parker Scout Reservation, the Central Minnesota Council’s camp. One of the highlights of the weekend was a tour of the newest building on the site, the Miller Castle.

            The castle was built with Cub Scout camps in mind. The building really does give the impression of a medieval castle nestled in the woods. It features a grassy courtyard surrounded by a 15 foot high masonry wall, complete with an outer catwalk. Inside, the medieval theme continues with banners hanging from the walls, chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and suits of armor placed around the great meeting hall. The meeting hall also contains a small stage that is accessible for interior and exterior programs.

            The castle was built for year round use. Unlike some of the camp’s buildings, this one includes heating and air conditioning, insulated walls, and insulated windows. There are separate restrooms facilities for boys and girls, and also separate shower facilities for men and women. The two large bunk rooms can sleep 32 Scouts each. There are separate sleeping quarters for the adults. A large modern kitchen is found off the great meeting hall.

            When the Melrose Boy Scouts walked up to the castle’s outer walls I could tell they were impressed. As they entered the courtyard the stood and looked around in awe. When they entered the great meeting hall their imaginations were flowing. “We need to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons in here”, they remarked.

            I took a few pictures of the boys touring the Miller Castle which I plan to post to the troop’s website in the next few weeks. In the meantime you can check out the photos at the council’s website found at under Camp Parker.

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              After supper on Saturday, the Order of the Arrow set up several “carnival” style activities to keep the Scouts busy until the evening’s Call Out ceremony was scheduled to begin. Stations included activities like throwing a ball to knock down the stacked blocks, throwing a football through a hoop, and throwing darts at balloons. Candy prizes were given to Scouts who were successful. There was even a softball game and an Ultimate frisbee game being played.

              The four Boy Scouts from Troop 68 were having fun going from one station to the next. Just before the stations were closed down for the evening we walked by a station which caught the boys attention. Two Scouts would stand on a 2×4 piece of lumber and then try to push or pull the other Scout off balance. The first to step off the 2×4 and place his foot on the ground lost the game. The winner stayed on the board to accept a new challenger.

              A female troop leader had been playing the game with the boys and had won several contests. She was a larger woman and did have weight on her side, but the boys only saw that as a greater challenge. One of my 14 year old Scouts decided to get in line to give it his best shot.

              When it came time to face her on the board he seemed to have a few second thoughts. How was he going to get her off the 2×4 when so many before him had failed? He finally decided to charge her with his shoulder down, hoping that brute force would knock her off. She caught him in a near bear hug and threw him off to the side. He laid there for a moment, accepted her hand to help him up, smiled, and then cracked a joke as he rejoined his buddies. We walked back to the barracks to get ready for the Order of the Arrow call out.

              As we were changing into our uniforms this Scout went off to the bathroom. When he returned, he told me that he was not feeling well, had just thrown up, and had a bad headache. I told him to lay down for awhile and asked my assistant scoutmaster to sit with him while I took the other three boys to the OA call out. On the way to the call out I met the same woman who had challenged the Scout on the 2×4. She happened to be walking with the camp nurse so I asked them if they would go up to our bay and check the Scout who was not feeling well.

              When the three boys and I arrived back to our bay after the ceremony we discovered that a few council people and the nurse were hovering near the bed of the ill Scout. The nurse said that the Scout had a concussion. The council staff had already phoned his mother and they all thought that we should take him to a nearby hospital in Little Falls to have him checked out. When the Scout tried to sit up to go to the car he got very dizzy and his head pain increased. His vision was blurred. He immediately laid back down. Oh no, did he have a neck injury also? We decided that it was time to call for an ambulance, just in case it was worse then we thought.

              As a scoutmaster you never like to see anyone get hurt although you know the small chance of it happening is always there. You hope that there will never be anything more then a skinned knee or a little bruise. When something like this happens you think about the worst, but are hoping for the best. I tell you, it is almost like being a parent.

              To make a long story short, I rode along in the ambulance to the hospital so that he had someone with him that he knew. The hospital staff asked him a lot of questions, attached five electrodes to his chest to check his vital signs, did a cat-scan of his head, and sent the scan to a hospital in Australia. After an hour in the emergency room they determined that he did indeed have a concussion, but nothing more. He uncle, who had met us at the hospital, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Since the Scout was feeling a little better they released him to his uncle’s care with instructions on what to watch for over the next day or two. I went back to Camp Ripley with another Scouter who had followed the ambulance to the hospital.

              The council staff, the first aid and venture staff, the paramedics, and the hospital staff all did a great job. Everyone stayed calm and professional. But it was a bit of excitement that none of us really needed, especially the Scout himself.

              By the way, I visited with the Scout and his mother Sunday evening when I dropped off his gear from the weekend. He still had a bit of a headache and a little tunnel vision, but he was doing much better and seemed to be almost back to his usual self. His mother was going to take him to her doctor on Monday to make sure everything was going well.

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                Saturday morning at the Central Minnesota Council’s Ripley Rendezvous started out well. The Boy Scouts awoke, got dressed, and made it to the dining hall a little early for a great breakfast of french toast, scrambled eggs, and sausage links. Even the weather was cooperating. The forecast had been for a wet cool day but the sun was shining through partly cloudy skies.

                The day quickly soured for the Scouts of Troop 68 when we discovered the program schedule had changed. Our Scouts, who were all 14 years old and older, had registered for the Outdoors Experience program which was to introduce them to the various high adventure bases and have them participate in team building exercises. It sounded like it would have been a good program, but it did not happen. The people in charge of the Outdoors Experience had backed out of the activity too late for a new program to be planned in its place.

                So our boys were placed into the First Class Adventure program, designed for 11 and 12 year old Scouts who were working on their Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Ranks. This was a big mistake. Within 45 minutes my Scouts were so bored they decided to head back to the barracks. I now had four teenage boys on a military base with nothing to do. Not a good situation. I needed to get them in a program fast or we may as well load up the gear and head home.

                I walked to the event’s headquarters and just happened to catch most of the event’s leadership in the office. I calmly explained my troop’s situation, that the boys and I were pretty disappointed, and that we were thinking about going home. They understood the problem, made a quick phone call, and were able to get the boys transferred to the range program if I was able to drive the boys to the site which was a few miles away from the barracks area. I agreed, went back to the barracks to talk to the boys, and soon found myself driving the Scouts to their new activity. The boys spent the rest of the morning rotating between the archery, rifle, shotgun, and black powder stations. The rain stayed away. The sun kept shining. The boys had a good time.

                We returned to the barracks with two hours of free time before supper would be served so we decided to visit the Camp Ripley Military Museum. This became a highlight of the weekend as the boys looked at the uniforms and weapons used by the National Guardsmen over the generations through the wars. They were also able to climb onto many of the tanks and military vehicles that were on display outside of the museum.

                A potentially bad day had turned out well. Unfortunately, the day was not yet over, and the worse was yet to come…
                (To be continued.)

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