Archive for May, 2008

Every business knows that you need to advertise well to bring people through your front door, or to your website in this digital world. Companies hire ad agencies to produce commercials for television and the internet, and to design graphic ads for newspapers and magazines.

Unfortunately, this is one area I personally feel that is lacking in the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA does a great job of promoting itself to its own leaders and members (like preaching to the choir, huh?), but I do not see much promotion geared toward the general public. Available funds could be part of the problem, after all, it costs money to place ads on television and in magazines and newspapers.

During the last twenty years or so, I have collected a variety of Scouting commercials and promotion videos. With this post I would like to share three commercials with you. These commercials were created years ago by the Boy Scouts of America. I copied them from a video tape that the council had, and then put them on my computer some time ago.

This post includes three thirty second commercials. The first features Steve Young, the NFL quarterback, who was a Cub Scout. The second features Jim Lovell, and Eagle Scout who became an astronaut. The third features Scott Mitchell, another quarterback who also happens to be an Eagle Scout.

I hope the BSA does not mind that I am posting this commercials as part of the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast. I am just trying to get these out to as many people as possible. Hopefully, a few new boys and parents will be drawn to the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs by watching these commercials and other Scouting videos online.

Don’t forget to leave a comment about this podcast.
You can leave a note here, or at the PTC media forums.
If you leave a comment at the iTunes Music Store you will help the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast climb higher in the ratings.

DOWNLOAD this Podcast
Subscribe to Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast through iTunes.
Check out the other Scouting podcasts at PTC Media.

Domain names are very important when you have a site on the internet. Choose the wrong name and it is hard for people to find you. Choose the right name and people start showing up at your digital door.

The blog at the Boy Scout Trail website, Scoutmaster Musings, has a great short article about someone who has freely given a couple Scouting related domain names to the Boy Scouts of America. It is a great Good Turn done for the BSA by an individual.
Check it out at

There is an article in The Arizona Republic that is a great news story about Boy Scouting. Most families are happy to boast about having one Eagle Scout. How would you like to be part of a family with four generations of living Eagle Scouts? You can read about it at

Here is a portion of the article…

Thomas Shelton Boggess Jr. met President Herbert Hoover for a brief photo shoot in 1931, but his visit today with President Bush today means much more to him.

That’s because Thomas Jr., 96 and in failing health, will be among four generations of Eagle Scouts in his family meeting the president when he arrives at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Thomas Jr., who lives in a Phoenix assisted-living center, fought back tears Monday when asked what it means for him to meet the president with four generations of his family.

“I’m very proud of him,” Thomas Jr. said of his great-grandson, Thomas Shelton Boggess V, 13, known to his family as Shelton. “He did it especially for me. He wasn’t selfish.”

Shelton, of Flagstaff, said he organized a crew of 15 boys who built a fence around a church as an Eagle Scout project. Shelton said he knew the clock was ticking for his great-grandfather.

His father, Thomas Shelton Boggess IV, 41, a Flagstaff home builder, said his son expedited the badge process. It’s more typical for a boy to achieve the Eagle Scout rank at 15 or 16.

“It makes me feel very special and important to our family,” said Shelton, an eighth-grader at Northland Preparatory Academy. “I knew it was a great honor for him.”

His great-grandfather said, “All the gold in Fort Knox wouldn’t compare to what it meant.”

When I create a slideshow to be shown at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor, I use the programs that are included in the iLife suite, namely iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, and iDVD. I like the way they work seamlessly together. I realize that there are simular programs for Windows based computers, but from what I have been told, they require more work then using iLife.

Now that I have my Macintosh vs. Windows comparison out of the way, here are the things I keep in mind when preparing an Eagle Scout slideshow.

a) Find the right music. The music needs to be appropriate for an Eagle Court of Honor. It could be something that represents the Eagle Scout. The lyrics should be family friendly, and not contains inappropriate words or suggestive language.

b) The a song, or songs, in which a four count or eight count beat is about 5 or 6 seconds long. I like to transition the photographs to the song beat and have found that 5 to 6 seconds per picture seems to be long enough for the audience to see each photo without being so long that they grow bored.

c) Keep the length of the slideshow from four to six minutes long. If it is too short you will not be able to include many photographs. If it is too long it can drag down a court of honor. I have found that one long song or two short songs seem to work well.

d) I start the slideshow with pictures of the Eagle Scout when he was a young boy. As the show proceeds, we watch as the Scout grows older. I like to include pictures of his years in Cub Scouting if they are available. I also like to include a few family pictures.

e) I include pictures that are serious in nature along with some silly ones. I also include pictures from courts of honor, high adventure trips, and his Eagle service project. Mix them up, make sure there is a variety.

f) I try to get at least two giggles from the audience with each slideshow. And an ear to ear grin from the Eagle Scout and his parents.

g) I begin with each picture zoomed in on the Scout, and then pull back to show the whole photo. I try to keep the zooming at a slower speed to avoid any motion sickness type of feeling. For the last two photos, which include the “Eagle Scout” photograph and perhaps a graduation photo, I begin with the full picture and slowly zoom in for a closeup.

h) The timing on the last two pictures is twice as long as the timing on the rest of the photographs, usually about ten or eleven seconds long. It lets people know the end of the show is near.

i) During those last two photos I will add some titles along the bottom of the screen which include: The Scout’s name, The words “Eagle Scout”, and the date of his Eagle board of review.

So, there you have it. That is my formula for a successful Eagle Scout slideshow. You can view a few of the slideshows I have done at

I came across an online video today that surprised me. It is a film about a Boy Scout troop near where I live. The troop is a very special troop, a troop of challenged men. The Boy Scout program gives these men a chance to experience life in a way they probably never would outside of Scouting.

Here is the summary found with the video: Bob Gillis Wilmar, Minnesota February 2007 Scouting Serves Men With Special Needs “Scouting gives them opportunities to do all the things that they probably wouldn’t have a chance to do without being a member of our troop.”

I invite you to watch the video, rate it, and leave a comment. It can be found at

This troop really seems to know how to keep the Outing in Scouting, and create a special smile in its participants.

Since I became the scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 68, I have had every Eagle Scout court of honor videotaped for our local cable television access station. This weekend I taped the seventeenth ceremony. It was a great court of honor. I am probably as proud as each of the parents when the Eagle Award is pinned onto the Scout’s uniform.

As the date approached for the tenth Eagle court of honor in 2002, I was getting a head start on producing the television program by preparing the opening titles. I was using several photographs I had taken of the Scout over the years and putting together a 60-90 second slideshow over which I planned to put the opening titles.

It was working out pretty well when I received a call from the Scout’s mother. She was concerned that one of the speakers would be arriving a few minutes late for the court of honor and what could be done to fill some time until he arrived. I looked at my computer screen and explained what I was working on, and then suggested that we could add more photographs and make it part of the ceremony. She thought that was an excellent idea. After she hung up she began looking for photographs from his Cub Scout years to add to the slideshow.

During the next week we were scanning photographs and trying to get this done in time for the court of honor. The date of the ceremony finally arrived, as did the speaker, right on time. Oh well, the slideshow was now part of the program so we showed it, and everyone loved it.

I have had to do a slideshow for each Eagle Scout since then. To tell the truth, I do not mind. The Scout, his parents and family, and the members of the audience have always enjoyed watching the shows. Everyone likes seeing how this young man has grown doing his Scouting years.

This weekend I attended the court of honor of my seventeenth Eagle Scout. (My Eagle Scout??) Mike helped with this slideshow, choosing the music and the pictures from my photo collection. His parents were not involved in the preparation of the slideshow. He wanted it to be a surprise to them. Everyone at the ceremony enjoyed the show, including his parents, and got a few chuckles from some of the photographs we included.

Mike has given me permission to share this video with you. I hope this will be an example of something you could add to your troop’s Eagle courts of honor, if you are not already doing it.

This video will not have the PTC media logo or the MSPP logo at the beginning of the video. I just did not feel comfortable adding them to an Eagle Scout video.

If you enjoy this video I would appreciate hearing from you. Do you do anything like this in your own troop? Drop me a line and let me know by emailing me at, or at the PTC Media forums, or by going to my iTunes feed. Thank you.

Download Podcast
Subscribe to MSPP through iTunes.

I will be attending an Eagle Scout court of honor today. It is for the seventeenth Boy Scout to attain this rank since I became the scoutmaster of Troop 68 in 1981. Am I proud of this Scout? You bet I am, as I am proud of each of the young men of Troop 68 who have earned this recognition. I am looking forward to attending this ceremony.

One part of the ceremony that I always enjoy, that has been a part of many of the Eagle Scout courts of honor that I have attended, is when a young man (or two) who previously earned the rank comes forward to the podium and recites the Trail To The Eagle. Not only does it bring back memories for the new Eagle Scout, his friends, and his parents, but it also gives the rest of the audience a small idea what this Scout had to accomplish on the way to this lofty goal.

At this time, I would like to include the Trail To The Eagle as a part of this blog entry:

This is the trail to the Eagle, the Eagle whose heights you struggled to reach. We remember well when you first came to the base of the cliff, and how you looked up with ambition and determination. Look back for a moment, look back over the cliff you have climbed; look back at the experience you have encountered in your ascent. These experiences should not be forgotten, and you should profit by making sure that the adverse ones do not occur again. Experience is a valuable teacher if you heed its teachings.

We remember when you took your first step upon the trail that leads upward. With your first step, you began living the Scout Oath and Law. While you were on the trail, we watched you study and then we watched you learn by doing. First you were only a candidate, building yourself physically, mentally, and morally. Then your brother Scouts called you a Tenderfoot and they were right, you were indeed a Tenderfoot. But not for long, for soon you reached the first ledge where you were greeted by a group of Second Class Scouts. Some, like yourself, were stopping to catch their breath before continuing along the Eagle trail.

You began to study more, you worked harder, and almost before you knew it, you came to another ledge, the ledge where First Class Scouts dwell. There you found a tempting green meadow by a crystal clear stream, bathed by the sun. Here you were tempted to remain. Yes, you could have remained there to live in First Class glory, but your ambition stirred you on.

We remember your progress to Star Scout. You found the trail from First Class had been an optical illusion, not as difficult as it has seemed. This spurred you on, and again you climbed higher. Now the trail was steeper, it was less worn. Fewer Scouts seemed to be heading in your direction. You looked back and saw the crowds below you. You looked up and saw the few above you.

With the same determination with which you started your climb, you continued up the trail to the second peak, Life rank. The heart badge was then placed on your uniform. You will never forget the thoughts in your heart. It has been experienced by most Scouts on reaching the ledge of Life. “Now I am close to Eagle. I will carry on.” The trail became tougher, but more interesting. The original simple principles, the Scout Oath and Law, now had a fuller meaning. Your understanding of them was greater.

Yes, we have watched your character unfold and become manly. We have watched your leadership ability expand into a valuable asset. We have watched your mind develop and your wisdom increase. We have watched all of these things in you. Now that you are at the threshold of your goal, we welcome you. For you have done your climbing in a true Scout-like-manner. This is the trail to the Eagle.

Here are a few Boy Scouts that grew up and became well known polititians, Senators, governors, and even presidents. (Unfortunately, a couple of these seemed to have forgotten the twelve points of the Scout Oath after they grew up.)

William Bennett – Former Secretary of Education (Eagle Scout)
James Brady – Former Press Secretary to President Reagan (Eagle Scout)
Willaim Sessions – Former FBI Director (Eagle Scout)
Murphy J. “Mike” Foster – Governor of Louisiana (Eagle Scout)
Gary Locke – Governor of Washington State (Eagle Scout)
Rick Perry – Governor, State of Texas (pictured above)

Gary Anderson – U.S. Representative from New York (Eagle Scout)
Bill Alexander – U.S. Representative from Arkansas (Eagle Scout)
Charles Bennett – U.S. Representative from Florida (Eagle Scout)
William Dannemeyer – U.S. Representative from California (Eagle Scout)
Daniel J. Evans – Former US Senator and Governor from the state of Washington (Eagle Scout)
Richard Lugar – U.S. Senator from Indiana (Eagle Scout)
Sam Nunn – U.S. Senator from Georgia (Eagle Scout)
J.J. Pickle – U.S. Representative from Texas (Eagle Scout)

Bill Clinton – President of the United States
George W. Bush – President of the United States
John F. Kennedy – President of the United States
Gerald R. Ford – President of the United States (the first Eagle Scout to become President!)

Do you know of any more to add to this list?