Archive for November, 2013


startrekking2000It is time for for the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 to add another skit, or is it a song, to the list of videos on the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. The video comes from the troop’s Laughs for Lunch Show performed in January 2000. It features the members of the Hazardous Hawk Patrol doing their version of a troop original, Star Trekking: The Next Generation.

This is a skit that takes a bit of practice. The Hawks did an excellent job of claiming this skit as their own for a couple years. It is also an excellent example of performers really getting into their roles. By the end of the skit the boys (Josh, Alex, Mike, Nathan, Sergio, and Blake) are acting like they are excited, hyper, or something. It is all in good fun and really adds to the song.

Here are the words to the refrain:
Star Trekking, across the universe.
On a ship that splits in two, with Q who’s such a jerk.
Star Trekking, across the universe.
Only going forward ’cause Worf has broke reverse.

Another version of this song can be found at MSPP #54: Star Trekking: The Next Generation. Watch them both and let us know which one you enjoy the most.

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    2013-11-26 patch blanketIt is hard to believe that it is nearly three years since I first seriously began thinking of taking thirty years of patches from various Scouting events and sewing them on a blanket like so many Scouters have done. In the summer of 2012 I laid out one of my Scouting blankets on my ping pong table and started placing patches to see how it would look, and play around with an arrangement. After six months I came to the conclusion the patches were not going to sew themselves so in January of this year I began sewing patches.

    After the first row was sewn, the blanket laid untouched for a few months. I do not like to sew. Finally, the second row was complete. By the time I was working on the third row I discovered I had a hard time keeping the patches straight and that the blanket was starting to bunch up a bit. I tried an experiment when I began the fourth row. I had a bottle of Fabri-Tac so I tried spot glueing the patches into place to try to keep them straight. It worked, very well in fact. I decided to try using only glue on a few patches to see if they would stay without sewing. They did. Sewing was now done. The rest of the patches would be glued into place.

    Last Sunday I finished the last three rows on the blanket. It took me nearly 11 months from when I first grabbed a needle and thread. If the Fabri-Tac had not worked well I would bet the blanket would not be even one third of the way completed today. I was able to glue 4 patches in the same time I was able to sew one patch. I just had to be careful. I only had one chance to place a patch properly when I glued it.

    There one hundred forty two patches in twelve rows on the blanket, including the segment patches from summer camp. For the bottom half I used a straight edge to keep the patches in line. The first patch is from a 1980 council camporee. The last patches were from the 1996 summer camp at Many Point Scout Camp. Patches from Wood Badge, Philmont Scout Ranch, and awards earned at the summer camp rifle range are included. In the middle of the blanket I placed an assistant scoutmaster and a scoutmaster patch to represent those troop positions I held during those 16 years. A roundtable commissioner patch can be found along the left edge. Order of the Arrow conclave patches and one from the 1995 B.S.A National Meeting complete the blanket.

    The only thing left is to find a way to display the blanket when it is part of Scouting displays set up around town. The best thing I have found online so far is an expandable garment rack. I am open for suggestions if you have any.

    If you click on the picture a larger version will appear. Which one is your favorite patch? Do you see the one from America’s Funniest Home Videos? How does this blanket compare to your patch blanket? Send me a picture and I may post a future article featuring your blankets.

    Now it is time to consider starting work on the second blanket….

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      Vintage Boy Scout PatrolFor the last several years Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose was holding on to life with a small group of Scouts, only about 8 of them. The Cub Scout Pack has also had a rough time recruiting members which meant that the troop has only had 2 Webelos Scouts transfer to the troop during the last 7 years. Due to that low number there has only been one patrol.

      The Boy Scouts really went out this year and tried to recruit their friends into the troop, and they have been quite successful. They have brought six more boys into the program. The troop now has 13 members. That means there is too many for one patrol so for the first time in seven(?) years we have two patrols, which the Scouts formed last month.

      The patrol with most of the older boys decided to keep the existing patrol name, the Border Patrol. The mostly younger boy patrol has decided to call themselves the Striking Cobras. Last week I presented the patrols with a competition. A patrol needs a patrol flag, of course, so I gave them the challenge to come with the best patrol flag. The flags will be judged at the  court of honor to be held on December 23 by myself and two committee members. The patrol with the best flag will be presented with the Best Of Flag prize, which will be something they can eat.

      During the troop meeting tonight the patrols spent their patrol meeting time working on the designs of those flags. It looked like both patrols are taking the competition seriously. If fact, the members of the Border Patrol did not even want me to see the various rough drafts of their flag design. I just smiled to myself as I walked away.

      Having more then one patrol in the troop has been a learning experience for both the Scouts and the new scoutmaster. The boys have learned very quickly that patrols can be used as teams for game time during troop meetings. It will be interesting to see how menu planning and patrol campsites will be done on the next camping trip. I have to admit that it is nice to have one more patrol leader attending the patrol leader council meetings.

      I promise that in December, after the court of honor, I will post pictures of the two patrol flags. Maybe I will have you readers be the judges of an online vote for your favorite flag.

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        Patch BlanketI do not know about you, but I hate sewing. Maybe one reason for that is I am not very good at it. And it takes too long. And I keep sticking myself with the needle. That is why when I decided to take the Scouting patches I have collected over the last 33 years and start sewing them onto blankets (yes, that is plural) I knew it was going to be a challenging task to accomplish.

        Well, I have two rows of patches sewn to the first blanket. They cover the years 1980 through 1984. I have discovered that sewing gets tougher when you start moving further into the center of the blanket. Also, I am having trouble keeping the patches straight. They seem to move on me when I am not paying attention. Grrrrr. When it came time to start the third row I decided to try a few spots of Fabri-Tac permanent adhesive to hold them in the proper place while I sewed them. It worked very well, but I was still sticking my fingers.

        I finally decided to try completely glueing a patch into place. Actually, it was three little ones, quality unity patches. After an hour I checked them. The glue was holding very well. I tugged on the four previous spot glued patches and the glue was holding the patches to the blanket very well. I decided to glue four pocket patches along the border.

        Wow, what a time saver. I am able to position and glue ten or more patches in the time it would take me to sew one patch. Of course, they will be stuck permanently to the blanket, but I really have no intention of ever removing them. I have only one chance to position them properly or I will end up with a mess.

        The goal was to have at least one blanket done to use in the displays we set up around town during Boy Scout anniversary week in February. If I glue them, I may have both blankets done in time for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday. Actually, I could probably have the first blanket done by this weekend which would be great because the troop’s overnighter will be held at my place, and I will need the ping pong table open so the Scouts can have their their table tennis tournament.

        I will wait another hour or two before making a final decision, but I have a feeling the rest of the patches will be glued. Of course, I would not use the Fabri-Tac for glueing patches to a shirt. Sewing or Badge Magic is still best for that type of use.

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          wood badge 2013Many Scouters will tell you that Wood Badge is like the college course of training for adult Scout Leaders. Not only is the course fantastic for any branch of Scouting but participants also receive training which they will find useful in the field of work and life in general. The woodbadge.org site states:

          Wood Badge is Scouting’s premier training course. Baden-Powell designed it so that Scouters could learn, in as practical a way possible, the skills and methods of Scouting. It is first and foremost, learning by doing. The members of the course are formed into patrols and these into a troop.  The entire troop lives in the out-of-doors for a week, camping, cooking their own meals, and practicing Scout skills.

          Wood Badge is more than just mechanical course work. Wood Badge is the embodiment of Scouting spirit. Like many intense training experiences, it has always relied on a busy schedule forcing the participants to work together, to organize and to develop an enthusiasm and team spirit to accomplish the tasks and challenges placed before them. Carried out in context of Scouting ideals and service to young people, the course brings out a deep dedication and spirit of brotherhood and fellowship in most participants. Certainly were it not for the common goal of the movement and its program for young people, it would be hard to get grown men and women to endure the 16-hour days required by a program that runs from early morning to late at night.

          During this month’s Scenic District roundtable, three Central Minnesota Council Scouters received their Wood Badge beads and neckerchiefs for completing the course and their “ticket” of goals. Kevin Schatz, Mike Peters, and Troy Payne stood proud as they received the tokens of their achievement. I have always considered an adult completing a Wood Badge ticket the equivalent of a Boy Scout completing his Eagle Scout award. This video post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast further recognizes these three men for completing their goals.

          Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
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          at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
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            socratesA scoutmaster took out his phone at the roundtable Tuesday night to show me something that was written many centuries ago about the younger generation, but seemed to be written about many of today’s youth. After reading it I had him email it to me so that I could share it with all of you.

            Socrates wrote. . . “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt fot authority; they show disrepsect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

            But, Plato in the Republic argued that youth should learn the cardinal virtues of wisdom, bravery, temperance and justice through adversity and adventure, and that young people could learn lessons about virtue best by impelling them into adventurous situations that demanded that virtues be exercised.

            Was Plato talking about Scouting before Scouting existed? Uncanny, isn’t it?

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              roundtable2013Tuesday night was the Scenic District roundtable at the Scout Service Center. Al and I make up the staff for the Boy Scout roundtable. We have been trying to make them fun and informative. I think we succeeded last night.

              The evening began with a combined Cub Scout and Boy Scout meeting to recognize three Scouters who have completed their Wood Badge tickets. I recorded the Beading Ceremony and plan to post the video to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast later this week or this weekend. After the presentation of the neckerchiefs, the woggles, and the beads the room divider was pulled and both roundtables began.

              Al began the Boy Scout roundtable with leading the twenty Scouters in singing America The Beautiful. I led the group in reciting the Knight’s Code, which used to be found in the Boy Scout handbook. Al and I have been choosing different openings and closing for each month’s meeting to give troop leaders ideas to bring back to their youth leadership.

              During the first skill session, Al led a discussion about scoutmaster conferences. The group talked about when they are needed, where they could be held, and who should be present. We also discussed how conferences differ from rank to rank as a Scout grows older and more experienced.

              At the half way point of this year’s meetings Al and I have been planning a fun activity. During the last two months we went outside to play a game. This month I lead the Scouters in one of my favorite campfire songs, Vista. I asked the three Wood badgers to come forward to join me in leading the song. I was surprised when I saw three other Scouters take out their cell phones to record this sing-a-long. One video was already posted to Facebook later that evening.

              Board of reviews was the subject of the second skill session. I had talked to Al and two other Scouters before the meeting about conducting a mock review. A Boy Scout who happened to be in attendance agreed to be the Scout for the demonstration for Life Rank.

              Al, Dan, Mike and I drilled the Boy Scout. I questioned his knowledge of the Scout Oath, Slogan, and Outdoor code and why he was not in complete uniform. Al drilled him about his participation in service projects. Dan criticized his work as the troop’s webmaster. His scoutmaster chewed him out about his participation at troop meetings. This poor Scout was getting it from all directions.

              As you have probably guessed, our mock board of review demonstrated how NOT to conduct one. The four of us tried to do as many things incorrectly as we were able to do. I never told the Boy Scout what we had planned because I wanted the Scouters to see his unplanned reactions to our questions and comments. He was a good sport about it when I stopped the drilling, and everyone thought he did quite well despite how we treated him.

              This horrible board of review led into a great discussion of what not to do, and on how to conduct a proper review. We also discussed when a review is needed, where one should be held, and who should sit on a board.

              The meeting ended with a scoutmaster minute from Al about friendship and myself leading the “Be Prepared” song. All in all, I think the meeting went very well and everyone learned something new.

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                wish i was a boy scoutIf you have been involved with the Cub Scout or Boy Scout program for a year or longer you have probably seen a group of Scouts perform the I Wish I Was A Boy Scout skit. Or maybe you have already participated in performing the skit already. Either way, you have discovered that it is a silly skit, easy to learn, and fun to do. It is the type of skit that is easy for newer Scouts to learn. I have discovered that even if the performers get the words or actions wrong it will still be a hilarious skit.

                The video is an oldie but a goody. It is from Boy Scout Troop 68′s Laughs For Lunch Show held in January 2000 at the Melrose High School auditorium. These five older Scouts put a lot into the skit and had a lot of fun with it, as did the audience watching them. It is a short skit, only about three minutes long.

                This video features Alex, Andy, Ben, Chris, and Jesse.

                Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
                Subscribe to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast
                at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
                or through iTunes  (Please take time to rate the show).
                Leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

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