Archive for December, 2020

Mel-TV was a cable access television channel of Melrose, Minnesota. It began broadcasting in 1986 and continued for about 25 years before the city council voted to close it down and use the cable franchise fees for the city’s general fund. A lot of people, including myself, were disappointed with the decision at the time. I thought it was a great asset to our community of 3000 people. When the station closed its doors the collection of VHS tapes and DVDs of local programming was given to the Melrose Area Museum.

I was a member of the Mel-TV board of directors for 20 years. I joined shortly after the station began and left the board a few years before it was closed. Almost immediately I saw the potential to use the station as a promotional tool for the local Scouting program. I began recording courts of honor to air on the station. I took the bulky VHS camera to troop outings and summer camp. It was a great tool to show the community what the Scouting program of Troop 68 offered to the local youth. Some Boy Scouts became active with the station, helping with filming and editing various programs, or creating their own shows.

I am now a member of the board of directors for the Melrose Area Museum. I have been helping with some of the displays, both rearranging them and creating some new ones. One of the projects I did was to finally get all the old Mel-TV tapes out of the cardboard boxes stored in various rooms and closets, and put them back on the shelving racks that were used at the television station. I also organized the tapes by number and/or subject matter. It came pretty natural for me to do this project since I had worked so closely with the television station but it did take quite a few evenings to complete this task.

I recently started entering the program information into a computer spreadsheet. There are nearly 1700 tapes in the collection. I am only a little over a third of the way complete with this project. One thing I noticed very quickly was the number of tapes that were about Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts. I would be willing to bet there will be over 100 programs about the Scouting program. That is a pretty high percentage when you think about it. Unfortunately, some of the early tapes were recycled so there is no longer a copy of some courts of honor or events but many of them still exist.

Another museum board member, who also happens to have a son in the troop, has begun transferring these old VHS tapes to a digital format. This is going to be a long process since each tape has to be played at normal speed to be recorded by the computer. I have made sure that some of the earliest Scouting programs were part of the first tapes to be transferred.

Some of the Mel-TV shows have been uploaded to YouTube so that the citizens of Melrose can watch the old programs once again. I plan to upload some the more interesting Scouting programs to the Melrose Scouting Productions channel.

I attended the 2001 National Jamboree as a scoutmaster for one of the two troops from our council. I had a great time and had great Scouts participate in my troop. It was an excellent experience. This video brings back a few memories from that experience. Did you attended the 2001 National Jamboree?

It is that time of year. It is time to make the DVDs for the Scouts of Troop 68. Not that is a requirement by any means. But it is kind of a tradition that I began once I started taking digital photographs. It was easy to take the digital photos, convert them into slideshows, and burn to a DVD, so why not share them with the troop?

This year, for 2020, I decided to make an annual dvd for both the troop and for the Cub Scout Pack. The Cub Scout DVD will contain four slideshows featuring the January Pinewood Derby, and the February, July, and October Pack meetings. The Boy Scout DVD will contain 6 slideshows featuring activities, troop meetings, and a special advancement outing.

The Boy Scouts will receive a bonus DVD featuring this year’s Egg Drop Competition held at Camp Watchamagumee in June. I just recently got around to editing the footage so I thought it would make for a nice surprise.

Every year at this time I keep asking myself if I should continue to create these videos, and every year I seem to keep doing them. The first one was done in 2003, so that means this is the 18th year. I have often wondered if anyone ever takes the DVDs off their shelf to watch them years later but I have talked to a few people, especially parents, who like to go back and watch them once in awhile.

I usually hand these out to the Scouts at the troop’s Christmas party but, of course, due to the virus we will not be holding the annual event, so I may need to drop them off at each Scout’s home. Luckily we live in a small town.

Does your troop do something like this each year? Do your troop families enjoy watching them?

Those of you who read this blog know I like collecting the Hallmark “Beagle Scout” Snoopy ornaments that come out annually. I have been collecting them for years. Unfortunately, it seems that Hallmark is the only company that is making any Peanuts/Scouting related items. At least, I have not seen anything out there for sale.

In addition to collecting Scouting related items I also collect Star Wars toys and items. I few years ago I began collecting the Funko Pop Star Wars bobble head figures. That collection has grown too fast! I do enjoy them and I think Funko usually does a good job of capturing the various characters in their Pop style.

This morning (Monday) I received an email from the Funko company of some new figures that would go on sale today, in time for the Christmas holiday. Imagine my surprise when I discovered one of those figures was a “Beagle Scout” Snoopy with his pal Woodstock. I immediately went to the website to discover I could not find the Pop figure. I went back to the email and discovered they only went on sale at 2:00 (Central Time). Arrrgh!

As 2:00 approached I started checking in to the website. I did not want to miss out on this special sale. I have missed out on other special sales so I made an extra effort to make this one. At 1:55 I was able to get on, find the Snoopy figure, and place my order! In fact, I ordered two of them. One I could open and the other leave in the box. I was a happy camper.

What do you think of this Funko Pop bobble head figure? Is it something yoou plan to add to your Scouting collection?

Update: Well, this figure did not last long on the Funko website. One week later it has been removed. I hope you were able to order one for yourself.