village 8pc setI remember when the Boy Scout stores began selling the Scouting Village pieces a couple years ago. I decided to start collecting them a little too late and missed out on getting the lighted Trading Post building. I still do not have one. When this year’s village pieces became available at our local Scout Shop I bought all three immediately. I did not want to make the same mistake a second time.

I recently noticed that in addition to this year’s collection pieces, scoutstuff.com has an eight piece starter set available to purchase. The set includes all the pieces from 2012 and 2013, including the lighted Trading Post. So, in other words, I can now get the piece I am missing, if I am willing to spend $80 on the whole set. Since I have all the other pieces already, I do not think I will be doing that.

I wish the scoutstuff.com website would make all the pieces available as single pieces. It is obvious they are manufacturing the pieces again, otherwise why wouldn’t they have offered the pieces online earlier to clear out inventory?  I am sure I am not the only one who missed out buying a building during the last two years, or maybe I am. I does frustrate me a bit, almost to the point of thinking that this will probably be the last year I will collect the Scouting Village pieces.

It is a great idea to offer the set to new collectors, but I feel it is a slap in the face to those of us who began collecting two years ago. What do you think about it?

http://www.scoutstuff.org/set-village-lighted-8pc.html

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    jambopatches2014I know many of you collect patches, be they council strips, Order of the Arrow lodge flaps, or activity patches. One of the several patch collection I have is of the 2001 National Jamboree. I collect from that event because I attended it with nine Boy Scouts from my troop. I still add patches to this collection when I can pick them up at a reasonable price. Here is a photo of the patches I collected from eBay auctions in the last three weeks.

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      discgolfwaterThis month is the beginning of the new 2014-2015 program for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. The Scouts got together one Saturday last month and plotted out their monthly themes and activities for another year. A few of the traditional outings made it in, and a few new ones joined the program. Here is a look at the schedule for the next twelve months.

      September 2014: Safe trip afloat/ canoe safety
      1, 8, 15 – Troop Meetings Popcorn sales
      9 – Committee Meeting
      18 – School night to join scouting
      22 – Court Of Honor
      26-28 – canoe trip and camp out
      29 – PLC Meeting

      October 2014: Leave no trace/packing
      6, 13, 20 – Troop Meetings
      6 – start ticket sales for supper
      6 – Popcorn Sales Due to Chris
      14 – Committee Meeting
      25 – Road Cleanup
      24-26 – Kramer’s/clay pigeon shoot
      27 – PLC Meeting

      November 2014: Knot tying
      1 – Troop fundraiser supper
      3, 10, 17 – Troop Meetings
      18 – Committee Meeting
      22-23 – Overnight/ rock climbing
      24 – PLC Meeting

      December 2014: Personal fitness/ management/advancement
      1, 8 – Troop Meetings
      9 – Committee Meeting
      13 – Snow Tubing/Christmas Party
      15 – Court Of Honor

      January 2015: first aid/ fire safety
      5, 12,19 – Troop Meetings
      20 – Committee Meeting
      24 – Water Park Brainerd
      26 – PLC Meeting

      February 2015: Uniforms/Sewing
      2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
      17 – Committee Meeting
      20-22 – Camp Stearns
      23 – PLC Meeting

      March 2015: Merit badge/Advancements
      2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
      17 – Committee Meeting
      21 – LPMRB Outing
      23 – Court Of Honor
      30 – PLC Meeting

      April 2015: Cooking
      6, 13, 20 – Troop Meetings
      17-19 – Watchamagumee
      18 – Scouting for food drop off
      25 – Road Cleanup/scouting for food pick up
      21 – Committee Meeting
      27 – PLC Meeting

      May 2015: Swim Safety
      4, 11, 18 – Troop Meetings
      15-17- Ripley Rendezvous
      18 – Summer Camp Meeting (Parents & Scouts)
      19 – Committee Meeting
      25 – PLC Meeting

      June 2015 Fire Starting/Campfires
      1, 8, 15 – Troop Meetings
      16 – Committee Meeting
      19-21 – Camp out/Disc Golf
      22 – Court Of Honor
      29 – PLC Meeting

      July 2015: Summer Camp
      12-18 – Summer camp

      August 2015: Geocaching/ Hike safety
      1 – Yearly Planning Session
      3, 10, 17- Troop Meetings
      18 – Committee Meeting
      21-23- Sibley Camp Out
      24 – PLC Meeting

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        dining hallI arrived at the Central Minnesota Council office early for Tuesday night’s roundtable so I spent some time checking out the Scout Shop. There was only a couple of us looking around when the clerk asked me if she could help me find anything, like books, awards, Christmas items…

        The mention of Christmas items caught my attention immediately. Just last week I had checked the scoutstuff.com website to see if there were any new pieces for the Scouting Village that had began two years ago. I was anxious to see if this village would be continued and what this year’s pieces would be. Unfortunately, I found nothing on the website. So when the Scout Shop clerk mentioned Christmas items I had to ask about the Scouting Village.

        She replied that they had received the new pieces that very afternoon and have not had a chance to get them on the shelves yet. Awesome, I thought. I asked if I could see them and followed her into the storage room where she opened the carton. I believe I was the first Scouting volunteer in my council to see the new pieces, and this year’s building grabbed my attention.

        The newest building in the series is the Lighted Dining Hall. I thought is was well designed and quite colorful, but a little small in scale for a dining hall. Only one troop would fit in here, I thought. Oh well, it is a village building piece and they are not in the same scale as the people or even other buildings. It is still a pretty cool looking piece and I am anxious to add it to my set up this year. The website states (Yes, it can now be bought online), “A welcome addition to the holiday Scouting Village, this piece enhances any collection. Porcelain rendering of a BSA camp dining hall is beautifully detailed—complete with outdoor picnic tables!”

        The next piece that I noticed was the “Tree Sales” Figurine. I like this piece because it reminds me of the years that Boy Scout Troop 68 sold Christmas Trees as a fundraiser. The website says, “Premium-quality accessory adds character and dimension to your Lighted Scouting Village scenes. Polyresin tree figurine features a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Leader hard at work on a Christmas tree sales lot.” I have to agree the the figures do add quite a bit to the Scouting Village scene.

        The third and final piece of this year’s collection is the “Popcorn Tree” Figurine. This piece features a Boy Scout and Cub Scout decorating a Christmas Tree. The site says, “There’s nothing more iconic to BSA than popcorn! This polyresin figurine features a Cub Scout and Boy Scout decorating a tree with popcorn garland and ornaments.” I thought this could be a great gift for the unit’s “popcorn kernel”, the chairperson of the popcorn fundraiser.

        I bought all three pieces right then. I was not going to wait and have the same thing happen to me that happened two years ago when I waited too long to buy them and missed out on getting the Trading Post. (I still do not have one.) I look forward to late November when I set up my new expanded village. I think this will be the last year I will be able to use that piece of plywood I use for the base.

        I was not the only person who bought the set that evening. Within ten minutes of my purchase another set was bought and the Scout Shop was out of the Lighted Dining Halls. Since I am a roundtable commissioner I also took time during the meeting to give a quick shout out for this year’s Scouting Village.

        Have you been collecting the buildings and figurines? What do you think of this year’s additions?

        http://www.scoutstuff.org/house-lightd-dining-hall.html

        http://www.scoutstuff.org/figure-villg-tree-sales.html

        http://www.scoutstuff.org/figure-villg-popcorn-tree.html

        trees for sale
        popcorn tree

         

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          cmcupopcornIt is the season for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts across central Minnesota to be out knocking on doors to sell popcorn! I already have my 30 pack case of microwave popcorn ordered. How about you? Or do you need a Boy Scout to stop by your house so that you can place an order?

          The local credit union is helping spread the word by posting a note on the marque. There should be a lot of people who see this since the business is located right on Main Street in Melrose. The troop would like to thank them for their help in this fundraiser.

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            SeptRoundtableLast night was the first Tuesday of September. That means the Scenic District roundtables have started once again! I must have done something right last year as the assistant roundtable commissioner because Commissioner Al asked me back for a second year. I was not sure if I really wanted to do it for another year, but I forgot how to say “no” so I guess I have the position again. I had fun last year so I have a feeling I will have fun again this year.

            The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by announcements of upcoming events and meetings. Then we hit the main course of the session: New Parents and what to do with them. We discussed the first parent meeting and what should be covered with them. We also discussed leadership recruitment and first training, such as Youth Protection. We even touched on the problem of those parents who treat Scouting as a daycare service. Fourteen Boy Scout leaders from across the district were in attendance and many of them entered into the discussion. It was a roundtable in the full sense of the word.

            Shortly after the halfway point of the evening we divided the group into teams and went outside to play Ultimate Frisbee. Some of the men had already played the game within their troops, but a few had not so we took just a couple minutes to give the short rules. It was a bit confusing at first once the game began, not so much because people did not understand the rules, but because there were too many Scout uniforms, It was hard to keep track of who was on who’s team. After a few minutes we got that figured out and everyone began to get into the spirit of the sport. We played for about 10 or 15 minutes before going back inside for the rest of the meeting.

            Once we sat back at the tables and everyone caught their breath, Al lead a discussion on what was learned during the game. What could we have done better? What leadership skills were needed? Organizational skills? Was there any sort of team building? That lead to a larger discussion of how we can use games within our troop meetings and activities to teach Scouts various skills that will help them through their time in Scouting.

            The meeting ended with the Outdoor Code. I noticed a few small groups of leaders talking to each other after the roundtable. Let the mini-roundtables begin!

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              2001nationaljambopatchesMaybe I should not have done it. After all, it has been 13 years since that event was held. But I had a good time and a great group of Scouts along so I will always remember the 2001 National Jamboree fondly. So, last night I decided to try to expand my collection of patches from the Jamboree. I decided to try my luck on eBay.

              When I buy patches for my collection I have a rule I kind of follow: unless it is a very special patch that I really want badly I will only pay up to $5.00 per patch. Of course, this means there are quite a few patches that I will probably never add to my collection because the people selling them price them too high for my budget, like the Marvel hero patches or the dinosaur patches. I also prefer to buy patches as sets or lots. I like sets because I can (maybe) get all the patches from that council in one lump grouping. I like lots because they usually are priced as less than $5.00 per patch, plus I add more patches to the collection quickly.

              I bid on or bought patches from four actions last night, and added another four to my eBay watch list. The best of the batch was a ten patch set of Jamboree shoulder patches from Indian Nations Council. It is one of those council sets in which the same patch design was used for all ten troops, with a different border color for each troop, which is actually a popular way to provide different patches for each troop but also keep the cost to a minimum for the participating Boy Scouts. (The picture only shows six of them.)

              The other auctions include council shoulder patches from the West Central Florida Council, the Blue Ridge Council, and the Crater Lake Council, and a two patch set of Order of the Arrow patches from the Sakuwit Lodge. The auction description stated this lodge does not exist anymore. This lodge was located in the Central New Jersey Council which was dissolved in February 2014. I look forward to adding this set to my collection since they have now become a part of Scouting history.

              This will add 15 patches to my 2001 National Jamboree collection. These patches will force me to start a second three ring binder. I will probably put council shoulder patches in one book and OA patch sets in the other. I may need to order the few more pages in which to place the patches. I will worry about that after I receive the patches.

              Sakuwit

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                ice bucket challengeI am sure you have all seen it online, on one social site or another. One person challenges another to donate to the ALS foundation and/or pour a bucket of ice water over their head. It is currently quite popular, and at the time I write this the organization has received over $70 million dollars from nearly two million donors in only 27 days. Not a bad fundraiser.

                I have watched videos of people I know on Facebook accepting the challenge. Videos of friends I know, relatives, and even former Boy Scout Troop 68 members. No one has named me to the challenge. Until today. Nathan Blommel, an alumni of Troop 68, and a former tennis and racquetball buddy, decided to include me in his challenge.

                I do not do well with cold. I seldom went swimming with the troop unless it was a very hot day and the water was fairly warm. I did not do very much winter camping when I was a scoutmaster. My body temperature drops quickly and I start shivering uncontrollably. It is not a very pleasant experience. I can easily see myself turning into one of those Minnesota winter snowbirds, who travel to the warm southern states, once I retire.

                But a challenge is a challenge, and needs to have a response, so here is the video for you all to see.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUWJ6GRm85Y&feature=youtu.be

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