Way back in the 1980s (talk about a time trip) the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 would hold a Halloween party near the end of the month of October. It was a fun party, just getting together, playing games, eating food. They were good times.

Of course, some of the Scouts would come dressed for the occasion. Some would not, but everyone had a good time. For those who did dress up we held a costume contest. The troop members would vote for who had the best costume. Some years I dressed up, other years I did not. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and join the boys in the fun.

I remember the first troop Halloween party in the 1980s. I had a silicone two piece mask set similar to the makeup used in the Planet Of The Apes movies of the 1970s. It took a long time to apply and color but wow, did it look great. I wore it for that first party. I wish I had a picture of myself in that makeup. It looked awesome.

When the party for 1986 came along I did not have a costume to wear so I started rummaging through the closet to see what I could put together. I found my old Scout uniform and patch vest, some short shorts, a couple wrist bands, and an old wig my mother used to wear. Add different color socks and you get what you see in the picture. It was groovy, man!

Troop 68 has not held a Halloween party for many years, decades even. But they were fun when we did have them. Does your troop hold a Halloween party? How many of your Scouts dress up for the occasion?

As I was preparing items to put in a display for Friday night’s spaghetti supper fundraiser I happen to come across an old Scouting recruitment poster. This poster must be about 20 year old by now but you know the old saying, What was once old is new again.

I have always like this poster. I like the way the captions fit the pictures. I think it is well thought out. I am not sure how well it helped with recruitment across the country back then but I enjoyed the concept. Take A Hike (hiking). Hang Around (rock climbing). Get Lost (map and compass adventure). Fast Times (water skiing). All good!

It would be fun to see the Scouts BSA come up with a newer, more current, version of this type of poster. What do you think?

Melrose Scout Troop 68 held their annual fall meal fundraiser on Friday, October 25. The troop had a good turnout and served up a lot of spaghetti. The Scouts set tables, cleared tables, washed dishes and helped serve some of the food and beverages. Parents were in charge of the kitchen and serving the food.

One of my jobs was to set up a Scouting display. I tried to make it a little different then previous fundraiser but a few things stay the same. Of course, I included several photo albums featuring pictures of troop meetings and Scouting events. There were also some framed group pictures and both of my patch blankets. I stayed away from the small bookcases along with all the various handbooks and nicknacks this time. In their place I included a copy of framed posters and two binders of newspaper clippings of Scouting events through out the last several years. The merit badge poster was somewhat popular with the Scouts.

What do you think of the display? Leave a comment to let us know what was your favorite item.

Planning the display.

Melrose Scout Troop 68 has held two meal fundraisers per year for over three decades. During the last few years the troop has held a breakfast in the spring and a supper in the fall. This fall’s meal will be held tonight, October 25, at the Melrose American Legion. The spaghetti supper will be served from 5:00 to 8:00.

One of my jobs during the fundraiser is to plan and set up a Scouting display for people to view before and after their meal. The display features items I have collected over the decades and photo albums of the troop activities. Last night I gathered the materials for tonight’s display.

The background of the display will feature the two patch blankets I made with the patches I collected during my thirty years serving as the troop’s scoutmaster. I plan to cover two tables with items. The photo albums will use a large portion of the tables but I also plan to show a merit badge poster and a shadow box of Scouting ranks. Scouting themed popcorn tins will serve as centerpieces on some of the tables. Handbooks, framed photos, and a few miscellaneous items will finish the display.

I did not set up the display at home before packing it into the car, but I have a good idea what I want it to look like when it is set up at the Legion. Stay tuned for an upcoming article which will show you what it looked like when it was finished.

Do you set up a Scouting display at your fundraiser? What do you include with them. Leave a comment and let us know.

Some people involved with Scouting may collect handbooks. Others may collect coffee mugs. A lot of Scouts and adult leaders collect patches. How many do you know that collect bolo ties?

I have accumulated a couple dozen bolo ties over the years. I could have a lot more in the collection, but I have stuck to bolo ties from events or places that I have attended. That self imposed rule has kept the cost of this collection down a bit.

There are four bolo ties from Philmont Scout Ranch but only one from the Summit high adventure base. I think you can get an idea how many times I have attended each base. I was a little surprised that I only have 5 different bolo ties from Many Point Scout Camp since the troop has been going there for nearly 30 years. I wish I had bought a few more of the Order of the Arrow bolo ties.

Do you collect Scouting related bolo ties? Do the Scout of your troop? How many have you collected over the years?

It is nearly time for Melrose Scout Troop 68 to hold its fall fundraiser. The event will be held at the Melrose American Legion on Friday, October 25th. The spaghetti supper will be served from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. The Scouts are selling advance tickets for the event, and tickets may be purchased at the door.

The fall and spring meal fundraisers do a good job of financing the troop program. Since the Scouts also earn credit for tickets sold it is a good way to finance their fees for the various outings during the year.

When you are collecting things you sometimes accumulate other things while working on that collection. This is one example of that.

I was cleaning out a few cabinets in my kitchen the other day and came to the one in which I was keeping bags left over from shopping. While most of the bags were paper bags from grocery shopping there were quite a few plastic bags. As I pulled them out I realized that a theme was starting to form.

Several of the bags were Scouting themed. Most were from the local Scout Shop, but a few were from other Scouting events. What I found to be the most interesting was a few of the bags were kind of older, as you can see in the picture. After I took this picture I found one more that was from the 2001 National Jamboree.

At first I was going to put them in the recycle bin, but for some reason I did not. I folded all the bags and placed them into one bag and put the collection back in the cabinet. I am not sure why I did that. Maybe the collector in me said I just could not throw that collection of bags away.

Not yet anyway….

My new Hallmark ornaments arrived in the mail on Friday. That makes thirteen years of Beagle Scout Snoopy ornaments in the collection. I know I do not have the earliest ones. but maybe someday I will. This year had the nice bonus of a Scout Leader Donald Duck and his nephew Scouts.

Some people have been wondering what the collection looks like so I though I would share a picture of it with you. The sad thing is that the biggest one of the collection was only $19.99 when I bought it back in 2007. Now look at how small this year’s ornament is, and the price was $17.99. A much smaller ornament for nearly the same cost. I guess that is the way things are these days.

How many of these do you own? Do you plan to collect all of them?