Melrose Historical Museum Visit - 22The president of the Melrose Area History Museum and I met at the museum this morning to set up my shelf display and Scouting coffee mugs. We both thought this would be a quick process but the cabinet had other ideas. In order to place the shelves in the cabinet we needed to remove a partition. The partition decided it did not want to be removed. The above photo from 2012 shows the two dividers that were painted tight into the shelf grooves. We spent over 15 minutes trying to get the left one to come out. Once we finally removed it we decided to take out the second one also. It was also stubborn but it did not take as long to remove.

Then came the fun part of reorganizing the display with the new shelves and the coffee mugs. I discovered a batch of membership and award cards that I thought should be set up for everyone to see and was able to use the new shelf rack to do that. We also put a piece of rigid insulation into the Girl Scout uniform so more of the shirt could be seen. The newly arranged display may look a bit more cluttered than the old arrangement but a lot more items can now be seen. To tell the truth, I think i like the new arrangement better. What do you think?

The pictures below show the new arrangement. I am already starting to form some ideas for other changes to this cabinet and two other cabinets that Roger said we could use for Scouting displays.

Museum Display #2

Museum Display 2015 #1

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    Scouting mugs displayI have collected a lot of Scouting memoribilia during my 35 years as an adult leader in Scouting. I have hundreds of patches, dozens of handbooks, a large tote of 2001 National Jamboree souvenirs, and enough coffee mugs to go over two months without needing to wash one. One wall in the family room is covered with honors. Another features pictures of the troop’s Eagle Scouts. And there are the Beagle Scout Snoopy Hallmark ornaments, in addition to all kinds of other stuff. Yep, I have quite a collection. Maybe too much.

    In December I became a member of the board for the Melrose Area History Museum. They have a small Scouting display featuring items from local Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Most of the Boy Scouting display features items I donated over the years, but they do have some interesting items donated by other people including a Boy’s Life article featuring an Eagle Scout from Melrose. (See the post about that article HERE.)

    On Wednesday I stopped by the museum and took a look at the display. It could use a few more items, I thought to myself. I had an idea. Maybe it is time to thin out my collection of coffee mugs. I took a few measurements of the display case and designed a little three level shelf that could display 15 coffee mugs, and still allow some other items to be placed in front of it.

    Today I decided to put my idea into action. I bought a couple 1×4 pine boards to make the two foot wide shelf. This evening I took the time to nail it together. Then I choose fifteen mugs from the collection to donate to the museum to be part of this addition to the Scouting display. The picture shows the shelf and the mugs chosen. Now I need to paint the boards white to brighten the display and highlight the mugs.

    Yes, I will loose fifteen coffee mugs from my collection, but that still leaves over sixty of them on display in my family room. The 15 I chose to give are doubles I have and Central Minnesota Council mugs used as incentives during various promotions over the decades. I think these mugs will make a nice addition to the museum display. What do you think?

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      Lions volunteer supper 2015Every year the Melrose Lions Club invites folks from the various volunteer organizations in town to a special meal to be recognized for all the work they do during the year for the community. This includes members of our volunteer fire and ambulance corps, the food shelf, Project Give A Gift, the history museum, and others.

      The Boy Scout, Cub Scout, and Girl Scout leaders are also invited. Scoutmaster Jim Engelmeyer and assistant scoutmaster Eymard Orth represented Boy Scout Troop 68. Cubmaster Steve Borgerding represented Cub Scout Pack 68. It was a great meal and good fellowship.

      The evening ended with the Lions Club giving $100 donations to two lucky volunteer organizations in attendance during the meal. Boy Scout Troop 68 was one of the lucky ones to take home a check. The Melrose Ambulance Corps took home the other.

      Boy Scout Troop 68 would like to thank the local Lions Club for all their support during the last 35 years. Their financial assistance has allowed the troop to purchase need equipment and send Scouts to the National Jamboree, just to name a couple things. Thanks again Melrose Lions!

      Lions Donation

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        2015FOSpatchIt is that time of year. Units in the Central Minnesota Council are being visited by council representatives for the annual Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaign. Families are being asked to contribute what they can to the council to assist in providing a quality program for the boys.

        Like many councils, the Central Minnesota Council offers gifts for donors who meet certain levels of financial support. For many years they offered a framed Norman Rockwell Scouting print as an upper level gift. I am proud to say that a wall in my home office is covered with these prints collected over a decade.

        During the last several years a special council should patch has been offered as a gift. Each year has been a different patch featuring a point of the Scout Law. I happen to be one of those Scout leaders who like to collect patches so yes, I have every one so far. This year’s patch feature the law point of Cheerful, especially cheerful service. By the way, when you think of cheerful service don’t you think of the Order of the Arrow? Did you know this year is the 100th anniversary of the OA? Can you guess what else is featured on the 2015 patch?

        Once again, I like the design of the shoulder patch. I will not be wearing it on my shirt though. It will go straight into my three ring binder of council patches. This is number eight of the twelve patch series. I wonder what the next four will look like.

        What do you think of this year’s patch design? Does your council do something similar?

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          IMG_2470Monday night will be my first Blue and Gold Banquet as the Cubmaster of Pack 68 in Melrose. And maybe my only one. After all, I would like to see someone else step forward to take over as cubmaster next fall. But this year it is my turn to try to make a Blue and Gold Banquet a little special for the boys and their families. At last week’s committee meeting we planned the agenda. I need to find a good sing-along song for the evening. I still have two days to think of a good one the Cub should like.

          I have also decided to put together a little display featuring the history of B.S.A.’s Cub Scouting program. I have several old Cub Scout and leader handbooks I plan to use. I wish I had more stuff but I was a scoutmaster for three decades and did not do a whole lot on the Cub Scouting front. The Cub Scouts may not be overly impressed with the collection I am putting together but I hope it adds a little more of a Cub Scouting atmosphere to the room.

          I tried to have some special guests show up for the evening but no one from the local 501st Legion (a Star Wars costume group) was able to make it. I understand that week nights are tough for these volunteers to make, especially when Melrose is not very close to any of the members. Maybe the pack can plan a different evening next year so we could have a few stormtroopers escort the Cub Scouts to the stage to receive their awards.

          What is your pack planning for this year’s Blue and Gold Banquet?

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          What do you think of these displays?

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            2015carsCub Scout Pack 68 held their annual Pinewood Derby on Sunday, January 25th, at the Melrose American Legion. Ten Cub Scouts and their families attended along with friends a several Boy Scouts. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

            I have been to several derbies through the last few decades, usually as an observer. Back in the 1980′s, before their was electronic timers, I was asked to be a judge for a derby. In the last couple years I showed up with my camera and acted as the unofficial photographer. I took lots of photos that I shared with the Cub Scout families.

            This year was a little different. Since I am the cubmaster this year I had a few more derby duties than I have ever had in the past. Not only did I learn how to assemble an aluminum Pinewood Derby track but I acted as the master of ceremonies for the event.

            I am sure our derby was just like many derbies held around the council and the nation. There were the fast cars and the cars that did not quite make it to the finish line. There were the fancy looking cars that had a look of work applied to them and a couple that did not. In fact, there was a nice variety of car designs. A few races were extremely close that added to the afternoon’s excitement. In fact, one race was one thousands of a second difference between the two cars.

            Every Cub Scout who participated received a patch. The three fastest cars received trophies. A trophy was also given to the “best of show” car which was given to a car that featured Mario from the video game. It was cool to see the Cub Scout of the Mario car grinning from ear to ear as he accepted his trophy because his car did not do very well in the races.

            Next on the Cub Scout Pack agenda is the Blue and Gold Banquet in February. I am working on a special surprise for the pack but I am not sure if I will be able to pull it off. If I do, it will be a Blue and Gold the Cub Scouts and their families will not soon forget.

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              policestationMost people are quite happy to never have to visit a police station. Seeing one on a television show is just fine with them. The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 think a little differently. They were happy to pay a visit to the local station.

              The Boy Scouts gathered at the city hall during their regular meeting time on Monday, January 19th. Police Chief Craig Maus met the Boy Scouts and leaders in the lobby and led them downstairs for a tour of the station. The adults seemed to be just as excited as the Scouts as they walked down the stairs.

              Police Chief Maus did an excellent job of explaining the duties of a police officer as he led the group from room to room. The youth may have been a little disappointed to discover there was not a jail cell but they did have fun looking inside the police car and seeing all the gadgets and gear.

              Chief Maus was very patient with the group and did an excellent job of answering all the questions that were asked. Before they knew it, it was 8:00 and time for the Scouts to go home. Everyone was a little smarter about the life of a rural town police officer and what it would take to become one.

              The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 would like to thank Police Chief Craig Maus for taking the time to give the troop the tour.

              Just a little sidenote: Craig Maus is a home grown police officer. He was born and raised in Melrose. He is also a troop 68 alumni. He was a member Boy Scout Troop 68 in the early 1990′s.

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                2014 2015The Christmas holiday is over and the new year is just a day away. The year of 2014 is coming to an end and like a lot of people I am looking back at its highlights. There are a few that stand out in my Scouting world.

                I finally started camping again. When I stepped down as the scoutmaster three years ago I cut back on the number of troop outings I attended, giving the new leadership the chance to step into the role without me watching every move over their shoulder. I still attended some of the outings, but only part time, and only during the day. This past year was the first year I finally spent a night during an outing. I am easing back into it slowly. I spent one night at Camp Watchamagumee in May and one night at Many Point Scout Camp in July. Granted, that is only two nights during the whole year, but that is all I was needed. The parents have been stepping up pretty well.

                Late this summer I signed on for a second year as the assistant roundtable commissioner. I had fun doing it last year so I thought I would give it one more season. I probably will not sign up for a third year because I am starting to get too many irons in the fire.

                The biggest thing to happen to my little Scouting world was that I became quite involved with the local Cub Scout Pack. The previous leadership graduated out of the pack so I took up the challenge to form a new pack committee. We now have a good active committee but unfortunately did not find a person to take over as the cubmaster. After acting as the cubmaster for a few pack meetings I decided to formally take on the role until next May, thus becoming my biggest Scouting event of the year. While it has been fun working with the Cub Scouts my heart is still strongly resting with the Boy Scout troop.

                I also gained one more volunteer position outside of the Scouting program. I am now a member of the local historical museum’s board of directors. I started this position in December. I think it is a four year or a six year term. I am not really sure though. I should probably ask about that.

                How was your 2014? Any big events? Any new Scouting positions?

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