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?

Earlier this week I discovered that Hallmark was selling the 2019 Snoopy Beagle Scout Christmas ornament. Since I collect them I had to place an order for a couple of them, but that was not the only thing I ended up ordering.

It seems that Hallmark decided to release a second Scouting themed ornament this year. This one features Donald Duck as the Scout Leader and his three nephews as the Scouts. The ornament is based on the 1938 Disney short film called The Good Scouts. If you have not seen it yet you should look it up. Donald is not the best Scout leader, but his nephews are not the best Scouts either.

I think is it cool that Hallmark released two Scouting themed ornaments in one year. I like it even more that one is based on the Peanuts characters and the other is based on Disney characters. I wonder what they have planned for next year? Maybe something from Follow Me Boys?

Do you already have your 2019 ornaments? Do you plan to buy them for yourself or as a present for someone this Christmas?

It is that time of year. Even though it is not yet Halloween the Christmas stuff is starting to find its way onto shelves at your favorite stores. While I agree it is too early to put out the Christmas decorations I always look forward to seeing what the next Hallmark Christmas ornament featuring Beagle Scout Snoopy is going to be. Today is the day I discovered what it is.

This year’s ornament features Scout Leader Snoopy helping Woodstock and friend work on their archery skills. Of course, the bow is longer than Woodstock and his friend but it gives a great example of a Scout leader helping his Scouts.

This year’s ornament is 2.5 inches tall. The cost is $17.99 and can be ordered online at the Hallmark website or picked up at your nearest Hallmark store. I usually get two of them, one to put on the tree and one to keep as part of my collection. This will be the thirteenth Beagle Scout Snoopy ornament in my collection.

Do you collect these ornaments? Do you have them all? I know I am missing a couple of the earlier ones.

(Pictures are from the Hallmark website.)

I have recently been going through my archives of video footage taken while at Scout camps and recently came across my film of the Buckskin Camp’s opening campfire program on July 12, 2009. I have edited it into a few videos and placed them on the Melrose Scouting Productions channel on YouTube. Watch them and relive a bit of Scouting from a decade ago.

I was a Boy Scout for three and one half years in the 1970s. I became an assistant scoutmaster of Troop 68 in June 1980, and the scoutmaster in September 1981. I currently serve on the troop and pack committees. I recently decided it was time to fill out the paperwork for the 40 Year Veteran Pin of the Boy Scouts of America.

After a little searching, I discovered I do have a pin for 10, 15, and 20 years of service. I guess I did not think about it much after receiving the 20 year pin since I am not finding one for the years that followed. I must not have filled out an application for the following pins.

It seems, at least in my council, that the council office does not keep records of these awards very well. I discovered this fact when I brought in my application for the 40 year pin. I was missing a couple dates and was hoping that the council would be able to look up the previous records so that I could write in the correct information. Imagine my surprise when there was not a record of me ever receiving a Veteran Pin in the council database.

I was shocked, to be quite frank. In fact, they did not have many records of any of the awards I had earned over the last 40 years. The only ones listed in the database were the District Award of Merit, and the Silver Beaver Award. I had expected better record keeping than this on the council level.

I filled out the rest of the application for the B.S.A. 40 Year Veteran Pin as accurately I was able and turned it in the the person at the front counter of the council office. I wonder if this will now be added to the information about my Scouting tenure or if it will be deleted/thrown away after I receive my pin.

I have a question, and I have not had the opportunity yet to ask anyone on the council level yet. Now that I have turned in my 40 year application, is it possible to get the pins I am missing? I am referring to the 25, 30, and 35 veteran year pins.

I was never a member of the Order of the Arrow as a youth member of the Boy Scouts. I did become one after I became a scoutmaster. I became an Ordeal member after attending a conclave with two Boy Scouts of Troop 68 in (I think) 1986. A few years later I became a Brotherhood member.

I have only been active with the Naguonabe Lodge of the Order of the Arrow when the Scouts of Troop 68 have been active. After all, this is a youth organization where adults act as advisors so I seldom went to any OA functions on my own. I served as the transpiration guy many times over the decades. I have also tried to attend as many Ordeal call-out ceremonies as I was able when Troop 68 Scouts were elected.

In recent years I have tried to attend at least one lodge activity during the year even if there are no Scouts from Troop 68 who decide to attend. I do urge them to go to conclaves and activities but I have not been very successful is that endeavor. It might be due to the fact that Troop 68 has not held many Order of the Arrow elections in the last several years which in turn means we do not have many OA members at the moment. In fact, the troop currently only has one Scout who is an OA member.

During the past month I have had two OA adult advisors asking me questions about my tenure in the Order of the Arrow. I told them I have not been that active due to the reasons listed above. They seem to think it is time for me to be nominated to become a Vigil member, the highest level in the Order of the Arrow. Becoming a Vigil member is not something I have given much thought to since I am usually only as active as the Scouts in the troop, but they seem to think that my tenure in Scouting and service work in the community make me qualified for the honor.

Will it happen someday? Maybe, I guess. The troop is planning to hold an Order of the Arrow election this winter so maybe it will become time to become active to the organization once again. Time will tell.

Patrol Leader Council planning.

August is now part of the past, which means that Melrose Scout Troop 68 has held its yearly planning session to plan the 2019-2020 program year and that the program has been approved by the committee (with a couple small changes.) Let’s take a quick look at it.

The theme for September 2019 will be sports, maybe touching on the Sports merit badge. The monthly activity will be a trip to Fort Snelling near the Twin Cities, and to the stadium to watch a Minnesota Twins baseball game. A couple members of the troop may help out with School Night To Join Scouting on Thursday, the 19th. A court of honor will be held on Monday, the 30th.

October’s theme will be hunting and shotgun shooting. This is Minnesota, after all. Our troop has several hunting families. The activity will be the district fall camporee held at Stearns Scout Camp located south of St. Cloud. The fall meal fundraiser will also be held this month.

The November theme will be camping, and will particially cover the camping merit badge. The activity will be the LPMRB which may have to be renamed since it may include a trip to Airmax in place of rollerskating and bowling.

Ice fishing and winter sports will be the theme for December. December will be a short month due to the Christmas season, but it will still be a program packed month. The troop plans to have include downhill skiing, a Christmas party, a court of honor, and the popular troop auction.

Winter survival will be the theme for January. An ice fishing trip is being planned. This will be a light program schedule this month.

February’s theme will be comedy and skits. Scout Sunday is planned for February 2nd. A winter outing at Camp Stearns will be the monthly activity.

Even though it may be a bit chilly during March the Scouts planned Biking as the theme. A court of honor will be held at the end of the month along with a summer camp planning meeting. The troop may go to Camp Parker for the activity and may get the chance to work in some biking and time at a waterpark. The spring meal fundraiser is planned for March.

The theme for April will be Agriculture, which is not surprising since Melrose is located in the middle of prime farming land in Central Minnesota. The activity will be the Central Minnesota Council’s Ripley Rendezvous, which will be held at the Camp Ripley National Guard Base.

In May the Scouts will be working on their lashing and pioneering skills. The troop will be going to Camp Watchamagumee, a spring tradition for the last 30 years. There may be a chance to have some fun at a go-cart track sometime this month.

June will be a busy month. The theme is Fun In The Sun, with a camping trip planned for the weekend of the 12-14. A court of honor is planned for the 16th. The troop will once again hand out flags provided by the VFW and American Legion clubs before the Riverfest parade. Several Scouts will be attending a trek at Philmont Scout Ranch during the last half of the month.

July will be a light month with a week at Many Point Scout Camp being the only activity. Things will pick up again in August with the theme of Minnesota History. A camping trip is planned for the weekend of August 14-16. The troop may have an activity during the annual Nite To Unite program in the park.

So, what do you think about it? Does it sound like a fun year for the boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68? Let us know by leaving a comment.