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.

The Bottomless Lake song may have been new to the Boy Scouts at this Many Point Scout Camp summer camp campfire, but they sang good and loud by the end of it.

Way back in the 1980s, as out troop attended summer camp, we watched the camp staff do a skit that we all instantly fell in love with. It demonstrated what it could be like when the stations on your car radio began to overlap each other. The staff did a great job preforming it and all the Scouts and adults leaders laughed hard. It was a skit I knew we would have to add to our own growing list of favorite skits so I asked the staff for a copy of the words.

When the troop began doing its Laughs For Lunch Shows in the 1990s the Radio Airwaves skit became an audience favorite. The troop added it the over half of the 15 shows done over the decades. The Boy Scouts have a blast when they do it, and it shows.

The Scouts did the Radio Airwaves skit once again during the 2018 Laughs For Lunch Show, and once again the audience loved it. Here it is for you to watch.

The script for the skit can be found at http://melrosetroop68.org/campfavskits.html#RADIO

Boy Scout Troop leaders are parade grand marshals.

When I received a phone call from the Melrose Chamber of Commerce a few weeks ago I thought it might be about the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 handing out the small USA flags before the Riverfest parade again, like the troop has done for many years. I was about to receive a big surprise.

During the Chamber’s Riverfest festival planning meetings they choose a person or persons to be the grand marshal(s) of the parade. This year it was suggested the Eymard Orth and myself should be the grand marshals in recognition of the many years each of us has not only put into the local Scouting program, but also the other organizations we have been involved in over the last 4 decades.

The phone call was to ask if I would accept the honor of being a parade grand marshal. I said if Eymard would than I would also accept the honor. He did, so we are.

The local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, interviewed the two of us last week. The article based on that interview was on the front page of this week’s edition. As always, Carol, the writer, did a great job with the article. (The picture seen with this article is the one used in the newspaper.)

So, on Saturday night, Eymard Orth and myself, Steve Borgerding, will ride down Main Street in Melrose in a red convertible. We will be wearing our Scout uniforms. We will be representing the Scouting program. We will also be drinking a lot of water since the temperature is forecasted to hit the 90s. We might even have to carry an umbrella to provide some shade along the route.

As this night approaches I can not help but think of how the movie Follow Me Boys ends with a parade for their scoutmaster of 20 years. I realize the parade we will be in is not a Scouting parade like the one in the movie, but I still feel there are a couple parallels there. Eymard now has 30 years with the troop, while I have 39 years.

Over a year ago I downloaded an app for my iPhone that was created by the Boy Scouts of America called PatchScan. It looked like an interesting program. It was from the B.S.A. It was free! I just had to have it since it was from the National office.

I downloaded it to my iPhone and took a quick look at it. It looked like a very simple program. I scanned the code sticker on the back of an Order of the Arrow patch I recently bought. Luckily, the patch I scanned was an officially licensed patch since the app only works with officially licensed patches. That means any patches I have that are made in China probably will not work with the app, especially since they do not have a bar code.

Once the code was scanned the app displayed information about the patch that, to tell the truth, I found quite interesting. It told me who issued the patch, how many were made, the date it was issued, and the manufacturer of the patch. There was also a picture of the patch and patch detail information. This looked like it would be a handy app for a serious patch collector.

I closed the app, and then forgot about it for nearly a year. This week I opened the app to check it out once again, and scanned another patch. I really need to start scanning my patches when I get time.

Unfortunately, it does not appear to get updated very often. The last update was done over a year ago. There have only been two updates since the app came out six years ago. The app description talks about the 2013 National Jamboree but there is not a word about the 2017 Jamboree. I hate to say it, but it looks like the B.S.A. is letting the ball drop on an app that could be fun for Scouts and Scouters to use.

Have you downloaded the PatchScan app to your phone or tablet? Have you used it? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments section.

The Candy Store skit is one of Melrose Troop 68’s favorite skits. It is a simple skit that involves audience participation. Audience members are chosen to be “items” of the store including a door, a sign, the counter and more. It is a fun skit that will bring a lot of laughter when done well.

The Boy Scout of Troop 68 included The Candy Store skit when they brought back the Laughs For Lunch Show back in 2018. One of the Scouts played the new shop owner. A committee member played the customer. I think nine people were taken from the audience to help with the skit.

The video of this skit has now been posted to the Melrose Scouting Production channel on YouTube. Take a look at it and let us know if you enjoyed it. It can be found at https://youtu.be/p1y5P-hwSrA .

I am sure I am not the only long time Scouter that has accumulated a fair amount of Scouting memorabilia over the years. I think it is inevitable. But when you actively collect anything you come across the collection grows a lot faster, and you develop a lot of subcategories within the collection. Handbooks, novels, coffee mugs and patches are probably the most common Scouting related collections.

Last year I discovered that there was a short comic book series that featured a comical look at Boy Scouting. This series, printed in 1951, was named The Little Scouts. According to the Comic Vine website, there were five issues printed in this series, but a few more stories were printed in Dell Four Color comic series that featured the same characters. Each comic book featured a few short stories of a group of Boy Scouts.

I was able to pick up one of these comic books. It is shown above. According to the information on Comic Vine this is #5 in the series. I have looked through it and found it to be entertaining and fun to read. It may not be quite “socially correct” by today’s standards but it was published over 60 years ago. It like reading the humor found in the books back then. I think I need to begin the hunt to see if I can find the rest of them.

Do you know of any other Scouting related comic book series? Leave a comment and let us know about it.

FOS council shoulder Patch Set

The Central Minnesota Council has had a nice incentive to donate a certain amount of money over the last several years during their Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaigns. Each year they had a special council shoulder patch designed featuring a point of the Scout Law. This year, 2019, this patch set came to an end with the Reverent patch.

I like the patch set overall, although there were a few years I did not care for the patch. There were three years the council came up with printed patches instead of sown patches. I am sure they were trying to save a buck but I think the plan backfired. After those three years they went back to the sown patches. I bet they received quite a few complaints about the “cheap” council strips.

I wonder if they will continue some sort of patch set during the upcoming years. I am a patch collector so a new patch always catches my eye.

What do you think of the Scout Law patch set? Has your council done something similar to this? Let us know by leaving a comment.