museumdisplay0I am not sure how many small town communities have their own museum of local history, but I am happy to say the Melrose has one. The Melrose Area Museum is located in the old St. Mary’s convent building, found near St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Lake Wobegon Trail. It features historical artifacts from the communities of the Melrose School District which include Melrose, Freeport, Greenwald, Meire Grove, Spring Hill, and New Munich. Items from the Birch Lake area are also included. Two of the three floors are filled, with the upper floor dedicated to storage.

Over the last few decades several people, along with myself, have donated items related to the local Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs. The Scouting display is found in the same room as the school and sporting items. Recently, a third display case has been added for the Scouting related items.

I have already told Roger, the museum’s chairman, that someday the museum would probably get all the Scouting memorabilia that I have collected over the last 35 years. In fact, I kidded that he may need one room in the museum just for all this Scouting related stuff I have. To tell the truth, I bet I could fill up a good portion of that “new room”. After all, my own collection features dozens of coffee mugs, 2001 National Jamboree items, three ring binders full of patches, thirty photo books, camping gear, and over a hundred Scouting handbooks and fictional novels. And don’t forget the two patch blankets. (Which reminds me, I should get started on the third blanket.)

This post features a few pictures of the current Scouting display in the Melrose Area History Museum. I would like to read your comments about it, and what your community museum has in its display.

museumdisplay2

museumdisplay3

museumdisplay1

Thanks for Sharing!

    EaglePicsIf you were reading this blog last December, you probably read the article I wrote about my “Eagle Project”. It is not an Eagle project in the normal use of the term. I am too old to be working on my Eagle Scout requirements, after all. No, this was a project which would recognize those Scouts who attained Scouting’s highest award. It was to be a display for the local history museum which would feature a picture of each of Troop 68’s Eagle Scouts.

    I finished my project in February and presented 22 framed 5″x7″ portraits to the museum chairman, representing the Eagle Scouts from the 1980’s to present time. He took these photographs, found a stand for them, and added them to the museum’s Scouting display. I was not sure how the pictures were going to become a part of the display but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Roger, the museum chairman, was even able to get a picture of the one Melrose Troop 68 Boy Scout who earned the Eagle Rank in the 1960’s. That was a great addition to the photos and now makes the collection of Troop 68 Eagle Scouts complete.

    Last month the troop had another Boy Scout turn in his Eagle Scout application to the local council. We may have to expand this photo collection very soon. Hopefully, we will be adding a lot more portraits in the next few years.

    Thanks for Sharing!

      t68logoI like working with the Scouts. I think it is one of the best organizations for a boy or young man to be a member of. That is why I was a scoutmaster for thirty years, and than stayed on as a committee member. That is why I am now serving as a cubmaster.

      I can usually juggle the troop duties and the pack duties without much of a problem. The pack meetings and activities are only three or four days a month. The troop only needs a few days a month of my time. It is pretty easy scheduling.

      March was more challanging. The Cub Scout schedule was easy. The den meetings were held on the first Monday of the month. The pack meeting was on the third Monday. The pack committee meeting was on the 23rd. There was only three evenings of Cub Scout meetings.

      My Boy Scout schedule, on the other hand, grew almost out of control. The troop decided to work on the Scouting Heritage merit badge in March. Guess who happens to be the merit badge councilor? I told the troop I would be able to attend the meeting the the second Monday, and could maybe get away from the den meetings on the first Monday, but the third troop meeting of the month I could not attend. I think this is a great merit badge for Boy Scouts to earn so I really wanted to help out as much as I was able.

      The troop also had a court of honor on the fourth Monday of March. As the troop’s advancement coordinator I planned to attend. The troop’s spring fundraiser was a breakfast held on Palm Sunday. Since a fire at the local church affected our plans we held a special parents meeting to find a new location. I love to play play disc golf, so I agreed to be a chaperone for the month’s disc golf outing held on Saturday, the 19th. I offered to conduct a junior leader training course for the newly elected junior troop leaders later that same day. And then, of course, there was the regular troop committee meeting. Oh, and don’t forget the district roundtable. As you can see, my Boy Scout schedule became very busy in March.

      It has been quite awhile since I have had ten days of Scouting meetings and activities in a single month. When I was the scoutmaster it happened quite often. In fact, it almost seemed normal. But this is not normal for my schedule anymore.

      Oh well, it may have been a busy month, but it was worth it. And it was fun. And hopefully, several of the Boy Scouts will earn their Scouting Heritage merit badge.

      Thanks for Sharing!

        2016fosSeveral years ago the Central Minnesota Council added a new incentive to the annual Friends Of Scouting (FOS) campaign. If you met a certain donation level you would receive a specially designed council shoulder patch (CSP). Each year would feature a different point of the Scout Law. Twelve points meant twelve patches that could be collected. Being the patch collector that I am, I was hooked from the very first year.

        This year marks the ninth year of this promotion so the 2016 patch has Thrifty as its theme. The csp features a vintage Boy Scout at the bank, ready to add some money to his saving account. There is a “ghost” design on the left side of the patch of a squirrel ready to store his acorn for future use. Even the animal kingdom practices being thrifty.

        This means there are only three years left of the Scout Law council shoulder patches. I wonder what the design of the next one, Brave, will look like.

        Other incentives of this year’s Central Minnesota Council FOS drive included an electronics cleaning cloth, a Ripley Rendezvous water bottle or frisbee, and an Eagle Scout statuette.

        Thanks for Sharing!

          discgolf2016The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 sure like their disc golf. They like it so well that for the last few years they have planned a disc golf outing as part of their yearly program. Central Minnesota has several disc golf courses. In fact, I believe there are nine or ten within a 35 mile range of Melrose. Grab your discs and let’s play a game!

          This last weekend was a busy one for the Scouts. Saturday began with a disc golf triathlon, followed by a junior leader training session, and ending with Sunday’s breakfast fundraiser. It would be enough to tire out Boy Scouts, adult leaders, and parents.

          Saturday morning, March 19th, began with a strong chill in the air. That chill was partially due to the snowfall we had the day before and overnight. We had been hoping for a nice day since the weekend before had seen temperatures in the upper 60’s, and those temps had melted the remaining snow. Oh well, time to lace up the boots and grab the winter jackets as we loaded up the cars to head to our first course of the triatholon.

          We drove 35 miles to get to our first stop, the Riverside Park course in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It is one of the nicest course in the county. Unfortunately, it was not a good course to play one this day. We noticed very quickly as we drove along the park that all the disc golf baskets had been removed. We did not see a single one. Not even the practice baskets were in place. We needed a different course to play.

          Fortunately, the Calvary Park 18 hole course was only a few miles away. The Scout’s smiles returned as we saw the baskets were still in place. Since it was the first time the troop had played this course it sometimes took a few minutes to discover were the next tee boxes and baskets were located. The course was challanging as it contained a wooded hillside that presented many branches to deflect throws. Not that it mattered too much. The Scouts still had plenty of fun. And to make it even better, the snow had begun to melt before we left the course.

          Since it was nearly the noon hour we stopped at White Castle for lunch. Most of the boys had never eaten at the fast food chain before this stop. Most of them ordered a four pack of Sliders, the White castle hamburger. Later that day, some of the Scouts discovered the secret meaning of the Slider name.

          The second course of the tour was the 18 baskets found at Millstream Park in St. Joseph. By the time we arrived a lot of the snow had melted. That also meant the millstream was flowing. The well known water hazards of the park would now have to be considered as we threw discs around the course. Unfortunately, some of the discs did land in the water hazards. Some discs the Scouts were able to retrieve using long sticks and branches, but four of them were left behind in the deeper bone-chilling water. The nature of this course slowed us down to the point that by the time we finished it was too late to play the third planned course. We had a junior leader training session to begin at 5:00. The triathlon had turned into a biathalon.

          Even though we lost a few discs, and two of the boys decided to test the temperature of the water by sliding into the stream toward the end of the game, we all had a great time and look forward to playing a lot more games this summer.

          DGgroup032016

          Thanks for Sharing!
            cardisplayThe Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68 recently had fun making a project during the March 21st pack meeting. They boys constructed display stands for their Pinewood Derby cars. Each stand is able to display five cars, enough from 1st Grade Tiger Cubs through 5th grade Webelos Scouts. With their parents help, the Cub Scouts completed their stand during the meeting. They will be bringing them back to the April pack meeting to show how they decorated them.
            The pack would like to give a special shout out to committee member Matt H. who cut the pieces and prepped them ahead of the pack meeting.
            image1
            Thanks for Sharing!

              imageDid you watch the Academy Awards last night? I watched the first thirty minutes and the last two hours. I thought Chris Rock did a pretty good job as the host. His opening monologue was funny and had a nice bite to it. I can not say I agree with most of the awards during the evening because, to tell the truth, I did not see most of the movies that were nominated.

              It seems that each year the host has to do something out of the ordinary to put his or her mark on the show. Ellen did one of the best ones when she posted the celebrity selfie. I like Chris’ little stunt this year. He had his daughter’s Girl Scout Troop sell cookies to the millionaire stars of the Academy. Talk about a great night for cookie sales. How can a millionaire say no to buying cookies when they are live on television? The girls sold over $65,000 worth of the treats.

              So here is my question. Do the Boy Scouts get to sell popcorn at next year’s Oscars celebration? Think about all the caramel corn and chocolate covered popcorn they could sell. Think of the p.r. the Boy Scouts could get with over a billion people watching worldwide. It would be awesome.

              Of course, I know it will not happen. Unless, maybe, next year’s host has a son or two who are Boy Scouts. I have to give Chris Rock a thumb’s up. It was a great way to sell a lot of cookies.

              Thanks for Sharing!

                blueandgold13The Cub Scouts and families of Melrose Pack 68 held their annual Blue and Gold Banquet on Monday, February 15th at the Melrose American Legion. Sixteen of the eighteen Cub Scouts attended the event. I was quite happy with the turnout.

                The Central Minnesota Council sent a representative to talk about Friends of Scouting, the yearly fundraiser for the council. If the pack met its goal of about $650 it would receive free rank patches for the year. I was very surprised when the pack not only met the goal but surpassed it by collecting over $1000 in donation and pledges. It was great to see the parents demonstrating how they value the Scouting program.

                After the meal we began the award ceremony. The commander of the American Legion gave a short talk and stated the Legion was proud to be the sponsor for the Cub Scout Pack. The Legion allows us the use of their facility for both the banquet and the Pinewood Derby. It is great to have a charter sponsor that is more than just a signature on the recharter once a year.

                The award ceremony began with each of the Cub Scouts receiving a patch for attending the Blue and Gold Banquet. A few dozen belt loops were presented to the Tigers, Wolves, and Bears. It was the most belt loops I have ever had the pleasure of awarding the Scouts. The boys were quite excited as they stepped up to the stage, by den, to receive their achievements. The first year Webelos Scouts also did quite well. Each of them received two activity pins to add to their shoulder colors. Those strips will look very sharp by the end of the year of they keep this up, as will the belts of the younger Scouts.

                As the meeting drew to an end I had a little surprise for the Scouts. Last year I presented each of the boys a comic book donated by a local comic book store. This year, in a nod to the new movie, each Cub Scout received a Star Wars: The Force Awakens trading card. Each card had been inserted back into a wrapper so the boys did not know which one they received until they returned to their seat. They Scouts seemed quite excited about receiving a trading card.

                I had enough Star Wars cards left over so I invited each of the siblings who had attended the banquet to come up and choose one for themselves. Their grins were ear to ear, just like the Cub Scouts, as they stepped up to the stage to collect one. Ever the older siblings seemed to appreciate receiving a card.

                After the families had gone homeI stayed around for awhile talking to the Legion Commander and the caretaker of the facility. Both people expressed how pleased they were of the Cub Scouts and their families. The pack had cleaned the tables and stacked the chairs without being asked to do so. I think they were even a little proud of this Cub Scout pack they sponsored.

                The pack’s next activity will be a trip to the St. John University climbing wall. It will be fun to watch the boys test their skills, and courage, and they scale the 30 foot walls. It should be quite an interesting afternoon.

                Thanks for Sharing!