06.2015 Parade FlagsWhen does something become a tradition? If it is done for seven years, does that qualify? If it does, than the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have a tradition to be proud of. This was the seventh year that they have handed out 4″x6″ United States flags before the Riverfest parade in town.

The troop committee began discussing this activity a few months ago. Letters were sent out to the local VFW post and American Legion Club to help with the cost of the flags. I found American-made flags on sale at the United States Flag Store website for 18 cents each. I placed an order for 1250 flags before I heard from the two organizations, counting on them to come through on covering the costs, which they did. The flags arrived in May. We were set to hand out colors once again.

That is, if enough Boy Scouts showed up to walk the parade route. With thirty minutes to go before the start of the parade only three Boy Scouts and one Cub Scout had arrived. We knew it was going to be a busy family weekend so I was glad we had at least four Scouts to walk. One mother and I grabbed the two backpacks. Two Scouts and one adult would walk along each side of the street handing out flags to those who wanted one. By the end of the one and a half mile route all the flags were gone! Kids loved receiving a flag, as did many of the adults along the route.

We finished with the flags in time to walk back along the route to sit with our families and friends to watch the parade. You should have seen all the candy thrown out by the parade participants. You should have seen the candy still laying on the street, along with some trash, after the parade. Actually, it was not as bad as other years, but there is always some clean up required. I am happy to report that we did not see one USA flag laying around unwanted after the festivities! Everyone took them home.

This is a tradition we shall probably continue for a few more years. As long as the VFW and the American Legion support it, and the people lining the parade route want them, I think the Melrose Boy Scouts will continue their version of a patriotic hike.

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    2015 NOAC patches of Naguonabe LodgeThe Naguonabe Lodge of the Central Minnesota Council began handing out patches to its members that are attending the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conclave during this weekend’s spring conclave. Once again, it will be a two patch set, but unlike previous year’s these patches do not match into each other and do not feature Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox. But that is okay. After all, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow so something different needed to be done.

    The pocket flap patch is our lodge’s official patch to recognize the anniversary. The pocket patch is for the NOAC event and seems to feature a wolf spirit watching over the campsites. I like the colors used on the pocket patch. The picture is of the trading patches. The participant patches have a different color border on each of them.

    I was able to receive two sets of the trading patches for my collection thanks to a Scouting friend of mine. I had to work this weekend so I was not able to attend the conclave. If they have any sets after the conclave I plan to get a few more sets. I would like to add a set of the participant patches to my collection, but since I will not be attending I do not think I will be able to do that.

    What do your lodge’s patches for the the 2015 NOAC look like?

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      Good News AwardThe Central Minnesota Council has several special awards they present each year at their recognition banquet. I received an email from Mary at the council office asking if I was planning to attend. The way she worded the email made me a little suspicious, so I gave her a call. I attended the recognition banquet.

      One of these special presentations is the Good News award. The council usually gives the award to a newspaper, radio station, or television station who have done a great job covering Scouting events and promoting the program. Our local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, has received this award. So did our community access television station. Unfortunately, the city has closed the tv station, but the Melrose Beacon continues to include articles about Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting events.

      This year the council decided to give the award for promoting Scouting on social media. They looked at local troop and pack Facebook pages and chose two who they felt did an outstanding job covering their local program and activities. One of those two units was Troop 68 of Melrose. And that is why Mary was wondering if I was going to attend the banquet. She knew I was the administrator of the site and did most of the posting to the troop’s Facebook page. She wanted me to accept the award on behalf of Troop 68.

      A week later I “received” the award again at the Scenic district’s annual program kickoff and award presentations. It is not often you can receive the same award twice. 😉

      It is nice to realize that the council has noticed our work promoting the local Scout program. It is really nice to receive recognition for the the years of work toward that purpose. Troop 68 would like to thank the Central Minnesota Council for this award.

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        Scoutmasters are proud of their Scouts.  They welcome them as they come into the troop as a 10 or 11 year old, sometimes frightened, Webelos graduate from a Cub Scout Scout Pack and than watch them grow as they develop Scouting skills and become leaders within the troop. Sometimes they even acheive Scouting’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout. But there are many more ways a scoutmaster becomes proud of his Scouts. Many of them come to pass after the young man leaves the troop.

        On example is when a scoutmaster receives word that a former troop member does well with his chosen occupation. I have two alumni, that I know of, that now work for the Boy Scouts of America. Keith works in Texas at Boy’s Life magazine, after spending several years at Northern Star Council. When Keith moved on his position opened up and another alumni of Troop 68 applied for the job, and got it. Sergio is now a Communications Specialist at Northern Star Council.

        Sergio recently posted a new video to Youtube that he created about Scouting. This video was shown at the Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America 2015 Annual Meeting. The name of the video is Vitamin N. You will understand after watching this three minute video.

        Great job Sergio!

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          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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