2014_Ripley_Rendezvous_AdIt is time once again for the Boy Scouts of the Central Minnesota Council to gather at Camp Ripley for the Ripley Rendezvous, an annual event hosted by the council and Camp Ripley. Camp Ripley is a National Guard Base found in central Minnesota near Little Falls. I know this weekend outing has been going on for at least 40 years because I remember attending when I was a young Boy Scout.

Ten Boy Scouts from Troop 68 are enjoying the fun offered by the program this weekend. What are they doing, you ask? Well, according to the council’s website:

Ripley Rendezvous 2014 “Aim High!” will be held the Camp Ripley Army National Guard Training Facility, Camp Ripley, MN. This spring time event is truly a unique opportunity to utilize the traning facility’s ranges and buildings in presenting two distinct levels of involvement.

The Adventure Program will be conducted at the ranges for everyone that enjoys shooting sports. Scouts will be using shot guns, .22 rifles, 50 cal. black powder inlines, archery, tomahawks, and sling shots; all skills that need a great deal of concentration to perform at your best.

The Scout Ops is an Extreme program for the older Boy Scouts and Venturers, who are ready for a more rigorouse program using advanced physical and mental trials that go along with team work and goal accomplishment. The personal satisfaction of knowing you did your best, no matter the outcome is something to be proud of. This older Scout program will have several static displays, exhibits and hands-on activities for everyone who wants a tougher challenge.

This is similar to the program of the last few years. While our Scouts were looking forward to attending the rendezvous I have heard that overall numbers of participants are down. It might be time to change up the program and offer something different next time.

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    scout greeting cardsThe season is a’ coming. Soon, sons and daughters will be buying greeting cards to give or to send to their mothers and fathers as the months of May and June come near. Hallmark sales will once again go through the roof.

    I was a little surprised when I visited the Scout Shop this week before the Scenic District roundtable. I noticed they had Scouting themed Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards. I did not pick one up to look at it closely because I was running out of time but I thought it would be a nice touch for families that are really into the Scouting program.

    I do have to admit though that it was not the cards that caught my attention. In fact, I looked right pass them the first time. What caught my gaze were the patches that were laying on the counter in front of the cards. They were special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day patches. By the card and get the patch for free, a different one for each parent.

    I thought the front of the Father’s Day patch was pretty cool. It shows dad opening his shirt like Superman, revealing the Scout logo on his tee shirt instead of the Superman S.

    Almost makes me wish I was a father so I could receive one in June.

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      Scouting FigurinesAs I was looking online for a name of that Norman Rockwell painting mentioned in my last post, I came across a picture of a set of figurines based on six of his more popular Scouting themed paintings. I wish I had seen this sooner. I might have placed a bid on them. But the auction had already closed. They would have made a great addition to my Scouting memorabilia collection.

      Do any of you have these figurines as a part of your collection? Where did you find them? When did you buy them?

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        2014CMCPatch2Yep. It is that time of year. Boy Scout councils are conducting their annual Friends of Scouting campaigns to raise money to support the local council and its program. Our district executive from the Central Minnesota Council visited our troop’s court of honor on Monday, March 24th. The troop almost met the goal set by the council, and still may. A few of the parents took the forms home with them to consider how they could financially support the council.

        In our council, as I am sure in many councils across the country, there are various tiers at which a donor is recognized for their financial gift. For several years now, the Central Minnesota Council has presented donors with a special council shoulder patch for meeting the first level of support. These patches have featured a design based on a Norman Rockwell painting. The year’s patch was based on the painting of a Boy Scout saluting. I am not quite sure of the name of the painting, but it might be called We, Too, Have A Job To Do from 1944. As you can see from the picture, it is a fully embroidered patch, not a print like two patches a few years ago.

        At another gift level the donor would receive a framed print of this Norman Rockwell painting. I think it was ten years ago that the council last offered this print. My home office wall displays 15 different framed prints offered by the council over the years. There is not much room left for any new ones.

        I think the council did a good job with this year’s patch. I am happy to add it to my csp collection. This patch takes us nearly to the halfway point of the Scout Law. I look forward to seeing what the next seven years of patches will look like.

        What sort of incentives does your council offer during its Friends of Scouting campaigns?

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          tabletopdaylogoA friend of mine recently posted a link on Facebook to something called International TableTop Day which will be held on Saturday, April 5th. I have never heard of this but it caught my interest so I decided to check it out. It is pretty much just like it sounds. Here is a short quote from the website found at http://www.tabletopday.com/about/ :

          International TableTop Day is a celebration for all the fans of tabletop gaming. A single day where the whole world is brought together in a common purpose of spending time together and having fun. We hope you find the resources you need — to connect new fans to experienced group organizers, retailers with their community, and publishers with the international community — all in one place.

          This sounds like an event that would be right up my alley. I like to play board games, card games, and Dungeons and Dragons. Gosh, they all happen to be tabletop games! I enjoy the thrill of competing against my friends as we sit around a table playing Munchkins or Risk. Of course, I also prefer to win, but as they say, you can’t win them all.

          As I considered this event I thought this could be an excellent activity in which Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops could participate, even if it was just within their own units. I can vision dens of Cub Scouts playing Sorry, CandyLand, Pokemon, or various card games. I can see Boy Scouts playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Magic, or D&D. I see scoutmasters and cubmasters being beaten at their own games by competitive Scouts of all ages. Could you imagine local packs and troops getting together for this one day of gaming that does not involve a video screen?

          What do you think of this? Would your troop or pack be interested in joining an event that is international?

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            Cub Scout CharactersCub Scout Pack 68 held their Blue and Gold Banquet last night, Tuesday March 25, at the American Legion in Melrose. Pizza was brought in with hot dogs, chips, and desserts provided by the families. The Cub Scouts were pretty excited to receive their achievements during the award ceremony.

            I am a member of the pack committee and attended the event for two reasons. First, I wanted to video record the awards ceremony. Second, I wanted to chat with the second year Webelos and their parents to promote moving on to the Boy Scout troop. Unfortunately, only three of the six Webelos Scouts attended the ceremony. I did get to chat with the three boys who did attend, along with their fathers.

            Mark, the current cubmaster, will be stepping down from his position in May. His youngest son is one of those second year Webelos who will become a Boy Scout of Troop 68. Mark has been the cubmaster since his oldest son, who is now 14, was a Cub Scout. Near the end of the evening’s ceremony Mark spoke briefly of his tenure with the pack and thanked the parents for allowing their boys to be a part of the Cub Scout program.

            It was then time for Dave, the committee chairman, to say a few words and thank Mark for all he has done for the pack. Dave’s son is also a second year Webelos Scout and will be joining Troop 68. Dave has agreed to join the troop committee.

            This means it is time for new leadership to step forward to continue the program of Pack 68. After the meeting I chatted with a few of the parents about filling these leadership roles. One father is seriously considering taking over the position of cubmaster. Another is willing to join the pack committee, and may even be willing to take over as the chairman.

            I offered to stay on the committee for another year and offered my home as a place to hold the committee meetings. Mark and Dave have also stated they would be willing to help the new leaders as they learn about their new roles within the pack. Our district executive has offered to come to town and conduct a training session for all the new pack leaders.

            It is starting to look like things are falling into place for Cub Scout Pack 68′s program to continue strong as things kick-off again with a new program this fall.

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              boys life bracketI would guess that most Cub Scouts and many Boy Scouts receive the monthly Boy’s Life magazine so they are probably familiar with the cartoon characters found within its pages. But which character is the most popular? Is it Pedro, the burro? Is it PeeWee or one of his friends? How about Gus or Tiger or Dredd?

              The folks at Boy’s Life have decided to find out and have created a “Boy’s Life Bracket” in which you can vote for your favorite character. Round one is now over and the voting in round two has begun. Sixteen characters have been voted done to eight. At the end of the month we will discover who is Scouting’s favorite cartoon character.

              Cast your vote at:
              http://headsup.boyslife.org/vote-for-your-favorite-boys-life-character/

              Have fun, and may your choice be ever in Scouting’s favor.

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                scoutingpromotiondvd2For the last 15 or 20 years I have been collecting videos of Scouting commercials and promotional films. I have a few dozen of them. Some of them are very good. Several not so much. A few are just plain weird. But they are interesting to watch.

                At tonight’s district roundtable I plan to give away some dvd’s I created featuring many of these videos, along with a couple old training videos. I plan on giving two of these discs to the Cub Scout roundtable. The other six I will give away to lucky winners at the Boy Scout roundtable. I am also hoping to have a projection screen set up during the roundtable to show a few select videos since promoting Scouting within your home community is a theme for the evening.

                Some of these videos can be seen on our troop’s website. Check them out at
                http://melrosetroop68.org/videos.html

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