PinewoodDerbyDesignGuess what. It is time for the Pinewood Derby! Has there ever been a more powerful comment that causes so much excitement for a Cub Scout and also creates a higher stress level for his father or mother?

Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose, Minnesota, held its Pinewood Derby on Tuesday, February 25. Thirteen Cub Scouts, from Tigers to Webelos, and their families came together at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on the north side of town. It was going to be a fun filled Tuesday evening.

The track had been set up a couple days earlier and everything had been tested. A few Cub Scouts arrived early and had started racing their cars down the track. Unfortunately, their moved something on the track and caused the electronic timer to work improperly. It took the cubmaster and a couple of the fathers several minutes to discover what the problem was and to fix it.

During this time I was taking pictures of the Cub Scouts and their cars. The pack also used this time to have the boys vote on their favorite car design before the races actually began.

The pack leaders decided to run the derby as a double elimination events so the each Scout would be a part of at least two races. While most of the boys took their loses in stride, there was one or two younger ones that took it a little hard. Most of the boys cheered on the ones still racing as the championship bracket began.

The final race for the 1st place trophy came down to the cubmaster’s son, Ethan,  and the committee chairman’s son, Spencer. Both boys were smiling from ear to ear as I took a picture of them with their cars as they were place on the track.

The lever was dropped. The cars began moving, quickly picking up speed as they moved toward the end of the track. Both cars were nose to nose all they way. It was going to be a photo finish.

Even with a photo finish it would have been hard to declare a winner. Good thing the pack had bought an electronic timer when they purchased a new track last year. The timer showed that Ethan’s car had beat Spencer’s car… by one thousandth of a second! Could the final race have been any closer? No.

Trophies were presented for the top three places. One trophy was presented for the best looking car. I took plenty of pictures during the event and promised the parents that each of them would get a cd of them all. I also had one of the Boy Scouts sitting at the end of the track recording the races with my video camera. It will be fun to see what he recorded.

How did things go with your pack’s Pinewood Derby?

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    2014pinewoodderbyThe Scouting program snuck up on me a little as this week became a bit busier than usual. I guess I knew of everything that was coming up, but I was not really paying attention. Oh well, I can not think of many other programs I would rather spend my time on.

    On Monday the patrol leader council of Troop 68 met at my house for their monthly planning meeting. It did not take them long to plan the three March meetings, the court of honor, and other things, plus review how things went in February. They began at 6:30 and were finished before 8:00. That included eating the meat and cheese tray I set out during the meeting.

    On Tuesday I attended Cub Scout Pack 68′s Pinewood Derby. Thirteen Scouts participated in this year’s event. It was the first time I had seen a derby since the pack bought a new track with an electronic timer. I attended the activity to take some pictures. I ended up being the official photographer. I might have gone a little overboard. I ended up with over 100 pictures of the boys and their cars. I am going to burn the pictures to cd’s and give one to each family who had a Scout participate in the derby.

    On Friday the members of the Striking Cobra Patrol will be coming over for pizza, sodas, and a movie. They won the patrol flag competition in December. I am not sure what movie the Scouts will decide to watch but I have a feeling I better have at least two large pizzas ready for them. Boy Scouts always seem to be hungry, especially for pizza.

    How has your Scouting week been going? Is it a busy one?

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      I was looking around YouTube tonight and discovered an interesting video about the founders of the Scouting program. Hear is what is written on the page:

      Uploaded on Mar 6, 2010

      Boy Scouts of America Centennial Tribute to the founders of the Boy Scouts of America (Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Ernest Thompson Seton, William D. Boyce, Daniel Carter Beard, and James E. West). This video was presented at the Longhorn Council’s Chisholm Trail District Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

      This video was produced by James Williams and Alecia Jarrett of Venturing Crew 153, Temple, Texas. The technology used was Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9, Microsoft Photo Story 3 and Adobe Fireworks CS3.  The music used was from Ken Jenkins’ “Adiemus Live” album. Featured tracks used were “Dawn Dancing” & “In Caelum Fero”.
      This video was inspired by the online video “Centenary of Scouting” which can found at www.scout.org.
      For more information about our unit please visit www.scouting153.info.   11087

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        Winter Drift Murder practiceI had a hunch I would be receiving a phone call so it did not come as a surprise when the phone rang two days after the first meeting of this year’s mystery dinner theater group. I had been in the play two years ago and probably would have been in last year’s play if I would not have had neck surgery. When the director called in January I agreed to be in the production if I could have a small role.

        This year’s play would be “Winter Drift Murder”, written by a local writer. It would be a western that takes place during the time when the railways were being built across the country. Would the audience be able to solve the murders before the sheriff did at the end of the play?

        My role would be Vil Ion Badgoi. (Yes, that is a pun.) He is a local gunslinger also known as Mr. Murder. He may not have liked the Judge, but he didn’t kill him. The role had a whopping 13 lines. I was only on stage during the last ten minutes of the play. When I first read the script I thought it was a serious role but the director thought it should be played as a comic villain. Even during the last night of practice we were still developing things for this character to do.

        When it came time to create our costumes the men raided their own closets at home for as much as they could find. I used my own black jeans, a dark long sleeve shirt, and a brown cowboy hat. The vest and boots came from the high school prop room.

        I have been involved in the Scouting program for too long to not try to “sneak” something Scouting related into my costume. I was able to get three items into my wardrobe. On the cowboy hat I wore a small red B.S.A. pin. The leather belt came from Philmont Scout Ranch. The belt buckle represented my Bobwhite Patrol from a Wood Badge training course.

        Did anyone notice these Scouting related Easter Eggs? No. The pin was too small for the audience to really see. The belt and buckle were pretty much hidden by the vest for most of the performance. Do I care that no one noticed? Not really. I was just happy to bring a little bit of Scouting onto the stage with me. After all, it was because of performing Scouting skits and campfire songs that I was asked to be in my first play years ago.

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          carly-rae-jepsen-call-me-maybeI admit it. Once in awhile I get bored. And when I do strange things sometime happen. Like the other week for example.

          I was listening to the Carly Rae Jepsen song, Call Me Maybe, when other words started popping into my head. For some reason I saw a Boy Scout at summer camp walking up to his merit badge councilor, hand him his blue card and ask, “But here’s my blue card, so sign it maybe?”

          Hmmm. Could this be the start of a campfire song? I soon had pencil and paper out and was writing down words for a new version of the song. A couple lyrics gave me a spot of trouble, but I think I have it. Here is what I came up with:

          Scoutmaster gave me a list,
          Merit badges with a twist
          My hand turned into a fist,
          Nervousness in my way

          Summer camp is coming soon,
          Packed my clothes, shoes, food, and a broom
          What is this feeling of doom?
          Nervousness in my way

          Your stare was holdin’,
          My head, eyes are rolling
          Hot night, wind was blowin’
          Where do I think I’m going, baby?

          Hey, I just met you,
          And this is crazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!
          It’s hard to earn one
          When you are lazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!

          Hey, I just met you,
          And this is crazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!
          And all the other boys,
          Are really lazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!

          You took your time with the crew,
          I did not know what I knew
          You gave all lots to do,
          But still, you’re my councilor
          I beg, and borrow and steal
          My need for this badge is real
          I didn’t know I would feel,
          Like it’s some Indian Lore

          Your stare was holdin’,
          Beads of sweat were showin’
          Hot night, wind was blowin’
          Should I cry like a baby?

          Hey, I just met you,
          And this is crazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!
          It’s hard to earn one
          When you are lazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!

          Hey, I just met you,
          And this is crazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!
          And all the other boys,
          Are really lazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!

          This merit badge I need for Life
          I need it so bad
          I need it so bad
          I need it so, so bad
          This merit badge I need for Life
          I need it so bad
          And you should know that
          I need it so, so bad (bad, bad)

          It’s hard to earn one
          When you are lazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!
          Hey, I just met you,
          And this is crazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!

          And all the other boys,
          Are really lazy,
          But here’s my Blue Card,
          So sign it, maybe!
          This merit badge I need for Life
          I need it so bad
          I need it so bad
          I need it so, so bad
          Tenderfoot, First Class, and Life
          I need it so bad
          And you should know that
          So sign it, maybe!

          Your goal is now to have your Boy Scouts sing this during the evening campfire at summer camp and send me the video!

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            1985Displays07In my last post I wrote about the four displays that Troop 68 set up around town for this year’s Scouting Anniversary week. I have collected quite a bit of Scouting related stuff during the past 33 years so it is not very hard finding items and photos to fill four displays. In fact, I could probably do a couple more if we had more places to set them up.

            All this got me thinking about how many years I have been setting up displays in town, so I opened the old photo books and did a little looking back. I discovered that our Scouting display was set up in February 1985 at the Melrose State Bank. It was a project done by Cubmaster Joe Timmins and myself who was the scoutmaster. It was a fairly large setup. It contained Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting memorabilia, enough to fill two small tables. We also included a tent and some camping gear. You were not going to miss this display when you entered the bank lobby.

            I scanned some of the photos of this first display so I could share them with you. Our current displays are a little different these days (as you can see from my last post) and do not include any tents. The lobbies of the current establishments are not big enough to set up a campsite.

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              2014display1It is that time of year to once again celebrate another anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. It has been 104 years since William D. Boyce was granted a charter by the Congress of the United States of America to begin this great institution. Just think about the millions of boys who have participated in Scouting, all the fun they have had, the skills they have learned, and the service they have done for their communities. It practically boggles the mind!

              Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose, Minnesota, has been going strong since December 1979. During those 34 years the troop has sent hundreds of boys to summer camp, seen dozens of young men attend high adventure bases, and has had 22 Scouts earn the program’s highest award, the Eagle Scout Rank. There is a lot of history in this troop.

              Troop 68 has a portion of this history on exhibition this month to celebrate Scouting’s anniversary. Four displays have been set up around town, each with a different theme. The displays contain old books and handbooks, framed photos and photo albums, patches, toys, coffee mugs, and other memorabilia.

              The theme of the display at the Central Minnesota Credit Union is “troop activities”. At the US Bank you will discover the troop’s trips to high adventure bases. Visitors to the Melrose City Hall will learn a little about the history of the B.S.A.  At the local branch of the Freeport State Bank people will see photos of each of the Eagle Scouts since 1979.

              The displays were set up on Friday, January 31st, and will be on exhibit for 2 weeks.

              Does your troop or pack have the opportunity to do something like this in your community? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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                Most of us involved in the Scouting program either know or have heard of the Philmont Grace, the official meal prayer for Philmont Scout Ranch. But did you know the Order of the Arrow has one now? This was recently posted on the Naguonabe Lodge Facebook page:

                The National Order of the Arrow Committee has approved an official OA Grace, in the spirit of the Philmont Grace so many of us are accustomed to.

                For night alone that rests our thought
                For quiet dawn that lights our trail
                For evening fire that warms and cheers
                For each repast that fuels our work
                We give thanks, O Lord.

                Make sure to use it at upcoming OA events!

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