IMG_0638School Night To Join Scouting will be held throughout Minnesota on Thursday, September 22nd. This year’s theme is “Heroes Start Here”, which nicely fits in with the current wave of superhero movies and television shows. I have to say, I like this theme better the the Rocket Into Scouting used over the last few years.

As the recruitment event approaches there are a few other things we can do as a pack and troop to prepare for the big evening. One of these to to have a table set up at the local schools’ open houses coming up next week. The idea is to get Scouting out in front of the boys and parents early so they can begin to think about everything this program can offer their families.

Of course, if we are going to have a table at a school’s open house we will need someone to sit at that table and hand out materials, and answer any questions. We have three elementary schools in our area at we would like to have a table set up. St. Mary’s Catholic School has their open house on Tuesday, August 23rd. The Melrose Public Elementary School has theirs on Wednesday, the 24th. Sacred Heart Catholic School in Freeport has theirs on Thursday, the 25th. I believe each school is holding the event from 4:00 to 7:00 in the evening.

I have been preparing a few items to place on the table to try to catch the attention of the boys and, more importantly, their parents. The picture shows a few items I have thought about having on display. A Pack committee member, who attended this month’s kickoff at a district meeting earlier this month, also has a few items from the council to add to the display, including flyers about School Night To Join Scouting.

We will need people to sit at the tables. Jesse, our new assistant cubmaster, has agreed to sit at the Sacred Heart School open house. I may be able to attend the Wednesday night one, but I have a Boy Scout event I wish to attend on Tuesday. Hopefully some parents will come through and volunteer a bit of their time to get out the word about Scouting.

Does your troop or pack set up a table during your school’s open house? What do you set out on the table. Leave a comment and let us know. Thanks.

Thanks for Sharing!

    IMG_5900The new troop tee shirts have arrived! After a few months of discussing logo designs, and type and color of shirt, the order of the new shirts has arrived. The troop ordered 80 shirts, all adults sizes from medium to extra large, in case a few adults would like to purchase one. We got a pretty deal on the order and are able to sell the tee shirts for $8 each.

    During the planning stage, several ideas were tossed around the committee and the Boy Scouts. The Scouts finally decided they wanted to keep the gray color of the current troop shirt but go back to the logo we used when we first started using tee shirts in the 1980’s, with a couple color modifications. I thought it was interesting that the Scouts wanted a retro design on the new shirts.

    The picture above shows the new shirts. The picture below shows the previous shirt, of which only a few are left. You can click on the pictures for a larger photo.

    What do you think of our new troop tee shirts?

    IMG_5901

    Thanks for Sharing!

      slingshotThis is my second summer as the cubmaster of Pack 68. I have had a good time and have agreed to a third year in the position. The pack does not have meetings during the summer months but we do have a pack activity each month. I had the Cub Scouts come out to my family cabin which is located on Kings Lake for their July activity. Eleven of the 17 Cub Scouts attended the event.

      The activity was held on a Monday night. It started at 6:30 in the evening and lasted until 8:30. We did not plan any swimming activities, but that does not mean the Cub Scouts did not get wet. One of the events had the Scouts filling water balloons and trying to hit a target using my water balloon sling shot (shown in the picture.) Some of the balloons busted while in the slingshot, spraying nearby Scouts with water. Some of the balloons became air bound without using the slingshot. The Cub Scouts did not mind. They were having fun.

      The second activity was a disc golf putting contest. The pack was divided into two teams. Each team had several discs and tried to putt as many discs into the disc golf basket as they could. I started the Scouts a bit too far from the basket so after each round I moved them a little closer until the discs began landing in the basket. Some of the boys were asking what the winning team would receive. Another Scout stated correctly that they get bragging rights. Once again, the boys had a good time.

      The last activity of the evening was to get out the marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers. We had worked up an appetite and it was time to make s’mores. I think this may have been the Scouts favorite activity. It did not take long for sticky fingers and mouths to be found around the campfire.

      I want to thank the many parents for helping with the event. They assisted the boys as they filled water balloons, manned the slingshot, and helped the Scouts prepare the s’mores. Everyone stayed safe and had a great time. I bet they would all come back out next year if we do it again.

      Thanks for Sharing!

        kayakingI have heard from several people how fun kayaking can be, but I never really tried it. Well, not until earlier this month. My sister and her son invited me along on a kayak trip down the Sauk River, which runs through Melrose, Minnesota. They planned to start from the Sauk River Park in town and get out just south of New Munich, a small town located about five miles from Melrose. I had nothing planned for that Sunday so I decided to go along, if they could find a kayak for me to use. Ben, my nephew, made a phone call and found one very quickly.

        It was a great time and a perfect day to spend on the river. The current was slow since we have not had a good rain for awhile. There were a lot of downed trees in the river but we only had to portage once. For most of the trip you did not see many signs of civilization. We even got to see and eagle and a deer. The trip took a little longer then expected. We thought it would be a three hour trip. It actually ended up being four hours. No one really cared though. It was a lot of fun.

        As I was paddling down the river I thought to myself that this would be a fun activity for the Boy Scout troop. They have been canoeing a couple times during the last five years but never have they been kayaking. I can honestly say that I think I prefer kayaking to canoeing. I have found it is a little harder to get out of a kayak though. If the troop decided to go on a kayaking weekend trip, I am not sure where they would store their gear. There does not seem to be a whole lot of storage room in a kayak.

        My questions to you readers are, “Has your troop been on an overnight kayaking weekend? How did it go? Did the Scouts enjoy it? What did you do about the troop gear?”

        Thanks for Sharing!

          Philmont75Seven Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 recently participated in a trek at Philmont Scout Ranch. I was there to see them off when they left and wished them a good trip. After I returned home I was in a Philmont mood and noticed I had an email from the Tooth of Time Traders website, which is the place to buy all things Philmont related. ( https://www.toothoftimetraders.com )

          I noticed a book was available for the 75th anniversary of the high adventure base. The hardcover book was named A Million Miracles, 75 Years at Philmont Scout Ranch. It was published by Donning Company Publishers, and written by David Mullings. The website says:

             In commemoration of Philmont’s 75th anniversary this book was written to explain Philmont’s Prehistoric History, Cimarron and its Wild West History, Waite Phillips’ Story, 75 Years of Scouting, Philmont Today and Philmont Tomorrow. 
             Within the 120, full color, pages is the history of many years with great photos to document and memorialize those who came before us and helped make Philmont what it is today. A great gift for anyone with Philmont history.

          I decided I wanted the book. Instead of ordering it through the website and paying postage, I sent a text message to one of the Troop 68 adult advisors, Dakota, who was on his way to the ranch. He replied that he would pick one up for me.

          I stopped by his house yesterday and picked up my book. I am glad I had him pick one up. I have quickly paged through it and noticed it has great photographs from the history of Philmont. I look forward to reading it. It is a great addition to the other Scouting related books I have picked up over the years. Dakota also liked the book and picked one up for himself.

          The book can be found online at http://www.toothoftimetraders.com/A-Million-Miracles-75-Years-at-Philmont-Scout-Ranch/-3155101591808044816/Product .

          Have any of you read this book? What did you think of it?

          Thanks for Sharing!

            beagle Wood BadgeI partook in Wood Badge training way back in 1990. From what I hear, the current Wood Badge course is a little different than the one I attended. I did not plan to go to a course that year until another Scout leader decided to give me a kick by registering me. I was a little upset at first but soon was glad I went through with it. I had fun and learned quite a bit about being a good adult leader in the troop. By the way, I am a Bobwhite, and a good ol’ Bobwhite too.

            I recently came across a picture online that combined my favorite Beagle Scout, Snoopy, with a hint to take Wood Badge training. I never realized the the troop leader of Woodstock and his friends was Wood Badge trained. And he has a patrol named after him? Gosh, he is a more important Scout Leader than I thought!

            What do you think of the logo? I have to say, I like it.

            Thanks for Sharing!

              Now that the Scouts of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 have left on their trip to Philmont Scouts Ranch I have been thinking about my trips to the ranch, and the DVD I have in my collection known as The Philmont Documentary Collection. It is one of my favorite Scouting DVD’s. I was even able to chat with Larry McLaughlin, the producer and creator of the DVD, during a Leader’s Campfire podcast episode. (More of that interview can be heard at http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=1920 )

              Recently, while browsing Facebook, I scrolled across information about another DVD about the ranch. It is a collection of 40 short films created by David E. Carter during the years of 2006-2008. The DVD includes segments on all 36 of Philmont’s backcountry camps, as well as 3 special features.  It was only sold for two years in the Philmont trading post, and has not been available since then. This newly-edited version includes additonal content that has never been seen before. It contains over two hours of video.

              It looks like this is a DVD I need to add to my collection. The price of $22 includes shipping. Not a bad price if you ask me. My only wish is that it was filmed in high definition, but alas, it was created before all the new tech was readily available.

              More informations can be found on the website at http://www.sanibelfilms.com/philmont-dvd.html

              Do you plan to order yourself a copy?

              Thanks for Sharing!

                Remember my last post? I went shopping at the local Scout Shop and bought several closeout items, some for actual use, and some for the collection. I left one item out of that article, the one that was rolled up in the tube. It was something I thought the troop could find useful. In fact, it was something the troop has not used for several years, but as the advancement coordinator I thought it night be time to use one again. What is it? It is a troop advancement chart with the current requirements listed.

                When I was in the Scout Shop I stopped at the advancement chart rack to see if the B.S.A. had come out with a new chart yet. I found a few of the old advancement charts, a lot of Cub Scouting charts, and a few posters, but not a current advancement requirement chart. So I asked Jenny, who was working the at the store, if one was available. She told me there was and we walked back to the rack. I felt like a fool when she showed me the new chart hanging on the wall above the rack. I never even noticed it when I was looking. My eyes were on the advancement rack’s contents, not the wall.

                She looked through the rack for the new advancement chart. She did not find one. Well, now I felt a little better. She checked the computer and it said they had three of them. She went to the back room and found them. The chart is not small. It measures 36″ wide by 23″ high. It will not fit on the old chart’s piece of hardboard. I was quite happy with the price which was only $2.49.

                I wish I had a larger picture to show you. I guess you will just have to go to the nearest Scout Shop and see it for yourself.

                chartnew

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                Thanks for Sharing!