lions club logoThe Melrose Lions Club is one of several service organizations that do a great job of helping our community. They also support our Boy Scout troop. While our troop’s usual fundraisers raise enough money for our regular program needs The Lions, VFW Post, and American Legion help us out when it is time to replace equipment like tents and dining flies.

Once a year, the Melrose Lions invites community volunteers to a dinner to recognize them for their service and commitment. Members of the fire department, the ambulance corps, and the police reserve attend along with members of the local food shelf, Project Give-A-Gift, Scouting, and others.

Three adult leaders from Boy Scout Troop 68 attended this year’s meal held on Wednesday, April 23rd. Scoutmaster Jim, Assistant scoutmaster Eymard, and myself as a committee member enjoyed a great meal of chicken, dressing, mash potatoes with gravy, corn, and a choice of cookie. Joining us at the table were members of the police reserve and a couple members from the Lions Club.

It was a good night of fun and fellowship, and nice to be recognized for the many hours of service we all donate to our community. I would like to thank the members of the Melrose Lions club, and also thank them for all their support of Scouting over the years.

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    Internet_ExplorerI admit it. I am an Apple guy. My home computer is a 2007 Mac Pro. My last three computers were Apples. I own three versions of the iPod. I use my iPad several times each day. But I do not own an iPhone. At least not yet.

    What this all means is that I do not use Internet Explorer. IE has not been available on Macs for probably ten years or more. I do occasionally use it at work, when I am forced to. This also means that there are portions of the B.S.A. website that I cannot access from my home computer since you have to use IE to get to them. For example, advancement recording.

    This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Why in this day and age would a such a large organization create a website, or portions of a site, that are useable by only one browser? This makes absolutely no sense to me, unless Microsoft paid them to do it. Hmmmm…

    When I heard this past weekend that their is a major fault with Internet Explorer that could allow a hacker to remotely take over a computer I thought of the B.S.A. websites, and had a chuckle. When I heard on the radio this morning that the Homeland Security office is advising people not to use IE I had another chuckle. Thousands of Scouting families could be putting their computers at risk due to a flaw in the Microsoft program.

    Granted, from the sounds of it this risk should not apply to the Scouting websites. But could another fault be found that could make using those sites a risk? It seems that IE has had more then it fair share of problems over the years. Once again I ask, why would anyone tie their website to a browser that has had so many problems, and a browser that is not usable to many home computers?

    I do not plan to ever buy a Windows based computer for my home which means until the B.S.A. opens their whole website to all browsers I will not be able to access portions of it. If the B.S.A. does not feel that my access to their complete website is important, then so be it. I will continue to chuckle every time I hear about a new security risk about IE.

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      2015RipleyFlyerThe 2014 council wide Ripley Rendezvous is now a part of history, but the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 can already look forward to attending a bigger and better rendezvous in 2015. Next year will be time for the Area-Wide Ripley Rendezvous which will bring Boy Scouts from all over the state of Minnesota, and a few Scouts from neighboring states, to the central Minnesota National Guard base. I believe at least four councils, if not five, work together to plan this activity.

      There will be three programs provided for the Boy Scouts, based on the Scouts’ age. The Extreme Program, for ages 14 and older will include Military Demonstrations, Team Challenges, Obstacle Course, Biathlon Course, Climbing & Rappelling, and a Zip Line. The Adventure Program, for 13 and older, will include Military Demonstrations, Hunting Instructionals, North Range Shooting Sports, Tomahawk Throw, Voyageurs Reenactment Group, and Historical Firearms Demos. The Action Center, open to all Scouts, will include Hands-On Activities/Displays, Rocket Launching, Outdoor Skills Training, Military Equipment, DNR & State Patrol Demos, and Pro Fishing Celebrities.

      Special events for the weekend include Interactive Drone Flights, Military Honor Guard, MN Military Museum Tours (which is a favorite of our Boy Scouts), a Saturday Night Stage Show, Saturday Night Fireworks, and a Celebrity Fun Run. The Trading Post will be loaded with all kinds of goodies and special weekend souvenirs.

      This event will be held on May 15-17, 2015. The cost per participant in only $45, which is not too bad considering the program offered. Troops will set up camp in a jamboree style setting.

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        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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