Posts Tagged ‘Activity’


Scouts and SmokeySix Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68, along with two adult Scout leaders, joined 170,000 other people on Saturday, August 24, at the great Minnesota Get Together, otherwise known as the State Fair. Despite the hot temperatures and the high humidity, the Scouts had a great time exploring the buildings, eating food on a stick, and experiencing the rides at the midway. The Scouts also made a quick stop at the Northern Star Council’s Adventure spot, only to discover it was more designed for Cub Scouts than Boy Scouts. A short stop at Cabelas in Rogers was an extra bonus attraction.

 

 

IMG_4496The Boy Scouts join other people in viewing the pond stocked with dozens of native fishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scout BoothThe Northern Star Council “Adventure Summit” was very popular with the Cub Scout age children. Our Boy Scouts were a little disappointed it was not meant for them.

Does your troop visit your state fair?

 

 
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Cub Scout Gingerbread housesHere it is, the last post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast for the year of 2012. The goal has always been to post at least one video each month, or at least twelve per year. This podcast will keep that twelve per year goal.

When the Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68 met for their December pack meeting, they knew it was going to be fun. The parents knew it could get a bit messy. The cubmaster knew he had a lot of baking to do. The Cub Scouts, along with help from their parents, were going to make gingerbread houses and decorate them with lots of candies, crackers, and other building accessories. Each one ended up being a masterpiece, but a couple of them did not make it home in one piece. I think they could have used a little more mortar (frosting) to hold them together.

This video post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast includes video of the boys and their parents creating the houses and photos of the Cub Scouts with their finished projects. It is eight minutes long. I hope you enjoy it. Maybe this would be a good project for your Cub Scout Pack next Christmas.

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A few years ago the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 spent a month introducing themselves to the world of geocaching. One parent came to the meetings and showed the Scouts how it was done, and worked with them to find two geocaches located nearby our meeting place. This month, the troop once again visited that monthly theme, but this time brought in a merit badge councilor to help them earn one of the newest merit badges of the Boy Scouts of America (introduced in 2010). For many of the Scouts, this was a new experience and they enjoyed their first hunt during the meeting.

Yesterday, the troop held an outing to work on the merit badge requirements and find the half dozen or so caches in Melrose. Unfortunately, only one Scout showed up for the activity. Sports seemed to be the reason most of the others did not attend, although we discovered one Scout forgot about it and planned something else. Well, the one Scout, the scoutmaster, and the assistant scoutmaster went around town looking for the hidden treasures and found most of them. And they learned a few things. And the Boy Scout and the leaders and a good time.

The Scout and his father, the scoutmaster, stopped by my house when they had finished their searches. Scoutmaster Jim had a few questions about scoutmastering and the Scout was excited to share his day’s experiences. In fact, I got caught up in his enthusiasm and before you knew it we were planning to create our own cache in town. I found an old 35mm film canister. We put a paper in it for a log and a red 68 numeral patch to represent our troop. We named it “Scout By Numbers” and found a great place for it near the river in town. Then we posted it to geocaching.com to let others know about it. We are hoping that other Boy Scouts hunt for our cache and trade their troop number patch for ours.

The Scout was so exited about creating a new cache that I believe he will be creating one or two of his own. I just wish the others boys in the troop would have participated in the outing so they could have had the fun that geocaching offers.

Has your troop done any geocaching? Have any of your boys earned the merit badge?

This month’s troop outing was to be one day filled with several activities. The LPMRB, as it has become known by the Boy Scouts of Troop 68, starts with rollerskating and laser tag at the Skatin’ Place in St. Cloud, about 35 miles from Melrose. After a stop at Godfather’s Pizza, we would arrive at the Parkwood 18 movie theater to watch the latest flick. We end the day back in Melrose at Melrose Bowl for a few games of late night bowling. We gather at noon and the day ends about 1:00 am.

We had a problem this year. A snowstorm moved into the area Saturday morning. By the time the Boy Scouts arrived at my house we had received reports that I-94  was closed near Albany, about 15 miles away from town, due to an accident and cars that had slid into the ditch. Parents commented that the road conditions were not very good. They had reached top speeds of only 35 mph on the rural roads.

It was time to come up with a Plan B for the outing. Obviously, we would not be going to St. Cloud. We were not going to completely cancel the outing because everyone had already arrived. We gathered in the living room and discussed our options. It did not take long to come up with a new agenda.

The boys would spend the afternoon at my house playing ping pong, darts, Wii games, and other games. For supper we would head uptown to John Dough’s, a local pizza house. We would go to a movie (Puss In Boots) in Sauk Centre which was located only 8 miles away. The evening would still end at Melrose Bowl. We would miss rollerskating and laser tag, but the rest of the outing would still take place.

The Boy Scouts received a bonus after watching the movie. The movie theater manager took the troop into one of the projection booths to see the film and digital projectors. He explained how they worked and then answered the Scouts’ questions. I believe it was the first time that most of them had ever seen this type of equipment. I think they enjoyed the quick tour.

By the time 1:00 am arrived at the bowling alley the boys were ready to go home. It had been a long but fun filled day. And to tell the truth, I do not think they missed rollerskating.

During a pack meeting last spring, the Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68, along with their fathers, played with some marshmallows and spaghetti to create towers and things. The boys were actually working on a requirement for one of their awards, but I do not think they realized it. They were having fun, and that was all that mattered. A couple of the Cub Scouts decided to find out how much weight their towers could support. A scale and some rocks were brought out. It surprised the boys and their fathers to see how many rocks the towers could carry. At the end of the meeting, one group of Cubs decided it was time to demolish their tower. It was a great way to end this video of Melrose Scout Productions.

Have you tried this activity in your den or pack? If so, how did the Scouts enjoy it?

Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
Or watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTunes (and rate the show)
or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
Leave feedback here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

(This is part 2 of an article about the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 and the role playing game of Dungeons and Dragons.)

To many of the Boy Scouts who have played Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) in my fictional world of Tenne the countries of Givemea, Acirema, and Minta are almost as real as Brazil, Germany, and Egypt. They know the cities of Givemea, Pleasantville, and Dogrum almost as well as Sauk Centre, St. Cloud, or Duluth. Games have been played in the forest, the desert, the plains, and the mountains.

When a new player begins playing I will usually start him out with a human character. Once he has joined in several games and learned the basics of the game he may chose to create another character of a different race. Elves and half-elves have been the most popular, but there have been dwarves, halflings, and gnomes. There have even been a couple half-orcs. My world is based on the first edition books so there are probably fewer races available to players then the current fourth edition books.

One feature of Dungeons and Dragons that I like as both a gamemaster and a scoutmaster is that the boys usually have to work together as a team to accomplish the game’s objective. They have to help each other battle the monsters. They have to brainstorm ideas to solve the riddles and traps. They need to protect each other through many situations.

Sometimes I like to add a special theme to a game to see how the boys will react in different circumstances. Some of those topics have included racism, chauvinism, homeless children, and slavery. It has been interesting to see how they handle these topics.

It has been fun to watch the development of villains in my world. Most of them only last for one game, but two villains have become legendary. Brutus, the human, and Gary, the green dragon, are villains that were designed to be in only one game but somehow became bigger, badder, and more villainous. Each became so powerful through various games that each were around for nearly a year’s worth of games before they were finally defeated.

Several of the boys have taken the time to write stories based on their character’s adventures. Those stories have been posted to a subsection of our troop’s website and to a special forum that has recently been created so the boys can post the stories themselves. The stories can be found HERE (site) or HERE (forum). Take a moment to read them. The boys have written them from their characters point of view.

I was nineteen when I was introduced to a roll playing game called Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). A couple of my high school friends and I would get together on weekend when we were home from college and play a game at Chuck’s house. He had been introduced to the game by his college friends and he was eager to introduce this world of fantasy role play to Neil and me. We had a great time hanging out with each other during those games.

After I became an adult leader of Boy Scout Troop 68 I wondered if the Scouts would be interested in playing D&D. I talked to a few of them and they thought it sounded like fun, so I learned how to be a dungeon master (game master) and began to create dungeons and a world they could explore.

I will never forget the first game I hosted. Two of the Boy Scouts played. We created their characters and began the game, which only lasted for fifteen minutes before those characters were killed by monsters. I learned a lot about being a game master during that short time. I had managed the game by the rule books. I needed to use the books more as guidelines and fit them to the gameplay. Once I began doing that the games lasted longer and they were more fun. More boys wanted to get in on the action. Nearly 100 boys have played in my world during the last thirty years.

The realm of Tenne, the world of my D&D games, has grown to have quite a history. While many games are the simple explore the dungeon variety, there have been quite a few quests and other types of adventures. Villains have come and gone, giants fought, and dragons killed. There have even been wars between countries and gods. Some of the player’s characters have become legendary. Some of the games have become a part of the lore of Tenne, passed down from one group of players to the next.

To this day I am still amazed at how the boys, and sometimes myself, can get caught up in the game. They become very attached to their characters. They can recall events from past games that I have completely forgotten. When the guys who played in the 1980′s get together, they talk about their games with such clarity that it almost seems like it was a Scout camping trip they attended. Many of them still have their character sheets just in case they get the call to play again when they come back to town.

Most of the D&D games I host begin at 6:30 in the evening and end near midnight. Of course, there have been shorter games and some that last quite long. The longest game was a twelve hour marathon. We all got so caught up in the adventure that no one was watching the time.

Sometimes I have to remind the Boy Scouts that D&D is not a part of the Scouting program, but I have been known to use the promise of a game as incentive to get the patrol or troop to earn advancement or complete a project well. There have been many times while sitting around a campfire that the boys have discussed past games and strategies for future games.

(…to be continued.)

There has been a message that has been going around the internet for a few years already. Last week it appears as a column in the local newspaper. You may have already seen this, but I wanted to post it anyway because I grow up during this time period and can relate to it. I have seen it titled “The Things We Survived”. I do not know who originally wrote it but I congratulate them on capturing the spirit of the times.

To all the kids (and Scouters) who survived the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads. As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren’t overweight.

Why? Because we were always outside playing, that’s why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. — And, we were okay.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

We had friends, and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and – although we were told it would happen – we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.


If you are one of those born between 1925-1970, congratulations!

So, are you a survivor?