Posts Tagged ‘collection’


Scouting Village 2013It is finished. I have set up my Scouting Village for the 2013 Christmas season. What do you think of it?

The village fills a 2.5 foor by 3.5 foot sheet of plywood. It contains the 2012 and 2013 collection pieces. Except for the Trading Post, that is. But at least I have two Ranger Cabins. ( I am still a little upset with myself over that.) I also bought two lighted tents because a campsite is just not a troop campsite with only one tent. I set the church higher than the rest because it is a smaller scale. I thought it might help it look further away and more in proportion to the rest of the scene. The campsite is across the river from base camp because I do not think a troop would want to camp next to the busiest part of camp.

The “snow” was picked up at a hobby store. The blue river is simply felt paper. The scene contains two sets of the trees from the Scouting Village collection. The rest of the trees came from my Dept. 56 Dickensville collection. I think the trees really add to the looks of the campsite. I also found a little wood pile which fits well with the Boy Scout cutting wood for the evening fire.

Have you set up your Scouting Village yet? How does it look? Send a picture or two to me and I will feature it in a post to this blog.
Click on the pictures to see the scene in more detail.

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I wonder what pieces will be added to the village next year. I bet I will need a bigger sheet of plywood.

I screwed up. I took out all my Scouting Village pieces this afternoon to set them up for Christmas. I was kind of excited because not only was I able to get all of this year’s pieces but my local Scout Shop was able to find the piece I missed from last year, the lighted Ranger’s Cabin. I thought I would be able to set up the whole collection!

I was wrong.

I discovered that I now own two Ranger’s Cabins. I was not missing the cabin. I was missing last year’s Trading Post! Arrrrrggggg! I should have looked in the cabinet one more time before I had the Scout Shop find me the piece I thought I was missing. I am rather upset with myself. I thought I would be able to post a picture to this blog featuring both year’s collections.

I took a quick look on eBay and did not like what I found. People are selling the $12.99 Trading Post for $75.00 as a starting bid. The cheapest bidding I found was for $40.00, but there are three days left in the auction so I know where that is going. One seller posted a Trading Post as a “buy it now” purchase of $129.00. Sorry, but I am not interested in paying that much for one piece. This are not Dept. 56 Village pieces, you know.

Well, I guess my Scouting village will have two Ranger’s Cabins. I will have to pretend that one is used as a trading post.

More Boy Scout patches for the collection.

More Boy Scout patches for the collection.

I served as the scoutmaster for one of the two troops that the Central Minnesota Council sent to the 2001 National Jamboree. That trip to Fort A.P. Hill was one of the highlights of my Scouting tenure. It also was a reason to begin another Scouting themed collection. (As if I really needed another one.) I began collecting 2001 Jamboree patches and other memorabilia. I have a medium sized tote in the closet filled with stuff from this event.

Today I was lucky enough to score a small collection of 23 council shoulder patches (csp) from this event. I think I already have 3 or 4 of these in the notebook but the others will nicely fill in part of the void in the collection. The doubles may allow me to actually do some trading instead of purchasing. The new ones will create to need to start another binder or get a larger one.

Have you been to a National Jamboree? Did you trade and collect patches? How many do you have in your collection?

scouttoys1950I subscribe to the eBay Scouting Hot Finds Newsletter that is done by Jason Spangler. While most of the eBay auctions featured are for various patches once in awhile he lists something new that catches my eye. Today was one of those days. There is an auction that ends today for a 1950s MARX TIN LITHO CABIN, WITH SCOUTS AND ACCESSORIES. It is like a toy soldier action playset except that it features Boy Scouts figures at a summer camp setting. It features a scoutmasters cabin with 16 scouts, 29 different pieces of accessories and 14 North American wildlife figures. I never knew something like this existed. At the time I write this the bid is at $222 with six and a half hours left to go. The picture shown here is an overall view of the playset but more pictures are posted to the action that show more details. Check it out at http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261187177809

While I would love to have this as a part of my Scouting collection but it is already out of my price range. (My scoutmaster pension was not as much as I had hoped for. jk) Of course, you never know. Maybe I have a reader of this blog who would like to purchase this set and give it to me as a present.

It could happen.

UPDATE: The playset sold for $255.00.

scout dvd movie collectionLike many Scout leaders and families I have collected a few Scouting-themed movies over the years. I know my collection is far from complete but it does contain some of what we could call “classics”.

Scouts To The Rescue, starring a young Jackie Cooper, is the only VHS tape I own for this collection. It is a twelve part series from many decades ago, 1938. Cooper plays an Eagle Scout of a troop which finds a buried treasure which turns out to be a stash of counterfeit money. Unfortunately, It is the only movie of my collection I have not watched yet since I bought it after I got rid of my VHS player for my television. Some day I will have to transfer it to dvd.

Mr. Scoutmaster is a 1953 comedy featuring Clifton Webb as a television personality who becomes a scoutmaster to learn more about teenage boys when his tv show begins to lose ratings. I saw this on tv a couple decades ago and found someone on eBay who was selling DVD copies. Today there are several online stores which sell this movie.

Follow Me Boys is probably the most well known movie about Scouting. It was released by Disney in 1966 and features Fred MacMurray as he serves as a scoutmaster for twenty years with the same troop. A young Kurt Russell is a member of that Boy Scout Troop. I first saw this movie in 1984 when I attended scoutmaster training at Philmont Scout Ranch. I quickly picked up a copy when it came out on DVD. This movie belongs in everyone’s Scouting collection.

The Wrong Guys is a 1988 movie which features popular comedians of the time, including Louie Anderson, Richard Lewis, and Richard Belzer. The plot follows a group of men who where members of a Cub Scout den in their youth as they gather for a camping reunion. Of course, none of them know much about camping. And to top it off, a couple of escaped convicts get mixed up in the story. Not a strong plot but still fun to watch.

Down And Derby is a comedy with a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby at the core of its story. Or I should say how some fathers take a Pinewood Derby too far and try to win no matter what the cost. This 2005 movie features Greg German and Pat Morita. This family film is a great one for this time of year as packs across the country prepare for their own Pinewood Derby. One of my favorite lines from the movie is when one of the Cub Scouts says that he cannot wait to grow up so he can race his own car.

Pixar’s Up really is not a movie about Scouting but has a main charater that is 100 percent Boy Scout, or should I say Wilderness Scout? Some of Russell’s (the Scout) Scouting knowledge comes in handy as he and the old man Carl have an adventure that takes them to South America. The movie pokes fun of Scouting but does it gently and with respect. This movie is a must for a Scout collection.

Scout Camp, The Movie came out in 2009. It follows the adventures of one Boy Scout troop during their week at summer camp. While some people did not feel that this was a very good movie about Scouting, after all, the Scouts do not always follow the Scout Oath and Law (sound familiar?), I enjoyed it as a fun story. I was surprised to see a wide number of Scouts-types in the film who I could identify as members of my own troop over the years. There was also one or two scenes that struck home a little too closely.

759: Boy Scouts Of Harlem is a 2009 documentary filmed by Justin Szlasa and Jake Boritt as they follow four Boy Scouts from Harlem troop when they attended summer camp. The newest Scout, eleven-year-old Keith, spends his first week at camp and faces the challenges of the woods: the dock test in the deep lake, creatures of the night, and the climbing tower. The film is well done and you really get to know the boys and their leaders during the film.

The last film of my collection is the Philmont Documentary Collection. If you have been to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico you need to have this DVD in your collection. I feel it really captures the sense of what it is like being at the ranch. It not only gives the viewer an in-depth history of Philmont but also follows a Venture co-ed crew and they partake in a twelve day trek. I call this dvd the best thing next to being there. Be sure to purchase the blu-ray version of the film for your HiDef television.

Which of these movies do you have in your collection? Which ones am I missing?

I wrote an article last month about the new collectable lighted miniature buildings being sold on the scoutstuff.com website. There were three pieces available: the Ranger’s Cabin, the Trading Post, and the Church. I liked the looks of the ranger’s cabin and the trading post, but I was not really impressed with the church.

A couple weeks later I noticed the ranger’s cabin had been removed from the website. Boy, I thought, they must be sold out already. I wonder how many they made. It did not bother me because I did not plan to buy the pieces anyway.

Last Saturday, I called the council Scout Shop and just for the fun of it I asked if they still had a Ranger’s Cabin. They did, and suddenly I had a change of mind. I decided I wanted the three pieces. I had the shop set the cabin aside and told them I would pick it up on Tuesday before the roundtable meeting.

When I arrived Tuesday, they had the Ranger’s Cabin and the Church but they were out of the Trading Post buildings. They were trying to get more in so I bought the other two buildings. I could always buy the Trading Post online, I thought.

I checked the Scout Stuff website when I returned home and discovered the Trading Post was no longer available. Two of the three pieces were now sold out. I called the council Scout Shop Wednesday morning and was told that they were having difficulty finding more Trading Posts, but they were still trying. Two other people were also on they waiting list for the same piece.

Yesterday, Friday, I called the shop again and was told they still do not have an answer as to whether they will be receiving any more of the buildings. I explained that I would really like to have the three piece set. She understood, asked if I could give her another week, and told me that if she could not find any I could return the pieces I had bought.

Now the wait begins. Do I begin my lighted “Scouting Village” with all three pieces or do I return them and forget about starting a new collection? I guess I will have the answer next weekend.

Have you purchased any of the pieces? What do you think of them?

Fifteen years ago I collected pieces of the Department 56 Dickens Village Collection, the Christmas Carol pieces in particular. For a few years I enjoyed setting up my buildings around Christmas time, and I believe people enjoyed it when they paid a visit to my home. It was a lot of work setting it up because I hard a fair number of building, trees, people, and other pieces. It also took up a fair portion of my living room. After a few years I quit setting it up and no longer added pieces to the collection. It now sits in a cabinet in the basement.

I noticed that this year the Boy Scouts of America store at scoutstuff.org has begun their own Scouting Village collection. This first year (?) begins with three pieces for Scouts and Scouters to own: the lighted Chapel House, the lighted Trading Post, and the lighted Camp Ranger Cabin. (Click on the links to go to the scoutstuff.org page.)

I like the Trading Post and the Ranger Cabin, but I have never been at a Scout camp that has a small enclosed church. Even here in Minnesota the Scout camp chapels are usually outing settings, like a campfire ring, or a building open on at least three sides to keep the outdoors feel to the service. In other words, your rain jacket may be required at your religious services. But maybe I am looking this the incorrectly. The website states, “A yard sign beside the steps proudly boasts the message “Scouts Meet Here.” so maybe this is meant to be a troop meeting place.

I wonder how long the Scout Shop plans to continue with this series, and how many pieces it plans to release each year. Are the pieces to be sold for one only year, with new pieces introduced each year? Will there be “people” pieces? Trees and shrubbery? Tents, beach fronts, and climbing towers? The buildings have snow on them so I would guess there will not be any beach front pieces.

I cannot help but think that this series is about ten years too late. Are the various village collections even popular anymore? Am I just out of the loop? Oh well, at least the Scouting Village pieces are reasonably priced at only $12.99 each. I think they could make for fun Christmas presents. What do you think about them?

Boy Scout patch blanket

When you have been involved in Scouting for as long as I have (over 32 years) you end up accumulating a lot of patches. Some are earned by simply attending a Scouting event. Others are earned by being on staff for an activity. Others have requirements that must be completed before being awarded. And finally, there are those that you buy just because they look cool. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “A Scout (or Scouter) will do anything for a patch.”

I probably have nearly 200 Scout related patches. For many years I stapled them to a four foot by four foot sheet of paneling and hung it on the wall. The patches were placed in rows, by year in the order I received them. I was fun to be able to view all the patches at one time. It was a colorful item used in some of the Scouting displays I would place around town during Boy Scout anniversary week in February.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, I ran out of room on the patch board. I had teased the Boy Scouts that when the board was full it would be time for me to retire from Scouting. The last patch was stapled to the board in 2005. I remained as scoutmaster (until the end of 2011) and currently serve as a committee member. I guess you could say the board really did not have any say on when I would retire from the Scout program.

I now have a problem. I have a lot more patches that need a home. I also need wall space to hang photos, art prints, and other items. It is time for the old patch board to come down off the wall, but I really have no place to store it. It may be time to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is time to create a patch blanket. Or two. Yep, definitely two blankets.

Several Christmases ago my sister gave me a Scout blanket as a present. A few years ago a couple Eagle Scouts gave me another Scout blanket as a gift. Last year I received a third Scout blanket at another Eagle court of honor. I guess I have enough blankets to make this work.

Tonight I began taking patches off the board and started placing them on the first blanket, which happens to be a Boy Scouts of America 100th anniversary design. I am placing more patches on it them I originally thought I would be able to place on it. I think it is going to look pretty sharp. I am far enough along to see that I will need two blankets for all the patches.

There is one major problem with my plan. I do not sew. I hate sewing. I am not good at it. And I do not plan to get good at it. I think I will use some Badge Magic to hold the patches in place and take them to a person in town has a sewing business in her home. I realize it will cost me some bucks to have this done put I think it is going to be well worth it. I plan to ask her if she can put a couple loops at the top of the blanket so that I could hang it on a wall or rod. This way I could continue to use it as part of Scouting displays.

What do you think about my first blanket? Do you have a patch blanket? I would appreciate hearing your comments.

Here is what is left on the board yet.