Posts Tagged ‘competition’


Vintage Boy Scout PatrolFor the last several years Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose was holding on to life with a small group of Scouts, only about 8 of them. The Cub Scout Pack has also had a rough time recruiting members which meant that the troop has only had 2 Webelos Scouts transfer to the troop during the last 7 years. Due to that low number there has only been one patrol.

The Boy Scouts really went out this year and tried to recruit their friends into the troop, and they have been quite successful. They have brought six more boys into the program. The troop now has 13 members. That means there is too many for one patrol so for the first time in seven(?) years we have two patrols, which the Scouts formed last month.

The patrol with most of the older boys decided to keep the existing patrol name, the Border Patrol. The mostly younger boy patrol has decided to call themselves the Striking Cobras. Last week I presented the patrols with a competition. A patrol needs a patrol flag, of course, so I gave them the challenge to come with the best patrol flag. The flags will be judged at the  court of honor to be held on December 23 by myself and two committee members. The patrol with the best flag will be presented with the Best Of Flag prize, which will be something they can eat.

During the troop meeting tonight the patrols spent their patrol meeting time working on the designs of those flags. It looked like both patrols are taking the competition seriously. If fact, the members of the Border Patrol did not even want me to see the various rough drafts of their flag design. I just smiled to myself as I walked away.

Having more then one patrol in the troop has been a learning experience for both the Scouts and the new scoutmaster. The boys have learned very quickly that patrols can be used as teams for game time during troop meetings. It will be interesting to see how menu planning and patrol campsites will be done on the next camping trip. I have to admit that it is nice to have one more patrol leader attending the patrol leader council meetings.

I promise that in December, after the court of honor, I will post pictures of the two patrol flags. Maybe I will have you readers be the judges of an online vote for your favorite flag.

Melrose Scout Productions Podcast

Nearly every spring in the past twenty years the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have spent a weekend at Camp Watchamagumee, usually in May. The camp is actually privately owned forty acres found north of Melrose. The land owners have allowed the troop to clear out campsites and create our own camp setting. The site currently has three patrol sites, an adult leader site, a scoutcraft open area, a treehouse, and a troop campfire area. We camp near a small pond. A short hike from the campsites is an open field in which the troop has played softball, volleyball, and disc golf. It quickly became one of the troop’s favorite camping sites.

A tradition has developed over the years, the annual Egg Drop Competition. Each Boy Scout, or team of Scouts, is given a raw egg. He must build a package for the egg usually only natural materials found around the camp. This package must protect the egg when it is dropped from various heights. The winner is the Scout who’s egg survives the highest drop without breaking. The boys must use their imagination to create a package that will not only withstand the actually drops, but also cushion the egg to keep it from becoming scrambled. I have seen a lot of various packages over the years using a wide variety of materials from bark, grasses, moss, mud, and sticks. This year one Scout even used a cow pattie.

This post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast features the video taken during the 2013 Egg Drop Competition. Six Boy Scouts were part of the contest. An added feature to the rules this year was that the package must fit inside a plastic wash basin. Some boys did very well. Other did not make it past the first round. Watch the video to see who winds and how his package was created.

Oh, and since the new Star Trek movie had hit the theaters the same weekend as the outing I decided to use a Star Trek theme at the start of the video to introduce the Boy Scouts and their packages. Let me know what you think of it.

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flint and steelCamp Watchamagumee was the place to be for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 during the weekend of May 17-19. The six Scouts, including four new members, and two adult leaders may have got a bit damp during the evening hours but they had a lot of fun during the day.

Friday night was a pretty laid back schedule. The troop left Melrose about 6:30 pm. The boys spent the evening setting up camp, reviewing fire safety rules, and enjoyed sitting around the campfire until the first drops of rain send them running for the safety of their tents.

The Scouts had a busy Saturday schedule. After breakfast they worked on their advancement and began building their primitive shelters that would would sleep in that night. It did not take long to discover that the boys did not bring along enough tarps and plastic sheets to build what they wished to build. After a lunch of baked beans and hot dogs roasted over an open fire the troop played a round of nine holes of disc golf.

Saturday afternoon was time for the annual Egg Drop Competition. Each of the Scouts received a raw egg. Their challenge was to create a package for their egg using other natural materials found around the campsite. These packages would than be dropped from higher and higher distances until only one egg remained. Daniel Klassen was this year’s Egg Drop Competition winner. He took home a Boy Scout campfire cooking grille as his prize.

The next event tested the Boy Scouts fire making skills. Each boy was to start a fire and keep it going long enough to burn through a string seven inches above the ground. Matches were not allowed for this contest. The Scouts needed to start their fires using flint and steel. A strong wind turned out to be the villain of this event. Even though the Scouts created hundreds of sparks, the wind blew out many of the flames the boys were hoping to use to start their fires. Alex Engelmeyer was the troop’s winner of this competition.

The boys finished the afternoon by finishing their primitive shelters, playing a couple of games, and making a great supper of fried potatoes and spaghetti and meat sauce. There was not much food left over. The boys had worked up quite an appetite.

A short chapel service was held at 7:30 that evening. This was followed with the boys moving their sleeping bags and pads into their primitive shelters for the night. As the Scouts gathered for the evening campfire they learned a troop song about Camp Watchamagumee, heard the story of the Purple Gorilla, and learned how to protect themselves from a wolfen attack.

Half of the Scouts discovered that their primitive shelters did not do a sufficient job of keeping them dry once the rain showers moved in overnight, but a couple did stay in their shelter for the entire night. Important lessons were learned which will be used the next time they build a shelter, which could be as soon as their June weekend outing.

Attending the Watchamagumee outing were Boy Scouts Alex, Daniel, Zack, Adrian, Sam, and Macoy. Adult leaders for the weekend were Scoutmaster Jim and assistant scoutmaster Eymard. Committee member Steve provided program assistance. The troop would also like to thank Melvin and Vern Klassen for allowing them to use their land for the outing.

More pictures of this outing can be found on the troop’s website.
http://melrosetroop68.org/yearlygalleries/yh13.html#Camp_Watchamagumee .

The Boy Scouts of Troop 68 have been spending a spring weekend at Camp Watchamagumee each year for over twenty years. Many years ago we held a contest during the outing that has since become a Watchamagumee tradition – The Egg Drop Competition. The contest is played individually or by teams; it seems to vary from year to year. Each player, or team, is given a raw egg. Using only natural materials found around the campsite they are to create a package that will protect the egg when the package is dropped. No man made materials are allowed to create the package. The winner of the competition is the one whose package protects the egg the longest as we drop it from higher and higher heights.

I video recorded the event in the spring of 2012. This post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast features that event. I am not going to give anything away but I will state the the winning package was thrown from the top of a step ladder onto a concrete patio block. Did the egg break? You will have to watch the video to discover that answer. (This video is about 20 minutes long.)

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