Posts Tagged ‘flag’

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.

2001 National Jamboree Flag, Troop 1417I was the scoutmaster for one of two troops the Central Minnesota Council sent to the 2001 National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. I had three wonderful assistant scoutmasters, a fantastic group of youth leaders, and a great group of Boy Scouts in Troop 1417. At the reunion gathering held a month after the Jamboree I told the parents that I never want to be a scoutmaster for another Jamboree troop again, because this troop set the bar so high and behaved so well that I felt I would never again get another batch of Scouts like this. Troop 1417 was nearly a perfect Boy Scout troop.

Scoutmaster Mike of Jamboree Troop 1418 and I received quite a surprise during that reunion gathering. The chairperson of the Jamboree committee came forward to speak to the Boy Scouts and their parents about the Jamboree experience, and to present Mike and I with a couple tokens of appreciation. The first was a nice looking plaque which now hangs on my wall with other Scouting honors. The other was the troop’s flag used for the Jamboree.

Mike and I both glanced at each other when we were presented with the flags. I do not know if he expected it, but I did not. My first thought was “What am I going to do with this? It is huge!”  I thought it would be better to display it at the council office, or in the ceiling rafters of the Scout Shop. I have no place to hang something like this.

Twelve years have now passed since that reunion. To tell the truth, even though the flag is nicely folded in the tote that stores my Jamboree stuff, it is now probably my most prized part of the collection. After all, it is a one of a kind item. There is only one flag for Troop 1417 from the 2001 National Jamboree.

But you know what really adds value to this flag, at least in my eyes? Nearly every member of Troop 1417 signed their name along the white border on the right edge of the flag. I only have two items in my collection that are signed by the Scouts and troop leadership, the troop tee shirt (mentioned in a previous article) and the troop’s flag. They are very special.

My question is this. Is it a tradition in your council for Jamboree troop members to sign the troop flag and present it to the scoutmasters of the troop?

The Melrose Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were recently invited to participate in a United Sates flag disposal ceremony by the local American Legion. Three of our six Boy Scouts were able to attend, along with one of the Girl Scouts.

The ceremony began shortly before dusk. Members of five American Legion clubs were in attendance, along with some local citizens who brought flags to be retired. The ceremony was very dignified. Unfortunately, due to the wind and my location, I was not able to hear much of what was being said.
The Scout’s part of the ceremony was to unload the flags from the vehicle and present them to the American Legion members who inspected the flags before their final disposal into the fire barrel. The Scouts were also allowed to place a few flags into the barrel, which I think helped to bring the impact of the ceremony closer to home.
The local media was also in attendance. The Melrose Beacon and the Sauk Centre Herald sent reporters. The local television cable access station, Mel-TV, was on hand to videotape the event. I look forward to seeing if the Boy Scouts made it into any pictures posted in the newspapers or were captured on the video.