Posts Tagged ‘outing’

The very first time Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 played disc golf was when they attended a week at Crow Wing Scout Reservation in the summer of 1981. The camp had a nine hole course set up near the beach area. There were not any baskets at this course 37 years ago. The Boy Scouts had to hit poles with their discs in order to complete a hole.

Things have changed in the sport since that first camp. Disc golf courses now have baskets and many have tee pads. Many Boy Scout camps have courses, as do many towns and cities. The sport has been growing and tournaments are held in several central Minnesota cities.

The Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have enjoyed the sport since those early years in the 1980’s. In fact, for the last few years, the troop has held a disc golf marathon as one of their monthly activities. They will usually play at two or three courses in central Minnesota, taking up most of a Saturday morning and afternoon.

This year’s marathon took the Scouts to three courses in the area, including two that have been recently installed. This year’s marathon, which was held on April 21st, began at the course in Albany, at which the twelve Scouts played a round of 18 holes. After lunch they moved on to the new Upsala course which was installed last summer. The final nine holes were played at the Long Prairie course, which was created a few years ago.

The Scouts kept their scores at all three courses. After the last disc was thrown, all the scores were added together to create a marathon total. The three Scouts with the best marathon score each received a three pack of disc golf discs. This year’s best scores were (3rd place) Jacob, (2nd) Luke, and (1st) Carter. Even though not every Scout received a prize, they did all agree they had fun and a great time.

kayakingI have heard from several people how fun kayaking can be, but I never really tried it. Well, not until earlier this month. My sister and her son invited me along on a kayak trip down the Sauk River, which runs through Melrose, Minnesota. They planned to start from the Sauk River Park in town and get out just south of New Munich, a small town located about five miles from Melrose. I had nothing planned for that Sunday so I decided to go along, if they could find a kayak for me to use. Ben, my nephew, made a phone call and found one very quickly.

It was a great time and a perfect day to spend on the river. The current was slow since we have not had a good rain for awhile. There were a lot of downed trees in the river but we only had to portage once. For most of the trip you did not see many signs of civilization. We even got to see and eagle and a deer. The trip took a little longer then expected. We thought it would be a three hour trip. It actually ended up being four hours. No one really cared though. It was a lot of fun.

As I was paddling down the river I thought to myself that this would be a fun activity for the Boy Scout troop. They have been canoeing a couple times during the last five years but never have they been kayaking. I can honestly say that I think I prefer kayaking to canoeing. I have found it is a little harder to get out of a kayak though. If the troop decided to go on a kayaking weekend trip, I am not sure where they would store their gear. There does not seem to be a whole lot of storage room in a kayak.

My questions to you readers are, “Has your troop been on an overnight kayaking weekend? How did it go? Did the Scouts enjoy it? What did you do about the troop gear?”

disc golf 2013I think the first time I ever played disc golf was in 1981 at Crow Wing Scout Reservation near Nevis, Minnesota. I was a 20 year old assistant scoutmaster attending camp with the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. It was their first time at a week long summer camp. The troop was only a year and a half old.

The Crow Wing disc golf course did not have any baskets like most of today’s courses do. Instead, it had posts in the ground that were numbered. The goal was to hit the post with the frisbee. I believe it was a nine hole course that was placed near the beach.

Over the decades the Boy Scouts have played disc golf when ever a camp presented a course to play, or when we felt like making one of our own. Courses were not found in many cities in our area during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Today, there are several courses found in various city parks within 30 miles of Melrose. Unfortunately, out community does have have a course so we have to leave town to play a game.

During the first few decades of the troop, the Scouts only played disc golf as an occasional activity. As more courses have been created the interest level has gone up. A few of the Scouts now own their own disc sets and have started playing more often.

The sport has become so popular with the troop that this month they held their first disc golf Tri-O. Seven Boy Scouts, along with three adult leaders, played three different 18 hole disc golf courses in one day. They left Melrose Saturday morning for the first game to be played in Albany. Since I had to work that morning I did not join in that first round. I did join the troop after lunch for the games at the St. Joseph Millstream Park course and the Riverside Park course in St. Cloud.

We all had a blast, even though there was a bit of wind, and the water hazards at Millstream Park seemed to attract our discs, as did the many trees at Riverside Park. New Scouts were introduced to the game, while older Scouts worked to improve their skills and scores. One Scout set his goal to beat my score. He was successful, beating me by 2 or 3 throws on each of the courses.

I have a feeling that disc golf will become a regular activity on each yearly program for the next few years. A few Boy Scouts were even talking about playing again as a patrol activity.

Do the Boy Scouts of your troop enjoy playing disc golf?

It has become a tradition of Boy Scout Troop 68. Usually, in February or March, the Scouts pack their gear and head to Camp Stearns for a winter outing. The camp is located in central Minnesota, about an hour from town. It is owned by the Northern Star Council of the Twin Cities. The troop rents a lodge to sleep in but the boys spend plenty of time outside having fun in the winter snow.

This video of the Melrose Scout Productions podcast features a slideshow of the pictures taken at last year’s Camp Stearns outing. The Scouts had a great time at camp. They worked on advancement Saturday morning. After lunch they put on their snowshoes and played 18 holes of disc golf. In the evening they went to the awesome sledding hill. The boys wrapped up the day by watching a movie before hitting the sleeping bags.

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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.

It was a good weekend plan. We would arrive at the campsite Friday night, set up camp, have a relaxing evening, sit around the campfire, and go to bed. After breakfast on Saturday we would work with the younger Boy Scouts on their Tenderfoot Rank, play disc golf, try our luck fishing, go for a pontoon ride, maybe go swimming, and end the day with a campfire. We would take down camp Sunday morning after a quick breakfast and head home for Father’s Day.

The permission slips for the outing were due on Monday, the 21st. Only one Scout, out of ten Scouts, turned in his slip on schedule, but others said they planned to attend. One more turned in his fees on Tuesday, another on Thursday. Food was bought Thursday night for five boys and two adults.

I received a call Friday afternoon in inform me that one Scout was ill and would not attend the outing. I received another call after I got home from work from another boy who told me his mother was ill and that a family function had come up so he would not be going on the campout.  That left only one Scout to go camping Friday night since the other two Scouts planned to join us Saturday morning. After a few phone calls, we decided to change it to a one day event.

Saturday morning arrived. The Boy Scouts were to meet at my house at 8:30 am. Only one arrived on time, and he came alone. His brother was sick that morning and would not be attending. The last Scout arrived 20 minutes late. We were down to only two Scouts and two adults. I was not pleased, but there was nothing I could do about it.

We stuck to our Saturday plan. We worked on advancement. We played disc golf. We went for a pontoon ride around the lake. We caught a few fish. We enjoyed eating some-mores around the campfire. It was an enjoyable day for everyone involved.

Unfortunately, food for four people for four meals had been bought. We do not have any other weekend outings planned until August. The dried good will keep of course, but other foods will have to be used.

As a scoutmaster I was disappointed with the turnout, only two for ten. I realize that I have no control over sickness and family activities, but it is still frustrating. I will get over it though. Summer camp is coming in July and we have a decent group attending that.