Posts Tagged ‘party’

The Boy Scouts of Melrose Area Troop 68 have held a Christmas party every year since the early 1980’s. It is an activity which is well attended because we have a lot of fun. Thirteen of the fifteen troop members attended this year’s party which was held on Saturday, December 15th. Four second year Webelos Scouts also attended the event.

The evening began at 5:30 pm with a supper of tacos. Most of the Scouts were quite hungry since they had spend the day downhill skiing at Andes Ski Resort near Alexandria.

The first activity was the gift exchange. Each Scout who wished to participate bought a gift valued from $12 to $15. All the Scouts participated. Each wrapped gift was placed in the center of the room. The Scouts took turns rolling dice. When they rolled doubles they chose a gift. Once all the gifts were chosen they were unwrapped. Then the real fun began. For the next fifteen minutes we continued to roll dice. When a Scout rolled doubles he could swap his gift with someone else. At the end of the fifteen minutes everyone “received” the gift they had in front of them.

Like every year, there were a few gifts that were very popular and moved around the room quite often. They were also a couple not so popular gifts that also were traded when the chance presented itself. I also participated in the exchange. Once there were only a few minutes of game time left, I became serious about which gift I wanted to take home. I was lucky enough to shake doubles with a little over a minute left, and even luckier to have no one shake doubles to take my chosen prize away from me.

The next activity was unwrapping a gift wrapped with duct tape, while wearing garden gloves. Once again, the Scouts rolled dice to have a chance to unwrap the box. Until the next Scout rolled doubles, that is. The game when the final box was unwrapped. Oh yeah, I did not tell you there were smaller wrapped boxes within the larger boxes.

The final game was a Twister tournament. This was followed by a movie which was a really good high school sports film based on a true story. The Scouts really caught caught up in the movie, even cheering for the team during the final event. The Scouts went home after the movie finished.

Does your troop hold a Christmas outing? What do you do? Leave a note about it in the comments section below.

Your have seen the presentation in the first video. You have heard from the former members of Boy Scout Troop 68 during the next two videos. Now it is time to hear from the retired scoutmaster. In this, the final of four parts of the retirement party, we finally get to hear what Steve has to say after 30 years of serving as the scoutmaster of his home troop. He talks about the Scouts, the parents, the leaders, the committee members, and brings his assistant of 24 years up to the podium.

Steve has not retired from the Scouting program. He still serves as the troop’s treasurer on the committee, attends the occasional troop meeting, and tags along on an outing now and then. He makes sure he is available if the new scoutmaster has any questions.

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If you have been following this blog and the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast you know that two of the four parts of the scoutmaster retirement party video have been posted. Here is the third part. It features more alumni of Boy Scout Troop 68 as they step up to the podium and share their memories of Scouting with Scoutmaster Steve. It features six more gentlemen, of which three earned the rank of Eagle Scout. A few of them are from the first decade of Scoutmaster Steve’s 30 year tenure. One is from the last decade.


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
Leave feedback here, at iTunes.

When the scoutmaster of Troop 68 retired at the end of 2011, the troop committee thought it would be a good idea to throw a retirement party. The party, which was held in February, was well attended. Former troop members from the past 30 years came from as far as a hundred miles away to visit with their retired Scout leader and other troop members. Some of the members had not seen each other for many years. There was a lot of reminiscing and catching up.

Of course, there was a recognition program (which was featured in the previous video of Melrose Scout Productions). Then came the time for anyone to go to the microphone to speak about being a Boy Scout or sharing a story from years gone by. Many of the former troop members took advantage of the opportunity to talk about their Scouting experiences and to maybe speak from the heart of what being a Boy Scout in Scoutmaster Steve’s troop meant to them now that they are adults themselves.

This video is the second of four parts of the retirement party. It is the first of two which feature the former Boy Scouts of Troop 68 as they came to the microphone. One father also decided to share his feelings about the Scouting program in Melrose.

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

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I had been curious for a couple of weeks what the committee had planned for the retirement party. They had been very quiet whenever I was nearby. A great example of this was at the February committee meeting. I make the agenda so I listed the party under old business thinking they night bring up a few things that needed to be discussed. When the time came up one committee member passed a sheet of paper to the new scoutmaster and, well, that was it. There was not a discussion, not a word was said. My attempt to get information had failed.

Finally, the day of the party had arrived. It began at 2:00 in the afternoon with the Boy Scouts, their families, and a few troop alumni present, but people kept coming in. Shortly after 2:45 the Scenic District executive asked people to have a seat, that the program would soon begin. The five rows of tables were not quite filled but soon would be. At 3:00 the district executive, Bob Rueter, called the room to attention and asked everyone to face the flag, and to join him in the Pledge Of Allegiance. Eymard Orth, my assistant scoutmaster of 24 years and the current troop chaplain, gave the invocation.

Mr. Rueter began the ceremony with the presentation of the last leader’s knot I earned as the troop’s scoutmaster, the Unit Leader Award of Merit, followed by a brief speech about his years working with me. Mr. Orth took the podium next sharing stories of our Scouting experiences. Mark Ettel, the troop’s new scoutmaster, spoke for a few minutes and then asked the current Boy Scouts to come forward. He asked me to joined them and gave me a Norman Rockwell print of the Boy Scout standing in front of the flag of the United States of America, as seen with this post.

Mr. Ettel opened the floor for anyone to come forward to say a few words or share a story. Eleven former members of the troop took the opportunity to come to the podium. Every decade of the thirty years was represented. (Watch the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast for upcoming videos of these speeches.)

It was time for me to step up to the microphone. I joked that I could tell a story about everyone of the Scouts present but that we did not have time for that. I did thank the VFW Post 7050 for sponsoring the troop during the last 32 years. I also thanked the American Legion and the Lions Club for supporting the Scouting program. I thanked the parents, especially those who served on the committee and as assistant scoutmasters. Finally, I thanked all the boys and young men who were members of Boy Scout Troop 68 throughout the years. After all, they were they main reason I stayed on as scoutmaster for over 363 months.

I ended my talk by explaining that I had tried to quit at least four times but for some reason I always changed my mind. It was much nicer to be able to say “I retired” then “I quit”.

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with people and former troop members. All in all, it was a great afternoon.

Last Saturday, February 25th, was the day Boy Scout Troop 68 held a party to recognize my thirty years of service as the troop’s scoutmaster. (I retired at the end of last year.) The party was held at the Melrose American legion. It began at 2:00 in the afternoon and lasted 5:00 pm.

The committee planned to begin decorating at 10:00 am. They had asked me if they could use my photo albums and wall hung pictures. Of course, I said they could. I thought it would be fun for any alumni who attended the party to look through the old photographs. I packed up the 36 albums, all the group photos and Eagle Scout portraits that hung on the walls, and a few of the awards I had earned over the years.I added four Boy Scout uniforms to the pile, including the uniform I had worn as a young Boy Scout and the one I wore to the 2001 National Jamboree. Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, also decided he needed to go along.

By the time I finished packing their were over six boxes of stuff representing over 32 years of the Scouting program in Melrose. It was a good thing we had a couple of vehicles to transport it all.

Once everything was carried into the American Legion the question arose of how should we set it up? I did not know what the committee had in mind for the afternoon for at first I just shrugged my shoulders. It soon became evident that no one really knew what to do since none of us had ever done anything like this. I suggested that we make a long line of tables to display the photo books. Someone else suggested that we should keep the tables away from the wall so people can view the books from either side.

That was when we discovered that 36 photo albums take up a lot of room when they are open. It took five eight foot long tables to display the the regular troop albums. At the end of the room we used four more tables for the 8×10 group photos, the high adventure albums, and the three shadow boxes. Two more tables were used to display the Eagle Scout portraits. I think we ended up with 80 or 88 feet of tables filled with photos and other memorabilia.

A couple of small table were set by the entrance. A guest book was there for people to sign as they arrived, along with a basket for cards. People were greeted by Buttons who stood on a table in his Boy Scout uniform. In the back of the room was a television on which a slideshow of our 1989 trip to Philmont Scout Ranch was playing. The four uniforms were hung on the wall behind the podium serving as a backdrop to the speakers. Snacks, cake, and refreshments were placed on a couple other tables.

Five rows of tables were set up in the center of the room. Bowls of candies and pretzels were placed at each table. To tell the truth, I did not think we would need all the tables for people to sit at, but I was wrong.

It took nearly two hours to get everything ready for the party. We all thought it looked impressive with all the albums, photos, and other memorabilia. We looked things over once last time and then left for lunch. Show time was only a couple hours away.

The troop committee and parents have decided to host an open house to celebrate (?) my retirement as the scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 68. I have been told I need to attend this party. They even checked with me to make sure I had the date available so I suppose I will be spending the afternoon of Saturday, February 25, at the local American Legion.

The committee has kept me out of the planning. It is like they do not want my help or something. I do not quite understand. Oh, wait a minute. I have to take that back. They did ask for my help for a couple of items. They wish to invite all troop alumni but they do not know how to contact of them. I have the email addresses for some of them and I am friends with quite a few on Facebook. The committee asked me to contact them and invite them to the open house so I send out an email and posted an event notice to Facebook. I did it but it seemed weird to invite people to a party about me.

The committee is trying to keep me in the dark about what they have been planning. I know it will be three hours long. I recently discovered a post on Facebook about the chance of there being some speeches. A parent has asked that I allow them to use the thirty-some photo albums I have made of troop events through the decades. They also want the pictures of the Troop 68 Eagle Scouts I have hanging on the wall in the Family Room. I thought it was just an afternoon for the current troop and troop alumni but Monday night I happened to see my name on the credit union’s electric outdoor marque so I guess it is open to the public.

A few years ago my siblings and I held an open house for our parents 50th wedding anniversary. My parents were worried that not many people would show up. (Just the opposite happened). Now I know how they felt. Will any alumni attend this party or will it just be the current troop members and their families? (There have been several alumni that have replied to the Facebook post.)

Most of the former troop members have moved away from Melrose as they went off to college, began careers, and started families. Only a few still live in town. A dozen or so still keep in touch regularly. If it were not for Facebook I would not know much about any of my former Scouts.

To tell the truth, I am looking forward to the open house because (I hope) it will be an opportunity to see several alumni that I do not get to visit with very often. I am sure it will be a good time.