Posts Tagged ‘Program’


discgolfwaterThis month is the beginning of the new 2014-2015 program for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. The Scouts got together one Saturday last month and plotted out their monthly themes and activities for another year. A few of the traditional outings made it in, and a few new ones joined the program. Here is a look at the schedule for the next twelve months.

September 2014: Safe trip afloat/ canoe safety
1, 8, 15 – Troop Meetings Popcorn sales
9 – Committee Meeting
18 – School night to join scouting
22 – Court Of Honor
26-28 – canoe trip and camp out
29 – PLC Meeting

October 2014: Leave no trace/packing
6, 13, 20 – Troop Meetings
6 – start ticket sales for supper
6 – Popcorn Sales Due to Chris
14 – Committee Meeting
25 – Road Cleanup
24-26 – Kramer’s/clay pigeon shoot
27 – PLC Meeting

November 2014: Knot tying
1 – Troop fundraiser supper
3, 10, 17 – Troop Meetings
18 – Committee Meeting
22-23 – Overnight/ rock climbing
24 – PLC Meeting

December 2014: Personal fitness/ management/advancement
1, 8 – Troop Meetings
9 – Committee Meeting
13 – Snow Tubing/Christmas Party
15 – Court Of Honor

January 2015: first aid/ fire safety
5, 12,19 – Troop Meetings
20 – Committee Meeting
24 – Water Park Brainerd
26 – PLC Meeting

February 2015: Uniforms/Sewing
2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
17 – Committee Meeting
20-22 – Camp Stearns
23 – PLC Meeting

March 2015: Merit badge/Advancements
2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
17 – Committee Meeting
21 – LPMRB Outing
23 – Court Of Honor
30 – PLC Meeting

April 2015: Cooking
6, 13, 20 – Troop Meetings
17-19 – Watchamagumee
18 – Scouting for food drop off
25 – Road Cleanup/scouting for food pick up
21 – Committee Meeting
27 – PLC Meeting

May 2015: Swim Safety
4, 11, 18 – Troop Meetings
15-17- Ripley Rendezvous
18 – Summer Camp Meeting (Parents & Scouts)
19 – Committee Meeting
25 – PLC Meeting

June 2015 Fire Starting/Campfires
1, 8, 15 – Troop Meetings
16 – Committee Meeting
19-21 – Camp out/Disc Golf
22 – Court Of Honor
29 – PLC Meeting

July 2015: Summer Camp
12-18 – Summer camp

August 2015: Geocaching/ Hike safety
1 – Yearly Planning Session
3, 10, 17- Troop Meetings
18 – Committee Meeting
21-23- Sibley Camp Out
24 – PLC Meeting

The Boy Scouts planned it. The committee approved it. And now it is time to implement it. The 2013-2014 program for Troop 68 is ready to go! Here is a look at it.

September 2013: Water Safety
2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
2 – Dad’s Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sales Kickoff
13-15 – Big Birch State Forest Outing
23 – Court Of Honor
24- PLC Meeting

October 2013: Flag Etiquette
7, 14, 21 – Troop Meetings
5 – Scouting For Food Pickup/ Road Cleanup
6 – Waffle Breakfast
21 – Popcorn Sales Due In
26-27 – Disc Golf Tri-O + 1 night campout
28 – PLC Meeting

November 2013: First Aid & Fire Safety
4, 11, 18 – Troop Meetings
23 –Overnight
25 – PLC Meeting

December 2013: Advancements
2, 9 – Troop Meetings
14 – Snow Tubing/Christmas Party
16 – Court Of Honor

January 2014: Firem’n & Totin’ Chit
6, 13, 20 – Troop Meetings
25 – Water Park Brainerd
27 – PLC Meeting

February 2014: Winter Survival
3, 10, 17 – Troop Meetings
21-23 – Camp Stearns
24 – PLC Meeting

March 2014: Advancements
3, 10, 17 – Troop Meetings
24 – Court Of Honor
29 – LPMRB
31 – PLC Meeting

April 2014: Personal Safety
7, 14, 21 – Troop Meetings
12 – Road Cleanup
25-27 – Ripley Rondezvous
28 – PLC Meeting

May 2014: Camp Cooking Safety
5, 12,19 – Troop Meetings
19- Summer Camp Meeting (Parents & Scouts)
23-25- Camp Watchamagumee
26 – PLC Meeting

June 2014: Range & Ax Safety, Advancements
2, 9, 16 – Troop Meetings
17 – Committee Meeting
23 – Court Of Honor
28 – Hellerman’s Camp
30 – PLC Meeting

July 2014: Summer Camp
13-19 – Summer camp

August 2014:  Scout Attitude
4, 11, 18- Troop Meetings
9 – Yearly Planning Session
23 – Valleyfair fieldtrip
25 – PLC Meeting

brainstormingBoy Scout Troop 68 now has a program plan for the 2013-2014 year. I talked to the scoutmaster at last week’s troop meeting to ask how things went at the year planning conference. If you recall from the last blog article, I was a little concerned over an item or two, namely that he invited the entire troop membership to attend and that he also invited all the parents. Turns out that I did not need to be concerned.

The parent invitation is the one that bothered me the most. If too many parents attended the meeting I was afraid it would become a parent planned program instead of a Boy Scout planned program. I need not have worried about it. Not a single parent, other than the scoutmaster and assistant parent, came to the session.

Unfortunately, not many of the Scouts attended it either. Most of the patrol leader council either could not attend, or decided not to attend. Only three boys showed up. One was the senior patrol leader, who happens to be the scoutmaster’s son during this term, and another was a new Scout who just joined the troop and does not hold an office. Talk about getting involved right from the start. Although not many boys showed up for the session they went ahead and planned the yearly program.

The scoutmaster told me he really did not want to reschedule the meeting since only a small group of Scouts attended. I had to agree with him. The boys and families had known about the session for over a month. If he would have rescheduled he would have had no guarantee that more Boy Scouts would have attended. And it would have pushed the scheduling process back another week or two or three which could have caused us to miss the presentation of the new schedule by the senior patrol leader at this month’s committee meeting. If it would have been rescheduled for later in the month it also could have got in the way of this month’s outing.

I think they did the right thing. If any parents or Scouts want to object about the new program, well, all we have to is ask them where were they on Saturday, August 6th. After all, everyone was invited to come and give their two cents at that time.

brainstormingI became a scoutmaster in 1981. I went to district and council training and learned that the Boy Scouts should do the planning for their troop’s program.Boy Scout Troop 68 began holding a yearly planning conference during the first or second weekend of August. During the last thirty years it has been fun assisting the troop’s junior leaders develop their monthly themes and activities. Some activities became yearly traditions. Others did not go very well and were not repeated.

This year’s planning session, held today, will have at least one thing different then sessions of the past 30 years. I will not be attending. I have to work Saturday morning and I have a wedding to attend in the afternoon. I am not the scoutmaster anymore so it is probably best that I do not attend, to just step back and let the new leaders lead.

Jim, our current scoutmaster, will not be going into the planning session blind though. He and I were the adult leaders for last year’s session so he has a pretty good idea how to conduct one. Most of the Scouts who will be attending have also participated in a planning session, so things should run smoothly.

Jim did make two changes to the planning session this year. The first should not make a difference. He invited all the Boy Scout members of the troop to attend. The reason I do not think it will matter is that we will be lucky if half the 11 current members attend. Hopefully, the junior leaders do attend because this session is part of their job as leaders of the troop.

The second change he made does worry me a little. He invited parents to attend. Now, I realize that not all the parents will show up. They already have events scheduled, I am sure. My concern is that too many parents will attend and mess up the planning process. I am afraid the program could end up being planned by parents and not by the Scouts.

Am I concerned for no real reason? Will the session run smoothly with the parents there? Will any of them even show up? I guess we will know soon.

How does your troop conduct its yearly planning session? Drop a note and share your ideas with us.

Fast Start Orientation, The Outdoor ProgramThe last post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast contained the first of three parts of an eleven year old Boy Scout Leader Fast Start Orientation vhs tape I have in my Scouting collection. This post features part two of that training tape which covers the troop Outdoor Program. It is an excellent video that is still relevant to today’s Scouting program.

I think it is fun to watch these old videos to see how, or if, Scouting has changed through the decades. What do you think about it? Have you seen this before?

 

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I did not go along with the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 when they left for their weeklong stay at Many Point Scout Camp on Sunday, July 8th. The boys and the camp were on my mind all week though. I sort of missed being up there with the troop during their summer camp adventure so on Friday, July 13th, I took a day of vacation from work and spent it at MPSC.

I left home at about 8:00 in the morning. I planned to arrive at camp while the Scouts were at their merit badge sessions. I would join them for lunch and their afternoon activities. I even thought about staying long enough to watch the closing campfire in the evening. I did not plan to stay overnight. I purposely left my sleeping bag and cot at home so I would not be tempted.

I arrived at MPSC shortly after 10:00 am. By 10:30 I walked into the Seton campsite of the Buckskin Camp to find assistant scoutmaster Eymard busy in the screen porch reading a novel he had brought along. I took a few pictures around the campsite and sat down for an update of how the week was going. We were the only two people in camp. It was very peaceful.

I had noticed a new building under construction across the road from our campsite. We got up from our chairs and Eymard lead the way to what would be the new Buckskin Handicrafts Lodge. The shell of the building was complete but it still needed siding, screening, and interior finishing. The new building was somewhat larger than the old building which was located about about four or five hundred yards south of the new site. This new lodge also had a basement which could be used as a storm shelter during inclement weather.

Eymard and I took a short walk to the Buckskin Lodge. I was shocked and surprised to see the two buildings (the lodge and the nearby trading post) had been remodeled into one large building. The lodge interior had been totally redesigned to create a larger meeting room, new staff office, and separate staff kitchen/dining room. I think I stood their for a moment with my mouth open as I walked into the lodge. It was no longer the building I had known for the last 25 years, but I liked the way they had remodeled the area. I had know about the new Handicrafts building, but the lodge was a complete surprise.

One new feature of the Buckskin Lodge caught my attention almost immediately and brought home how our lifestyles have changed over the last decade. The small mail cubicles for each campsite had been replaced by new larger cubicles, each having its own electrical outlet for adult leaders to plug in their cell phone chargers and other electronic devices. I was told this was a suggestion from Granny, the camp’s chief cook, who had seen a lot of devices plugged in at the dining hall over the last few years. She thought there must be a better way, so the staff came up with a great solution.

One of the troop’s Boy Scouts was at the trading post when Eymard and I walked in. Eymard decided to go back to the campsite so Alex said he would take me to the other new addition to Buckskin Camp.

A few years ago Many Point closed the old conservation lodge so it could be used for a new purpose. A yurt was erected in Buckskin to serve as the Nature Center. A new permanent nature lodge is now under construction near the yurt. It looks like this new building will also have a basement that will be able to serve as a storm shelter. The yurt may become a small zoo of local critters found in the area.

These new changes have me already thinking that I will need to pay the troop a visit next year when they attend Many Point Scout Camp. I want to see how everything turns out and what, if any, new programs will be provided.

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Last month I finally broke down and bought an iPad (the newest version). I have been having fun with it. It looks great and works well. I have to admit, playing Angry Birds on an iPad is a lot more fun then playing on an iPod Touch. I have downloaded dozens of books that are in the public domain, especially all the fictional novels I can find written about Boy Scouting during the early years of the movement. Most of the stories about Pee Wee Harris, Roy Blakely, and Tom Slade are waiting on my iPad’s hard drive waiting to be read.

I have also downloaded a couple of Scouting related apps.The first one was MyBadges, written by Kevin Butler. It is an app which quickly puts the requirements for Boy Scout ranks, merit badges, and other awards on the screen. I have used this app while sitting on a board of review and found it to be quite handy, although one Boy Scout may not agree with me since I found a current requirement that was not listed in his handbook which was about 5 years old. Kevin has been doing a pretty good job of keeping his app current with the latest BSA handbook.

Which brings me to a problem I found. I was going to download the Boy Scouts of America app of The Boy Scout Handbook. After all, I am still involved with Scouting and thought it should be on my new gizmo. I went to the App Store to download it and stopped dead in my tracks. I have not purchased it, and will not purchase it. Here are the reasons why…

First of all, The B.S.A. has not updated the Handbook App since November 7, 2009. Yes, you read that correctly. 2009! For an organization that wants its members and volunteers to stay up to date they have really dropped the ball here. Heck, they come out with a new printed handbook every year. Why should I pay $9.99 to download a handbook that does not even contain the latest requirements for ranks and training?

And the price of $9.99, which just happens to be the same price as a physical handbook, but yet does not let me (or a Boy Scout) write in it and keep track of things like we can in a real physical copy? I think the price should be a couple bucks cheaper but I think I understand the reasoning behind it. After all, I was going to buy it until I started looking closer at it.

Third, the app is only available as an iPhone App. Really? Come on B.S.A., get with the program. Over 50 million of these devices have been sold. I am sure I am not the only Boy Scout volunteer that owns an iPad. I had thought the B.SA. was trying to be more modern and catch up to current technology. It seems to me they have been dropping the ball in a major way with this app.

Fourth. And speaking of dropping the ball, have you read the reviews about the latest version of the e-hanbook? (Which, keep in mind, came out in 2009.) They are not glowing, I can tell you that. The main gripe seems to be that it is not much more then a pdf version of the handbook. Excuse me national office, but if I am going to pay for an ebook, I would like it to be an ebook with at least a fair amount of accessible features. The book should be interactive, like the B.SA. says a Scouting program should be for its boy members.

So, I will not be purchasing the B.SA.’s Boy Scout Handbook app. At least not yet. I would like to, but the national office needs to work on this program and at least update it, if nothing else. Or could it be that this app is not a big enough seller for the B.SA. to care about? That would be a shame.

I would be interested on hearing from you if you use the Boy Scout Handbook app. Do you think it is useful? What is your general impression of it. Write a comment and share your user experience with us.

Everyone seems to do Top 10 lists at the end of a year, or something to review the past year, so Cubmaster Chris and I decided to a list of top Scouting events for the year of 2010.

Each of us chose 5 things to talk about during the latest episode of The Leaders Campfire podcast, covering national and local events. I am not going to print the list here because I want you to listen to the podcast.

Check out the episode (#82) at
http://www.ptcmedia.net/the-leaders-campfire/

What were your top 5 Scouting events for the past year?