Posts Tagged ‘Scouting’


village 8pc setI remember when the Boy Scout stores began selling the Scouting Village pieces a couple years ago. I decided to start collecting them a little too late and missed out on getting the lighted Trading Post building. I still do not have one. When this year’s village pieces became available at our local Scout Shop I bought all three immediately. I did not want to make the same mistake a second time.

I recently noticed that in addition to this year’s collection pieces, scoutstuff.com has an eight piece starter set available to purchase. The set includes all the pieces from 2012 and 2013, including the lighted Trading Post. So, in other words, I can now get the piece I am missing, if I am willing to spend $80 on the whole set. Since I have all the other pieces already, I do not think I will be doing that.

I wish the scoutstuff.com website would make all the pieces available as single pieces. It is obvious they are manufacturing the pieces again, otherwise why wouldn’t they have offered the pieces online earlier to clear out inventory?  I am sure I am not the only one who missed out buying a building during the last two years, or maybe I am. I does frustrate me a bit, almost to the point of thinking that this will probably be the last year I will collect the Scouting Village pieces.

It is a great idea to offer the set to new collectors, but I feel it is a slap in the face to those of us who began collecting two years ago. What do you think about it?

http://www.scoutstuff.org/set-village-lighted-8pc.html

1985Displays07In my last post I wrote about the four displays that Troop 68 set up around town for this year’s Scouting Anniversary week. I have collected quite a bit of Scouting related stuff during the past 33 years so it is not very hard finding items and photos to fill four displays. In fact, I could probably do a couple more if we had more places to set them up.

All this got me thinking about how many years I have been setting up displays in town, so I opened the old photo books and did a little looking back. I discovered that our Scouting display was set up in February 1985 at the Melrose State Bank. It was a project done by Cubmaster Joe Timmins and myself who was the scoutmaster. It was a fairly large setup. It contained Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting memorabilia, enough to fill two small tables. We also included a tent and some camping gear. You were not going to miss this display when you entered the bank lobby.

I scanned some of the photos of this first display so I could share them with you. Our current displays are a little different these days (as you can see from my last post) and do not include any tents. The lobbies of the current establishments are not big enough to set up a campsite.

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2014display1It is that time of year to once again celebrate another anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. It has been 104 years since William D. Boyce was granted a charter by the Congress of the United States of America to begin this great institution. Just think about the millions of boys who have participated in Scouting, all the fun they have had, the skills they have learned, and the service they have done for their communities. It practically boggles the mind!

Boy Scout Troop 68 of Melrose, Minnesota, has been going strong since December 1979. During those 34 years the troop has sent hundreds of boys to summer camp, seen dozens of young men attend high adventure bases, and has had 22 Scouts earn the program’s highest award, the Eagle Scout Rank. There is a lot of history in this troop.

Troop 68 has a portion of this history on exhibition this month to celebrate Scouting’s anniversary. Four displays have been set up around town, each with a different theme. The displays contain old books and handbooks, framed photos and photo albums, patches, toys, coffee mugs, and other memorabilia.

The theme of the display at the Central Minnesota Credit Union is “troop activities”. At the US Bank you will discover the troop’s trips to high adventure bases. Visitors to the Melrose City Hall will learn a little about the history of the B.S.A.  At the local branch of the Freeport State Bank people will see photos of each of the Eagle Scouts since 1979.

The displays were set up on Friday, January 31st, and will be on exhibit for 2 weeks.

Does your troop or pack have the opportunity to do something like this in your community? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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I have been podcasting for over five and a half years. I have co-hosted one podcast (The Leaders Campfire), produced an audio podcast (Around The Scouting Campfire), and continue to post videos to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. All three podcasts have had Scouting related themes. I have had fun podcasting and hope that those of you who have watched or listened to them have found them fun and informative.

This afternoon I did something I have not done for awhile. I went on iTunes and did a search for Scouting themed podcasts. There used to be several out there, mostly audio versions. I was a little surprised by what I found. I did a search for “cub scout” and 15 podcasts were found, but only three actually dealt with Cub Scouting: An Hour A Week (audio), Autism and Scouting Radio (audio), and my own Melrose Scout Productions (video). When I changed the search to “cub scouting” only two showed up: Autism and Scouting Radio and the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast (MSPP).

Next I tried a search for “boy scout”. Sixty one podcasts came up, but only five of these actually dealt with the Scouting program. One was produced by the Boy Scouts of America, and another was produced by Boy’s Life magazine. Both appeared to be dead podcasts with no episodes produced for quite awhile. Of course, MSPP was listed. When I changed the search to “boy scouting” I discovered that MSPP was the only Boy Scouting related podcast listed.

Now I know there have been other Scouting podcasts produced during the last few years, such as The Scoutmaster Minute and the Boy Scout Hour. I know the Scoutmastercg podcast is going strong and has a strong listenership. But these podcasts did not show up in the searches. Even my old Around The Scouting Campfire did not show up. Why? The only thing I can think of is that we all may need to check our podcast tags.

Then I started thinking. Are podcasts even relevant to Scouting anymore? Are adults leader searching them out and listening to or watching them? Do current leaders even know they exist? Do we need to do a better job and promoting them? If we do, what is a good way to promote them? The BSA does not seem to be podcasting any longer so maybe they do not feel there is a need for this medium.

I know the viewership of MSPP has gone down over the last year. I receive very few comments about the videos. If you look at the iTunes listing for MSPP you will notice that there has not been a comment left for nearly two and a half years. Comments  and emails are the only way we podcasters really have of knowing how people feel about what we are producing.

I have begun to wonder if it is time to retire the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. I have already stopped producing Around The Scouting Campfire. Is it worthwhile putting forth the time and effort?

Here are my questions to you.
Do you listen to or watch Scouting related podcasts?
Do you subscribe to any?
Which ones do you subscribe to? How should we promote them?
Or have Scouting podcasts lost their importance, if they ever had any that is?
I look forward to reading your comments.

 

Today, for Youtube Tuesday, we are leaving the USA and the BSA. The UK Scout Association has produced a great video that does a great job of promoting Scouting and asking adults to volunteer in their local units. What I find fascinating is most of the information in the video could apply to the Boy Scouts of America. This video was uploaded in October 2010. Check it out and let me know what you think about it.

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100 Days of Scouting: Day 57.

The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 were a little nervous when they arrived at the Melrose City Council meeting. They really did not know what to expect, and neither did I as their scoutmaster. The troop was at the meeting because the city council was going to pass a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and the 30th anniversary of Boy Scout Troop 68.

When the time came for the city council to pass the proclamation, the city’s mayor, Eric Seanger, spoke a few words about how the city appreciates the hard work of the Boy Scout troop. He then invited a member of the troop to come forward to accept the proclamation. Our senior patrol leader received that honor. I took a couple of pictures, one which ended up in the local paper.

Unfortunately, because the council had to attend another meeting with the local township boards, they did not have time to read the proclamation. Since we had an outing the following weekend I recruited a few Boy Scouts to read it in front of the video camera. I received a copy of the city council meeting from Mel-TV, our community access television station, and went to work editing everything together to make this video for the Melrose Scouting Production Podcast.

The proclamation can be read at http://www.melrosetroop68.org/blog/?p=667

Click here to DOWNLOAD this Podcast
Subscribe to Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast through iTunes.
or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
Check out other Scouting podcasts at PTC Media.

Unless you have been hiding in a cave somewhere you have probably heard that the Boy Scouts of America are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. The United States of America Congress granted a charter to create the B.S.A. on February 8, 1910. Since that day there have been over 100 million boys who have joined the organization.

The B.S.A. has been planning some fantastic events to celebrate the anniversary. There has been a colorful float in the Rose Bowl Parade, a partnership with Dale Coyne Racing, the historical merit badge program, and the upcoming 2010 National Jamboree, just to name a few. Councils, districts, packs, troops and crews are also planning special events.

I have an idea. Let’s try to bring this to the public eye in another arena. Online. On YouTube. Let’s pick a couple videos that have a Scouting theme and then, on February 8th, we have our Scouts, families, and friends watch those videos. Let’s see if we can’t get enough hits that day to bring those videos to the YouTube front page. Could we make one or two videos go “viral”?

If this is to work we need to get the word out to as many people as possible. We will need the involvement of packs, troops, and crews. We will need the councils and districts to spread the word. We need blogs to blog about it and people on Twitter to tweet about it. We will need hundreds of thousands of people to watch these videos on February 8th if we are going to make an impact.

I would like to make a few suggestions for the videos we could watch: one B.S.A. promotion video, one video showing Boy Scouts performing a skit, and one showing Scouts having fun on an activity. If you have a suggestion please leave a comment below.

The B.S.A. Promotion video – This one was suggested to me when I asked for suggestions on Twitter. It is titled “Feel Proud” and features Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts doing community service projects to a catchy musical tune.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9csn7asa8Nc

Boy Scout Skit – I am choosing a skit which is one of my favorites, The Furniture Store. This video was performed by the Boy Scouts in my troop during one of their community shows.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbWYdwSPOJo

Scouting Activity Video – I thought this was a cute video of Cub Scouts doing their version of the Cub Scout Promise, rap style. And it is only a minute long.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIob4dY2XLY

So there you go. Get out and spread the word! And watch video on Monday, February 8th.

During the my last year of tech college my classmates and I would discuss what we wanted to do with our lives once we were out on our own. What kind of job did we hope to get? What kind of community would we like to settle down in? What organizations would we get involved with, if any?

I was a Boy Scout for three years so I made the comment that it might be fun to find a troop and get involved again. When I think about that comment now I have to stop and ask myself, why did I say that? I really did not accomplish much as a Boy Scout. Yes, I went to the meetings, and the occasional weekend camping trip, and three week long summer camps, but I do not remember much about them. I only earned four merit badges. I only got as far as Second Class Rank. I do not remember a single court of honor. Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, my time as a Boy Scout was pretty uneventful.
I must have had enough fun in Scouting though to make a comment like that in college. I may have realized that the Scout program was a great program to help young boys grow into men of strong character. I guess I wanted a chance to be a part of that process. But there was one more reason to reconnect with Scouting. A personal one. I always felt bad that I did not remember much about my time as a Scout, and that I did not accomplish much in the program. I thought that maybe I could help some other boys have a great time in Scouting and do the things I never had the chance to do.
As luck would have it, I found a job and settled back in my hometown. Within two months I discovered they had restarted the troop which had been disbanded about five years earlier. I walked up to the scoutmaster one night and asked him if he could use some help. That was nearly thirty years ago. I think I can honestly say that I have helped to make a positive impact on the Scout program in this community.
How long will I continue to be with the program? I do not know. I had never planned to be with it for three decades. Unfortunately, this community may make the decision for me. Membership in the troop has dropped to only seven Boy Scouts, down from nearly forty Scouts ten years ago. I discovered today that the Cub Pack currently has only three boys. One of the Pack’s problems is that parents do not want to take on any of the leadership roles. This has been going on for the last five years or longer. Thus, the Pack’s program has suffered, and the boys are not joining like they once did.
Let’s face it, parents need to get involved, at least at the Cub Scout level, for the program to succeed. Do today’s parents not understand the great benefits of the Scouting program, both to them and their sons?
Get involved with Scouting? Too tell the truth, I can think of few programs that are better worth your time and effort.