Posts Tagged ‘village’

2015villageIt is that time of year. Time to think about Christmas! Well, the retail community wants us to think about Christmas and the holidays. After all, they have lots of things they would like to sell us and they seem to think they need the last three (sometimes four) months of the year to convince us of that. Buy your decorations! Plan your family meals! And make sure you get your Christmas shopping done early!

For the last few years the Boy Scouts of America has created its own Scouting Village Collection. It started with a Ranger’s Cabin, Trading Post, and Church and has expanded nicely over the last two years. A person can set up a very nice Christmas Scouting Village (summer camp) scene with the pieces, if you have them all. I combine the Scouting pieces with some accessories from the Department 56 Village to create a rather cool Scouting scene.

I was looking forward to see if they would continue offering new village pieces this year. Last time I walked into the local Scout shop a couple weeks ago the clerk pulled me off to the side to show me what would be coming out. Cool, I thought when she said there would be new pieces. Unfortunately, I was not thinking it was so cool after seeing what was offered.

First, there is the Resident Camp Tents “lighted house” piece. This one does not look too bad but I have a feeling it is going to look out of proportion when placed with BSA Wall Tent from two years ago. I may have to use this new item as a background piece to gain a bit of perspective to the village scene. I will find out after I spend $16.99 to buy it.

The second piece offered is the Philmont Trek Accessory. When I first saw the picture for this piece I thought it would make an excellent addition to the collection. After all, it featured three Scouts climbing to one of the mountainous peaks of Philmont Scout Ranch. When I saw the piece for the first time I lost my enthusiasm for it. It is very small, only 4″ high and 3″ long. I have a feeling its scale will look totally out of place with the rest of the collection. The cost is only $6.99 so it is not a big investment at least.

The third and final piece for this year is the Villa Philmonte Lighted House. It is a nice looking addition to the series. My main concern is the cost. The nice thing about the Scouting Village set is that the pieces were very affordable. Lighted pieces usually sold from $12 to maybe $20 each. The Villa Philmonte breaks this tradition is a big way. This piece sells for $49.99. Wow. Last year’s eight piece starter set was only $80, and that included four lighted buildings. Granted, this new piece is 13″ long and nearly 8″ high, making it one of the largest pieces of the collection, but I have a feeling the price is going to turn a lot of people off of collecting the set. I cannot help but remember that $50 used to be able to buy all the pieces for each year’s set. Looks like that price point will no longer be carried on.

I am not sure yet if I will buy this year’s collection or not. To tell the truth, I think it is the weakest of the four year’s sets so far. What do you think? Do you plan to purchase any or all of them?

Residential Camp Tents:
Villa Philmonte Lighted House:

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.50.47 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.50.19 PM


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, 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 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?

dining hallI arrived at the Central Minnesota Council office early for Tuesday night’s roundtable so I spent some time checking out the Scout Shop. There was only a couple of us looking around when the clerk asked me if she could help me find anything, like books, awards, Christmas items…

The mention of Christmas items caught my attention immediately. Just last week I had checked the website to see if there were any new pieces for the Scouting Village that had began two years ago. I was anxious to see if this village would be continued and what this year’s pieces would be. Unfortunately, I found nothing on the website. So when the Scout Shop clerk mentioned Christmas items I had to ask about the Scouting Village.

She replied that they had received the new pieces that very afternoon and have not had a chance to get them on the shelves yet. Awesome, I thought. I asked if I could see them and followed her into the storage room where she opened the carton. I believe I was the first Scouting volunteer in my council to see the new pieces, and this year’s building grabbed my attention.

The newest building in the series is the Lighted Dining Hall. I thought is was well designed and quite colorful, but a little small in scale for a dining hall. Only one troop would fit in here, I thought. Oh well, it is a village building piece and they are not in the same scale as the people or even other buildings. It is still a pretty cool looking piece and I am anxious to add it to my set up this year. The website states (Yes, it can now be bought online), “A welcome addition to the holiday Scouting Village, this piece enhances any collection. Porcelain rendering of a BSA camp dining hall is beautifully detailed—complete with outdoor picnic tables!”

The next piece that I noticed was the “Tree Sales” Figurine. I like this piece because it reminds me of the years that Boy Scout Troop 68 sold Christmas Trees as a fundraiser. The website says, “Premium-quality accessory adds character and dimension to your Lighted Scouting Village scenes. Polyresin tree figurine features a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Leader hard at work on a Christmas tree sales lot.” I have to agree the the figures do add quite a bit to the Scouting Village scene.

The third and final piece of this year’s collection is the “Popcorn Tree” Figurine. This piece features a Boy Scout and Cub Scout decorating a Christmas Tree. The site says, “There’s nothing more iconic to BSA than popcorn! This polyresin figurine features a Cub Scout and Boy Scout decorating a tree with popcorn garland and ornaments.” I thought this could be a great gift for the unit’s “popcorn kernel”, the chairperson of the popcorn fundraiser.

I bought all three pieces right then. I was not going to wait and have the same thing happen to me that happened two years ago when I waited too long to buy them and missed out on getting the Trading Post. (I still do not have one.) I look forward to late November when I set up my new expanded village. I think this will be the last year I will be able to use that piece of plywood I use for the base.

I was not the only person who bought the set that evening. Within ten minutes of my purchase another set was bought and the Scout Shop was out of the Lighted Dining Halls. Since I am a roundtable commissioner I also took time during the meeting to give a quick shout out for this year’s Scouting Village.

Have you been collecting the buildings and figurines? What do you think of this year’s additions?

trees for sale
popcorn tree


Scouting Village 2013It is finished. I have set up my Scouting Village for the 2013 Christmas season. What do you think of it?

The village fills a 2.5 foor by 3.5 foot sheet of plywood. It contains the 2012 and 2013 collection pieces. Except for the Trading Post, that is. But at least I have two Ranger Cabins. ( I am still a little upset with myself over that.) I also bought two lighted tents because a campsite is just not a troop campsite with only one tent. I set the church higher than the rest because it is a smaller scale. I thought it might help it look further away and more in proportion to the rest of the scene. The campsite is across the river from base camp because I do not think a troop would want to camp next to the busiest part of camp.

The “snow” was picked up at a hobby store. The blue river is simply felt paper. The scene contains two sets of the trees from the Scouting Village collection. The rest of the trees came from my Dept. 56 Dickensville collection. I think the trees really add to the looks of the campsite. I also found a little wood pile which fits well with the Boy Scout cutting wood for the evening fire.

Have you set up your Scouting Village yet? How does it look? Send a picture or two to me and I will feature it in a post to this blog.
Click on the pictures to see the scene in more detail.










I wonder what pieces will be added to the village next year. I bet I will need a bigger sheet of plywood.

I screwed up. I took out all my Scouting Village pieces this afternoon to set them up for Christmas. I was kind of excited because not only was I able to get all of this year’s pieces but my local Scout Shop was able to find the piece I missed from last year, the lighted Ranger’s Cabin. I thought I would be able to set up the whole collection!

I was wrong.

I discovered that I now own two Ranger’s Cabins. I was not missing the cabin. I was missing last year’s Trading Post! Arrrrrggggg! I should have looked in the cabinet one more time before I had the Scout Shop find me the piece I thought I was missing. I am rather upset with myself. I thought I would be able to post a picture to this blog featuring both year’s collections.

I took a quick look on eBay and did not like what I found. People are selling the $12.99 Trading Post for $75.00 as a starting bid. The cheapest bidding I found was for $40.00, but there are three days left in the auction so I know where that is going. One seller posted a Trading Post as a “buy it now” purchase of $129.00. Sorry, but I am not interested in paying that much for one piece. This are not Dept. 56 Village pieces, you know.

Well, I guess my Scouting village will have two Ranger’s Cabins. I will have to pretend that one is used as a trading post.

wall tent village pieceRemember last year? Scout Shops around the country and sold the first(?) three pieces of the Scouting Village collection. Those pieces were the Ranger’s Cabin, the Camp Chapel, and the Trading Post. I never heard anything whether this was the start of a new yearly collection or if this was a one year deal, and the folks at my local Scout Shop could not answer my question either.

I decided to buy the collection anyway. At least I tried to buy the collection. By the time I decided to do it my council Scout Shop was already out the the Trading Post, but I bought the Chapel and the Ranger Cabin thinking I could by the Trading Post online. When I got home I went to the website and discovered they had sold out of the Trading Post. I called back to the Scout Shop to ask if they would be getting more Trading Posts in stock. They said they would try.

The story ends sadly. I never received a Trading Post. I almost returned the other two pieces since I would not be able to complete the set, but for some reason I kept them. And to tell the truth, I forgot about them. Until today.

I received a comment today on last year’s blog post of my village dilemma. Debora wrote to tell me that the Trading Post has reappeared on the website, so I went there to check it out. Sure enough, there it was. I would be able to complete my set. And I discovered something else. There are more pieces this year! That’s right, there is a 2013 Scouting Village collection.

It looks like accessories are the theme for this year’s collection. There is a snow covered bridge, and a set of pine trees. There are two sets of people/Scouts figurines: Scouts On A Fence and Campfire And Rowboat. There is only one “building” this year, and it is not really a building but it is something you need if you are going to have a Scout camp – the lighted BSA Wall Tent. The accessories and people figurine sets are $5.99 each. The wall tent is $14.99.

I know that I will be ordering the Trading Post, but should I order this year’s collection? I am leaning toward buying one of everything, but I almost feel like I need to buy two or three wall tents to make a campsite setting. That is maybe the reason they only put out one lighted piece this year. They want us collectors to buy several tents! The least they could have done is to make two different looking tents so there would be a little variety when everything is set up for the holidays.

I am never satisfied, am I?

What do you think of the new 2013 collection? Will you be purchasing them?

I wrote an article last month about the new collectable lighted miniature buildings being sold on the website. There were three pieces available: the Ranger’s Cabin, the Trading Post, and the Church. I liked the looks of the ranger’s cabin and the trading post, but I was not really impressed with the church.

A couple weeks later I noticed the ranger’s cabin had been removed from the website. Boy, I thought, they must be sold out already. I wonder how many they made. It did not bother me because I did not plan to buy the pieces anyway.

Last Saturday, I called the council Scout Shop and just for the fun of it I asked if they still had a Ranger’s Cabin. They did, and suddenly I had a change of mind. I decided I wanted the three pieces. I had the shop set the cabin aside and told them I would pick it up on Tuesday before the roundtable meeting.

When I arrived Tuesday, they had the Ranger’s Cabin and the Church but they were out of the Trading Post buildings. They were trying to get more in so I bought the other two buildings. I could always buy the Trading Post online, I thought.

I checked the Scout Stuff website when I returned home and discovered the Trading Post was no longer available. Two of the three pieces were now sold out. I called the council Scout Shop Wednesday morning and was told that they were having difficulty finding more Trading Posts, but they were still trying. Two other people were also on they waiting list for the same piece.

Yesterday, Friday, I called the shop again and was told they still do not have an answer as to whether they will be receiving any more of the buildings. I explained that I would really like to have the three piece set. She understood, asked if I could give her another week, and told me that if she could not find any I could return the pieces I had bought.

Now the wait begins. Do I begin my lighted “Scouting Village” with all three pieces or do I return them and forget about starting a new collection? I guess I will have the answer next weekend.

Have you purchased any of the pieces? What do you think of them?

Fifteen years ago I collected pieces of the Department 56 Dickens Village Collection, the Christmas Carol pieces in particular. For a few years I enjoyed setting up my buildings around Christmas time, and I believe people enjoyed it when they paid a visit to my home. It was a lot of work setting it up because I hard a fair number of building, trees, people, and other pieces. It also took up a fair portion of my living room. After a few years I quit setting it up and no longer added pieces to the collection. It now sits in a cabinet in the basement.

I noticed that this year the Boy Scouts of America store at has begun their own Scouting Village collection. This first year (?) begins with three pieces for Scouts and Scouters to own: the lighted Chapel House, the lighted Trading Post, and the lighted Camp Ranger Cabin. (Click on the links to go to the page.)

I like the Trading Post and the Ranger Cabin, but I have never been at a Scout camp that has a small enclosed church. Even here in Minnesota the Scout camp chapels are usually outing settings, like a campfire ring, or a building open on at least three sides to keep the outdoors feel to the service. In other words, your rain jacket may be required at your religious services. But maybe I am looking this the incorrectly. The website states, “A yard sign beside the steps proudly boasts the message “Scouts Meet Here.” so maybe this is meant to be a troop meeting place.

I wonder how long the Scout Shop plans to continue with this series, and how many pieces it plans to release each year. Are the pieces to be sold for one only year, with new pieces introduced each year? Will there be “people” pieces? Trees and shrubbery? Tents, beach fronts, and climbing towers? The buildings have snow on them so I would guess there will not be any beach front pieces.

I cannot help but think that this series is about ten years too late. Are the various village collections even popular anymore? Am I just out of the loop? Oh well, at least the Scouting Village pieces are reasonably priced at only $12.99 each. I think they could make for fun Christmas presents. What do you think about them?