Latest Event Updates

Final Recharter Turn-In at Roundtable

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At this point, all units should have opened the Internet Rechartering system and reviewed their rosters and verified that all of your existing leadership is trained and new leaders have scheduled their training. At this time, three packs, two troops, and one crew have not started rechartering online. To those units, please do so this weekend.

This Thursday, November 9, 2017 we will have the next Roundtable at 7:00 pm. We will also offer Den Leader Training at the same time.

Next door in Luke’s Lodge, we will be holding the last recharter turn-in. It will open at 6:00 pm and close at 8:30 pm. It will be open house style, so it is first-come, first-serve.

All units are expected to have their Applications to Renew Charter and supporting paperwork turned in by the end of this function. We want to be 100% done. To determine what that means visit the Rechartering Update 2017 page.

Please contact your unit commissioner, district commissioner, or assistant district commissioner for Rechartering Mat Gerdenich if you have any questions or concerns.


BSA Launches Dedicated Webpage for Co-Ed Scouting (aka Family Scouting)

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BSA has a webpage on the Family Scouting initiative. Some topics will be driven by the local council and others by your Chartered Organization. Even so, this broad overview is a good starting point.

Friends of Scouting Presentations

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Remember with your Cub Scout Packs’ Blue and Gold Banquets and Scout Troops’ Courts of Honor, we try to have a presenter from outside the unit make a pitch for annual fundraiser the Friends of Scouting.

Now is a good time to make sure that you have a presenter lined up. If you do not, contact our district coordinator or Jessica Hofman.

Earlier scheduling allows the smoothest planning. Your help is greatly appeciated.

CORRECTION: Nomination due date

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In a previous post, we gave the wrong date for the Nomination for awards for the District Recognition Dinner.

The correct date for those nominations is Sunday, January 14, 2018.

Sorry for the confusion.

Planning for Cub Summer Camp

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As the snow blows, it is time for warm thoughts of swimming, sweating, shooting, and laughing with a few mosquitos mixed in.

All Cubs and Webelos Dens should be planning to go to summer camp. There are day camp options and overnight options.

Day camps emphasize a week-long (M-F) of activities with a Friday night sleep over. These activities are designed to deliver key parts of the excitement that we promise during recruitment.

Overnight camps involve less days but more hours of camp life. This is a great option for parents who want their Cubs to experience summer camp, but can’t afford an entire week off of work.

The requirements for adult participation are set forth in the Guide to Safe Scouting, (along with all the safety rules for all activities), specifically shown in this link is the information on overnight camping practices, which are more stringent than walking around the camp during the day.

For families with difficulties in paying for the tuition, they can seek financial assistance with this form. District Executive Jessica Hofman can answer questions on this.

All scouts, parents, and tag-alongs need to have a completed health form to able to attend. See the Cub Scout Camp page for more information.

One of the biggest concerns in scouting is whether we “have sufficient adults to meet the requirements of the Guide to Safe Scouting.” This implies that the Guide has a set ratio. You will even hear scout leaders speak as if there were written instructions about the ratio. The answer to this is a bit more complicated. We are required to have 2-deep leadership on all outdoor outings and overnights. That leaves an implication that 2 adults could take 60 Cubs. This is clearly unwise. For certain types of activities there are set ratios, such as Boy Scout and Venturing rappeling is 10:1 and different aquatic activities have different ratios. In Cub Scout Camping, one parent (or adult family member) must camp with each Cub (some exceptions for solo Cubs with designated proxies for parent, but only one Cub per adult under this exception).

Outside of these activity-specific ratios, the exact numer of adults necessary is just listed in the Guide to Safe Scouting as “sufficient leadership.” This is at the discretion of the Chartered Organization to decide. Many Chartered Organizations feel that 5 Cubs to 1 Adult works well. For more mature Cubs, this ratio can be fudged in favor of more Cubs. (See this old conversation from 2012 on a non-BSA website on the topic.)

Your Camp Director at each location can give you better guidance as to what ratio makes sense for their specific activities.

Remember a Cub’s attendance at Summer Camp is the best indication whether the Cub will return for the next year of scouting. Parents are the biggest roadblock. Camp costs money and takes effort. Gently remind parents why they signed their Cubs up for scouting and why the Cub wanted to join. The Cub wanted to have fun with his friends. The parents want the Aims and Methods of Scouting to benefit their son.

Some families find that the day camp experience is not the challenge that their more mature Cubs require. Camp Kiktheweund’s Adventure Camp is now available to more Cubs. This is a great option for Cub who want the challenge of overnight camping. Find the challenge that is right for your Cub.

University of Scouting this Week (1/13/18)!

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From an email to Cub Leaders, but it applies to all scouting volunteers equally well:

Crossroads of America Council
Boy Scout of America
Dear Cub Scout Leaders:
The Crossroads of America Council’s premier training event will bring together Scout leaders from across Indiana to share their knowledge and learn more skills to share and guide the future leaders of our nation.
There are over 30 specific courses for Cub Scout Leaders from “Making a Keepsake Arrow” to how to put on a world class “Pinewood Derby” from the nationally recognized 2017 Riley 500 Pinewood Derby team.  If you are a new Cub Scout Leader, turn to page 16 of the catalog for an easy reference to picking out your courses for the day. This one day training will answer hundreds of your Who, What, Where, When and How Do They Do It questions.  Cub Leaders will have the opportunity of taking a wide range of classes during the day (day-long training) on January 13 at Warren Central High School, 9500 E 16th St., Indianapolis.

UoS service patch 2018

The University is also the training grounds for the newly appointed members of the Pack/Troop/Crew committees.  Additionally, unit leaders and all Scout volunteers find an exciting array of courses.
Spend the day with us!  Take basic training for every position in the pack.  Take advanced training for specialized tasks, such as Advancement Chair.  Take hands-on classes like Woodworking or Leatherworking.  Check out your opportunities at the link below.  We think you’ll be glad you did!
John Stewart
University of Scouting Chancellor

Firecrafter Communications and Database Upgrade

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From Firecrafter Ember Advisor Greg Hoyes:


Firecrafter has joined the 21st Century!  We now have an online membership database and email system.  No more managing a personal contact list and sending emails through my GMaill account!

Firecrafter Logo
So, we need everyone to login and farmilarize themselves with the new system.  To start, go to and click “access the database” from the main page, or here is the direct link  As directed, link the Forgot Password link and then enter the email address that you think is associated with the account, along with the bot preventing code.  Then you should get an email with a temporary password and the ability to finish your account login setup.
If it does not work, your email may have changed, be under a parent’s email (youth), or some other database issue.  To gain access, please email with your name, Firecrafter year, and updated email address.
Firecrafter adults (21+), the new system also tracks dues and will “suspend” you from the Ember emails if your dues are not current.  This would be a great time to get your dues current, or pay the lifetime membership, so we can keep you involved in the North Star Ember.  Dues payments are handled as the Firecrafter Council level and the Council Secretary will be able to assist you with payment and getting you reinstated in the system.
I did send a test email from the new system at 9:00 on 1-8-2018, so if you did not get that, your email address may be wrong in the database or your dues are not current for adult members.
I will continue to send emails using both the database system and this distribution list until February 15, then all emails after that will only be through the new system.  Please try to make sure you have access to the system before that deadline, so you can stay informed on what is happening in the North Star Ember.
If you have any questions, I can provide very basic help, but cannot do anything to help with the system login, so contact for more assistance.
Yours in the Fire
Greg Hoyes XXX
North Star Ember Advisor

Winter Camporee: 9 days and counting

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Is your Troop ready for the Winter Camporee? It starts in just 9 days! (January 19, 2018 at Camp Krietenstein.)

Make sure that you have your reservations in.

Here is communication from Camporee Co-Chair and former North Star District Executive Con Sullivan:

Hello from the beautiful Florida Keys!

I have attached the Willie Scoring Sheet for the Winter Camporee. If you have not yet, please complete the requirements listed on the [previously sent] message (Register online, send a summary of your event, send estimated # of patrols) ASAP. Please send these to Thomas Jacoby at

Thank you!

Camp Cards are Coming

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From Council:

New for 2018:
18+ merchants on card (versus 8 merchants)
14 repeat-use offers on the back of the card, 3 repeat-use keyring tags, and 3 one-time use offers
Retail price will be $10 per card (versus $5 per card)
Units earn $5/card sold (versus $2.50 per card) *Commission is still 50%!
Extended discount offer expiration dates (most offers will expire 3/1/2019)

What merchants will be on the 2018 discount card?

Papa John’s Pizza Sports Clips
The Escape Room Jiffy Lube
Discount Tire McAlister’s Deli
Jack in the Box Hardee’s
White Castle Which Wich
Stacked Pickle Tuchman Cleaners
DICK’S Sporting Goods Rally’s
Smoothie King Dunkin’ Donuts
Prime Car Wash

*Additional merchants may be added

Important Dates:
March 1-April 13: Sale dates

Please tell me by Friday, February 2nd how many Camp Cards your Scout would like to sell.
Unfortunately, we are limited to 750 cards for our initial order.

Thank you!
Samantha Weinbrecht
Camp Card Coordinator

More information is available on the Council website.

I believe that we have the same Camp Card Coordinator as the last several years, but I still need to verify. More information to follow.

Roundtable Thursday (CORRECTED)

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Just a quick reminder that we will hold the first Roundtable of the year on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Luke’s Lodge, the outbuilding on the campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

The Scout Roundtable will focus on different advancement softwares including, TroopWebHost, and TroopMaster (PackMaster). These three will have specific presentations and opportunities to see the software live. Others will be discussed. If your unit uses a different software that you like, please contact Jeff Heck to provide more information for presentation purposes. This open to all packs, troops, and crews. Please suggest that your unit chair and advancement chair attend.

The Cub Scout Roundtable, led by Roundtable Commissioner Bill Buchalter, will focus on Blue and Gold Banquet planning and preparation for use in the next 30-90 days. Come learn how to make this memorable and valuable to your Cubs and Webelos!Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner Patch

Correction h/t on date to Mark Pishon.

REMINDER: District meetings 1/4/18

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Tonight we hold our annual election of district officers at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, Rm 401, Indianapolis, IN 46260 at 7:00 pm.

Eligible voters are Chartered Organization Representatives, District Committee Members, and Council Committee Members residing in North Star District.

There will be no District commissioners’ meeting tonight. Regular meetings will resume in February.