Latest Event Updates

Trained Den Leaders Required for Rechartering

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Den Leaders, like all registered leaders in North Star, must be trained in order to allow them to be registered with their pack at rechartering. This is one of the largest training deficiencies that we have in the district.trained patch

That means that they need to take the online training under My Profile at my.scouting.org.

The biggest obstacle to get people trained online is that do not have a working my.scouting.org account.

At the next meeting, have a listed of people who need training. Pull each one aside and have them login to their my.scouting.org account. Have them go to the Training section and make sure that they can start the online training by picking the right course. You will identify problems quickly this way. Then let them finish at home.

We will also be offering a Den Leader Training in person at the next Cub Scout Roundtable, Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Luke’s Lodge, on the campus of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260. This will be the last live offering in calendar year 2017 for North Star District (and third roundtable offering of the same). You can register here.

Scout troops should follow the same pattern.

All training is available online this year, except Scoutmasters’ and Assistant Scoutmasters’ class Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills which will be offered at Belzer October 27-29, 2017. Click here to register. (The one on the training hub is out-of-date, and has been replaced with this one.)

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Chief Scout Executive on co-ed choice

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Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, Patrick Sterrett’s new boss, made these remarks the day after the vote to go co-ed. Surbaugh is a good speaker and worth a listen.

It is too bad these types of posts did not precede the vote.

https://livestream.com/bsa/nationalcouncil/videos/164161163

Anti-Fragile and Scouting (Part 3)

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This is the third part of a series commenting on what I have been reading in the works of Nassim Taleb, beginning with his book Anti-Fragile, part of the Incerto series.

incerto

In the first article, I outlined his biography and introduced the questions of “What is the opposite of fragile? Are your scouts, scout parents, or scouters fragile? What are your duties as a scout leader in handling this matter?”

In the second article, I defined anti-fragile as strengthing in face of adversity. I suggested that resilience is not the antonym of “fragile.”

Up to this point, I have focused on making the scouts anti-fragile, stronger for having faced adversity. Let’s look at the concept of anti-fragile as a criterion for assessing the quality of your unit’s planning and programming.

Taleb questions the engineering world’s emphasis on efficiency. Let’s assume the definition of efficiency is doing just enough to complete the task with just enough resources and time. No wasted motion, effort, time, or resources. What is the effect in today’s world of being ever more efficient?

When planning goes well, the planner looks like a genius. No waste. No muss. No fuss. The trailer is packed so efficiently just the perfect amount of food is loaded. There is no excess weight to slow the trailer down. Every scout finds just the equipment he needs to do his tasks. It’s perfect.

But what happens if some of the planning fails? What if there was no weather report of a major rainstorm? To have been truly efficient, the planner took only what was in the plan. Since no weather report predicted a rainstorm, the efficient planner takes no shelters or tarps to keep the weather out when cooking. People get cold and wet and maybe are a little hungry.

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Notes from Rechartering Roundtable

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If you are attending the Rechartering Roundtable, you can watch the presentation live on your iOS device, Mac, or the web by clicking here. This will allow you to see the same slides as they advance. Please note that this is not the same as downloading the file. That will be posted on this page as a later update, after the Roundtable is over.

For copies of the Journey to Excellence forms that are required to complete recharter, you can download them from www.scouting.org/jte.

Take a look at the Unit Assessment form to know more about what you can do to improve your JTE score. Talk to a commissioner the results. Review the Unit Performance Guide, especially chapter 4 for ideas.

Remember Recharter Agreements are required. Sometimes those are handled in advance. Rechartering cannot proceed, if our DE does not have that agreement in way or another.

BSA rolls out 100% co-ed

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You may have heard, but all programs will be co-ed by January 1, 2019. Cub Scouts start, as I read it, June 1, 2018.

Here is the announcement from CAC Council Commissioner Ron Penczek:

Team,

I wanted to take a moment to forward on to you official communications from our National Council regarding girls in Cub and Boy Scouting.  While it is too late for my girls to stand beside their brother in earning Eagle Scout, I am very excited to bring our program of citizenship, leadership and fitness to girls around the country, I hope you are as excited as me.  I know for some Scouters, this change will be concerning and their concerns are not without merit, but as a Commissioner Corps, I am sure we can help deliver a positive message.  We can be the agent of change that helps everyone to see the benefits of such a change and help implement such change in a positive way.

Please cascade this to your District and Unit Commissioners and begin talking with your units about this change.

I look forward to talking with you next week.

Kind regards,

Ron

BSA Expands Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts Programs to Welcome Girls

The BSA’s board of directors has unanimously approved welcoming girls into our Cub Scouts program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders — as well as parents and girls who have never been involved in Scouting — to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.

Linked below (or attached) are a few resources to help you learn more about today’s decision, as well as respond to any inquiries you may receive. As always, please direct all media queries to pr@scouting.org:

Official BSA news release

Family Scouting page on scoutingnewsroom.org

Family Scouting FAQ

YPT Update

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Thank you to all the scouters who have been updating their Youth Protection Training. Your efforts are paying off. In 2018 we are running ahead of 2017.

We still have a bunch more to go, the trends are excellent.

YoY 2016-2017 YPT

Social for all Districts

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On Friday, November 3, 2017, the Council Commissioner Service is hosting a council-wide social the evening before the Commissioner College. The event is free. You can RSVP here.

SPECIAL KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

  1. Al Lambert, Central Region Director, BSA
  2. Kandra Dickerson, Central Region Commissioner, BSA
  3. Bob Hoffmeyer, Ass’t Area Commissioner, National Commissioner Tools Team and former CAC Commissioner

Friday, November 3rd: Social Mixer, Keynote Address, Refreshments, and Fun together!

Theme: “ENERGIZE AND BUILD TEAM PERFORMANCE””

For BSA Board Members, All Commissioners, District Committee Chairs and District Committee Members, and BSA Professionals.

Where: Camp Belzer Activity Center, 6102 Boy Scout Rd,, Indianapolis IN 46226

Registration/Check in: Starts at 5:45pm, Event starts at 6:30 pm

Roundtable Thursday

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This Thursday we will have a busy roundtable.

We will have all the following at 7:00 pm

  1. Den Leader SDistrictCommissionerpecific Training for all grades;
  2. Camping skills for Webelos Den Leaders and Cubmasters with demonstrations by boy scouts from Troop 56;
  3. Introduction to Rechartering methods and other fun of unit administration. This is open to all persons handling rechartering; and
  4. An open forum for boy scout leaders not involved in rechartering.

We will also have Youth Protection Training for Cubs and Scouts live at 6:30 pm.

See you Thursday at Luke’s Lodge on northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260 at 7:00 pm.

Boys success in emotion management

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Is this old article from the New York Times a study in how many things can one writer get wrong in one article? Or is it a study in modern psychology?

As most of my readers know by now, I don’t look at the world through pop psychology or the buzzwords of the day from the media.

So I will start with the principle that we need to digest this type of article with care and precision.

This article presents many conflicting issues with the Journalism 101 principle that all serious analyses need to have a personal story to make the reading tolerable. (They would say “interesting,” but I find so little journalism interesting. To me, journalism is often a study in formulaic writing. But I digress.) So, the main point of what happens to boys in their emotional development gets interrupted by a boy getting an injection, a vignette from a College Honors class, a lecture by a professor with a wayward frat-boy interlocutor, an interview with a researcher, and class offerings now available in Men’s Studies. Let’s put all those wandering digressions aside.

The article tries to make the point that boys to age 5 are more emotive than same-aged girls. These boys are more socially oriented than same-aged girls. The boys develop deep emotional bonds easily and regularly.

The article claims that by puberty we socialize this emotive personality out of them. This claim of socializing out emotiveness has utterly no academic support in the article. It is merely asserted as gospel truth. I question the validity of the claim. As I am growing persuaded that Karl Popper’s theory of science is true (i.e., science exists in only two places (1) hypotheses already proven false, like the 4 humors approach to medicine, and (2) hypotheses stated in a manner that can be found to be false through experimentation or observation), mere assertions don’t persuade me much.

Despite my doubts, the rest of the article is built on how to resolve this asserted problem that we are socializing out boys’ ability to handle emotions.

Hannah Arendt, a 20th century philosopher of whom I have only recently learned, suggested that violence in society rises when bureaucracy grows, due to fewer means of being able to successfully petition for relief from problems. Violence is seen as the only outlet.

If Arendt is correct, a reasonable corrollary is that humans funneled into unfulfilling avenues of life foster behavior that rebels against the funneling.

So, let’s imagine a boy in middle school on the morning of father visits. He is sitting in class listening to a female teacher talk about the Diary of Anne Frank. The teacher asks about the relationships and feelings of the different persons in the story. The boy tunes out. All the boys around him tune out. The fathers all reach for their cell phones (I resisted only by whispering to the father next to me to share in my observation). The girls gleefully raised their hands and participated. The teacher had to pull teeth to engage the boys. These boys were being funneled into a terribly boring presentation that connected with 0% of the male population in the room with nearly 20 male subjects and 50% of the 10 female subjects.

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Anti-Fragile and Scouting (Part 2)

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This is the second part of a series commenting on what I have been reading in the works of Nassim Taleb, beginning with his book Anti-Fragile, part of the Incerto series.

incerto

In the last article, I outlined his biography and introduced the questions of “What is the opposite of fragile? Are your scouts, scout parents, or scouters fragile? What are your duties as a scout leader in handling this matter?

Let’s return to the question of “what is the opposite of fragile?”

Is it resilience? I have written here before about the value of building resilience through the scouting program. The research on building resilience in children is important for life-long physical and emotional health.

A quote from the previous article makes the point.

Amid all the hustle there are some worries parents can let go of, says clinical psychologist David J. Palmiter Jr., PhD, and author of Working Parents, Thriving Families: 10 Strategies That Make a Difference. Forget the concept of work-life balance, he says. It doesn’t exist. And the worries that you’re giving your kids the short shrift because both of you work? There’s no evidence to support that either, he says. In fact, there are many things that working parents worry about that aren’t really a big deal. But cultivating resilience is something that shouldn’t be overlooked, he says.

How important is resilience? It could have long-term health implications. A study published in the February 1, 2016, issue of Heart found that young men with low stress resilience scores were 40% more likely to develop high blood pressure later in life.

So how can you teach your children to bounce back—especially when you’ve got limited time?

I suggested that scouting provides a means of answer Dr. Palmiter’s question, “[H]ow can you teach your children to bounce back[?]” I made the point that you can’t teach resilience. You give it a chance to develop in presence of stressors and good role modelling. The scout learns how to behave amidst adversity.

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