Updates on Eagle extentions and more – from Byron on Scouting

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Advancement during COVID-19: Official details about Eagle extensions and more

The BSA has a message to young people concerned that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will prevent them from completing Eagle Scout rank requirements before their 18th birthday: Don’t worry; we’ve got your back.

During this unprecedented interruption to Scouting nationwide, the BSA has released new guidance on advancement during COVID-19. This includes:

  • Time extensions for qualifying Scouts and Venturers working on the Eagle Scout, Summit and Quartermaster awards. Local councils will have the authority to grant this extension through the end of September 2020.
  • The ability to accept electronic signatures for rank advancement and award applications — effective now through the end of September 2020.
  • An option to complete Scoutmaster conferences via videoconferencing. (Section of the Guide to Advancement says Scoutmasters “should not” conduct Scoutmaster conferences online; it doesn’t say “must not.” The new COVID-19 guidance clarifies that this practice is OK, as long as Youth Protection rules are followed.)
  • An option for parents or other adults in a Cub Scout’s family to sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements — effective now through the end of July 2020.
  • An option for Scoutmasters to allow time missed during the COVID-19 outbreak to count toward requirements for participation and positions of responsibility.

Here’s what else you need to know.

Time extensions for Eagle Scout, Summit and Quartermaster awards

Normally granted only in rare circumstances, the BSA and its local councils will allow extensions for Life Scouts needing more time to finish their Eagle Scout requirements. The authority for councils to grant this extension is effective immediately and continues through Sept. 30, 2020.

Extensions also are available for Venturers needing to finish Summit Award requirements and Sea Scouts needing to finish Quartermaster Award requirements beyond their 21st birthday.

These extensions are reviewed case by case, and not all Scouts will qualify. To get an extension through a local council, Scouts must meet the following requirements:

  1. It can be established that COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances that delayed work on Eagle Scout/Summit/Quartermaster advancement requirements, such as the service project or merit badges. If any other causes were involved, the extension request must go to the National Council following the process outlined in the Guide to Advancement.
  2. Extensions shall only be granted to youth in Scouts BSA who have already achieved Life rank.
  3. When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the council reviews the request and approves it if appropriate. A written response stating the outcome of the extension request must go to the youth. If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application.
  4. For Eagle, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 18th birthday; for Summit/Quartermaster, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 21st.
  5. Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete Youth Protection training. Their participant code will now be UP for SBSA or VP for Venturing and Sea Scouting.
  6. Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the GTA.

A note for council administrators: Once the council approves an extension, the council’s administrator will need to go into Member Manager to activate the COVID-19 extension. This will automatically add the three-month extension and allow the youth to continue working past their 18th/21st birthdays. (They’ll still need to be registered as UP/VP after “aging out.”) This flag will then show on the member’s profile.

For more guidance for Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts advancement, read the complete FAQs.

At Home Cub Scout Activities

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Find these and more at here

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We realize with schools closed for extended periods kids and families will be looking for educational and fun activities. These are great opportunities to review the depth of the Scouting program and work on badges not in your particular unit’s schedule. Remember that any electronic communication involving a youth member must adhere to BSA’s “two deep” leadership policies.

Cub Scouts / Grades K-5

Q/A Covid 19

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From Council Commissioner Ronald Penczek:

I hope you are all doing well during this unprecedented time. The attached document, which has been posted on our Council website, will help you navigate questions that are arising regarding advancement due to the Coronavirus. Please take time to read and forward this information to your Unit Leaders.

If you have any questions, please contact myself or Nate.

Thank you for your support and stay well!

Q&A Regarding COVID-19 Related Advancement Difficulties


Questions and Answers

Cub Scouting/Scouts BSA/Venturing/Sea Scouting
Rank Advancement and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)


The following questions regarding advancement have arisen as we deal with closures, cancellations, or other issues caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Although there are difficulties and constraints, advancement can continue. Youth, parents, and leaders should work together to implement creative, common sense ways to facilitate advancement while adhering to the Guide to Safe Scouting and following the rules of Youth Protection training.

Please follow this link to the Guide to Advancement (GTA), which remains the primary source for information related to Scouts BSA advancement. It is referenced throughout the answers provided here.

Please send additional questions to advancement.team@scouting.org


All Scouting Programs

Q: How can advancement be tracked remotely?

A: Scouting units should use ScoutBook to record and track advancement.

To track advancement remotely, parents should:

  • Connect with their child’s member profile via an invitation that the unit leader sends within ScoutBook.
  • Once a connection is made, the parent should use the Scouting app, found in both the App Store and Google Play, to stay connected with their unit.
  • The Scouting app provides parents the ability to report any advancement that was completed at home.

Go to https://help.scoutbook.com to learn more about how to start using ScoutBook and how to connect parents to their Scouts.


Cub Scouts

Q: May parents sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements?

A: Yes. Through July 31, 2020, parents and other adults in the Cub Scout’s family, may sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements. We strongly encourage that parents use the Scouting App or ScoutBook to record completion of their child’s requirements.


Q: If my den is behind in advancement due to COVID-19, can my Cub Scout continue to work on advancement through the summer?

A: Yes. Cub Scouts can continue to work on their current den’s advancement through July 31, 2020.  This is to provide any additional time a Cub Scout needs to complete their badge of rank; if they earn their badge of rank prior to July 31, 2020, they may advance to the next rank.


Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts


Q: May merit badge requirements or rank requirements be modified?

A: No. All requirements must be completed as written. If meetings or activities are canceled or limited, youth should continue to work on requirements as far as possible. By employing common sense and creative solutions, many requirements–even Scoutmaster conferences–can be fulfilled through videoconferencing or telephone calls.

Q: Can merit badge counseling or Nova/Supernova counseling be done using digital technologies like Zoom or WebEx?

A: Yes, registered merit badge counselors or Nova counselors/Supernova mentors may work with youth using digital platforms, ensuring that all youth protection measures noted in the Guide to Safe Scouting and BSA’s social media guidelines are in place. In addition to youth protection, the advancement guidelines in GTA Section 7 are required.

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward active participation requirements?

A: Yes. If youth are registered and in good standing, a disruption from COVID-19 virus can be the “noteworthy circumstance” that prevents participation. This policy has been in place for many years and is explained in GTA Topic

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward position of responsibility requirements?

A: Yes. If youth are registered and unable to meet the expectations of their positions because of COVID-19 disruptions, then units may need to waive or rethink the expectations. Just as youth must not be held to unestablished expectations, they must not be held to expectations that are impossible to fulfill. See GTA Topic, “Positions of Responsibility,” with its six subtopics.

Q: Does the National Council grant extensions of time to complete rank requirements beyond the 18th birthday for the Eagle or 21st birthday for Summit or Quartermaster?

A: Yes, but only for the Eagle Scout rank as described in GTA Topic or for Venturing Summit or Sea Scout Quartermaster as described in GTA Topic Unit leadership must become familiar with the five tests under The tests were designed to accommodate such obstacles as those presented by COVID-19 disruptions.

Q: Will youth who are not yet Life Scouts be allowed to apply for an extension to earn the Eagle Scout rank?

  1. Extensions are considered only for Scouts who are Life rank. If, once a Scout achieves Life rank, it turns out that COVID-19 disruptions along the way have left them with insufficient time to complete Eagle requirements, then this may be cited when the time comes to submit an extension request.

Q: May local councils grant extensions?

A: Normally, that is not allowed. However, due to the current situation—effective immediately and through September 30, 2020—council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the following limitations:

  1. It can be established that COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances that delayed work on Eagle Scout/Summit/Quartermaster advancement requirements, such as the service project or merit badges. If any other causes were involved, the extension request must go to the National Council following the process outlined in the GTA.


  1. Extensions shall only be granted to youth in Scouts BSA who have already achieved Life rank.


  1. When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the council reviews the request and approves it if appropriate. A written response stating the outcome of the extension request must go to the youth. If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application. For Eagle, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 18th birthday; for Summit/Quartermaster, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 21st
  2. Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete YPT; their participant code will now be UP for SBSA or VP for Venturing and Sea Scouting.


  1. Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the GTA.


Note: A “month” in BSA advancement is defined as a day from one month to the next. For example, March 5 to April 5.


The authority for councils to grant extensions is temporary, lasting only through Sept. 30, 2020.

Q: If youth have already received an extension, can they request additional time due to COVID-19?

A: Yes. Council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the limitations listed above.

Q: What should be done while an extension request is being considered?

A: Youth should continue to work on advancement in so far as they are able—e.g., independently, or over the phone or videoconference—and at Scouting activities once they resume.

Q: Are extensions required when an Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster board of review must be delayed?

A: No. Councils may grant Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster boards of review up to six months after the youth’s 18th/21st birthday. See GTA Topic, “Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the 18th Birthday.”

See also, GTA Topic, “Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing.”

Q: Are electronic or digital signatures acceptable for rank advancement or for the Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster packets/applications?
A: Yes. Electronic or digital signatures will be accepted through September 30, 2020.

Q: How can a youth continue to work on advancement requirements if they don’t have internet or high-speed internet for videoconferencing?
A: Youth may take a picture of their completed activity/requirement and share the work with unit leaders. In keeping with Youth Protection Training policies, all communications from youth should be sent to at least two adults. Parents or guardians may send advancement work on behalf of their child.


from Bryon on Scouting – 58 Merit Badges Scouts can complete at home

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Merit badges for social distancing: 58 badges Scouts can complete at home

In times of crisis, Scouts find a way to adapt.

We’re hearing from Scouts and leaders across the country who have found creative ways to keep on Scouting even while practicing social distancing (staying home and remaining at least 6 feet from others if you must go out).

Today we wanted to share another way Scouts BSA members can continue their Scouting journey during this period of isolation: by earning merit badges. Below, we have listed 58 merit badges that Scouts can complete from home. The merit badges on the list meet two main criteria:

  • They don’t involve visits to public places or companies.
  • Their requirements can be completed indoors or in an average-size yard.

That eliminates merit badges like Citizenship in the Nation, which includes a visit to a state or federal facility, or Backpacking, which requires three treks of at least 15 miles each.

You will find merit badges that require special materials, like Basketry and Pottery. If you don’t have the necessary supplies at home, move on to the next suggested merit badge.

Lee Rhys is one of those industrious Scout leaders who plans to suggest this idea to his Scouts. The Scoutmaster of Troop 73 of Indianapolis (Crossroads of America Council) says his troop has suspended meetings during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Not all families will have the necessary materials on hand,” Rhys says. “But resourceful Scouts may find ways to overcome these challenges.”

Youth Protection reminder

Remember to review Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse before beginning digital contact between a Scout and a merit badge counselor.

The BSA’s Youth Protection guidelines, including a rule against one-on-one contact, apply to digital communication.

Merit badges for social distancing: reminders

A few things to keep in mind when using this list:

  1. Find a registered merit badge counselor: Scouts should work with their Scoutmaster to identify a merit badge counselor for the badge or badges they want to earn. (Merit badge counselors — either current or future — should read our guide to being a merit badge counselor for some helpful tips.)
  2. Use the official requirements: You’ll find a lot of outdated merit badge requirements online. For the most current and up-to-date requirements, go to the BSA’s official merit badges page.
  3. Understand what made the cut: All 137 merit badges have certain requirements Scouts could complete at home. What makes the list below special is that all of the badge’s requirements can be completed at home.
  4. Have fun: Earning merit badges is one of my favorite parts about Scouting. Other than the merit badges required for Eagle, young people get to pick any merit badge that interests them. That decision should be 100% theirs. If earning a merit badge ever feels like schoolwork … well, you’re doing it wrong.

Merit badges for social distancing: the list

  • American Business
  • American Heritage
  • Animation
  • Art
  • Basketry
  • Bird Study
  • Chemistry
  • Chess
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Collections
  • Composite Materials
  • Cooking
  • Digital Technology
  • Drafting
  • Electricity
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Family Life
  • Fingerprinting
  • First Aid
  • Game Design
  • Genealogy
  • Graphic Arts
  • Home Repairs
  • Leatherworking
  • Mammal Study
  • Metalwork
  • Mining in Society
  • Model Design & Building
  • Moviemaking
  • Music
  • Nuclear Science
  • Oceanography
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Plant Science
  • Plumbing
  • Pottery
  • Programming
  • Pulp & Paper
  • Railroading
  • Robotics
  • Salesmanship
  • Scholarship
  • Sculpture
  • Search & Rescue
  • Soil & Water Conservation
  • Space Exploration
  • Stamp Collecting
  • Sustainability
  • Textile
  • Theater
  • Weather
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Woodcarving
  • Woodwork

Virtual Scouting – From our District Commissioner

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Jennifer Beyer

Mon, Mar 23, 11:41 AM (2 days ago)

On the Commissioner website, the following was given. https://www.scouting.org/commissioners/news-for-commissioners/?fbclid=IwAR2Z7EtRHk50tbT1o2q5eDpK-pRhlqvPhR-ya7vShF09DDMuV6kcClMobu0


Virtual Scouting Resources_03.2020 

There have been challenging times throughout Scouting’s history, including war, economic depression, and natural disasters. Each time, Scouts have met those challenges by focusing on helping others – and have grown strong in the process. As our nation responds to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to find ways for its youth to keep on Scouting.

The social distancing practices needed to slow the spread of the virus limit our ability for traditional meetings of all types. Resources and tools are available to help implement virtual meetings that enable Scouting to continue. Many resources have already come online; more are being added daily.

Here’s a list of resources available today. We’ll continue to provide more as they become available.


Google Search for Virtual Scouting Resources_03.2020

A Google search is a quick and easy way to identify virtual Scouting resources.

Simply enter “BSA Virtual Scouting.” Some discretion will be needed in identifying the best resources, but thousands – literally thousands – of options will be displayed.


Calling All Virtual Scouting Best Practices_03.2020

  • The Scouting spirit is alive and well: a long list of resources to enable virtual Scouting is already available. A new national council webpage, which will continue to expand, is up and running with key information and resources: https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/
  • Bryan on Scouting is an official BSA Scouting Magazine resource; subscribe if you haven’t done so already; it will be a great, ongoing resource on a variety of topics: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/ 

If you know a great virtual Scouting best practice, share it so others can use it to keep on Scouting. Send your best practices to: commissionerserviceteam@Scouting.org .


How To Scout – Virtually_03.2020

Want to keep on Scouting with virtual meetings, but don’t know how?

Two of the most popular tools are FreeConferenceCall and Zoom – both because they work and because they offer free options along with more advanced options for a fee. Basic information about those services and their options are available on their websites. YouTube provides a variety of training videos. To get started, check out the following links:

  • COM
  • ZOOM




Yours in Scouting,

Jenny Beyer

NorthStar District Commissioner

H 317-769-5060

C 317-661-0431

Find More ideas on FaceBook and online

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Everyday the National office, the Council, and the District seems to find some great idea about scouting and shares it online.

Don’t be left out!  Share this information with your Units!

Follow online: cacnorthstar.org (and get our weekly newsletter)

Like us on Facebook: CAC North Star Commissioner and Crossroads of America Council

Advice during this time.

Posted on Updated on

All Scouts, Leaders, and Parents;
We are living through an unprecedented period in history. During this time, we need to follow the guidance given to us to break the spread of the Coronavirus. As part of that guidance, we are not having Scout meetings or events as long as the schools remain closed nor District or Council activities until at least April 13. This however does not mean that Scouting and advancement needs to stop. Scouting is about “Family” – Family Scouting.
For those in Cub Scouts:
Cubmasters and Den Leaders – work with the members of your Den’s and Pack. Use email, phone calls, video conferencing (see the rules below) – (while always following Youth Protection Guidelines) – to help provide:
 Ideas of things / items that the Scout Family can do for Rank Advancement.
 Update advancement.
 Provide a safe positive outlet for the “cabin fever” that will probably strike all of us.
Cub Scout Activities from Home
For those in Scouts BSA:
Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Committee Members, Scouts, Family, etc….. – this is a time for Scouts to work on “Scout” through “First Class” Rank(s). Work with your Unit Leaders (following Youth Protection Guidelines) to complete items that can be completed with your family and/or with remote instruction. That said, requirements may NOT be changed or waived. Some requirements may be done, except on a Troop campout.
Merit Badges:
Scouts may work to complete those partial Merit Badges that have been hanging around.
Look into starting a new Merit Badge in consultation with your Scoutmaster.
REMEMBER – if a Merit Badge says “with your counselor’s approval”, or “approval of your counselor”, or “approved by your counselor” – you need to communicate with a Merit Badge Counselor – PRIOR to starting that requirement. Remember- REQUIREMENTS may NOT be Changed.
If you need a list of Merit Badge Counselor(s), contact your Scoutmaster.
Summer Camp will be here before we know it:
Many Merit Badges have pre-requisites, this is a perfect time to get them done. REMEMBER – if a Merit Badge says “with your counselor’s approval”, or “approval of your counselor”, or “approved by your counselor” – you need to communicate with Merit Badge Counselor before starting / doing that requirement.
Eagle Service Projects during this period
For working on Eagle projects, our guidance so far is that:
 Regardless of the size of the work group (i.e., even if under 10 people), a Scout should not announce and hold a work time for an Eagle project.
 Scouts can work with their own household members, but must be careful to think through how they are still planning and managing the project. At a minimum they must lead at least two other people for it to qualify.

 If a Scout has been in regular physical contact with a couple of friends (so that they are well aware of each other’s health condition and risk factors) and they meet to work on an Eagle project activity, they must still maintain social distancing of at least a 6 foot radius for each person.

Below are the BSA Guide to Advancement (Section requirements for Eagle and Other BOR
1. For Eagle Scout boards of review, the local council must grant permission to hold it by
videoconference. Other ranks do not need approval but should follow the requirements below.
2. Test all equipment, including cameras, lighting, microphones, software, and internet connection.
3. Make sure everyone is visible — including all members of the board of review, the Scout and any observers with the Scout. No one within hearing range on either side shall be off-camera. It is important to consider your technical capabilities when planning how many board of review members to involve. Observers should be minimized for any board of review, and this applies especially to videoconference reviews. Their presence can change the discussion dynamics.
4. A parent or guardian of the Scout, or two registered adult leaders (as required by the Guide to Safe Scouting) who are familiar with these requirements for videoconference boards of review, must be directly present with the Scout at the beginning of the conference. The Scouters may be from the nearest council, district or unit. Their role is to verify that the Scout is in a safe environment and that the board of review appears to be in compliance with these requirements. Once all the members of the board of review are present on their end of the call and introductions are completed, and the review is about to begin, anyone present with the Scout must leave the room or move out of hearing distance unless they have specifically been approved to remain as observers.
5. Once the review process has been concluded, if the Scout is under age 18, the Scout’s parent or guardian, or two registered adult leaders, must rejoin the Scout. Their purpose is to be available to answer any questions that may arise, to join in the celebration of the Scout’s accomplishment, or to be party to any instructions or arrangements regarding the appeals process or the reconvening of an incomplete review. Once this is done, the board members end the call and sign off.
6. Videoconference boards of review must not be recorded.
7. If an appeal is necessary (as outlined in the Guide to Advancement), this may be conducted via videoconference as well.
Videoconferencing tips
 Look presentable. Just as you would want to look sharp in your uniform for an in-person board of review, the same should apply to one conducted via video.
 Find a quiet space with a clean background. Try to minimize audio and visual distractions.
 Test your equipment. Enlist a friend or family member to help you test your connection, making sure they can see and hear you with minimal lag.
 Try for eye contact. Though your instinct will be to look at the screen to see the board of review members, spend some time looking directly into the camera. It may feel strange, but it will look better to the people watching.
Free videoconferencing options
Note: Each of the options below has a paid option, but I’m outlining the features of the free tier.
 Google Hangouts: Easy to use, no time limit, allows up to 10 participants

 Zoom: Great features, 40-minute time limit, allows up to 100 participants
 Skype: Good stability, four-hour time limit, allows up to 50 participants
 UberConference: Excellent video quality, 45-minute time limit, allows up to 10 participants

CAC Advancement and COVID-19

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You’re receiving this email because of your involvement in the advancement process with Scouts in the Crossroads of America council.  I understand there are many questions given the COVID-19 social distancing mandates, and I’ve talked to a number of you in the last few days about specific situations.  I want to give you clear direction on the council’s workarounds during this time, but I’m waiting for promised input from national BSA and our council staff to make sure we’re all on the same page.  Here is what I can share as of now:


Advancement via Videoconference

It is permissible to hold discussions by videoconference to complete Scoutmaster conferences, merit badge work, Eagle project approvals, and boards of review.  National BSA has offered guidelines on how to do this, and I’ve included the link below.  The article emphasizes the importance of 2-deep adult participation, the need to have the Scout’s parent or guardian involved at the start and end of the call, the fact that nobody should participate in a call who is not visible or announced, and the ban on recording any conversation with youth.  Please read it carefully to make sure you’re aligned with the guidance provided.

How to conduct a board of review through videoconferencing


Time Extensions to Complete Eagle Rank

The rules for extensions of time for Eagle rank are spelled out in section of the Guide to Advancement.  Extensions are only granted by national BSA.  The local council advancement committee receives requests from Scouts and prepares the “Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank” form.  The committee recommends to national BSA that the extension be granted or denied.  The form needs to be accompanied by the Scout’s explanation of why more time is needed and merited.  Input is needed from the Scoutmaster and other adults in regular contact with the youth in order for the council to make an assessment.  So, a letter from the Scoutmaster, the committee chair or advancement chair, and any other person who has input pertinent to the case is helpful.  In the event the Scout cites a medical issue as a contributor to the situation, a statement from a medical professional who is treating the Scout is needed.  If learning issues are cited, a school letter or individualized learning plan summary is needed.


There are 5 tests that must be met for an extension to be granted:

  1. The Scout was properly enrolled in a unit throughout the time needed to complete requirements.
  2. A circumstance came to exist that now precludes completion before the deadline.
  3. The circumstance was beyond the youth’s control.
  4. The circumstance is severe and not the norm in the Scout’s life.
  5. The circumstance could not have been planned for or anticipated.


Clearly, the COVID-19 situation satisfies some of these tests, and will likely be categorized (based on input from the Central Region advancement chair) as a natural disaster.  However, the other tests cannot be skimmed over lightly.  The request needs to explain why a Scout is in the position of having remaining work to do with little time remaining.  It must be clear that the Scout was on a path toward successful completion of all requirements as of March 13th when the first major social distancing mandates were imposed in our area.  Any claims of hardship or medical/learning obstacles must be ‘not the norm’ in the Scout’s life, and evidence must be provided for what is different in the months after the Scout turned 18 vs. in the months and years before.  We should not expect a blanket extension for all Scouts.


Gathering to Work on Eagle Projects

Over the past few days, it was permissible to meet only in very small groups with people who the Scout is in regular contact with, and for whom the Scout knows the recent health history and travel status.  As social distancing mandates continue to tighten, any meetings outside the Scout’s family may be banned.  During this time, the Scout can explore if there are alternate (e.g., electronic) ways to deliver the benefits of the project.  There may be a few projects where this is possible, but most projects involve a physical installation of some type.  The Scout can also determine whether his/her family is able to help with the project, but should be very careful that the leadership requirements of a valid Eagle project are not violated.


Continue Progress While Awaiting a Verdict

Some Life to Eagle candidates have requirements remaining beyond the Eagle project and a Scoutmaster conference.  If possible, the Scout should continue making progress on any outstanding requirements while awaiting the outcome of an extension request.  Extensions are granted for a specific period of time to complete a specific list of requirements.


Eagle Boards of Review After Age 18

A Scout must complete requirements except for the board of review before age 18, but is always allowed up to 3 months after turning 18 to complete a board of review.  In the event a board of review is delayed further than 3 months for reasons beyond the Scout’s control, the local council can grant a 3 month extension.  This applies only to the board of review, not to other rank requirements.  A delay longer than 6 months after turning 18 requires national BSA approval.  We do not know whether in this special circumstance national BSA might allow local councils to grant longer BOR extensions because of the volume of expected requests.


Submitting Eagle Binders or Retrieving Eagle Binders

Until the social distancing mandates are lifted, we won’t be passing hard copies of Eagle applications, project proposals/workbooks, or binders back and forth.  Binders already submitted to the council office are not accessible.  We will discuss whether it is possible to use an electronic process for this, but I have not gotten feedback from the council staff on what they can support while working remotely.


Applications and Advancement by New Scouts BSA or Crossovers

Some units are concerned that they have new Scouts who want to work on Scout rank or merit badges but are not registered in the unit yet.  If units have brand new Scouts or crossovers whose applications have not yet been processed by the council, they can send the applications electronically to their DE.  A blank electronic application can be provided if needed.  The date of the application will serve as the Scout’s membership date in the troop so that he/she can begin advancement work.


Closing Out the Cub Scout Advancement Season

Den Leaders are asked to keep accurate records of all advancements that have been completed this spring. If Scouts have some adventure work left to complete this school year, Den Leaders can provide guidance on how to work on them with parents and document completion.


Council Coordinated Committee Cancelled

The March 28th Council Coordinated Committee meeting, where we would have held the monthly advancement committee meeting, has been canceled.  We will communicate mostly by email for the next few weeks.


More to come!  As you have questions and special circumstances, please pass them on.


Yours in Scouting,


Sara Gormley

Crossroads of America

Council Advancement Chair

Postponed: 2020 North Star Pinewood Derby

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NS District PWD Flier 2020Pinewood Derby Season is upon us again!

New date for Pinewood Derby to be determined.

If you have any questions about the district derby, or if your pack needs any help running your derby, please contact Bill Buchalter, the District’s Derby Coordinator, at: wbbuch1@comcast.net, or 317-509-0767.

Updates from Joe Wiltrout regarding Covid 19 and the Crossroads of America Council

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Dear Scouting Family,
As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in Crossroads of America Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 with our Council Health Supervisor from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The following information regarding events is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.

Status of Council/ District Events
All Crossroads of America Council and District events have been postponed until April 13, 2020. All Scout Shops will be closed to foot track, but they will still fulfill online orders. We will reevaluate the situation on April 13.
Follow www.crossroadsbsa.org/announcements for the latest information and policies on:
  • Council Events
  • Refunds and postponement
  • Summer Camp
  • Unit Meetings
BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness
The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.

If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Yours in Scouting,
Joseph E. Wiltrout
Scout Executive/ CEO

From the office of Joseph E. Wiltrout Scout Executive and Chief Executive Officer

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Dear Unit Leaders,

With the first case of COVID-19 being confirmed in a school setting within our Council, we wanted to take a moment to reach out and share the proper protocol with you.

If your school closes because of a confirmed case of COVID-19, please follow the protocol set forth by your school. Cancel any meetings until the school re-opens, and use extra precautions to protect yourself and your Scouts.

If you have to cancel meetings, please encourage parents to use this opportunity to teach their kids the lessons that they would be learning during their Scout meetings.

Lastly, we encourage all leaders to keep the youth and parents updated as they receive updates from the school by providing regular communications.


Joseph E. Wiltrout
Scout Exectuive/ CEO

Merit Badge Sundays at Fort Harrison State Park – April and May FULL! Considering adding more . . .

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NatureDue to an incredible response from our Scouting community, our April 5th & May 10th Merit Badge Sunday programs are FULL and no longer taking registrations. We are exploring adding a second class in response to the high demand! Please email the park naturalist at DAllison@DNR.IN.gov for more details.Merit Badge Sundays at Fort Harrison State Park — Every month scouts have the opportunity to work on a different Merit Badge. See attached Flyer.2020-MB-Sundays

Tread Lightly Trainer Course

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Tread Lightly Trainer Course

Saturday, May 9, 2020 (8:30 AM – 1:00 PM)

Golden-Burke Scout Center

7125 Fall Creek Rd., Indianapolis 46256


Highlights Include:

Introduction on the Principles of
Leave-No-Trace, Tread Lightly, Land Ethics
Comprehensive Tread Lightly Training
Teaching Skill Training

Fee: $15.00/person (Scouts 12y with SM/Adv. approval or Adults)
This will cover:
TL Trainer Notebook
Interactive Outdoor Ethics Presentations
Flyers for your Unit
1. Attendees need to take the on-line TL Introduction Course(20 min) before the course – https://tread-lightly.teachable.com/p/online-awareness-course
2. Join TL at https://www.treadlightly.org/join-tread-lightly by paying $25
3. Prepare a 10min. TL presentation* which they will present to the group


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Camp Red Wing

5757 East Inlow Springs Road

Muncie, IN 47302

May 1-3, 2020


Leave No Trace is an educational, non-profit movement dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide. The Leave No Trace concept is one that crosses all boundaries of the recreation spectrum and is applicable for anyone who enjoys spending time in the out-of-doors. The idea is simple – leave the places you enjoy as good as or better than you found them. Both skills and ethics are involved, as well as good decision-making. If people do something, even something simple, to help take care of the recreational resources they cherish, we will all benefit. Cleaner water, less campfire impacts, fewer negative encounters with wildlife, less damage/loss of cultural and historic artifacts are just a few of the benefits of adhering to Leave No Trace. For more information about Leave No Trace, check out: http://www.lnt.org

This course will allow participants to learn and practice the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. This course will also focus on the effective presentation of these principles. The course will pivot between both classroom and outdoor experiences and presentations. Participants will learn both front country and back country information.

Who Should Attend?:
This course is open to adult Scouters, Venturers, and Boy Scouts over the age of 14 who are interested in learning more about the 7 principles of Leave No Trace and how to effectively teach those principles and associated skills.  All participants who complete this course will be recognized as Leave No Trace Trainers by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
$55.00 – The course fee covers lodging, food, training materials and awards. Registration is limited to the first 20 participants and will close April 1, 2020.
Participants will camp in a designated campsite Saturday night. Participants will need to provide their own camping equipment and bedding.
What to bring:
Please pack for a weekend camping trip.  You will need to supply all your personal gear including shelter, bedding, cup and mess kit.  Food will be provided.
Participant Presentation:
Each participant will be required to give a 15 minute presentation on a Leave No Trace topic provided by the course instructor.  Each participant will be contacted prior to the course and provided with a topic.

Highlights Include:

Outdoor Ethics Guide, Tread Lightly!, Land Ethics Course for Scouts 12 y & above/Adults
Fee $15 for course & OE Guide Notebook*(Fri 6-10 PM)
Attendees meet requirements for leading OE Awareness/Action Awards and youth are trained for the responsibilities as Outdoor Ethics Guides in their troop, team or crew.


Outdoor Ethics LeaveNoTrace

National Youth Leadership Training – NYLT – 2020

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What is NYLT?
National Youth Leadership Training is an exciting, action-packed program designed to provide youth members of the Boy Scouts of America with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home units and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others.

Course Overview:
The NYLT course centers around the concepts of what a leader must BE, what a leader must KNOW, and what a leader must DO. The key elements are then taught with a clear focus on HOW TO.

NYLT is patterned after a month in the life of a unit. Content is delivered in a group and team outdoor setting with an emphasis on immediate application of learning in a fun environment.

The NYLT course integrates the best of modern leadership theory with the traditional strengths of the Scouting experience. Through activities, presentations, challenges, discussions, and audio visual support, NYLT participants will be engaged in a unified approach to leadership that will give them the skills and confidence to lead well. Through a wide range of activities, events, games, and adventures, NYLT participants will work and play together as they put into action the best that Scouting has to offer.

Scouts BSA members (male and female) must be First Class rank and at least 13. They must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops.

Venturers and Sea Scouts (male and female) must be 14. They must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews or Ships. It is recommended that they have had at least one year of camping experience. While NYLT is not an outdoor skills course, it is important that each participant have basic camping and outdoor cooking experience.

FEE:  The course if $240 per participant and includes all food and materials. Early bird fees are $215 if paid 30 days prior to the start of the session. A deposit of $25 per participant is required to hold a spot.

Three Courses Available

  • April 3-5 & 17-19 (Must attend both weekends) Camp Kikthawenund (Frankton)
  • Week-Long Course June 14-20 Camp Red Wing (Muncie)
  • September 11-13 & 25-27 (Must attend both weekends) Camp Kikthawenund (Frankton)

Scholarship applications are available: Application must be received by March 1st (Spring course)

Mark D. Van Matre NYLT Scholarship

Scouting for Food – April 18,19

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North Star Scouting for Food – April 18/19, 2020

Scouting for Food is a national Boy Scouts of America community stewardship project aimed at addressing the problem of hunger in local communities. Crossroads of America Council participates in this annual spring food collection program with all proceeds staying in Central Indiana.  Participation in Scouting for Food counts toward service hours.

Once again, Crossroads of America Council and Kroger will be joining forces on this effort.  Units will be able to ask to seek food donations at Kroger stores starting on March 21st thru April 25th. Units will have to make contact with the manager of the store they would like to cover to make arrangements. Other then April 25th all food collected at Kroger will have to be taken by the units to the food bank of their choice. Kroger will also have four locations that food can be dropped off only on Saturday April 25th. Those four locations have not yet been determined.

More information available at the  Roundtable and as it becomes available. ScoutFood2020


ICOO Karl E. Kelley Memorial Camp Scholarship

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ICOO Karl E. Kelley Memorial Camp Scholarship

David James “DJ” PreeceMemorial Scholarship to the ICOO Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp

2020 Camp dates are confirmed!  June 21 – 27, 2020

Scholarship application deadline is 11 PM EDT May 3rd, 2020.

For any boy or girl that has completed the 5th or 6th grade in the preceding school year.

About DJ Preece and the ICOO Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp

DJ Preece, passed away unexpectedly and suddenly following a brief 24 hour illness on September 12th, 2015.  He was 12 years old. This scholarship is intended to afford the opportunity to other students to experience what DJ emphatically stated to be the time of his life – a week at the Indiana Conservation Officer Organization (ICOO) Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp.

DJ was small in stature at 4 foot 3 inches tall, but he made up for it by living to enjoy everything he did, and by trying to make sure others did the same.  He did not do things to be the best – he did them to experience doing them. Along the way, he learned and enjoyed many things and made many people smile. One of the ICOO camp counselors wrote the following about DJ:

“I only got to be around DJ for a week but it was a week I will never forget thanks to him. By getting to see how DJ acted and how kind- hearted he was, I could tell that I was not the only one that enjoys being around him. DJ would always walk out of the tent in a good attitude and always came out smiling.

During the camp I would have never thought that a kid would ever get to me and change me, but I was wrong. As soon as I arrived home I told my parents about the camp and told them stories. The more and more stories I told, I figured out a common theme, which is that they all had to do with DJ. I was in shock when I heard the news [of his passing] and did not know what to say. Therefore, I decided to tell the people who were closest to him about my time with the most outgoing, kindhearted, and well-rounded person I was blessed to meet. I promise you that DJ may be gone but he will never be forgotten in my heart and many others.”

More about DJ Preece and his life can be found online on a memorial Facebook page here and via the Facebook link at the top of this page.

Detailed information about the camp can be found online here.

You can see more about the Karl E. Kelley Camp at the camp Facebook page here.

Many parents who have sent their child to the camp have stated their child came back changed – for the better.

Camp Dates for 2020 – June 21st through June 27th.

The camp begins on Sunday, June 21st and ends with a graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 27th.

Campers are required to spend the entire time at the camp, including overnight. Late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.


If you cannot attend during any portion of the camp, please do not apply for the scholarship.

Scholarship Application Eligibility

Application for this scholarship is open to any boy or girl that has completed the 5th or 6th grade in the preceding school year who completes and submits an application on or before the submission deadline.

Application Deadline 

Applications must be received by the foundation administrator no later than 11 PM EDT May 3rd, 2020.

What the Scholarship Covers for the Recipient

This scholarship covers the camp fee for a single recipient ONLY. What is included by the ICOO camp in this fee is detailed on the camp web site here.


What the Scholarship DOES NOT Cover or Provide

This scholarship does not cover or provide anything not expressly stated as being covered or provided by the scholarship in the “What the Scholarship Covers for the Recipient” section above.

The camp fee is paid by the scholarship fund directly to the camp. No monies are or will be provided to the scholarship recipient or other party for any purpose. 

Transportation to and from the camp is not provided by the scholarship and is the responsibility of the recipient.

Scholarship is Non-Transferable

The scholarship is non-transferable by the recipient. If the scholarship recipient cannot attend the camp, they are required to notify the administrator of the foundation at administrator@iamdjfoundation.org as soon as they are aware they cannot attend and before the start of the camp. The administrator will then offer the opportunity to an alternate attendee selected by the foundation.

Liability and Obligations

The scholarship and/or the foundation and/or the family of David James Preece has no obligation to and/or liability for events, situations, actions, or outcomes beyond reserving a camper position, paying the camp fee, and selecting an individual who meets the requirements set forth by the ICOO Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp (the camp), to offer the opportunity to attend the camp. The scholarship and/or the foundation and/or the family of David James Preece is/are not liable for the failure of any ISP to deliver a scholarship application or for the failure of any Internet connection or email program to deliver an electronic version of the scholarship application.

Under no circumstances shall the scholarship and/or the foundation and/or the family of David James Preece have any obligation to and/or liability for events, situations, actions, or outcomes resulting from, or surrounding the act of participating in any role, capacity or function, the ICOO Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp by any person at any time.

It is the responsibility of the scholarship recipient and their legal guardian(s) to complete the ICOO Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp camper application and agree to and abide by any requirements or rules attached to that application. 

Recipient Selection

Submitting this scholarship application does not guarantee the applicant receipt of the scholarship. The recipient of the scholarship is selected solely by the foundation.  No other entity or person are involved in the selection process. Applicant grade level may be validated by the foundation. The recipient selection and any alternate recipient selection made by the foundation is final. Scholarship awards may be refused but not challenged.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used, in this order of importance, to select the scholarship recipient:

1.       Entire application received on or before the deadline

2.       Application completed in its entirety

3.       Presently enrolled in the 5th or 6th grade

4.       The completeness of applicant answers to questions on the application form

5.       The quality of applicant answers to questions on the application form

District Meeting Dates 2020

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Please mark your calendars for the NSD Committee Mtg. (1st  Thursday of the month)  7:00-9:00 pm     Room 204 of Zionsville Town Hall,   1100 W. Oak St., Zionsville 46077.

[Feb.6, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 2, Aug.6, Sep.3, Oct.1, Nov.5, and Dec.3]

Updated Annual Health Form!

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from Bryan on Scouting

There’s an updated Annual Health and Medical Record to use for 2020

Every few years, the BSA updates its Annual Health and Medical Record after consulting with health care professionals, Scout executives, council and camp health officers and other experts to ensure it is up-to-date and helpful.

This was one of those years, meaning a new form is available for everyone to use for 2020. Your AHMR is valid through the end of the 12th month after the date it was administered by your medical provider. For example, if you got your physical on Nov. 3, 2019, it’s valid until Nov. 30, 2020.

Next year will be a transition year, so you can use either the old or new form, but everyone in all Scouting programs must use the updated AHMR form starting Jan. 1, 2021. The old form will be obsolete at that date. So, the BSA recommends using the new form on your next physical exam or if you’re a new participant in 2020.

Since at least the 1930s, the BSA has required the use of standardized health and medical information. The last time this form was updated was in 2014. The changes made this year were minor, such as some conditions listed in the health history section.

You can download the new form here. The Annual Health and Medical Record is required for Scouts and adult leaders who want to go on Scouting events, campouts and high-adventure trips. Note that there are different parts to the AHMR:

  • Part A is an informed consent, release agreement and authorization that needs to be signed by every participant (or a parent and/or legal guardian for all youth under 18).
  • Part B is general information and a health history.
  • Part C is your pre-participation physical exam completed by a certified and licensed health care provider.

Which part must be completed?

  • For all Scouting events: Part A and B. Give the completed forms to your unit leader. This applies to all participants for all activities, day camps, local tours and weekend camping trips less than 72 hours.
  • For events or camps: Part A, B and C. A pre-participation physical is needed for resident, tour, or trek camps or for a Scouting event of more than 72 hours, such as Wood Badge and NYLT. The exam needs to be completed by a certified and licensed physician (M.D. or D.O.), nurse practitioner or physician assistant. If your camp has provided you with any supplemental risk information, or if your plans include attending one of the four national high-adventure bases, share the venue’s risk advisory with your medical provider when you are having your physical exam.
  • For high-adventure trips: Part A, B and C. Plus, each of the four national high-adventure bases (Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont and the Summit Bechtel Reserve) has provided a supplemental risk advisory that explains in greater detail some of the risks inherent in that program. Please review these as some Scouts or leaders may not be physically or mentally able to handle the trek. Others arrive at a high-adventure base without discussing that base’s risk factors with their health care provider, meaning they have missing info at check-in that can slow down the process.

How do I fill it out?

Please review and complete the AHMR fully and carefully. If you have any questions how to review it, read this BSA Safety Moment or look at these frequently asked questions. Remember, these completed forms must be secure, so they are not to be digitized, scanned, emailed or stored electronically by unit leaders.

Advancement Reporting

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Reminder: Advancement Reports should be turned in to the office on a regular basis.  The preferred timeline is monthly.  We recognize that this can be difficult for some Units.

However, we are making a plea for all Advancements for the year 2019 be turned in by Dec. 31.  This will help with our District records, keeping your Scout’s Advancements on track, and the Lange Challenge.

The Lange Challenge

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2019 Lange report formK3’s were recently sent a packet with a letter about the Lange challenge, JTE, and Scout Advancement. To summarize:

What is the “Lange Challenge?”  This is a very generous challenge grant that our Council receives with our help.  It is a program that honors the memory of Alexander “Skip” Lange and his belief that an active Scout is likely to stay in Scouting and earn their Eagle Scout Award.

In order to qualify for the grant we need Units to:

1.) Send in your 2019  weekend camping experiences conducted this year, as well as those your PLC anticipates conducting between now and December 31, 2019.  The goal is that 65% or more of our Troops are participating in 8 or more short term weekend experiences through out the course of the year. Send your camping outing list via email to camping@crossroadsbsa.org.

2.) Check your advancement records against the form sent in the mail.  Submit any changes to advancement@crossroadsbsa.org.   Continue to submit advancements as normal going forward.

3.) JTE – Please fill out the JTE Scorecard for 2019 and turn in with your recharter paperwork.





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Approve Applications on My.Scouting Mobile App!

National 08/27/2019

Unit Leaders can now approve online applications in the Mobile app. Download the latest MyScouting app update at Google Play Store or the App Store. A previous release allowed leaders to take action on leads in the Mobile app.

Summer Camp 2020 – looking ahead

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Ransburg Summer Camp – 2020 Registration

  • Registering Your Troop for 2020

    Registration for each week of the Summer 2020 season will open during the corresponding Summer 2019 week, on Thursdays at 7pm. Troops in camp who would like to schedule time to walk the new campsite plan are encouraged to do so on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and as needed for the remainder of the week.  A 2020 selection worksheet will be available at Ransburg and Kreitenstein for those units in camp.  For the troops not on site this summer but planning to join us for summer 2020, our team is happy to facilitate a discussion of specific considerations and preferences your troop.

  • Registration for Week 3 opens today Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 7pm EST.

Cub Scout Camps – 2020

Cub Scout camp will be very different in 2020.  North Star Units should look at the image of the flyer and start planning for the 2020 summer.  Will your Unit go on multiple weeks so parents can attend different camps?  Will you divide and have dens go the week that works best for them?

More information is expected soon.  This is just a heads up on things to come 🙂

flyer available here Camp-2020-Brochure

camp 2020 a.jpg

IOLS Baloo Training

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From Kevin Neese

Remember IOLS training is REQUIRED for all Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters, and BALOO is required for for Cubscouts to conduct their own outdoor / camping program(s).
IOLS and BALOO training will be offered to adults attending SUMMER CAMP with their UNITS.
TURNING IN TRAINING –  IOLS/BALOO training done at camp.  Please retain your certificate from camp and send a copy of it to Kevin Neese so he can log your training into the data base.  The camp does not do that for you.
Other training dates that the Council is offering:
August 3-4, 2019
November  (will be the same dates as University of Scouting)
December 14-15, 2019
Here is the LINK to SIGN-UP for Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills training and BALOO Training   https://scoutingevent.com/160-2019IOLS

Adult Training Reminders

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As we all know – training is an important part of Scouting.  Unfortunately, sometimes our training records can be hard to track.

Reminders: 1.) Anyone taking Classes (especially at summer camp) get a certificate and / or card and / or written documentation of the class completion.  Theoretically, all adults attending Summer Camp should be registered and thus have an ID # – but as we know, a lot of times the training sheets get lost and or don’t get recorded.

2.) Put your BSA id on any classroom training paperwork.  If you cannot find your card your BSA id is located on your YPT certificate and your my.scouting account.


Service Hours for St. Vincent House

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St. Vincent House strives to create a home-away-from-home for St. Vincent patient families from around the state of Indiana and beyond. Many of our patients come from long distances for treatment and stay for extended periods of time. One way our scouts can volunteer is.
Magnificent Meal Makers
  • Serve Breakfast (8:30 am to 9:30 am) or Dinner (6:30 pm – 7:30 pm) for the families. You will select recipes, bring food supplies, prepare meal for 30 guests
Please visit the St. Vincent House website for more information and to sign up https://give.stvincent.org/volunteerstvhouse

Merit Badge Counselor List and Procedures

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North Star has finished updating it’s Merit Badge Counselor list!  Kevin Neese, our Training Vice Chair, has sent all Key 3’s the updated list.  Please share with Scouts and families through your Scoutmaster or Advancement Chair as requested but do not put out on websites, etc.
Moving forward.  New procedures for Merit Badge Counselors.
  • Adding a new Merit Badge Counselor.  Fill out BSA Adult application.  Attach YPT.  Attach Merit Badge selections. Attach MBC training certificate.  TURN IN TO KEVIN NEESE.  He will then get the required District Signatures and turn in to Council when all paperwork in complete.
  • Adding and Deleting Merit Badges for an existing MBC.  Send add/delete requests to Kevin Neese.  He will process the requests.
  • 10 Merit Badge “rule” has been discontinued.  Any current MBC who would like to add Merit Badges to their redacted list needs to send Add list to Kevin.
A Merit Badge Counselor is: A trained adult, registered by and accountable to the Council and the District; they are an independent guide, instructor and / or coach for the Merit Badge(s) that they counsel.  A Counselors duty is to be satisfied that each Scout who comes to you as a counselor meets all the requirements for the merit badge you are counseling them on.  You are a coach, a guide, giving them positive reinforcement in the subject matter.  You are not to change the requirements or add additional requirements – you are there to help them over the different hurdles of the requirements.  Thus, helping the Scout to gain a deeper awareness of the subject matter of the Merit Badge.
As a Merit Badge Counselor, you are the coach, guide, and / or instructor – but you MUST allow the Scout to do the work themselves.
The last and MOST important duty of a Merit Badge Counselor is to follow Youth Protection Requirements.
A Scouts (and their parents / legal guardians) duties to a Merit Badge Counselor:
 Number one (1) remember that a Merit Badge Counselor is a VOLUNTEER, they are donating their time, talents, and experience – so a Scout is Courteous.  A Merit Badge Counselor may need to say NO to your request to counsel them on a Merit Badge (there are only 24 hours in a day).
Again, remember that a Merit Badge Counselor is a VOLUNTEER.  Some Merit Badges have cost associated with them (materials, entrance fees, rentals).  Don’t ask the Counselor to donate money and resources so that you can complete the Merit Badge requirements (unless the Counselor offers).
YOU are RESPONISBLE for completing the requirements, for doing the work, for being on time.   YOU are responsible for providing the signed Application to the Merit Badge to the Counselor.  You are also responsible in helping the Merit Badge Counselor maintain Youth Protection Requirements.  If contacting the Merit Badge Counselor by email, make sure to include a parent(s) and / or a leader on all emails.  If you are contacting the Merit Badge Counselor by phone, remember that you will need an Adult third party on the call to maintain Youth Protection Requirements.  Remember, it is very likely that the Merit Badge Counselor will need you to bring an Adult with you to face-to-face meeting so that Youth Protection Requirements are met.

Voyageur Scholarships

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Voyageur Canoe Training Adult Scholarship

What is Voyageur Canoe Training?  Why should an adult or youth take the training?  The Voyageur Canoe Training program prepares adults to take the Voyageur program back to troop and other youth groups to prepare for and conduct safe canoe outings including High Adventure trips.  The focus is teaching how to have FUN SAFELY while canoeing.  More information about the Voyageur program can be found here

Don & Diane Claffey have established the Claffey Voyageur Scholarship Fund to provide ongoing support to this program.  Scholarships in the amount of $50.00 will be awarded for each Voyageur adult training class starting with the Spring 2019 class.  The applicant must be a currently registered adult leader of a unit in the Crossroads of America Council, BSA.  To qualify for the scholarship they should have a financial need to attend adult Voyageur training.  Additionally, their unit should be planning to conduct both unit training and outings centered on canoeing and/or kayaking within the next two years.  The scholarship must be used within twelve months of the date the winner receives notification by the Voyageur Course Director, or the scholarship will be forfeited.  Other details are contained in the scholarship application Voyageur Adult Scholarship Form Fillable – 0419

A similar scholarship is planned for the Youth Voyageur Training (announcement pending).


Direct Contact Leader Training

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As we start we move towards summer I want to remind you about the council policy of requiring all Direct Contact Leaders to be trained for their respective leadership positions.  This policy will affect all Scouts BSA Direct Contact Leaders this year including new leaders that join with their Scout this spring.
Scouts BSA Direct Contact Leaders must be trained for their respective positions by December 31, 2019, to be registered for their positions in 2020.  Starting January 1, 2020 Scouts BSA Leaders who assume Direct Contact positions must complete position specific training by December 31 of that year.
To read the full required training policy click here.
All required training is available online at my.scouting.org with exception to Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) required for Scouts BSA.
Scoutmaster/Asst. Scoutmaster Training
Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills Training
  • Council provided training June 8-9 (Sat-Sun), Aug. 3-4 (Sat-Sun), Dec. 14-15 (Sat-Sun).  Click here to register for the Council provided IOLS training.
  • University of Scouting on Saturday, November 9
  • May be available at district camporees
For a list of other upcoming classroom trainings, check the Crossroads of America Council website at www.crossroadsbsa.org.  For Frequently Asked Questions about Direct Contact Leader training please click here.
Trained leaders lead to better unit program, better unit programs allow us to change more life’s and impact more communities.  Thank you for getting trained and all you do for Scouting.
Yours in Scouting,
Natalie Maenhout
Council Training Chair