Month: January 2016

Social Media for your Unit

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By Andrew Linden, Unit Commissioner

Are you tired of continuously explaining to parents, relatives, neighbors, and strangers, the kinds of things your child does–and you, as a volunteer, do–in the scouts? Maybe you don’t mind giving the same spiel over and over again, but, are you any good at it? That is, are you truly able to convey the breadth of the BSA program in just a two-minute sales pitch?

Well, one great way to alleviate any of these potential issues is to create and maintain a unit page on a social media outlet and let the published material do the talking for you. If your unit doesn’t have a presence on social media, Facebook is a good place to start. Nowadays, the terms, ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, and ‘Instagram’, are such common words in daily conversation, chances are, you probably know very few people who do not have a personal account on social media. As social beings, we gravitate towards social cyberspace to see what our social circles are up to, and what interesting things companies and organizations post. My point is, social media is the perfect forum to market your unit and paint the picture that verbal speech cannot express.

There are many other advantages for units to have a social media account other than for marketing purposes. Such reasons may be: a secondary method of dispersing information (besides email and phone calls/texts), and keeping in touch with alumni, for example. A social media platform such as Facebook is a great way to publish reminders on important dates, and upcoming events and/or trips. Throughout time, as individuals age out of the scouting program, a social media unit account can be a good way for those individuals to stay connected with the unit. Conversely, it may also be a great way for the unit to stay connected to their former scouts, and later highlight those who have gone on to do productive things in their lives–showing younger generations of parents that getting their child involved in scouting can have a positive impact on their child’s life.

The take-away here is: your unit has a story to tell. So tell it! Take advantage of what social media has to offer, and use it to your unit’s advantage!

This is a preview of what Andrew will share with us at the next Roundtable on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm (Andrew will talk closer to 7 pm after general session and news) at St Luke’s UMC’s outbuilding Luke’s Lodge, first floor, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.


Winner of the Coveted Willie Award

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The winner of the North Star District Willie Award for Best Campsite is Troop 69!


Senior Patrol Leader is Reese P. 


Winners of the Inaugural Polaris Award for Patrol Competition 

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To recognize and memorialize the best patrol in competitions, the District is inaugurating a new award:the Polaris Award. The new plaque will travel with each new patrol listed and photographed.

The winner of the inaugural Polaris Award is Troop 56’s Elemental Patrol.

Members of Elemental are Sam R., Luke E., Will S., and Matthew H.

The phantom is the newest ASM and patrol advisor Cullen B. 

Scenes from Winter Camporee 2016

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New Scout Handbook is Released

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The new scout handbook (2016 ed.) has finally been released. Take a look at it here.

2015 Popcorn sales thank you

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To have a smooth run popcorn sale requires hard work, organization, and a
team effort.

I would like to take a moment to thank our North Star District
Popcorn Kernels (and assistants) for their commitment of time, dedication to
the program, and hard work! From the very start our unit kernels
demonstrated this by making North Star’s Popcorn kickoff/training one of the
best attended in years. We had representation from nearly every unit in

During the sale, our popcorn distributions were near perfect
due to the large number of motivated volunteers that turned out to help sort
and load orders.

Finally, due to the remarkable organizational skills of
our unit kernels, North Star District was the first district in the Council
to have all popcorn funds submitted!

When you encounter your unit’s Popcorn
Kernel (or assistants) please join me in offering them thanks in recognition
of their exceptional efforts during the popcorn sale this year.

North Star Unit Popcorn Kernels and Assistants

Crew 69 Denise Purdie Andrews
Crew 408 Mick Witte
Pack 18 Suzanne Lincoln
Pack 18 Cindy Hallberg
Pack 35 Sarah Hargis
Pack 64 Kit Williams
Pack 84 Marilee Rahn
Pack 84 Marilyn Langston
Pack 84 Jeff Long
Pack 105 Tucker Herbold
Pack 105 Teresa Arens
Pack 174 Ed Spahr
Pack 175 Matt Hibbeln
Pack 179 Devon Harmon
Pack 179 Rachell Laucevicius
Pack 358 Tom Rude
Pack 358 Jenny Beyer
Pack 514 Todd Sanger
Pack 514 David Paul
Pack 625 Jennifer Davis
Pack 625 Tia Bell
Pack 625 Pati Allison
Pack 830 Brian DeaKyne
Pack 830 Ed Stehno
Pack 830 Bill Buchalter
Troop 56 Rebecca Zirnheld
Troop 56 John Blue
Troop 69 Mark Reasoner
Troop 73 Doug Petry
Troop 269 Ann Salima
Troop 343 Andrew Himebaugh
Troop 514 Leah Roggeman
Troop 804 Niki Parker
Troop 804 Jill Williams

Tom Petersen
North Star District Popcorn Kernel

National Guard Thank You for Popcorn 2015

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Brigadier General Ronald Westfall, Chief and Director of the Joint Staff of the Indiana National Guard, visited University of Scouting 2016 to offer his thank you to the Crossroads of America Council’s scouts for their donation of 20 palettes of popcorn worth $85,000. Listen to General Westfall’s comments.

Coming Online Applications

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In the near future, BSA will roll out the Online Application for Youth and Adults.

They have already posted videos to YouTube to explain the process.

Below is the first video, an overview of the system. It will use It is important that your Unit Key 3 have access to The unit leader (e.g., Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Venturing Advisor, etc.) approve youth applications. The unit committee chair and chartered organization representatives must approve all adults. This approval process is all electronic.

More videos about using this new system are available at the Scouting Multi-Media YouTube Channel.

Please note that the system collects only national dues and Boy’s Life subscription fees. This is a capability and not required. This means that you will have to verify that BSA has received these funds through the system. If it remains due and payable, you will have to collect it from the new member and pay to council before the application can be processed by BSA.

Your unit will be solely responsible for billing and collecting your unit dues and Crossroads of America Council’s insurance premium of $1.00 per member.

Pack 105 Bear Den 2 Service

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Here is a report from John Salewicz:

One of the new adventures in the Cub Scout program is to do community service.

The Den 2 Bears in Pack 105 did a E-Cycle Drive. We set-up a collection drive of unwanted, broken electronics and took them to a recycle center. Prior to the collection, the boys learn about why these items should not be put into landfills and types of material are in electrons. We disassembled a flat screen television to see what is used to make something that we spend a large chunk of our time.

During the e-cycle drive we collected all sorts of old computers, printers, ipods, stereos, phones and TV’s. The large tube TV’s were taken to St Luke’s Church and donated so that they can be fixed if needed and given to families who are less fortunate. I am very proud of these boys, their parents and our community for coming out and supporting the environment and Scouts. Wahoo!


Basic Commissioner Training at Camporee

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Frank Mitchell of Wabash Valley called me a few minutes ago to confirm his interest in training this Saturday at the North Star Camporee. Consequently, Frank and I are going to work together to offer the Unit Commissioner Training at Camp Krichtenstein from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm this Saturday, tentatively at the old dining hall.Unit Commissioner Patch
This training is open to all districts. All non-North Star attendees will have arrangements for lunch made through Frank.
We do not expect the water to be turned on in the old dining hall, so plan on bringing a water bottle with you. We will work on offering hot drinks.
The building will likely on the colder side, so dress for the weather in layers.