Month: April 2016

Presidential Service Award

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While becoming an Eagle Scout is one of the highest honors a boy can obtain, there are others out there.

Recently a mother in our troop introduced me to the Presidential Service Award. I was not familiar with it. The award requires a non-profit sponsor the youth. I passed the question to Con, and he was able to confirm that the Crossroads of America Council is a sponsor of the award.Presidential service award

If you, as a Scoutmaster, have a scout who is interested in pursuing this award, please contact our District Executive Con Sullivan or your Unit Commissioner (if no unit commissioner is assigned to you, please contact District Commissioner Jeff Heck). They will each have the code that you need.

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District Pinewood Derby Winners

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On Saturday, April 16, 2016, the District held its annual district-wide Pinewood Derby.

Congratulations to the winners!

  1. Jacob Dennis, formerly of Pack 18, now Troop 18.
  2. Jackson Herbold, Pack 105.
  3. Jack Jent, Pack 35.

District Appreciation Dinner Thursday

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Are you planning to attend the District Appreciation Dinner this Thursday at 6:30 pm?

You should.

It is at St Alphonsius Roman Catholic Church, Zionsville at 6:30 pm.

Make your reservations at www.crossroadsbsa.org.

See you there!

Journey to Excellence Patches

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Since our District did so well on Journey to Excellence for 2015, we now get to celebrate our success.

Please make sure to order your JTE patches from the Scout Shop to give to your scouts and scouters. They can put it on their left sleeve (Cub, Scouts).

This is very important for the long-term success of your unit. As I often repeat, we wear patches of recognition for personal recognition but also — and I think more importantly — as an invitation to tell a story.JTE

If you see a scout wearing a Philmont patch, you are more likely to ask about his adventure. If you have been to Philmont, too, you will share your story. This creates a personal bond between strangers.

If a new parent visiting your unit looks at your JTE patch on your sleeve, they may ask what that means. “Gold” or “silver” sounds impressive. It is an invitation for you to brag about the strength of your unit.

If you are at summer camp, other scouters may ask you questions about what your unit does. They may never acknowledge the patch, but they find your unit’s experience more powerful. This is a quiet way for us to support other units.

So, please, make sure that your unit has and wears their JTE patches.

Last note: if you also have 100% Boy’s Life subscriptions, that is a slightly different JTE patch.

 

Prototype Unit Handbook: Request for pack and troop forms

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I am beginning a project that I want to complete by May 30th. I am looking to design a prototype of a new parent handbook.

I am asking for your help.

First I am asking each unit to email me a copy of their current handbook, annual calendar and handout on costs of membership by May 5th. We will use these as sources of best practices. Documents in a word processing file are preferred.

Second, I am looking for a panel of editors to assist in assessing the result and focusing on simplification and clarity.

Some of the concepts I will be building come from Scouting Magazine’s article last spring. They had to be more generic nationally. Ideally we as a district can put in more specifics in a prototype.

May 1st Firecrafters to Train Units in Flag Retirement

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Spring Camporee SuccessThe Firecrafters of the North Star Ember would like to extend a warm thank you to all the troops who came out and participated in the Spring Camporee. One of the goals of our organization is to encourage continued participation by our youth in camping, outdoor activities, and Scouting. The activities and fellowship promoted at district camporees is a great opportunity that benefits these goals.

Importance of Scouts in Flag Retirement. At the evening campfire, we were excited to be given the opportunity to perform a flag retirement ceremony. The Boy Scouts is one of the largest organizations that gives communities opportunities to have worn American Flags properly retired. Organizations that also offer this service include the American Legion Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other civic associations. Using flags donated by the Broad Ripple American Legion, one of our service projects for the year will be a flag retirement this Sunday, May 1st.

Invitation to Units and Scouts. We would like to invite Scouting members of the North Star District to attend. We will not just be retiring flags, but also answering any questions you have about proper flag retirement. This may be of great value to upcoming Firecrafter candidates, if they want to include a flag retirement as part of the candidate campfire. One of our goals in carrying out this service project is educating you in this area. We hope to improve your confidence so that in the future, you might consider conducting a retirement as a troop service project or include in your troop ceremonies.


Where: Second Presbyterian Church
7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260
(fire ring in picnic area at north end of the parking lot)

When: Sunday, May 1, 2016

Time: 1:00-2:00 PM

What: North Star Firecrafter Flag Retirement Seminar


The weather for Sunday is not predicted to be as beautiful as the camporee weather. In the event it is raining between 1:00 and 2:00, the meeting will be at the Broad Ripple American Legion Post #3 at 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220. We will still have a mock retirement and answer questions from an inside location.

Jacob Danek
North Star Ember Chief

Greg Hoyes
North Star Ember Advisor

Winners at Spring 2016 Camporee

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Polaris Award:

Troop 586, Patrol Drumstick.
Willie Award:

Troop 269.

Stu Unveils the New Polaris Award

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Tonight we start Spring Camporee 2016! While Stu Bowes, Camporee Chair, had a sudden business scheduling conflict, he is making his impact this Camporee.

As the troops agreed at the January Camporee planning meeting, Stu unveiled the new Polaris Award.

Camporee Plaque
Polaris Award

This new award was first earned at the Winter Camporee by Troop 56’s Elementals Patrol. This award goes to the patrol that wins the overall events competition by score.

As you can see the Polaris Award already has the Spring Camporee patch on it, ready to welcome the winners announced Saturday night.

Work hard boys! Your winning efforts will be remembered for years to come.

(Don’t worry the Willie Award for best campsite remains unchanged.)

Confused about STEM and Scouting?

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As the Boy Scouts of America has put increasing stress on the buzz-phrase “STEM” or “Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics,” more scouts and scouters are confused.

STEM in Scouting Logo
STEM in Scouting/Nova Logo

There is the old-line merit badges, belt loops, and activity pins that have been science-focused since the founding of BSA in 1910. There have been additions and subtractions throughout. Now that category of interests has been labeled as “STEM.” The relatively new STEM program in this category is the Nova and Supernova Program. So we have STEM in Scouting.

Just last year BSA and our Council launched a new program called “STEM Scouts.” These

STEM Scout Logo
STEM Scouts Logo

new units are organized into “Labs” instead of Packs, Troops, Crews, Teams, Ships, or Posts. They are mentored by scouters called “Lab Managers,” instead of Cubmasters, Scoutmaster, Advisors, etc. Some have lovingly referred to it as “Indoor Scouts.”

The differences between the two programs sometimes needs explaining. This month Scouting Magazine gives it a shot.

This confusion will increase as more of our youth discuss their interests in STEM. Learn the differences so that you can be a better mentor when the topic arises.

Service Opportunity

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Messenger of PeaceWe received this from District Vice Chair for Membership Sharla Merrick:

District Team,

I have sent the following to the Zionsville Troops but thought you might want to open it up to others in our District. An opportunity to provide service for a good cause.

Additionally, who knows which dates will work for which scouts. The more opportunities the better.

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Zionsville Scouters,

The Zionsville Food Pantry is looking for help and has asked the scouts to consider helping out at the Pantry again.

Please share this opportunity with your scouts. A scout is Helpful.

Volunteers

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Zionsville Food Pantry! ZFP is a ministry of Zionsville Presbyterian Church located at the corner of Michigan R…

View on http://www.signupgenius.com

YIS,

Sharla

Don’t forget that this is another opportunity to contribute to worldwide effort to contribute service hours through scouting. That means serve and report your hours.