Month: May 2016

Fall Membership: Assignments

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When Fall Membership efforts begin, school will be starting back into session and other activities will distract.image_14418961200_1827

Now is the time to make sure your Pack has appointed a person to review the literature that you plan on giving your new prospective families. Information and templates are available at the Council Recruitment webpage. Those documents should include:

  1. Your annual calendar (updated from any summer long-range planning);
  2. Your information book or parent guide on pack practices and expectations;
  3. Your annual cost of cub scouts and how popcorn and fundraising offset the out-of-pocket costs (the goal is that they see the value of fund raising to minimize out-of-pocket costs);
  4. Your pin needs to have accurate meeting information and contact information for your leadership.img_0573

In your information packs, do not forget that we are introducing Lion Cub/kindergartners into the program this Fall. So everyone will need to update their documents for this addition. Con Sullivan is the council coordinator for Lions, so be sure to address questions to him as you need.

If you know how is responsible for each or all of these documents, you then need to set a deadline for these to be submitted to the pack committee for approval. Ideally the committee would approve these before the end of July. Maybe then the documents need to be submitted to the committee a week or two before the meeting that would meet that July deadline. That way the documents can simply be polished and printed for August recruitment.

Do your homework now: committee chairs, make sure you have these assignments done in May. It will make August just that much easier.

For more information on how to update your pin, watch this video:


Memorial Day Grave Dressing & Breakfast this Saturday

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Each May, the Boy Scouts and the American Legion have joined in placing flags on the final resting place of our nation’s veterans. Post #3 is hosting their annual breakfast for scouts participating in the grave dressing on Saturday, May 28th, at 7:30 AM at Broad Ripple Post 3 on the southeast corner of 64th and College Avenue.

This event is open to scouts whose troops may have a later scheduled time that day to do the grave dressing as a unit.

If there are Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts (especially Firecrafters and Arrowmen), or those from your troops wishing to have breakfast, please sign up here so a headcount is available for the cook staff.  RSVPs for breakfast are due Thursday at 7:00 pm.

For individual Cubs and Scouts, dens, patrols, packs, troops, or crews who plan to assist with the grave dressing. We will have an organizational meeting immediately following the breakfast at 8:00 am (attendance at the breakfast is not mandatory). We will have some opportunities to participate throughout the morning, so if you have a scheduling conflict with the organizational meeting, contact District Commissioner Jeff Heck directly by Friday evening to customize plans. Please sign up with an RSVP for the grave dressing regardless of your ability to attend the organizational meeting.

Please note that the breakfast and the grave dressing have two separate sign ups! Please sign up with both, if you plan to do both.

We value this opportunity to join scouts, scouters, and legionnaires together for this meaningful event.

Popcorn 2016 Update #2

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From District Popcorn Kernel Tom Petersen:

2016 Popcorn Sale

Below are some highlights of the 2016 Popcorn Sale!


Important Dates:

August 1st- Online Sales Begin

White Chocolatey Pretzels

Chocolatey Caramel Crunch

August 28th- Initial Orders Due

September 17th- Popcorn Sale Begins

September 17th-25th – Blitz Week

October 23rd- Popcorn Sale Ends

November 1st- Final Order and Prize Order Due

December 2nd- Final Payment Due

*A more detailed calendar will be provided at a later date


What’s New in 2016!


The 2016 Popcorn sale will have a Space/Star Wars theme. This is something that the Scouts can get excited about and will keep them engaged in the sale. This theme should be used at your Kickoff Party to get the boys excited about the sale.


Two Week Blitz:

There will be a two week blitz from September 17th to September 25th to kick off the sale. A Scout that sells $350 in that two weeks will receive a pop-up lantern. If they sell $450 in those two weeks they will also receive a Foamstrike Switchblade Boomerang. Sales for this blitz DO NOT have to be take order but can be any type of sale. You will have product in hand during the Blitz!


Product line:

The product for the 2016 sale will be very similar to last year. The only new product this year will be Chocolatey Caramel Crunch. Two products will be offered in Tins this year. Both White Chocolatey Pretzels and Chocolatey Caramel Crunch will be offered in tins.


Things to Focus On

Here are things that you should be focusing on now to prepare for the Popcorn Sale:


· Fill out the online commitment form on the council website (

· Recruit Unit popcorn Kernels if needed

· Complete Unit Individual Sales Plan with District Kernel or District Executive (


Complete details can be found on the Council popcorn page (


Selling popcorn is a simple and efficient way to fund your Unit’s activities. 


If you have questions, please contact me.


Tom Petersen

North Star District Popcorn Kernel

Scouts at Speed

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Who is quick at the track? The favorite question of May.

The answer is the BSA sponsored car!


Last Pre-Camp Swim Test this Sunday

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The last Pre-Camp Swim Test is May 22nd at Carmel High School. Information is available here.

Remember your unit is responsible for YPT compliance and record keeping. The council provides the water safety and qualified instructors to approve the swims. That means you need to have sufficient adults present.boy-scout-swim-test-460x260

These pre-camp swim checks are very important for many boys. Some boys are not strong swimmers. Some boys have never swum in dirty lake water before, even if they are the swim team. I have seen good swimmers and bad swimmers fail the swim test on the first Sunday of camp simply because they don’t like lake water.

By having them qualify for their swimmer rating for the year at a pre-camp swim test, you give them the opportunity to adapt to the lake water as part of their merit badge classes rather than at swim test. Less pressure. Greater likelihood of success.

Most importantly, your arrival at camp on Sunday is far less hectic. You don’t need to rush the boys down to the waterfront then back up to camp to get set up. They can focus on set up then orientation.

If you would like to run your own pre-camp swim test, visit the council summer camp website for more information. You will need to fill out the linked form and meet the Safe Swim Defense rules during your pre-camp swim check. Camp Ransburg encourages you to send your swim records in early with your health records to make sure all is in order.

Summer Camp Learning not Just for Youth

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Summer camp is all about making scouting memorable for the youth. This is the culmination of everything we are trying to achieve in scouting of the rest of the year. The living together in a community of peers. The exposure to the elements and adapting. The planning. The frustrations. The joys of success.

But summer camp is not just an opportunity for youth to learn.

Adults can take training. At Ransburg scouters can take many of the position specific classes. When the scouter comes home, the scouter will be “Trained.”

Make sure all of your new parents take as many classes as possible. You should set an expectation that adults are going to learn. This improves your volunteer corps but also sets a good example for the scouts.

When a scout wonders in to camp when he is supposed to be in class, looking for his parent, he will ask for his parent. If he is told that his parent is in class, what is the scout going to say?

Spring Prep for Fall Recruiting

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As we wind down on the school year, minds travel to far away places. Well, at least, situations that are far different than the average school day routine for both parents and kids.

Unfortunately, once we leave for summer break, all sorts of planning for Fall go on break, too. Have you ever tried to find a school principle on summer break? They are hard to find if you try during their vacation.

A great way for your Pack to get ahead for the Fall Recruiting season is to talk to the school principle now about Boy Talks and Back to School Nights.

Simply confirming in person that the principle approves Boy Talks and sign up tables is very powerful.

Two more keep steps to avoid Fall problems are to:

  1. Send a confirmation email today about what you and the principle agree. When back to school time arrives, you simply re-send the confirmation email to inquire if all is still on track.
  2. Seek permission to distribute our recruitment flyers to the school. Some school districts require at least 30 days notice of any request for distribution. If you start now, the deadline is easier.

If you are in a large school system, coordinate your efforts with the District Membership Committee Chair Sharla Merrick or her committee Jenny Beyers and Mike Yates or you can contact District Executive Con Sullivan for basic information and flyer coordination.

You can see the entire campaign overview hereimage_14418961200_1827.

Work now so that Fall issues are easy!

Congratulations to our new OA Members

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IMG_2711I just got home from our OA induction ceremony. We had a great spring 2016 class.

They will all have stories to tell and mysteries to uphold.

Remember candidates who missed this weekend can other chapter ordeals next week or the Lodge ordeal later this fall.

May Eagle Scout Report

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Congratulations to our May 2016 Eagles. As always these Eagles need to await ratification of the board of review’s actions before they hold their Eagle Courts of Honor. Even so, their dates-in-rank will be retroactively effective to last night when the ratification occurs.Eagle pin

First Name

Last Name

Troop #

Thomas Catalano


Ross McBride


Joshua Pishon


Andrew Williams


ScoutmasterCG: Top 10 Ways to Frustrate Youth Leaders

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It is time again for our monthly weekly homage to Clarke Green at ScoutmasterCG.

Clarke, a thirty-year veteran as a scoutmaster, points out 10 ways to frustrate your youth leaders. While Clarke’s articles always have their sweet spot for the boy scout program and higher, I contend that many of these lessons need to be learned by our Cub Scout Leaders, too. Even more so, we often commit the same errors at home with our own children.

I would be fascinated to hear from readers in the comment section below or on Facebook about their thoughts on this article. (Remember to comment, you must have a Word Press or affiliated user name. Comments are moderate for spam, germaneness, and compliance with the Scout Oath and Law.)

So do any of you have personal stories where you violated one of these 10 pointers? What did you learn from the experience? How do you handle similar situations now?

While you are looking at Clarke’s site, make sure to check out his latest book So Far So Good (print or audio). It is the story of a new Scoutmaster learning the ropes as he works with the scouts. While it focuses on boy scouts, Cub Scout leaders can learn, too. They can learn how to teach without being classroom teachers. They can learn more about the goals the Cubs will be attempting to achieve in Boy Scouts, so that the Pack is better preparation for things to come. The Cub Leader can learn how better to explain scouting to new parents, increasing parental involvement and scout retention through better understanding.

Just don’t frustrate your youth unnecessarily!