Month: December 2016

Good News for Year End

Posted on

North Star District’s District Executive Con Sullivan has announced that North Star District has had a net membership growth this year for the first time in many years!

Even better news is that this does not include the new Lion Cub Program! So we are growing even more than his report tells us!

Congratulations to Con, 2016 District Vice-Chair Membership Sharla Merrick and her Membership Committee Member Jenny Beyer for all of their hard work.

Special congratulations to Pack 625’s Chair Angela Hardister and Cubmaster Gerald Hardister for some of the largest unit growth in the district. Thank you Scoutmaster Ivan Holder and Troop Committee Chair Sandra Mitchell-Holder for their hardwork in starting Troop 512 at First Meridan Heights Presbyterian.

All of these special efforts and others not noted here were crucial to that district growth.

We look forward to building on that success in 2017!


Encouraging Parental Involvement through Recognition

Posted on

Many Cub Scout Packs are getting ready to change leadership in the coming months as Webelos transition to Boy Scouts and their parents follow.

Recognition of outgoing leaders is important to inspire incoming and future leaders to uphold a high standard of service in your unit. If outgoing leaders are recognized, incoming leaders will become more excited to duplicate the feat.

Now is a great time to see if your departing leader has earned the Unit Award of Merit. This is an award offered by the unit, approved by your Unit Commissioner or lacking a Unit Commissioner the District Commissioner, and then the Council Executive and Council Commissioner.

Please review this recognition now so that you can have it available for worthy volunteers at the coming Blue and Gold Banquet for your Pack.

For more information contact your District Commissioner or District Executive.

Interest in Boy Scout Assistance in Webelos to Scout Cross Over Ceremonies?

Posted on

In the BSA, there is a long tradition of members of the BSA’s national scouting honor images-1society, the Order of the Arrow, sending ceremony teams to pack’s Blue and Gold Banquets. These ceremonies are run by teenagers to symbolize the movement of the Webelos from an adult-led program in Cub Scouts to a youth-led program in Boy Scouts.

For an example of these ceremonies can look, see some of these YouTube videos from around the country.

Packs are strongly encouraged to use the Order of the Arrow teams. OA teams’ involvement build excitement for adventures to come for all Cub Scouts, not just those Webelos crossing over. To that end, here is a communication from the incoming OA Chapter Advisor Mark Pishon to all Packs.

Dear Pack Leadership:

My name is Mark Pishon.  I’m the new Order of the Arrow Lowaneu Allanque Chapter Adviser (LOA).

I’m reaching out to you to schedule a ceremonies team for each Pack’s Crossover event..

Please reply back the following or let me know you are working on it:

  1. Do you need a OA Ceremony Team this year?  Y   N
  2. The number of boys transitioning:
  3. Date of Crossover?
  4. Time of Event:
  5. Time of ceremony:
  6. Location of the Crossover event:
  7. Point of contact name, email, and telephone #:
  8. Yours in Brotherhood,

Mark Pishon
LOA Chapter Adviser

For more information about Order of the Arrow, the Jaccos Towne Lodge in Crossroads of America Council and the Lowaneu Allanque Chapter in North Star District, click on each link.oa_seal_fullcolor

My.scouting Tools in iOS

Posted on

Did you know that you can access through an iOS app?

There is a YouTube video to give you a preview.

You can. How good is it? Well, it is BSA tech.

Give it a whirl, and let’s know your thoughts in the comments below.

The functions available vary based on how you are registered with BSA.

Our Next Secretary of State

Posted on

What do you know about Distinguished Eagle Scout and Past BSA President Rex Tillerson who is tapped to be our next Secretary of State?

UPDATE 12/19/16: A vignette of Tillerson when he served as a juror in 2007.

Scholarships and Recognition for Eagle Scouts

Posted on

While we all know that scouting is more than just the attainment of Eagle, earning the Eagle rank does offer some perks.

First, the Council has several Council-wide scholarships or recognitions. Take a look at the Council website for more information. Many have deadlines in the next 30 days. District Advancement Chair Mark Pishon reports that new forms for those programs were just issued.

The John Price Scholarship is named for the late Judge John Price who sat on the Marion County Municipal then Superior Courts bench for many years. He was an avid member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and Crossroads of America Council. I had the honor of knowing him from court and Kiwanis. His grandsons were recently members of a North Star Troop.

Second, Eagle Scouts who enlist in the military automatically are promoted upon completion of basic training. Here is some information about the Marine Corps version.

Third, many scholarship programs and recognitions are available at the local, state, and national levels. More exist than I can count.

The most famous scholarships are the National Eagle Scout Association scholarships.

Many other programs not officially seeking Eagle Scouts look favorably on Eagle Scouts, so look everywhere!

Call for Faculty for Cub Classes at Univ. of Scouting

Posted on

From Advancement Chair Mark Pishon:
The Crossroads of America Council badly needs instructors for the Cub Scout Program at the University of Scouting Saturday, January 14, 2017.  Can you either volunteer or scour up some talent?  Only three classes remain without teachers and we have the materials and lesson plans to make it Easy Stevie.
PC131 Cub Scout Awards and Recognition: One comprehensive course covering special awards (outside of rank advancement) for Cub Scouts and adult Cub Scout Leaders (outside of training knots). Learn how to help your pack get the most out of the program and to get special recognition for those who deserve it (1 credit, Period 5).
PC137 Cub Scout Advancement Basics: Learn about advancement and record keeping for the new program (1 credit, Period 6).
PC140 Unusual Cub Scout Advancement Ceremonies: Cub Scout advancement is at the heart of an enjoyable learning experience for each boy. Jazzing up advancement ceremonies can highlight the benefit for boys, parents and leaders alike. Come learn new and unusual ceremonies that can be used to enliven your pack meetings (1 credit, Period 6).
Please consider this opportunity and get back to me ASAP.
Mark Pishon
Advancement Chair
North Star District
Cell 317.374.2262

Urgent need for Advancement Reports

Posted on Updated on

From District Advancement Chair Mark Pishon:
I attended the councils advancement meeting last night and we have an urgent matter. Rank advancement paperwork needs to be sent into council ASAP or we will miss our JTE goals.
We are sure that the advancement is occurring but the paperwork is not getting processed timely.
Cub Scouts:
We calculate that we need at least 20 additional boys to advance by year end.  That is doable.  (Editor’s Note: this includes the Bobcat Rank reports that seem to be understated across the Council, even if not especially in North Star.)
Boy Scouts
We calculate that we need at least 30 additional boys to advance by year end.  That is doable.
Please take action today and make sure all your Packs and Troops get their advancement paperwork turned in at council ASAP.
Con has volunteered to process our district paperwork so contact him directly at or 317.797.1545.
Mark Pishon
Advancement Chair
North Star District

Mental Health Benefits of Scouting

Posted on Updated on

A new study shows scouting gives mental health benefits along into adulthood. It also gives the ability to adapt to socioeconomic situations throughout life.

The study does not explain why the benefits exist. There are extrapolations based on prior research including increased mental resiliency, adaptability to stress, exposure to the outdoors providing stress relief, and communal activities.

Earlier studies going back a decade had also shown the lack of problems in the criminal system was another benefit.