Month: January 2017

Adult Recognition Time

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Now is the time to start thinking about recognition for adults in your unit or in the district. From District Executive Con Sullivan:

There are nomination forms for you to complete if you feel someone in your unit or district is deserving of recognition at the North Star District Dinner on March 9th. Please complete the relevant nomination form(s) and return to Mark Pishon, North Star Advancement Chair, at by February 12th.

The flyer is worth distributing to your unit.

Unit Leader Award of Merit Nomination Form

North Star District Awards Dinner Information and Nomination Form for Calendar Year Ending 2016

District Award of Merit Nomination Form



Eagle Report January 2017

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Congratulations to new Eagle Scouts from the January 2017 Boards of Review:

  1. Christopher Rodriguez from Troop 514, and
  2. Kevin Braxton from Troop 269.Eagle pin

Information on the District Pinewood Derby

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District Pinewood Derby Chair Bill Buchalter provides this flyerPinewood Derby track for the winners of the packs’ Derbies. Remember this is free for the top 4 and best of show of each pack. All others have an entry fee of $2.00.

Resources from January 2017 Roundtable

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Tonight we discussed Webelos-to-Scout Transition from the Cub Scout and Boy Scout perspectives.

Some of the resources that we referenced or planned on discussing are as follows:

Year Round Recruiting Guide for Troops

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner PatchJanuary 2016 Cubcast (podcast from BSA focused on Cub Scout topics) and January 2009 Cubcast (an evergreen topic in January)

How to host a Troop Open House

Since it is true that, “History has shown that more Webelos Scouts join Boy Scouting when an entire den joins the troop together,”we need to find ways to make this happen. BSA has material on making stronger patrols. Part of this is den recruitment.

2017 JTE Scorecards

This document is for District and Council planning but is useful for units to learn how they fit in a larger prototypical plan.


Troop 358 has 3 new Palms

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I attended last Monday’s Court of Honor for Troop 358 in Zionsville. The troop award an Eagle Scout medal, various rank advancements, merit badges, and Wood Badge beading for OA Advisor Mark Pishon, ASM Chuck Bricker, and ASM David Guzman.

The most unique part of the ceremony to my eyes was the award of three Eagle Palms. The first was for a bronze palm (the first palm awarded for 5 merit badge and 3 months leadership service after receiving Eagle). The second was for a scout’s silver palm (the third palm awarded for 15 merit badges and 9 months service after Eagle). The last was a second Silver Palmeagle-palms-features

Think about that. A second Silver Palm for one scout. That means that he has served in his troop for 18 months as a leader after his Eagle Board of Review and earned an additional 30 merit badges in addition to the required 21 merit badge for Eagle Scout. Only 1/10th of 1% of Eagles earn a Silver Palm. To earn two Silver Palms is extraordinarily rare. (I cannot find the stats.)

Shown above from left: Matthew Heath, second Silver Palm; Josh Sheppard, first Silver Palm; John Heath, first Bronze Palm. All are White Stag/NYLT trained and have served on staff, too. 

Congratulations to each of these three worthy scouts and to Scoutmaster Jim Beck and Troop 358 for providing such a rewarding environment that Eagle Scouts stay actively involved in the troop.

Catapults and New Recruitment Program

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The new membership recruitment program for Fall 2017 is already starting to roll out from Council’s office.

Simply put the theme is going to be “Catapult into Scouting.” Each new recruit will receive a miniature catapult, pre-cut by the Indiana Woodworkers Association.

The IWA through its representative and Pathfinder District’s new District Commissioner Stan Jewula will provide the Council with 10,000 catapults. These will be hand cut in Central Indiana.

Each boy will receive a bag with all the necessary parts. The new Cub Scout will then assemble his own catapult. He may decorate it as he sees fit.

Then there will be an activity for each pack or district to have an event using the catapults.

The Council is also rolling out plans to try to have scouting units re-introduced to public school districts. Much more information about these plans will be rolled out at the semi-annual operations meeting in April 2017.


Notes from new OA Advisor Mark Pishon

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Here are Mark Pishon’s remarks from his introductory email (I apologize for the delay in posting this email):

Dear Troop Leadership:

Allow me to introduce myself, Mark Pishon, as your new Order of the Arrow Lowaneu Allanque (LOA) Chapter Adviser.

I’m writing to you today to ask your continued support for Order of the Arrow. Most of the troops have OA Elections coming up and we need to recharge the program. It provides the boys with great character building activities as well as leadership opportunities while having fun in diverse environments.

Over the last few years the chapter has seen North Star participation decline. I ask that you put your best foot forward and begin to talk about it at your regular scout meetings.

I also ask that you identify OA members in your troop and ask them to make sure to pay their 2017 dues and start attending monthly meetings. The chapter meets the first Sunday of every month except January. The next meeting is January 8, 2017. We meet at the Broad Ripple American Legion Post # 3, 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana. We normally meet from 2 to 3 PM.

Here are some of the mechanics:

1. Make sure your troop has a youth LOA Representative at the OA monthly meetings. Give that representative boy a few minutes at your upcoming Scout Meetings to speak about elections and promote the program.

2. Once you have the election results please email them to me at

3. Encourage the candidates to attend the OA Call Out Event at the Spring Camporee. This years Spring Camporee is at Camp Ransburg and the theme is Evasion Weekend. The district has the dinning hall and all the rifle and pistol ranges so it will be fun for sure.

4. We also have a new Chapter Chief, Lucas Pishon. Yes he is my son. His email address is and his Cell is 317.600.4182.

This month’s meeting is a joint meeting with the North Star District FireCrafters to provide service hours to the Broad Ripple American Legion Post # 3 for Christmas. We will start the meeting this month at 1 PM. We will enjoy Pizza and drinks until 3 PM. Since Broad Ripple’s American Legion host the LOA Chapter, it is my expectation that we will show up and provide outstanding community service to our veterans.

Here is the link to the most recent lodge newsletters:
Upcoming Events:
January 8, 2017 is our monthly meeting from 1 to 3 PM at the Broadripple American Legion.
January 20 to 22, 2017 is the Winter Gathering. It will be held at Camp Kikthawenund. Yes I know that it is the same weekend as the Winter Camporee this year.
March 19 to 21, 2017 is the Lodge Spring Fellowship at Camp Krietenstein.

The National Order of the Arrow has increased annual dues in 2017 to $15. The Otter Pass is available attached or can be found at this link: .

Merry Christmas to your families,

Mark Pishon
LOA Chapter Adviser

Be Prepared for Unit Election & Camp Promotion

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:

• Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
• Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
• Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
• Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

Through Unit Elections, worthy Scouts are recognized and elected as Ordeal candidates. Arrowmen are needed to serve on Unit Election teams in their Chapter. Contact your Chapter Chief and volunteer! Most units do their elections in the first months of the year, so contact your Chapter Chief as soon as possible. Forms are available on the Lodge’s website under Resources. Please make sure copies of Unit Elections and Adult Nominations are turned into the Lodge.

It is an Arrowman’s responsibility to help promote camping through his unit, district, and council. This may be done through camp promotions to Cub Scout and Boy Scout units. Information and resources are available from the Council to help you make presentations on camping opportunities in the Crossroads of America Council. Doing a unit election and camp promotion at the same time for Boy Scout units is an efficient way of offering cheerful service and helping both the BSA and the OA!


Notes on Camporee

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Here are the minutes of last Sunday’s Winter Camporee Meeting from Chair Curtis Shrote:

Note: would troops 586 and 514 please contact me offline.
Mark Pishon, 358
John Wiebke, 358
Brian Crow, 343
David Salima, 269
Carter Keith, DIstrict
Rick Aker, DIstrict
Con Sullivan, District
Chad Galer, 69
Pete Holtz, 56
Toby Hlade, 358
Mike Faulk, 56
Curtis Shrote, 804
My apologies if I did not collect someones attendance.
There was a discussion concerning the packet sent Saturday:
Clarification – Friday night cracker barrel is for scoutmaster and SPLs this will be corrected in the final packet.
I will review with Todd, the remaining cooking arrangements to determine if they will be providing coffee during the day on Saturday. Regardless, there will be coffee.
Chad (T69) corrected me – I do now recall him telling me their event which was “Help Me I’m freezing” – I will correct this and send out an update early next week. My apologies on my forgetfulness.
Mark will look into an inflatable screen. (Thanks Mark). It was mentioned that a painters drop cloth also might work. I happen to have one so will bring it as backup.
The course for the sled race will begin at the dining hall and proceed into the activity field. This will be a timed course with each sled being released at at a timed offset much like Olympic X-country skiing events.
Curtis Shrote

Website Writer Recruitment

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District Commissioner is seeking help with the District Website. He plans to continue indefinitely as editor and lead writer.

He is seeking for writers with special areas of interest. Ideally he is seeking a different writer for each program: Cubs, Scouts, and Venturing.

One article per week would be ideal. One per quarter is helpful.

Contact Jeff for more information.