Month: February 2017

NEEDED: Range Officer Training in Preparation for Spring Camporee

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For our Spring Camporee, we need range safety officers. The more RSO’s we have, the more we can use the ranges for more scouts.

Dan Beard Council in Cincinnati is offering the US Archery Level 1 Instructor Course on March 25, 2017. This is at Cubworld, part of the Camp Friedlander campus just within the eastern outskirts of Greater Cincinnati.

They are offering BB and Archery Rangemaster training on April 1, 2017 at the same Cubworld.

They are offering the NRA Instructor Training and another version with Pistols on the weekend of March 17-19, 2017. Familiarity with firearms safety is a pre-requisite. See the website for more information. The basic instructor training is only $35.00. This is at Camp Friedlander (see notes above).

Please help us by sending a member of your troop to the training in preparation for our great Spring Camporee!


Scoutmaster Specific Training in March

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On March 18, 2017,Wabash Valley District will offer Scoutmaster Specific Training at Terre Haute’s Camp Wildwood, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, for more information contact the Terre Haute Service Center 812-232-9496.

This training is required to recharter as a scoutmaster or assistant scoutmaster in the Fall of 2017.

Wilderness First Aid at Camp Maumee

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Hoosier Trails Council (our neighbor to the south and council surrounding Ransburg) is offering Wilderness First Aid Training at Camp Maumee (just a few minutes past Ransburg and just short of the Deem Wilderness fire tower).

This is required training for one or two persons on any high adventure trek. I highly recommend it for scouts, since they may be the ones needing to assist the adult leader(s) on the trek.

Summer Camp Swim Testing at Pike

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Don’t forget to touch base with Brian Crow, District Programming Chair and ASM at Troop 343, if your troop or crew is interested in doing the swim test at Pike High School2abd5ead-9881-4e1b-b55a-c3b04b41b660 on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm.

Cub Scout Camping: Why do we do it?

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Why should Cub Scouts camp frequently?

Simply put, true scouting is in the “outing.”

Since about the 1972 revisions of the Cub Scout program, I am led to believe, Cub Scouting had de-emphasized outings, specifically camping. This was part of a larger misadventure to make “scouting more relevant to the modern era” by making scouting more urban.

An excerpt from

In Boy Scouts, this led to an immediate membership collapse and a re-introduction of outdoor programming a mere five years later.

Cub Scouts didn’t revise as quickly. Their revision re-introducing outings came only in the last 24 months.

Yet, when we give Boy Talks at the elementary schools each fall, the most successful speakers are the ones who emphasize the outdoor programming. They bring backpacks or tents and talk about simple outings. They talk about campfires and marsh mellows.

I have written before about my time as Cubmaster. We would hold three pack camp outings each year: October, May, and Summer Camp at Belzer.

More than any other activity, the boys would ask me, “When is our next campout?” An answer longer than “next month” was met with universal disappointment.

Yes, we camp with Cub Scouts because they find it fun.

But there is so much more. It is part of their personal growth as I have written about before. They adapt over time. It is part of their lessons in figuring out how they fit in the larger world.

The Cub Scout needs to learn at his own speed through new stresses as part of a larger community.

We camp because the basic of society and community are all present. The comforts of home are removed. He learns about himself without realizing lessons are being taught. He just sees fun.

We camp because it builds character, faster than any other method. That fulfills our mission as scouters.


Magic of 5% Improvement

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At the recent Unit Key 3 Conference, I spoke about the need to work with your Unit Commissioner and your Unit Key 3 (i.e., Chartered Org. Rep., Chair, and Unit Leader) to do a Unit Service Plan.

A Unit Service Plan is a six-month “business plan” for your unit. It examines your annual planning & budgeting, your programming (like camping and meetings), your leadership succession plan, your adult leader training status, and your recruitment and retention status.

If your unit is not examining these departments on a regular basis, it is easy to allow one part or another to slide. The worst case scenario is you ignore the slide until the slide is a death-spiral do you stop and try to fix it.

The goal of doing regular Unit Service Plans is to prevent this scenario from occurring.

If your Unit Key 3 meets with your Unit Commissioner in the next 90 days, we would help you define ways to succeed in a predictable and healthy manner.

One trick is building your unit is to set goals of 5% across the board improvement. Five percent does not sound like much. But it is.

If your unit has 30 boys and it grows 5%, it means that you have replaced boys who have aged out or dropped out, keeping your retention at 100%, then adding an additional 2 boys (it is hard to have 1.5 boys, so I rounded up).

In programming it means moving from 10 monthly events to 11 events (rounding again). If you have 20 events, you move to 21. More opportunities for more scouting leads to more opportunities to find the one event that sparks the passion of one more scout. With the spark ignited, he is easier to retain, even when his parents are offering different extracurricular activities.

A five percent increase in fundraising, for example by adding camp cards to your existing practices, means that you have more money to use in programming that one more event mentioned above.

A five percent increase in trained adults means one more volunteer to staff events.

A five percent increase in advancement means you are less likely to lose scouts because they are progressing and are actively engaged in the program.

Now has your unit improved by 5%? I would argue not. You have add more financing, more capacity for adult leadership, more boys, more events. You are a much healthier unit.

When your next recruitment cycle hits, you will likely gain more than just 2 boys, because you have that much better of a program to pitch.

Schedule to sit down with your Unit Commissioner and see where you can plan a 5% improvement plan. Your Unit Commissioner’s job is to help you find the resources to make your plan work. You will be amazed at how quickly your unit will grow in a short period of time.


Webelos Cross Over

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Check out this cool episode.

Webelos are beginning to cross over into your troop and while getting boys into your troop is one thing, it’s important to know how to keep them in the troop and coming back week after week. Charles “Doc” Goodwin is the Scoutmaster of Troop 236 in Kettering, Ohio, and for more than 30 years his troop consistently has had more than 100 Scouts! So what’s his secret?

Spring Camporee Planning Session

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Purpose: We will have a planning meeting this Sunday, March 5, 2017 for the Spring Camporee from 6-7:30 pm.
Location of Planning Session:  Lodge Building in back, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church,100 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260
Camporee Theme is “Shoot the Moon“. 
Date of Camporee:  April 21 – 23, 2017
Location of Camporee:  Camp Ransburg
North Star has reserved all rifle, shotgun, and archery ranges for shooting sports.
We have reserved two ridges of campsites and the dinning hall.
Please have a troop representative at the meeting.
Yours in Scouting,
Mark Pishon
Spring Camporee Chair
North Star District
Cell 317.374.2262

Reminder: District  Meetings Thursday 

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Friendly reminder that Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm is the monthly district committee meeting at Second Presbyterian Church, Room 405.
District Unit Commissioner Meeting is the same date at 6:00 pm in Room 401.