Month: April 2017

Scoutmaster beats military survivalists

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I love this story


District Nominating Chair named

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District Chair John Wiebke has announced that he has appointed Matt Rekeweg of Troop 358 at Zionsville’s St. Alphonsius RCC as the new District Nominating Committee Chair.

We learned the importance of the Nominating Committee from Council Vice-President of Operations and District Support Stroh Brann at the re-organization meeting for North Star District in March 2015, At that time, Stroh told the District to get a nominating committee in place. We did. Stroh told us to keep the nominating committee active to keep a healthy district. We did. As a result, North Star scored the highest of all district in 2016 Journey to Excellence. (The linked article is not quite right. We later learned that North Star was only 300 points from perfect.)

Matt Rekeweg works at Dow Agro and is a newer member of the Willie Gillies (that is Wood Badge recipient in North Star District; a Willie on his way back to Gillwell.)

Matt will be working with units to find volunteers for the District Committee and Commissioner Service.

Matt has been tasked with working with Chartered Organization Representatives to find positions in the District for those representatives to fulfill their duties to District.


Matt is tasked with holding meetings of the Nominating Committee and recruiting additional member for the Committee.

Nominating Committee Member is a position that can have an enormous impact with very little time spent. A Committee Member who identifies a prospective District Committee member and helps recruit that future volunteer will often have an impact that last long after the Nominating Committee member has rotated off the committee. If you are asked to serve on Matt’s committee, please seriously consider it.

We are delighted to have Matt Rekeweg as our new chair. Wish him well.

I’m a Scout leader – and I can’t recommend it highly enough | Opinion | The Guardian

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The U.K. Guardian, a strongly leftist newspaper, ran this favorable article about being a scout leader. We don’t often hear from scout leaders about the value to the adult leaders. 

Please send me your experiences and benefits from being a scout leader. Or share your thoughts on the comments below. I would like to run our own Indiana version of this article.

Is the Decline of Free Play Causing an Epidemic of Childhood Depression? 

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An article about free play time disappearing and its effect on kids makes an interesting starting point for a series of articles I am planning on posting.

People who meet with me about their Scouting unit often hear me recite the phrase, “If it is efficient, it is not scouting.” I know this often confuses some as they look at articles on this website. I’m also looking at best practices for improving the scouting experience. The question should arise in many people’s heads that best practices are often about efficiency; so, how can best practices in scouting not seek efficiency?

For me this is a very simple and obvious answer, we are not building a business to maximize profit. We are building young men of character. If it were simple to form a young man of character by a simple recipe, we would have no crime, we would have no conflict, and we would have figured out the system already.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wrap up of Spring Camporee 2017

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Our Winter Camporee 2017 in t-shirts and shorts was followed by our Spring Camporee 2017 in hats and gloves. Oh, the joys of Indiana seasons!

Here are some thoughts from camporee staff afterward.


Troop 358 Fundraiser

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From Troop 358 Fundraising Chair Mark Pishon:

2017 Troop 358 Hog Roast

Saturday, May 6, 2017 4 to 8 pm
St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church
1870 W. Oak Street,Zionsville, IN 46077

Tickets For SaleHog Raost 2017


Come celebrate with Zionsville’s Troop 358 as the boys put on their 5th Annual Hog Roast.
The goal is to off-set Costs for Summer Camp and our High Adventure Programs.
Family Ticket Feeds Six (6).
The menu is our signature pork with a choice of two sauces, Carolina Sauce (apple cider vinegar base), or Tomato based. Meal includes rolls, Mac-n-cheese, home made signature potato salad, green beans, and baked beans.
We will also be serving hot dogs and hamburgers.
Desserts will be of a bake sale type format.
Drinks such as lemonade, coffee and water will be provided.

If you have a unit fundraiser that you would like to promote, please let us know! We will post your information, too.

Clarifications from Lodge Chief on Out-of-Council Ordeals

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Lodge Chief James Colter emailed today to emphasize that going out of council is only an option if specific, “extenuating circumstances” cause the need to go out-of-council — to another lodge’s ordeal. He uses the example of a religious obligation. While we have tried to emphasize this point, we never used the phrase “extenuating circumstances.” If you do seek to go out of council, know that your letter requesting to go out-of-council must describe the nature of this extenuating circumstance. Inadequate explanation of the extenuating circumstance or an inadequate basis are both good cause for the request to be denied. Reading between the lines,

I sense that a conflicting extracurricular activity may not meet the extenuating circumstances test. In that case, you can write the letter and try to get it approved, but start with a pessimistic expectation. A religious prohibition or conflicting date is likely to be accepted with no questions asked. For example, my son had his confirmation Sunday on the day of his first opportunity to attend chapter ordeal, although he made Lodge Ordeal. Remember, just because the scout cannot make chapter ordeal, he will still have September’s Lodge Ordeal. Letters describing extenuating circumstances should deal with scheduling conflicts for both offered ordeals in order to be complete.

In our previous post, we told leaders to gather information about the scheduling conflict. This information just clarifies that this same information about extenuating circumstances needs to be in the letter requesting an out-of-council ordeal in order for permission to be granted by either lodge.

Thoughts on Scout Discipline

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As we prepare to go to summer camp and the joys of summer high adventure, now is a good time to reflect on discipline in scouting. Discipline in scouting is easy: we don’t do it.

Is that so?

Well, let me be clearer. offers this definition:

  1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
  2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill;training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
  3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
  4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
  5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and ordermaintained by training and control:

Scouting clearly seeks to create a “disciplined” scout, in accordance with definitions 1, 2, 4, or 5. In these you can have the “discipline of scouting” as the rules and expectations of scouting.

Scouting does not do definition number 3. In this definition you get the sense of discipline as punishment. We don’t do punishment.

When you are faced with a scout who does not wish to comply with your unit’s expectations, what do you do?

I would recommend starting with an overview article by Clarke Green at With this quick overview, you can then dig into his larger analysis of expectation management and disciplines.

Discipline or punishment is handled by the parents. For other questions, Clarke clarifies many questions.

Order of the Arrow Unit Award of Excellence

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Do you ever tire of recognition for your adults or streamers for your troop flag? If not, I have some additional opportunities for you.

In an effort to promote the Order of the Arrow, the National Boy Scout Honorary Society, the National Council has created the OA Unit Award of Excellence. Related to the unit award are separate recognitions for the youth OA Troop Representative (or Crew Representative), the scoutmaster, and the Assistant Scoutmaster tasked woa_seal_fullcolorith OA liaison responsibilities. (Both the troop rep and ASM have special position of responsibility patches.)

To learn more about these awards, take a look at the record sheet on the OA website.

Camporee Updates

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Webhost Banner.fw Updates will be posted here as they come to the attention of Jeff Heck.

Friday night updates:

Official agenda: spring20camporee20planning20summary204_12_201720update

The three gun demonstration has been canceled by counsel without exclamation.  Mark Pishon announced at the leader and SPL meeting that he would like ideas to fill one hour on the agenda.

Rick Aker announced that the center of operation to move to bunkhouse number two, immediately behind the climbing tower. This is where the first aid station would be. The dining halls too cold to serve as a safety station.