Author: Jeffrey Heck, Crossroads of America, Assistant Council Commissioner

Is Scouting a Better Method to Getting USA’s First World Cup?

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Can we develop better national soccer teams using Baden Powell’s methods than travel soccer? The evidence is coming in that answer is profoundly “yes.” From my years of backyard athletics, I can attest the skills development was profound. Read this blog post and the new book Shoeless Soccer for more.

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Program’s New Name: Scouts BSA (corrected)

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Boy Scouts will become “Scouts BSA.” The organization’s name will remain same. That was what former Crossroads of America Council Executive Patrick Sterrett advocated for as he moved to Number 2 in the BSA. It looks like his recommendation held true.

Here is the AP version.

Here is Scouting Wire’s more detailed version. This includes information on “Scout Me In” recruitment campaign.

Here is Bryan on Scouting with yet more details.

UPDATED 5/3/18: Here is local council’s press release: Read the rest of this entry »

Open Berths for Sea Base with Crew 408

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From Greg Hoyes:

North Star Venture Crew 408 in Zionsville has 2 crews going to FSB Out Island (MUNSON) on June 29th to July 5th (travel from June 27th to July 8th).  One of the crews is filled with our fellow Boy Scout Troop and the 2nd Crew is all Crew 408 members.  We do have 2 open spots in our Venture Crew and looking to fill them, with either Venture or Boy Scout members.

If the interested parties are male, the adult leadership is covered and if they are female, one of them must be over 21 to cover the required female leadership.  This would be good for a mother/daughter  or sister/older sister trip.

We have the travel all covered and would depart the morning of June 27th and will be returning on July 8th.  We are planning some sightseeing stops for the return trip but have not finalized those details yet.  The cost is estimated at $1240 for Out Island, travel (gas and lodging) and 2 crew shirts.  I can be flexible in accommodating payment arrangements for someone that wants to go but can’t write that check today.

If you have anybody interested, please have them contact me and we can discuss other details.

On the Adventure

Greg Hoyes

Crew 408 Committee Chair

New Website Feature: Ideas for Outings

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At the April 2018 Roundtable for Scouts, the topic of different close-to-home high adventure outings was discussed. The ideas came fast and furious. We were having a hard time taking notes and capturing good information.

You have probably had the same experience. You are at a scouting meeting and somebody says, “We had a great trip to the Appalachian Trail. One of the cheapest and best high adventure trips we have ever taken!”

“Where did you go?”

“I don’t remember.”

“What did it cost?”

“I don’t remember.”

You get the idea. So, we decided that the District needed a central repository for ideas that scouts and scouters could use to share the wealth.

So now you can visit a page on the website, with its own link at the top of the page. Bookmark it. Use it. Send it to your Senior Patrol Leader, Pack Committee Chair, or Venture Crew Vice-President for Programming.

More importantly for the first 90 days, we need your help. We need you and your unit to download the questionnaire. Think of your 3-5 favorite outings during your tenure in scouting. If you are troop leader, think of outings you did with your Cub Pack too.

Follow the instructions at the top of the questionnaire to return it.

We will post the questionnaires in a PDF format as they are submitted. So, please use your best Scout Law etiquette in filling these out. They will be available to the general public.

If you have PDF flyers or other supporting documentation, we can post those, if the files are small (under 500K), since we have limited space on the website.

This is primarily intended for Best Practices and referrals. If you have had a disasterous experience, that is probably good information, too, but it is beyond the scope of this project. If you wish to email the questionnaire to us, we will accept them and figure out what to do those later.

Please help us make this one of the most powerful parts of this website! Send your questionnaire, however incomplete, now (we can use updated questionnaires later as you find the information)!

Please email this article to current and past scouters to get their feedback, too!

Reminder: District Committee Meeting March 15, 2018

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As previously announced, the District Committee Meeting’s time and location has changed. The committee will now be meeting the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Zionsville Town Hall (more information here).

That means that for the March Committee Meeting, we will be meeting Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm. (Commissioners met last Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Luke’s Lodge on the new schedule.)

See you there!Zville town hall photo

Summer Camp Sign Up Season

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Summer camp starts in just about 90 days. Is your unit signed up? Do you have a scout who wants to go but can’t go the same week as your pack or troop?

There are promotional materials that you can use with your unit. You can use a YouTube Video (Cub Day Camp or Adventure Camp). You can request a presentation team to come in and help promote summer camp. You can print out Commitment Cards to hand out at a meeting with deposit information included.

You will need a current health form (same form for all levels of scouting), so get those appointments scheduled now before the doctors’ offices get swamped.

Campership financial aid is available for all eligible scouts. Inability to pay is no reason for a scout to miss summer camp. Speak with your unit chair to assist with this process.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

Cub Scouts

Camp Belzer Day Camp. Camp Belzer is here in Indianapolis, hidden behind Lawrence Central High School and across Fall Creek and its namesake boulevard from the Scout Center. This makes Camp Belzer a great place for a day camp. For some families it is a hop, skip, and jump away from Washington Township. For others it takes more thought, but is do-able.

It is available from June 11, 2018 to July 21, 2018. You can register your pack here. (Please make sure that you have one parent in charge of this process to avoid confusion or duplication of effort.) You can get more information on the Camp’s website.

This year is Camp Belzer’s Centennial, so you don’t want to miss the celebration! They will kickoffwith a Firecrafter Kick Off with Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb. They will have a Beler Staff Reunion on June 30, 2018 at 1:00 pm. They will have a July 4th celebration open to the public.

This is highly recommended for Tiger through Bear Cub Scouts (based on the badge they will pursue in September 2018). A Webelos option is available, too.

Camp Kikthawenund’s Adventure Camp. Adventure Camp is an overnight camp held at Camp Kikthawenund in Frankton, Indiana (north of Noblesville by 15 minutes). Adventure Camp supports and utilizes the aims and methods of Scouting as an integral part of the camp program. Adventure Camp will provide an opportunity for Wolf, Bear Webelos, and Arrow of Light Scouts to go camping at the region’s premier Cub Scout Camp. No Tag-a-long program. The eleven different sessions begin on June 10, 2018 and end on July 21, 2018. This is a 3-night/4-day program with overnight camping expected. This is highly recommended for Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts.

Other District Day Camps. Some of our neighboring districts offer day camps. The one that might have the most potential is Sugar Creek District at Camp Cullom in Frankfort, IN the week of June 25th. If you talk real sweetly to our District Executive Jessica Hofman, she might be able to persuade her former district to allow you to participate. If there is interest in holding our own District Day Camp in the future, contact Jessica about your thoughts.

Boy Scouts

A quick overview is available on the Council website.

Camp Belzer Day Camp. Yes, Belzer has programming for Boy Scouts, too. There is a Baden Powell program that focuses on merit badge classes and Dan Beard program that focuses on completing First Class Rank. This is a great way for individual boy scouts to complete some of their required merit badges for First Class and Eagle done so that they can truly dive into the elective merit badges with their troop at Camp Ransburg or wherever else the troop goes.

Camp Ransburg. Troops can sign up and have the parents pay the camp directly and schedule the merit badge classes online. This is a week-long resident camp with the troop on Lake Monroe. If an individual scout cannot go with his troop or wants to do additional weeks, we can work with that scout to have him participate with another troop. North Star troops have been very cooperative with this “contingent scout” method of camping.

Camp Krietenstein. In Center Point, IN, near Terre Haute, Krietenstein offers a more intimate summer camp setting for scouts. It is similar to Ransburg in allowing troop options and contingent scout options.

National Youth Leadership Training (“NYLT”). Formerly known in our council as “White Stag,” NYLT is a program for youth in a troop to prepare for senior leadership in their home troop. It is “Wood Badge for Youth.” The participants spend a week in the summer (or weekends during the school year’s Spring and Fall Sessions) participating in a temporary troop. They experience each role in the life of a troop. At least two troops in the District require this training to an Senior Patrol Leader or Assistant Senior Patrol Leader: Troop 358 and Troop 56 (beginning this year). Talk to their scoutmasters about the impact of this training on their experience in managing the troop. The brochure is available here.

Camp Staff

For older scouts, you can even work at summer camp. You won’t get rich, but you will have an enriching experience. Apply now!

High Adventure

If your troop is not participating in High Adventure or you cannot make your schedule coincide, an individual scout or small sub-group of scouts can participate in High Adventure through individual programs, Order of the Arrow Programs, or as a “contingent crew member” joining another under-sized contingent from somewhere else in the country. Learn more at the individual high adventure base websites about all the options available. It’s not too late! Yes, camperships are available here, too, although travel costs are usually excluded. (Talk to us to learn how scouts overcome these problems!)

North Star District Swim Test Sponsored by Troop 343, April 2, 2018

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From Troop 343’s Brian Crow:2abd5ead-9881-4e1b-b55a-c3b04b41b660

MSD of Pike Township Aquatics Center
5401 West 71st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46268
Time: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

All North Star units interested in sharing this opportunity with Troop 343 should contact Brian Crow AS SOON AS POSSIBLE at ScouterBrianCrow@gmail.com.

Each unit is responsible for administering their own swim test. There will be two Red Cross certified lifeguards provided by the Aquatic Center to sign your forms once the tests are completed.

Directions: Find your way to the main high school entrance. The Aquatic Center is just to the left of the main entrance. Enter the Aquatic Center through door 11B. After entering, adults and Scouts should enter the pool deck to the left and find their unit’s designated adult organizer. Anyone not taking the test should go through the doors to the right and up the stairs to the spectator stands.

Each unit’s designated adult organizer should arrive no later than 7:15 p.m. and check in with Brian Crow. Adults and Scouts taking the swim test should arrive ready to test with their swimsuits already on. Locker rooms will not be available for our use.

The cost per unit for the use of the Aquatic Center is $30.00. Please bring CASH to cover your unit’s portion of the cost. Brian Crow will collect the monies the night of the test.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Crow at ScouterBrianCrow@gmail.com.

Council Program Director Lee Murdoch also reports that Del-Mi will be offering swim tests at Noblesville and Carmel High Schools:

Sunday April 15, 2018
Noblesville High School
18111 Cumberland Road
Noblesville, IN 46060
Entrance door # 7
1:00pm—6:00pm
Contact Adair Vaught at (317) 610-9724

Sunday May 20, 2018
Carmel High School
520 E. Main
Carmel, IN 46032
Entrance door # 21
1:30pm—5:00pm
Contact Reem Okar at reemokar@crossroadsbsa.org or (317) 813-7094

Be advised that the rules of operation for Del-Mi are like the rules Brian Crow described for North Star’s Swim Test.

Typically Pathfinder District runs a swim test at Southport High School but Lee does not have those dates and times yet.

Roundtable This Week

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As previously announced, the roundtables topics this Thursday will be:

  1. Cub Scouts: “Keys to Successful Annual Planning”;
  2. Scouts: “STEM and Explorer Scouting / Canoeing Trip Ideas”.

The Roundtables will take place this Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Luke’s Lodge, the Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner Patchoutbuilding on the northeast corner of the campus of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Please forward this information to your Den Leaders, Committee members, and Assistant Scoutmasters. They are an important part of the Roundtables’ target audience.

Remember, attending roundtables is a key requirement to earn the Scouter’s Key for both Cub Scout leaders and Boy Scout leaders.