Commissioner Service

Recharters now overdue

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Applications to renew Charters and supporting paperwork were due last Thursday, November 9, 2017.

If your chair or Rechartering specialist have not received notice that you are done, you probably are not done.

Please remember that volunteers like you do most of the work on Rechartering. If they have to chase you down, it is less time that those volunteers are spending with family, scouts, fun, or work.

Please make sure the commissioner you are working with knows your plans. Ask them if we have notes entered in our tracking system about your plans.

We really need all paperwork in this Friday. We have a lot of work to do once you turn in paperwork.

Thank you for your cooperation in wrapping up this tedious and necessary process.

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REMINDER: Roundtable tomorrow

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Tomorrow’s roundtable (Thursday, November 8, 2017) will be at 7:00 pm at Luke’s Lodge on the northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260. We will have Den Leader Training and a presentation on Life-to-Eagle process.

For Life-to-Eagle, this is open to all scout leaders, Eagle Candidates, and family members. Come hear from the district members that are a necessary part of your scout’s success in making Eagle.

JTE Changes for 2018

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As we are wrapping up our 2017 Journey to Excellence scorecards with rechartering. Now is a good time to become familiar with next year’s scorecards.

Units

For the most part, at the unit level, there are few changes. On line 10, the consistent change is from requiring the minimum adult leadership for rechartering plus an assistant unit leader (i.e., assistant Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, or Associate Venturing Advisor). Now the requirement for Bronze on line 10 is simply to have an assistant unit leader. This makes sense, since the others are required to recharter. Even units that do not qualify for bronze need a unit leader and committee members. This is less of a change than a simplification of the scoring method.

I have omitted other wording changes that do not change the underlying scoring mechanism for the criterion.

District

The significant changes are at the District level. While most unit leaders have little interest in what district qualifies for, it does impact units. The impact is on what commissioners and committee members do to support the units. In their efforts, they need the cooperation of unit leaders to be able to meet BSA JTE requirements.

On line 4, membership growth, the focus is shifting from the district-at-large to Cub Scouts. So lower overall growth is sought but actual growth in Cub Scouts is the minimum level. The logic is that if we grow Cub Scout membership, we will grow overall membership. With co-ed taking effect in 2018 for Cub Scouts, ideally this is an easy requirement to meet.

On line 7, the target percentage of scouts with advancement is reduced between 2-3% on all levels.

On line 9, the target percentage of Cub Scouts camping is increased 2-3 % on all levels.

On line 12, unit retention is increased for bronze but reduced for silver and gold. All now seek 90% retention.

On line 13, unit commissioners are expected to have more detailed and more frequent information about the health of the units in their charge. That means the unit commissioners are expected to ask better questions so that they better understand the units. They are then accountable for summarizing that information in the reportingJTE system.

Line 15 requires one less committee member to qualify for gold.

Conclusion

So for planning purposes, very little is shocking to units. The amount of requests for assistance from district may go up. It seems the goal is to have better overall scouting experiences available to boys and girls without putting more pressure on any one unit to fulfill that goal.

Please look at the scorecards for 2018 and build improving into your monthly unit committee meetingsto insure a great 2018.

 

Recharter Update

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With the last recharter turn-in only 36 hours away, as of this writing, it is time to look at how the district’s rechartering is proceeding.

NOTE: This year we have the added wrench in the gears that our district executives were switched mid-stream. That is requiring a bit of extra effort to make sure everyone is on the same page. In addition, I have a suspicion that there is a technical glitch in our backoffice reporting system. I have made inquiries to the administrator.

Please understand that any confusion or misinformation arising from these changes is not intentional. As I communicate with units, please understand that I am working on the best information available. I expect that we will have any problems ironed out by Friday. I will post updates on this page as they become available.

As of this writing, only five of our 39 units have not logged into the rechartering system. For those five units, that leaves you only 36 hours to do all of the online work before your paperwork’s final deadline arrives at tomorrow night’s final recharter turn-in.

Of the remaining 34 units, the commissioner, executive and registrar have approved two units to post, meaning they are done and approved at all levels: Troops 343 and 512.

The charter agreement, application to recharter, and JTE scorecard have been received from the units listed below. Whether there remain any problems is yet to be finalized. These units will be informed or received a punchlist at turn-in identifying if problems are identified. Packs 18, 64, 105, 514, and Troops 358, 514, 804.

The following units have finalized their rosters online but still have paperwork to turn in, according  to my records (please review the note above on updating information). Packs 72, 84, 171, 175, 179, 358, 358-2, 358-3, 358-4, 358-5, Troops 18, 69, and 269.

The following units have worked with the commissioner service and generated a mutually agreed punch list of outstanding tasks. We are awaiting those items being completed, hopefully tomorrow night. Packs 35, 174, 747, 830, Troops 56, 73, Crews 56, 358, and 408.

Finally Troop 180 has been in contact with me about the current status and plans to complete.

Thank you to all of the volunteers that put so much effort into this tedious but necessary process this year. While you may not get the recognition you deserve, you are providing a valuable service.

Please let me, Jessica, or Mat Gerdenich know what we can do to help you finish rechartering by tomorrow night’s turn-in.

Final Recharter Turn-In at Roundtable

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At this point, all units should have opened the Internet Rechartering system and reviewed their rosters and verified that all of your existing leadership is trained and new leaders have scheduled their training. At this time, three packs, two troops, and one crew have not started rechartering online. To those units, please do so this weekend.

This Thursday, November 9, 2017 we will have the next Roundtable at 7:00 pm. We will also offer Den Leader Training at the same time.

Next door in Luke’s Lodge, we will be holding the last recharter turn-in. It will open at 6:00 pm and close at 8:30 pm. It will be open house style, so it is first-come, first-serve.

All units are expected to have their Applications to Renew Charter and supporting paperwork turned in by the end of this function. We want to be 100% done. To determine what that means visit the Rechartering Update 2017 page.

Please contact your unit commissioner, district commissioner, or assistant district commissioner for Rechartering Mat Gerdenich if you have any questions or concerns.

Long-Range Planning: an Alternate Proposal

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Traditionally in BSA units, National recommends that units do an annual planning conference one time per year. This is designed to discuss the budget, annual calendar, and longer-term projects, like high adventure outings. The idea is that at least once per year that the unit makes sure that it is staying on course. This is usually done concurrently with the annual program calendar.

The result is that the unit has a full agenda to talk about the calendar. Dealing with other long range issues gets varying discussion and analysis. For units that do the planning as part of an evening meeting, they run out of time quickly. For units that have a full retreat, they have plenty of time, but may have different items on their agenda.

Compounding the problem, most officers of the unit only plan to be with the unit until their son (and soon to be, daughters) leave the unit. This makes planning a much shorter term vision than the unit probably needs. But in terms of prioritzation, it allows the players to focus on what affects them and shorten the agenda.

Scouting already has a tendency to “meeting” our volunteers to death. We tend to have too many short meetings rather than taking the time to do a retreat once.

Read the rest of this entry »

November Boy Scout Roundtable: Life to Eagle in North Star

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We will have the members of the North Star District Advancement Committee, Eagle pinspecializing in Eagle issues lead a discussion. The roundtable will be at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at Luke’s Lodge, the outbuilding on the campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Specifically, Eagle Project Coordinators Rick Aker and Bill Cherry will talk about how boy scouts go about getting their Eagle Projects approved in the District.

Eagle Board of Review Coordinator Jerry Simon will talk about how boards are scheduled, run, and successfully completed.

This topic is ideal for Eagle Candidates, their parents, Troop Key 3 members, Troop Advancement Chairs, Troop Eagle Mentors (scout and scouter), new and old Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, and anyone interested in serving on Eagle Boards of Review. Oh, forget it; just anyone.

Come with your questions!

Known Issue with Rechartering Invoice

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This year National Council has added local council insurance premiums for registered members. That means the $1.00 insurance premium per scout and scouter is automatically included in your invoice, which is an upgrade over the last rechartering cycle, completed in November 2016.

Unfortunately, all is not rosy in the invoice automation. At Council meetings last we were informed that the Adult Partners for Lions and Tigers (i.e., parents included on the Youth Application but have not completed a separate Adult Application for positions such as Den Leader, Assistant Den Leader, Committee Member, etc.) do not have that insurance premium included in the invoice.

Consequently, please count these adults and multiply by $1.00. This will need to be added manually to the amount of the invoice for your pack to be paid in full.

Notes from Rechartering Roundtable

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If you are attending the Rechartering Roundtable, you can watch the presentation live on your iOS device, Mac, or the web by clicking here. This will allow you to see the same slides as they advance. Please note that this is not the same as downloading the file. That will be posted on this page as a later update, after the Roundtable is over.

For copies of the Journey to Excellence forms that are required to complete recharter, you can download them from www.scouting.org/jte.

Take a look at the Unit Assessment form to know more about what you can do to improve your JTE score. Talk to a commissioner the results. Review the Unit Performance Guide, especially chapter 4 for ideas.

Remember Recharter Agreements are required. Sometimes those are handled in advance. Rechartering cannot proceed, if our DE does not have that agreement in way or another.

YPT Update

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Thank you to all the scouters who have been updating their Youth Protection Training. Your efforts are paying off. In 2018 we are running ahead of 2017.

We still have a bunch more to go, the trends are excellent.

YoY 2016-2017 YPT