Crossroads of America Council

Friends of Scouting 2018- November 2017-June 2018

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Did you know that 20% of the council budget comes from a fundraiser called Friends of Scouting?  It costs $175 to send one Scout through our program for one year at an organization level.  Our council supports 12 districts across 26 counties, providing scouting to over 34,000 Scouts.

Friends of Scouting is an important direct support campaign that helps fund our council’s camp properties, camp assistance, registration assistance, uniform assistance and more.  Pledges can be paid in lump sums, or on a quarterly or monthly basis.  Has your unit held a Friends of Scouting presentation to show your support?

What: Friends of Scouting

Where: Presentations scheduled on a unit to unit basis

When: November 2017- June 2018

How to Pledge: At your presentation, by calling Jessica Hofman at 317-813-7123, or emailing


Congratulations to the following units who have exceeded their Friends of Scouting goals for 2018 and are recognized for their efforts with free rank advancements for the next year!

Pack 18, Troop 18, Troop 56, Troop 514


National Commissioner to Speak at Commissioner College

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Crossroads of America Council Dean of the Commissioner’s College (November 2-3, 2018) announced that National Commissioner Charles Dahlquist will be the keynote speaker at a reception at the Friday, November 2, 2018 opening ceremonies. The reception is open to all scouters across the council.

Accompanying Mr. Dahlquist will be Fred Wallace, Central Region Director, and a return visit from Kandra Dickenson, the Central Region Commissioner.

The college will begin the next morning.

For more information see the flyer.

2018 College of Commissioner Science Event -PDF


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Setting the Stage for Continued Growth2018 Recognition Dinner

[INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, February 8]  District Leaders, mentors, family and friends assembled at the 2017 North Star District Awards ceremony to offer well-deserved congratulations to the Leadership team and to recognize members of the District for their commitment to service.  Included in these honors was the highlight of the Journey to Excellence Gold Award status earned by North Star with the overall highest score in the Council and an announcement that North Star’s contribution led to the Crossroads of America Council being the highest scoring council nationally, too.  A highlighted list of honored outgoing leadership and 2017 Award Winners can be found below.

2018 District Objectives

As 2018 North Star District Committee Chair Mark Maucere outlined in his keynote address, there are four pillars on which the upcoming leadership team will be focused in order to build on the success of this past year, which are:

Membership Growth.  This includes development of strategies to communicate with Charters and Schools as well as in assisting our Units with Leadership Outreach and Program Awareness.  This work will help keep up the interest with new/prospective Cub Scouts and their parents in the competition for time and attention with other extracurricular activities.  Our new Membership Chair is soon to be named.

Increased Unit Commissioner Involvement.  Stephen Heath is the 2018 District Commissioner, and he is looking forward to building the Unit Commissioner team and for these Unit Commissioners to create stronger and more cohesive working relationships with each of our District Units as “one team.”

Program Offering.  Mark Pishon as 2018 District Program Chair will bring a passion and energy to this critical pillar to enhance our current program offering as well as expand in areas that will further encourage greater recruitment, participation and retention.

Communication.  Cheryl Bilsland will be serving as 2018 Communication Chair and brings corporate digital marketing and Toastmasters communications mentorship experiences to the role.  We look forward to building upon and expanding our communication and outreach presence in a way that best meets the needs of the District.

Mark emphasized his “open door policy” and is humbly looking forward to meeting and working with each of you, thanking you for your service, insight, talent, energy and involvement in order to grow our District in 2018.

2017 North Star District
Leadership and Award Winners

We want to thank our 2017 District Key 3 team for their dedicated servant leadership:

John Wiebke                                       District Chair

Con Sullivan                                        District Executive

Jeffrey Heck                                            District Commissioner

Hearty congratulations and gratitude for your service, goes to the following 2017 District Award Winners:

Alec Damer T514 Merle H. Miller Eagle Scout Project of the Year Award
Austin Damer T514 Judge John Price Outstanding Eagle Scout of the Year Award
Agrayan Gupta T56 Dr. Bernard Harris SUPERNOVA Award (the first awarded in North Star District, based on our information)
John Wiebke T358 District Award of Merit
Mike Yates T56 District Award of Merit
David Sperry T514 Unit Leader Award of Merit
Michael Faulk T56 Arrowman of the Year
Bill Buchalter P83 Cubmaster of the Year
Ron Wells T343 Scoutmaster of the Year
Denise Purdie-Andrews T69 Firecrafter of the Year
Katherine Ritchie T343 Boy Scout Committee Chair Person of the Year
Todd Sanger P514 Cub Scout Committee Chair Person of the Year
Nick Griffith T56 Hooked on Scouting
Jason Chamness T358 Hooked on Scouting
Laura Gunderman T358 Hooked on Scouting
James Stiles T358 Hooked on Scouting
Amanda Walsh T358 Hooked on Scouting
Jill Williams T358 Hooked on Scouting
Mary Fenchak T514 Hooked on Scouting
Jill Carson T343 Spark Plug Award
Mark Carson T343 Spark Plug Award
Brendan Cavanaugh T358 Spark Plug Award
Joe Forler T358 Spark Plug Award
Brad Gibson T358 Spark Plug Award
Kathryn Gibson T358 Spark Plug Award
Bob Jalaie T358 Spark Plug Award
Dawn Pasquale T358 Spark Plug Award
Chris Pishon T358 Spark Plug Award
Chris Strachan T358 Spark Plug Award
Jane Sullivan T358 Spark Plug Award
Valerie Swack T358 Spark Plug Award
Matthew Glaze T514 Spark Plug Award
Marilyn Mathioudakis T514 Spark Plug Award
Ken Savin T514 Spark Plug Award
Lisa Savin T514 Spark Plug Award


If you would like more information about this topic, please call Cheryl Bilsland, 2018 North Star Communications Chair, at 317-225-6102, or email

Voyageur training

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Here is part of an email from Don Bievenour, Assistant Scoutmaster at Troop 56 and long-time Voyageur Staffer.

[Voyageur is a unique program to the Crossroads of America Council. It is offered to adults, once in the spring and once in the fall. T]he Fall course is usually warmer but there are no guarantees. *8-| rolling eyes

For those of you that have taken the basic course and want to qualify for your instructor arc, the additional requirement is one more day, a Saturday, so that your skills can be used to teach new students. Sundays are not an option because there is very little training.

Attainment of the instructor’s arc allows that Scouter to rent council Voyageur canoes, trailers, and equipment. This rate is typically cheaper that the on water canoe liveries.

I am teaching two courses at the U of Scouting: Essentials of a A Canoe Outing P180 and Canoeing in the Council P184 . The Voyageur program will have a booth on the midway.

Let me know if you have any questions.




Service Hours Reported to Date for 2017

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I hope that all Packs, Troops, and Crews report more than 100 man-hours per year.

In light of that expectation, here is our best understanding of the units that have met that expectation of reporting more than 100 man-hours for 2017. This personal expectation is strongest for scout troops.

Packs 18, 72, and 358;

Troops 18, 56, 69, 72, 174, 180, 269, 343, 358, 512, 514, and 804.

The top five units for reported hours in 2017 to date are:

  1. Troop 174 with 2,861 hours reported
  2. Troop 358 with 1,301 hours
  3. Troop 514 with 486 hours
  4. Troop 804 with 422 hours
  5. Troop 18 with 404 hours.

An honorable mention to Pack 18 for the highest number of hours reported for a Cub Scout Pack with 118 hours.

If your unit is not showing the hours you expect, login to the Service Hours Reporting website with your unit’s Internet Advancement login and password. You can look at what is there.

For scout troops, please verify that the your Eagle Scouts’ project hours are fully reported.

Dates Added to Calendar

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I have been working this morning to add dates for 2018 to the blog calendar.

Remember that this is not the official calendar of the district. That is still maintained at the website. The distinction is that they can take reservations for paid events and this website cannot.

The problem is that the calendar on this website is often more responsive and complete as to a unit’s needs, so it can create confusion. We will work on improving that in the coming year.

Council Announces New Scout Executive

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From the Crossroads of America website:

Crossroads of America Council is exited to welcome JOE WILTROUT as our new Scout Executive. Wiltrout photo

Joe will be coming to us from Three Fires Council in St. Charles, IL where he currently serves as Scout Executive.

He will begin this new role in early January.  Please help us give Joe, his wife Sara, their 3 children a warm Hoosier Welcome!

Here is an excerpt from the Three Fires Council’s biography on Mr. Wiltrout:

On Nov. 3, 2014, Joseph (Joe) Wiltrout became the third Scout Executive for Three Fires Council, Boy Scouts of America. Located in St. Charles, IL, the Council serves 14,000 youth in Chicago’s western suburbs.

Joe came to Three Fires Council as an experienced, professional Scouter. Most recently, he spent three years as Deputy Scout Executive / Chief Operating Officer in the 43,000 Scout-strong Northern Star Council in Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN.

Before that, Joe spent three years as Director of Development / Chief Financial Officer at Daniel Webster Council in Manchester, NH. There, he managed a $5.2 million budget and provided leadership to several innovative special events.

Joe spent 10 years as Senior Finance Director, Field Director, and District Executive at the Atlanta Area Council, GA. He also served as Camp Director for Woodruff Scout Reservation in Blairsville, GA.

An Eagle Scout with a Bronze Palm, Joe completed Wood Badge training. He is a Vigil Order of the Arrow member. As a youth, Joe was an International Scout.

Educated at the University of Florida, Joe has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture. Married to his wife, Sara, for 23 years, they have three school-age children.

In his spare time, Joe enjoys hunting, college and professional sports, and coaching youth football.

Welcome to the Crossroads of America Council, Joe!

Governor’s Luncheon December 18th

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The 22nd Annual Governor’s Luncheon is Monday, December 18, 2017 from noon to 1:30 pm at the downtown JW Marriott Hotel.

The Governor’s Luncheon serves as the kickoff for our 2018 Friends of Scouting Campaign. Governor's Luncheon 2016

For many of our units, fundraising to support scouting is not an easy task. The leaders do not do sales for a living or uncomfortable asking for money.

The Governor’s Luncheon is an easy way for each unit to participate in fundraising. Think of all the people who support or send well-wishes to your unit. Send them an invitation to attend the Governor’s Luncheon with you.

Historically, the luncheon has been an extremely impressive event.

If you are sure that someone has already been invited and you don’t want to trouble them, submit their name at this website. They will get you a response as to whether that prospect has already been invited. If they have not, you can ask guilt-free.

When the donations are made, people you invite from your unit can designate that your unit be credited for that donation. That way you won’t ask the same person twice at the next Court of Honor or Blue & Gold Banquet.

For more answers, contact District Executive Jessica Hofman.

Help us make 2018 the best year for Friends of Scouting ever!

Farewell to Patrick Sterrett

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This is the last week for Patrick as our Council Scout Executive before he becomes the Assistant Chief Scout Executive for Operations.

Check out the Facebook feed on this page for more about Patrick in the news.

We wish Patrick many years of joyful scouting in Dallas.

North Star DE Change

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Con Sullivan pick
Con Sullivan, departing Senior District Executive

We are sad to formally announce that, on November 1, 2017, Con Sullivan, our District Executive since May 2015, will be transferring to Hou Koda District (Plainfield, Speedway) as part of his promotion to Senior District Executive at the Council. During Con’s tenure, North Star went from being threatened with dissolution to the highest scoring district in the Crossroads of America Council’s Journey to Excellence in 2016 with 2250. As he leaves in 2017, North Star is already at 2225 (with some JTE scores from units not yet submitted and no information for the fourth quarter yet).* We wish him well in his new assignment (just not too well, so as not to beat North Star).


Unlike in many transitions prior to Con’s arrival, Council has already appointed his successor, Jessica Hofman ( She will become our District Executive on November 1, 2017.

Jessica came to the Crossroads of America Council in April of 2016, where she has served as Sugar Creek District’s DE (Lebanon and Crawfordsville).  She has her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Purdue University and just recently finished her Masters in Business Administration degree from Indiana Western Governor’s University. She is a resident of northern Indianapolis. Jessica’s strength is in membership and she has a passion for program.


Jessica Hofman
Jessica Hofman, North Star’s new District Executive


*Other districts have stepped up this year, so the competition is tougher: Del-Mi at 2250.