Crossroads of America Council

BSA rolls out 100% co-ed

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You may have heard, but all programs will be co-ed by January 1, 2019. Cub Scouts start, as I read it, June 1, 2018.

Here is the announcement from CAC Council Commissioner Ron Penczek:


I wanted to take a moment to forward on to you official communications from our National Council regarding girls in Cub and Boy Scouting.  While it is too late for my girls to stand beside their brother in earning Eagle Scout, I am very excited to bring our program of citizenship, leadership and fitness to girls around the country, I hope you are as excited as me.  I know for some Scouters, this change will be concerning and their concerns are not without merit, but as a Commissioner Corps, I am sure we can help deliver a positive message.  We can be the agent of change that helps everyone to see the benefits of such a change and help implement such change in a positive way.

Please cascade this to your District and Unit Commissioners and begin talking with your units about this change.

I look forward to talking with you next week.

Kind regards,


BSA Expands Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts Programs to Welcome Girls

The BSA’s board of directors has unanimously approved welcoming girls into our Cub Scouts program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders — as well as parents and girls who have never been involved in Scouting — to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.

Linked below (or attached) are a few resources to help you learn more about today’s decision, as well as respond to any inquiries you may receive. As always, please direct all media queries to

Official BSA news release

Family Scouting page on

Family Scouting FAQ


Social for all Districts

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On Friday, November 3, 2017, the Council Commissioner Service is hosting a council-wide social the evening before the Commissioner College. The event is free. You can RSVP here.


  1. Al Lambert, Central Region Director, BSA
  2. Kandra Dickerson, Central Region Commissioner, BSA
  3. Bob Hoffmeyer, Ass’t Area Commissioner, National Commissioner Tools Team and former CAC Commissioner

Friday, November 3rd: Social Mixer, Keynote Address, Refreshments, and Fun together!


For BSA Board Members, All Commissioners, District Committee Chairs and District Committee Members, and BSA Professionals.

Where: Camp Belzer Activity Center, 6102 Boy Scout Rd,, Indianapolis IN 46226

Registration/Check in: Starts at 5:45pm, Event starts at 6:30 pm

Hurricane Maria: An update on BSA members in Puerto Rico. Ways you can help.

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Bryan on Scouting has just posted this article on how to help after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

To my view, the most important part of this article is that the councils and units affected have been slow to report their needs. This creates a risk of their needs being forgotten or overlooked by the rest of the BSA.

This slow response to state needs makes a lot of sense. First, the BSA is built on a diffused organizational system. National Council needs information from local councils. Local councils need information from districts. Districts need information from units. Units need information from unit leaders. Unit leaders are busy caring for their families, work or businesses, and places of worship.

Now the information trickle is beginning. The BSA has created several central clearinghouses of information. Units can make direct appeals for help. The BSA has created a central fundraising website. Now we know where to look for what is needed.

So the next question seems to be, “What can our unit do?”

What you can do is still limited by BSA regulations. Let’s take a quick look so that these are all fresh in mind.

Read the rest of this entry »

Announcement from Patrick Sterrett

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A message from Patrick to the Executive Board of Crossroads of America Council to the Executive Board this morning:Sterrett

Executive Board-

Ed Bonach has asked me to communicate the following to you.

This past Tuesday morning, our Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh asked me to join his team as the Assistant Chief Scout Executive- Operations. I have great admiration for Mike, respect his managerial courage and look forward to learning from him. I accepted and begin Nov 16.

Lori and I have enjoyed CAC and Indiana.  Quite frankly, this position (or the Chief’s job of course :)) was the only role that could draw us from CAC.

I met with our staff leadership team on Wednesday morning.  I communicated this change to the entire staff this morning.  They are a great team!

We had an Executive Committee meeting call this morning.  We are blessed with a terrific Executive Committee and Board.

Ed will immediately begin the Scout Executive selection process and will discuss this in more depth at the Wednesday Board meeting.  He/she will be on board in early January.  The new [Scout Executive] will be lucky to serve with you.

Our council is strong.  We are in great fiscal position.  Membership is growing. The staff is energized and outstanding.  We have tremendous volunteer depth and quality.  We are blessed with top notch facilities.  This change at the top will be a speed bump not a roadblock because of you and your passion for our mission.

I appreciate you and thank you for your un-wavering support of me and the Scouting movement.  Scouting is strong and will grow again across the Nation just as it is doing here in central Indiana.

An email will be sent to all BSA employees and National/Regional volunteers later this afternoon.


Patrick W. Sterrett  |  Scout Executive / CEO

Crossroads of America Council

This is a huge gain for the National Council and an equal loss for the Crossroads of America Council. Patrick has been instrumental in providing a strong vision moving forward and recruiting personnel capable of carrying out that vision.

He will be missed.

Upcoming MBU . . . at a real university

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There is a true Merit Badge University coming up. This term used to refer to opportunities to work on merit badges with university professors and researchers in the field.

Over the years, it has devolved into a generic term of any large gathering of merit badge classes.merit2bbadges

Wabash University is going back to the original concept . . . some of our district’s former scouts, according to rumor, helping organize it.

Here is more information from Jessica Hofman, Sugar Creek’s District Executive via Con Sullivan:

Want to learn about game design from a theater professor and video game reviewer?  Or help with a research study on turtle behavior as you learn the material for the Reptiles and Amphibians merit badge?  Or learn about astronomy from professors who have taught courses on Mayan archeoastronomy?  Or consider how buildings are designed from a Roman Architecture and Archeology expert?

These are just a few of the offerings at the Merit Badge College at Wabash on May 6th!  All of the badges (except First Aid) will be taught by college professors who are experts in the subject.  The cost is $20, and includes a T shirt and lunch.  There will be fun lunchtime activities and sessions for parents to learn about scouting and college opportunities.  You can register at  Registration closes on April 15th, and classes will fill, so register early!

Wabash’s faculty already has a strong relationship with council. One of their economics professors is Sugar Creek’s district commissioner.

This is a great opportunity for older scouts to go visit the beautiful campus in Crawfordsville and work with Wabash’s impressive faculty . . . with no grade pressure!

Here is more information:

Sugar Creek District
2017 Wabash Merit Badge College
Join us for a great learning opportunity and chance to work on your merit badges at an awesome venue!  Join us at Wabash College for the first annual Wabash Merit Badge College.  Reserve your spot now!
  • The college will be at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana on Saturday, May 6th.
  • There will be two sessions (one from 9:30 to Noon and another from 1:30 to 4:00) with lunchtime activities in between.
  • Registration Cost is $20.00 for Scouts which includes courses, lunch, and a event T-shirt
All Day Merit Badges (requires both morning and afternoon sessions):
  • Robotics
  • Space Exploration
  • Reptile and Amphibian Study
  • Game Design
  • Animation
  • First Aid
Half Day Merit Badges (offered in one or both sessions, but does not require both sessions to complete):
  • Nuclear Science (afternoon, might open morning if there is enough demand)
  • Architecture (morning or afternoon)
  • Medicine (morning or afternoon)
  • Astronomy (morning)
  • Citizenship in the World (afternoon)
  • Family Life (morning)
Lunch Break Activities:
  • Chemistry Merit Badge
  • Ultimate Frisbee on the Mall
  • Activities for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Ranks (tree and plant identification, knot tying, flag etiquette, map and compass/GPS navigation course around campus)

Take a look!

Executive Committee Recommends District Re-alignment

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The Executive Committee of Crossroads of America Council has made a recommendation to the full Board of Directors to re-align the districts in our council.

The plan, if approved by the Board in early March, would move the southern border of North Star District southward from 38th Street to 30th Street from Keystone to MLK Blvd. Then down to 16th Street over to Tibbs Avenue.CAC patch

This would result in the Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church (Pack 72 and Troop 72) and St Richards School (Pack 747 and Troop 180) joining our district.

Unrelated to North Star District, the plan would abolish T-Sun-Gani District, i.e., Center Township’s district. The remaining part of that district, not absorbed by North Star, would be split between Pioneer and Hou-Koda Districts. Further Old Trail and Iron Horse would merge. Part of their districts in Eastern Hancock County (15 units) would be absorbed by Pioneer District. No After-School units are affected, since they are administered separately.

This realignment would strengthen all districts and result in larger volunteer pools to support the units.

This re-alignment would also have the Order of the Arrow Chapter Lowaneu Allanque and Firecrafter Ember cover only North Star District once again.

As a result of anticipating this re-alignment, North Star District has invited its future, new units to participate in the Unit Key 3 Conference tonight. So if you see some strange unit numbers, don’t be surprised.

Save the Date: Ideal Year in Scouting

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At Council’s joint Commissioner and Membership Committee meeting, the Council Membership Chair announced some dates for the Ideal Year in Scouting presentation.

For North Star District, it will take place on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Scout Center. This will be in lieu of our regular roundtable meeting. We will have a North Star District-specific breakout session at the Scout Center when the general session is done.

The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm. A light dinner will be served at 6:30 pm.

If your unit cannot send a representative that night, the same general session presentation will be held again on THursday, May 19, 2016 at Camp Kikthawenund, near Anderson, Indiana also at 7:00 pm.

This presentation will touch on annual planning, including programming, fund-raising, unit administration, camp preparations. There will also be information tables about NYLT, Wood Badge, Voyageur.

Recruit your unit members to attend now. Early scheduling is the key to good attendance. We would like 100% attendance from the District’s units.

This is for all scouting programs (i.e., Cub, Scouts, and Venturing).

Eagle awards

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At the district meeting, we discussed council awards for new Eagles. The link is here

Notes for chartered organization representatives

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For our chartered organization representatives, we are entering the busiest season of the year, where your services are most uniquely needed for Boy Scouts.

First, the district elections for 2016 officers will take place at our regular December committee meeting on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 7 PM in Brandt’s Lounge on the first floor of Luke’s Lodge at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th street, Indianapolis, IN 46260. The Lodge is the outbuilding on the northeast corner of the church’s campus.

Second, the council elections will take place at the annual meeting for Crossroads of America Council at the Belzer Activity Center on Camp Belzer’s campus, 6102 Boy Scout Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46226. The meeting begins at 5:15 PM.

The chartered organization representative is the only person who is entitled to vote on behalf of your chartered organization and the scouting units that your organization has. (Other eligible voters for the 2016 District Committee Elections include the 2015 District Members-at-Large, that is anyone duly registered to serve on the District Committee, and 2015 Council Members-at-Large, residing in the North Star District.)

It is exceedingly important that your chartered organization representative be in attendance at both of these elections.

At the December meeting, you will be voting for the officers of our district for the coming calendar year. The District Chair, elected at the District Election, has the duty to represent our district to council for quarterly executive board meetings in 2016 and will be our official vote there. In addition, we elect the chair’s cabinet for 2016. If anybody has nominations for any of these positions, they need to be directed to our nominating committee chaired by Scott Claybaugh. The nominating committee is on track to announce the slate of District Chair and Vice-Chairs shortly before Thanksgiving. The nominating committee expects additional positions to be slated in early December.

At the January meeting, you will be voting on the council’s officers for the coming year. In addition, any resolutions for bylaw amendments or policies to be addressed pursuant to the bylaws will be voted on, too. Eligible voters should have received a letter inviting them to attend via US Mail this past week. See that written correspondence for further details and deadlines for nominations and resolutions to place on the ballot.

It is too early to provide any guidance regarding what else is going to be on the agenda for either meeting. Monitor this website for information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, cubmasters, scoutmasters, and committee chairs should be contacting their chartered organization representatives to confirm that the chartered organization representatives have these dates on their personal calendars.

2016 Silver Beavers Announced

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From Sandi Hobbs at Council’s office this morning:

Silver Beaver Pendant and Patch

I am pleased to announce that the Selection Committee has done an excellent job selecting our 2016 Silver Beavers. We had many to choose from and they did a hard job well.

Please join me in congratulating the following recipients and please let your volunteers know.

Frank G. Blum
Jay A. Copra
Harold “JR” Davis
Donald E. Dickerson
Kevin G. Fife
Timothy D. George
Markus Jones
Bruce D. Metzger
Clark M. Millman
Jerry W. Phillips
David B. Radtke
Michael L. Rhees
Paul E. Rusk
David W. Wagner
Joseph P. Wehrheim