We are back to work in August.
District Committee will meet Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm on the fourth floor of Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.
District Commissioner and Unit Commissioners meet on Thursday, too, at 6:00 pm.
District Roundtable will be a Luke’s Lodge on the northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s UMC, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260. PLEASE BRING A DEN LEADER who has never come before. We are focusing on serving our dens this eyar. More information on topics to follow in the next several days. Watch this page for details.
In July we will NOT be holding our regularly scheduled meetings for District Committee or District Commissioner’s Staff.
We will be inviting all to attend the District Membership Kickoff on Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Luke’s Lodge on the campus of St Luke’s UMC, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.
Please plan accordingly.
A quick reminder about our District Committee meeting Thursday at 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, Room 401 (furthest from elevator).
Also the District Commissioner meeting will be Thursday at 6:00 pm in Room 405 (nearest elevator, if I got the numbers wrong).
An organization sponsoring one or more scout units is a Chartered Organization. This is an organization who has entered into an agreement with Crossroads of America Council to follow the BSA system. Part of that agreement requires the Chartered Organization to appoint a member of the organization or a staff member of the organization to serve as the Chartered Organization Representative.
So that begs the question: what is a supposed a Chartered Organization Representative do?
A Chartered Organization Representative is supposed to serve as the chief scouting officer of the Chartered Organization. The COR makes sure that the scout units at the chartered organization have sufficient adult leaders as committee members, scoutmasters or cubmasters, and den leaders. The COR serves as a liaison between three organizations: (1) Crossroads of America Council as a voting member at the council annual meeting and as a voting member of North Star District, (2) the Chartered Organization, and (3) the scout unit.
Healthy scout units have active CORs. CORs visit unit meetings often enough to be aware of the unit’s needs and strengths but is not necessarily an active unit leader day-to-day. (CORs can serve concurrently as unit chairs, but not cubmaster or scoutmaster.) Active CORs have a specific role at the District level, so that the unit is providing resources to district and the district is responsive to a unit’s needs.
If your COR is not able to fulfill those duties personally, you should inquire whether a new COR is the best practice. If the Chartered Organization has a limited of persons who are eligible to serve as COR, you should work with your Unit Commissioner on finding the optimal solution for your COR.
Remember that the Chartered Organization has entered into a contract to appoint a COR who is able fulfill those duties. With that in mind along with “A scout is trustworthy [and] helpful . . .,” all CORs should be considering what their passion is that would make a meaningful contribution to District.
Please prepare your COR to expect to be asked to do some work for District. This can be specific tasks, such as serving as Camporee staff for a day or two a year or serving as an event staff for 500 Festival Parade activities of units. This can also be to accept a district committee position.
Since past practices ignored the proper role for CORs, there is a wide-spread reluctance to ask the COR to actively serve scouting. As a District, we are moving to Best Practices in many different ways. Asking CORs to actively serve, having the Chartered Organization to appoint new CORs, or having the Chartered Organization work with their Unit Commissioner to find a solution is one of those steps toward Best Practices.
Since “A scout is . . . help, friendly, [and] courteous . . .,” we are asking for your help to the implementation of this Best Practice as painless as possible. We understand that change can induce stress. This is a start of a process that will last for an indefinite period of time. The vision is clear and simple: have contributing CORs at the unit- and district-levels. The path to the vision is more obscure. Your input on how to make it successful is most welcome. Thank you in advance for your constructive input to make the path toward Best Practice less obscure.
The Month of May in Indy has started!!! That means race cars, tourists, . . . and monthly scouting meetings.
Second Presbyterian Church is unable to host our meetings indoors, due to the church’s big May events. Our plan originally was to meet at the church’s picnic area for a truly scout-like meeting. Unfortunately, weather forecasts are for 95-100% chance of rain during the meeting time. The area would be very muddy.
We are now planning on moving the meetings for the District Committee at 7:00 pm and the District Commissioners at 6:00 pm t to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in the Main Building. Due to security concerns, St. Luke’s has implementated a new policy for access to the main building. All persons must enter through Door #6, on the north side of the building.
Turn left immediately inside Door #6 to find the rooms at the end of the corridor. The hallway you are seeking is on the far north end of the building.
Commissioners will meet in room N101/102.
Committee will meet in the room N103/104
As the academic year winds down, many scouting units are thinking about leadership transitions and upgrades.
Transitions occur when Cub Leaders leave their packs to follow their son(s) to a boy scout troop. They occur when Scoutmasters retire when their son(s) reach Eagle of 18 years old. They occur when a scout leader has health issues.
Leadership upgrades occur when a handful of scout leaders seek to fill the many vacancies in their unit’s committee. Upgrades occur when leaders switch roles to refresh their own excitement and engagement or move into positions better suited to their individual talents: a banker moves into a treasurer’s role, a teacher moves into a scoutmaster corps role.
Some units are in communities where there are few adult volunteers available or few scouts to recruit. We informally call these areas “scouting deserts.”
District is looking to build teams of experienced scouters who can help offset some of the problems with scouting deserts. These experienced scouters are being asked to serve as part of our new “oasis teams.”
In our ideal vision an oasis team would be a semi-permanent team of scouters who would work together for a year or so. In that period of time, they would work together to rebuild or refine existing units or serve as an organizational committee for new units. In the vision, the oasis team would consist of 4-6 members per team. They would serve as a temporary unit committee or supplementation to a beleaguered unit committee.
The oasis team would assure that the unit has an annual calendar of activities and meetings; a unit budget that identifies the cost of a year’s program to a scout’s family; a fund raising plan to make sure all scouts can afford scouting; and a succession plan for the unit’s families to take over full time management of the unit with 4-6 months.
The transition plan would have the annual calendar and budget done in the first 60 days with the Oasis Team taking the lead. The plan would have the Oasis Team identify successor for each key position in days 61 through 120 and implement a training plan to have those successors 100% trained by Day 120. The successors would shadow the oasis team member who is mentoring the new volunteer. From days 121 to 180, the oasis team would switch roles. The oasis team mentors would shadow the new volunteer’s first steps in the role. At the end of six months, the oasis team would be replaced with a New-Unit Commissioner to advise the entire unit.
Ideally, North Star could use three Oasis Teams right now. That means we would like 18 experienced scouters.
Please contact Jeff Heck if you know a candidate for serving in this role. We would love to build these teams and begin implementing them before the end of May 2017.
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.
NOTE: one date ROOM CHANGE!!!!
Tomorrow Thursday, April 6, 2017 will have two meetings at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, GREAT ROOM, 2nd FLOOR, Indianapolis, IN 46260. This is a change due to the church’s conflicting events.
- District Committee at 7:00 pm.
- District Commissioners at 6:00 pm.
Roundtable. Then next week we will introduce our newest addition to the Commissioner Staff at Roundtable, our new Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner Bill Buchalter. Bill is the immediate past Cubmaster of Pack 830 and its current Chartered Organization Representative.
“Programming: How do we make Big Dreams Real,” or “Planning for Unit Growth and Success.”
We will be focusing on how to make your unit more successful. We will have a short presentation and — with your help — lots of good discussions. We are planning for separate discussions of troops/crews and packs.
Please invite to participate your
- committee members,
- unit leaders (e.g., Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, or Crew Advisor),
- Crew Presidents, and
- SPLs (might be worth inviting, too).
If your unit has a history of success, we need you to help mentor other units at the meeting, so please come support our newer leaders.
All attending units will receive a calendar of upcoming events to assist your unit’s planning.
Just a quick reminder about the District Committee Meeting on Thursday, April 6, 2017, starting at 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, COMMON ROOM, Indianapolis, IN 46260. Yes, this is a change from our normal room. The church has a big event and they are using the entire 4th floor.
The District Commissioners Staff Meeting (meaning all unit commissioners, roundtable commissioners, and ADC’s) will meet as usual at 6:00 pm. Room has not been announced yet.
Council has finalized the units’ rosters after the 2017 Recharter closing on February 28, 2017. We have added all registered adults in the District to the mailing list this morning.
As you know, the email is a compilation of articles posted on the District Website over the previous seven days.
If one of your leaders complains that they have previously Unsubscribed from this list but are being re-added without their permission, there is likely a simple explanation.
The system we use is Mail Chimp. It automatically reviews new email subscriptions. It looks for previous email addresses that have unsubscribed. These emails are NOT re-subscribed without an affirmative subscription from the recipient.
If a leader has an alternate email or has given the BSA a different email address, since their last unsubscribe, the volunteer is being added based on the new email address and NOT their name. Ask them to unsubscribe again for the new email address. Every email blast has an UNSUBSCRIBE at the bottom of the email. Have the leader scroll to the bottom of the offending email and click on that link.
If you have a leader who wishes to be included or has joined after recharter, please have them subscribe at this link. This same subscription link is also at the top of the district website under “About.”
If you have a leader who wishes to change their email address on the mail list, the leader can click on “Update Subscription Preferences” at the bottom of the email.
As always, please email ideas and timely topics for articles on the website. Give us a reported success of your unit. Include links to your unit website. Remember in the age of Google and social media, one of the ways to drive traffic to your website or move higher on Google’s list is to have links from other websites. Your submitted articles to us with links back to your website will help your general public traffic to your website.
Here’s to another great year with the Council-Leading North Star District! (Highest scoring JTE District in CAC: 2800 out of 3000 points.)