District Committee

Invitation to Recognition Dinner for 2017 Service

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The Boy Scout Crossroads of America Council North Star District 
cordially invites you to the 
Adult Volunteer Recognition Dinner 
A celebration of North Star District’s volunteer 
achievements and in appreciation of your 
contributions to Boy Scouting in 2017. 
January 27, 2018 
At 7:00 pm 
The Palomino Ballroom
481 South 1200 E. 
Zionsville, IN 46077

Spouses Welcome  :  Business Casual  :  Cash Bar


Download a copy of the invitation to distribute to your leaders is available here.

Nomination forms specific to North Star are available here.

The Crossroads of America Council, under BSA rules, also offers a District Award of Merit as the highest award that districts can offer. This is the district equivalent of the Silver Beaver Award for the Council. We are eligible to grant two of these awards. The nomination forms for the District Award of Merit are separate and available here.

Unit Key 3 are encouraged to be aggressive in inviting their unit volunteers to attend. All hard-working volunteers should be considered for the Spark Plug and Hooked on Scouting. Special consideration for standout Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, and Committee Chairs. (We do not have a tradition of offering Venturing Advisor Awards, but that does not mean that worthy advisors should not be nominated to receive an inaugural award. Similarly for Chartered Organization Representatives.)

If you think that someone deserves other recognitions that we have not listed, don’t forget to review the national website for awards that may be appropriate for your scouters and scouts. (This is an adults-only event, but youth will be mentioned as receiving awards, such as the annual reading of the roll of new Eagle Scouts.)

Nominations are due by January 14, 2018 to Mark Pishon at mpishon@gmail.com.


New District Leadership for 2018

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District Chair John Wiebke and District Commissioner Jeff Heck are pleased to announce that the nominees for District Chair and Commissioner for 2018 have accepted the nominations.

Mark Maucere has accepted the Nominating Committee’s proposed nomination as the District Committee Chair for 2018. Mark has served as the Chartered Organization Representative at St Alphonsius Catholic Church, serving Troop 358 and Crew 358.

Stephen Heath has accepted the Nominating Committee’s proposed nomination as the District Commissioner for 2018. Stephen has served as the Troop and Crew Chair for the same units at St Alphonsius. In his time as Chair, Troop 358 grew from being a large troop of under 100 scouts to now serving nearly 150 scouts. Stephen’s sons both are Silver Palm Eagles.

These nominees will be presented at the District Elections on Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  Upon ratification by the Chartered Organization Representatives, District Committee Members-at-Large and the Council Committee Members-at-Large resident in North Star, their recommended election will be forwarded to the Council Committee for inclusion on the Council Elections at the next Annual Meeting of the Council in early February. They will begin service January 1, 2018 under a temporary appointment, pending final Council ratification.

John Wiebke and Jeff Heck have agreed to remain involved in the District after stepping down from their respective positions. John’s final assignment is yet to be determined. Council Commissioner Ron Penczek has asked Jeff to also serve as the Assistant Council Commissioner for Communications 2018, which Jeff has accepted.

We look forward to seeing the team that Mark and Stephen build to support their efforts in North Star.

REMINDER: December District Meetings

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Normally, we would have district elections in December. We are a bit delayed in slating the candidates, so that will be postponed to the first District Committee Meeting of January 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian.

Instead we will hold the last District Committee Meeting of the year at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, Rm 401, Indianapois, IN 46260., Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm.

The Commissioner Meeting will be held on the same day at 6:00 pm in Room 405.

This Sunday, December 10, 2017, the Winter Camporee Planning meeting will meet at 6:00 pm at St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Room C115, Indianapolis, IN 46260. It will be chaired by co-chairs Con Sullivan and Thomas Jacoby of Troop 174. The location is to be determined. Please send a scoutmaster or proxy to participate in the planning process. The camporee will be January 19-21, 2018.

The following week on Thursday, December 14, 2017, we hold the last Roundtable of the year.

Our district elections will be Thursday, January 4, 2018. More information to follow. Please have your Chartered Organization Representatives and District Members-at-Large (that is district committee members) and Council Members-at-Large who live in North Star District attend. They are all eligible to vote.

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.


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.


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.


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.


November District Committee Meeting Canceled

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District Chair John Wiebke has decided to cancel the November District Meeting. This cancelation is due to several reasons:

(1) We will be holding the last scheduled recharter turn-ins at Immaculate Heart of Mary RCC at the same time, drawing some key personnel away.

(2) Our new District Executive Jessica Hofman will just be getting started in her position, while rechartering is going on. Trying to handle both while starting a new position is a bit overwhelming.

Please let others know about this announcement.

REMINDER: District meetings

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Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Second Presbyterian Church, 4th Floor:

  1. Commissioners: 6:00 pm, Room 401
  2. District Committee: 7:00 pm, Room 405

Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm (except where different below), Luke’s Lodge, outbuilding on Campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St.

1. Youth Protection Training (Y01) (6:30 pm)

2. Boy Scout Roundtable: TBA. Possible topic: path to Eagle.

3. Cub Scout Roundtable: planning your next camp out. Presented by Scouts from Troop 56 and RTC Bill Buchalter. (Great for Pack Programming Chair, Pack Chair, Cubmaster and Den Leaders, especially Webelos Den Leaders). Tents and gear explained.

4. Rechartering breakout for Unit Rechartering Coordinators. How to rechartering. Changes to system.

District Meetings for September

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(1) District Committee Meeting will be held Thursday, September 7, 2017 at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, Room 405, Indianapolis, IN 46260 at 7:00 pm.

(2) District Commissioner and Unit Commissioners will be held the same day at 6:00 pm at Second Presbyterain Church at the north end of the parking lot in the picnic shelter next to Williams Creek, weather permitting. In case of rain, it will be in Room 401.


(3) Roundtable will be held Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Luke’s Lodge, the outbuilding on the northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th Street, Indiananpolis, IN 46260. Youth protection training will be offered at 6:30 pm in the same location. After the general session Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner Bill Buchalter and District Chair John Wiebke will be teaching Den Leader Specific Training in person.

Please encourage your Den Leaders to attend to get your Trained status for all your Den Leaders as quickly as possible. You should have received an email from Bill about this. Please forward it to your Den Leaders to emphasize the point.

(4) There will be a Boy Scout Roundtable, too. Topic information to follow. October will focus on rechartering.

Fall Camporee 2017 Report

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On Sunday, August 13, 2017, the Camporee Committee met to discuss the upcoming camporee at the Lafayette, Indiana Subaru Plant. This camporee will include a plant tour Friday evening, October 6, 2017. The tours will leave at three different times throughout the evening. The last tour will end close to midnight.

SAI Facility
Overview picture of entire Subaru Automotive of Indiana campus
Subaru plant overview
Zoom in on recreational area where camporee will focus

The plant will be shutting down at midnight for a two-week line maintenance cycle. Consequently, the timing for when we can tour is extremely tight.

This means that troop arrivals will be pressed against the need to go on the tour.

Each troop’s Key 3 (COR, chair and scoutmaster) should have received emails with more details on planned events (like plan tours) and possible events (like merit badge topics addressed). Here is the information shared before the meeting. Updates are forthcoming.

The meeting had a lively debate about the balance between patrol competitions, advancement, and participating in unique scouting events. These all reflect adult opinions or second-hand information from scouts transmitted through adults.

All scoutmasters encouraged to talk to their Patrol Leader Council about what their members like to see in camporee.

Subaru offers a lot of opportunity for merit badge work on Automotive Maintenance and Traffic Safety with a dolop of Truck Transportation. While these are all possible, some troops’ adults expressed concern that advancement would push aside patrol competition. The committee took those concerns to heart and is looking at how competitions could be used to complete some of the merit badge work simultaneously. Essentially making learning fun.

There were a lot more details shared at the meeting, so expect more information in the coming weeks. This is just a quick report and summary. The simple version is Friday, October 6, 2017 from 6:00 pm to Sunday, October 8, 2017, be there.

If you have feedback, please share it with the camporee committee and make sure that you have a representative at the next camporee committee meeting (scheduling forthcoming).

REMINDER: August District Meetings

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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.

July District Meeting Schedule

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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.

Eventbrite - North Star District Membership Kickoff