Recruitment Rally July 22nd

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From District Executive Con Sullivan:

North Star Scouters,

Please join us (and/or send your pack recruitment chair) for breakfast on Saturday, July 22nd between 9 am and 11 am at Luke’s Lodge (outbuilding on northeast corner of campus of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260). This will be an open house format, come when you can. I would like an RSVP so we can pack up once everyone has attended.

Packs will pick up their Registration Night boxes, Open House bags, and Community Yard Signs. Troops can sign up for which Packs/Schools their Troops can assist in the fall. Both can learn about our new Open House style and all about the theme “Catapult into Scouting!”  Some Troops may get catapults they will want to bring to schools to create additional interest in Scouting and their Troop.

Packs, if you have not yet already, please tell me when your school’s “open house, ice cream social, etc.” is AND the date of your Registration Night ASAP!  Special orders on signs and flyers are due by July 22nd at the Open House. If you can get this information to me earlier, I can have them printed and ready for July 22nd.

Please register for this rally here:

Thanks and I hope to see you there!


Con Sullivan  |  District Executive – North Star 

Crew 56 holds Informational Meetings

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From Bill Cherry:
Are your interested in Venturing Crew 56 – the BSA Program for youth male & female – 14 to 20 years of age? Both parents and youth are invited.
Two information sessions are going to be held in the fireplace room of the Luke’s Lodge (the outbuilding on the northeast corner of the campus of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260).
These are information session – not class “A” type of dress – just your class “B” uniform.
Mark your calendar for:
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 (tonight) from 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Wednesday,  August 2, 2017 (tonight) from 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Bill Cherry
Co-Advisor, Crew 56
Crew 56 is the only North Star District Crew in Indianapolis, east of Eagle Creek Reservoir. This crew is already a co-ed unit. It is looking to grow its membership and plan its adventures for the coming year.
Scouts working on their advancement to Eagle can do some of their advancement through a crew. However, they must maintain their primary registration with the scout troop and do some of the requirements in the troop. A dual-registered scout or scouter, only pays their annual BSA National Dues through their primary unit (i.e., $25).
Scouts in neighboring troops are invited to attend these meetings. Sisters and daughters are actively encouraged to attend. Girls who participate in Venturing, even after having been a Girl Scout, often report that Venturing offered them experiences that they have never had before. These girls also report a very high satisfaction level from Venturing.
NOTE TO OTHER CREWS: This solicitation is an example of how we can promote scouting through the district website. The link back to your home website your Google search pominence and broader audience can raise your profile and recruiting success. Send me your scheduled recruiting meetings and events to promote more widely.

Girls in BSA Troops and Packs?

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At the Council’s mid-year meeting for District Key 3 (District Chair, Commissioner, and Executives), a topic that is getting mixed amount of attention was brought up. The issue was “should girls be admitted to packs and troops?”

I did a quick search online in the hopes of determining how much social media there is on the topic. I found these articles as a sampling:

  1. Bryan on Scouting (2015 to present) has a long-standing forum on the topic.
  2. NPR, “Girl who Wants to be a Boy Scout” (April 29, 2017).
  3. (date unclear). (Girl wants to be an Eagle Scout. Seems to be source of NPR story). 75% to 10,000 signer goal.
  4. Patheos  and NBC News (May, 2017) (describing National Council scheduled debate on topic).
  5. Outside Online
  6. Detroit Free Press (February 2017) (good background on current status of debate).

There are many more, but I would not call it a crushingly large amount of recent publications. Now I may have found more if I would have varied my search terms, but all other things being equal, it is not a PR onslaught.

That has some advantages to have having a conversation on the topic. There is less heat, so tempers may not run as hot.

Patrick Sterrett in mentioning this treated as if this is a beginning to a longer conversation for the National Council. He solicited our feedback and invited interested persons to talk to him directly. Patrick is a very open person, so he would enjoy a face-to-face conversation with any interested persons.

Our District Chair John Wiebke is in a unique position. He grew up going to Camp Kikthaweneund, getting his Eagle along the way. He served on staff at Philmont and the International Scout Centre in Konderstag, Switzerland (the Philmont of the Worldwide Scouting Movement). He also served as a scout leader in the Swedish Scout Federation for 13 years. After those experiences, he returned to Indiana and served as the Scoutmaster for Troop 358 for three years. In those different capacities, he has been witness to all types of scouts, single-sex units, and co-ed units.

Part of the impetus to this conversation is that Scouting worldwide is now co-ed, except in the USA and some Muslim countries. The UK went co-ed several decades ago. Scouts Canada did more recently.

After the discussion that Patrick led, I asked John some questions about his experiences and shared some of my concerns. I don’t know that either led me to a clear answer.

Most feedback I have heard from parents of daughters is that the Girl Scouts USA has a program that does not offer the same challenges for girls that Venturing does. Having no daughter nor personal involvement with Girl Scouts USA, I can only listen to these comments.

I would recommend that all units have this issue put to their unit committees and their Chartered Organization in the next several months. You can then share the feedback that you hear with your Unit Commissioner or District Committee Member.

The one goal for me is that this issue of membership is handled more patiently and more respectfully that the last several rounds have. Scouting should always be looking to serve its current members better while looking to serve the community-at-large better, too.

A debate and conversation worthy of the Scout Law is definitely serving all parties well.

NOTES ON COMMENTS: Anyone in North Star or the Crossroads of America Council, especially girl members of a Venturing Crew or Explorer Post, are encouraged to send their thoughts to me. If the comments comply with the Scout Law, we can post them. Even better, comment below. If a commentator is from outside Crossroads of America Council, we reserve the right to refrain from posting the comments. This is a website for scouting in the Council, especially North Star Distict, and not a newspaper.

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

Largest Units in North Star

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As leaders of our own packs, troops, and crew, we often get tunnel vision about what is going on in neighboring units. To help break that, let’s take a quick peak at the size of District’s units, based on registered youth.

This article has several purposes. As congratulations and recognition, it commends succesful units. As a primer for new leaders and former T’Sun Gani District units, it gives an orientation of the major units. As an aide for unit development, it offers the listed units as resources and mentors to other units which are not as large. North Star Willie patch (small)

This listing includes all units with more than 45 youth members. Some very successful units do not have 45 members, they have been omitted for the sake of brevity and not commentary on their effectiveness.

Cub Scouts

This is a bit misleading, since this is the period where Packs are missing a Den after cross-over but before Back to School Recruiting. Pack 358 had nearly 50 Webelos cross over, so their numbers do not reflect this large group. Other packs have similar patterns, so the ratios do not change radically.

  1. Pack 358 (Zionsville Christian Church): 224
    (five “tribes” ranging in size from 39 to 59 Cubs per tribe).
  2. Pack 105 (Zionsville American Legion Post): 86
  3. Pack 171 (St Luke’s Roman Catholic Church): 57
  4. Pack 174 (Immaculate Heart of Mary RCC): 53
  5. Pack 18 (Second Presbyterian Church): 50

Boy Scouts

  1. Troop 358 (St Alphonsius RCC, Zionsville): 140
  2. Troop 174 (Immaculate Heart of Mary RCC): 93
  3. Troop 69 (Trader’s Point Christian Church): 52
  4. Troop 269 (St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church): 52
  5. Troop 804 (Zionsville American Legion Post): 52
  6. Troop 56 (St Luke’s United Methodist Church): 48

So what do these numbers tell us? Baden Powell believed that troops should have no more than four patrols of eight boys, totaling 32 members. In modern practice, units with fewer than 40 youth often have adult volunteer issues.

Smaller units can succeed from the sheer dedication and focus of their adult leaders. I made Eagle because of a troop with only about 12 scouts and 5 adult volunteers, including my father and the late Darryl Clifton, whom some of you knew well.

Smaller units should look at working together on campouts. If they share a campout, they can run the patrol method and patrol competitions that help each troop grow stronger, while sharing the comraderie of scouting.

If you would like more contact information, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Bobwhite Blather: “For Best Results, Ask Better Questions”

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UPDATE 6/2/17: I had several people tell me at District Committee’s meeting last night that the link did not work. Here is the link to the full article again, just in case

My favorite quote is

What’s interesting about this process is that asking open-ended, thought-provoking questions can, not only guide others to find solutions, but it can change their way of thinking. It is in this change – it’s called neuroplasticity – where we find leadership developing. As leaders develop, their ways of thinking change. They look at challenges differently. They find new ways to look at issues, and their minds open up to the process of problem-solving and engaging others in moving toward a common goal. Executive coach Mary Jo Asmus details the three-step process that happens when you ask insightful – not instructional – questions.

The Clique

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From Troop 343 Assistant Scoutmaster Andrew Himebaugh:

“The Clique”
Word has been received that the Troop is run by a clique.  Upon investigation we find that this statement is TRUE.
Furthermore, we find that this clique is composed of faithful members and loving parents who are present at each meeting; who willingly accept appointment to committees; who freely give of their time to teach skills to the Scouts; to look out for each other; and to serve in a wide variety of ways.
They are those who sincerely believe that the more one puts into his Troop, the more he gets out of it.
The strange thing about this clique is that it is very easy to get into.
All one needs to do is demonstrate a lively interest in the organization, make constructive suggestions and accept responsibility when asked to do so.
Show a continued interest in all the affairs of the Troop and before you realize it, you will be a member of the clique. . . . And you will be surprised how very happy they are to have you!
adapted from The Master Mason, Aug 1962.

Memorial Weekend Grave Dressing

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Memorial Day is upon us for 2017.  The American Legion would like to invite all of the North Star District for breakfast. The district will make a short trip to Crown Cemetery and put decorations on veteran’s graves in honor of their service. We should be done before lunch.

Your Service is Requested

Date: Saturday, May 27, 2017

Time: 7:30 to 8:00 AM

Breakfast location: Broad Ripple American Legion Post # 3, 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN
Yours in Scouting,
Mark Pishon

North Star District Committee

Cell 317.374.2262

More Information about State Fair’s Base Camp

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From Council:

Boy Scout Base Camp at the Indiana State Fair is making a comeback from August 4-20! The site needs lots of manpower to promote Scouting to potential and current State Fair SMfamilies. Earn volunteer hours with your unit, family, or friends and help by sharing what you love most about the program. Volunteers will get free fair admission so that they can explore before or after their shift. Learn more and register.

For more information, read the FAQ and Base Camp overview flyers.

Volunteers Needed for 2017 State Fair’s Base Camp

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From Council:

Did you know that #Basecamp17 at the Indiana State Fair is right around the corner? Running the site to promote the Scouting program to potential aState Fair SMnd current Scouting families takes serious manpower and we could use your help! Register today to volunteer at Base Camp with your family, unit, or friends. Volunteers will have free fair entry so that they can explore before or after their shift. Learn more and register.

For more information, read the FAQ and overview flyers.