On behalf of Chuck Fippen, Crossroads of America Council Silver Beaver Nominating Committee Chair (email sent to Council / District leaders on April 12):
This year the Silver Beaver selection process is changing and I wanted to communicate some very important information that needs to be shared with your committee(s) in order to facilitate the new process.
- The nominations are now open and the updated application is on the Council’s home page (link included here).
- NOMINATIONS for 2018 ARE DUE JULY 25th…..yes its much earlier this year.
- The Silver Beavers for 2018 will be awarded in a special dinner held in November 2018 (no longer at the University of Scouting).
The selection committee will meet in August to determine our next class of Silver Beavers and hope to have many nominations submitted. Changes to our process and timing are for various reasons. The Silver Beaver is the highest and most prestigious award the a Council can bestow and we want to have a ceremony that is fitting for those selected. Our evening event in November is designed for this recognition and will be a formal event with a venue unto itself.
We have designed notes and training around our selection process this year. I will be updating you with this information very shortly, but in brief here’s a summary:
- We have revised our application to enable online completion. We have had a hard time deciphering hand written applications and we will ask that they be filled out with the PDF entry form that is now available.
- We have emphasized the written part as one of the first items in the application. This often is where we will see information about the nominee that isn’t already part of their Scouting history.
- Applications must be complete in order for consideration. It is highly recommended that multiple sources be used in the formation of the recommendation; people from the nominee’s place of employment, their church and their unit or committee that know them best should be involved.
- Nominations are open for all Scouters that are eligible under the criteria set forth by the BSA. At no time can a volunteer or professional deny or negatively influence the decision to submit a nomination. If anyone feels a nomination is worthy of submission then you are encouraged to make sure that nominee receives the full benefit of the selection process. It is up to the Silver Beaver nominating committee to select those who are to receive the award.
I welcome any questions you may have and look forward to a wonderful ceremony for some very deserving individuals. I hope you also find our process and information helpful and more seamless as we move forward.
Yours in Scouting,
Silver Beaver Nominating Committee Chair
The district currently has 13 new leads for scouts and scouters that are stalled in the Invitation Manager and 2 applications for scouts and scouters.
Please make sure that your COR, Unit Chair, and Unit Leader (i.e., Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, or Venturing Advisor) log into to these regularly.
If you cannot clear the application or invitation due to technical difficulties, please email the applicant and me to inform them of the problem.
I have been told that this system will be closed for 60 days during Rechartering, but I have seen no evidences of this yet.
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 families. 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.
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 and 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.
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.
The U.K. Guardian, a strongly leftist newspaper, ran this favorable article about being a scout leader. We don’t often hear from scout leaders about the value to the adult leaders.
Please send me your experiences and benefits from being a scout leader. Or share your thoughts on the comments below. I would like to run our own Indiana version of this article.
Previously, we posted about a training video for online registration.
Now BSA National has rolled out a dedicated webpage for training on the new online registration system. Take a look. Make sure your unit’s ready for the new system.
This will be extremely handy in preparing for rechartering.
Remember all new application that have completed processing prior to October 1, 2016 will be automatically entered into the Internet Rechartering system. That cuts down on a lot of risks of error in the rechartering process. The electronic registration means that the October 1, 2016 deadline is easier to meet with less paper-flow management.
A quick reminder that the District Committee will be meeting August 4th at 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, Rm 407, Indianapolis, IN 46260.
Fall Camporee planning is full swing. Please work on your troop’s event. Some ideas are available on a previous post.
We are also working on finalizing basic information about the Winter and Spring Camporees, so come with your thoughts.
Membership subcommittee is in full swing preparing for Back to School Recruitment. Your packs and troops plans to participate (yes, troops helping packs recruit) is crucial for our success. We already know that some packs are spread thin on manpower. They are small and cover many schools on August 25th. Your help is needed for their success.
Fall also has many special events like a Rocket Launch in support of membership recruitment, Cub Scout leader training, Battle of Belzer, Cub Family Camp and many others. We need your help in planning for their success.
I am beginning a project that I want to complete by May 30th. I am looking to design a prototype of a new parent handbook.
I am asking for your help.
First I am asking each unit to email me a copy of their current handbook, annual calendar and handout on costs of membership by May 5th. We will use these as sources of best practices. Documents in a word processing file are preferred.
Second, I am looking for a panel of editors to assist in assessing the result and focusing on simplification and clarity.
Some of the concepts I will be building come from Scouting Magazine’s article last spring. They had to be more generic nationally. Ideally we as a district can put in more specifics in a prototype.