Scout Oath

Memorial Day Honoring Late Servicemembers

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North Star District through historic relationships between its Zionsville units and the Zionsville American Legion Post and between some of its Washington Township units and Post #3 of the American Legion (where OA and Firecrafter monthly meetings are held) have honored deceased service members for years.Scout at gravesite

This year, the District and Troop 56 are working on adding American Legion Post #153 (54th St and Keystone area) to the Posts that we serve.

If your unit is not currently helping to place flags on deceased service members graves in the month of May, in preparation for Memorial Day, please contact Jeff Heck to work with one of these posts.

This is a very important service. As Jerry Gould, a Korean War veteran, explained on Monday night, each post is especially responsible for placing flags on the graves of their deceased members. Unfortunately their membership is aging and can no longer provide the service adequately by themselves. They need the scouts and scouting families to provide the manpower.

Please help with this important Duty to Country task.

The posts have different methods for handling this. Some work on a scheduled basis. Other posts schedule around the scout units’ schedules. We can help direct you to the post that best fits your unit’s needs.

 

May 1st Firecrafters to Train Units in Flag Retirement

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Spring Camporee SuccessThe Firecrafters of the North Star Ember would like to extend a warm thank you to all the troops who came out and participated in the Spring Camporee. One of the goals of our organization is to encourage continued participation by our youth in camping, outdoor activities, and Scouting. The activities and fellowship promoted at district camporees is a great opportunity that benefits these goals.

Importance of Scouts in Flag Retirement. At the evening campfire, we were excited to be given the opportunity to perform a flag retirement ceremony. The Boy Scouts is one of the largest organizations that gives communities opportunities to have worn American Flags properly retired. Organizations that also offer this service include the American Legion Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other civic associations. Using flags donated by the Broad Ripple American Legion, one of our service projects for the year will be a flag retirement this Sunday, May 1st.

Invitation to Units and Scouts. We would like to invite Scouting members of the North Star District to attend. We will not just be retiring flags, but also answering any questions you have about proper flag retirement. This may be of great value to upcoming Firecrafter candidates, if they want to include a flag retirement as part of the candidate campfire. One of our goals in carrying out this service project is educating you in this area. We hope to improve your confidence so that in the future, you might consider conducting a retirement as a troop service project or include in your troop ceremonies.


Where: Second Presbyterian Church
7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260
(fire ring in picnic area at north end of the parking lot)

When: Sunday, May 1, 2016

Time: 1:00-2:00 PM

What: North Star Firecrafter Flag Retirement Seminar


The weather for Sunday is not predicted to be as beautiful as the camporee weather. In the event it is raining between 1:00 and 2:00, the meeting will be at the Broad Ripple American Legion Post #3 at 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220. We will still have a mock retirement and answer questions from an inside location.

Jacob Danek
North Star Ember Chief

Greg Hoyes
North Star Ember Advisor

What is a “Boy-Led Troop”?

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A phrase I hear often is apparently heard many times by other scouters, too.

Clarke Green writes, “Many Scouters claim, ‘We have a boy-led troop’ but what does that really mean? ‘Boy-led’ is not what adults do, it’s what they don’t do.”

He goes on to write,

Defining what we should not do is nowhere near as useful as sharing what weshould do,  but before I do let’s address one common misconception;

Boy-led is not boy-defined.

Every once in a while I’ll hear something like; “We don’t have patrols because the Scouts decided they didn’t want them, we are boy-led after all.”

Imagine a basketball game where the players were carrying the ball rather than dribbling. You ask a coach why and they tell you; “the players all decided they’s rather play this way.” Can you still call that game “basketball”?

Just like any other game Scouting has limitations and definitions. We all play the game within those definitions and limitations, the players don’t re-invent the game.

Adults should help Scouts maintain focus on fulfilling the promises of Scouting and understand the limitations and definitions of the game we are playing.

One of the commenters, Richard Andersen, adds, “I personally don’t like the term ‘boy-led,’ I prefer scout-led.”

Mr. Andersen really helps to clarify Clarke’s point extremely well. If the troop is “boy-led,” there is not inherently a strong sense of limitation of what the “boys” can do in defining the troop. On the other hand, describing the troop as “scout-led” always requires that the scouts revisit the idea of what it means to be a “scout.” Using the word “scout,” emphasizes the importance of working the system of scouting. It clarifies the difference between a scout’s choice following the Scout and what their friends would do outside without the Scout Law guiding their choices.

As modern-day scouters, we often see scouting as another extracurricular activity that a boy does.

When Baden-Powell opened the first scout encampment at Brown Sea Isle, the first thing he did was to put the boys “on their honor” to live within the scout system. For Baden-Powell this oath of honor set scouts apart from other boys.

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Happy Flag Day

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Today is to honor the birth of our flag, as the birthday of its adoption on June 14, 1777.  Betsy Ross gets a lot of credit, which may be undeserved. Declaration signer Francis Hopkins should receive more credit. Even so, the more important is that we consider what the flag represents and what military personnel have sacrificed to keep the flag moving forward.

Today we consider flags merely a symbol of the country.640px-Flag_of_the_United_States_at_the_Flint_Hills_Discovery_Center_in_Manhattan,_KS

Until the 20th century, they were so much more.

On battlefields for millennia, flags and standards were forms of communication. A general would communicate his location with his personal flag. This allowed runners to know where to find the general to deliver reports and obtain orders.

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