Save the Date: Ideal Year in Scouting

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At Council’s joint Commissioner and Membership Committee meeting, the Council Membership Chair announced some dates for the Ideal Year in Scouting presentation.

For North Star District, it will take place on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Scout Center. This will be in lieu of our regular roundtable meeting. We will have a North Star District-specific breakout session at the Scout Center when the general session is done.

The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm. A light dinner will be served at 6:30 pm.

If your unit cannot send a representative that night, the same general session presentation will be held again on THursday, May 19, 2016 at Camp Kikthawenund, near Anderson, Indiana also at 7:00 pm.

This presentation will touch on annual planning, including programming, fund-raising, unit administration, camp preparations. There will also be information tables about NYLT, Wood Badge, Voyageur.

Recruit your unit members to attend now. Early scheduling is the key to good attendance. We would like 100% attendance from the District’s units.

This is for all scouting programs (i.e., Cub, Scouts, and Venturing).

Scout Executive as American Ninja Warrior?

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You may have heard that this small event called “American Ninja Warrior” wrapped up filming recently in downtown Indianapolis on the Circle.

In past years, a Eagle scout turned adult competed as the “Boy Scout Ninja Warrior.”

Now we have news that a Utah professional scouter is throwing his hat in the . . . uh . . . hang his hat on the door knob challenge.

When the show airs this summer, look for ideas for camporees and personal challenges to offer your scouts in a COPE spirit.


Presidential Service Award

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While becoming an Eagle Scout is one of the highest honors a boy can obtain, there are others out there.

Recently a mother in our troop introduced me to the Presidential Service Award. I was not familiar with it. The award requires a non-profit sponsor the youth. I passed the question to Con, and he was able to confirm that the Crossroads of America Council is a sponsor of the award.Presidential service award

If you, as a Scoutmaster, have a scout who is interested in pursuing this award, please contact our District Executive Con Sullivan or your Unit Commissioner (if no unit commissioner is assigned to you, please contact District Commissioner Jeff Heck). They will each have the code that you need.

Journey to Excellence Patches

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Since our District did so well on Journey to Excellence for 2015, we now get to celebrate our success.

Please make sure to order your JTE patches from the Scout Shop to give to your scouts and scouters. They can put it on their left sleeve (Cub, Scouts).

This is very important for the long-term success of your unit. As I often repeat, we wear patches of recognition for personal recognition but also — and I think more importantly — as an invitation to tell a story.JTE

If you see a scout wearing a Philmont patch, you are more likely to ask about his adventure. If you have been to Philmont, too, you will share your story. This creates a personal bond between strangers.

If a new parent visiting your unit looks at your JTE patch on your sleeve, they may ask what that means. “Gold” or “silver” sounds impressive. It is an invitation for you to brag about the strength of your unit.

If you are at summer camp, other scouters may ask you questions about what your unit does. They may never acknowledge the patch, but they find your unit’s experience more powerful. This is a quiet way for us to support other units.

So, please, make sure that your unit has and wears their JTE patches.

Last note: if you also have 100% Boy’s Life subscriptions, that is a slightly different JTE patch.


Prototype Unit Handbook: Request for pack and troop forms

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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.

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

Service at 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

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Greg Jacoby from Troop 174 and Council Committee visited Roundtable last night. He was seeking support from Troops, Packs, and Crews for a re-doubled scouting presence at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon at the start of May. He wrote with more details.

Dear Scouters:

I have been asked by the council to increase the presences of the Boy Scouts at the 500 Festival, specifically the Mini-Marathon.  The Boys Scouts have been involved in the past but many times it has been behind the activity in a supporting role.  One way to get the boys out in front is to have them man a water station and so we have been asked to man water station number 17 at the Mini-Marathon on May 7,2016   It is the water station just before the end of the race, and is located on the IUPUI campus so it is very easy to get to and park. I am contacting a number of the  Troops and Packs in the North Star District  to see if they could announce this opportunity  and give the Council  some support for the this event.

My Troop 174 will be bring a number of boys and we are opening this up to all family members so the community can see how Scouts is more than just the boys.  This is one of the only activities that children accompanied by an adult can volunteer during the 500 festival.

We need 70 people to come help. The water station is open from 6 am to 1pm.  People can work all morning, or in 3 hours shifts.   If you are interested in getting yourself, your Troop or Pack involved please let me know by email and then sign up on the web site .     Some Troops and Packs are making this a group community volunteer activity and others are lettering their members know about the event on their Troop or Pack web site.

Below are the instructions for the 500 Festival volunteer web site.

Thanks for your help and as always call my cell 828-6230 or email at  if you have any questions.

Yours in Scouting
Greg Jacoby


  1. Log onto our web site
  2. Click on the volunteer tab at the left of the page
  3. Click on the red box “register here” link
  4. Welcome to the 500 Festival online registration, please read the important information
  5. Click the purple ”Volunteer Registration” button on the right side of the page.
  6. Select “500 Festival Volunteer
  7. Enter the access code “Boy Scouts” at the top of the page and click unlock
  8. Scroll down to Boy Scouts of America, Crossroads of America (it may be the last item on the last page)
  9. Select your volunteer opportunity – Pit Station #17- Boy Scouts
  10. From there you can complete your volunteer registration

Thanks for helping to promote Scouting.

Questions?  If you have any reach out to Volunteer Intern, Fherry Hannah at or 317-614-6113 or Program Manager, Jennifer Livesay at


Overview of ‘500 Festival Parade’ Participation

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Bill Hodgson, the long-time district coordinator for the 500 Festival Parade, visited Roundtable last night. The theme of the parade will be “Celebrating the Stories of May” in honor of this year’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

He reported that North Star District will be reprising its role as the chair-setters for the 300 block of North Pennsylvania Street this year.

Unfortunately Bill will not be available for the parade this year. He has asked one of his long-time associates to take the lead in his place. (More on this once the succession plan is confirmed.)

North Star will be setting up 1,030 chairs near the former location of the Indy Star Building, across the street from the federal courthouse and 1 block north of the Union Planter Tower.

Cubs and Scouts should arrive in Class A uniforms. Plenty of on-street parking should be available this early. Bill also recommends parking to the East of the parade route to ease exiting the area, as scourt can get out of there early.

They will be able to see the parade afterward.

Set up will begin around 8:30 am.

Hope to see you there.


Congratulations to our April 2016 Eagles

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Congratulations to the scouts who passed their Eagle Boards of Review on April 13, 2016. Their date of rank will be that date, once confirmed by the National Advancement Team in Dallas, Texas.Eagle pin

Name Last Name Troop #
Cullen Booth 56
Luke Elliott 56
Mark Henn 514
Jay Maturi 56
Forrest Ridings 358
William Stolz 56

North Star Eagle Board Coordinator Jerry Simon reports a year ago, 11 of our 51 Eagle Scouts from 2015 had completed their boards. As of last night, 20 scouts have achieved Eagle in 2016. That is 181% of 2015’s figures!


Camporee Planning Meeting tomorrow

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Stu Bowes will be holding a Spring Camporee planning session at 6:30 pm tomorrow April 7th at Second Presbyterian Church 2nd floor.

Each troop is asked to send their Camporee Coordinator or other delegate.