Loss of Tenderfoot Scout at Troop 804

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 UPDATE: 9/23/15:
Apologies for tardy update. Friday’s funeral was a spectacular affair. The enormous sanctuary of Zionsville United Methodist Church was nearly standing-room only attendance. The scouts showed up in large numbers from many different levels of including troops, packs, district, and even Council, in the person of Council Scout Executive Patrick Sterrett.
DJ’s patrol completed a couple of requirements posthumously on DJ’s behalf, allowing Troop 804 to award DJ his Second and First Class ranks, posthumously, too.
Even more impressively, at the request of Troop 804 Scoutmaster Greg Hoyes and the recommendation of the Crossroads of America Council, the National Court of Honor awarded DJ Preece the rather new Spirit of the Eagle Award. This award is reserved for scouts who lost their lives before being able to complete the Eagle Award but throughout their scouting career exhibited the characteristics of being worthy of the Eagle Award. This is high praise for a 12-year old.
The pastor in his homily did an exceptional job of explaining and showing through videos why DJ was worthy of such an award. DJ’s enthusiasm for life, compassion for people, and hard work in following his passions gleamed through all messages.

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St Monica’s Fire

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Our chartered organization St. Monica’s Catholic Church had a fire. Initial reports are that it suffered $400,000 damage to the area around its Narthex.

District Commissioner Jeff Heck has spoken to their Chartered Organization Representative Chuck Meers for Pack 514 and Troop 514. Chuck reports no immediate needs for his units, but he acknowledges that this is subject to change as rebuilding begins. The units meet in an out-building, so they did not take a direct hit from the fire.

In the meantime, please keep these loyal scouters and their fellow parishioners in your thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE 9/9/2015 11:55 am: 

A statement from Archbishop Joseph Tobin:

You probably have already heard about the fire at St. Monica Church early this morning. 

· There was a serious fire at St. Monica Church early on the morning of September 9, 2015. The first alarm was sounded about 3:30 AM. Fathers Todd Goodson and Martín Rodriguez as well as Michelle Boyd (school principal) and Barbara Bacon (business manager), rushed to the scene.

· There were no injuries.

· The narthex of the church is destroyed. While there is no fire or water damage to the worship space, the church proper was filled with smoke and there is probably some damage. The school and other buildings were not damaged.

· The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

· Classes have been cancelled for today but Mass was celebrated at 8:00 AM in the gym.

· Please pray for the parish of St. Monica. 

Thank you.


Another Obituary: Don Orth

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Melinda Rivelli, Chartered Organization Representative St Joan of Arc Catholic for Pack and Troop 35, delivered the additional sad news of the passing of another long-time scouter Don Orth. Melinda writes to say:

hDon Orth passed away last Saturday.  He was 88.  At one point, I think he was in charge of Scouting for the state.  
Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 6, from 4 – 8 p.m. at Indiana Funeral Care and Crematory, Harry W. Moore Chapel, 8151 Allisonville Rd., Indianapolis
A rosary service will be held at 7 p.m.
The funeral service will be at St. Joan of Arc Church on Friday, August 7th at 10:00 AM.
Our Scoutmaster Carter Keith is asking any Scouters who attend the funeral Mass to dress in uniform as he hopes to have a color guard at the door as people exit the Church to leave for the burial site.
 Scoutmaster Carter Keith adds the following report:
Don helped found Troop 35 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. He was a devoted scouter and liked to work with the boys on various elements of Scoutcraft-especially building a campfire. Although in his 70’s and early 80’s he participated in many troop functions of all types including a trip to the Halliburton Scout Reservation in Ontario, Canada. Don successfully completed Wood Badge and earned his beads. He was an expert canoeist and loved to go on hikes.
His dedication and sense of humor will be missed.
Carter C. Keith, Scoutmaster
Troop 35
P.S. I believe he as a Scout DE in Michigan many years ago.
Sandi Hobbs at the Council office provided the following information:

Mr. Orth was registered with Troop 35 as a member of the committee.

He completed Wood Badge in 2002 and received his beads in 2004

He received District Award of Merit 2006.

Mr. Orth served as a District Executive in several councils in Indiana and Illinois in the 1960’s. We was trained at the old scout training center established by William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt in Schiff, New Jersey, before such functions were shifted to Philmont. He left scouting’s professional service to raise a family. He returned to scouting actively in his 70’s when he realized his church’s neighborhood had no Cub Scout Packs. He took the 21st Century Wood Badge course to update his skills at the age of 75. He assisted in rebuilding Troop 35 after his successful participation in the pack rebuilding process. He was a regular camper with the troop, available on short notice.
Please keep Mr. Orth’s family in your thoughts and prayers. His online obituary and “Guest Book” are available here. Another obituary at Here.

STEM Scouts Expanding . . . to our Backyard

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Patrick Sterrett, our Crossroads of America Council Scout Executive, spoke to the College of Commissioner Science at Belzer’s Activity Center on June 6, 2015.  He covered a variety of topics, but one of them had a direct impact on our local council: the introduction of a pilot program for STEM Scouts.STEM Scout Logo

Patrick described the traditional scouting program as “outdoor scouts.” To reach more youth, BSA and our Council are piloting a new “indoor scouts,” called “STEM Scouts.” Patrick reports that the Council is excited to be a part of this project. It has required the acquisition of a Vortex lab.

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BREAKING NEWS: We have a district executive!

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This afternoon, Friday, May 22nd, Council Director of Field Services Rob Hemmelgarn announced the appointment of Cornellius “Con” Sullivan as the new North Star District Executive. Con will begin work with the Council and District immediately after Memorial Day.

Con met with District Chair Steve James and District Commissioner Jeff Heck this morning. Both gave Con glowing recommendations.

Con is an Eagle Scout from Pathfinder’s Troop 107. He served for four years as one of their youth leaders, including at least one term as SPL.

He is a graduate of Ball State and has a master’s degree in public administration.

He was the president of his college fraternity and instrumental as chapter president in helping the colony obtain its permanent charter with BSU. He has served as a political campaign chairman for a congressional candidate.

Con has done a lot in his few years on this earth.

Please let him know how excited we are to have him!

Chair announces Committee agenda

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Steve and I are working on allowing him to post directly to this blog. However, WordPress is not acting as we would expect.

Steve has posted the agenda for Thursday’s meeting here.District Chairman

We hope to figure out this technical problem soon.

To make matters worse, in trying to fix the problem, I have broken the calendar and event links.  For the committee meeting to RSVP, you will hopefully temporarily have to click here.

New National Council Chief Scout Executive announced

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The National Council announced the new Chief Scout Executive is Michael Surbaugh. 

Congratulations to Crossroads of America Council Chief Scout Executive Patrick Sterrett for being among the final three. We are proud of his work for us and happy it is worthy of national recognition.

New Adult Application

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Effective March 1, 2015, BSA has issued a new Adult Application. It is now required for all Venturers age 18-21, too.

There are also need background questions.

Adult Application graphicYou can download the form here and use it instead of the triplicate version.

The form you submit to the Council Registrar must have an original ink signature. No electronic transmissions or signatures are accepted.

A new application submission must be made for each new position an adult undertakes. Multiple registrations in units and district are accepted. So a scouter can be registered in a Cub Pack, a Scout Troop, and North Star District simultaneously.

BSA acquires Scoutbook. What’s that?

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On April 9, 2015, BSA announced that it has acquired What is

Many troops and packs use TroopMaster and PackMaster to track rank advancement. is a web-only competitor.

From a district perspective, one of the advantages of is that it makes merit badge counseling across the district easier. Easier for Scouts, Scoutmasters, Counselors, and Parents.

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