Activities

District Information for Venturers

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Since Venturers are expected to handle many of the logistical issues that adults handle in Boy Scout Troops, the question arises about district information for Venturers.

Should Venturers keep themselves aprised of district newsletter and blog updates?venturing_logo

Not every Venturer may be interested or have a need to keep current on District affairs. It may be highly worthwhile to have Crew Presidents and Vice-Presidents subscribe to the newsletter.

They will get one email per week about news in the district. They can find Cub Scout and Boy Scout events that the Crew may wish to volunteer to staff. This can help the Venturers progress on advancement from Venturing Award to Discovery Award to Pathfinder Award to the Summit Award (Venturing’s highest award). Each award has substantial service hour requirements.

Service hours are not strictly defined on who can benefit. This is from an FAQ on Venturing (2015):

Q: What is the scope and definition of service hours? Does service to the crew count as service hours, or does the service have to be outside the crew, or outside of scouting and does the crew member have to have advisor approval (for personal service)?

A: The Handbook for Venturers offers this definition of service:

A service is a valuable action, deed, or effort carried out to meet a need of an individual, a group of people, or an organization. An act must be both valuable and address a need of the recipient to qualify as an act of service. The variety of service project ideas is boundless. And, with your capabilities as a young adult it becomes your responsibility to choose those opportunities which best fit with your personal and crew values and to to bring about significant positive change for the individual or organization that you serve. Service is a great place to stretch your leadership muscles.

In counting service hours, service provided as a member of the crew and as an individual are both expected. There is no expectation of Advisor approval for service provided on an individual basis. The “how and why” of the service provided by the individual is a great topic for discussion during an Advisor conference.

Service to the crew (such as for Pathfinder Award Requirement 5) is a separate service requirement for the benefit of the crew and its members and does not “count” toward accumulating service project hours as described in the handbook extract above.

Within this definition, a crew can choose to serve a Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Troop or District Activity. The only requirement for crew service is that the crew has to decide to define and plan its participation in advance.

Many scoutmasters express concern in having a Venturing Crew associated with the Troop. The fear is that older boys will leave the troop in favor of the crew. By offering service back to the troop as part of the crew program, not only is this fear not realized, but additional troop staff is suddenly available.

Having crew officers aware of what is going on in the district, neighboring packs and troops allows the crew to choose service hour opportunities back to those units. So does Pack 358 want Venturers to help with the hayride or other offerings? Posting the request through the district website can help.

Let your venturing officers know that they can subscribe here.

Cubs can canoe!

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New aquatics rules now in effect – Bobwhite Blather:

In April of this year, however, the rules for Cub Scout aquatics changed to allow a range of activities permitted at the unit level. And while most water activities – the more rigorous and risky ones – are still restricted to Boy Scouts and older, Cub Scouts of all ages can now go canoeing, rowboating and paddle boating – the very things they’ve been doing with their families all along. (And yes, I know some of you have been boating as a purportedly unaffiliated “family” activity to get around the BSA’s safety rules.)

There’s always a catch, though, but it’s not a big deal and isn’t anything you wouldn’t expect. While we no longer have tour permits or tour plans, the requirements for adult leaders to be appropriately trained are still in force. There are two primary unit volunteer training courses for aquatics, and they’re both available online: Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat.

At least two adults are required to supervise any swimming activity – at backyard, public and hotel pools, beaches, lakes, rivers and oceans, whether or not a lifeguard is present. Safe Swim Defense training, completed within the last two years, is required of at least one adult supervising swimming activities, or even non-swimming activities where the water is over knee-deep or there is a risk of submersion. Common sense, though, dictates that as many adults as possible should complete Safe Swim Defense training – and it should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that they complete Youth Protection Training as well. All boating activities likewise must be supervised by at least two adults, one (and preferably all) with current Safety Afloat training.

Now that you’re trained, what can Cub Scouts actually do on the water? Here’s a summary of allowable activities for Cub Scout packs:

Learn to Swim programs for all ages.
Recreational swimming for all ages, divided by ability groups, with only those who are able to swim (who have passed the BSA 100-yard swim test) allowed in deep water.
Snorkeling in confined areas for all ages, divided by ability groups. Only swimmers are allowed in deep water.
Riding in large boats including commercial marine transport such as excursion boats and ferries, as well as larger (capacity of four or more passengers) privately-owned craft on calm waters where all operation is done by adults.
Stable, fixed-seat rowboats and paddle boats on calm, flat water. If a non-swimmer or beginning swimmer is on board, he must be buddied with a swimmer in the same boat.
Canoes on calm, flat water. A non-swimmer or beginning swimmer must be buddied with an adult swimmer in the same boat.
Single-person kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on calm, flat water for swimmers only (non-swimmers or beginning swimmers are not allowed to kayak or SUP).
Tubing on gently-flowing water for Swimmers only.
Don’t forget about the rule requiring that Coast Guard-approved life jackets are to be worn by persons when engaged in boating activities (rowing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding) and in some cases aboard larger vessels as well.

Service Hour Reporting Methods

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Recently, the Council asked the District Key 3 to review the statistics of their districts.

In reviewing North Star’s Service Hours, we are missing lots of information from our active units.Messenger of Peace

Remember we are working toward one billion hours of service in scouting by 2020. Your service hours help us get to that goal.

Make sure that your Advancement Coordinator reports your service hours. One person should be responsible for this information from each unit. Log in to my.scouting.org. Go to the Legacy Tools. Report Service Hours.

These reports include all individual and unit efforts. They include Lion Cub efforts and Eagle Scout projects.

Lessons from Memorial Day: Eagle Project Ideas

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One of the lessons we learned from the Memorial Day grave dressings is that our cemetaries in North Star need a lot of tender loving care. I took some photos of Fall Creek Cemetary at just eat of the 4000 block of Keystone at Millersville Rd. (Unfortunately, I don’t have my camera with me to post the photo. I will try to post it here later.)

The fencing and edging looked like something out of Scooby Doo.

There are reportedly a number of Pioneer Cemetaries in the District that need some clean up.

While Eagle Projects cannot involve maintenance like mowing, they can beautify and restore weathered older facilities. Troop 343 recently had an example of that.

Also in placing Memorial Flags at the cemetaries, we saw how many veterans were not getting flags placed at their graves. Our mission Saturday was to place flags at past members of the American Legion. Not all veterans are members of the American Legion. That means that many were skipped, even though their gravestones clearly identify their unit of service and often the war in which they served.

This lends an opportunity to an Eagle Candidate to help assure that we can better serve these late veterans and their families. I don’t know what Crown Hill has on record about the veterans buried there. I have asked for better maps from them. Hopefully we will find out at the District Committee meeting tomorrow when Crown Hill’s staff might visit us.

Think about Eagle Projects for all of these cemetaries in our District. There are plenty of opportunities for lasting effects from our Eagles.

 

Memorial Day turn out

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We had a great turn out for the grave dressing with American Legion Post #3. Thank you to all the troops and packs that participated!

Troop 343 cleans up Bethel Cemetary

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From Scoutmaster Ron Wells:

Troop 343 continues to give back to PIke Township: On Monday, May 22nd members of the troop “dressed” approximately 200 graves of veterans for Memorial Day in Bethel Cemetery located in the 5200 block of W. 52nd St. Attached are some photos of the event.
Eagle Scout candidate Jonathan Appleton recently completed his Service project at the cemetery also. A large amount of brush was removed revealing several headstones that had been obscured for decades. Scouts also cleaned several headstones with a special fluid that preserved them and still allowed them to not be damaged during the process.

Remember your unit can do grave dressing this Saturday with American Legion Post #3 at 7:30 am. Be there for breakfast, served by the Post members. The Post Commander Rees Morgan, a long-time scouter in North Star, too, will have some remarks and then give the Packs, Troops, Crews, OA Chapter members, and Firecrafter Ember members present their assignments among Union Chapel Cemetary and Crown Hill Cemetary.

Last year we had the better part of 120 scouts, scouters, and family members present. Let’s try to beat that attendance.

Update on 500 Festival Parade

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From Bill Hodgson:500-festival-header-logo-x91476

Good day all:

Sorry for the silence.  I only got our seating manifest last Thursday[, May 18, 2017].

Please know North Star will again be responsible for the 300 block of North Pennsylvania for the IPL 500 Festival Parade. We only have to put up chairs on the West side this year because of construction where the former Indianapolis Star building was located.

I will be there about 7:30 AM but the scouts and scouters need not arrive until about 8:30 AM. Suggest you park to the east to ease you exit. We typically are out and heading home before 2 PM.   It is a good location as we can set up lawn chairs in the adjacent park.

I will provide my architectural walking tour document to any troops interesting in walking the parade route after set up is complete.   You will have plenty of time to do that.Feel free to contact me at cell phone 317-560-0597 with questions or concerns.

Yours in scouting,

Bill Hodgson
317-560-0597 cell

Please remember that all Troops are responsible for the necessary YPT compliance and adult supervision on their own, unless specific arrangements are made with other troops to cover for you.

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

How are we doing? Read your Finish Line Report

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As BSA puts more and more effort into Journey to Excellence as a method for units to assess how they are doing, new tools are cropping up.

If you log into your my.scouting.org account, pull down the menu. Some leaders should be able to see the “JTE Reports.”

This menu option allows you to pull up a report that shows what statistical data that council has received about your unit. The report has several line items numbered as “#1” or “#4.” These numbers indicate a measurement line-item on the JTE system. These lines are very important.

If your unit has reported their advancement properly to council, a statistic showing the percentage of scouts advancing this year will appear. If you have reported your service hours, the total reported to date for the year will appear.

If any of the lines are blank for your unit, where you think your unit has done work, you may want to make sure that you have a person designated to follow up on the missing data.

Service hours are the biggest problem. Units forget to enter the data regularly.  If you have questions, look at the National website. Remember we are working for 1 billion service hours in scouting by 2020.

These reports are worth printing out at the end of each quarter, so April 1, 2017 is a good time to take a look at it. Take it to your unit committee to review with other reports like the treasurer’s report. This will make year end JTE reporting simple, since you will have fixed problems each quarter.

Publicity Material for Winter Camporee 2017

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Here are the materials to use for publicizing the Winter Camporee beginning Friday, January 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm. (Inauguration Day. Let the arguments begin!)

2017-wintercamporee flyer as PDF.

flyer in MS Word Format.

patch_winter_2017
Camporee Patch

Registration on the Council Website is now open.