Scouting for Food: March 12 – April 9, 2018

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Please complete the Unit Commitment Form  [<== linked here] by March 12, 2018!

Scouting for Food is a national Boy Scouts of America community stewardship project aimed at addressing the problem of hunger in local communities. Crossroads of America Council participates in this annual spring food collection program with all proceeds staying in central Indiana. In partnership with Kroger and the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Scouts collect approximately 75,000 pounds of food through door-to-door collection or pre-packaged grocery bags in participating central Indiana Kroger stores. This campaign generally occurs between the months of March and April.  Units can pick the time that best fits their calendar during this time frame and can submit for the participation patch at any time with the link provided.  Participation in Kroger Scouting for Food counts toward service hours.

Our North Star Community Service Chair and contact for Scouting for Food is Mike Faulk (

See the LINKS below for online forms and key documents:



How close can we get to 100% participation this year?  In 2017 only two North Star units participated in Scouting for Food.  Let’s see if we can get more units to participate in this effort to reduce hunger close to home.  Looking forward to a great Scouting for Food campaign with our District!


Thank You on Services Hours Reporting

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Thank you to our units that responded to our request for more service hours reporting at the National website. As of the October district JTE report, we were down nearly 0.45 hours per scout year over year to 2016. Now in the November report, we are up by nearly an identical amount!

That has made us Gold in that category based on meeting a minimum plus slight improvement. The national goal is 10 hours per scout average. We are showing an average of 6.14 hours per scout right now. It may be too late to boost that average much more, but please help us try.

Please login to the National website (using your Internet Advancement login and password) and make sure that your unit’s information is up-to-date.


Quarterly vs Annual Planning

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For regular followers of Clarke Green’s podcast and blog, you know Clarke has been beta testing a quarterly planning model with his home troop. He has hinted at several elements before.

Now he has rolled out an article on the details and overview of the plan. Take a look!

Service Hours Reported to Date for 2017

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I hope that all Packs, Troops, and Crews report more than 100 man-hours per year.

In light of that expectation, here is our best understanding of the units that have met that expectation of reporting more than 100 man-hours for 2017. This personal expectation is strongest for scout troops.

Packs 18, 72, and 358;

Troops 18, 56, 69, 72, 174, 180, 269, 343, 358, 512, 514, and 804.

The top five units for reported hours in 2017 to date are:

  1. Troop 174 with 2,861 hours reported
  2. Troop 358 with 1,301 hours
  3. Troop 514 with 486 hours
  4. Troop 804 with 422 hours
  5. Troop 18 with 404 hours.

An honorable mention to Pack 18 for the highest number of hours reported for a Cub Scout Pack with 118 hours.

If your unit is not showing the hours you expect, login to the Service Hours Reporting website with your unit’s Internet Advancement login and password. You can look at what is there.

For scout troops, please verify that the your Eagle Scouts’ project hours are fully reported.

Unit Service Reporting

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As we are reaching year’s end, your district leadership was reviewing our reported service hours for 2017. As we have mentioned in the past, service hours reported help contribute to a worldwide goal of reporting one billion hours of scouting service hours by 2020.

Please make sure that your unit chair or your advancement coordinator (or whoever else your chair has designated to report service hours) has entered their information through’s legacy tools.

Remember these reported hours boost your Journey to Excellence score.

You will need your unit’s advancement code to login.

If you don’t have the code or just want to email your report, send an email to DE Jessica Hofman.

REMINDER: District meetings

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Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Second Presbyterian Church, 4th Floor:

  1. Commissioners: 6:00 pm, Room 401
  2. District Committee: 7:00 pm, Room 405

Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm (except where different below), Luke’s Lodge, outbuilding on Campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St.

1. Youth Protection Training (Y01) (6:30 pm)

2. Boy Scout Roundtable: TBA. Possible topic: path to Eagle.

3. Cub Scout Roundtable: planning your next camp out. Presented by Scouts from Troop 56 and RTC Bill Buchalter. (Great for Pack Programming Chair, Pack Chair, Cubmaster and Den Leaders, especially Webelos Den Leaders). Tents and gear explained.

4. Rechartering breakout for Unit Rechartering Coordinators. How to rechartering. Changes to system.

Hurricane Maria: An update on BSA members in Puerto Rico. Ways you can help.

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Bryan on Scouting has just posted this article on how to help after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

To my view, the most important part of this article is that the councils and units affected have been slow to report their needs. This creates a risk of their needs being forgotten or overlooked by the rest of the BSA.

This slow response to state needs makes a lot of sense. First, the BSA is built on a diffused organizational system. National Council needs information from local councils. Local councils need information from districts. Districts need information from units. Units need information from unit leaders. Unit leaders are busy caring for their families, work or businesses, and places of worship.

Now the information trickle is beginning. The BSA has created several central clearinghouses of information. Units can make direct appeals for help. The BSA has created a central fundraising website. Now we know where to look for what is needed.

So the next question seems to be, “What can our unit do?”

What you can do is still limited by BSA regulations. Let’s take a quick look so that these are all fresh in mind.

Read the rest of this entry »

Secrets to Eva’s Success and Lessons for Scouting

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The secret of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy” in the New York Post tells the story of a charter school system in New York. It tells how the school has inner city kids performing well on standardized tests and grades.

Success Academy breeds success: Its inner-city students outperformed every other school district in the state in the 2017 exams. And one big secret to that success has been the application of the kinds of tactics and strategies that helped bring the city back from the brink more than once — this time, applied to education.

Both “broken windows” policing and Success Academy schooling target minor infractions that create a culture of chaos.

Writing about dealing with disruptive students in 2006-07, Success Academy’s first year, Moskowitz notes that when teachers are unable to stop even one student’s incessant misbehavior, it “can have a domino effect . . . and soon the teacher is playing whack-a-mole rather than teaching.”

That meant imposing “cultural expectations” on the classroom, which soon developed into a barometer Moskowitz calls “culture data.” Standardized test scores can only tell you so much so quickly. But monitoring “latenesses, absences, uniform infractions, missing homework, incomplete reading logs, and whether our teachers were calling parents about these problems” can serve as a “canary in a coal mine.”

It also manifested in instruction styles that required the kids to pay attention in class — such as randomly calling on students to respond to other students’ answers during a lesson — rather than just hoping they absorbed the information and then testing them to find out.

Consistent standards are also key. Unlike union-dominated schools, Moskowitz’s charters could fire bad teachers and administrators, ensuring those standards are applied evenly.

* * *

She explains: “Excellence is the accumulation of hundreds of minute decisions; it is execution at the most granular level. Once you accept the idea that you should give in to things that make no sense because other people do those things and you want to appear reasonable, you are on a path towards mediocrity.”

In scouting, we are not trying to be data hounds or playing BigBrother to make sure all is well with our scouts. But even laying aside the data, there are insights we can learn from this story.

If a scout regularly misses campouts, what does that tell us about the scout’s experience in scouting? What is that scout’s absence on his fellow scouts? Is it reasonable for a scout to miss a campout because he doesn’t “find it interesting”? If a parent accepts this complaint from the scout, what should the Cubmaster or Scoutmaster do in response?

Read the rest of this entry »

Service Hours Reporting Update

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Last year (2016), North Star District reported 13,343 service hours. To date in 2017, North Star has reported only 3,567 service hours.

Thank you to those units that have exceeded 2016 service hours reports:

  1. Crew 408 (Zionsville American Legion)
  2. Pack 358 (Zionsville Christian)
  3. Troop 69 (Trader’s Point Christian Church)
  4. Troop 269 (St Andrew’s Presbyterian)
  5. Troop 358 (St Alphonsius RCC)

These troops serve as wonderful examples to our district and council.

Honorable mentions for reporting service hours at least once this year (but have not yet exceeded last year’s numbers and are rarely close), go to the following units:

  1. Pack 105 (Zionsville American Legion)
  2. Troop 56 (St Luke’s UMC)
  3. Troop 174 (Immaculate Heart of Mary RCC)
  4. Troop 180 (St Richard’s School)
  5. Troop 343 (Pike Twp Fire Dept, meeting at Bethel UMC)
  6. Troop 512 (First Meridian Heights Presbyterian)
  7. Troop 514 (St Monica’s RCC)
  8. Troop 804 (Zionsville American Legion).

All other units need to be reviewing their service hour reports because council has no information on file for 2017.

For more information on reporting service hours, see this 2015 article.

Free State Park Admission . . . with a catch

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From Council:

DNR News
Division of State Parks

Celebrate public lands with free entry and
program at DNR properties, Sept. 30

Admission to Indiana’s state park properties and state forest recreation areas where entrance fees are charged will be free on Sept. 30 in recognition of National Public Lands Day.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

Volunteer opportunities at Indiana State Park properties on Sept. 30 include trail work at Raccoon State Recreation Area, Turkey Run State Park and Brookville Lake, invasive plant removals at Brown County, Spring Mill and Ouabache state parks, and river cleanups at O’Bannon Woods and Tippecanoe River state parks. Many other properties will offer similar volunteer opportunities see attached list.

But National Public Lands Day isn’t all work and no play. The day is a reminder that public lands are places for outdoor recreation, conservation and making memories with families and friends. Properties will offer hikes, pioneer activities, crafts and live bird shows, too.

For complete list of programs, visit  and look on Sept. 30.

For more information on National Public Lands Day, visit

Jody Heaston
Indiana State Parks Volunteer Coordinator
Ouabache State Park,  4930 E. State Rd 201
Bluffton, IN 46714
Phone: 260-824-0926  Fax: 260-824-9402
Email: (best way to contact)

Learn more about Indiana Master Naturalists

On the Web:

They also offer the events listed in this flyer through the rest of the year.