Community Service

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.

Needing conservation projects?

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From Troop 804 Chair Curtis Shrote:
Looking for Environmental/Conservation hours? Look no further than the Indiana’s DNR. You may contact Jeff Cummings, the naturalist, at Fort Harrison State Park at (317) 591-0904 or (812) 849-4004. He is always looking for help. Please note that he is very well versed in YPT process so he will require appropriate adult participation.

Support veterans with donations

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American Legion Post 3 in Broad Ripple is assisting Crossroads Veterans Services with their drive to collect bicycles for veterans during the month of August.
 Bikes to Vets is a program by Crossroads Veteran Services. The program will accept bicycles in good working order and distribute them to Veterans who need transportation assistance to get to a bus stop or their place of employment. Donated bicycles may be tagged with the name of the organization making the donation and will be given to Veterans who lack dependable transportation.

 If you will donate a bicycle in good working order, bring it to the American Legion Post #3, 6379 N. College Ave. (Broad Ripple) not later than August 31st or contact Dan Cunningham at 317-697-7994 for pick up. 

 Thank you for helping a veteran!         

 

Memorial Day Participation

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Our Packs and Troops made a mighty contribution to honor our deceased service members. Various units made their contributions at different times and different cemeteries. Here is a sampling of some of the stories and scenes that I have collected from this year’s efforts.

American Legion Post #3 in Broad Ripple hosted their annual breakfast this past Saturday morning. Representatives from Packs 18, 35, and 830 (and a recent graduate of Pack 179) and Troops 18, 35, 56, and 269 were present to my knowledge. The Post’s organizer of the event, long-time North Star Scouter Rees Morgan, emcee’d the breakfast. The scouts enjoyed a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and other nibbles. Scout parents (uniformed and non-uniformed) squeezed into the back dining room. The Post is looking forward to completing its remodel of the main meeting room, because they had hoped to have 80 scouts and scouters attend. Instead we packed in 101 scouts and scouters! They need the bigger room.

At the conclusion of the breakfast, Mr. Morgan assigned packs and troops to specific cemeteries. This post mostly covers Union Chapel Cemetery near Keystone at the Crossing and part of Crown Hill Cemetery near the Indianapolis Art Museum. The cemetery pictures above are from the Union Chapel group.

Some older scouts attended as part of our Firecrafter Ember’s contribution to the service project.

Traditionally our Zionsville scouts and scouters work in conjunction with the Zionsville American Legion Post. I do not have any details about their service this year. (Stories and pictures are welcome so that I can update this story.)

Troops 56 and 514 and Pack 514 participated in grave dressing in conjunction with other American Legion Posts. Some of the pictures that Troop 514 Scoutmaster Michael Rodriguez provided to me are below.

Troop 343 meets at Bethel United Methodist Church in Pike Township. Their Scoutmaster Ron Wells sent me the following story:

Troop 343, based out of the northwestside of Indianapolis, has once again placed American flags on the graves of veterans buried in the Bethel Cemetery located in the 5200 block of West 52nd St. Scoutmaster Ron Wells had been mulling over taking over the flag detail for some time and finally contacted the cemetery’s caretaker, Sandra Profant last year.

The Profant family has been maintaining the grounds and placing flags at the cemetery for several decades. Needless to say, Sandra was relieved to pass on her detailed maps, a box of flags, and her own self-assembled binder containing research she found on some of the true heroes of our country to the troop! Last November the troop assembled in darkness and less than favorable conditions to place the flags for Veteran’s Day.

Last Monday, the troop performed flawlessly under more inviting weather and lighting conditions and placed over 200 flags. Our troop has always placed a high value on patriotism, wearing the Scout uniform properly, and respecting those brave citizens who served our country.

Thank you to all the scouts, scouters, and scout families who participated this year to make this a wonderful and memorable event.

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.

 

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.

Service Opportunity

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Messenger of PeaceWe received this from District Vice Chair for Membership Sharla Merrick:

District Team,

I have sent the following to the Zionsville Troops but thought you might want to open it up to others in our District. An opportunity to provide service for a good cause.

Additionally, who knows which dates will work for which scouts. The more opportunities the better.

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Zionsville Scouters,

The Zionsville Food Pantry is looking for help and has asked the scouts to consider helping out at the Pantry again.

Please share this opportunity with your scouts. A scout is Helpful.

Volunteers

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Zionsville Food Pantry! ZFP is a ministry of Zionsville Presbyterian Church located at the corner of Michigan R…

View on http://www.signupgenius.com

YIS,

Sharla

Don’t forget that this is another opportunity to contribute to worldwide effort to contribute service hours through scouting. That means serve and report your hours.

Service Hours Reporting Problems

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At the last District Committee meeting on February 4, 2016, District Executive Con Sullivan reported that there is a bit of confusion about service hours reporting. Even this writer has been guilty of the confusion.

Apparently there are two separate service hour reporting websites. They do not share data!

The national website, accessible through my.scouting.org, reports directly to National Council and is used for your unit’s national statistics such as contribution to the World Movement of Scouting’s billion service-hour challenge, but not Journey to Excellence scoring.

We know this is a problem because many of our largest and most successful troops have reported zero service hours on one or both of these websites. At the same time, these units have had Eagle Scouts reporting hundreds if not thousands of service hours. The scouts are getting proper credit, but it is not passing on to the units.

Journey to Excellence has a separate scoring for service hours which can receive a separate gold-level recognition.

Make sure your unit secretary or registrar is reporting service hours to both National on my.scouting.org and the same data to the local website at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1v7vmkVA0iDiQKTG4u-m8tG8lsHaGKwMrQbd93olBHig/viewform?edit_requested=true which is linked on the front page of http://www.crossroadsbsa.org.

To prevent this being a problem in the future, District will be reviewing these statistics quarterly. For troops, we will be looking at Eagle project reports against unit reports. Discrepancies will be pointed out to units.

For Cub Scout Packs, we will be looking at zer0-hour reports as needing updating.

Remember, we are part of a world-wide effort to demonstrate the value of scouting to our communities. Your reports help that marketing effort.

Pack 105 Bear Den 2 Service

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Here is a report from John Salewicz:

One of the new adventures in the Cub Scout program is to do community service.

The Den 2 Bears in Pack 105 did a E-Cycle Drive. We set-up a collection drive of unwanted, broken electronics and took them to a recycle center. Prior to the collection, the boys learn about why these items should not be put into landfills and types of material are in electrons. We disassembled a flat screen television to see what is used to make something that we spend a large chunk of our time.

During the e-cycle drive we collected all sorts of old computers, printers, ipods, stereos, phones and TV’s. The large tube TV’s were taken to St Luke’s Church and donated so that they can be fixed if needed and given to families who are less fortunate. I am very proud of these boys, their parents and our community for coming out and supporting the environment and Scouts. Wahoo!

  

Service hours reporting 2015

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Don’t forget to make sure that your unit has reported all of their service hours for 2015. You can report that using the link on the right column. This information will be closed out in the next week or two. Now is a good time to wrap it up.Messenger of Peace

Remember we are trying to contribute to the worldwide effort to report over a billion hours of service by 2020.