Community Service

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 »

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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 calendar.dnr.IN.gov  and look on Sept. 30.

For more information on National Public Lands Day, visit PublicLandsDay.org.

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: jheaston@dnr.in.gov (best way to contact)

Learn more about Indiana Master Naturalists www.indianamasternaturalist.org

On the Web: www.stateparks.IN.gov

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

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.

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