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 (email@example.com).
See the LINKS below for online forms and key documents:
- Online sign-up to collects items at a Kroger store (Saturday, March 24);
- Patch request form;
- Recording of service hours;
- CAMPAIGN PACKET;
- GLEANER’s NEEDS flyer;
- KROGER handouts; and
- CAMPAIGN FLYER .
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 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.
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:
- Troop 174 with 2,861 hours reported
- Troop 358 with 1,301 hours
- Troop 514 with 486 hours
- Troop 804 with 422 hours
- 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.
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 my.scouting.org’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.
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.
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:
- Crew 408 (Zionsville American Legion)
- Pack 358 (Zionsville Christian)
- Troop 69 (Trader’s Point Christian Church)
- Troop 269 (St Andrew’s Presbyterian)
- 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:
- Pack 105 (Zionsville American Legion)
- Troop 56 (St Luke’s UMC)
- Troop 174 (Immaculate Heart of Mary RCC)
- Troop 180 (St Richard’s School)
- Troop 343 (Pike Twp Fire Dept, meeting at Bethel UMC)
- Troop 512 (First Meridian Heights Presbyterian)
- Troop 514 (St Monica’s RCC)
- 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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.