Community Service

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.

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.