District Spring Camporee: April 20 – 22, 2018

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Our location has been confirmed!

The Spring Camporee [April 20-22, 2018] will be held at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired7725 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46240.

Unit leaders will receive the Spring Camporee Leaders Guide by COM Wednesday, March 14, 2018 via email.

The theme of the Spring Camporee is Willey’s Sirens and the focus will be on Emergency Preparedness.  Scouts will be able to earn the merit badge or pin for Emergency Preparedness.

Looking forward to a fantastic Spring Camporee!


CORRECTION – Del-Mi MB University to be held THIS weekend

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Please pass the word – the Del-Mi Merit Badge University will be held this weekend (March 9 & 10).  If you caught an earlier communication showing this to be May 9 & 10, that was supposed to be March not May!

Del-Mi District is hosting its annual Merit Badge University, this weekend, March 9th and 10th at Carmel High School. Over 500 Merit Badge slots are available for Scouts to take Merit Badges ranging from Swimming to Nuclear Science.

What: Del-Mi Merit Badge University

Where: Carmel High School (520 E. Main Street, Carmel) – Door 13

When: Three sessions are available. Some merit badge classes span across 2 sessions.

  • Session 1: Friday evening from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
  • Session 2: Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. to Noon.
  • Session 3: Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Register & More Info:

Cost: $6 per session, plus $6 for lunch

 Questions? Contact Laura Rushinsky at

Female Athletes’ Emotional Development in College

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In the Washington Post, from last year that I have been meaning to write about, a fascinating article about emotional isssues that kids in college are facing. The focus of the article that the title suggest the emphasis is on women’s college sports. The content is far broader, even though the persons interviewed are women’s college coaches and affiliate personnel.

One strong passage caught my eye.

Talk to coaches, and they will tell you they believe their players are harder to teach, and to reach, and that disciplining is beginning to feel professionally dangerous. Not even U-Conn.’s virtuoso coach, Geno Auriemma, is immune to this feeling, about which he delivered a soliloquy at the Final Four.

“Recruiting enthusiastic kids is harder than it’s ever been,” he said. “. . . They haven’t even figured out which foot to use as a pivot foot and they’re going to act like they’re really good players. You see it all the time.”

Some of the aspects emphasized apply equally well to scouters working with scouts.

It doesn’t take a social psychologist to perceive that at least some of today’s coach-player strain results from the misunderstanding of what the job of a coach is, and how it’s different from that of a parent. This is a distinction that admittedly can get murky. The coach-player relationship has odd complexities and semi-intimacies, yet a critical distance too. It’s not like any other bond or power structure. Parents may seek to smooth a path, but coaches have to point out the hard road to be traversed, and it’s not their job to find the shortcuts. Coaches can’t afford to feel sorry for players; they are there to stop them from feeling sorry for themselves.

Coaches are not substitute parents; they’re the people parents send their children to for a strange alchemical balance of toughening yet safekeeping, dream facilitating yet discipline and reality check. The vast majority of what a coach teaches is not how to succeed but how to shoulder unwanted responsibility and deal with unfairness and diminished role playing, because without those acceptances success is impossible.

Here is a key conclusion.

The bottom line is that coaches have a truly delicate job ahead of them with iGens. They must find a way to establish themselves as firm allies of players who are more easily wounded than ever before yet demand they earn praise through genuine accomplishment.

From this article we can draw a couple key conclusions:

  1. In our role as scouters, we can help prepare our scouts, boys and girls, for their college experience. We can teach them to deal with “unwanted responsibility” such as cleaning up after dinner or cleaning the latrine and with “unfairness” such as being assigned camp tasks too many times when others have not had their rotation.
  2. We can be the “toughening yet safekeeping, dream facilitating yet discipline and reality check” that is parents to provide for their own kids.
  3. We can be “firm allies” of scouts “who are more easily wounded than ever before yet demand they earn praise through genuine accomplishiment” such as rank advancement, BSA Life Guard training, mile swim patch, or high adventure.

How to Use Adult Leadership on your Resumé

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So you were recruited to serve as an adult leader for “one hour per week.” Several years later you are amazed by not only what your scouts have learned but what you have learned, too. Do you feel like you have grown as a leader? Have you learned personnel management skills? Project management skills? Adaptation to adversity? Have you taken leadership training courses, such as Den Leader Specific Training or Wood Badge?

When you look at your resume for your next job application, have you included your scouting leadership positions like you would any other job? Why not?

Prospective employers want to see applicants that have challenged themselves and learned along the way. They want to see applicants that have learned lessons from failure, especially on someone else’s dime.

When you go back to your resume, consider the following topics for inclusion on your resume:

  • Job description
  • Risk management
  • Team leadership and delegation
  • Problems solved
  • Leadership training and mentoring

But, don’t look at this only as a way to boost your resume. Look at resume enhancement as a means of recruiting new volunteers. When you talk to scout parents about their life experiences on campouts or during activity breaks, ask them what they do for a living and what their dreams for the future are. If they want to move up into management, suggest that scouting teaches those skills and is a way to get experience. Scouting is as much an experimental lab for adults as it is for scouts.

So look for scout parents who want to grow and recruit them based on what it can do for their careers (never mind networking with scouters who are extremely successful in their professional pursuits.

So make sure you know your scout parents’ resumes. It will work wonders for you.


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Setting the Stage for Continued Growth2018 Recognition Dinner

[INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, February 8]  District Leaders, mentors, family and friends assembled at the 2017 North Star District Awards ceremony to offer well-deserved congratulations to the Leadership team and to recognize members of the District for their commitment to service.  Included in these honors was the highlight of the Journey to Excellence Gold Award status earned by North Star with the overall highest score in the Council and an announcement that North Star’s contribution led to the Crossroads of America Council being the highest scoring council nationally, too.  A highlighted list of honored outgoing leadership and 2017 Award Winners can be found below.

2018 District Objectives

As 2018 North Star District Committee Chair Mark Maucere outlined in his keynote address, there are four pillars on which the upcoming leadership team will be focused in order to build on the success of this past year, which are:

Membership Growth.  This includes development of strategies to communicate with Charters and Schools as well as in assisting our Units with Leadership Outreach and Program Awareness.  This work will help keep up the interest with new/prospective Cub Scouts and their parents in the competition for time and attention with other extracurricular activities.  Our new Membership Chair is soon to be named.

Increased Unit Commissioner Involvement.  Stephen Heath is the 2018 District Commissioner, and he is looking forward to building the Unit Commissioner team and for these Unit Commissioners to create stronger and more cohesive working relationships with each of our District Units as “one team.”

Program Offering.  Mark Pishon as 2018 District Program Chair will bring a passion and energy to this critical pillar to enhance our current program offering as well as expand in areas that will further encourage greater recruitment, participation and retention.

Communication.  Cheryl Bilsland will be serving as 2018 Communication Chair and brings corporate digital marketing and Toastmasters communications mentorship experiences to the role.  We look forward to building upon and expanding our communication and outreach presence in a way that best meets the needs of the District.

Mark emphasized his “open door policy” and is humbly looking forward to meeting and working with each of you, thanking you for your service, insight, talent, energy and involvement in order to grow our District in 2018.

2017 North Star District
Leadership and Award Winners

We want to thank our 2017 District Key 3 team for their dedicated servant leadership:

John Wiebke                                       District Chair

Con Sullivan                                        District Executive

Jeffrey Heck                                            District Commissioner

Hearty congratulations and gratitude for your service, goes to the following 2017 District Award Winners:

Alec Damer T514 Merle H. Miller Eagle Scout Project of the Year Award
Austin Damer T514 Judge John Price Outstanding Eagle Scout of the Year Award
Agrayan Gupta T56 Dr. Bernard Harris SUPERNOVA Award (the first awarded in North Star District, based on our information)
John Wiebke T358 District Award of Merit
Mike Yates T56 District Award of Merit
David Sperry T514 Unit Leader Award of Merit
Michael Faulk T56 Arrowman of the Year
Bill Buchalter P83 Cubmaster of the Year
Ron Wells T343 Scoutmaster of the Year
Denise Purdie-Andrews T69 Firecrafter of the Year
Katherine Ritchie T343 Boy Scout Committee Chair Person of the Year
Todd Sanger P514 Cub Scout Committee Chair Person of the Year
Nick Griffith T56 Hooked on Scouting
Jason Chamness T358 Hooked on Scouting
Laura Gunderman T358 Hooked on Scouting
James Stiles T358 Hooked on Scouting
Amanda Walsh T358 Hooked on Scouting
Jill Williams T358 Hooked on Scouting
Mary Fenchak T514 Hooked on Scouting
Jill Carson T343 Spark Plug Award
Mark Carson T343 Spark Plug Award
Brendan Cavanaugh T358 Spark Plug Award
Joe Forler T358 Spark Plug Award
Brad Gibson T358 Spark Plug Award
Kathryn Gibson T358 Spark Plug Award
Bob Jalaie T358 Spark Plug Award
Dawn Pasquale T358 Spark Plug Award
Chris Pishon T358 Spark Plug Award
Chris Strachan T358 Spark Plug Award
Jane Sullivan T358 Spark Plug Award
Valerie Swack T358 Spark Plug Award
Matthew Glaze T514 Spark Plug Award
Marilyn Mathioudakis T514 Spark Plug Award
Ken Savin T514 Spark Plug Award
Lisa Savin T514 Spark Plug Award


If you would like more information about this topic, please call Cheryl Bilsland, 2018 North Star Communications Chair, at 317-225-6102, or email

Recognition Dinner 2018: 3 days away

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Note: $25 for solo and $45 per couple.

Our North Star District Recognition Dinner 2018 honoring scouters’ work in 2017 is approaching fast.

Please make sure that you and your unit leaders are registered to participate.

Download a copy of the invitation and send it to your unit leaders today! (Note the nomination deadline listed is incorrect.)

Ignore any indications that this is sold out or deadlines have passed! Sign up!


CORRECTION: Nomination due date

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In a previous post, we gave the wrong date for the Nomination for awards for the District Recognition Dinner.

The correct date for those nominations is Sunday, January 14, 2018.

Sorry for the confusion.

Invitation to Recognition Dinner for 2017 Service

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CORRECTION: The literature below contains the wrong deadline for the nominations. The correct date is Sunday, January 14, 2018. Sorry for the mistake.

The Boy Scout Crossroads of America Council North Star District 
cordially invites you to the 
Adult Volunteer Recognition Dinner 
A celebration of North Star District’s volunteer 
achievements and in appreciation of your 
contributions to Boy Scouting in 2017. 
January 27, 2018 
At 7:00 pm 
The Palomino Ballroom
481 South 1200 E. 
Zionsville, IN 46077

Spouses Welcome  :  Business Casual  :  Cash Bar


Download a copy of the invitation to distribute to your leaders is available here.

Nomination forms specific to North Star are available here.

The Crossroads of America Council, under BSA rules, also offers a District Award of Merit as the highest award that districts can offer. This is the district equivalent of the Silver Beaver Award for the Council. We are eligible to grant two of these awards. The nomination forms for the District Award of Merit are separate and available here.

Unit Key 3 are encouraged to be aggressive in inviting their unit volunteers to attend. All hard-working volunteers should be considered for the Spark Plug and Hooked on Scouting. Special consideration for standout Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, and Committee Chairs. (We do not have a tradition of offering Venturing Advisor Awards, but that does not mean that worthy advisors should not be nominated to receive an inaugural award. Similarly for Chartered Organization Representatives.)

If you think that someone deserves other recognitions that we have not listed, don’t forget to review the national website for awards that may be appropriate for your scouters and scouts. (This is an adults-only event, but youth will be mentioned as receiving awards, such as the annual reading of the roll of new Eagle Scouts.)

Nominations are due by January 14, 2018 to Mark Pishon at

November Boy Scout Roundtable: Life to Eagle in North Star

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We will have the members of the North Star District Advancement Committee, Eagle pinspecializing in Eagle issues lead a discussion. The roundtable will be at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at Luke’s Lodge, the outbuilding on the campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Specifically, Eagle Project Coordinators Rick Aker and Bill Cherry will talk about how boy scouts go about getting their Eagle Projects approved in the District.

Eagle Board of Review Coordinator Jerry Simon will talk about how boards are scheduled, run, and successfully completed.

This topic is ideal for Eagle Candidates, their parents, Troop Key 3 members, Troop Advancement Chairs, Troop Eagle Mentors (scout and scouter), new and old Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, and anyone interested in serving on Eagle Boards of Review. Oh, forget it; just anyone.

Come with your questions!

Unique opportunity for Indiana residents

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Scouting is about citizenship. It is about citizenship in the Community, Nation, and World.

One of the requirements for citizenship in the world includes trying to speak to people from other countries. This is often hard for people in America because, especially in Indiana, we live so far from any borders. With one in five people now an immigrant to our land, it is becoming easier than ever before.

Even so, one of the best skills that a good scout can develop is the ability to communicate in more than one language. For residents of Indiana, we have a unique opportunity for incoming juniors, seniors, and recent graduates from high school. (The main target audience is incoming seniors). It is the Indiana University honors program in foreign languages.

My son and I are both alumni of the program. I studied in France and he studied in Spain. District Chair John Wiebke’s son also participated in Chile at the same time my son was in Spain. As a result we are highly conversant in our second languages.

They are preparing to close out their application season for the Summer 2018 trips. They travel to France, Spain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Chile, China, and Japan. The students are required to speak exclusively in the host language for six weeks. This is a wonderful opportunity for a complete immersion experience.

Scouts make great candidates for this program because they must undergo an in person interview and demonstrate that they would be good ambassadors for America to the host country. Often this program is dominated by girls. There always eager to get good male applicants.

Well the program is expensive, there are ways to find financial help. Even if you doubt that financial ability will be possible, I still encourage students to apply. Being accepted into the program is an honor in and of itself. It helps raise the applicant’s self assuredness because they are capable of qualifying for such a respectable program.

If your child or a scout in your troop or crew is interested at all in international issues, I would commend this program to your attention.