Advancement

Invitation to Recognition Dinner for 2017 Service

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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

Invitation

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 mpishon@gmail.com.

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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.

More Info on Retroactive Eagle Palms

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For those who saw the previous announcement that retroactive Eagle Palms now exist, there were questions about why the rules were written they were.

Now the new rules have been revised.

See this article for more informationeagle-palms-features.

Essentially, more merit badges before Eagle gives more palms.

REMINDER: District meetings

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Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Second Presbyterian Church, 4th Floor:

  1. Commissioners: 6:00 pm, Room 401
  2. District Committee: 7:00 pm, Room 405

Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm (except where different below), Luke’s Lodge, outbuilding on Campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St.

1. Youth Protection Training (Y01) (6:30 pm)

2. Boy Scout Roundtable: TBA. Possible topic: path to Eagle.

3. Cub Scout Roundtable: planning your next camp out. Presented by Scouts from Troop 56 and RTC Bill Buchalter. (Great for Pack Programming Chair, Pack Chair, Cubmaster and Den Leaders, especially Webelos Den Leaders). Tents and gear explained.

4. Rechartering breakout for Unit Rechartering Coordinators. How to rechartering. Changes to system.

Perception and Adaptation

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In some of my reading on other subjects, I ran across some scientific research from the mid-1800’s that I think is fascinating in its potential application to scouting. I am going to go down some complicated paths in this series of articles, so allow me to set the context first.

The View from the Eagle Board

For those of you who have sat on an Eagle Board of Review more than once, you likely can confirm that the following scenario is common.

A 17-year old in full dress scout uniform walks in the door. He is often clean shaven (although beards are increasingly common). He walks erect even if slightly nervous about what he is walking into. He firmly shakes hands with each member of the Board of Review. He answers questions about his Eagle project in great detail. He has pride in his accomplishments. He looks the part of an Eagle Scout already.

As he sits through the Board, the Board members ask the Eagle candidate to reflect on his beginnings in scouting and his growth. The candidate describes his first campout in the rain. He reflects on his anguish and discomfort. He laughs about how those deprivations are nothing compared to the later discomforts of camping in the snow of winter amidst the howling winds. He reflects on what he learned about overcoming obstacles, adapting, and accepting his circumstances.

He has learned that slight discomforts at home are nothing compared to facing the elements and the discomforts Mother Nature offers.

In my role as District Commissioner, the BSA charges me with the primary mission of encouraging Best Practices in our units. In other words, I am responsible for being able to explain to leaders why BSA policies are in the best interest of the unit, its leaders, and its scouts. That does not mean that I agree with each and every policy, but it does mean that I should be able to articulate the rationale in the light most favorable to the BSA’s intent.

For example, I should be able to articulate why units that camp the most are the more successful; why units that allow the boys to experiment with the patrol method with guidance and boundaries from the scoutmaster corps are more successful than units where adult leaders run the program; or why units with Senior Patrol Leaders who work the Patrol Leader Council are more successful than units where Senior Patrol Leaders acts as the patrol-leader-of-all. Read the rest of this entry »

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.

September 2017 Eagle Report

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Congratulations to our September 2017 Eagles, who completed their Eagle Boards of Review on Wednesday, September 13, 2017:

REMINDER: Roundtable Thursday

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For Roundtable we will have two excellent programs.districtCommissioner

We will kick things off at 6:30 pm with a short Youth Protection Training (Y01), open to all scouters. This is all you need for Cub Scouts and Boy Sccouts. It does not qualify for Venturing Youth Protection.

At 7:00 pm, we will open with our normal General Session. We will try to keep this brief (under 15 minutes).

150px-cubscoutdenleaderpatchAfter General Session, the Cub Scout Roundtable will focus on Den Leader Training. This is designed to qualify the Cub Scout Den Leader as fully trained for Lion through Bear years. (Webelos Den Leaders should also take Outdoor Webelos Leadership Skills (“OWLS”).) Den Leaders should have received emailed invitations from Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner Bill Buchalter. Pack Chairs should call their Den Leaders to encourage attendance. Remember this training is mandatory for rechartering for all currently enrolled Den Leaders. The class will be taught by Bill and District Chair John Wiebke.

After General Session, the Boy Scout Roundtable will have a guest presentation on the STEM in Scouting Logonew-ish Nova Program from Troop 56 Committee Chair and Wood Badge Candidate (Eagle Patrol) Sandy McNutt and his fellow Eagle, Hou-Koda Committee Member and Troop 307 Committee Member Kelli Brooks. This presentation is relevant to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing. So if Cub Leaders don’t need training, this might be the session for them.

Please help us have a big turn out for Roundtable.

Adults Wearing Eagle Pins

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Since a refrain at an Eagle Court of Honor is “once an Eagle, alway an Eagle,” can adult Eagles wear their Eagle Scout Pin?

We all know that the Eagle Scout patch should be retired from a scout uniform, when the scout turns 18 and becomes an Assistant Scoutmaster. He then can wear the Eagle knot for the rest of his life.

But can the adult wear his Eagle Pin to an Eagle Court of Honor.

Bryan on Scouting tried to address this in 2014. Unfortunately, his article was slightly incorrect. I met Bryan at National Jamboree this past summer. Having read his material for years, I can vouch that he does his research thoroughly, and his personality in person is very humble and self-effacing. Consequently, I believe his error is less a lack of diligence than a lack of clarity in the scouting literature.

Simply put, the Boy Scout Insignia Guide allows an adult to wear the pin for “formal Eagle occasions.”

Eagle Pin Insignia rule
Excerpt from Insignia Guide

So if we are trying to make sure that a new Eagle Scout feels part of a larger circle of scouts and scouters, we can encourage all Eagles to wear their pins to the Eagle Court of Honor.

This accomplishes two key goals, among many others. First, it allows the new Eagle Scout, the non-scouting visitors, and the newer scouts to see the people who are Eagles more clearly. The men whom they respect wear the pin. Second, it allows more people to identify the Eagle knot. This means that some of the mystery of an adult’s uniform is removed. With greater real recognition, more adults may seek the company of existing Eagles as mentors in scouting, and more youth will seek to join their company as fellow Eagle Scouts.

Eagle Knot
Eagle Knot (without either palms or border indicating lifetime NESA membership)