Camping & Outdoor Programming

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.

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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 »

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 »

Fall Camporee Updates

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From Camporee Chair Mark Pishon:

Dear Camporee Stakeholders:

I’m very excited to announce the Purdue Motorsports Engineering Program will be joining us at the Subaru facility with their Grand-Prix Go-Karts.

We are only 12 days out so please get registered. The information and all the updates are attached.

YIS,

Mark Pishon
Fall Camporee Chair
Cell 317.374.2262

Willie Award Judging Criteria Fall Camporee 2017.pdf

North Star Fall Camporee Leaders Guide V6 9_21_2017.pdf

Release & Waiver Agreement.Boy Scout 2017.pdf

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.

Fall Camporee Planning Meeting

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Mark Pishon, the Fall Camporee chair, is hosting a meeting on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm in St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th St, Room N101, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Please note that this is in the Main Building, Room N101. You must enter by Door #6, the door on the northwest corner of the building, but not quite the northernmost door. Upon entering the building, turn left; walk past the bathrooms and water fountain, toward the classroom (N101), to the immediate right of the Exit (Door #7).

All participants and attendees must sign Subaru’s liability release, available here. Release and Waiver Agreement.Boy Scout 2017.

Here is the current draft of the Camporee Leader Guidebook, subject to revision after the meeting: North Star Fall Camporee Leaders Guide V4 9_11_2017.

Fall Camporee 2017 Report

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On Sunday, August 13, 2017, the Camporee Committee met to discuss the upcoming camporee at the Lafayette, Indiana Subaru Plant. This camporee will include a plant tour Friday evening, October 6, 2017. The tours will leave at three different times throughout the evening. The last tour will end close to midnight.

SAI Facility
Overview picture of entire Subaru Automotive of Indiana campus
Subaru plant overview
Zoom in on recreational area where camporee will focus

The plant will be shutting down at midnight for a two-week line maintenance cycle. Consequently, the timing for when we can tour is extremely tight.

This means that troop arrivals will be pressed against the need to go on the tour.

Each troop’s Key 3 (COR, chair and scoutmaster) should have received emails with more details on planned events (like plan tours) and possible events (like merit badge topics addressed). Here is the information shared before the meeting. Updates are forthcoming.

The meeting had a lively debate about the balance between patrol competitions, advancement, and participating in unique scouting events. These all reflect adult opinions or second-hand information from scouts transmitted through adults.

All scoutmasters encouraged to talk to their Patrol Leader Council about what their members like to see in camporee.

Subaru offers a lot of opportunity for merit badge work on Automotive Maintenance and Traffic Safety with a dolop of Truck Transportation. While these are all possible, some troops’ adults expressed concern that advancement would push aside patrol competition. The committee took those concerns to heart and is looking at how competitions could be used to complete some of the merit badge work simultaneously. Essentially making learning fun.

There were a lot more details shared at the meeting, so expect more information in the coming weeks. This is just a quick report and summary. The simple version is Friday, October 6, 2017 from 6:00 pm to Sunday, October 8, 2017, be there.

If you have feedback, please share it with the camporee committee and make sure that you have a representative at the next camporee committee meeting (scheduling forthcoming).

Cubs can canoe!

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New aquatics rules now in effect – Bobwhite Blather:

In April of this year, however, the rules for Cub Scout aquatics changed to allow a range of activities permitted at the unit level. And while most water activities – the more rigorous and risky ones – are still restricted to Boy Scouts and older, Cub Scouts of all ages can now go canoeing, rowboating and paddle boating – the very things they’ve been doing with their families all along. (And yes, I know some of you have been boating as a purportedly unaffiliated “family” activity to get around the BSA’s safety rules.)

There’s always a catch, though, but it’s not a big deal and isn’t anything you wouldn’t expect. While we no longer have tour permits or tour plans, the requirements for adult leaders to be appropriately trained are still in force. There are two primary unit volunteer training courses for aquatics, and they’re both available online: Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat.

At least two adults are required to supervise any swimming activity – at backyard, public and hotel pools, beaches, lakes, rivers and oceans, whether or not a lifeguard is present. Safe Swim Defense training, completed within the last two years, is required of at least one adult supervising swimming activities, or even non-swimming activities where the water is over knee-deep or there is a risk of submersion. Common sense, though, dictates that as many adults as possible should complete Safe Swim Defense training – and it should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that they complete Youth Protection Training as well. All boating activities likewise must be supervised by at least two adults, one (and preferably all) with current Safety Afloat training.

Now that you’re trained, what can Cub Scouts actually do on the water? Here’s a summary of allowable activities for Cub Scout packs:

Learn to Swim programs for all ages.
Recreational swimming for all ages, divided by ability groups, with only those who are able to swim (who have passed the BSA 100-yard swim test) allowed in deep water.
Snorkeling in confined areas for all ages, divided by ability groups. Only swimmers are allowed in deep water.
Riding in large boats including commercial marine transport such as excursion boats and ferries, as well as larger (capacity of four or more passengers) privately-owned craft on calm waters where all operation is done by adults.
Stable, fixed-seat rowboats and paddle boats on calm, flat water. If a non-swimmer or beginning swimmer is on board, he must be buddied with a swimmer in the same boat.
Canoes on calm, flat water. A non-swimmer or beginning swimmer must be buddied with an adult swimmer in the same boat.
Single-person kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on calm, flat water for swimmers only (non-swimmers or beginning swimmers are not allowed to kayak or SUP).
Tubing on gently-flowing water for Swimmers only.
Don’t forget about the rule requiring that Coast Guard-approved life jackets are to be worn by persons when engaged in boating activities (rowing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding) and in some cases aboard larger vessels as well.

Cub Scout Roundtable Thursday

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School is ending and the summer is here!

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner PatchAnd we know what that means: Summer Camp!

Whether you’re taking your boys to Belzer or Camp K… whether it’s your first year or you’re a seasoned pro… join us this Thursday evening, 7:00 PM, at Luke’s Lodge (outbuilding on the campus ofSt. Luke’s Methodist Church, 100 West 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260) for the North Star District Cub Scout Roundtable.

We’ll be discussing both Summer Camps, and what you as a leader should know and expect.

If you are new, come learn some of the ins and outs.

If you are a veteran, come and share the tips and tricks that you’ve learned over the years with other leaders.Canoeing at Belzer

We hope to see many of you there!