Camping & Outdoor Programming

Winter Camporee Report

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Last Sunday, the Winter Camporee committee met. Our former District Executive Con Sullivan is co-chairing the event and presided over the meeting.

The theme will be the Winter Olympics with Willie’s Chills and Thrills! The event will be at Camp Krichtenstein from Friday, January 19, 2018 to Sunday, January 21, 2018.

Con emailed the following afterward:

Thank you to those who attended our Camporee Meeting last night. I have attached the most recent version of the Leader’s Guide for the ’18 Winter Camporee.

To do’s from meeting due on/before Jan 10th

If you have any questions, please contact Co-Chair Thomas Jacoby of Troop 174 (thomasjacoby@gmail.com) or me.

Thank you!
Con

A leader’s guide is available to download.

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REMINDER: December District Meetings

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Normally, we would have district elections in December. We are a bit delayed in slating the candidates, so that will be postponed to the first District Committee Meeting of January 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian.

Instead we will hold the last District Committee Meeting of the year at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, Rm 401, Indianapois, IN 46260., Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm.

The Commissioner Meeting will be held on the same day at 6:00 pm in Room 405.

This Sunday, December 10, 2017, the Winter Camporee Planning meeting will meet at 6:00 pm at St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Room C115, Indianapolis, IN 46260. It will be chaired by co-chairs Con Sullivan and Thomas Jacoby of Troop 174. The location is to be determined. Please send a scoutmaster or proxy to participate in the planning process. The camporee will be January 19-21, 2018.

The following week on Thursday, December 14, 2017, we hold the last Roundtable of the year.

Our district elections will be Thursday, January 4, 2018. More information to follow. Please have your Chartered Organization Representatives and District Members-at-Large (that is district committee members) and Council Members-at-Large who live in North Star District attend. They are all eligible to vote.

Reported Camping down for 2017

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One of the most important events for a scout is outdoor programming, specifically camping. The more nights of camping that a scout does the higher the probability of renewing scouting membership for the next year.

Think about it: what promise do you as a scout leader give to each new recruit? We camp.

In order to better diagnose which units are fulfilling the recruitment promise, we try to track how well units are doing in camping.

This year council-wide Cub Scout camping is down 14.29% and Boy Scout camping is down 4.72%. In North Star District, Cub Scout camping is down a mere 1.13%, but Boy Scout camping is down a whopping 10.02%.

Camping that is done through Crossroads of America Council facilities like Ransburg Scout Reservation or Camp Belzer, regardless whether summer camp or weekend camps, are automatically reported. However, any camping done outside our Council like at an out-of-state council’s facility or in a state park is not automatically reported.

If your pack, troop, or crew has camped out-of-council or on a non-BSA property, please email information about those campouts to our District Executive Jessica Hofman. If you are not sure, have your advancement coordinator send an inquiry to Jessica. She will be more than happy to research the information on file for you.

Good camping numbers suggest good programming. Good programming suggest good retention. Good retention means more lessons learned in scouting.

 

Long-Range Planning: an Alternate Proposal

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Traditionally in BSA units, National recommends that units do an annual planning conference one time per year. This is designed to discuss the budget, annual calendar, and longer-term projects, like high adventure outings. The idea is that at least once per year that the unit makes sure that it is staying on course. This is usually done concurrently with the annual program calendar.

The result is that the unit has a full agenda to talk about the calendar. Dealing with other long range issues gets varying discussion and analysis. For units that do the planning as part of an evening meeting, they run out of time quickly. For units that have a full retreat, they have plenty of time, but may have different items on their agenda.

Compounding the problem, most officers of the unit only plan to be with the unit until their son (and soon to be, daughters) leave the unit. This makes planning a much shorter term vision than the unit probably needs. But in terms of prioritzation, it allows the players to focus on what affects them and shorten the agenda.

Scouting already has a tendency to “meeting” our volunteers to death. We tend to have too many short meetings rather than taking the time to do a retreat once.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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.