As the snow blows, it is time for warm thoughts of swimming, sweating, shooting, and laughing with a few mosquitos mixed in.
All Cubs and Webelos Dens should be planning to go to summer camp. There are day camp options and overnight options.
Day camps emphasize a week-long (M-F) of activities with a Friday night sleep over. These activities are designed to deliver key parts of the excitement that we promise during recruitment.
Overnight camps involve less days but more hours of camp life. This is a great option for parents who want their Cubs to experience summer camp, but can’t afford an entire week off of work.
The requirements for adult participation are set forth in the Guide to Safe Scouting, (along with all the safety rules for all activities), specifically shown in this link is the information on overnight camping practices, which are more stringent than walking around the camp during the day.
All scouts, parents, and tag-alongs need to have a completed health form to able to attend. See the Cub Scout Camp page for more information.
One of the biggest concerns in scouting is whether we “have sufficient adults to meet the requirements of the Guide to Safe Scouting.” This implies that the Guide has a set ratio. You will even hear scout leaders speak as if there were written instructions about the ratio. The answer to this is a bit more complicated. We are required to have 2-deep leadership on all outdoor outings and overnights. That leaves an implication that 2 adults could take 60 Cubs. This is clearly unwise. For certain types of activities there are set ratios, such as Boy Scout and Venturing rappeling is 10:1 and different aquatic activities have different ratios. In Cub Scout Camping, one parent (or adult family member) must camp with each Cub (some exceptions for solo Cubs with designated proxies for parent, but only one Cub per adult under this exception).
Outside of these activity-specific ratios, the exact numer of adults necessary is just listed in the Guide to Safe Scouting as “sufficient leadership.” This is at the discretion of the Chartered Organization to decide. Many Chartered Organizations feel that 5 Cubs to 1 Adult works well. For more mature Cubs, this ratio can be fudged in favor of more Cubs. (See this old conversation from 2012 on a non-BSA website on the topic.)
Your Camp Director at each location can give you better guidance as to what ratio makes sense for their specific activities.
Remember a Cub’s attendance at Summer Camp is the best indication whether the Cub will return for the next year of scouting. Parents are the biggest roadblock. Camp costs money and takes effort. Gently remind parents why they signed their Cubs up for scouting and why the Cub wanted to join. The Cub wanted to have fun with his friends. The parents want the Aims and Methods of Scouting to benefit their son.
Some families find that the day camp experience is not the challenge that their more mature Cubs require. Camp Kiktheweund’s Adventure Camp is now available to more Cubs. This is a great option for Cub who want the challenge of overnight camping. Find the challenge that is right for your Cub.
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.
School is ending and the summer is here!
And 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.
We hope to see many of you there!
From Swim Test Coordinator Brian Crow:
Please find see linksbelow regarding the upcoming Swim Test at the Pike Aquatic Center on Monday, April 17, 2017.To date, I have only heard from four Troops (56,69, 73, 343) and one Venture Crew (1121).And a great big “Thank You” shout out to Jerry Ritchie from Troop 343 for coordinating all of this with the Pike Aquatic Center!!Brian
If your unit is looking for swim tests outside of the April 17th North Star District Swim Test, fear not, we have you covered.
- Noblesville High School April 23, 2017 18111 Cumberland Road Noblesville, IN; 1:00pm—5:00pm
- Southport High School April 29th, 2017 971 E. Banta Indianapolis, IN
8:00am – 11:30am
- Carmel High School May 21, 2017 520 E. Main Carmel, IN;
For more information, click here.
Don’t forget to touch base with Brian Crow, District Programming Chair and ASM at Troop 343, if your troop or crew is interested in doing the swim test at Pike High School on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm.
Last year Troop 343 hosted a district-wide swim test for summer camp. Troop 343’s Brian Crow has been working to repeat that process for the new year. Any troop interested in participating should read Brian’s email below:
Troop 343 has reserved the pool at Pike High School for [the evening of Monday,] April 17, 2017, for the swim test.
The facility fee is $120.00. The school is providing two certified lifeguards for safety compliance only.
Each Troop wanting to attend will need to administer their own test and must have enough adults onsite to provide adequate supervision of scout’s behavior in high school and swim tests in the pool.
We will split the facility fee equally among all Troops that attend. They will need to bring cash money on the day of the test.
More specific information about test day will be distributed in the near future.
Please have any questions forwarded to me.
Remember that all scouts and adult leaders who wish to swim or participate in aquatic activities must participate in the swim test each year before they will be allowed to participate.
The advantage of this swim test is that the swimmer will have a controlled pool environment to take his or her test. Many scouts have never swum in muddy lake water before. We have had many competitive swimmers fail the swim test because of the shock of lake water or muddy lake bottom.
Give your scouts the ability to adapt to the lake environment gradually. If they don’t have the psychological pressure of demonstrating their swimming skills at the same time they are adapting to the environment, scouts often adapt quickly to the lake. The testing is a rough time to adapt to a new environment.
Give them their best chance for success: require all first-time summer campers to do the swim test in a pool before summer camp. Other swim tests with Del-Mi at the Carmel High School Pool and Pathfinder District at the Southport High School Pool will take place around the same time. Del-Mi’s is often the first weekend of May. More information to follow when it is available.
We are entering summer camp promotion season. If your pack or troop is looking for creative ways to drum up excitement, please let District Commissioner Jeff Heck or District Executive Con Sullivan know.
District’s Order of the Arrow Chapter and Firecrafter Ember have scouts who can visit your scouting unit to help tell the story.
District wants to work with your unit to have your unit’s participation be as high as possible.
Every year the Crossroads of America Council’s International Committee sponsors two counselors from overseas to staff at Camp Ransburg and Camp Krietenstein.
This year we have a young lady from England at Camp Ransburg. She is serving as a Ridge Commissioner. She is enjoying herself thoroughly.
We also have a young man from Taiwan at Camp Krietenstein. He is working in the ecology area, if memory serves. He is amazed by the amount of land that we have dedicated to a boy scout camp at Camp K West.
Please make sure to get to know them and make them feel welcome.