Troop 343 is hosting a BSA Swim Check on Monday Apr. 1 at MSD of Pike Township Aquatics Center, 5401 71st St., Indy, 6 – 8 pm. All North Star Troops interested in sharing this opportunity should contact Brian Crow at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than March 18. Please see the following handouts for more details:
For Scouts needing a swim test with a certified lifeguard – check out the Zionsville Aquatic Center at Zionsville High School, 900 Mulberry Street.
Call 317-733-4808 or email email@example.com to schedule a time.
Cost is $10 per Scout.
Please use that same contact information to inquire about swim tests for a group of Scouts, as that would be handled with a different schedule setup.
See this Zionsville Aquatic Swim test page for more details.
On behalf of North Star District Camping Chair Paul Kovach:
Cubmasters, Scoutmasters and Unit Committee Chairs:
Finances should never be a reason for a Scout not to attend camp. Crossroads of America Council offers a Campership program where recipients can be awarded up to 50% of the early summer camp fee in exchange for performing an age-appropriate service project.
Please encourage families in your units to take advantage of Camperships. Significant funds are still available to scouts that want to attend summer camp but whose families may have some financial hardship. Campership applications will be considered until funds are exhausted, on a first come first served basis.
The links below will bring you to the appropriate camp page and to the Campership application:
Thanks and Yours in Scouts,
North Star District Camping Chair
As mentioned here last week:
Any North Star units interested in sharing the April 2, 2018 Swim Test opportunity with Troop 343 should contact Brian Crow (for confirmation or even just questions!) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE at ScouterBrianCrow@gmail.com.
The Swim Test is being held that evening at:
MSD of Pike Township Aquatics Center
5401 West 71st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46268
Time: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Summer camp starts in just about 90 days. Is your unit signed up? Do you have a scout who wants to go but can’t go the same week as your pack or troop?
There are promotional materials that you can use with your unit. You can use a YouTube Video (Cub Day Camp or Adventure Camp). You can request a presentation team to come in and help promote summer camp. You can print out Commitment Cards to hand out at a meeting with deposit information included.
You will need a current health form (same form for all levels of scouting), so get those appointments scheduled now before the doctors’ offices get swamped.
Campership financial aid is available for all eligible scouts. Inability to pay is no reason for a scout to miss summer camp. Speak with your unit chair to assist with this process.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
Camp Belzer Day Camp. Camp Belzer is here in Indianapolis, hidden behind Lawrence Central High School and across Fall Creek and its namesake boulevard from the Scout Center. This makes Camp Belzer a great place for a day camp. For some families it is a hop, skip, and jump away from Washington Township. For others it takes more thought, but is do-able.
It is available from June 11, 2018 to July 21, 2018. You can register your pack here. (Please make sure that you have one parent in charge of this process to avoid confusion or duplication of effort.) You can get more information on the Camp’s website.
This year is Camp Belzer’s Centennial, so you don’t want to miss the celebration! They will kickoffwith a Firecrafter Kick Off with Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb. They will have a Beler Staff Reunion on June 30, 2018 at 1:00 pm. They will have a July 4th celebration open to the public.
This is highly recommended for Tiger through Bear Cub Scouts (based on the badge they will pursue in September 2018). A Webelos option is available, too.
Camp Kikthawenund’s Adventure Camp. Adventure Camp is an overnight camp held at Camp Kikthawenund in Frankton, Indiana (north of Noblesville by 15 minutes). Adventure Camp supports and utilizes the aims and methods of Scouting as an integral part of the camp program. Adventure Camp will provide an opportunity for Wolf, Bear Webelos, and Arrow of Light Scouts to go camping at the region’s premier Cub Scout Camp. No Tag-a-long program. The eleven different sessions begin on June 10, 2018 and end on July 21, 2018. This is a 3-night/4-day program with overnight camping expected. This is highly recommended for Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts.
Other District Day Camps. Some of our neighboring districts offer day camps. The one that might have the most potential is Sugar Creek District at Camp Cullom in Frankfort, IN the week of June 25th. If you talk real sweetly to our District Executive Jessica Hofman, she might be able to persuade her former district to allow you to participate. If there is interest in holding our own District Day Camp in the future, contact Jessica about your thoughts.
Camp Belzer Day Camp. Yes, Belzer has programming for Boy Scouts, too. There is a Baden Powell program that focuses on merit badge classes and Dan Beard program that focuses on completing First Class Rank. This is a great way for individual boy scouts to complete some of their required merit badges for First Class and Eagle done so that they can truly dive into the elective merit badges with their troop at Camp Ransburg or wherever else the troop goes.
Camp Ransburg. Troops can sign up and have the parents pay the camp directly and schedule the merit badge classes online. This is a week-long resident camp with the troop on Lake Monroe. If an individual scout cannot go with his troop or wants to do additional weeks, we can work with that scout to have him participate with another troop. North Star troops have been very cooperative with this “contingent scout” method of camping.
Camp Krietenstein. In Center Point, IN, near Terre Haute, Krietenstein offers a more intimate summer camp setting for scouts. It is similar to Ransburg in allowing troop options and contingent scout options.
National Youth Leadership Training (“NYLT”). Formerly known in our council as “White Stag,” NYLT is a program for youth in a troop to prepare for senior leadership in their home troop. It is “Wood Badge for Youth.” The participants spend a week in the summer (or weekends during the school year’s Spring and Fall Sessions) participating in a temporary troop. They experience each role in the life of a troop. At least two troops in the District require this training to an Senior Patrol Leader or Assistant Senior Patrol Leader: Troop 358 and Troop 56 (beginning this year). Talk to their scoutmasters about the impact of this training on their experience in managing the troop. The brochure is available here.
For older scouts, you can even work at summer camp. You won’t get rich, but you will have an enriching experience. Apply now!
If your troop is not participating in High Adventure or you cannot make your schedule coincide, an individual scout or small sub-group of scouts can participate in High Adventure through individual programs, Order of the Arrow Programs, or as a “contingent crew member” joining another under-sized contingent from somewhere else in the country. Learn more at the individual high adventure base websites about all the options available. It’s not too late! Yes, camperships are available here, too, although travel costs are usually excluded. (Talk to us to learn how scouts overcome these problems!)
From Troop 343’s Brian Crow:
MSD of Pike Township Aquatics Center
5401 West 71st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46268
Time: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
All North Star units interested in sharing this opportunity with Troop 343 should contact Brian Crow AS SOON AS POSSIBLE at ScouterBrianCrow@gmail.com.
Each unit is responsible for administering their own swim test. There will be two Red Cross certified lifeguards provided by the Aquatic Center to sign your forms once the tests are completed.
Directions: Find your way to the main high school entrance. The Aquatic Center is just to the left of the main entrance. Enter the Aquatic Center through door 11B. After entering, adults and Scouts should enter the pool deck to the left and find their unit’s designated adult organizer. Anyone not taking the test should go through the doors to the right and up the stairs to the spectator stands.
Each unit’s designated adult organizer should arrive no later than 7:15 p.m. and check in with Brian Crow. Adults and Scouts taking the swim test should arrive ready to test with their swimsuits already on. Locker rooms will not be available for our use.
The cost per unit for the use of the Aquatic Center is $30.00. Please bring CASH to cover your unit’s portion of the cost. Brian Crow will collect the monies the night of the test.
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Crow at ScouterBrianCrow@gmail.com.
Council Program Director Lee Murdoch also reports that Del-Mi will be offering swim tests at Noblesville and Carmel High Schools:
Sunday April 15, 2018
Noblesville High School
18111 Cumberland Road
Noblesville, IN 46060
Entrance door # 7
Contact Adair Vaught at (317) 610-9724
Sunday May 20, 2018
Carmel High School
520 E. Main
Carmel, IN 46032
Entrance door # 21
Contact Reem Okar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 813-7094
Be advised that the rules of operation for Del-Mi are like the rules Brian Crow described for North Star’s Swim Test.
Typically Pathfinder District runs a swim test at Southport High School but Lee does not have those dates and times yet.
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!