As summer camp draws near, we in scouting are entering the height of “Advancement Season.” More work toward advancement will occur in the next 75 days than at almost any other time of the year. Some of this is due to participating in merit badge sessions for boy scouts and day camp activities for Cub Scouts.
For many years, most scouters relied on learning the rules of advancement by watching and experiencing our home unit manage advancement. We would learn to improve on these techniques by attending classes or through casual conversations with other scouters. Few of us had ever seen the Guide to Advancement.
As with most BSA publications up to 2013, if you wanted to read it, you had to pay for it. The Guide to Advancement was always a recommended book to have on a unit’s shelf, but few units purchased a copy or updated it regularly.
One of my son’s fellow Cub Scouts had a father a bit older than me. The father still had his Cub Scout shirt from the 1960’s with the Lion Cub Rank. This was the predecessor to the Arrow of Light and Webelos program. Webelos originally meant “Wolf, Bear, Lion: WBLs.”
Now BSA is pilot testing a reintroduction of the Lion rank. Instead of the highest rank, Lion would be a new rank for kindergarteners, similar to the Girl Scouts’ Daisies. Minnesota’s Northern Star Council was first. It has now expanded to the Garden State Council and Western Massachusetts Council.
There are a handful of very valuable websites for adult scouters outside of the official BSA websites. One that should be a special focus for Unit Committee Members is Bobwhite Blather. This is recent written by a long-time Troop Committee Chair.
In a recent article, Bobwhite Blather talks about the important of Roundtable attendance and its effect on the unit.
I would recommend sharing the article with all of your adult leaders in your Pack, Troop, or Crew.
This summer is going to be busy in preparation for our unified Back to School Night for Scouting on August 27, 2015. That means that the District will be stretched thin in August and September trying to serve all of our Cub Packs.
In preparation for an expected large influx of new Cub Scouts, District is emphasizing the need to train our Cub Leaders as early as possible to avoid the September rush of new leaders (which will also be required for Fall Rechartering).
Council is offering Cub Leader position specific training at the Golden Burke Scout Service Center on August 4th, August 12th, September 1st, September 8th, September 22nd, October 6th, and October 13th.
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From time to time our District subcommittee chairs receive emails providing updates on program changes within that subcommittee chair’s area of expertise. Here is an email sent out from Regional Training regarding changes to the Cub online training program:
Online Training for the New Cub Scouting Program
The online training for den leaders, Cubmasters, committee chairs and members, and chartered organization representatives [is being] updated with the help of volunteers from around the country. The new training will be divided into shorter, more targeted modules so leaders can get the training they need, in the order they want, any time they need it.
The new training is organized into time-based sections:
- the learning needed prior to the first meeting
- within the first 30 days, and
- training needed to be considered position-specific “trained.”
The new training will be implemented in conjunction with the BSA’s new learning management system. The anticipated timing for launching this new tool is June 30, 2015. Keep an eye on my.scouting.org for more information.
Philmont Training Sessions for Cub Scouting Program
Cub Scout leaders have a chance to visit Scouting paradise and learn more about “Leading the New Cub Scout Adventure.” Four sessions are offered by the volunteers who designed the program and wrote the new youth handbooks and leader training materials. Visit the Philmont Training Center site to learn more.
More information about the new Cub program is available at Scouting magazine. Remember the new advancement rules are effective June 1, 2015 for all but the newly classified Arrow of Light Year Webelos. They have some options of new versus old requirements.
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UPDATED (5/18/15 at 11:55 am): promoted to top of page.
Have you ever wondered what a commissioner is? Have you ever wanted to be trained as a commissioner?
Monday, May 18th will be your opportunity to come learned about being a commissioner. It is in opportunity to serve units. It’s an opportunity to learn more about how Scouting is supposed to work. It gives you the opportunity to see other units in action so that you can take some of these ideas back to your home unit.
Join us at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St., Indianapolis. We will be entering on the north side of the building at entrance six or seven. Classes for unit commissioner basic training and assistant district commissioner start at 7 PM. If you’re interested in attending, send an RSVP through the event calendar .
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Several units in the North Star District have quietly honored our late military servicemen.
Two separate American Legion Posts have teamed up with local scouting units to gather and give respect for military members who have died. Each gathering is a little bit different.
In Zionsville, the American Legion Post #79 hosts the scout units on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Post #79 serves as the chartered organization for Pack 105, Troop 804, and Crew 408. These units will gather together. The units will then break into teams to place flags on military graves in and around Zionsville.
In Broad Ripple, the American Legion Post #3 hosts a slightly different event on Saturday, May 23, 2015. This event is open to all scout troops, regardless of chartering organization. For the past 10-15 years Troop 18 has participated. In recent years, Pack 35 and Troop 35 have participated, too. Post #3 serves breakfast beginning at 7:00 AM at the Post, located at 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220. This Post places flags at Union Chapel Cemetery and Crown Hill Cemetery. To participate in the breakfast, the Post asks for RSVPs by Wednesday via email to Rees Morgan or by phone to (317)924-2154.
If units decide to participate in the Post #3 event, please provide statistical information at this link. This does NOT replace the need to contact Mr. Morgan, but it does help the District Programming Committee track participation in community events.
Are the boys in your scout troop or venturing crew planning on attending tomorrow’s opening of our chapter’s Order of the Arrow ordeal weekend? If they received their written invitation to be a candidate for the ordeal or for brotherhood, they should plan on attending.
Existing brotherhood members of the Order should plan on attending to enjoy some time of fellowship. Please make sure to visit our chapter website to turn in your reservation.
What is Order of the Arrow? It is the official honorary society of the Boy Scouts of America. It is a unique honorary society. Candidates are elected by all the boys in their troop to become candidates for the Order.
Remember that adult scouters and youth members who have moved to our district should transfer their membership in the Order of Arrow to our chapter. Membership is based on the member’s district where his active unit is located not where the member was originally inducted.
Ordeal candidates, ordeal members, brotherhood members, and vigil honor members, join us at Camp Redwing!
UPDATE: 5/7/15. Moved to top of blog. This event does not appear on district calendar because it is a council event. (This blog is a supplement for the Council’s website for North Star, not a replacement.)
The Seventh Annual Central Indiana Merit Badge University, sponsored by Crossroads of America Council, will be held at Greenfield-Central junior high school, May 15 through the 17th, 2015. Greenfield, Indiana is on I 70, 14 miles east of Indianapolis I 465 bypass.
They will be offering 61 different merit badges in 110 classes over five sessions beginning Friday evening and continuing through Sunday morning. Fees vary by session length in cost of supplies. Meals are included during the Saturday sessions. Official BSA adult training courses such as scoutmaster specific training, merit badge counselor introduction, troop committee challenge, and youth protection are available. More information at
Originally posted 4/21/15.