Programming

2015 Central Indiana Merit Badge University

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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 contcrossroads_patchinuing 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

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-central-indiana-merit-badge-university-registration-16461141718?aff=eac2

Originally posted 4/21/15.

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How do we improve our Trained status for our unit?

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The Journey to Excellence Award encourages 100% Trained status among the Scouters in each unit. For many established units, some of the Scouters have been involved for decades with varying levels of active participation with the youth.

Obviously all registered scouters must have a current Youth Protection Training. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

However, for scouters who wish to remain registered with a unit but do not wish to pursue the training requirements of their assistant unit leader (e.g., Assistant Cubmaster, Assistant Den Leader, Assistant Scoutmaster, or Assistant Crew Advisor), a new registration option exists. This will be important at Rechartering because untrained persons will not be Rechartered.

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What does a “Scout Banana” teach a Scoutmaster?

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Clarke Green runs an impressive blog and podcast at scoutmastercg.com. He makes learning to be a scouter fun and addictive. His 30 years as a scoutmaster come through in every posting.

In an older podcast (Episode 174), he talks with a newly minted scoutmaster running a brand new troop. The scoutmaster recites some of his lessons learned in the field. The most fascinating part was his story about the Scout Banana. Listen to hear his lesson.

What did you learn?

For Cubmasters, this is an invaluable podcast to learn what awaits your Webelos. It demonstrates why scouting works.

Preparing for Homesickness

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I often listen to Clark Green’s Scoutmaster Podcast and read his blog at www.scoutmastercg.com. In several episodes and posts, he returns to the question of “how to deal with homesickness.”

In episode 171, for example, he talks at length about the importance of encouraging the young scout’s parents to be actively involved in discussions with the scout. The discussions should focus on what the scout can expect at summer camp. Clark also talks about  the problems phone calls home from camp create. He underlines this point with research, suggesting that short times away from home are hurt by phone calls home. To avoid these problems, Clark recommends an agreed plan for written correspondence home often but no calls for short to several-week long trips. Clark also describes the importance of mementoes from home to create some familiarity in strange surroundings, such as stuffed animals or favorite items.

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Stu announces dates for Camporees

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In his wrap-up message for the Spring 2015 Camporee, Camporee Chair Stu Bowes announced the dates for the Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 Camporees.

The 2015 Fall Camporee will be held at the Blind School from Friday, October 9 through Sunday morning, October 11, 2015.

The 2016 Winter Camporee is scheduled for January 22-24.

RSVPs can be made on the Events page.

Looking forward to seeing you all again next Camporee!

2015 Spring Camporee memories

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Below are a few pictures from the very rainy 2015 Spring Camporee held from April 24- 26, 2015 at Camp Cullom in Frankfort, Indiana.

Friday night with Troop 18

Saturday morning with Troop 343:

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Camporee campsites and competitions

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Campsite Assignments 

1- Shelter House/Playground (#2+3)              T343
2- Field Across from playground (T6)            T18 
3- Field Across from playground (T7)            T35
4- Nuthatch (will be used for OA Call Out and Saturday Night Campfire)
5- Outback (#19)                                T73
6- Sugar Maple Ridge (#21)                      T69
7- Cottontail (#22)                             T804
8- Sassafras Grove (#24)                        T358
9- Hill Top (#28)                               T586 
10- Blue Bird Meadow (#31)                      T269Camp Cullom map of camp ground


 Patrol Competitions 

T343 – Lost & Found (compass)
T358 – Fire Building
T69  – Wilderness Basketball
T586 – Into The Wild
T804 – Knotty Survival Relay
T18  – Wilderness Shelter Building
T73  – Wilderness Rescue Relay
T269 – Hypothermia Challenge
Stu  – Are You Smarter Than Your Scoutmaster?

Council’s 2015 Cub Scout Recruiting & Marketing Plan

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UPDATE (6/24/15): Post moved to top of page in preparation for June District Committee Meeting.

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On April 21, 2015, the Council held its semi-annual council operations meeting. This meeting is a chance for Council to outline its business plan for the next six (6) months and outline the responsibilities for the districts in carrying out those plans. The intended audience is the District’s Committee Chair, Vice-Chairs for Programming (with break outs for advancement, camping and activities), Communications, Membership, and Development, and the Commissioner.

Thanks to District Attendees


Since North Star is not fully staffed yet, the only persons who attended as a matter of their duties were Committee Chair Steve James and Commissioner Jeff Heck.

More impressively, North Star had many volunteers that took time out of their busy schedules in our response to our calls for help. These volunteers deserve a special note of thanks and appreciation from Steve and Jeff. Both our Roundtable Commissioners Sharla Merrick for Cubs and John Wiebke for Scouts attended sessions on Membership and Programs, respectively. Our co-chair for Eagle Projects and Boards of Review Rick Wittman and his wife Lynn Wittman attended sessions on advancement. Our chapter advisor for the Lowaneu Allanque Lodge of OA John Ruggles attended the camping sessions. Nominating Committee Member Mike Yates attended sessions on Training. Steve attended the session on Activities.

Cub Scout Recruiting & Back to School Night Changes


The central theme of the night is the massive changes that the Council Membership Committee is introducing for an exciting new strategy for Cub Scout Recruitment. The Council Membership Committee’s strategy focuses on making a streamlined process for marketing Back to School Night.

The problem that they identified is that young parents are often confused about how to join Cub Scouts. The solution is to make joining Cub Scouts more familiar. These same parents are familiar and comfortable with pee-wee athletics having a single event to join a pee-wee league. Cub Scouts is mimicking this method.

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BSA acquires Scoutbook. What’s that?

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On April 9, 2015, BSA announced that it has acquired Scoutbook.com. What is Scoutbook.com?

Many troops and packs use TroopMaster and PackMaster to track rank advancement. Scoutbook.com is a web-only competitor.

From a district perspective, one of the advantages of Scoutbook.com is that it makes merit badge counseling across the district easier. Easier for Scouts, Scoutmasters, Counselors, and Parents.

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Spring Camporee 2015

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 North Star is holding its 2015 Spring Camporee at Camp Cullom6815 West County Road 200 North, Frankfort, Indiana  46041, from 6pm Friday, April 24th to Sunday, April 26th.

For more information contact Stu Bowes.

Map Camp Cullom

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