Youth Protection Training v2 and Deadlines!

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To reemphasize –

The BSA published training deadline for YPT2 training is Oct. 1, however our Crossroads of America Council goal is to have 100% of registered adults complete this training by April 30, 2018.  One more short month left!YPT Logo

We want to continue to be a Pacesetter Council for the nation and set the leadership tone by having our training completed well in advance of the deadline.

Please read through our front page post (<== linked here) which gives step by step instructions on getting started and tips for navigating this training.

Also it is recommended that you use Safari (if on a Mac) or Google Chrome (if on a PC).


THANKS for all you do for Scouting!


District SPRING CAMPOREE Leader’s Guide and prep meeting 3/25!

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To all North Star Units –  please see the 2018 Spring Camporee Leaders Guide v2  (<== linked here!) for our Spring Camporee this year.  Rick Aker (North Star District Camporee Chair) is planning on having another Camporee meeting this Sunday, March 25; email and/or blog post to follow with more information.WILLIE'S SIRENS

If you have any questions, Rick’s contact information is in the leader guide.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at our Spring Camporee!!


“Train the Trainer” course for Adult Leaders – April 7, 2018

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There is a “Fundamentals of (BSA) Training” course offered for adults to learn the BSA Training techniques on Saturday April 7, 2018, at the Messiah Lutheran Church, 801 S. Green Street in Brownsburg.

The course is $10 and is limited to the first 20 people that sign up – first come, first serve!  Register by visiting .

See the Train the Trainer Information 7Apr2018 flyer for more information.

Training Leaders

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District Executive Jessica Hofman offers additional encouragement for our required revised Youth Protection Training (supplemental information found elsewhere on this site), as well as a tip for Key 3 Leaders:

“Every Scout deserves a trained leader”. It is a saying that rings true for your Scouts. New in the past month is an updated Youth Protection Training.  ALL REGISTERED ADULTS NEED UPDATED YPT BY 10/1/18.  Being trained in your position is important as well!  As a Key 3 leader of your unit, you are able to pull training reports to see who in your unit has taken trainings online or in person through your my.scouting account.

Online Training

What: All Trainings Available Online


How: Create an account, and have each leader take the training that is for their respective position in addition to youth protection training


A big Congratulations goes out to our district as a whole.  We are the number one district in percent of direct contact leaders trained.  Thank you for all your hard work, and continuing to provide quality Scouting programming to the youth of Northwest Marion County and Zionsville!

Summer Camp Sign Up Season

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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:

Cub Scouts

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.

Boy Scouts

A quick overview is available on the Council website.

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.

Camp Staff

For older scouts, you can even work at summer camp. You won’t get rich, but you will have an enriching experience. Apply now!

High Adventure

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!)

Email called “Are You a Youth Protection Hero?”

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You may have received an email from Council with the above title. You will notice that they are encouraging updating your YPT status by April 30, 2018 using YPT version 2.0.

National has a deadline that ALL volunteers have updated to YPT version 2.0 by October 1, 2018. So why the difference?

This topic came up at this week’s Council Commissioner Staff meeting. No explanation was offered as to why the Council Training Committee has issued this mandate. The best I can advise you is that Council wants to get as many adults trained with the YPT standards before summer camp as possible.

The next question that I asked was whether an in-person version of the training is expected. Our best information is that we will have that available at the end of March 2018. Once that is announced, we should be able to provide live seminars to units and roundtables to help expedite fulfilling this mandate.

In the meantime, please bear with District as we adapt to the new expectations. Encourage your leaders to use the online training as soon as possible. The Del-Mi District Commissioner reported that he has done the online YPT version 2.0 since I last did it. He thought the whole experience went more smoothly than what I reported in the linked article above.

Please be aware that the commissioners’ general consensus that the time estimates on the training modules don’t include quiz time or extra modules on individual slides. The overall time needed is about 20-30% than the computer’s estimates.

We will provide more information when it becomes available.

Stories and the Child’s Developing Mind

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As I have noted before, my latest obsession is Professor Jordan Peterson. His recent book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is a tour de force in offering a way to live a good life. This is not the normal self-help book. This is the work of a deep philosophical thinker, practicing psychologicology research professor, practicing clinical psychologist, and practicing lecturing professor. He thinks about people, studies psychology, uses psychology, and teaches about people and psychology. For example, he understands that knowing what the rules of life and being able to follow them are not the same thing. It takes practice to be an actively moral person.

To that end, his fifth rule is “Do Not Let your Children Do Anything that Makes You Dislike Them.” He opens the chapter this way,

RECENTLY, I WATCHED A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy trail his mother and father slowly through a crowded airport. He was screaming violently at five-second intervals— and, more important, he was doing it voluntarily. He wasn’t at the end of his tether. As a parent, I could tell from the tone. He was irritating his parents and hundreds of other people to gain attention. Maybe he needed something. But that was no way to get it, and his parents should have let him know that. You might object that “perhaps they were worn out, and jet-lagged, after a long trip.” But thirty seconds of carefully directed problem-solving would have brought the shameful episode to a halt. More thoughtful parents would not have let someone they truly cared for become the object of a crowd’s contempt.

Peterson, Jordan B.. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Kindle Locations 2377-2383). Random House of Canada. Kindle Edition. In the chapter he goes on to explain that making a child welcome in the world-at-large is a big job for parents. If the parents like the child, because the child is well-behaved, when the child visits others’ homes or places of business, adults will greet the child warmly. This warm reception will make the child more likely to be well-behaved. Well-behaved kids tend to have an easier time making friends their own age. They are happier and more connected socially. Since we are social animals, this is important.

Read the rest of this entry »

Female Athletes’ Emotional Development in College

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In the Washington Post, from last year that I have been meaning to write about, a fascinating article about emotional isssues that kids in college are facing. The focus of the article that the title suggest the emphasis is on women’s college sports. The content is far broader, even though the persons interviewed are women’s college coaches and affiliate personnel.

One strong passage caught my eye.

Talk to coaches, and they will tell you they believe their players are harder to teach, and to reach, and that disciplining is beginning to feel professionally dangerous. Not even U-Conn.’s virtuoso coach, Geno Auriemma, is immune to this feeling, about which he delivered a soliloquy at the Final Four.

“Recruiting enthusiastic kids is harder than it’s ever been,” he said. “. . . They haven’t even figured out which foot to use as a pivot foot and they’re going to act like they’re really good players. You see it all the time.”

Some of the aspects emphasized apply equally well to scouters working with scouts.

It doesn’t take a social psychologist to perceive that at least some of today’s coach-player strain results from the misunderstanding of what the job of a coach is, and how it’s different from that of a parent. This is a distinction that admittedly can get murky. The coach-player relationship has odd complexities and semi-intimacies, yet a critical distance too. It’s not like any other bond or power structure. Parents may seek to smooth a path, but coaches have to point out the hard road to be traversed, and it’s not their job to find the shortcuts. Coaches can’t afford to feel sorry for players; they are there to stop them from feeling sorry for themselves.

Coaches are not substitute parents; they’re the people parents send their children to for a strange alchemical balance of toughening yet safekeeping, dream facilitating yet discipline and reality check. The vast majority of what a coach teaches is not how to succeed but how to shoulder unwanted responsibility and deal with unfairness and diminished role playing, because without those acceptances success is impossible.

Here is a key conclusion.

The bottom line is that coaches have a truly delicate job ahead of them with iGens. They must find a way to establish themselves as firm allies of players who are more easily wounded than ever before yet demand they earn praise through genuine accomplishment.

From this article we can draw a couple key conclusions:

  1. In our role as scouters, we can help prepare our scouts, boys and girls, for their college experience. We can teach them to deal with “unwanted responsibility” such as cleaning up after dinner or cleaning the latrine and with “unfairness” such as being assigned camp tasks too many times when others have not had their rotation.
  2. We can be the “toughening yet safekeeping, dream facilitating yet discipline and reality check” that is parents to provide for their own kids.
  3. We can be “firm allies” of scouts “who are more easily wounded than ever before yet demand they earn praise through genuine accomplishiment” such as rank advancement, BSA Life Guard training, mile swim patch, or high adventure.

IYOS website rebuild

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What is “IYOS”? It is the “Ideal Year in Scouting.” It is the way for the Crossroads of America Council to tell you what the Best Practices for units will be in the next 12-18 months. What camping opportunities and activities are coming up. When deadlines for summer camp are. When rechartering will take place. When popcorn sales will begin and end. How unit budgets should be developed. How big summer events can be paid for.

Council is in the process of rebuilding the website dedicated to IYOS. Make sure to stop in regularly and monitor the progress. Hopefully you will learn something every time you stop in. We expect the 2018-2019 district calendars to be added in the next couple of weeks.

How to Use Adult Leadership on your Resumé

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So you were recruited to serve as an adult leader for “one hour per week.” Several years later you are amazed by not only what your scouts have learned but what you have learned, too. Do you feel like you have grown as a leader? Have you learned personnel management skills? Project management skills? Adaptation to adversity? Have you taken leadership training courses, such as Den Leader Specific Training or Wood Badge?

When you look at your resume for your next job application, have you included your scouting leadership positions like you would any other job? Why not?

Prospective employers want to see applicants that have challenged themselves and learned along the way. They want to see applicants that have learned lessons from failure, especially on someone else’s dime.

When you go back to your resume, consider the following topics for inclusion on your resume:

  • Job description
  • Risk management
  • Team leadership and delegation
  • Problems solved
  • Leadership training and mentoring

But, don’t look at this only as a way to boost your resume. Look at resume enhancement as a means of recruiting new volunteers. When you talk to scout parents about their life experiences on campouts or during activity breaks, ask them what they do for a living and what their dreams for the future are. If they want to move up into management, suggest that scouting teaches those skills and is a way to get experience. Scouting is as much an experimental lab for adults as it is for scouts.

So look for scout parents who want to grow and recruit them based on what it can do for their careers (never mind networking with scouters who are extremely successful in their professional pursuits.

So make sure you know your scout parents’ resumes. It will work wonders for you.