Adult Education

Changes Coming to YPT before Jan. 1st?

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From Crossroads of America Council’s Director of Training Jay Soucy:

There may be changes to the Youth Protection Training that will take [p]lace this year.  I expect to hear more before the end of the month.  Which means it will be out of social Media sooner. 

So, be on the look out and share what you learn first.

How Do I Take Online YPT Again?

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So you want to do your online training for YPT, but you can’t remember where to go?

NOTE: Remember if your YPT expires before March 1, 2018, you need to take YPT or VYPT before October 1, 2017 in order to avoid problems with your unit’s rechartering process this fall.

First, go to http://my.scouting.org.

Second, log in to your existing account. (Try to avoid creating a new account, because it generates a new, separate BSA Membership ID. That can create future problems. But if you need a new login account, you need one.)

Third, using the button in the upper left corner, select “My Dashboard.”

Fourth, using the button just below “My Dashboard,” select “My Training.” Your screen should now look like this:

YPT Training Screen
Your YPT Training screen on my.scouting.org.

Fifth, select “Retake Course.”

Sixth, when you are done, make sure to print out or save your Certificate of Completion.

When does a Venturer Need to Take VYPT?

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In Venturing, you have three categories of members: Youth, Adults, and Venturing Participants. Youth are anyone 17 and younger. Adults are anyone over 21.

The hardest category is Venturing Participants.

Venturing Participants are anyone who is over 18 or will turn 18 in the calendar year. For new members, that means their birthday is in this calendar year. At rechartering for existing youth crew members, they will turn 18 in the following calendar year. Confused yet?

Sometimes knowing the goal is easier than knowing the rule. The goal is that an 18 year old legal adult has completed an Adult Application and Venturing Youth Protection Training. Why wait until a birthday? Those happen all year long? You have better things to do with your time.

Just look at your Venturers. If anyone turns 18 before the next time you do paperwork, have them complete an Adult Application and Venturing Youth Protection (Y02). Then the rules are not as important. Compliance is already complete.

YPT Renewal time

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Youth Protection LogoRechartering opens in 50 days. Nows the time to make sure that you have everyone in your unit up to date on Youth Protection Training.

Remember it is North Star District’s policy that all Youth Protection Training renewals take place between March 1st and October 1st of any given year. This prevents YPT from being any form of barrier to rechartering.

As of this morning, we have approximately 301 offices that have persons in need of updated Youth Protection Training, either for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (code Y01) or for Venturing (code Y02). This is by office, since many scouters serve in more than one office simultaneously.

This is the first time that we have had units recharter with scouters who have previoulsy complied with the March 1st to October 1st cycle. Consequently, we have many to renew.

To make this as easy as possible, please consider offering a Youth Protection Training at your unit meeting. You can use the video from council and follow the facilitator notes or you can have a leader pull up the training on their my.scouting.org account and play it for everyone. Pause the program at the right times and discuss. Then a member of your Unit Key 3 can enter the attendee’s completion in the Training Manager.

We will also be offering the YPT before Roundtable at the August, September, and October meetings beginning at 6:30 pm at St Luke’s UMC.

If you have scouters who have already left your unit but are still on your roster, you can clean up your records very simply. Have your unit committee chair or chartered org rep send an email to the Council Registrar Sharon Cone (scone@crossroadsbsa.org), asking her, “Please enter the membership of {INSERT NAME} as {POSITION} as expired as of {EFFECTIVE DATE}. {OPTIONAL: This person (does/does not) remain a member of the unit.}” This will cause the YPT report to be more accurate within 48 hours of her entering the expiration date. This will reduce later confusion and make rechartering smoother. Remember you cannot move a person to a new office without an Adult Application except through rechartering but it will only take effect January 1, 2018. But you can expire memberships with a simple email.

One of the big improvements this year is that YPT can now be done on mobile devices. You can have a scouter go over in a corner at your meeting and complete the training right now. They will not be able to print the certificate. Have them take a screen shot at completion. It is not as good as certificate, but it is a step. If they are already a member of the BSA and their member id is in their my.scouting.org profile page, it will log the training automatically. If they are not yet a member of the BSA, they will need to log in to their my.scouting.org account and print the certificate before they can join.

 

Cubs can canoe!

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New aquatics rules now in effect – Bobwhite Blather:

In April of this year, however, the rules for Cub Scout aquatics changed to allow a range of activities permitted at the unit level. And while most water activities – the more rigorous and risky ones – are still restricted to Boy Scouts and older, Cub Scouts of all ages can now go canoeing, rowboating and paddle boating – the very things they’ve been doing with their families all along. (And yes, I know some of you have been boating as a purportedly unaffiliated “family” activity to get around the BSA’s safety rules.)

There’s always a catch, though, but it’s not a big deal and isn’t anything you wouldn’t expect. While we no longer have tour permits or tour plans, the requirements for adult leaders to be appropriately trained are still in force. There are two primary unit volunteer training courses for aquatics, and they’re both available online: Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat.

At least two adults are required to supervise any swimming activity – at backyard, public and hotel pools, beaches, lakes, rivers and oceans, whether or not a lifeguard is present. Safe Swim Defense training, completed within the last two years, is required of at least one adult supervising swimming activities, or even non-swimming activities where the water is over knee-deep or there is a risk of submersion. Common sense, though, dictates that as many adults as possible should complete Safe Swim Defense training – and it should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that they complete Youth Protection Training as well. All boating activities likewise must be supervised by at least two adults, one (and preferably all) with current Safety Afloat training.

Now that you’re trained, what can Cub Scouts actually do on the water? Here’s a summary of allowable activities for Cub Scout packs:

Learn to Swim programs for all ages.
Recreational swimming for all ages, divided by ability groups, with only those who are able to swim (who have passed the BSA 100-yard swim test) allowed in deep water.
Snorkeling in confined areas for all ages, divided by ability groups. Only swimmers are allowed in deep water.
Riding in large boats including commercial marine transport such as excursion boats and ferries, as well as larger (capacity of four or more passengers) privately-owned craft on calm waters where all operation is done by adults.
Stable, fixed-seat rowboats and paddle boats on calm, flat water. If a non-swimmer or beginning swimmer is on board, he must be buddied with a swimmer in the same boat.
Canoes on calm, flat water. A non-swimmer or beginning swimmer must be buddied with an adult swimmer in the same boat.
Single-person kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on calm, flat water for swimmers only (non-swimmers or beginning swimmers are not allowed to kayak or SUP).
Tubing on gently-flowing water for Swimmers only.
Don’t forget about the rule requiring that Coast Guard-approved life jackets are to be worn by persons when engaged in boating activities (rowing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding) and in some cases aboard larger vessels as well.

Assisting Special Needs Scouts

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If you ever have issues with scouts who need special attention or special requirements, it pays to know something about how the BSA handles those issues. Here’s an article that introduces some of the ideas.

Sugar Creek Merit Badge Counselor Training

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Merit Badge Counselor Training – May 18th, from 7:00 to 9:00 – Lebanon Branch of Church of Jesus Christ LDS – 2291 Witt Rd, Lebanon, IN

We have an important training opportunity for all scouters, parents of new scouts who want to contribute to the program, and adults who have the skill sets needed to be a merit badge counselor. Please make sure that all your merit badge counselors, and potential merit badge counselors, know about this training and strongly encourage them attend.  The training will be held at the Lebanon LDS Church building on Thursday, May 18th, from 7:00 to 9:00.  The trainer from the council will be Roger Schumacher.

As a merit badge counselor, your mission is to join fun with learning. You are both a teacher and mentor to the Scout as he works on a merit badge and learns by doing. By presenting opportunities for growth by way of engaging activities such as designing a Web page (Computers), performing an ollie and a wheelie (Snowboarding), or fabricating rope (Pioneering), you can pique a young man’s interest in the merit badge subject. Just think: Your hands-on involvement could inspire a Scout to develop a lifelong hobby, pursue a career, become an independent, self-supporting adult, and help the Scout advance toward becoming an Eagle Scout. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.

David Hovde

Sugar Creek District Training Chair

Noah at Voyageur?

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Will Noah bring his canoe and animals to Voyageur second weekend next weekend?

What does a Chartered Organization Representative do?

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An organization sponsoring one or more scout units is a Chartered Organization. This is an organization who has entered into an agreement with Crossroads of America Council to follow the BSA system. Part of that agreement requires the Chartered Organization to appoint a member of the organization or a staff member of the organization to serve as the Chartered Organization Representative.

So that begs the question: what is a supposed a Chartered Organization Representative do?

A Chartered Organization Representative is supposed to serve as the chief scouting officer of the Chartered Organization. The COR makes sure that the scout units at the chartered organization have sufficient adult leaders as committee members, scoutmasters or cubmasters, and den leaders. The COR serves as a liaison between three organizations: (1) Crossroads of America Council as a voting member at the council annual meeting and as a voting member of North Star District, (2) the Chartered Organization, and (3) the scout unit.

Healthy scout units have active CORs. CORs visit unit meetings often enough to be aware of the unit’s needs and strengths but is not necessarily an active unit leader day-to-day. (CORs can serve concurrently as unit chairs, but not cubmaster or scoutmaster.) Active CORs have a specific role at the District level, so that the unit is providing resources to district and the district is responsive to a unit’s needs.

If your COR is not able to fulfill those duties personally, you should inquire whether a new COR is the best practice. If the Chartered Organization has a limited of persons who are eligible to serve as COR, you should work with your Unit Commissioner on finding the optimal solution for your COR.

Remember that the Chartered Organization has entered into a contract to appoint a COR who is able fulfill those duties. With that in mind along with “A scout is trustworthy [and] helpful . . .,” all CORs should be considering what their passion is that would make a meaningful contribution to District.

Please prepare your COR to expect to be asked to do some work for District. This can be specific tasks, such as serving as Camporee staff for a day or two a year or serving as an event staff for 500 Festival Parade activities of units. This can also be to accept a district committee position.

Since past practices ignored the proper role for CORs, there is a wide-spread reluctance to ask the COR to actively serve scouting. As a District, we are moving to Best Practices in many different ways. Asking CORs to actively serve, having the Chartered Organization to appoint new CORs, or having the Chartered Organization work with their Unit Commissioner to find a solution is one of those steps toward Best Practices.

Since “A scout is . . . help, friendly, [and] courteous . . .,” we are asking for your help to the implementation of this Best Practice as painless as possible. We understand that change can induce stress. This is a start of a process that will last for an indefinite period of time.  The vision is clear and simple: have contributing CORs at the unit- and district-levels. The path to the vision is more obscure. Your input on how to make it successful is most welcome. Thank you in advance for your constructive input to make the path toward Best Practice less obscure.

Building Healthy Units: Oasis Teams

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As the academic year winds down, many scouting units are thinking about leadership transitions and upgrades.

Transitions occur when Cub Leaders leave their packs to follow their son(s) to a boy scout troop. They occur when Scoutmasters retire when their son(s) reach Eagle of 18 years old. They occur when a scout leader has health issues.

Leadership upgrades occur when a handful of scout leaders seek to fill the many vacancies in their unit’s committee. Upgrades occur when leaders switch roles to refresh their own excitement and engagement or move into positions better suited to their individual talents: a banker moves into a treasurer’s role, a teacher moves into a scoutmaster corps role.

Some units are in communities where there are few adult volunteers available or few scouts to recruit. We informally call these areas “scouting deserts.”

District is looking to build teams of experienced scouters who can help offset some of the problems with scouting deserts. These experienced scouters are being asked to serve as part of our new “oasis teams.”

In our ideal vision an oasis team would be a semi-permanent team of scouters who would work together for a year or so. In that period of time, they would work together to rebuild or refine existing units or serve as an organizational committee for new units. In the vision, the oasis team would consist of 4-6 members per team. They would serve as a temporary unit committee or supplementation to a beleaguered unit committee.

The oasis team would assure that the unit has an annual calendar of activities and meetings; a unit budget that identifies the cost of a year’s program to a scout’s family; a fund raising plan to make sure all scouts can afford scouting; and a succession plan for the unit’s families to take over full time management of the unit with 4-6 months.

The transition plan would have the annual calendar and budget done in the first 60 days with the Oasis Team taking the lead. The plan would have the Oasis Team identify successor for each key position in days 61 through 120 and implement a training plan to have those successors 100% trained by Day 120. The successors would shadow the oasis team member who is mentoring the new volunteer. From days 121 to 180, the oasis team would switch roles. The oasis team mentors would shadow the new volunteer’s first steps in the role. At the end of six months, the oasis team would be replaced with a New-Unit Commissioner to advise the entire unit.

Ideally, North Star could use three Oasis Teams right now. That means we would like 18 experienced scouters.

Please contact Jeff Heck if you know a candidate for serving in this role. We would love to build these teams and begin implementing them before the end of May 2017.