Youth Training

Advice for SPLs

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Many scoutmasters do not enjoy the start of a new Senior Patrol Leader’s term of office. The new youth leader has a lot to learn. The scoutmaster has to spend time teaching him the ropes, which may feel annoying, since the last SPL had gotten it all figured out. He had not required so much of the scoutmaster’s time as the new guy does.

Sometimes it is is useful to find an ally in getting the new SPL.

Clarke Greene recently posted a podcast about advice to a new SPL.

Take a look at the support materials and additional resources he points out.

REMINDER: Roundtable Thursday

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This Thursday is round table. We will be meeting at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church outbuilding,Luke’s Lodge.

Cub Scouts topic: National Den Award. This is a powerful way to bring your den together and enhance retention.

Boy Scouts topic: using Junior Assistant Scoutmasters. This is a great use of your oldest scouts before they age out. Successful use of JASM’s will increase your rank advancement and participation of early teenagers.

Memorial Day Participation

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Our Packs and Troops made a mighty contribution to honor our deceased service members. Various units made their contributions at different times and different cemeteries. Here is a sampling of some of the stories and scenes that I have collected from this year’s efforts.

American Legion Post #3 in Broad Ripple hosted their annual breakfast this past Saturday morning. Representatives from Packs 18, 35, and 830 (and a recent graduate of Pack 179) and Troops 18, 35, 56, and 269 were present to my knowledge. The Post’s organizer of the event, long-time North Star Scouter Rees Morgan, emcee’d the breakfast. The scouts enjoyed a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and other nibbles. Scout parents (uniformed and non-uniformed) squeezed into the back dining room. The Post is looking forward to completing its remodel of the main meeting room, because they had hoped to have 80 scouts and scouters attend. Instead we packed in 101 scouts and scouters! They need the bigger room.

At the conclusion of the breakfast, Mr. Morgan assigned packs and troops to specific cemeteries. This post mostly covers Union Chapel Cemetery near Keystone at the Crossing and part of Crown Hill Cemetery near the Indianapolis Art Museum. The cemetery pictures above are from the Union Chapel group.

Some older scouts attended as part of our Firecrafter Ember’s contribution to the service project.

Traditionally our Zionsville scouts and scouters work in conjunction with the Zionsville American Legion Post. I do not have any details about their service this year. (Stories and pictures are welcome so that I can update this story.)

Troops 56 and 514 and Pack 514 participated in grave dressing in conjunction with other American Legion Posts. Some of the pictures that Troop 514 Scoutmaster Michael Rodriguez provided to me are below.

Troop 343 meets at Bethel United Methodist Church in Pike Township. Their Scoutmaster Ron Wells sent me the following story:

Troop 343, based out of the northwestside of Indianapolis, has once again placed American flags on the graves of veterans buried in the Bethel Cemetery located in the 5200 block of West 52nd St. Scoutmaster Ron Wells had been mulling over taking over the flag detail for some time and finally contacted the cemetery’s caretaker, Sandra Profant last year.

The Profant family has been maintaining the grounds and placing flags at the cemetery for several decades. Needless to say, Sandra was relieved to pass on her detailed maps, a box of flags, and her own self-assembled binder containing research she found on some of the true heroes of our country to the troop! Last November the troop assembled in darkness and less than favorable conditions to place the flags for Veteran’s Day.

Last Monday, the troop performed flawlessly under more inviting weather and lighting conditions and placed over 200 flags. Our troop has always placed a high value on patriotism, wearing the Scout uniform properly, and respecting those brave citizens who served our country.

Thank you to all the scouts, scouters, and scout families who participated this year to make this a wonderful and memorable event.

Memorial Day Grave Dressing & Breakfast this Saturday

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Each May, the Boy Scouts and the American Legion have joined in placing flags on the final resting place of our nation’s veterans. Post #3 is hosting their annual breakfast for scouts participating in the grave dressing on Saturday, May 28th, at 7:30 AM at Broad Ripple Post 3 on the southeast corner of 64th and College Avenue.

This event is open to scouts whose troops may have a later scheduled time that day to do the grave dressing as a unit.

If there are Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts (especially Firecrafters and Arrowmen), or those from your troops wishing to have breakfast, please sign up here so a headcount is available for the cook staff.  RSVPs for breakfast are due Thursday at 7:00 pm.

For individual Cubs and Scouts, dens, patrols, packs, troops, or crews who plan to assist with the grave dressing. We will have an organizational meeting immediately following the breakfast at 8:00 am (attendance at the breakfast is not mandatory). We will have some opportunities to participate throughout the morning, so if you have a scheduling conflict with the organizational meeting, contact District Commissioner Jeff Heck directly by Friday evening to customize plans. Please sign up with an RSVP for the grave dressing regardless of your ability to attend the organizational meeting.

Please note that the breakfast and the grave dressing have two separate sign ups! Please sign up with both, if you plan to do both.

We value this opportunity to join scouts, scouters, and legionnaires together for this meaningful event.

ScoutmasterCG: Top 10 Ways to Frustrate Youth Leaders

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It is time again for our monthly weekly homage to Clarke Green at ScoutmasterCG.

Clarke, a thirty-year veteran as a scoutmaster, points out 10 ways to frustrate your youth leaders. While Clarke’s articles always have their sweet spot for the boy scout program and higher, I contend that many of these lessons need to be learned by our Cub Scout Leaders, too. Even more so, we often commit the same errors at home with our own children.

I would be fascinated to hear from readers in the comment section below or on Facebook about their thoughts on this article. (Remember to comment, you must have a Word Press or affiliated user name. Comments are moderate for spam, germaneness, and compliance with the Scout Oath and Law.)

So do any of you have personal stories where you violated one of these 10 pointers? What did you learn from the experience? How do you handle similar situations now?

While you are looking at Clarke’s site, make sure to check out his latest book So Far So Good (print or audio). It is the story of a new Scoutmaster learning the ropes as he works with the scouts. While it focuses on boy scouts, Cub Scout leaders can learn, too. They can learn how to teach without being classroom teachers. They can learn more about the goals the Cubs will be attempting to achieve in Boy Scouts, so that the Pack is better preparation for things to come. The Cub Leader can learn how better to explain scouting to new parents, increasing parental involvement and scout retention through better understanding.

Just don’t frustrate your youth unnecessarily!


May 1st Firecrafters to Train Units in Flag Retirement

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Spring Camporee SuccessThe Firecrafters of the North Star Ember would like to extend a warm thank you to all the troops who came out and participated in the Spring Camporee. One of the goals of our organization is to encourage continued participation by our youth in camping, outdoor activities, and Scouting. The activities and fellowship promoted at district camporees is a great opportunity that benefits these goals.

Importance of Scouts in Flag Retirement. At the evening campfire, we were excited to be given the opportunity to perform a flag retirement ceremony. The Boy Scouts is one of the largest organizations that gives communities opportunities to have worn American Flags properly retired. Organizations that also offer this service include the American Legion Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other civic associations. Using flags donated by the Broad Ripple American Legion, one of our service projects for the year will be a flag retirement this Sunday, May 1st.

Invitation to Units and Scouts. We would like to invite Scouting members of the North Star District to attend. We will not just be retiring flags, but also answering any questions you have about proper flag retirement. This may be of great value to upcoming Firecrafter candidates, if they want to include a flag retirement as part of the candidate campfire. One of our goals in carrying out this service project is educating you in this area. We hope to improve your confidence so that in the future, you might consider conducting a retirement as a troop service project or include in your troop ceremonies.

Where: Second Presbyterian Church
7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260
(fire ring in picnic area at north end of the parking lot)

When: Sunday, May 1, 2016

Time: 1:00-2:00 PM

What: North Star Firecrafter Flag Retirement Seminar

The weather for Sunday is not predicted to be as beautiful as the camporee weather. In the event it is raining between 1:00 and 2:00, the meeting will be at the Broad Ripple American Legion Post #3 at 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220. We will still have a mock retirement and answer questions from an inside location.

Jacob Danek
North Star Ember Chief

Greg Hoyes
North Star Ember Advisor

Train your Troop PLC at Camporee

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In 17 days, we will be offering Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops. This is an introductory class for youth. They do not need to be patrol leaders or members of your PLC. RSVPs at the link above by troop headcount, not necessarily name are requested but not required. We need to have sufficient handouts available.

The class will be taught two of the district youngest Assistant Scoutmasters and recent Senior Patrol Leaders, Aryman Gupta of Troop 56 and Tony Ketner of Troop 69.

This class is a prerequisite for White Stag/National Youth Leadership Training.

Graduates of this class will be authorized to run this training at their own troops.

Help us spread the number of youth in the district with this training.


Recruit youth leaders for ILST at Camporee

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At the spring camporee, District will be offering Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops. The facilitators will be Aryman Gupta, Troop 56, and Tony Ketner, Troop 69. These young men will teach patrol leaders and senior patrol leaders and future leaders the basic of troop leadership on Saturday, April 23rd.

Please recruit your scouts to participate.

This class is a prerequisite for White Stag/NYLT. We plan on having a SPL from the summer White Stag course and may be a course director come and visit to discuss what White Stag offers them in June and July.

Make reservations here.NYLT_4k

White Stag Spring Course

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Did you know that National Youth Leadership Training, locally known as “White Stag,” is available three times in 2016?NYLT_4k

Here is the information from Council’s website:

NYLT (White Stag)

NYLT is a six-day course patterned after a month in the life of a unit. Content is delivered in a group and team outdoor setting with an emphasis on immediate application of learning in a fun environment.

The NYLT course integrates the best of modern leadership theory with the traditional strengths of the Scouting experience. Through activities, presentations, challenges, discussions, and audio visual support, NYLT participants will be engaged in a unified approach to leadership that will give them the skills and confidence to lead well. Through a wide range of activities, events, games, and adventures, NYLT participants will work and play together as they put into action the best that Scouting has to offer.

If you have any scouts who would be interested in the spring session, make sure they are signed up soon!