One of the lessons we learned from the Memorial Day grave dressings is that our cemetaries in North Star need a lot of tender loving care. I took some photos of Fall Creek Cemetary at just eat of the 4000 block of Keystone at Millersville Rd. (Unfortunately, I don’t have my camera with me to post the photo. I will try to post it here later.)
The fencing and edging looked like something out of Scooby Doo.
There are reportedly a number of Pioneer Cemetaries in the District that need some clean up.
While Eagle Projects cannot involve maintenance like mowing, they can beautify and restore weathered older facilities. Troop 343 recently had an example of that.
Also in placing Memorial Flags at the cemetaries, we saw how many veterans were not getting flags placed at their graves. Our mission Saturday was to place flags at past members of the American Legion. Not all veterans are members of the American Legion. That means that many were skipped, even though their gravestones clearly identify their unit of service and often the war in which they served.
This lends an opportunity to an Eagle Candidate to help assure that we can better serve these late veterans and their families. I don’t know what Crown Hill has on record about the veterans buried there. I have asked for better maps from them. Hopefully we will find out at the District Committee meeting tomorrow when Crown Hill’s staff might visit us.
Think about Eagle Projects for all of these cemetaries in our District. There are plenty of opportunities for lasting effects from our Eagles.
We had a great turn out for the grave dressing with American Legion Post #3. Thank you to all the troops and packs that participated!
From Scoutmaster Ron Wells:
Troop 343 continues to give back to PIke Township: On Monday, May 22nd members of the troop “dressed” approximately 200 graves of veterans for Memorial Day in Bethel Cemetery located in the 5200 block of W. 52nd St. Attached are some photos of the event.Eagle Scout candidate Jonathan Appleton recently completed his Service project at the cemetery also. A large amount of brush was removed revealing several headstones that had been obscured for decades. Scouts also cleaned several headstones with a special fluid that preserved them and still allowed them to not be damaged during the process.
Remember your unit can do grave dressing this Saturday with American Legion Post #3 at 7:30 am. Be there for breakfast, served by the Post members. The Post Commander Rees Morgan, a long-time scouter in North Star, too, will have some remarks and then give the Packs, Troops, Crews, OA Chapter members, and Firecrafter Ember members present their assignments among Union Chapel Cemetary and Crown Hill Cemetary.
Last year we had the better part of 120 scouts, scouters, and family members present. Let’s try to beat that attendance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We value this opportunity to join scouts, scouters, and legionnaires together for this meaningful event.
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!
Spring Camporee Success. The 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.
North Star Ember Chief
North Star Ember Advisor
Remember at Camporee, District will offer basic leadership training for youth. It is called Introduction to Leadership Training for Troops. Make your reservation now!