Venturing

“Camporee” for Venturers?

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Tucker LaPrade, council’s Venturing specialist, will serve as Camp Director at Camp Krietenstein this summer.

I sat down to talk with him a couple weeks ago about what we can do in North Star District for Venturing.

As a result of that meeting, we determined that Council-wide our Venturing Crews needed an inter-crew activity, similar to a camporee. We came up with the idea of a “Venturing Round-Up.”

We are proposing that it would take place at Camp Krietenstein from Friday evening, August 18, 2017 to Sunday morning, August 20, 2017. (The following weekend is another choice, we are considering.) It would include pistol-, shotgun-, and rifle-shooting; a canoeing obstacle course (intended to take 45-60 minutes to complete); a rafting challenge (requiring pioneering skills and carrying a 100-lbs object 200 meters over water); and a chuckwagon cookoff. In the evening will be a traditional scouting campfire and social time.

Crews will complete by contingents of up to 10 venturers. All participants must be enrolled in a Crew somewhere.

We have willing participantsChuckwagon from one Wabash Valley crew offering 25 participants, the council’s shooting sports chairman, several Voyageur instructors, as well as raised eyebrows from others in North Star.

If this sounds interesting to you, your older scouts, your daughters, or Venturing prospects, please let us know that you would wish to participate by emailing Jeff.

Please share this article widely for us and give us feed back by taking this poll as soon as you can.

Welcome to new Crew 56!

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This month we have officially added our fifth Venturing Crew to North Star District! St Luke’s United Methodist Church successfully completed its chartering of its new Venturing Crew. This is the first crew in Western Washington Township in many years.

Venturing Advisor Bill Cherry, long time Troop 56 Assistant Scoutmaster, says, “We would welcome older scouts from neighboring troops. More importantly, we would love to have young ladies join our crew.”

Crew 56 chartered as co-ed and would like to add more young ladies.

Crew 56 will be encouraging all participants to give back to their home scout troop. The crew seeks to enhance the value of the scout troop experience by providing older teenagers and young adults challenges that are beyond the experience and skills of boys under 14 years of age.

Scouts seeking to pursue Eagle rank must maintain their primary registration with their home scout troop and fully participate in the troop. Even so, advancement activities done with the Crew will count toward Eagle rank.

 

Farewell Message from Troop 191 Scoutmaster

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It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Troop 191 will officially close at the end of 2016. Long time Scoutmaster Lawrence Smiley has written me the following letter. I found the letter to be heart-felt and impassioned, so it was worth sharing with you. Mr. Smiley’s list of activities was very creative and worth considering in your troop or crew.

It has been an honor and a privileged to serve Crossroads of America Council for over a quarter of a century as Troop 191’s founder and scoutmaster.  So many great memories of Christ-protected and guided high adventures:
  1. Riding the narrow gauge train from Durango, CO to gain access to The Chicago Basis [twice]
  2. Climbing Mt. Harvard [twice] and Columbia [once]
  3. Canoeing a 50 mile loop in the Boundary Waters [once]
  4. Sailing a homemade tri-hull in the Florida Keys under the command of Captain DeTurk [once]
  5. White water rafting the Missouri River near Buena Vista, CO [twice] and the New and Upper Gulley Rivers in West Virginia [twice]
  6. Shotgun Shooting at private farms in Indiana [most every year]
  7. Rappelling in Red River Forest east of Lexington, KY [most every year]
  8. Snow skiing at Swiss Valley in S. Michigan [most every year]
  9. Hiking sand dunes and swimming at Michigan Dunes State Park
  10. Canoeing the Blue, the Tippecanoe, The Wabash rivers in Indiana [most every year]
  11. Caving Small-Dull Cave near Bloomington or Marengo Cave [most every year]
  12. Water skiing at Lake Lemon [once]
  13. Paint balling on private property [most every year]
  14. Ransburg Summer Camp [every year!]
  15. Hiking the Lincoln Trail from New Salem to Springfield, IL [once]
  16. Biking to Mounds State Park from Hamilton SE High School [once]
  17. Touring the Air Force Museum in Dayton [once]
  18. North Star District Camporees [a few]
  19. And many more adventures that have faded from the corners of my mind!
  20. Weekly Thursday night meetings, way too many too count, where life skills, servant-leadership and character were taught along with earning rank and merit badges and having a ton of fun.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I close down Troop 191 with both the pride of accomplishment of mentoring tons of boys along their trail to manhood and the sadness of closing out a huge chapter in my life as a part of the Boy Scouts of America – from the age of 7 as a Cub Scout to the age of pushing 70 (June 23[]).

* * *
It has been a great ride and fantastic life adventure; and I depart with no regrets and many, many great memories!
Thank you Jeff [Heck] (and Jerry [Simon]), for your service to the Boy Scouts.  I wish you, The North Star District and the Crossroads of America Godspeed, as you continue serving the youth of Indianapolis.
Thank you to Lawrence Smiley and his dedicated staff for their efforts for the boys from Troop 191 at Church at the Crossing.

Bicentential Torch is Coming to Us!

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Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is coming to Boone and Montgomery Counties on October 13th, 2016!

In Montgomery County the torch will be passing through between 10:00am and 12:00pm. In Boone County it will be passing through between 12:30 pm and 2:30pm (at the court house around 1pm and Lincoln Park in Zionsville around 2pm).bicentential-torch-relay-graphic
Follow the torch and support the torchbearers! Follow them on social media. http://indianatorchrelay.com https://www.facebook.com/INTorchRelay/ https://twitter.com/intorchrelay https://www.facebook.com/boonecountybicentennial Download INTorchRelay app and follow the torch.

That’s not all!

That night between 7 and 10pm a FREE block party will take place at the Boone County 4-H fairgrounds. Anyone can attend. This includes Food, Activities for the Kids, Historical information about the counties and much more. Bring a can food item to donate to the Caring Center, Bring a book to donate to the “Boone Counties little Library” and a favorite picture of your location in Boone County.

Download the flyer here.

Ham Radio at Belzer: New Crew and Existing Opportunities

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The WD9BSA group is looking for youth ages 14-21 (boys and girls), for a new Scout Venture Crew forming in the Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America.

It is based at the amateur radio station WD9BSA at Camp Belzer on the Northeast side of Indianapolis, we are looking for youth that are interested in amateur radio, radio technology, emergency communications and preparedness, severe weather spotting and just talking to others around the world on a great amateur radio station. Feel free to contact us for more information at wd9bsa@crossroadsbsa.org

Also, the WD9BSA station is open for all scouts and the public on the second Saturday of each month from 1-7pm (closed July and August). Entrance to the station is located at the northwest corner lower level of the Learning Center. Visitors who have amateur radio licenses may call the station in camp on 147.420 fm simplex or use the 443.000 (+100hz pl) repeater. Upcoming activities may be found on our website. www.wd9bsa.org. Next Open Operations Day is June 11th followed by ARRL Field Day at Camp Belzer June 25-26.

We are also running a weekly net, or on the air gathering, every Monday evening at 7:30 PM on the 443.000MHz repeater, with a 100hz PL tone.  All scouts are welcome, boy or girl, licensed or 3rd party traffic, current or former members.

This is not a broadcast radio station.  We don’t play music and read the news and weather (although we do sometimes share news and weather information, particularly during Skywarn severe weather nets).  As noted above, it’s an amateur (ham) radio station that has applications in emergency preparedness and other areas where Scouts might be interested, as well as just communicating generally with people all over the world.

Amateur Radio is very much a STEM activity and can be integrated as part of the BSA STEM initiative.

 

Prototype Unit Handbook: Request for pack and troop forms

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I am beginning a project that I want to complete by May 30th. I am looking to design a prototype of a new parent handbook.

I am asking for your help.

First I am asking each unit to email me a copy of their current handbook, annual calendar and handout on costs of membership by May 5th. We will use these as sources of best practices. Documents in a word processing file are preferred.

Second, I am looking for a panel of editors to assist in assessing the result and focusing on simplification and clarity.

Some of the concepts I will be building come from Scouting Magazine’s article last spring. They had to be more generic nationally. Ideally we as a district can put in more specifics in a prototype.

Key 3 Conference at Camporee

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On Saturday morning of camporee, we will hold a Unit Key 3 Conference for all the units in North Star District. All unit Chartered Organization Representatives, Committee Chairs, and Unit Leaders (e.g., Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Venturing Advisors) or their substitutes are invited and asked to attend. This includes all Packs, Troops, and Crews.

We have confirmed that we will have special guest speakers Council Scout Executive Patrick Sterrett and Council Commissioner Rick Tardy.

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Rechartering News

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The news from Council is that we had 100% of our units recharter this year.

We still have some units with some issues. The most common one is that the Venturing Crews now need to have Adult Applications for any youth who will have his 18th birthday during the new recharter year. The policy was not clear, but the clarification was more strict than we had assumed.

If your crew has not been advised that you have this problem, please review your records to confirm that you have not omitted any youth’s Adult Application who turns 18 in 2016.

Haunted House for all Ages

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The Children’s Museum’s Pirate’s Revenge Haunted House is now open! Oct. 10th through Halloween. 

This makes a great scout outing for all ages. The Children’s Museum’s Haunted House has haunts with

  1. lights-on for Cub Scouts or other persons who scare easily
    1. Wednesdays–Saturdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m.;
    2. Wednesdays 3:30–8:30 p.m.;
    3. Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.;
    4. Halloween: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
  2. lights-out/frightening for Webelos and Tenderfoot scouts, or other persons who dare to be scared
    1. Thursdays–Saturdays 3:30–8:30 p.m.
    2. No Frightening Hours on Halloween
  3. Xtreme Scream, strongly recommended limited to teens and adults
    1. Oct. 23, 24, & 30: 8:30–11 p.m.

All Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who visit the Children’s Museum Haunted House can earn a patch for free with their paid admission. Ask for the patch at the Bootique’s cashier (sign about patches hangs over her head).

Other special events that are especially appropriate for Cub Scouts, such as Feast with the Witches, is also available. See the Haunted House webpage for more information.

Look for some of your fellow scouts and District Commissioner staff, haunting at Xtreme Scream!

Recruiting Boys by Camping

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One of my regular refrains about recruiting is borrowed. “Get ’em in a tent, and you got ’em.” Boys of all ages want to camp.

When I was a Cubmaster, the most common questions the Cubs asked me was “When is the next campout?!” This was not really a question, so much as a barely contained exclamation on bouncing toes. They were fairly ready to explode.  When the answer was anything other than “tomorrow” they nearly burst like a balloon, looking completely deflated.

The same excitement exists at 11 years old. By the time they get to 15 or 16, they still love tents and campfires. Now the emphasis is less on being outside where they can run and now about time spent together around the campfire. Stories, gossip, favored games, personal challenges, and complaints of the day become a greater bonding experience.

Knowing that boys want to camp at all ages, even if the reasons for enjoyment change, what can we do to improve our recruitment?

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