UPDATE: 5/7/15. Moved to top of blog. This event does not appear on district calendar because it is a council event. (This blog is a supplement for the Council’s website for North Star, not a replacement.)
The Seventh Annual Central Indiana Merit Badge University, sponsored by Crossroads of America Council, will be held at Greenfield-Central junior high school, May 15 through the 17th, 2015. Greenfield, Indiana is on I 70, 14 miles east of Indianapolis I 465 bypass.
They will be offering 61 different merit badges in 110 classes over five sessions beginning Friday evening and continuing through Sunday morning. Fees vary by session length in cost of supplies. Meals are included during the Saturday sessions. Official BSA adult training courses such as scoutmaster specific training, merit badge counselor introduction, troop committee challenge, and youth protection are available. More information at
Originally posted 4/21/15.
Here’s an interesting article on how to marry the Scout Law with technology-use rules in your troop.
UPDATE: promoted to top.
Mark Maucere of Pack 105, Troop 358, and Crew 358 has announced that, on Monday 4, 2015 at 7 pm, Troop 358 and its chartered organization St Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church in Zionsville hosting an open forum on leadership in the North Star District. The meeting will be in the St Robert’s Room (northwest corner of Wetzel Hall). See event list for location info and RSVP (“ticketing” is for calendaring. RSVP requested in form of “ticket” but not required to attend). District Chairman Steve James and District Commissioner Jeff Heck will be in attendance.
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Effective March 1, 2015, BSA has issued a new Adult Application. It is now required for all Venturers age 18-21, too.
There are also need background questions.
You can download the form here and use it instead of the triplicate version.
The form you submit to the Council Registrar must have an original ink signature. No electronic transmissions or signatures are accepted.
A new application submission must be made for each new position an adult undertakes. Multiple registrations in units and district are accepted. So a scouter can be registered in a Cub Pack, a Scout Troop, and North Star District simultaneously.
The Journey to Excellence Award encourages 100% Trained status among the Scouters in each unit. For many established units, some of the Scouters have been involved for decades with varying levels of active participation with the youth.
Obviously all registered scouters must have a current Youth Protection Training. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
However, for scouters who wish to remain registered with a unit but do not wish to pursue the training requirements of their assistant unit leader (e.g., Assistant Cubmaster, Assistant Den Leader, Assistant Scoutmaster, or Assistant Crew Advisor), a new registration option exists. This will be important at Rechartering because untrained persons will not be Rechartered.
On Thursday, May 7th, the district will hold its next Roundtable. Click the link to provide an optional RSVP, which is requested.
The topic will be the “Ideal Year in Scouting,” presented by Darin Stendl from the Council office, and our future district executive’s supervisor. This is an important topic for Cub Packs and Scout Troops who hold their annual planning during school’s summer break or in August after classes start.
The Ideal Year in Scouting is way to help your scouts plan for the coming year while helping your adult leaders understand how they can support the scout choices. This covers many issues from programming ideas to financing outings.
So who should attend?
Clarke Green runs an impressive blog and podcast at scoutmastercg.com. He makes learning to be a scouter fun and addictive. His 30 years as a scoutmaster come through in every posting.
In an older podcast (Episode 174), he talks with a newly minted scoutmaster running a brand new troop. The scoutmaster recites some of his lessons learned in the field. The most fascinating part was his story about the Scout Banana. Listen to hear his lesson.
What did you learn?
For Cubmasters, this is an invaluable podcast to learn what awaits your Webelos. It demonstrates why scouting works.
As any veteran scouter can attest, the BSA has had a program encouraging unit health and growth for years. Until 2009, the program was called the Unit Excellence Award. From 2010 to 2013, the program was called the Centennial Award. Since 2014, the award is now called the Journey to Excellence Award. All of these have used different measurements to assess the health of pack, troops, and crews, while maintaining similar goals.
For the first two years of the Journey to Excellence, the program has been completely voluntary and incentivized by discounts on various products, such as pinewood derby cars, when specific goals were met.
For 2016 rechartering, this will change. Now the Journey to Excellence Award Report will be a required part of the rechartering packet. That does not mean that units are required to pursue the award. It just means that the units must disclose their statistics at the end of this charter period.
The District is attempting to gather accurate information about your units. We have put together a survey to obtain meeting information.
Please click here to begin.
In order to avoid duplication of effort, we recommend that the Unit Committee Chair either provide the information or delegate someone to answer the survey.
I often listen to Clark Green’s Scoutmaster Podcast and read his blog at www.scoutmastercg.com. In several episodes and posts, he returns to the question of “how to deal with homesickness.”
In episode 171, for example, he talks at length about the importance of encouraging the young scout’s parents to be actively involved in discussions with the scout. The discussions should focus on what the scout can expect at summer camp. Clark also talks about the problems phone calls home from camp create. He underlines this point with research, suggesting that short times away from home are hurt by phone calls home. To avoid these problems, Clark recommends an agreed plan for written correspondence home often but no calls for short to several-week long trips. Clark also describes the importance of mementoes from home to create some familiarity in strange surroundings, such as stuffed animals or favorite items.