Latest Event Updates

YPT Renewal time

Posted on Updated on

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.

 

Cub Scout Recruiting

Posted on Updated on

We are now in the midst of Cub Scout Recruiting. Some quick reminders to all Packs and Troops.Cub Scout logo

(1) Make sure to send your list of names to Con Sullivan from any list of prospects. This list will allow Con to get those prospects on the Council email and text reminder system. The goal is to make sure your prospects show up at your recruitment nights. Photograph your list and email to Con before you leave the ice cream social or other recruitment activity. They may be blurry and need follow up. Sometimes they don’t. To improve success, use an app like CamScanner to change photos into PDFs. They remove background noise and darken written words. You can see the preview before you send it.

(2) Take something to give to kids. You can get a large bag of candy from Sam’s Club or Costco. You will have flocks of kids around your table. Cub Scout pencils and the frisbies from Council are good, too.

(3) Make sure that your prospect has the date, time, and location of your joining night.

(4) Have prospects sign Membership Applications wherever you can. If they want to sign up at an Ice Cream Social, give them the application. Have a credit card reader (like Square.com) on hand to allow immediate dues payment.

(5) Have as many adults in uniform at your recruitment night as possible. If you don’t have many adult leaders in your pack, ask your most supportive troop to send leaders. Troop leaders want to help, but they don’t want to step on pack leaders’ toes. If you ask, troop leaders will be there. Uniforms help re-assure prospective parents that your pack has solid leadership and support.

(6) If you don’t have enough pack parents to cover a school, make sure to ask troop leaders to fill gaps. Make sure they know your program’s basic’s well: cost of dues, annual calendar, recruitment night logistics, proposed den and pack meeting times.  Remember most Troop leaders have never dealt with Lion Cub or the current Cub Scout Advancement program, since the programs are so new. Bring the leaders up to speed.

Good luck!

Council Asking about Going Co-ed

Posted on

Council has called a meeting of District representatives for next week. The topic will be about “Making Scouting Accessible to Families.”

As I noted in a previous post, this really is a questions of whether we should go co-ed throughout our programs.

If you have an opinion on the subject that you would like me to share, please me your thoughts by Sunday, August 13, 2017. I will make sure to include these in the conversation with council officers.

REMINDER: Roundtable Thursday

Posted on Updated on

Just a quick reminder that Roundtable will be Thursday, August 10, 2017 at Luke’s Lodge, the outbuilding on the northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 6th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Cub Scouts: Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner Bill Buchalter will be leading the Cub Scout breakout. He will be giving a prototype Den Meeting. This is designed for Den Leaders to see a Den Meeting being run. This is especially valuable for new Den Leaders; Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 11.01.01 AMconfused, veteran Den Leaders; and prospective, future Den Leaders (aka “parents you would like eto recruit as Den Leaders”). We will have a short discussion of how Lion Den Meetings (i.e., kindergartners) are different than Tiger (1st grade) through Webelos (4-5th grade), too. We will look at existing resources and strategizing how to use these resources and parent assistance.

Side note: To get your Den Leaders to the meeting, the most important step is to invite them to come with you. One of the biggest reasons Den Leaders do not attend is they don’t know about Roundtable. The second biggest reason is that they think Roundtable is meant for Cubmasters and Pack Committee Chairs. To put it gently, this is wrong. Roundtables are most valuable for Den Leaders. They have the most face-to-face contact with Cub Scouts of any scouter. An invitation helps resolve these problems. Cubmasters, pick up the phone and call each Den Leader. Ask them to come. Then follow up with a blast email.

The third biggest reason your Den Leaders don’t attend is child care. Think about joining forces to take care of childcare.

Boy Scouts: Jeff Heck will be leading the Boy Scout Roundtable. (We are still looking for a Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner.) The Boy Scout Roundtable will be focused on Fall Recruitment Planning. Please invite your Troop Membership Chairs to attend. This topic will apply equally well to our Venturing Crews, too.

Cub Scout Back to School Planning

Posted on

Thank you to all of our Cub Scout Packs for sending representatives to our Membership Rally on July 22nd. We had only two units that could not send representatives that day. They had their material picked up within two business days!

That is fanastic. Thank you for being so dedicated to your boys and the growth of their units.

Now the work begins.

Remember, families are easiest to recruit when they know what they are being asked to do. That means that you need a Pack Annual Calendar, a cost of the program per scout for the year, clear publications stating the Pack dues and their due dates. I highly recommend setting tentative den meeting times. Make it clear that the dens can change times.

The council is working to recruit Latino boys. If you feel that your unit would be well served by having a Spanish speaking interpreter at Back to School Night, please email Jeff and let him know the dates you need the interpreter. We cannot guarantee all requests can be fulfilled, especially all on the same night. Even so, if we don’t have a request for services, we can’t serve.

If you have other questions, please let us know as early as you can, so that we can help solve problems.

Invitation to Join Crew 56 (and other crews)

Posted on

Tonight (Wednesday, August 2nd) at 7:00 pm, Crew 56 is holding its organizaitonal and planning meeting. The meeting will be at Luke’s Lodge, on the northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s UMC, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Crew 56 is the only Venturing Crew in North Star District within several miles of Meridian Street or our district’s side of Washington Township.

The crew will be electing its inaugural officers, planning the annual calendar, and discussing long-term high adventure options. Some of the high adventure items under discussion include the Boundary Waters canoeing, Sea Base sailing and scuba diving, World Jamboree in West Virginia in 2019, trips to Konderstag, Switzerland’s International Scout Centre, hikes on the Appalachian Trail or the El Camino (the pilgrimage route to San Juan Compestello in northeastern Spain), and many others.

Venturing Crew 56 is a co-ed unit for boys and girls aged 14 to 20. (Former girl scouts can wear their Gold Award on their Venturing uniform.)

Boy Scouts can be dual registered with a troop. They can continue their pursuit of Eagle Scout while in a crew, so long as their primary BSA registration remains in their home troop (meaning the unit that pays his BSA dues). The Crew welcomes scouts, friends, sisters, etc., from nearby troops such as Troops 18, 35, 56, 174, 269, 343, and 514.

Come join Crew 56 tonight.

 

If you live too far away from Crew 56 or your troop has a sister crew, please send Jeff an email about recruitment nights and other chances for new members to join you. We would love to grow our existing crews. We need information to be better serve those crews.  We will help you publicize your efforts, too!

REMINDER: August District Meetings

Posted on Updated on

We are back to work in August.

District Committee will meet Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm on the fourth floor of Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

District Commissioner and Unit Commissioners meet on Thursday, too, at 6:00 pm.

District Roundtable will be a Luke’s Lodge on the northeast corner of campus of St Luke’s UMC, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260.  PLEASE BRING A DEN LEADER who has never come before. We are focusing on serving our dens this eyar. More information on topics to follow in the next several days. Watch this page for details.

Comments on President’s Speech

Posted on Updated on

NOTE: This is a long article. I apologize for its length. I hope it serves to give leaders in need of resources to respond to parental concerns what support they seek. This cannot be addressed flippantly or dismissively. The concerns need to be addressed with care, campassion, and education. The media has not served us well on any of those fronts.

As always comments are welcome when in the spirit of the Scout Oath and Law.


As the world now knows, on Monday, July 24, 2017, President Donald Trump spoke to the Boy Scout National Jamboree. The presentation received a raucous response from those present and howls of derision and anger from the news media. Whatever your political beliefs, they are probably on the spectrum between these two poles.

As part of my summer duties as North Star District Commissioner, I strive to visit each unit at summer camp, especially the Packs attending Camp Belzer and the Troops attending Camp Ransburg. Troops that camp outside of council or Packs that attend Camp Kikthaweneund are beyond my ranging.

Since most of our units camped before the President’s speech, I did not hear opinions from those units. From the handful that I met with after The Speech, I heard a wide range of opinions. What was most interesting was that those I spoke with closer to The Speech were more favorable and less critical. As time passed, I heard fewer favorable comments and more critical comments. Read the rest of this entry »

Firecrafter report: week 8

Posted on

Reminder: Saturday recruitment rally

Posted on

Do’t forget the Cub Scout Recruitment Rally this Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Luke’s Lodge. For more details, click here.