Guide to Safe Scouting Newsletter

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Did you know that the Guide to Safe Scouting puts out a newsletter twice a year with all of their updates?  Check it out.



Updated Annual Health Form!

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from Bryan on Scouting

There’s an updated Annual Health and Medical Record to use for 2020

Every few years, the BSA updates its Annual Health and Medical Record after consulting with health care professionals, Scout executives, council and camp health officers and other experts to ensure it is up-to-date and helpful.

This was one of those years, meaning a new form is available for everyone to use for 2020. Your AHMR is valid through the end of the 12th month after the date it was administered by your medical provider. For example, if you got your physical on Nov. 3, 2019, it’s valid until Nov. 30, 2020.

Next year will be a transition year, so you can use either the old or new form, but everyone in all Scouting programs must use the updated AHMR form starting Jan. 1, 2021. The old form will be obsolete at that date. So, the BSA recommends using the new form on your next physical exam or if you’re a new participant in 2020.

Since at least the 1930s, the BSA has required the use of standardized health and medical information. The last time this form was updated was in 2014. The changes made this year were minor, such as some conditions listed in the health history section.

You can download the new form here. The Annual Health and Medical Record is required for Scouts and adult leaders who want to go on Scouting events, campouts and high-adventure trips. Note that there are different parts to the AHMR:

  • Part A is an informed consent, release agreement and authorization that needs to be signed by every participant (or a parent and/or legal guardian for all youth under 18).
  • Part B is general information and a health history.
  • Part C is your pre-participation physical exam completed by a certified and licensed health care provider.

Which part must be completed?

  • For all Scouting events: Part A and B. Give the completed forms to your unit leader. This applies to all participants for all activities, day camps, local tours and weekend camping trips less than 72 hours.
  • For events or camps: Part A, B and C. A pre-participation physical is needed for resident, tour, or trek camps or for a Scouting event of more than 72 hours, such as Wood Badge and NYLT. The exam needs to be completed by a certified and licensed physician (M.D. or D.O.), nurse practitioner or physician assistant. If your camp has provided you with any supplemental risk information, or if your plans include attending one of the four national high-adventure bases, share the venue’s risk advisory with your medical provider when you are having your physical exam.
  • For high-adventure trips: Part A, B and C. Plus, each of the four national high-adventure bases (Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont and the Summit Bechtel Reserve) has provided a supplemental risk advisory that explains in greater detail some of the risks inherent in that program. Please review these as some Scouts or leaders may not be physically or mentally able to handle the trek. Others arrive at a high-adventure base without discussing that base’s risk factors with their health care provider, meaning they have missing info at check-in that can slow down the process.

How do I fill it out?

Please review and complete the AHMR fully and carefully. If you have any questions how to review it, read this BSA Safety Moment or look at these frequently asked questions. Remember, these completed forms must be secure, so they are not to be digitized, scanned, emailed or stored electronically by unit leaders.

Friends of Scouting (presentations needed)

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The Units listed below still need to sign up for their FOS 2020 presentation.  Please contact Spencer as soon as possible to set this up.

Pack 35

Pack 73

Pack 84

Pack 105

Pack 174

Pack 179

Pack 514

Pack 625

Pack 718

Pack 830

Troop 35

Troop 72

Troop 171

Troop 219

Troop 512

Troop 514

Crew 358



Spencer Young  |  North Star District Executive 

Crossroads of America Council #160
7125 Fall Creek Road North
Indianapolis, Indiana  46256
P: 317-813-7085  



2020 Ransburg Camp Staff Applications – now open

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camp staff banner.png
from: Ryan Kelleher
2020 Ransburg Camp Staff Applications – Now Open
Dear 2019 Camp Coordinators,
Serving on summer camp staff is a defining experience for many Scouts and one that helps to solidify the skills learned over their entire Scouting experience – all in one summer.
Applications for the 2020 Ransburg Summer Camp Staff are now open, and we need your help to get the word out! Would you be willing to send this email or an announcement out to all Scouts, Parents, and Leaders in your Troop?
Interviews begin occurring over the first weekend in January (Jan. 4-5, 2020), with additional interviews in March and beyond. Scouts are encouraged to apply prior to the January Interview Weekend.
Why should you want Scouts in your Troop to work on camp staff? Scouts who work on camp staff will return to your Troop at the end of the summer as stronger leaders with a newfound enthusiasm for the Scouting program. Staff members frequently say it was the best summer of their lives. Decades later they often still believe it was “the best job they ever had”. If that’s not reason enough, here’s a quick video from the American Camp Association touting the benefits of working on camp staff. Why work on Ransburg Scout Reservation staff in particular; click here for a fun video that tells you why!
Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. The summer camp season is 10 weeks long, however staff members can take time off for Philmont, family vacations, summer camp, or for other reasons. A staff member does not need to be at camp all 10 weeks.
  2. Minimum age is 15 years old: Scouts who are 15 serve as a Counselor in Training; an excellent tailored experience where they rotate around to program areas of their choosing throughout the summer.
  3. Key leadership positions are available for those 18+ years old. So, please forward the application link to former Scouts now in college. It is a great summer job! Should a college student choose working on camp staff over an internship? Well this article makes a compelling argument.
We appreciate your help to get the word out! The unparalleled experience that we offer at Ransburg Scout Reservation each summer is possible because of our camp counselors and staff, and we thank you for helping us to find that next great camp counselor.
Questions? Reach out to HR@ransburgbsa.org. FYI-The application link above is the same link for other council camps. For questions regarding other council camps please call the Crossroads of America Council at 317.813.7125.
Yours in Scouting,
2020 Leadership Team
Ransburg Scout Reservation
***This email was sent to all 2019 Ransburg Camp Coordinators**

District Committee Meeting – Thursday December 19.

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Please mark your calendars for the NSD Committee Mtg. (3rd Thursday of the month)  7:00-8:30 pm     Room 204 of Zionsville Town Hall,   1100 W. Oak St., Zionsville 46077.

Thursday, December 19.

December 12 – Roundtable – Eagle Community Christian Church – Cub Scout Camping (Cubs) and Spring Camporee Planning Session (Troops/Crews)

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Roundtable: Dec. 12 – 7 pm at Eagle Community Christian Church




CUB SCOUT PACKS –  Want to take your families camping?  Come find out what you need to know to have a successful Pack Camp out !




TROOPS AND CREWS – North Star District is hosting the Central Area Spring Camporee, April 24-26 @ Ransburg- Theme: Olympics.  Please send any Scouters, Leaders, or interested parents who would have a fun time planning the events for an Olympic Themed Camporee.  Each person representing their Unit (and providing an idea on an idea card) will be entered for a prize for their Unit. The more folks you send the higher your chances for winning (and the more ideas we receive the better the Camporee will be!)

olympic rings flag

Monster Jam

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Monster Jam – Lucas Oil StadiumMonster-Jam-logo

Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 7:00pm
Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 3:00pm

Check out the action as these 10,000-pound monster trucks come to town.  New this year, there will be a Scout discount for BOTH Saturday or Sunday.  With the purchase of an event ticket, you will get a Scout patch and an opportunity to buy a pit pass for the Pit Party.

Ticket costs vary per day.  Please note, you’ll save more by going to the Sunday performance!  To order your tickets, please click here

**Orders must be received by December 17th.  Any orders after that date will not be accepted. 

For questions, please contact Anita Schroedle at aschroedle@feldinc.com

Eagle Scout receives Lt Governor’s Brilliant Firefly Award

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Eagle Scout Sam Seyer, from Crew 69, was presented the Brilliant Firefly Award by Lt. Governor Crouch and Representative JD Ford. This award honors young Hoosiers who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating outstanding community service, exemplary academic achievement, and/or exceptional leadership in their communities. Congratulations, Sam!

Sam Seyer Indiana State House

Getting schooled on rules for merit badge classes, fairs and universities

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Getting schooled on rules for merit badge classes, fairs and universities

Merit badge classes, fairs and universities allow Scouts to pursue several badges in one day or weekend, often working with highly qualified counselors in unique settings. However, organizers and unit leaders must make sure Scouts and counselors aren’t taking shortcuts to boost badge counts.

Is group instruction permitted?

Yes. It’s acceptable and even desirable at times. However, each Scout must actually and personally complete each requirement before the counselor signs off.

What does ‘actually and personally’ mean?

Each Scout must complete the requirements as written. If a requirement says “show,” the Scout can’t just watch a demonstration; if a requirement says “discuss,” the Scout can’t just listen to a discussion without participating.

Who can teach in a group setting?

All instruction must be overseen by an adult member of the BSA who is registered as a merit badge counselor, approved for the specific badge and current in Youth Protection Training. However, it’s OK to use guest instructors, speakers and other volunteers to facilitate learning.

Is group instruction better for certain badges?

The approach works best when the benefits are compelling. Factors could include strong interest from Scouts in a subject area, access to counselors who might not otherwise be available or availability of special resources that could enhance the learning experience. The Rifle Shooting merit badge is a good example: It’s popular, requires a specially trained counselor and must be earned at a rifle range.

How big may merit badge classes be?

There’s no set limit, but the preference is for smaller groups, perhaps no larger than a patrol in size. Larger groups are feasible if qualified instructors are assigned to subgroups to ensure Scouts receive individual attention.

What about requirements that can’t be completed in a group setting?

It’s perfectly acceptable — and even preferable — for a Scout to leave a merit badge event with only some requirements completed. He or she can then work individually with a counselor to finish the requirements. The class should focus on requirements that work best in a group setting.

Can an event have prerequisites?

Yes. You could also simply tell Scouts which requirements they must do either before or after the event. Note that in a few cases, like requirement 1 of the Lifesaving merit badge, requirements must be done beforehand.

How do counselors ensure prerequisites have been met?

If the actual work done can’t be brought to the event, pictures and letters from other merit badge counselors or unit leaders are the best forms of documentation.

What should I do if I have concerns about a merit badge event?

See section of the Guide to Advancement.

Where can I learn more?

Group instruction is covered in section of the Guide to Advancement. Members of the National Advancement Program Team have developed a Merit Badge Group Instruction Guide.

Followup to November Roundtable – Life to Eagle Process

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On behalf of the District Eagle Team, we want to thank you for coming and participating in our update on the Eagle Process.  As promised, this email has the documentation regarding the items we discussed on Thursday evening.  First, let me give the email addresses for the Projects Team and the Board:

                                PROJECTS TEAM:              NorthStarEagleProjects@gmail.com

                                BOARD:                                NorthStarEagleBoard@gmail.com

Crossroads has a website which addresses each of the items (12) which need to be accomplished to complete your Eagle Project and Application.  This website is as follows:


Here are some project restrictions and limitations:

  • Fundraising is permitted only for facilitating a project. Efforts that primarily collect money, even for worthy charities, are not permitted.  Any leftover funds are to be returned to the benefactor.
  • Routine labor, like a service a Scout may provide as part of their daily life such as mowing or weeding a church lawn, is not normally appropriate. However, if a project scale and impact are sufficient to require planning and leadership, then it may be considered.
  • Projects are not to be of a commercial nature or for a business, though some aspects of a business operation provided as a service, such as a community park, may qualify.
  • The Scout is not responsible for any maintenance of a project once it is completed.

As always, if you have any questions regarding the project process, fund raising or the Board of Review, please feel free to contact us at the email addresses noted above.

To the prospective candidates who were in attendance, good luck as you begin the Eagle process.

Yours in Scouting,

Rick Aker

Eagle Projects Chair

NorthStar District

Eagle Project Points

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