These and more can be earned at home. Get a Merit Badge Counselor (check with your Scoutmaster or Advancement Chair) and get to work 🙂
Check out YouTube at 3pm everyday!
I am writing on behalf of American Legion Post 3 in Broad Ripple to inform you that effective immediately Post 3 is closed to all meetings and gatherings – including our own. Therefore, OA and Firecrafter meetings, the CP effort, along with the Electronics merit badge meeting must all be postponed until further notice.
This is, of course, part of the larger effort to contain and minimize our collective exposure to the coronavirus. Our post has over a hundred members who are in the “high risk” population identified by our government and medical officials and we are obligated to look out for their welfare and yours.
Thank you for your compliance and understanding.
2d Vice BRP3
All Scouts, Leaders, and Parents;
We are living through an unprecedented period in history. During this time, we need to follow the guidance given to us to break the spread of the Coronavirus. As part of that guidance, we are not having Scout meetings or events as long as the schools remain closed nor District or Council activities until at least April 13. This however does not mean that Scouting and advancement needs to stop. Scouting is about “Family” – Family Scouting.
For those in Cub Scouts:
Cubmasters and Den Leaders – work with the members of your Den’s and Pack. Use email, phone calls, video conferencing (see the rules below) – (while always following Youth Protection Guidelines) – to help provide:
Ideas of things / items that the Scout Family can do for Rank Advancement.
Provide a safe positive outlet for the “cabin fever” that will probably strike all of us.
Cub Scout Activities from Home
For those in Scouts BSA:
Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Committee Members, Scouts, Family, etc….. – this is a time for Scouts to work on “Scout” through “First Class” Rank(s). Work with your Unit Leaders (following Youth Protection Guidelines) to complete items that can be completed with your family and/or with remote instruction. That said, requirements may NOT be changed or waived. Some requirements may be done, except on a Troop campout.
Scouts may work to complete those partial Merit Badges that have been hanging around.
Look into starting a new Merit Badge in consultation with your Scoutmaster.
REMEMBER – if a Merit Badge says “with your counselor’s approval”, or “approval of your counselor”, or “approved by your counselor” – you need to communicate with a Merit Badge Counselor – PRIOR to starting that requirement. Remember- REQUIREMENTS may NOT be Changed.
If you need a list of Merit Badge Counselor(s), contact your Scoutmaster.
Summer Camp will be here before we know it:
Many Merit Badges have pre-requisites, this is a perfect time to get them done. REMEMBER – if a Merit Badge says “with your counselor’s approval”, or “approval of your counselor”, or “approved by your counselor” – you need to communicate with Merit Badge Counselor before starting / doing that requirement.
Eagle Service Projects during this period
For working on Eagle projects, our guidance so far is that:
Regardless of the size of the work group (i.e., even if under 10 people), a Scout should not announce and hold a work time for an Eagle project.
Scouts can work with their own household members, but must be careful to think through how they are still planning and managing the project. At a minimum they must lead at least two other people for it to qualify.
If a Scout has been in regular physical contact with a couple of friends (so that they are well aware of each other’s health condition and risk factors) and they meet to work on an Eagle project activity, they must still maintain social distancing of at least a 6 foot radius for each person.
Below are the BSA Guide to Advancement (Section 188.8.131.52) requirements for Eagle and Other BOR
1. For Eagle Scout boards of review, the local council must grant permission to hold it by
videoconference. Other ranks do not need approval but should follow the requirements below.
2. Test all equipment, including cameras, lighting, microphones, software, and internet connection.
3. Make sure everyone is visible — including all members of the board of review, the Scout and any observers with the Scout. No one within hearing range on either side shall be off-camera. It is important to consider your technical capabilities when planning how many board of review members to involve. Observers should be minimized for any board of review, and this applies especially to videoconference reviews. Their presence can change the discussion dynamics.
4. A parent or guardian of the Scout, or two registered adult leaders (as required by the Guide to Safe Scouting) who are familiar with these requirements for videoconference boards of review, must be directly present with the Scout at the beginning of the conference. The Scouters may be from the nearest council, district or unit. Their role is to verify that the Scout is in a safe environment and that the board of review appears to be in compliance with these requirements. Once all the members of the board of review are present on their end of the call and introductions are completed, and the review is about to begin, anyone present with the Scout must leave the room or move out of hearing distance unless they have specifically been approved to remain as observers.
5. Once the review process has been concluded, if the Scout is under age 18, the Scout’s parent or guardian, or two registered adult leaders, must rejoin the Scout. Their purpose is to be available to answer any questions that may arise, to join in the celebration of the Scout’s accomplishment, or to be party to any instructions or arrangements regarding the appeals process or the reconvening of an incomplete review. Once this is done, the board members end the call and sign off.
6. Videoconference boards of review must not be recorded.
7. If an appeal is necessary (as outlined in the Guide to Advancement), this may be conducted via videoconference as well.
Look presentable. Just as you would want to look sharp in your uniform for an in-person board of review, the same should apply to one conducted via video.
Find a quiet space with a clean background. Try to minimize audio and visual distractions.
Test your equipment. Enlist a friend or family member to help you test your connection, making sure they can see and hear you with minimal lag.
Try for eye contact. Though your instinct will be to look at the screen to see the board of review members, spend some time looking directly into the camera. It may feel strange, but it will look better to the people watching.
Free videoconferencing options
Note: Each of the options below has a paid option, but I’m outlining the features of the free tier.
Google Hangouts: Easy to use, no time limit, allows up to 10 participants
Zoom: Great features, 40-minute time limit, allows up to 100 participants
Skype: Good stability, four-hour time limit, allows up to 50 participants
UberConference: Excellent video quality, 45-minute time limit, allows up to 10 participants
You’re receiving this email because of your involvement in the advancement process with Scouts in the Crossroads of America council. I understand there are many questions given the COVID-19 social distancing mandates, and I’ve talked to a number of you in the last few days about specific situations. I want to give you clear direction on the council’s workarounds during this time, but I’m waiting for promised input from national BSA and our council staff to make sure we’re all on the same page. Here is what I can share as of now:
Advancement via Videoconference
It is permissible to hold discussions by videoconference to complete Scoutmaster conferences, merit badge work, Eagle project approvals, and boards of review. National BSA has offered guidelines on how to do this, and I’ve included the link below. The article emphasizes the importance of 2-deep adult participation, the need to have the Scout’s parent or guardian involved at the start and end of the call, the fact that nobody should participate in a call who is not visible or announced, and the ban on recording any conversation with youth. Please read it carefully to make sure you’re aligned with the guidance provided.
Time Extensions to Complete Eagle Rank
The rules for extensions of time for Eagle rank are spelled out in section 184.108.40.206 of the Guide to Advancement. Extensions are only granted by national BSA. The local council advancement committee receives requests from Scouts and prepares the “Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank” form. The committee recommends to national BSA that the extension be granted or denied. The form needs to be accompanied by the Scout’s explanation of why more time is needed and merited. Input is needed from the Scoutmaster and other adults in regular contact with the youth in order for the council to make an assessment. So, a letter from the Scoutmaster, the committee chair or advancement chair, and any other person who has input pertinent to the case is helpful. In the event the Scout cites a medical issue as a contributor to the situation, a statement from a medical professional who is treating the Scout is needed. If learning issues are cited, a school letter or individualized learning plan summary is needed.
There are 5 tests that must be met for an extension to be granted:
- The Scout was properly enrolled in a unit throughout the time needed to complete requirements.
- A circumstance came to exist that now precludes completion before the deadline.
- The circumstance was beyond the youth’s control.
- The circumstance is severe and not the norm in the Scout’s life.
- The circumstance could not have been planned for or anticipated.
Clearly, the COVID-19 situation satisfies some of these tests, and will likely be categorized (based on input from the Central Region advancement chair) as a natural disaster. However, the other tests cannot be skimmed over lightly. The request needs to explain why a Scout is in the position of having remaining work to do with little time remaining. It must be clear that the Scout was on a path toward successful completion of all requirements as of March 13th when the first major social distancing mandates were imposed in our area. Any claims of hardship or medical/learning obstacles must be ‘not the norm’ in the Scout’s life, and evidence must be provided for what is different in the months after the Scout turned 18 vs. in the months and years before. We should not expect a blanket extension for all Scouts.
Gathering to Work on Eagle Projects
Over the past few days, it was permissible to meet only in very small groups with people who the Scout is in regular contact with, and for whom the Scout knows the recent health history and travel status. As social distancing mandates continue to tighten, any meetings outside the Scout’s family may be banned. During this time, the Scout can explore if there are alternate (e.g., electronic) ways to deliver the benefits of the project. There may be a few projects where this is possible, but most projects involve a physical installation of some type. The Scout can also determine whether his/her family is able to help with the project, but should be very careful that the leadership requirements of a valid Eagle project are not violated.
Continue Progress While Awaiting a Verdict
Some Life to Eagle candidates have requirements remaining beyond the Eagle project and a Scoutmaster conference. If possible, the Scout should continue making progress on any outstanding requirements while awaiting the outcome of an extension request. Extensions are granted for a specific period of time to complete a specific list of requirements.
Eagle Boards of Review After Age 18
A Scout must complete requirements except for the board of review before age 18, but is always allowed up to 3 months after turning 18 to complete a board of review. In the event a board of review is delayed further than 3 months for reasons beyond the Scout’s control, the local council can grant a 3 month extension. This applies only to the board of review, not to other rank requirements. A delay longer than 6 months after turning 18 requires national BSA approval. We do not know whether in this special circumstance national BSA might allow local councils to grant longer BOR extensions because of the volume of expected requests.
Submitting Eagle Binders or Retrieving Eagle Binders
Until the social distancing mandates are lifted, we won’t be passing hard copies of Eagle applications, project proposals/workbooks, or binders back and forth. Binders already submitted to the council office are not accessible. We will discuss whether it is possible to use an electronic process for this, but I have not gotten feedback from the council staff on what they can support while working remotely.
Applications and Advancement by New Scouts BSA or Crossovers
Some units are concerned that they have new Scouts who want to work on Scout rank or merit badges but are not registered in the unit yet. If units have brand new Scouts or crossovers whose applications have not yet been processed by the council, they can send the applications electronically to their DE. A blank electronic application can be provided if needed. The date of the application will serve as the Scout’s membership date in the troop so that he/she can begin advancement work.
Closing Out the Cub Scout Advancement Season
Den Leaders are asked to keep accurate records of all advancements that have been completed this spring. If Scouts have some adventure work left to complete this school year, Den Leaders can provide guidance on how to work on them with parents and document completion.
Council Coordinated Committee Cancelled
The March 28th Council Coordinated Committee meeting, where we would have held the monthly advancement committee meeting, has been canceled. We will communicate mostly by email for the next few weeks.
More to come! As you have questions and special circumstances, please pass them on.
Yours in Scouting,
Crossroads of America
Council Advancement Chair
Pinewood Derby Season is upon us again!
New date for Pinewood Derby to be determined.
If you have any questions about the district derby, or if your pack needs any help running your derby, please contact Bill Buchalter, the District’s Derby Coordinator, at: email@example.com, or 317-509-0767.
Dear Scouting Family,As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in Crossroads of America Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 with our Council Health Supervisor from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The following information regarding events is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.
Status of Council/ District EventsAll Crossroads of America Council and District events have been postponed until April 13, 2020. All Scout Shops will be closed to foot track, but they will still fulfill online orders. We will reevaluate the situation on April 13.Follow www.crossroadsbsa.org/announcements for the latest information and policies on:
- Council Events
- Refunds and postponement
- Summer Camp
- Unit MeetingsBSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of IllnessThe Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.
If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.Yours in Scouting,
Joseph E. Wiltrout
Scout Executive/ CEO
Dear Unit Leaders,
With the first case of COVID-19 being confirmed in a school setting within our Council, we wanted to take a moment to reach out and share the proper protocol with you.
If your school closes because of a confirmed case of COVID-19, please follow the protocol set forth by your school. Cancel any meetings until the school re-opens, and use extra precautions to protect yourself and your Scouts.
If you have to cancel meetings, please encourage parents to use this opportunity to teach their kids the lessons that they would be learning during their Scout meetings.
Lastly, we encourage all leaders to keep the youth and parents updated as they receive updates from the school by providing regular communications.
Joseph E. Wiltrout
Scout Exectuive/ CEO
The Spring Camporee is only a month away!
Join us in Olympic Spirit for scout skills with your troop or crew!
Is your Unit signed up and ready to compete?
Sign up at https://scoutingevent.com/160-30718, which is also available via the calendar link on the Council website.