Order of the Arrow: recruiting ceremony teams

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At yesterday’s meeting, the chapter began planning for the upcoming year.

Since several of our packs are looking for Blue & Gold Banquet/Cross-over ceremonies from OA, the chapter is seeking Ordeal and Brotherhood members who wish to be part of these ceremony teams. This is a great way for a group of boy scouts to help make a more memorable experience for their Cub Scout kin. Remember, “WWW.”

Participants would be expected to attend the Lodge Winter Gathering January 8-10, 2016 at Camp Kikthawenund as part of their training.

More information at the Lodge and Chapter websites.

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Report: Pack 358 Cub Hayride

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Thank you to Pack 358 to opening their annual hayride to the district. I know one or two packs took advantage of the offer with resoundingly glowing compliments to the hosts.

For those packs that missed out, a good time was had by all.

Thank you to Daniel Corum for the photographs.

Packs 625 and 358 break bread together
Packs 625 and 358 break bread together
Wagons, ho!
Wagons, ho!
Father-son time
Father-son time
Hot dogs for all!
Hot dogs for all!
Cubs at play
Cubs at play
Camaraderie of the bonfire
Camaraderie of the bonfire

Baden Powell on the Purpose of the Patrol/Den

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The Patrol [or the Den] is the character school for the individual. To the Patrol Leader it gives practice in Responsibility and in the qualities of Leadership. To the Scouts it gives subordination of self to the interests of the whole, the elements of self-denial and self-control involved in the team spirit of co-operation and good comradeship.

Lord Baden-Powell, October 1936.

Hat tip to Clarke Green.

Eagle Report for North Star

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District Eagle Board Coordinator Jerry Simon submits the following report:
North Star averages about 30 new Eagles per year.
Starting in January of this year through October, 35 scouts have received their Eagle Rank. We will be doing six more in November and at least five in December.
It looks like 2015 will be a banner year for us.
Considering all the issues North Star has had trying to be a functioning district, we have great troops with great volunteers that are making Scouting happen.

A Cub Scout is Helpful

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HPack 105 trail maintenance 3ere is an article submitted by John Salewicz, Ass’t Cubmaster and Bear Den Leader of Pack 105, Den 2 (Thank you!)

During Zionsville Pack 105 Fall Camporee at Spring Mill State Park, our Cub Scouts completed a service project.   We worked with the Park’s Property Manager to determine their needs.We decided on a trail rehab project. Pack 105 Trail maintenance in action 2

They had been very short-handed this year and have not had the time nor the manpower to do the work.  During the spring and early summer months they experienced very heavy rains that washed out part of a trail they call “The Stagecoach Trail”.

This trail is a historically significant part of the area.   During the settlement era, it was the life-line to the mill.  The trail was was the only way in or out of the village.  It was used to move goods from the village. The village supplied a growing nation with corn meal and lumber. After the park opened, this trail served as the main entrance to the park until the 1960’s.

This project required us to move a tri-axle of gravel down the trail — bucket brigade style — to fill in the numerous washed out areas. This was quite the accomplishment for these Cub Scouts and Webelos.  The trail has a very steep grade
and took a lot of effort!   We were able to complete this project  in an 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Hikers will benefit from this hard work for years to come.

This is a great example for future story ideas. Keep them coming.

Hard at work!
Hard at work!

Pack 105 celebrating their successful service project.
Pack 105 celebrating their successful service project.

How much responsibility to the patrol leader?

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Many of our Boy Scout troops I have elaborate systems for keeping track of records and attendance. But even bigger question is who will be attending a weekend outing.

Many trooms rely on electronic means of collecting the information. In a recent article Frank Meynard of Bobwhite Blather suggested we may need to look at this a little bit differently. Take a look at his article for a different point of view.

Training our Chartered Org Reps

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As noted in a recent blog post, North Star District is making a big push as a part of Rechartering season to get our leaders trained for their position or reclassified to avoid the need for new training.Chartered Organization Representative patch

At this point, our Chartered Organization Representatives still are nearly 2/3rds untrained.

This is easy to fix through Council’s online training. Just follow the link, read the PowerPoint slides and report the training through the link in the training. That is it.

It will take Council nearly two weeks to update records, so print out evidence of training for Rechartering.

Who should serve on Boards of Review?

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Boards of Review can become points of contention. That is not their purpose. The best means to avoid conflict is to know the rules from the Guide to Advancement (2015) well.

Since Troops, Varsity Teams, Venturing Crews, and Explorer Posts can hold them (troops exclusively up to First Class, see sec., these are the general rules through Life rank.

Here is the key part that you need from the Guide to Advancement (2015) (underlining added for emphasis in text): Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms)

The preceding applies to boards of review for all Boy Scouting ranks, but there are a few differences for the ranks other than Eagle, and for Eagle Palms:

  1. The board is made up of three to six unit committee members—no more and no less. In units with fewer than three registered committee members available to serve, it is permissible to use knowledgeable parents (not those of the candidate) or other adults (registered or not) who are at least 21 years of age and who understand Boy Scouting’s aims. Using unregistered adults for boards of review must be the exception, not the rule. Registered committee members familiar with the unit program, who have had a background check, and who are Youth Protection trained are preferred. Scheduling boards of review when and where committee members can attend usually alleviates the problem of not having enough committee members for a board.
  2. For a Varsity Scout team, the committee member responsible for advancement, the advancement program manager (youth), and the Coach serve on the board. Composition for Boy Scout rank or Palm boards of review held in Venturing crews or Sea Scout ships is the same as that for Boy Scout troops.
  3. One member serves as chair. The unit committee decides how he or she is chosen. The chair conducts review meetings according to BSA procedures and reports results to the unit advancement coordinator.
  4. The location should be comfortable, such as the unit meeting place, a camp, or a leader’s home.
  5. The review should take approximately 15 minutes, but not longer than 30 minutes.
  6. Ranks and Palms shall not be presented until the signed advancement report is submitted to the local council.
  7. If a Scout is to be reviewed for more than one rank (Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class), each rank should have a separate board of review. While these boards may be conducted on the same date, it is preferred—if feasible—that different members be involved on the boards to give the young man an enhanced experience and an opportunity to interact with a variety of adults.

Just run to the books where you have questions.

Ideas for Summer Camp

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As October drifts away and November arrives, it seems to early to think about summer activities. Yet, November is often the last push for the year to do much big in scouting until January. Once January hits, more units focus on summer camp and activities.

If you want to do something different, the November PLC is a great time to take a poll of your scouts or November Pack meeting a chance to poll your Cubs about where they would like to go to summer camp.

My home unit used to have a practice of going to some place out of council at least once every four years. One of our District’s bigger troops goes to Canada every other year. Both are great ideas for keeping scouting interesting for all your scouts.

Last year, Scouting Magazine ran a great article about wonderful Scout Reservations around the country. (Ransburg made this list!)

The Summit at Bechtel Scout Reservation is now running both high adventure and older scout summer camp opportunities.

In addition, your future troop youth leadership can attend White Stag, our local version of the National Youth Leadership Training. (Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops/Crews is a prerequisite, which we may offer at Winter Camporee, if NYLT_4ksufficient interest exists.) This one-week, Wood-Badge for youth course is well worth for future or past SPLs, patrol leaders, Troop Guides, etc. (Crossroads BSA website has not been updated for 2016 yet.)

Start the discussion in November, so information gathering can be planned and implemented. Then less pressure is on in January 2016 when real planning needs to begin.

Tufts University’s Study on Whether Scouting Works

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Dr Richard Lerner has been doing a 2.5 year longitudinal study near his school of randomly selected 1800 scouts and 400 non-scouts. He started by studying the boys as the entered scouts. He was setting a benchmark as to whether scouting changes boys character. Dr. Lerner’s final report is out. The summary is available at Scouting Magazine’s website.

The results are stunning. It shows in “a compelling way,” according to Dr Lerner, that the BSA has a significant ways in a least six characteristics:

  1. Trustworthiness;Graphs on comparison of results
  2. Helpfulness;
  3. Kindness;
  4. Obedience;
  5. Cheerfulness;
  6. Hopefulness.

So what about being solely focused on sports? Unfortunately, the sports-focused kids took a hit in how well the kids prioritize values, particularly in their priorities in caring for other people. They are not as interested in other people’s well-being, as were scouts. This effect becomes more pronounced as the boys stayed in scouting.

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