Rechartering Update

Posted on Updated on

UPDATED 10/26/15: 4 additional units have given plans for rechartering scheduling.

After 3 nights of Rechartering Turn-In meetings, District Commissioner reports that the following units appeared for their scheduled meeting:

  1. Pack 18
  2. Pack 830
  3. Troop 73
  4. Pack 174
  5. Troop 174
  6. Pack 171
  7. Pack 514
  8. Troop 514
  9. Troop 358
  10. Pack 105
  11. Troop 804
  12. Crew 408
  13. Pack 586
  14. Troop 586
  15. Pack 358 (all four tribes)

In addition we have had three units send PDF copies of their Drop-Add Report which allows the commissioner staff to work through much of the checklist items to set a punchlist of items to be completed. Those units are

  1. Pack 179
  2. Troop 269
  3. Crew 1121

We have agreements on scheduling unit turn ins for the following units

  1. Pack 625
  2. Troop 343
  3. Troop 56
  4. Pack 35
  5. Troop 35
  6. Troop 18
  7. Troop 69
  8. Pack 64
  9. Pack 84
  10. Crew 358
  11. Pack 175.

If your unit does not appear on the lists above, please email your Drop-Add form by Sunday night to Lead Unit Commissioner Mat Gerdenich, his email is on the rechartering email. Please CC Jeff Heck and Con Sullivan.  Your Drop-Add form is now overdue. Please email it to Mat Gerdenich and CC Jeff Heck and Con Sullivan immediately.

Mat Gerdenich, Jeff Heck, Con Sullivan, Andrew Linden, Ralph Stacy and the rest of the Commissioners Staff thank the 28 31 units that have worked hard to get us to this stage. Your effort is greatly appreciated.


Eagle Project Ideas

Posted on Updated on

In our meetings with local community leaders, District Executive Con Sullivan and District Commissioner Jeff Heck ran into the Nora Alliance.

The Nora Alliance is a neighborhood advocacy group in Nora. They are looking for ways to enhance the Nora Community. Increased pedestrian space, parkway like enhancement, improvements to the Monon trail.Eagle pin

They want to make the Monon a more park-like environment, especially in the more sun exposed section from 86th St to 96th St.

As part of that goal, we discussed whether Eagle Scouts could do improvements along the Monon. Maybe each section of 40-50 yards could have improvements of slightly different character and elements, while being part of a larger theme. That way each Life Scout could give it his own twist, while making the larger project coherent.

The idea is still in the works, but there is the potential for at least 6-12 Eagle Projects in that area. This might take some adult coordination on themes and procedures to make the politics a bit more manageable for the Life Scouts. Still, in this vision, each Life Scout would have to observe the theme and general rules, while being responsible for the blue prints preparation and approval of his own section. Then he would be responsible for the time and materials to make his blue print spring to life.

We would like feedback on whether this idea has merits and how we could make it work.

Nov. 1st Cub Hayride: Update

Posted on Updated on

Pack 358 has decided to pay for the entire costs of the wagons. That means that all other packs only need to pay $6.00 per car (out-of-county residents) or $5.00 (Marion County residents) and contribute a pitch-in dinner dish per family.Cub Scout logo

To RSVP, click here.

For more information and a flyer to distribute to your Pack, click here. Pitch in dinner dish requests are by age level, and are printed on the flyer.

Teaching the Scouting Way

Posted on

As ever, Clarke Green brings us another lesson from Lord Baden-Powell’s writings. This time a wonderful lesson in how to teach without a lesson plan.

B-P makes some comments on the type of volunteers he seeks in scouters. He then starts talking about an impressive schoolmaster (note the term’s similarity to “scoutmaster”):

Yesterday I was talking with our village schoolmaster, a true educationist, by the way. He was explaining some of his methods which had rather raised the hair of an old-time school inspector, but which, in principle, are much in accord with our methods in Scout training.

Take one of his cases as an example. A girl was hopeless at arithmetic, so he had a talk with her, and asked her which of the school subjects she liked best. “Oh, cooking.” And which she liked least. “Arithmetic.”

“Well,”– very confidentially– “don’t tell anyone, but it is just the same with me. I don’t like arithmetic, either. And now, talking of cooking, how would it be if instead of the arithmetic lesson today you cooked a tea for two, with some good scones and a cake, and we can have it together. You order the necessary ingredients, but don’t make it too expensive.” This idea she joyfully carried out. The following day he said– “That tea was a huge success. Can you manage to cook another, on a larger scale, say for five, to which we can ask some pals?” It was duly and enthusiastically done.

The result was that in working out her quantities, prices, etc., the girl had all unconsciously had her arithmetic lesson. Interested in her job, and proud of being trusted with the responsibility put upon her, she was not only learning arithmetic but was realising its practical use at the same time.

It is on this same principle that the Scoutmaster, through the medium of Scouting items which interest the boy, inculcates such qualities as he wants. He educates the boy by encouraging his self  — expression instead of disciplining him by police methods of repression.

Too many times, I see scoutmasters that wish to offer classes or push Merit Badge Universities. I teach at such classes. Even so, I try to emphasize the role of the boy in talking. I try to ask questions so that the boys become the lecturers. When I teach on different types of countries, their governments, and economies, the boys talk about their previously researched countries. I ask questions to encourage them to compare the different governments.

But what lessons can we teach our scouts that are more like the schoolmaster in B-P’s story?

Eagle Boards: Need Board Members

Posted on Updated on

UPDATED 10/17/15 to add videos.

UPDATED 10/20/15: boards for November and December have been fully staffed. Thank you for the willing participation from so many units!

North Star District has a joyous problem. We have more Eagle Candidates than our regularly scheduled boards’ capacity.

District Board Coordinator Jerry Simon has set a goal of moving as many Eagle candidates through their boards before year’s end as possible.Eagle pin

District is planning on holding extra boards on November 11th to meet the demand.

We need board members to volunteer that evening, and possibly again in December. Please contact Jeff Heck if you can serve on a board or two that evening.

Please encourage new scouters in your troop to volunteer. This is a wonderful way for scouters to learn about Eagle process. Jerry will give new board members instruction on their duties. They can also learn more from the Eagle Board of Review YouTube video from the BSA, with this blogger’s favorite scouter on the internet Clarke Green as one of the presenters. Since Eagle Boards are nothing more than specialized Boards of Review, it also pays to listen to this YouTube Video from National on Boards of Review in general. More specialized topics on the subject are available on advancement from

We may need nearly 20 volunteers to serve on these November boards.

Problems accessing online Troop Committee Challenge?

Posted on Updated on

Since the BSA is migrating its online training to a new vendor, following the old web links land you on the new training vendor’s BSA LearnCenter.

BSA LearnCenter, the online component of Scouting U, is fully operational for Cub Scout leaders. 

It is not operational for scout or venturing leaders and will not be into 2016.

According to Crossroads of America Council Training Director Jay Soucy, scouters seeking online training for scouts and venturing can still access the legacy online courses. They will need to use their account to do it.

  1. Log into
  2. Click “Home” in the upper lefthand corner.
  3. On the menu that appears, click “My Dashboard.” You should land on “My Training.”
  4. In the center of the title bar for the Dashboard, click “Requirements.”
  5. For any position you hold and that online training is available and needed, you can click on “Take Course” to start the online training.

We hope this removes some confusion during this transition period.

Haunted House for all Ages

Posted on Updated on

The Children’s Museum’s Pirate’s Revenge Haunted House is now open! Oct. 10th through Halloween. 

This makes a great scout outing for all ages. The Children’s Museum’s Haunted House has haunts with

  1. lights-on for Cub Scouts or other persons who scare easily
    1. Wednesdays–Saturdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m.;
    2. Wednesdays 3:30–8:30 p.m.;
    3. Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.;
    4. Halloween: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
  2. lights-out/frightening for Webelos and Tenderfoot scouts, or other persons who dare to be scared
    1. Thursdays–Saturdays 3:30–8:30 p.m.
    2. No Frightening Hours on Halloween
  3. Xtreme Scream, strongly recommended limited to teens and adults
    1. Oct. 23, 24, & 30: 8:30–11 p.m.

All Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who visit the Children’s Museum Haunted House can earn a patch for free with their paid admission. Ask for the patch at the Bootique’s cashier (sign about patches hangs over her head).

Other special events that are especially appropriate for Cub Scouts, such as Feast with the Witches, is also available. See the Haunted House webpage for more information.

Look for some of your fellow scouts and District Commissioner staff, haunting at Xtreme Scream!

Service Opportunities 

Posted on Updated on

Sometimes our units are looking for service opportunities. Sometimes we seek service where scouts to gain entry for future unit placement. Scouts do well at schools and churches where they offer service to their current or future host chartered organizations.

We are seeking access back into Pike and Washington Townships.

Our District Executive just received this request for service from Pik High School. Please make sure you let your scouts how much they are needed for service and as ambassadors for scouting.

Hello Con,

            I am the event coordinator for Pike High School’s 2015 ISSMA Marching Band event being held on October 31st . It was suggested to me that the scouts may be able to help in our efforts to host this annual event. As a former scout, I know how scouts can make time for the community. (Trans Atlantic Council , Troop 1, Heidelberg, Germany) I understand some scouts may be needing community service requirements for Merit badges or other projects .

            If this is something that would interest your troop, please let me know as soon as possible, as we are trying to fill as many spots as possible. I do have a “sign Up Genius “ set up that you could visit to see the type of positions available, anything from spectator parking to gate monitors , hospitality, admissions, hand stampers, water table monitor, and stand entrance monitors, We have two shifts available, or a person could volunteer the entire day, start times range from 9:30AM in the morning to 1:45 PM in the afternoon. All positions are over by 6PM.

            The sign up genius is set-up for Parents , but we realize the maturity level of scouts and we know we can count on their assistance. 

I do appreciate your consideration, and if this is something that can help your scouts, then Pike and the North Star District both win!

Thank you ,

Doug Reilly

Event Coordinator


810-6262 (W), 297-7886 (H), 515-9805 (C),

Problems logging into Rechartering?

Posted on Updated on

Lead Unit Commissioner for Rechartering Mat Gerdenich and District Commissioner Jeff Heck have received several emails from unit leaders attempting to log into the rechartering system. Many have complained that they cannot login.

We have received an email from Council Registrar Sharon Cone. Sharon clarifies that every year you must login as a “first-time user”. Last year’s login information will not work.

Sorry for any confusion.

Report from 2015 Fall Camporee

Posted on Updated on

We survived the Zombie Apocalypse!

Thank you to District Camporee Chair Stu Bowes for a warmly received and joyful Camporee. We heard many rave reviews. The weather was delightful (especially given fresh memories of the Spring Camporee’s deluge).image image

We were warned about the coming Zombie Apocalypse by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. 

 The scouts attended the many competitions with eagerness. They enjoyed many creative skits at Troop 269’s well-executed and well-performed camp fire. The masters of ceremony had a zombie-themed run-on that served to introduce each skit. The MC’s were masterful. The troops’ skits were often on theme-adapted but traditional scout skits. They worked well because they made the tried-and-true into fresh-and-funny surprises. Sometimes an old story told with a fresh twist is the most enjoyable. 

 We even had Troop 358 do a solid rendition of Heywood Bank’s Famous “Toast!” 

 Our District Executive Con Sullivan made his North Star Camporee debut with a well-executed Emergency Mobilization Drill to satisfy the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge’s Requirement #7. Many scouts reported to me that drill was the most enjoyable part of the Camporee, because they got to run, find victims of a tornado, do triage, and demonstrate their knowledge of first aid and patient transport.

Our Assistant Camporee Chair Rick Akers broke out his stage make up to dress the victims to make the drill even more realistic.

We 18 adults trained in matters ranging from Youth Protection Training, Chartered Org Rep Training, District Committee Training.

Most importantly for training, the District would like to thank Troop 73’s Scoutmaster Vince Hernly and Troop  56’s Committee Chair Sandy McNutt for serving as lead instructors, respectively, for Scoutmaster Specific Training and Troop Committee Challenge. Thank you, too, to Troop 56’s Assistant Scoutmaster Don Bievenour for assisting Vince with the Scoutmaster Specific Training.

We have heard many thanks from scouters for reviving training at Camporee’s. Look for more in the future, including Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (and Crews?) targeted at current and future Senior Patrol Leaders.