District Training for August

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As part of our effort to streamline and improve North Star District, the Commissioners Service and the District Training Committee are offering three trainings in August 2015:

1. Unit Commissioners Training on Monday, August 3rd at St Luke’s UMC.

2. Merit Badge Counselor Training at Roundtable on Thursday, August 6th at Second Presbyterian, 4th Floor.

3. Chartered Organization Representative Training on Monday, August 10th at St. Luke’s UMC.

For more details about times, locations, RSVPs, go to www.cacnorthstar.org/calendar.

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Sox Report: Week 9

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The Scouting Game

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In my work as District Commissioner, I am often in a position to ask volunteer scouters to complete training. It is very easy for me to sound as if training makes scouting. The joy and enthusiasm for our activities make scouting.

Clarke Green has a weekly blog post where he posts Lord Baden Powell’s bi-weekly magazine columns about scouting. It is interesting to see many of the problems we face today were the same problems that Lord Baden Powell advised his scouters about.

This week’s post is “Scouting – Game, Not Science.” B-P emphasizes that scouter training serves a purpose, but it is too easily misinterpreted. Scouters then become depressed, and the boys catch the depression. He says,

Scouting, as I have said above, is not a science to be solemnly studied, nor is it a collection of doctrines and texts. Nor again is it a military code for drilling discipline into boys and repressing their individuality and initiative. No — it is a jolly game in the out of doors, where boy-men and boys can go adventuring together as older and younger brother, picking up health and happiness, handicraft and helpfulness.

B-P recommends how to properly view training:

[The Scoutmaster’s] job is to enthuse the boys and to get experts to teach them. The collection of rules is merely to give guiding lines to help them in a difficulty; the training courses are merely to show them the more readily the best ways of applying our methods and of gaining results.

B-P helps enlighten us about the correct point of view for training. It is to teach us the best way of applying the scouting methods to get results. In today’s business language it is the “best practices” of scouting.

Our emphasis at District on training is not for enforcing discipline. It is for giving each pack, troop, or crew the tools to achieve “best practices” as quickly as possible. Skip some of the pain of the School of Hard Knocks. Focus on what works. Shift responsibility for the program’s planning and action to the boys in an age-appropriate manner. We want to train you so that you are more comfortable with scouting.

How much more enjoyable is a sport or a card game if you understand the rules, goals, boundaries, and methods of play? Learn scouting’s “best practices” so that you can focus on the game – not the rules – of scouting.

Council Meeting Schedules

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Banner scheduling datesMost every third Tuesday of the Month, Council has some meetings scheduled. This month there was confusion about what needed to be covered. For those District Members and Commissioners who responded, thank you!

To avoid future confusion for the rest of the year, Con Sullivan provided me with the formal schedule. Click here to download a copy for your own records
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Pack Membership Coordinator Recruitment 

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This is the time of year that it is so important for a pack chairman to recruit a pack membership coordinator. 

One of the hardest parts of recruitment is explaining the nature and duties of the position. Units that have had the luxury of having one parent assist in year one and then do the job in year to have the advantage of on the job training.

For most other packs, most of the training has to be done using other resources: classes, literature, or on the job experience.

BSA has put together a wonderful website for all packs, troops, and crews to be able to use for different recruitment purposes. There are even YouTube videos for the membership coordinator to learn their job. This is different than the usual E-learning process because there is no login required.

Take a look at this website to find out what you can do to improve your recruitment this fall. 

 

How Do I Add or Remove Merit Badges for Counseling

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UPDATE: 11/5/15: District is working at updating its list of MBC’s right now. If you see the draft and find that you are not included on it, please read this article about why and how to proceed.

For all of the blog’s information about Merit Badges, click here.


If you want to add or subtract from the Merit Badges that you counsel, please complete this North Star MBC Drop/Add Form. The form must be on file for all counselors. It is required along with the Adult Application.

Please have your troop’s Merit Badge Counselor Registrar contact the District MBC Registrar Mike Yates with any questions about a counselor’s current registration.

The District records are the authority on who is properly a Merit Badge Counselor. Troop registrars are for the convenience of the troop and its members to have a sole point of contact who is familiar with the system.

When a Merit Badge Counselor turns in his or her Drop-Add Form, please encourage them to offer their services to the District or Council, not just your unit, especially if they offer a rare badge. They will not often receive many calls.

For recent history on the MBC registration process and why changes have occurred, please read this blog article. To see options for bringing counseling into the 21st Century, read about the BSA’s acquisition of Scoutbook.com. Regardless whether your unit uses Scoutbook.com or not, it has some invaluable tools for Merit Badge Counseling that are not available elsewhere. Encourage your MBC’s to enroll. Their list of badges offered will then be added to the District list.

If you are retiring from serving as a MBC for the new year, make sure that the District MBC Registrar Mike Yates is aware. Your Troop and Crew leader, committee chair, and chartered organization representative were emailed his email address in October 2015.

If your troop does not have a person listed on your troop’s roster as the MBC registrar, please contact your Troop Committee Chair for more information.

Making My.Scouting.Org Useful

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Over the next several days, BSA is going to continue moving more and more of its access to ScoutNet database for its volunteers from myscouting.scouting.org to my.scouting.org.

One of the most important benefits of the new system is that it delegates more control over data to the volunteer corps.

This means that it is important that each unit be aware that it can update information. Once aware, the unit needs to update the information.

To begin the process, you need to know your username and password. It is the same one that you used on myscouting.scouting.org. (If you do not have an account there, you will need to register there first.) If you have never logged in to my.scouting.org, you will have to complete the registration transfer process first. Once you are logged in, continue with the instructions below. (For a slightly older video showing the process, click here.)

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Volunteering at State Fair Scout Base Camp

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UPDATE 7/21/15: Michelle Carroll has had Del-Mi’s Troop 303 and Pioneer’s Crew 359 take charge of one full day’s calendar. She is begging for similar support from other units. So only August 8th and 9th are covered completely.
The following is a request for volunteers from Council’s Michelle Carroll, the State Fair Scout Base Camp Chair.
For some of you that have worked at Base Camp in previous years, I hope that you will consider volunteering again this year. I like to consider all of you my “seasoned pros.” If you have not worked Base Camp before, it is a great way to interact with the public through hands-on activities that tie into scouting. Sign-up is easy (online), and we are throwing in something new this year for our volunteers. The sign-up times on the link are going to be adjusted, so I will include the new times in this email.
What I am needing from all of you is to please pass along the following information to your troop/crew. It will include what they need to know about the Base Camp, what is required of them, and a few guidelines that must be followed. Feel free to copy/paste the following into a group email, post it to your troop website, or print it as a hand-out for one of your meetings. By sending out this email, you are helping me to reach out to over 340 units, which saves me from having to make phone calls to each and every troop and crew in the Crossroads of America Council.

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