New National Council Chief Scout Executive announced

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The National Council announced the new Chief Scout Executive is Michael Surbaugh. 

Congratulations to Crossroads of America Council Chief Scout Executive Patrick Sterrett for being among the final three. We are proud of his work for us and happy it is worthy of national recognition.

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May 2015 Roundtable Thank You

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On May 7, 2015, Darin Steindl our Council Assistant Director of Field Services talked to our attendees about the next six months in scouting. With Back to School Night, the new recruiting marketing campaign, popcorn sales, and council programming activities, Darin had a full offering. We had a wonderful turn out to take the message back to their units.

I would like to thank the following people for taking time out of their personal schedule and away from their units to continue their education about what council and district is scheduled to do to help improve their units.  Thank you to

Name Unit
Greg Hoyes Troop 804
Thomas Petersen Troop 804
Kurt Thomas Troop 73
Vince Hernly Troop 73
Mike Yates Troop 56
Don Bievenour Troop 56
Mike Rodriguez Troop 514
Tom Sugar Troop 358
Ron Wells Troop 343
Brian Crow Troop 343
John Ruggles Troop 343
Andrew Himebaugh Troop 343
Dan Ramsey Troop 18
Edward Spahr Troop 174
Patrick Sweeney Pack 514
Mario Clarizia Pack 358
Jason des Bordes Pack 18
Eric Hernandez Pack 175/ Troop 174
Justin Scott Ass’t District Comm’r for training

I believe a few people arrived late and we did not get them the sign-in sheet. If you know anyone whom I may have inadvertently omitted, please put it in the comments below so that they get the credit they deserve.

Thank you to Darin for having a lively and thorough discussion of the topics. Darin told us that he will make himself available to units who want to hear the same presentation.  Please contact him at the council office for additional information.

Thank you to Rob Hemmelgarn, Darin’s boss and the district’s key advisor during our reorganization, for taking the time in a hectic evening schedule for making time for North Star.

Additional information that Darin provided on popcorn sales and cub scout recruiting have been added to the previous blog posts. New blog posts about the effects on scouts with the new cub marketing, advancement programs, rocket launches, pack/family overnight campout opportunities, and new Journey to Excellence rules will be in later blog posts.

2015 Central Indiana Merit Badge University

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UPDATE: 5/7/15. Moved to top of blog.  This event does not appear on district calendar because it is a council event. (This blog is a supplement for the Council’s website for North Star, not a replacement.)

The Seventh Annual Central Indiana Merit Badge University, sponsored by Crossroads of America Council, will be held at Greenfield-Central junior high school, May 15 through the 17th, 2015. Greenfield, Indiana is on I 70, 14 miles east of Indianapolis I 465 bypass.
They will be offering 61 different merit badges in 110 classes over five sessions beginning Friday evening and contcrossroads_patchinuing through Sunday morning. Fees vary by session length in cost of supplies. Meals are included during the Saturday sessions. Official BSA adult training courses such as scoutmaster specific training, merit badge counselor introduction, troop committee challenge, and youth protection are available. More information at

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-central-indiana-merit-badge-university-registration-16461141718?aff=eac2

Originally posted 4/21/15.

District Leadership Conference Announced

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UPDATE: promoted to top.

Mark Maucere of Pack 105, Troop 358, and Crew 358 has announced that, on Monday 4, 2015 at 7 pm, Troop 358 and its chartered organization St Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church in Zionsville hosting an open forum on leadership in the North Star District.  The meeting will be in the St Robert’s Room (northwest corner of Wetzel Hall). See event list for location info and RSVP (“ticketing” is for calendaring. RSVP requested in form of “ticket” but not required to attend). District Chairman Steve James and District Commissioner Jeff Heck will be in attendance.
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New Adult Application

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Effective March 1, 2015, BSA has issued a new Adult Application. It is now required for all Venturers age 18-21, too.

There are also need background questions.

Adult Application graphicYou can download the form here and use it instead of the triplicate version.

The form you submit to the Council Registrar must have an original ink signature. No electronic transmissions or signatures are accepted.

A new application submission must be made for each new position an adult undertakes. Multiple registrations in units and district are accepted. So a scouter can be registered in a Cub Pack, a Scout Troop, and North Star District simultaneously.

How do we improve our Trained status for our unit?

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The Journey to Excellence Award encourages 100% Trained status among the Scouters in each unit. For many established units, some of the Scouters have been involved for decades with varying levels of active participation with the youth.

Obviously all registered scouters must have a current Youth Protection Training. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

However, for scouters who wish to remain registered with a unit but do not wish to pursue the training requirements of their assistant unit leader (e.g., Assistant Cubmaster, Assistant Den Leader, Assistant Scoutmaster, or Assistant Crew Advisor), a new registration option exists. This will be important at Rechartering because untrained persons will not be Rechartered.

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Upcoming Roundtable: Who Should Attend?

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On Thursday, May 7th, the district will hold its next Roundtable.  Click the link to provide an optional RSVP, which is requested.

The topic will be the “Ideal Year in Scouting,” presented by Darin Stendl from the Council office, and our future district executive’s supervisor. This is an important topic for Cub Packs and Scout Troops who hold their annual planning during school’s summer break or in August after classes start.

The Ideal Year in Scouting is way to help your scouts plan for the coming year while helping your adult leaders understand how they can support the scout choices. This covers many issues from programming ideas to financing outings.

So who should attend?

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What does a “Scout Banana” teach a Scoutmaster?

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Clarke Green runs an impressive blog and podcast at scoutmastercg.com. He makes learning to be a scouter fun and addictive. His 30 years as a scoutmaster come through in every posting.

In an older podcast (Episode 174), he talks with a newly minted scoutmaster running a brand new troop. The scoutmaster recites some of his lessons learned in the field. The most fascinating part was his story about the Scout Banana. Listen to hear his lesson.

What did you learn?

For Cubmasters, this is an invaluable podcast to learn what awaits your Webelos. It demonstrates why scouting works.

Why did I receive a Self-Assessment email?

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As any veteran scouter can attest, the BSA has had a program encouraging unit health and growth for years. Until 2009, the program was called the Unit Excellence Award. From 2010 to 2013, the program was called the Centennial Award. Since 2014, the award is now called the Journey to Excellence Award. All of these have used different measurements to assess the health of pack, troops, and crews, while maintaining similar goals.

For the first two years of the Journey to Excellence, the program has been completely voluntary and incentivized by discounts on various products, such as pinewood derby cars, when specific goals were met.

For 2016 rechartering, this will change. Now the Journey to Excellence Award Report will be a required part of the rechartering packet. That does not mean that units are required to pursue the award. It just means that the units must disclose their statistics at the end of this charter period.

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