Taughannock District, Baden-Powell Council, BSA

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Advancement News - District News - Council News - National News - What's New?

Roundtable Handouts and Program Resources are available at https://www.TCScouts.org/roundtable.htm

Are you a member of the District Facebook Group? You should be!


Breaking News...

2023-24 Program Planning Calendar

Has your unit planned out its calendar for the upcoming Scouting year? If not, you should - "failing to plan is planning to fail". 

While you're doing that, you can start out with these resources: 

  • Downloadable PDF 2023-24 Planning Calendar from National HQ - includes all the major Scouting milestones and also religious holidays and so on. A great resource to add your unit's events onto - you can type right into the days on the calendar. 

  • Taughannock District Calendar - your resource for all local Scouting events

  • Baden-Powell Council Calendar - most council events will be on the district calendar already, but it can't hurt to check the council calendar before you finalize yours. Also, this is where you can sign up for any council-level events. 

  • Need ideas for your Scouts BSA troop calendar? You can download a list of everything Troop 80 in Cortland did over twenty-plus years from the 1980's to 2004. Of course, it's the Scouts who plan your Troop Calendar, right? Of course, right - and this will give them some ideas to help the troop try some new things. "It's a very fine line between a groove and a rut..."

Have you heard about the new Messengers of Peace program? 

The enhanced Messengers of Peace BSA program launched this summer! The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) created Messengers of Peace in 2011, to encourage Scouts around the world to step up and do what they can to make the world a little better. The MoP program falls under WOSM’s Better World Framework.

Messengers of Peace aims to promote a culture of peace and dialogue for mutual understanding, promote service initiatives led by Scouts, support the development of young people affected by conflict situations, provide further connection to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and connect Scouts around the world in a global network of 20 million Messengers of Peace.

WOSM has defined Three Dimensions within which we can build a culture of peace and create positive change in our world today:

  • Personal 
  • Community Based 
  • Collective Results

This page has an introduction to the Messengers of Peace Program (MOP) https://www.scouting.org/international/messengers-of-peace/ 

Scout Life Article on BSA MOP - https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2023/09/14/getting-to-know-the-enhanced-messengers-of-peace-recognition-program/ 

BSA MOP Program Guide https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mnaFC33Hn1XMhcynUgvllGNLaEsALIso/view 

Cub Scout packs can camp up to two consecutive nights
Effective September 1, 2023

Effective Sept. 1, 2023, Cub Scout packs who are conducting their own overnight camping activities may now camp up to two consecutive nights. This is a change from the earlier policy on pack unit-coordinated camping, which was previously limited to single overnight experiences. The updated policy also applies to Webelos and Arrow of Light dens, who can now conduct campouts for up to two consecutive nights.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • What does unit-coordinated camping mean? A unit-coordinated campout is one that is entirely planned and executed by the leaders and parents in a Cub Scout pack, and not by the unit’s district or council. That means the pack or unit adults are solely responsible for organizing transportation and activities at the campout, and ensuring that all BSA rules are followed. This includes having at least one registered adult leader trained in Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) who oversees the planning and is in attendance for the pack campout.
  • What is BALOO? BALOO is a 1½-day course designed to be an introduction to the Cub Scout outdoor program. It consists of an online pre-requisite component in addition to an overnight hands-on event. Participants will learn BSA’s Cub Scout-level camping policies along with the necessary tools to help units carry out a successful camping experience. While only one adult at minimum needs BALOO, it’s a great idea to have multiple adults take it. The more adults who know BALOO, the better!
  • Note: Baden-Powell Council will be offering BALOO training on October 28-29 at Camp Barton and April 20-21 at Camp Tuscarora 
  • What else do I need to do as I plan a unit-coordinated campout? Make sure the location where you will be camping is approved by your local council. If you’re camping at a popular park or public camping area, chances are it’s already approved, but you should check with your local council to be sure.
  • How do councils decide which locations are approved? By using the Pack Overnight Campout Site Appraisal Form. Completion of this form helps your council ensure that the location has appropriate facilities for Cub Scout camping. Units are not allowed to do their own site appraisals. However, if you have a site in mind that is not on your council’s list of approved sites, you can reach out to them and request an appraisal.

- From Scouting Magazine Blog 

"Welcome" to Taughannock District's new(ish) 
District Commissioner, Clay Converse!

Effective September 1, 2023 (to pick a totally arbitrary date), Clay Converse will be taking over from me as our district's District Commissioner. 

Clay is a 60+ year veteran Scouter, being one of the very few people who have served in all of the Key 3 positions - District Chair, District Executive (both here and overseas in the Transatlantic Council) and District Commissioner. As a youth, he was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Explorer, becoming an Eagle Scout with Bronze Palm and earning his BSA Lifeguard certification. Clay has served as Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner (and ADC) and is currently an Assistant Council Commissioner for Membership. As a Commissioner, he has received the Commissioner's Key, Arrowhead Honor, Distinguished Commissioner Award, Award of Excellence in Unit Service. Clay received his District Award of Merit in 2000 and Silver Beaver in 2017, as well as the prestigious (locally, at least) Patriot Patrol, Old Guard, Dethpicable Order of the Black Duck, Founder's Award, "Honorary Mike" Award, and many others. Other awards include the James E. West Award, Founder's Bar, Emergency Preparedness Award, Professional Training Award and Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. He has also been active in the Girl Scouts of the USA. 

I'm sure Clay will be a great DC, and I hope you will all offer him as much help and support as you've given me over the last seventeen years. 

Mike Brown, Taughannock District Commissioner for another week. 

National Fees Increased 
Effective August 1, 2023

Effective August 1st 2023 the National Membership Fee for youth members increased by $5 per year and the National Membership Fee for adults increased by $15 per year. Merit Badge Counselors not already registered in another scouting position (Unit or District) are required to pay a national annual fee of $25. The National one-time new member joining fee of $25 for program participants in Cub Scouts, Scouts, BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts remains in place. The BSA unit recharter fee which is also a national fee will remain unchanged.

It is important to note the national membership fee, joining fee and then unit recharter fee are all national BSA fees and none of these funds stay with our local scouting program in the Baden Powell Council. These fees are a direct pass though to the National Council to cover such items as enhanced General Liability Insurance, Criminal Background checks on all Adults, and investments in BSA safety resources.

An infographic giving additional information about the new national fee structure and a Frequently Asked Questions document can be downloaded here in PDF format. 

The National Council also announced that beginning August 1st 2023 all new youth and adult members who join Scouting will be enrolled for a 12 month membership cycle and BSA will cease prorating fees. Both youth and adults will pay the full annual membership fee and will renew their membership on their anniversary date. Registered members of the BSA will receive an e-mail notice with the registration renewal link 60 days before the anniversary date they joined Scouting. Unit leaders will receive a copy of the e-mail and should stay engaged in the membership renewal process just like rechartering. We will share additional details on the process when they become available from the National Office.

We recognize these fee increases may be difficult for some scouting families and encourage them to use the annual fall popcorn sale as a way for scouts to earn their own way. We encourage scouting units and sponsoring organizations to help support scouting families in need. Baden Powell council also has funds available to help support scouts and families with the greatest financial needs. If you have a scout that is truly in need please have them contact their district executive to apply for financial assistance.

The scouting program remains one of the most valuable investments we can make in today's youth. Our dedicated volunteers staff and families make scouting possible. Thank you for continuing to make a difference in the lives of the youth we serve.

Ken Bondurant Mary Ann Wilcox Matthew Bull
Council President  Vice President- Membership  Scout Executive/CEO

Additional note: Remember that the Taughannock District has a New Scout Fee Assistance Fund if you have a new member who needs assistance paying that fee. See below for details. 

Boo At Barton - Fall Cub Adventure Weekend
October 7, 2023
Camp Barton

See all Camp Barton has to offer, experience the great outdoors and of course have fun! Save the date!

  • Who: Cub Scouts of all ranks are invited to attend with their parents/guardians and family.

    • Calling all Webelos and AOLs: We will be offering dens for older Cubs with alternative activities more suited to the older Pack Members. Parents are welcome, but will not be required as experienced Scouters will lead the dens.

  • What: Come and help solve the mystery whilst participating in fun activities which may include:

    • Archery

    • BB shooting

    • Wall climbing

    • Halloween themed games

    • STEM-based projects

    • Den challenges and many more surprises!

  • When: All Day on October 7th with overnight camping on Saturday encouraged with your Pack or as a family. Your own equipment
    is required.

  • How much: Estimated to cost $25 for youth aged 5 and over, $5 for youth 2-4 (not guaranteed all program), Free to youth <2. Adults are $20 unless pre-registered with CAPS committee as staff

  • Questions? E-mail CAPS@TCScouts.org 

Upcoming Training Opportunities

See the Training Page or the Baden-Powell Council calendar webpage for details

Scouting is a uniformed organization… Do you need a uniform? 

We can help.  The Taughannock District currently has several experienced men's uniform shirts available for purchase. 
Reserve one now, and pick it up at Roundtable. 

Suggested price: $10 per shirt (new are $30-40) All proceeds go to the District New Scout Fund. 

Contact Mike Homrighaus at mhomrigh@twcny.rr.com 

Scouts BSA Advancement Requirements Updated

See Advancement News below for details

Looking for Recruiting Materials?

Check out https://www.scouting.org/recruitment/ 

Give to Baden-Powell Council while you shop!

AmazonSmile is a program that donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases on Amazon to a charity of your choice. All you need to do is start your shopping at smile.amazon.com. The donation will be made at no extra cost to you

Silver Beaver, Venturing & Sea Scout Leadership, Light of Scouting & Fretwell Awards

Scout Volunteers and Community Members,

The Baden-Powell Council recognizes the efforts and dedication our volunteers provide creating a quality program for our area youth. Please recognize the tireless efforts of our distinguished volunteers. 

The Silver Beaver Award is to recognize registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council. Introduced in 1931 the award is bestowed upon volunteers who consistently go above and beyond providing exceptional service not only to scouting but to their community.

The Venturing Leadership Award is used In order to recognize Venturing Scouts and Venturing Advisors who have made exceptional contributions to Venturing and who exemplify the Scout Oath and Law. To qualify for the award the venturing scouter or venturing advisor should demonstrate outstanding service to both the venturing program and our venturing scouts.

The purpose of the Sea Scout Leadership Award is to recognize Sea Scouts and Sea Scouters who have made exceptional contributions to Sea Scouting. To qualify for the award Qualification to be registered and involved as a Sea Scout or Sea Scouter for at least one year, hold a leadership position or an office at the unit, district, or council level, and show exceptional dedication and give outstanding leadership and service to Sea Scouting and to Sea Scouts.

Named after a Columbia University education professor (who also happened to be the BSA's second Chief Scout Executive), the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award is presented to those who work in education and who follow the BSA's mission "to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."

Brand New: The Light of Scouting Award. Do you know someone who went above and beyond to keep the light of scouting going during the Coronavirus Pandemic? Someone who improvised, adapted and overcame the difficulty of finding ways to keep the Scouts active? Please consider nominating them for this new Baden-Powell Council award.

Please return all nominations to Baden Powell Council. Please send to the attention of Stacy Hall, Staff Advisor: stacy.hall@scouting.org 

Help with the New Scout joining fee is available

Effective August 1st, 2020, National instituted a $25 joining fee for all new Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Sea Scouts. The Taughannock District recognizes that this fee may pose a barrier to some families, especially in this time of Covid-19 uncertainty. 

The District has established a New Scout fund to help pay these Joining Fees for Scouts who might need help with paying them. The fund was established from the proceeds of the Scouting Memorabilia Sale held in August and from contributions by generous District Volunteers.  The New Scout Fund has been set up at the Council Office, and it is available now. 

If your unit has recruited one or more new boys or girls who have need of assistance with paying the Joining Fee, send an e-mail to NewScoutFund@TCScouts.org and let us know what unit you're with and how many Joining Fees you would need. We can't pay all the joining fees for every new member - there just isn't enough money for that - but we hope that where there is need, we can help. 
A Scout is Trustworthy - if you tell us these boys and girls need help joining Scouts, the Fund is there to help.

Please note: 

  • This fund is only available for units in the Taughannock District. If you're not in the district, talk to your district or council leadership about setting up such a fund for your district or council. 

  • The fund is only for Joining Fees for newly-joining youth. It is not available to pay registration fees in general. 

  • If you are a parent of a newly-joining Cub, Scout, Sea Scout or Venturer and need this help, ask your Pack, Troop, Ship or Crew to make application for the help. Money from the New Scout Fund will only be applied to fees due from the unit, on application by the unit. No cash distributions to units or individuals will be made.   

Coming soon...

Watch the District Facebook group, Council Website and Council Facebook Page

Upcoming Merit Badge Sessions

Watch this page and the Baden-Powell Council Calendar for more badges as they are added to the schedule.

What's new?

Roundtable Handouts and Resources are now available online

Check out our Handouts and Resources page on this website!

University of Scouting Resources

Presentations and handouts from the Baden-Powell Council's University of Scouting over the years are now available on an  on-line resource page. Check it out! 

The link to the resources can always be found on our Training page and also on the Council website training page

Take a look at the Taughannock District Virtual Patch Collection!

Lots of Scouts and Scouters collect patches - your Webmaster is no exception. 

So, I've started to put up a Virtual Patch Collection for the district. 
It's a work in progress, and will by no means be exhaustive, but it's what I've got.

Click here to get started - or look for the "Virtual Patch Collection" button on the left.

- Mike Brown

Does your Unit have a website or Facebook group/page?

If so, check out the Cub, Scout or Venture/Explorer web page on this site, and if there's no link to your page please send our webmaster an e-mail  so we can let the world know. The more links to your social media, the more likely it is that you'll pick up new members from it!

Advancement and Recognition News

For the most up-to-date Advancement information see our Advancement Page
See the "Covid-19" section at the top of this page for links relating to advancement changes during this pandemic.

  • Cub Advancement News: 
  • Scout Advancement News: 
    • Advancement Changes for 2023: See the US Scouts Service Project page for complete list and details
      • Rank Requirements: The following requirements have been changed: 
        • Scout: 1(c), 5, 6
        • Tenderfoot: 1(c), 5(a) and (c) 
        • Second Class: 1(b), 2(b) and (c)
        • First Class: 1(b), 2(d)
        • Star:  3 (minor wording change) and 6
        • Life: 3 (minor wording change)
        • Eagle: 3 (minor revision - reordering to move Citizenship in Society with other Citizenship badges in listing)
      • Merit Badges: The following merit badges have had requirements changed for 2023: 
        • American Business (2c) 
        • Animal Science (1, Avian Option a, c, e) 
        • Archery (1a, b, c, d, 3b, 4a, b, c, d, 5ac, 5af1cd, 5bc, 5bf1cd) 
        • Architecture (1b) 
        • Composite Materials (1c 3a) 
        • Cooking (2c, d, 4a, 5b, d, e, g, 6a, f) 
        • Cycling (1a, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Option A a1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Option B a1, 3, b1, 2, 3, c, d, e) 
        • Digital Technology (3a, 3e, 4a, 5a, 7c) 
        • Disabilities Awareness (6) 
        • Emergency Preparedness (3) 
        • Environmental Science (3, 3f2, 5) 
        • Family Life (6b1, 2, 3) 
        • Farm Mechanics (1d) 
        • Game Design (1b, 5b, 8a, b) 
        • Genealogy (1a, b, c, 4a, b, c, d, e, 8b, c) 
        • Geology (5d2) 
        • Golf (3, 7g) 
        • Hiking (2a, b, c, 4, 5) 
        • Inventing (6b) 
        • Mammal Study (3a, b, c) 
        • Nature (4g2, 4h1, 6a, b) 
        • Personal Fitness (4d) 
        • Plant Science (8 Option 3 Field Botany A2, B, F1d, F3c1, 2, 3) 
        • Programming (1b, 3a) 
        • Reptile and Amphibian Study (3d, 5) 
        • Salesmanship (2b, 2d, 3, 4, 6a3) 
        • Small-Boat Sailing (6i, j) 
        • Snow Sports (2b, 7 Downhill a, h, i; Cross country a, b, d, i; Snowboarding i, k; Snowshoeing e, i, j) 
        • Sports (5) 
        • Swimming (5a)
    • Advancement Changes for 2022: The following changes were announced in June 2022: 
      • Minor Modifications to Scouts BSA Rank Requirements: 
        • In 2021, all outdoor-related rank advancement requirements were reviewed and realigned based on guidance from the National Outdoor Ethics and Conservation Subcommittee. These adjustments will help more effectively build a Scout’s outdoor ethics knowledge and align with the information in the Scouts BSA Handbook and Fieldbook. The requirements now build in a logical way through the ranks, with Leave No Trace (LNT) and the Outdoor Code (OC) used as references throughout. Beginning August 1, 2022, these modifications to the Scouts BSA requirements for the ranks of Scout through Star will take effect. Scouts may continue using the existing requirements for the rank on which they are currently working, or they may choose to use the new requirements. Scouts must use the new requirements once they advance to their next rank. 
          The specific changes are detailed at  https:// www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/2022-Scouts-BSA-rank-requirements-side-by-side
        • On January 1, 2023, all Scouts must use only the new requirements. 
      • New videos were created to support “Personal Safety Awareness” (chapter 13) of the Scouts BSA Handbook. These can be used as an alternative to earning the Cyber Chip. 
      • Citizenship in Society Merit Badge became an Eagle Required merit badge on July 1, 2022. 
    • The age for joining Scouts BSA was revised in April 2022. Youth may join Scouts BSA if:
      •  they are at least 10 years old, currently in the fifth grade and register on or after March 1st; OR 
      • have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old; OR 
      • are age 11 but have not reached age 18. 

      Prior to this change, new Scouts had to have completed fifth grade. Now, fifth graders can join in March, allowing the new Scout to have a few month's experience in Scouting before they go to summer camp for the first time. 

    • BSA introduces new merit badges from time to time:  watch our Advancement page for details as they become available! The most recent are:
      • Citizenship in Society became required as of July 1, 2022.  See the Advancement page for details. 

      • Health Care Professions replaced Medicine, effective December 31, 2021. See the Advancement page for details. 

    • As of March 1, 2022, all temporary changes made to Scouts BSA advancement requirements to address the COVID-19 pandemic expired, and the standard rules for Scouts BSA advancement once again apply. This includes deferment of some swimming requirements for First and Second class, virtual activities for Tenderfoot, Second and First Class, and requirement 9b of the Camping merit badge.
    • Extensions of time for Eagle, Quartermaster and Summit Awards - as of January 1, 2021, these may be granted by the local council. See the Advancement page for details. 
    • Life to Eagle Training will be offered at several roundtables or by request from the Advancement Committee (Advancement@TCScouts.org) throughout the year. See the Advancement Page for details.  
    • Merit Badge Counselor List: Download the latest list from the Advancement page
  • Venturing Advancement News: 

    • Certain restrictions regarding prior credit for Venturers have been changed. Effective immediately, Venturing Advisors have the discretion to give a Venturer credit toward Venturing award requirements for work previously completed by the Venturer while a registered member of a Scouts BSA Troop or a Sea Scout Ship. This change aligns the Venturing advancement program with the Scouts BSA and Sea Scouting advancement programs.  Under the current edition of the Guide to Advancement and the latest printed edition of Venturing Awards and Requirements, a Venturer was required to complete all work on Venturing awards while registered as a Venturer, and Venturing Advisors were not permitted to give credit toward Venturing award requirements for work previously done by a youth in Scouts BSA or Sea Scouts. Neither Scouts BSA nor Sea Scouts have these same restrictions. Except as stated in the temporary transition rules covering first-time members entering Scouts BSA after February 1, 2019, in both Scouts BSA and Sea Scouts, unit leaders are currently able to consider work done in any program when giving credit toward completion of rank or award requirements. To improve consistency within the three programs and to encourage membership in Venturing Crews, Venturers may now receive credit toward Venturing ranks and specialty awards for work completed while registered in a Scouts BSA Troop or a Sea Scout Ship.

    • Another recent update to the Venturing Program is also intended to improve consistency among the different programs within Scouting. Since the adoption of the ALPS model, the Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit awards have been referred to as core awards and not as ranks. The National Venturing Committee is also pleased to announce that effective immediately the Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit awards will be referred to as Venturing ranks. The Quest, Ranger, and Trust Awards will remain as part of the Venturing program as specialty awards and are not considered Venturing ranks.

For the latest news, see National's Program Updates page

District News

  • Help Wanted - Experienced Scouters wanted for Taughannock District Committee positions. Long hours, no pay, great job satisfaction. This opportunity won't come again (until next week), so act NOW! Openings in:

    • Activities (Cub, Scout and Venturing)

    • Advancement (Cub and Scout)

    • Finance

    • Membership

    • Training

    • Commissioner Corps - we can use several Unit Commissioners, also New Unit Commissioners are needed to make a three-year commitment to help newly formed units succeed. We're also looking for someone who would be willing to take on the District Commissioner role in a year or two - sign up as an Assistant DC now, and move up when you're ready. 

For more information, and a list of available positions, see our "Help Wanted" page!

 Contact the District Key 3 if you're interested or know someone who would be interested! 

Council News

See the Council Website at https://www.bpcouncil.org  

National and International News

BSA Bankruptcy Plan has been approved

For the most up-to-date information, see https://www.bsarestructuring.org/ 

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