Taughannock District, Baden-Powell Council, BSA

Advancement News - District News - Council News - National News - What's New?
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Location change for February Roundtable!

Our February Roundtable will be on February 14th, which is also Ash Wednesday. 

As a result, our February Roundtable will be held at the Dryden Fire Hall, just north of the church on Route 13. 

On the Oregon Trail Winter Camporee
Camp Barton
January 26-28, 2018

Additional details have been posted to the Activities Page as of January 1st. 

Scout Kabbalat Shabbat Dinner
Friday, February 9th
Temple Israel in Vestal

In less than two months, Scout Shabbat (Sabbath) and Scout Sunday will be here! Temple Israel in Vestal is considering having a Scout Kabbalat Shabbat dinner and service the evening of Friday, February 9, and has asked me to reach out to see if there would be any interest. The dinner would most likely be at 5:30 PM with a service immediately following. This event would be open to all Scouts, whether Jewish or not.

If you have any Scouts in your Troop who would be interested, please let us know. If there is interest, then we will make this an event and I will get the word out to all of you. You can email either myself at martinezauthor@gmail.com or Rabbi Geoffrey Brown at rabbigbrownti@gmail.com if you wish to express your Scouts' interest, or if you have any questions/concerns.

A couple of questions you may be asking:

What is a Kabbalat Shabbat service? Taking place on Friday evening, a Kabbalat Shabbat service welcomes in the Jewish Sabbath, which is celebrated from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. It is typically around an hour long. It is rich with song, praise of the Lord, and prayer.

Would it be wrong to encourage non-Jewish Scouts to attend? Absolutely not! Judaism is a non-proselytizing religion passed on through ancestry rather than evangelization, which means that though people can convert, we are not permitted to actively seek converts. So you don't have to worry that we will try to "make you Jewish". We are simply trying to give Jewish Scouts a chance for a Scout Shabbat and non-Jewish Scouts an opportunity to be exposed to new customs and experiences they may not have encountered before!

Would attending a Jewish service conflict with my Scout's Christianity or Christian education? No. In fact, it would probably enhance their Christian education. Seeing a prayer service in the religious traditions of Jesus, an Arabic Jew from Nazareth, would likely be a great opportunity to enhance one's understanding of Jesus and the way he likely prayed.

Should I encourage Jewish Scouts who are a member at a different Jewish Synagogue to go? Not if their synagogue also sets up a Scout Shabbat service for that evening. I do not, however, believe that Scout Shabbat services have been regularly offered in our area in past years. To encourage adherence to the Twelfth Point of the Scout Law (reverent) and to one of the key principles of the Scout Oath (Duty to God), it may be good to encourage Jewish Scouts to come to a Scout Shabbat service.

Again, please let myself or Rabbi Brown know if there is any interest in your family or in your Troop! We look forward to hosting this event if there is enough interest expressed!

B'Shalom (In Peace), 
Michael T. Martinez, Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 43 in Apalachin, Trustee at Temple Israel

District Pinewood Derby
March 10th
Shops at Ithaca Mall

See the Activity Page for details!

University of Scouting
Saturday, March 17th
Whitney Point High School

The University of Scouting is an opportunity to obtain advanced training for all leaders - adults at all program levels, and older youth 14+. Your unit's leaders should be there!

See the Training page for details

Scouts Day at Cornell University
Saturday, April 14, 2018

The co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega Gamma chapter of Cornell University, would like to announce our first Scouts Day for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the local Tompkins County and NYPENN area. 

We are looking forward to welcoming Scouts to Cornell's campus to participate in a wide range of student-run badge workshops and participate in service projects with APO members for our local community. 

Scouts Day will take place on Saturday, April 14th from 10am-4pm and is open for Boy Scouts and Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes. Registration will begin in mid-February and more information will be released on http://www.apogamma.org in the upcoming weeks. 

The expected cost will be $10 per Scout. For any immediate questions, please e-mail Winnie Ho at president@apogamma.org 

Bi-Monthly Cub Activities at
The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier
60 Morgan Road, Binghamton

The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier is a hands on children's museum. They offer workshops and an overnight snooze experience for Cub Scouts every other month. 

For details see the Activity Page

Calling all Aviators!
Aviation Explorer Post 62 - East Hill Flying Club, Ithaca Airport

Meetings on second Sundays, 3:00PM (usually)

If you know anyone between 14-20 years old who is interested in flying, invite him or her to come to our meeting and join Post 62!
Download a flyer here in PDF

You can find more information and our annual calendar on our web page, and also on our Facebook page
For ongoing information,  join our Google Group. If you're interested, send an e-mail to Post62@TCScouts.org or call 607-844-8584.  

Eagle Palm Requirements
October Update to August 1st Announcement

Previously, a Scout had to wait three months after his Eagle Board of Review before he could apply for his first Eagle Palm. Effective Aug. 1, 2017, the tenure requirement will not apply for the first Palm(s) only. The requirement now reads: 

"After successfully completing your Eagle Scout board of review on or after Aug. 1, 2017, and being validated as an Eagle Scout by the National Service Center, you will be entitled to receive an Eagle Palm for each additional five merit badges you have completed before your Eagle Scout board of review beyond those required for Eagle. In addition, all current Scouts who completed their Eagle board of review and who had not passed their 18th birthday before Aug, 1, 2017 are entitled as well. For these Palms only, it will not be necessary for you to complete the requirements stated below."

This means that at his Court of Honor a new Eagle can receive his Eagle award and as many palms as he has earned before his Eagle Board of Review. After that, the three-month tenure requirement applies as before.  

The original announcement said that this change only applied to Scouts with Boards of Review after August 1, 2017. As of October 25th, this has changed to apply to all Scouts who earned their Eagle and who were not yet 18 as of August 1st. .   Now those current Eagle Scouts can immediately apply for and receive Eagle Palms for merit badges earned before their board of review.

Let me reiterate: Only those merit badges earned before the Scout’s Eagle board of review count, assuming those merit badges have not already been applied to a previously awarded Palm.

For example: David had 41 merit badges when he became an Eagle Scout on July 29, 2017. That’s 20 more than required. Under the revision, he’s entitled to receive and wear a Silver Palm (representing 15 additional merit badges) and a Bronze Palm (representing five additional). Under the previous rule, it would’ve taken David a year to earn those Palms — three months for every five merit badges.

What about any merit badges David earns after his board of review on July 29, 2017? The usual requirements apply - he will have to wait until he has satisfied them before applying for additional palms.

Also changed are the following:

  • No Board of Review is required for Eagle Palms. A palm is not a rank, so no Board of Review is necessary. A Unit Leader Conference is still required, and can be held any time during the period since the last Palm (or Eagle Board). 

  • Three-month tenure in any BSA program is acceptable, not just in the "troop or patrol". 

  • Leadership requirement is broadened to include “accepting responsibility” as well as “demonstrating leadership.”

For a PDF listing of the current requirement, see here on the National website

Our Scouts and Cubs had a great time at the Auto-Ree on October 21st. 

The Scouts earned Automobile Maintenance Merit Badge through 12 different stations, and the Cubs built balloon-powered cars. There were a number of interesting cars to look at, a Truck Simulator for the Scouts to drive, a Big Rig to sit in, a Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA) radio station, a rollover demonstrator, and a movie in the evening. Our thanks to the Central New York Living History Center for hosting the event, to the Skyline Radio Club for the JOTA station, to P &S Transportation for the truck and the simulator, to the NY State Police for the rollover demonstrator, and, of course, to all of the District, Troop and Pack Scouters who did all of the work to make the Auto-Ree possible. A special "thanks" goes to Roger Garnett for organizing the Scout Camporee, Lynn Green for organizing the Cub event (among other things) and to Kathlene and Dave Gross for the logistical support. If I've forgotten to mention you - sorry about that, and "thanks" to you, too!

For more pictures see the 2017 Auto-Ree page!

BSA Announcement Regarding Girls in Cubs and Eagle Program

Dear fellow Scouters,

Today, the executive board of the national council voted to allow females to join Scouting. As you can imagine, this decision will come with many supporters and detractors.

There is no immediate action to be taken. Nothing will change until Fall 2018 or 2019, as designated in the information below.

Below is the brief article I was sent, which I feel is important to share with each of you. Please read through carefully.

Should you be approached by media with questions, please refer them to me or provide the person with the following email: pr@scouting.org

Should you have questions that I may be of assistance with, please call or email.

Thanks for all your do to keep Scouting alive and well in the Baden-Powell Council.

Warm Regards,
Rick Christ | Scout Executive & CEO
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA Baden-Powell Council # 368
2150 NY Route 12 Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: 607 648-7888 ext 105 
Fax: 607 648-7895 
Email: RichardD.Christ@Scouting.org 

Web: http://www.bpcouncil.org 

BSA Expands Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts Programs to Welcome Girls 

The BSA's board of directors has unanimously approved welcoming girls into our Cub Scouts program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. 

The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders - as well as parents and girls who have never been involved in Scouting - to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children. 

Linked below are a few resources to help you learn more about today's decision. 

Key Messages: 

  • This change is the result of years of requests from families: The BSA thoughtfully evaluated how to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible and adapt to the changing needs of today's families - all while remaining true to our mission and core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Changes will begin in 2018 (Cub Scouts) and stretch into 2019 (older girls): Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the BSA also will deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable girls to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows us to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today's families.


Additional points from the Press Release:

  • Cub Options: Starting in the Fall of 2018, existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. 
  • Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. 
  • Boy Scout Program Aged Girls (11-17): Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.
  • This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.

Change to YPT requirements for Boy Scout Troops
Effective Summer 2018

Scout Troops should be aware of the following change to BSA Youth Protection rules: 

Effective for the 2018 BSA summer camp season, any adult accompanying a Boy Scout troop to a residence camp or other Scouting activity lasting 72 hours or more must be registered as a leader, including completion of a background check (CBC) and Youth Protection Training (YPT), even if they are the parent of a youth on the trip.

Please note: Although YPT is strongly encouraged for adults attending any overnight activity, at this time, the requirement applies only to individual adults staying three or more nights at a resident camp.

Pack 85 Homer held a great Rocket Derby on September 25, 2017!

For more pictures, see the 2017 Rocket Derby page

Boy Scout Camping Fees for 2018 have been established

See Camping page for details

BSA Registration Fees will increase on December 1, 2017

The Boy Scouts of America announced that registration fees will be increasing by $9 (or to $2.75 per month) effective December 1st, 2017. More information regarding this increase can be found here. Units should budget for this when annual dues/fees are collected this fall. The last National fee increase was four years ago.

This fee change will affect Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships. However, it will NOT apply to LDS-sponsored units, nor to those units with council-paid memberships, nor to Exploring posts/clubs (Explorer fees will increase sometime in 2018). 

This year, the Baden-Powell Council will also be increasing our local Insurance fee by $2. This is for two reasons; first to keep up with increasing insurance costs, but also to only collect insurance fees at recharter rather than prorating them throughout the year. This change will also be effective December 1st, 2017.

When you recharter in December 2017, your unit will pay $39 per person plus the $40 National liability insurance fee. After your unit recharters, any new youth will only pay the increased registration fee of $2.75 per month, so a Youth joining in September of 2018 would pay $11 with this change as opposed to $12.34 under the current way of charging insurance.

As always, the Baden Powell Council offers financial aid for registration to those in need. For more information on applying for financial aid, please contact your District Executive.

- Updated 9/5/17

BSA National Policy now requires Youth Protection Training (YPT)
before an adult can be registered. 

Effective September 1, 2017, Youth Protection Training will be required for all adult leaders at the time of registration. Paper applications from new leaders must be accompanied by a Youth Protection Training completion certificate, which must be filed with the application. This has been local B-P Council policy for some time, but is now being required nationally. 

Because completion of YPT is now required for all leaders at the time of registration, unit leaders must obtain copies of the completion certificates from the leaders who register online before approving their application.

With the upcoming renewal cycle, the Internet Rechartering system will be updated so that units cannot submit the registration renewal of any adult who does not have current YPT as of the effective date of the renewal. Completion of YPT as part of the online registration system will be required in a future update. Additionally, council registrars will no longer be able to override the registration system to register any leader whose Youth Protection Training is not current.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Scout Executive.

For more information on YPT, see our Training Page

2018 Journey to Excellence Worksheets are Available

You can find them on the Advancement and Recognition page

Help Wanted!

Your District needs YOU! Or, at least, someone like you... Are you looking to do something for Scouting in Tompkins and Cortland County? Have you retired from a Pack, Troop, Ship or Crew, and you'd like a new challenge? 

Taughannock District is open to volunteers from anywhere in the Tompkins and Cortland County area. We believe Scouting is an important community activity and we welcome anyone who is willing to help our youth members live up to Scouting's ideals by registering as a volunteer. 

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

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

Introducing 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

Changes to BSA Training

BSA National  HQ has announced the following changes to training, which will be released this year:

  • BALOO/OWL - has been combined and broken into two parts.  Both parts must be completed to be considered trained.  RELEASE target is end of 2nd Quarter (end June timeframe).
    • Part 1 - On line
    • Part 2 - in the field
  • Boy Scout Leader Position Specific Training - on line training is going to be 19 modules (don't groan).  RELEASE target is end of 1st Quarter (end March timeframe)
  • Chartered Organization Representative (COR) - on line training to be position trained (Fast Start is already on line).  RELEASE target is end of 2nd Quarter (end June timeframe)
  • Commissioners Basic - on line training.  RELEASE target is end of 2nd Quarter (end June timeframe)  

For more information see the Training Page

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!

Our District Coat of Arms...

Our District Chair, Liam Murphy, has created a Coat of Arms for the Taughannock District. In keeping with his expertise in Celtic Heraldry, the new arms have a shield quartered in red and white. Clockwise from the upper left, the symbols are the Scout fleur-de-lis, a dragon for Cortland County (SUNY's mascot), a Mallard Duck (of course), and a bear for Tompkins County (Cornell's mascot). The shield is supported by a Thumb Stick (traditional Scout walking stick), which also hangs a Scout campaign hat. Under the shield, there's a scroll bearing the Taughannock District Latin Motto - "Quantem autem quisque non lactaverunt", a sentiment we can all support..

Well Done Liam!

You can download the Coat of Arms here: Large or Medium Size

Advancement and Recognition News

  • Lion Program Changes: Based on volunteer suggestions last year, there have been a number of changes to the Lion program for Kindergarten-age boys. See this Scouting Magazine article for details 
  • Cub Advancement News: There were major changes effective December 1, 2016. See our Advancement page for more information. 
  • Scout Advancement News: 
    • Eagle Palm requirements changed August 1, 2017/ See the Advancement Page for details. 
    • 2016 Boy Scout Advancement Requirements became mandatory as of January 1st, 2017! Scouts must now switch to the 2016 requirements. See our Advancement page for more information.
    • Life to Eagle Training will be offered at several roundtables throughout the year. See the Advancement Page for details.  
    • Merit Badge Counselor List: Download the latest list from the Advancement page
    • BSA introduced a number of new merit badges:  watch our Advancement page for details as they become available! 
      • Animation - released May, 2015

      • Mining in Society - released February 24, 2014

      • Signs, Signals and Codes - released February 26, 2015

      • Exploring - released February, 2017

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

Activity and Program News

See the Activities Page or Camping Page for information on upcoming events. 

District News

  • Help Wanted - Experienced Scouters wanted for Taughannock District Committee positions. Openings in:

    • Activities (Cub, Scout and Venturing)

    • Advancement (Cub and Scout)

    • Finance

    • Membership

    • Commissioner Corps - especially Ithaca and Cub Roundtable

  • Long hours, no pay, great job satisfaction. This opportunity won't come again (until next week), so act NOW! Contact the District Executive or District Commissioner, or e-mail to info@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org 

Council News

Long-Time B-P Council Volunteer Bob Dealaman
is 2017 Silver Buffalo Recipient

The Silver Buffalo is the highest award which is granted by the BSA on a national basis. These 12 men and women join the prestigious list of Scouters who have received this award since 1926:

David Biegler Circle Ten Dallas, TX
Nelson R. Block Sam Houston Area Houston, TX
L. H. (Larry) Chase Atlanta Area Marietta, GA
Lucia Cronin Bay-Lakes River Hills, WI
Robert G. Dealaman Baden Powell Endwell, NY
Eric L. Hiser Grand Canyon Phoenix, AZ
Kenneth P. King Three Fires St. Charles, IL
Carol McCarthy Buckskin Fayetteville, WV
Daniel G. Ownby Sam Houston Area Houston, TX
Aubrey B. Patterson Yocona Area Tupelo, MS
Mark D. Rose Gulf Ridge Lutz, FL
David L. Steward Grtr St. Louis Area St. Louis, MO

The list includes massive names in Scouting (Robert Baden-Powell, “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt), Hollywood (Walt Disney, Jimmy Stewart), sports (Yogi Berra, Archie Manning) and politics (Gerald Ford, Lyndon B. Johnson).

And it also includes Scouters whose names you don’t know but whose impact you can see and feel.

The men and women who wear the Silver Buffalo pendant suspended from a red-and-white ribbon have diverse backgrounds but are united by their commitment to the Scouting movement.

See the Baden-Powell Council website

National and International News

VenturingFest at Summit Bechtel - July 1-6, 2018

VenturingFest 2018 is a special Scouting event at Summit Bechtel Reservation (SBR) that’s open to registered Venturers, Scouts and adult leaders across the U.S. This six-day high-adventure festival invites participants to explore the best the SBR has to offer. We’re talking rock climbing, skateboarding, BMX biking, water sports, shooting sports, zip lines, challenge courses, and so much more!

See Activity Page for Details


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