Taughannock District, Baden-Powell Council, BSA

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Breaking News...

Baden-Powell Council has a new Scout Executive!

"Welcome" to Matt Bull, our newest Council Executive - See Council News, below, for details. 

Coming soon...

Scout Shabbat Service
February 15th
Temple Israel in Vestal

Baden-Powell Council Scouts and Scouters: In just a little over a month, Scout Shabbat (Sabbath) and Scout Sunday will be here! Temple Israel in Vestal is hosting its second annual Scout Shabbat! We had a lot of positive feedback last year, and wish to again invite all local Scouts and Scouters to a Scout Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner the evening of Friday, February 15th. 

What: Scout Shabbat Services and Dinner 
When: 5:30 PM on Friday, February 15th 
Who: Open to all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts, Explorers, and adult leadership, whether Jewish or not! 
Where: To get to Temple Israel, turn onto Clubhouse Rd from Route 434 in Vestal (right by the Binghamton border). The temple is on the left-hand side across the street from the Jewish Community Center. 
RSVP: You can RSVP to Michael Martinez, a Temple Israel member and local Scout leader, at martinezauthor@gmail.com  Please provide an estimate as accurate as possible of how many plan to come from your unit by February 10th, to help us know how many to plan for. Let Michael also know if you are interested in information about Scout Shabbat patches, or if you are interested in using this opportunity to start the American Cultures merit badge! 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Michael, or to send an email to Rabbi Geoffrey Brown at rabbigbrownti@gmail.com If you would like to help sponsor the dinner, let Michael know. If you would like to make a donation to Temple Israel, you can do so by sending the donation to: Temple Israel 4737 Deerfield Pl Vestal, NY 13850 Donations are not accepted at the service as we are not permitted to exchange money on the Sabbath. 

B'Shalom (In Peace), 
Michael T. Martinez

For those who want to know more:

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 45 minutes to an hour long. It is rich with song, praise of the Lord, and prayer.

Would attending a Jewish service conflict with a 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 ways His people 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. Scout Shabbat services have not been regularly offered by other synagogues in our area in past years, though. 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.

Founder's Birthday Bash
Tompkins-Cortland Community College, Dryden
Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 10:00

A celebration in honor of Baden Powell’s birthday!
All Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts, Explorers, parents, siblings and adult leaders are welcome to join the fun!

For details and a flyer, see the Activity Page

BADEN-POWELL COUNCIL Volunteer Recognition Dinner
A Celebration Honoring All Baden-Powell Council Volunteer Leaders
Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 From 6pm – 9:00pm

Where: McCabe Hall at Church of the Holy Family 3600 Phyllis St, Endicott, NY 13760
Cost: $18.00 per person

Spend some time socializing with your fellow friends and Scouters, while enjoying an evening of refreshments and a delicious catered dinner. At 7pm, the programming will begin as we recognize outstanding volunteers, the recipients of the District Awards of Merit, James E. West Fellowship, Veteran Awards, Leadership Awards for Sea Scouts and Venturing, and honoring the Silver Beaver Court of Honor. The night will then conclude with a dessert reception.

Download a flyer (PDF)

If you have any questions please contact: Stacy Hall stacy.hall@scouting.org or Phone: 607 648-7888

District Pinewood Derby
Saturday March 9th, 2019
At the food court in the Shops at Ithaca Mall

For details and an entry form, see the Activities Page.

University of Scouting
Whitney Point High School - March 30, 2019

You don't stop learning just because you're "trained" - there's always something more to know. The University of Scouting is an opportunity for all adults, older youth and Den Chiefs to learn more about any of dozens of topics useful in Scouting - and life outside of Scouting, for that matter. Make sure it's on your calendar, and take a group of leaders from your unit along with you!

For information, see the Baden-Powell Council Training Page
The schedule, course catalog and registration forms have been posted - you can get them here.  
Contact is Ed Plesnar, eplesnar@stny.rr.com

Taughannock District Awards Dinner
April 26, 2019 - 6:00PM
Dryden Veterans Memorial Home

Mark this on your unit's calendar, and encourage all of the leaders in your unit to attend!
There will be many awards for leaders and units, a great dinner, and fun for all.
See the Advancement and Recognition page for information on awards.

What's new?

Blast from the Past Winter Camporee
Camp Barton - January 26, 2019

Frigid cold temperatures? Not a problem! In temperatures hovering in teens, 13 teams of Boy Scouts from Tompkins and Cortland Counties competed in a Winter Camporee. The scouts demonstrated a wide variety of skills: everything from performing as a group in an ice rescue, speed in building a fire, cutting a tree from 10 feet away without touching the saw, comparing 1st Aid skills from 100 years ago with those today and learning how to send messages without cellphones!

There are more photos and information on the Scrapbook Page

Scoutbook is now FREE!

Scoutbook is a web-based application which can be used at https://www.scoutbook.com/ and also through a mobile app. It will be replacing Internet Advancment in the near future so your unit will need to set up an account to enter advancement, but Scoutook is much more than that - it's a full-featured unit management and communication tool. 

Scoutbook was a commercial product which has been available for many years for a fee. The BSA purchased the system last year, and Scoutbook is now free to all families and units effective January 1, 2019. Those with pre-2019 Scoutbook subscriptions will not pay to RENEW or add Scouts to their family or unit accounts. Scoutbook has been linked to the my.scouting.org system, so that a single account and login work for both platforms. 

If your unit has never used Scoutbook before, the unit permissions will have to be set through the Scoutbook website https://www.scoutbook.com/ before anyone else can use Scoutbook. This needs to be done by one of the Key 3 (Committee Chair, Cubmaster/Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor, and Chartered Organization Representative), or it could be done by a Key 3 Delegate or Unit Advancement Chair if these positions were established for the unit in my.scouting.org. A document on how to get a unit started on Scoutbook can be downloaded here in PDF formatNote that (at least as of January 5th) the Scoutbook website still says that no new accounts are available. Ignore that, just use your My.Scouting.org account and password to sign in. 

For additional information and other documents about Scoutbook is available on the Scoutbook website. There is also a Scoutbook Facebook Page and a Facebook Group called "Scouting Volunteer Tech Support" for questions about Scoutbook and other BSA systems. 

Aviation Explorer Post 62
December 9, 2018 Meeting
Materials Science for Aviators

The Post had a great time at their December Post meeting investigating the wonders of Material Science, under the guidance of Associate Advisor and Cornell Professor Mike Thompson. The Explorers bent aluminum bars (and couldn't bend the same bar when alloyed with 2% copper), looked at computer memory over the years (a whole two bytes on a card no more than four inches square!), suspended a magnet over a superconductor, drove a nail with a ceramic hammer, and tried to bounce an unbounceable rubber ball. The meeting ended with making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream (with chocolate chips).

For more pictures, see the District Scrapbook page

The Blue and Grey Civil War Camporee
Coming in Spring 2020!

At the November 2018 roundtable, the district's Scout leaders voted to change the timing for district camporees to the Spring. The camporee on the schedule for October 2019 will therefore be rescheduled to April 26-28, 2020. 

They also decided that the next district camporee would be a return of the popular Blue and Grey Civil War camporee. This camporee has been held four times before - in 1993, 1997, 2007 and 2014, and it was a hit with the Scouts each time. Each participating troop will be assigned the identity of a real Civil War Regiment (information on the regiment will be provided when the troop signs up), and each patrol will represent a company in that regiment. At each camporee station, a Union company will compete head-to-head with a Confederate company - the winner will capture a company flag from the loser. Additional flags will be awarded to companies for attending noncompetitive stations and for scores in a quiz and mass game. The winning company will be the one with the most captured flags at the end of the day. 

Full details will be available by the June 2019 Program Kickoff and Roundtable Picnic. 
Watch the Activity page for developments!

Our Cubs had a great time at Boo at Barton!
October 6-7, 2018

For more pictures, see our 2018 Boo at Barton page.

BSA is recruiting leaders for international activities in 2020

Would you be interested in being a contingent leader for a BSA contingent at a Scouting event overseas? The BSA is recruiting now for the following events in 2020:

Download a Job Description and Application form (PDF)

Questions about the Family Scouting Program (a/k/a girls in Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts))?

The National Council has a web page with the latest news regarding Family Scouting which will have the most up-to-date information as things progress. 


Changes to BSA Youth Protection Rules effective in 2018

  • BSA National has rolled out a new Youth Protection Training course, which is being called YPT2 (at least unofficially). This new four-module online training course is to be used for all adults in all programs, and it replaces the three program-specific courses - Y01 (generic), Y02 (Venturing) and Y03 (Exploring). Effective immediately, all new and renewing adults must take the new YPT2 training - the old training is no longer available online, and the old courses should no longer be given as in-person or DVD-based training. An in-person version of the training has been distributed to Scout Executives. All currently-registered adults will be required to take YPT2 before October 1st in order to remain current - in other words, they are saying that whatever expiration date you might have had on your YPT certificate, if you took it before February it expired on October 1st. You'll probably have to take YPT again before the end of the year to meet the council's local policy anyway, so in the words of the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, "Don't Panic". For more details, see the Training Page

  • New requirements for adults accompanying a Scouting unit on activities who are present for more than 72 hours: Effective for the 2018 BSA summer camp season, any adult accompanying a Scouting unit to a resident camp or other Scouting activity who is present 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. The 72 hours need not be consecutive, so an adult can't "reset" by leaving camp for a while. (Note: this is the current statement of the policy - it was previously announced as only applying to Scout Troops, and the time was originally announced as applying to the duration of the activity.)
  • Effective October 1, 2018, two registered adults 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. This also applies to Patrol events - youth-only Patrol outings are no longer permitted. A registered female adult over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.
  • Units Service Female Youth Members: There must be at least one registered female adult leader over 21 in every unit serving females. This does not have to be the top leader, however - when Girl Troops are chartered in the Scouts BSA program after February 1, 2019, the Scoutmaster may be male as long as there is at least one female Assistant Scoutmaster.  
  • Tenting: Separate tenting arrangements must be provided for male and female adults as well as for male and female youth, although spouses may share tents. Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age. In Cub Scouting, parents and guardians may share a tent with their family. In all other programs, youth and adults tent separately, even if the adults are parents of the youth.
  • Reporting: All persons participating in Scouting programs are mandated reporters of child abuse. Reports must be made to local law enforcement and child protective services. As part of its "Scouts First" approach to the protection and safety of youth, the BSA has established a dedicated 24-hour helpline to receive reports of known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk. The number is 1-844-SCOUTS1 (1-844-726-8871). Online reporting is also available at http://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/incident-report/  When to use it: Anytime you believe a youth has been harmed or their safety and wellbeing is at risk, and you cannot immediately reach your Scout executive or local council. If a Scout is bullied because of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, and local help is unable to resolve the problem. If someone is at immediate risk of harm, always call 911.
  • As of April 2018, all direct-contact leaders who are not already "trained" for their positions must take Hazardous Weather Training (course code SCO_800) to be considered "trained". The training is a half-hour online course, available through the my.scouting.org Training Center, and has a two-year "shelf life". Even if you're already trained for your position, it's not a bad idea to take this training. It's quick and has useful information. 

The Guide to Safe Scouting on-line version is always the most up to date
find it at https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/ 

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

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

  • Cub Advancement News: 
  • Scout Advancement News: 
    • There have been a number of changes to merit badge requirements effective in January 2019. These changes affect the following badges:
      American Business (completely revised) American Labor (1) Archery (3b; for 5, option A: f1[d], f3; for 5, option B: f1[d], f3; deleted 4f) Bird Study (1, 3, 3a; added 3d; new 6; renumbered existing 6, 7, 8; added 10, 11) Communication (1d) First Aid (1, 5, 8 ) Fly-Fishing (3, 9, 10; added 11) Forestry (2c) Geocaching (7, 8c; deleted 5c, 5d) Golf (1, 7b) Law (11d) Lifesaving (Second Class requirements 5c and 5d) Motorboating (5, 5e, 5f, 5g; added 4h, 4i; deleted 6) Personal Management (2a, 2b, 4b, 4c, 5, 6, 8d, 10a, 10b; added 2c, 2d, 4d, 4e) Railroading (added 8a[8]) Reptile and Amphibian Study (8a, 8b) Rifle Shooting (1f; added 1f[1] and 1f[2; for 2, option C: b, h) Rowing (2) Scouting Heritage (2a) Soil and Water Conservation (added 4e) Woodwork (5, 6). 
    • Eagle Palm requirements changed August 1, 2017 - See the Advancement Page for details. 
    • 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 introduces new merit badges from time to time:  watch our Advancement page for details as they become available! The latest are:
      • Exploring - released February, 2017

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

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 New Unit Commissioners to help newly formed units succeed.

  • Long hours, no pay, great job satisfaction. This opportunity won't come again (until next week), so act NOW! 

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

     Contact the District Executive or District Commissioner, or e-mail to info@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org 

Council News

Welcome to Baden-Powell Council's new Scout Executive!

We are pleased to announce the selection of Matthew Bull as Scout executive of the Baden-Powell Council, Binghamton, NY, start date March 1st, 2019

Matthew began his career as a District Executive at the Cape Fear Council, in Wilmington, NC. He later served as senior district executive, development director, and program director within the Cape Fear Council. He currently serves as the Director of Support Services for the Cape Fear Council.

Matthew grew up in the Pocono Mountains and is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow who enjoys fishing, reading, and traveling. He and his wife Ella Claire, have 1 daughter named Chloe (4).

Please join us as we congratulate Matthew as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Baden-Powell Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

See the Baden-Powell Council website

National and International News



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