Taughannock District, Baden-Powell Council, BSA

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Breaking News...

Don't Forget the September Roundtable is in August!
Wednesday, August 28th - 7:00PM
Dryden Presbyterian Church

The regular September Taughannock District Leaders' Roundtable has been moved up to the last Wednesday in August, in order to help our units get their Fall programs started as early as possible. Make sure your unit is represented! 

Congratulations to Pack 10, Groton!


For the second year in a row, a Baden-Powell Council Cub Scout Pack has earned the state level "Cub Pack of the Year" citation of honor from the American Legion.


This year's congratulations goes to Pack 10 in Groton for being the 2019 recipient. We are so very proud!


Congratulations to Troop 55's Triple Eagles!

As you are likely aware, a single Eagle Scout is a rare event. To have three Eagle Scouts recognized at one time is especially rare and newsworthy. 

Troop 55 was pleased to award the Eagle Scout Rank to three of its members at a ceremony at the Ithaca Waldorf School on August 11. Jeffrey Lantz, Ciaran MacKenzie and Hans Tang are the troop's 68th, 69th and 70th Eagle Scouts.

While coming from Ellis Hollow, the troop held the ceremony at the Ithaca Waldorf School as it was the site where Ciaran MacKenzie installed a full-size sand volleyball court for that school as his Eagle project. All Eagle scout candidates must plan and complete such a project to help their community. In addition, each of the three candidates needed to master a series of basic skills underpinning the ability to function both as an adult and as a good citizen. Not only did they have to learn basic first aid, how to cook, how to camp and basic nature information, but each also had to learn basic tenets of citizenship and how to work well within a group of young men of varying skills. Like all Eagle Scouts, Jeff, Ciaran and Hans had to investigate a total of 21 other topics in depth, earning a "merit badge" as he completed each. Eleven of those merit badges were required to be in areas helping him into adulthood with skills like citizenship, first aid and physical fitness, among others.

Jeff Lantz cited his best scouting experiences as sailing on Cayuga Lake, hiking in the Adirondacks, and staying overnight on an island he canoed to treach. He served the troop as Senior Patrol Leader, and next year will go to Cornell to study math and computer science. Jeff proposed three Eagle projects before he found the right one. "Finding the right project can be challenging. … I even presented [one] to the troop committee before settling on my final project. Every year at the Ellis Hollow fair, a quilt is raffled off to support the Ellis Hollow Community Center. The old [display] frame … was bulky, old, and hard to use, but with a design from the Tompkins County Quilters Guild as a starting point, [we built] a new, lightweight frame. I learned a lot about scheduling and time management from my project, but enjoyed the experience in spite of a few complications." 

Many of Ciaran MacKenzie's best memories connect with Camp Barton on Cayuga Lake in both winter and summer. He also has fond memories of a night spent on the Sea Scout Ship Sensei sailing out of the Cayuga Inlet. Ciaran spent a term as Troop 55's Senior Patrol Leader. Next year will find Ciaran at Alfred University studying engineering. Ciaran's Eagle Project was to realize a long-time dream: "Throughout most of middle school, and all of high school I knew that I wanted my eagle project to be fixing the old volleyball court at my middle school. And so as soon as my project was approved, I started the long task of raising the funds needed. Once that was done, I organized three work parties and we set to work. This project taught me a lot about how to organize people, and it helped me feel comfortable calling people and talking to them." 

Han Tang cited his first campout as being his first time away from home and also talked about his leadership experiences and time in nature, stargazing, hammocks, canoeing or biking as among his favorite scouting memories. He'll be attending TC3 in the Fall to study Computer Information. Hans served the troop as Senior Patrol Leader. His Eagle Project helped his new hobby: "Ever since my first experience mountain biking at Shindagin Hollow, I wanted my Eagle Project to be done within the state forest. So, I reached out to Cycle CNY, ... after a few months … we were finally ready to carry out our project. Over 30 volunteers moved over 8000 pounds of stone to repair and improve damaged areas on trails Blue #1 and Yellow #1, construct a new entrance to Yellow #1, and upgrade poor drainage on Shindagin Hollow's newly constructed parking lot. In the end, my communication skills improved, I got a better handle on leading large groups, and I learned how rewarding community work is.". 

Troop 55 looks forward to Jeff, Ciaran and Hans continuing their contributions both to the Troop's home in Ellis Hollow and the wider Tompkins County community and to their efforts in building on the Troop's long tradition of creating an inclusive community in Scouting's best tradition.

The photo shows Senior Scoutmaster Daniel Wakeman addressing the three Eagle Scouts: Jeffrey Lantz, Ciaran MacKenzie and Hans Tang. 

Handouts and Flyers from the District Program Kickoff
are available for download:

2019 State of the District Report

At the May District Committee Meeting, District Chair Liam Murphy presented a State of the District Report
You can download the report here in PDF form

Congratulations to everyone who received awards at the 2019 District Scouting Awards Dinner!

For more pictures and information, see the District Scrapbook page!

Roundtable Time is 7:00 PM!

At the request of a number of leaders, our monthly Leaders' Roundtables will be starting at 7:00PM, beginning in April 2019. Set your clocks!
Also, the District will be offering child care during Roundtable on request, so that leaders with young children will be able to attend. 
If you'll be needing child care at a roundtable, send an e-mail to Roundtable@TCScouts.org before the Roundtable


Congratulations to Liam G.B. Murphy, Bernie McDermott, Mike Pixley and Theresa Schultheis - Baden-Powell Council's 2018 Silver Beaver Award recipients at the 2019 Council Recognition Dinner! Also, congratulations to Mike Stoll and Dave Gross on receiving their Distinguished Commissioner Awards. "Well Done" to all!

Coming soon...

Feed My Starving Children
St. Catherine of Siena Parish Center, Ithaca
September 26-29, 2019 (specific date to be determined)

Download a flyer (PDF)

More information on the Activities page

Greek Peak Scout Day
September 28, 2019

The adventure center at Greek Peak will be offering Scouts BSA troops, crews, ships, posts a choice of 2 -zip lines, mountain coaster and bungee bounce for $49 pp. The Cub offering is still in the planning stage.

Download a Teaser Flyer (PDF)

More information on the Activities page

Ten Commandments Hike
Downtown Ithaca
November 29, 2019

"A Scout is Reverent" - join us for our first-ever Ten Commandments Hike to the houses of worship in downtown Ithaca!

Download a Teaser Flyer (PDF)

More information on the Activities page

"A Scout is Hungry" - Winter Cook-o-ree
January 25-26, 2020

Download a Teaser Flyer (PDF)

More information on the Activities page

Greek Peak Scout Day
February 22, 2020

Greek Peak Mountain Resort will be offering ski/snowboard equipment, lessons and use of the trails all day, as well as snow tubing and the indoor water park All for $39 !! AND the opportunity to celebrate Baden Powell’s birthday with all the other Scouting families in the A-frame building around lunch-time. More details coming in the Fall….

Download a Teaser Flyer (PDF)

More information on the Activities page

District Pinewood Derby
March 7, 2020

Save the date for our District's annual Pinewood Derby!

Download a Teaser Flyer (PDF)

More information on the Activities 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!

What's new?

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

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. 


Latest Changes to BSA Youth Protection Rules

  • 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.)
  • 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 Having 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 - Girl Troops are chartered in the Scouts BSA program may have a male Scoutmaster as long as there is at least one female Assistant Scoutmaster.  
  • Tenting: 
    • Separate tenting arrangements must be provided for males and females - adults and youth - although spouses may share tents.
    • Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age
    • In Cub Scouting only, 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 considered to be mandated reporters of child abuse. Reports must be made to local law enforcement and child protective services, as well as to the local council executive. 
    • 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: 
      • Any time you believe a youth has been harmed or their safety and well-being 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.
  • All direct-contact leaders who are not already "trained" for their positions must take Hazardous Weather Training 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". This training is one of the included modules if you're taking basic training for a direct-contact leader position. It can also be taken separately as course code SCO_800. 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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