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Breaking News...


Information on BSA National Chapter 11 Restructuring

The National organization of the Boy Scouts of America announced on February 18th that it has filed for Chapter 11 Restructuring to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting's mission for years to come..The important points to keep in mind at this time are the following: 

  • Scouting is safer now than ever before. 

    Approximately 90% of the pending and asserted claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago. As someone close to Scouting, you know the safety of children in our programs is the BSA's absolute top priority and that one instance of abuse is one too many. That's precisely why over many years we've developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.

    From mandatory youth protection training and background checks for all volunteers and staff, to policies that prohibit one-on-one interaction between youth and adults and require that any suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement, our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe. You can read more about the BSA's multi-layered safeguards and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse at https://www.scouting.org/youth-safety In fact, this is a resource that you can share with friends and family who are interested in understanding what the BSA is doing to keep kids safe. 

  • Scouting continues

    Scouting programs will continue to serve youth, families and local communities throughout this process and for many years to come. Just last year, communities across the country benefited from more than 13 million Scouting service hours, and young men and women earned more than 1.7 million merit badges that represent skills that will help them succeed throughout their lives. Studies prove and parents agree that Scouting helps young people become more kind, helpful and prepared for life, and as long as those values remain important to our society, Scouting will continue to be invaluable to our nation's youth. 

Chapter 11 restructuring is not "going out of business" or "liquidation" (that's "Chapter 7", for what it's worth). Chapter 11 is a provision of the bankruptcy code which allows an organization to effectively draw a line under past obligations, and continue into the future free of uncertainties and debt. The Chapter 11 plan, which must be approved by a Federal court, will set out how this will be done, what provisions will be made for past oblgations, and how the organization will proceed in the future. 

  • Our Local Council has not filed for bankruptcy. 

    It is important to realize that this Chapter 11 Restructuring is being done by the national organization, and not the Baden-Powell Council or the organizations which chatter individual Scouting units. Local councils - which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities - are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.

Camp Barton and Camp Tuscarora are owned and operated by Baden-Powell Council, not by National BSA, and they are not affected by the Chapter 11 restructuring. 

The operation of local Packs, Troops, Ships, Crews and Posts is not affected by this restructuring, either. Individual Scouting units are chartered to, and owned by, separate outside organizations, which are also legally and financially separate from National BSA. 

Whatever arrangements National BSA may make as part of this restructuring will not affect local unit programming, support from local Council and District professionals, or ownership and operation of the local camps. Also, any money you may donate to support local Scouting through the Baden-Powell Council - whether through Friends of Scouting campaigns, donations to the Council Endowment Fund, proceeds of popcorn sales, or other donations - continues to be used locally, and such donations are not subject to the restructuring. 

For information on this, see the website which National has set up at https://www.bsarestructuring.org/ 
There is a very informative YoutTube video on the Chapter 11 filing  - click here to view the video

If these resources don't answer your questions, please feel free to reach out to National BSA 
through Member Care at 972-580-2489 or MyScouting@Scouting.org  


Commissioner Summit and College of Commissioner Science
April 18, 2020

All Commissioners (and would-be Commissioners) should try to attend this one-day session. 
See the Training Page for details. 


District Committee Meeting Location Change

The Dryden Community Cafe, where we had been holding District Committee meetings, is closing. 
District Committee meetings from February 2020 onward will be held at the Dryden Presbyterian Church, the same location as Roundtables. 


Notes from the District Day of Planning on January 18th

Many District and Unit leaders met on Saturday, January 18th, to discuss and plan out the District's operations for the upcoming year. 

A copy of the notes from the Planning Day can be downloaded here (PDF)

The District Calendar web page has been updated with dates through December 2021 - although note that dates in 2021 should be considered tentative until the final district calendar is handed out in June 2020. 


BSA National has a new President and CEO

See National News, below


New Health Form

The National Council BSA has issued a new updated Annual Health & Medical Form (AHMR) form. In addition, National has compiled and reviewed local council feedback, as well as those of camp health officers, council health supervisors, and the medical community.

The new form is available at the National BSA Filestore Website or from the District Forms and Resources page.

As addressed in the FAQ document, 2020 resident camp participants will be allowed to use the previous AHMR form if they had a physical conducted in August 2019. Because 2020 will be a transition year, an AHMR that contains a valid physical exam can be used to meet our resident camp standards in 2020. It is suggested that those individuals who do not have a current pre-participation exam use the latest version now. The old versions will be obsolete as of January 2021.


Camp Barton Campmasters

 The Camp Barton Campmaster program was reinstated in December 2019, and is in need of volunteers. 

If you are a registered BSA adult you qualify. Come stay at Camp Barton and help out the ranger for the weekend. Program plans are to have our volunteer Campmasters do about two weekends a year. 

You need to have BSA youth protection and Campmaster training and you're set to be part of the program. We need you. 

Your duties will be to check troops and other groups in on Friday and check them out on Sunday. There will be a small amount of paperwork to give to the groups and collect from them during their stay. Then just keep watch over camp. It's your choice if you want to do more. 

Sounds easy…right. It is, and you get to spend the weekend at camp. 

All New Campmaster Building: You will get to stay in the Health Lodge that is being winterized this November so that you will have heat, running water and a bathroom. No more having to use the ranger shop or the outhouse. It is also a much better place for groups to find you. 

Interested or need more info: Contact: Diane Blakely dlblakely9@twcny.rr.com 


Membership Fee Increase Effective January 1st

Starting on January 1st, BSA National membership fees increased as follows:

  • $60 per youth in Cubs, Troops, Venturing, Sea Scouts

  • $36 Exploring youth

  • $36 for all adults

  • $60 for each unit a chartered organization charters

Note that the Baden-Powell Council's insurance fee will remain at $6.00 per year, which is in addition to the National fees above. 

This fee increase will affect all Taughannock District units and volunteers for the recharter which is due by December 31st. 

BSA National has an FAQ document answering questions about the increast - download a copy here (PDF)


Our Cubs had a great time at Boo at Barton!


Click here for more photos!


BSA Background Checks for All Volunteers
to be implemented 2020-2024

Dear Staff and Key Volunteers,

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is committed first and foremost to keeping youth safe. Part of that commitment includes continually updating our youth protection policies to help ensure we are always on the forefront of youth safety.

As you know, one of the BSA's many barriers to abuse is a mandatory criminal background check during the adult volunteer application process. The BSA will now also perform periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds to support the continued safety of youth in our programs. This will be the second time since the initial launch that we will screen 100% of our adult volunteers.

This round of screening will be done by random selection over a 5-year period, completing during the 2024 program year. In order to complete this process and be compliant with changes in Federal and State Law, the BSA has issued new background check Disclosures and a new Authorization Form which must be signed by every adult registering in a unit when the unit re-charters this Fall/Winter.

  • On October 7th an email will go out from the National Office to every volunteer in the Country announcing this change and providing copies of all forms.
  • New Authorization Forms are to be signed for every adult in a unit and then turned in with the units re-charter packet only. Please do not bring them to the Scout Service Center in advance. If an adult is registered in multiple units they will need to complete multiple forms (one for each place of registration). Only signed copies of the authorization form need to be returned.
  • District and Council level volunteers will need to complete this form with their annual registration as well (this includes merit badge counselors).
  • New Units between now and year end should also plan on completing this form for all adults within their unit.
  • If an adult does not complete a new authorization form they may not be re-registered with the unit or anywhere in Scouting. A unit charter can not be processed until all adults on the charter have submitted the authorization form.
  • Both documents must be presented separately (emailing as two separate attachments is OK), electronic signatures cannot be accepted. 
  • Please note: State-specific disclosures not relevant to us are not attached. Since this is a National background check process if you query online you may see disclosure sheets for other states which don't apply to us. Please disregard them.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this project and being part of our ongoing youth protection plan to keep kids safe.

Matthew J. Bull, Scout Executive/CEO
Baden-Powell Council


Greek Peak Scout Weekend
February 22nd

Updated Flyers are available for the Winter Scout Weekend at Greek Peak. 


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!

 


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


Coming soon...


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 Flyer (PDF)

More information on the Activities page


District Pinewood Derby
March 7, 2020

Information and Flyer/Registration form on the Activities page


The Blue and Grey Civil War Camporee
Cortland County Fairgrounds
April 24-26, 2020

Our Spring Camporee will 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.  

For information, see the Activity page!


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. 


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!


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


BSA Has a New President and CEO
Roger C. Mosby

Dear BSA Volunteers and Scouting Ambassadors,

I am happy to let you know that on December 29, 2019, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America named Roger C. Mosby as the organization's CEO and President after a focused search, which was initiated when former CEO and President Michael B. Surbaugh retired after a tenure of more than four years.

As the BSA moves through an extraordinary time of both change and opportunity, we believe Roger's experience as a seasoned executive, adept at guiding transformation and driving growth, will bring the right combination of strength and focus needed to steer our organization toward a promising future.

Roger Mosby most recently ran his own consulting firm focused on executive coaching, following his retirement from leading energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan in 2015. During nearly two decades with the company, he served as HR lead and was one of the original six officers. During his tenure, Kinder Morgan grew from 175 to more than 11,000 employees, with Mosby leading extensive change management and cultural transformation efforts.

Roger was a Scout as a youth and served for more than 33 years as a volunteer in the Mid-America and Sam Houston Area councils, in addition to positions with the Southern Region and National Committees of the Boy Scouts of America, as well as the World Organization of the Scout Movement. He has received the Silver Antelope Award and the Silver Beaver Award and is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

We thank Michael Surbaugh for his years of service and leadership to the Boy Scouts of America.

Now, as we enter the next stage, we welcome Roger and his well-suited expertise to guide us toward even more opportunities to bring the benefits of Scouting to more youth, families and communities.

Yours in Scouting,
Jim Turley National Chair, Boy Scouts of America


 

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