Taughannock District, Baden-Powell Council, BSA

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Advancement News
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Breaking News...

BSA National has a new President and CEO

See National News, below

Winter Break 2020

Hey, you guys!!! Has your get-up-and-go got up and went? Is one hour a week beginning to feel like eight days a week? Have you had that Cub Scout spirit right up to… Well, you know!

If you're feeling like that, or if you know someone who's feeling like that, then you all need a break. No, not just a break, a WINTER BREAK!!!


Here's what your Pack is going to do: You're going to cancel ALL Cub Scout meetings for Scout Week in February, load up a car or two with all of your Pack's adults, and head for Ithaca or Cortland for an evening of fun and silliness.

We'll feed you dinner, sing a few songs, do a few skits, and maybe have a ceremony or two.

You'll accomplish a few things: First, you'll have fun. Second, you may find an idea or two you can use when you get home from Winter Break, and Third, you're going to feel better about Cub Scouts and having fun.

Now, we don't have the locations and dates set yet, so stay tuned. We're working on it. As soon as we know which night and which location, we'll let you know, so that you can let all of your leaders and assistant leaders and committee members and helpful parents know which night and what time. Then you can load up a car, or two cars, or a minibus or whatever, and come with us to Winter Break!

And it's FREE! No Cost! On Us!

Download a first flyer here (PDF)

Your Pack's Unit Commissioner will have all the details shortly, so get in touch with him or her. If you have a question or want to help, contact Mike Homrighaus at mhomrigh@twcny.rr.com 607-756-2650


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.

Amateur Radio Licensing Class
January 11, 18, 25 and February 1

The Tompkins County Amateur Radio Association is pleased to announce an upcoming FCC Technician license class to begin January 11, 2020. The class
consists of four weekly sessions and is designed to give you a good understanding of the practice of Amateur Radio and to prepare you for the
entry level, no code, Technician license exam. Class size is limited to 6 students with a 1:1 student/instructor ratio. The class is free and open to

Schedule: Saturday, January 11, 18, 25 and February 1, from 9 am – noon.
Location: Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response, 92 Brown Road, Ithaca, NY (by the Tompkins County airport)
Register: Preregistration is required. Register via email: Greg Lawrence, GWL1@cornell.edu
Text: ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, 4th edition. Spiral bound: ISBN 978-1-62595-082-6, $32.95.

Download a flyer here (PDF)

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 will increase 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!


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

Coming soon...

"Cooking in the Cold" - 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 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. 

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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