BSA has a new National Commissioner
See National News, below
Can you help? Your Financial Support is Needed!
See the information on our
newly-updated Fundraising page.
for your support.
Things that Grow! Virtual Cub Adventure Weekend
Saturday, June 6th, 2020
Cub Scouts of all ranks are invited to participate in the "Things
that Grow" extravaganza with their parents/guardians and family. Due
to the social distancing guidelines at this time, the fun will be
transferred to a virtual venue with Cubs being provided with program
supplies and instructions for at least 10 engaging activity suggestions
related to various "Things That Grow".
For details and a flyer, see the Activity
Changes to Meetings and Activities Due to Covid-19
The following District, Council
or Area events have been postponed or canceled or will be held
Blue and Grey Camporee - postponed - date to be announced.
Cub Adventure Weekends at Barton and Tuscarora: changed to a
Virtual Event on June 6th - see Activity Page for
College of Commissioner Science: postponed
until November - date to be announced.
Council Program Kickoff (a/k/a "Passport to
Program") will be done as an online video to be available
Cub Scout Day Camp: watch for an announcement
in early June.
Day of Reflection: canceled, as of May 20th.
Could be a virtual reflection session - watch this page for details.
District Awards Dinner: postponed - new date to be announced.
District Committee Meetings: Will
be virtual meetings using gotomeeting.com
or Zoom.com until further notice- details will be sent out to committee members before the meeting. If
you are not on the committee, but would like to attend the virtual
meeting, contact key3@TCScouts.org
District Leaders' Roundtables: Will
be virtual meetings using Zoom.com until further notice - download for
some basic instructions on how to
use Zoom once you log in. Details on logging in will be sent out to unit leaders and commissioners
through the Taughannock Announce e-mail list before
the meeting. If you do not receive notification and want to attend
Roundtable, contact Roundtable@TCScouts.org
for the sign-in information.
IOLS/BALOO Training scheduled for April is
canceled, but will be available to learn at Summer Camp or Cub Scout
Resident Camp as well as the Fall BALOO and IOLS training date.
University of Scouting: postponed until
November - probably the 14th, date to be confirmed.
Covid-19 related Information
Looking for something for your Cubs/Scouts to do
while maintaining Social Distancing?
Ideas from Taughannock District Scouters
Scouting at Home help from other Scouting
District Pinewood Derby 2020
March 7, 2020 - Shops at Ithaca Mall
Our Cubs had a great time racing their Pinewood Derby
See the 2020 Pinewood Derby page
for more pictures.
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
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
- 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
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.
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
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
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
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
A copy of the notes from the Planning Day can be downloaded
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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
- 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
- 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
Handouts and Flyers from the 2019 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.
Blue and Grey Civil War Camporee has been
Postponed (date tba)
Our next 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
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
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 format. Note 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
Page and a Facebook Group called "Scouting
Volunteer Tech Support" for questions about Scoutbook and other
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!
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
See the "Covid-19" section at the top of this
page for links relating to advancement changes during this pandemic.
Help Wanted - Experienced Scouters wanted for
Taughannock District Committee positions. Openings in:
(Cub, Scout and Venturing)
Advancement (Cub and Scout)
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"
Contact the District
Executive or District
Commissioner, or e-mail to info@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
BSA has a new National Commissioner
the outgoing National Commissioner, Ellie Morrison:
I am delighted to ask you to welcome Scott Sorrels as your
new national commissioner, as of the National Meeting in May, 2020. You
already know him as the co-chair and camp chief for the 24th World
Jamboree. Many of you were there or visited and got to experience the
result of years of dedication Scott gave to that jamboree. All his
planning was focused on the kids, what they would experience, what they
would want to see. It was a wonderful jamboree, and we all owe him our
thanks for that.
But Scott is not new to unit service, nor is his
experience in Scouting limited to it. He served for nine years as the
first chair of the National Commissioner Service Team. He has been a key
Scouter in Venturing, including serving as vice chair of the National
Venturing Committee and founder of Winterfest some 46 years ago; you
might see him wearing Venturing green. He has been involved in
International Scouting, has served as president of Area 9 in the
Southern Region, and continues to serve on our National, Northeast
Georgia and Atlanta Area Council boards of directors.
Scott’s service to youth has been recognized multiple
times. He has received the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope and the Silver
Buffalo. Most recently, he has been awarded the Bronze Wolf, the World
Organization of Scouting Movement’s highest honor.Scott brings a
wealth of knowledge to us. He loves to “find elegant solutions to
problems” and he does that with a listening ear, kindness and decisive
action. Please join me in welcoming Scott Sorrels, national
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