Taughannock District, Baden-Powell Council, BSA


Advancement News - Activity and Program - Upcoming Events - District News - Council News - National News 

Are you a member of the District Facebook Group? You should be!

Treat Mom Early for Mothers Day! 
Come Saturday May 9, 2015, 6pm to the LakeWatch Inn 
For a Dinner Murder Mystery!!!

See District News below for details...

Cubs took to the track for the District Pinewood Derby
April 4, 2015

Click here to see more pictures!

Welcome to Baden-Powell Council's new Scout Executive

 I'm pleased to announce that Richard (Rick) Christ has been signed as the new Scout Executive of the Baden-Powell Council. He will begin his position on May 1, 2015.  

Rick was the standout candidate selected from a very talented pool of finalists. My thanks go out to the Selections Committee for their preparation, perspective and wisdom in navigating such a talented candidate pool to identify and secure such a quality professional.  

 Rick joins us from the Minsi Trails Council in Lehigh Valley, PA where he has most recently served in the capacity of Assistant Scout Executive. He demonstrated talent in his previous roles as, variously, Field Service, Support Service and Scoutreach Director. He has experience and proven results in fiscal management and fundraising, diversified membership growth and profitable camp operations. The Selections Committee was excited not only by Rick's range of experiences but also by his obvious preparation and early knowledge of the Baden-Powell Council. He came armed with information and new ideas to confront some of the challenges we face.

 Please join me in welcoming Rick, his wife Ann Marie and their two children Blaine (10) and Julia (7) to the Baden-Powell Council.

 Sincerest regards,
Robert C. Andolina
Baden-Powell Council

Pack 24 Blue-and-Gold Dinner
March 7, 2015

The Wolf/Bear Den does a skit

Bear Cubs get their badges and pins

The First-Year Webelos den

Second-year Webelos do a skit

The dinner featured spaghetti - always a favorite.
The awards were followed by a Cake Auction of cakes prepared by the Cubs on a "Movies and TV" theme..

The winner of the "most unusual cake" - a chocolate cake on a "Hobbit" theme, with broccoli trees.  

Cubs review the cakes before judging.

The "Prettiest Cake" - from the movie "Happy Feet" with a marshmallow igloo.

"Best TV Show Cake" - The Doctor's TARDIS. 
Presumably, the cake is bigger on the inside. 

Congratulations to Evan Graney
on achieving the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award
February 26, 2015

The Taughannock District congratulates Evan Graney of Ship 25, who passed his Quartermaster Board of Review on February 26th. He is the second member of Ship 25 to earn our highest Award. The Ship looks forward to some more Scouts coming along shortly as well! 

Congratulations to Taughannock District's Latest Eagle Scout!
Kevin Tian, Troop 2 Ithaca
February 22, 2015

Camp Barton Cub Adventure Weekend
"Things that Fly!"
May 30-31, 2015

See the Camping Page for details and a flyer/registration form

BSA prohibits use of pre-2005 15-passenger vans

Fully loaded 15-passenger vans, like the ones you might use to haul a bunch of Scouts to camp, can be more dangerous than you might think.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says 15-passenger vans with 10 or more occupants are three times more likely to roll over than ones carrying fewer than five passengers.

That’s why all Scouters should take heed of this breaking BSA news: Effective Sept. 1, 2015, the use of 15-passenger vans manufactured before 2005 will no longer be allowed in connection with Scouting programs and activities.

15-passenger vans manufactured in 2005 or later may be used, as long as they are equipped with Electronic Stability Control and seat belts for all passengers and the driver.

This applies to all vehicles, regardless of ownership (privately owned, owned by chartered organization, rentals, etc.).

Read the full information on the Scouting Magazine Blog at:

New BSA National Website for Scouting Information and News

A new resource for all Scouters was unveiled at the national committee meetings this week: Scoutingwire (not to be confused with Scout Wire). The URL is http://scoutingwire.org/ and you can subscribe to regular updates. Scouters in Taughannock District units should consider signing up - it looks like it should be a great resource. The Winter issue of The Commissioner newsletter is one of the first articles.

Taughannock District Scouting Award Dessert Social
April 19, 2015 - Dryden Fire Hall

On behalf of the Taughannock District of the Baden-Powell Council, you are cordially invited to attend the Taughannock District Scouting Award Dessert Social. This year's event will be held at the Dryden Fire Hall on April 19, 2015, from 2-4 PM.

For more information, an invitation letter and application forms for recognitions and awards, see the Advancement Page 

New BSA Merit Badge Counselor Newsletter

The Advancement Team has issued a new newsletter for MB Counselors called the "Counselor's Compass". You may subscribe by sending an email to merit.badge@scouting.org with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. In the body of the email include your name, email address, and Council name.

The December issue may be viewed at: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-937_Dec2014.pdf

Sea Scouts in Annapolis
January 2015

Sea Scouts from Ship 25 in Ithaca recently attended the National Eagle Scout Association STEM/NOVA Jamboree at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland.  

Taught by Eagle Scouts who are now Midshipmen, the program offerings included the following Merit Badges: 

Engineering, Chemistry, Aviation, Space Exploration, Digital Technology, Nuclear Sciences, Oceanography, Weather, Electronics, Electricity, Energy, Radio, Robotics, Medicine,  Programming, and Search and Rescue; plus the BSA's new NOVA Award "Shoot", and 3 other special program offerings: High Adventure Prep, Leadership, Military Skills.   

 For more information, check the contact links at  www.ithacaseascouts.org

Scouting: Up, up and away!
Baden-Powell Council University of Scouting
March 21, 2015 - Chenango Forks High School

On March 21st the Baden-Powell Council will present its annual University of Scouting. This is your one-stop opportunity to refresh your Training and re-charge your Scouting Batteries, but it's more than that - it's an opportunity for you to re-focus and re-invigorate your Unit's program. All of us benefit from a change of pace and a Scouting Unit is no exception. 

University of Scouting brings together National Training and Home-Grown Ideas to re-energize your Unit. Your Adult Leaders will find new and exciting ideas and program to bring back to your Unit. Your Youth Leaders will have an opportunity to network with some of the finest youth in our Council an in the process they will pick up valuable skills and ideas for your Unit. New Leaders, Parents, and Den Chiefs can pick up that all-important training that will bring your program up a notch and move you along your Journey to Excellence. 

University of Scouting offers something for everyone and your 2015 Chancellor and Planning Team hope to see you there on Saturday the 21st of March. The cost is just $35, but the returns are unbelievable. 

Please note: to plan for your presence and to provide your lunch, we must have your registration by March 9, 2015. If you register after the 9th or as a walk-in, you are still welcome and the cost is the same, but we regret that we can't provide your lunch.

The complete catalog and registration forms are available - see Training Page for details

Also for current and prospective Den Chiefs under 14
in Den Chief course

Updated District Calendar

At the District Planning Day on January 3rd, the District Calendar was updated and extended through the 2015-2016 Scouting Year (July 2015-June 2016). Dates for major District events were also added for July-December 2016 for advance planning purposes - note that those dates are subject to change, depending on what the Council releases as their calendar for that period.  Highlights include: 

  • Roundtable progams have been indicated for a number of upcoming roundtables.

  • A number of training opportunities were added for all programs

  • Scouting is part of the community - let the folks in your area know you're there! Dates for community events were added where we knew them - if you have more dates, please send them to DC@TCScouts.org and they will be added to the calendar.

  • New on the calendar: 

    • Dryden Community Scout Day - May 23, 2015, - our Dryden and Freeville units have been working together to present Scouting to their community this Spring. 

    • McGraw Pack/Troop Decathlon - May 30-31 - our McGraw units sponsor this event for their community. 

    • Scouting Alumni Get-together at Camp Barton August 1, 2015.

    • Venturing Ranger Challenge - Cass Park to Barton - open to Area Venturing crews / Sea Scout Ships - October 9-11, 2015

    • The Winter Camporee returns for 2016 - mark your Troop calendars for Onward to the Pole! Winter Survival Camporee January 29-31, 2016. 

    • Something new for Scouts and Cubs in February 2016: Each One Teach One - we'll start with a Scout Merit Badge Fair/Training session in the morning, then have a Pinewood Derby (noonish), and finish with the Cubs being taught skills by Scouts in the afternoon.

    • The Fly-O-Ree Aviation Camporee will be back on EAA's International Learn to Fly Day - May 20-22, 2016. Scouts will have the chance to earn Aviation Merit Badge and take a free airplane flight through the EAA Young Eagles Program. 

    •  Do you know a Scout or Venturer who will be 14-17 in July 2016 and who might want to spend three weeks Scouting in Scotland? Let him know about the 2016 Blair Atholl International Patrol Jamborette!

    • There will be a Fall Camporee in October, 2016, for Boy Scouts. The exact date is tentative - the Council might be planning a Council Camporee for that month, and if they do they will choose the date. If they do not, the District Fall Camporee will be on the weekend of October 14-16, 2016. 

The District Calendar Web Page has been updated accordingly.

Congratulations to Troop 55 Eagle Scout Aidan MacKenzie
January 3, 2015

Boy Scout Troop 55 awarded its 62d Eagle Scout award to Aidan MacKenzie in a ceremony held on January 3, 2015 at St. Catherine of Sienna church. 

Aidan earned his Eagle after planning and then building a fenced vegetable garden area to support St. Catherine's program to feed area homeless. In so doing, he coordinated nearly 20 people who donated over 120 hours t4o create this important resources for those needing more and healthier food. 

In his 7 year scouting career to date, Aidan participated in a wide variety of experiences. He coordinated a team of up to six other boys (a patrol) to place in the top 3 of all such groups in Tompkins and Cortland counties. He also coordinated the storage and maintenance of camping equipment for the troop. In the past 3 years, he has also helped coordinate broader public service efforts for the entire Baden-Powell Council, an area extending from Cortland, down through Binghamton and into northern Pennsylvania, through the Order of the Arrow, a service organization whose members are selected by scouts themselves. He also attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree in 2013 and has worked as a counselor at Camp Barton, the Baden-Powell council's 130 acre camping and water sports jewel on Cayuga Lake.

Troop 55 has been serving the Ellis Hollow and Ithaca areas for 55 years.  It challenges all boys to match Aidan’s accomplishments.  Troop 55 welcomes all boys and their families from any and all backgrounds to join them each Tuesday night at 7:15pm at the Ellis Hollow Community Center, 100 Genung Road in the Town of Dryden. 

Fundraising for Eagle Projects

The Council has issued a fundraising policy for Eagle Scout Projects. See the Advancement Page for a copy of the policy. 

"A Manual for Life"

Edward O. Wilson, professor emeritus at Harvard, had a book review in the New York Times on November 9, 2014, reviewing the Boy Scout Handbook. 

Coming to this metamorphosis brings me to the second book I read in high school, the book I devoured: the 1942 edition of “Handbook for Boys,” the official guide of the Boy Scouts of America. To this classic of literature (thus defined if literature is understood as writing that stirs the soul and a classic as a work that contributes to the growth of a civilization), I give credit for my secondary education.

There's much more - read the whole review on the NY Times website.

2015 Distinguished Unit Status Requirements

The Baden-Powell Council has announced a few changes to the Distinguished Unit Status Requirements for 2015. See the Camping page for details.

Masonic Scouting Awards

The Masons have two awards available for Scouts and Scouters. 

The General Douglas MacArthur Youth Award recognizes distinguished or outstanding voluntary community service by non-Masonic orgaiznations or individuals. It is given to "those who have given of themselves, that ultimate goal in life, serving our youth."  Download a nomination form here (PDF).

The Eagle Scout Award "recognizes the dedication of a Scout to the pursuits of Scouting and of his achievement leading to Eagle Scout. The recipient will get a special personalized commendation certificate and letter from the Grand Master, along with a medallion. Download a nomination form here (PDF). 

BSA National's Recruiting Materials Website

Try http://www.scouting.org/Home/Marketing/Recruiting_Build.aspx
for flyers, posters, cards, yard signs on the latest National BSA recruiting theme.
For the 2014 "Badge of Honor" materials, use  http://www.scouting.org/badgeofhonor.aspx

New materials to help with your unit's recruiting efforts

Peer-to-Peer Business Cards

The best recruiters for your unit are your present members! Prospective Cubs or Scouts will be much more likely to take a look at your unit if they're asked by someone their own age. National has provided forms for  Peer-to-Peer Business Cards you can use for your unit. Print these cards on pre-perforated Avery 8371 or Staples 12522 Business Cards or the equivalent, or print on plain 8˝x11" card stock and cut them to size on a paper cutter. Hand them out to your youth members and let them give the cards to prospective recruits!

  • Cub Scout Peer-to-Peer Cards - two sided, the back side of these cards can be filled in with an invitation to a specific event PDF

  • Boy Scout Peer-to-Peer Cards - two sided, the back side of these cards can be filled in with an invitation to a specific event PDF

  • Happy Halloween Cub Scout Peer-to-Peer Cards - with Taughannock District website and e-mail - PDF

Trifold Brochures

These brochures describe Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting, and list all of the Packs or Troops in the county with their contact information. They're perfect for handing out at community fairs, school open houses and other events. 

  • Cub Scouts in Cortland County trifold brochure - PDF

  • Boy Scouts in Cortland County trifold brochure - PDF

  • Cub Scouts in Tompkins County trifold brochure - PDF

  • Boy Scouts in Tompkins County trifold brochure - PDF

Ithaca School District Flyer Policy

All Ithaca units who are considering distributing flyers through the Ithaca School District should review the School District Flyer Policy.
Especially note the disclaimer which is required to be on every flyer

Taughannock District Facebook Group

I've created a Facebook Group for Taughannock District - Baden Powell Council.  The link is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/153733998161241/  Hopefully we can use this to begin relaying events on to District members.  We'll have to see how it works.  The email method seems to be touch and go with our Troop as they overlook emails.  Having another avenue to relay information can't hurt.

Lee Stepp

Advancement and Recognition News

  • Cub Advancement News: See our Advancement page for more information. 
  • Scout Advancement News: See our Advancement page for more information.
    • 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 introduced a number of new merit badges:  watch our Advancement page for details as they become available! 
      • Sustainability - released July 15, 2013

      • Programming - released July 15, 2013

      • Digital Technology (replacing Computers) - released April 16, 2014

      • Animation - to be released in first quarter 2015

      • Mining in Society - released February 24, 2014

      • Signs, Signals and Codes - released February 26, 2015

      • Computer Aided Design - no date yet

      • Advanced Computing - no date yet

Activity and Program News

See the Activities Page or Camping Page for information on upcoming events. 

District News

Treat Mom Early for Mothers Day! 
Come Saturday May 9, 2015, 6:00pm to the LakeWatch Inn
For a Dinner Murder Mystery!!!

Mikey Carlson 
Stefanie Jump 


Presale Tickets are $35 Person or $70 Couple 
At the Door $45 Person or $85 Couple 

Price includes Hors d'oeuvres, Dinner and Desert, Cash Bar - and a portion of your ticket is TAX DETECTABLE!!

For presale tickets contact Kathleen Gross at 607-844-4237 
email: kegross@frontiernet.net 
This benefits the Scouts in Cortland and Tompkins Counties

Download a Flyer and a Tickets Order Form here


  • 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 Cincinnatus. 

  • Long hours, no pay, great job satisfaction. This opportunity won't come again (until next week), so act NOW! Contact the District Executive or District Commissioner, or e-mail to info@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org 

Council News

For council news, see the Baden-Powell Council Website

National and International News

Unseen for half a century...

Fifty years ago, in Scouting's heyday of 1960-61, the Cubs, Scouts and Explorers of this area held Scout-a-Ramas at Cornell's Barton Hall and Cortland's Armory. We've got a page of pictures of the events, newly discovered in a box of negatives left from the old Council Office. 

Ever wonder how many different Council and District patches we've had? 

Is your collection complete? Mine isn't, but it's close. Take a look at this page and see which you're missing (or I am).



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