Happy Scouting! Due to the COVID-19 challenges, we have opted to take this opportunity to convert Trail Signs newsletter to an online format, instead of a hardcopy that was mailed, quarterly. We have shifted to a publication that will be issued six times a year and should be more timely and easier to connect to additional resources. I hope that you enjoy and benefit from this newsletter and it helps us to have some great Scouting adventures in the coming months! Glen R. Steenberger, Scout Executive
Scouting Safely During COVID-19

The Council Service Center and the Bloomington Scout Shop have reopened with reopening policies. Please click on the re-opening plan below for details. 

Special thanks to everyone who joined us for the Restarting Cub Scouting Webinar Series. If you missed them, these informative webinars are now available online!
These webinars offer helpful advice to Cub leaders as they restart their meetings. We talk with unit leaders from across the nation about how to determine whether it’s okay to start meeting, creative meeting locations, tips on virtual and in-person meetings, and much more:
  • “Can we start meeting again?”
  • How to Bring Your Scouting Family Back Together
  • Making In-Person Meetings Fun and Safe
  • Ideas on Where to Meet
  • Best Practices for Virtual Meetings
Now More Than Ever

America needs Scouting now, more than ever. This year #GivingTuesday is December 1, and we’re asking you to rally with us to create maximum impact. This is your chance to help bring the values and mission of Scouting to even more families in 2021.
So, we’ve set a big goal: Raise enough money in a single day to bring the benefits of Scouting to thousands of new families in 2021. We can’t meet this goal without you.
We’re asking Scouting enthusiasts to give $166 each, which is what the cost of each Scout is to the Council annually.
Importantly #GivingTuesday relies on the limitless potential of social media. Help us rally the troops by sharing and tagging your posts with #GivingTuesday and #ScoutOn.
Make sure to ask your smart phone to set a reminder or paper your refrigerator with notes. Whatever works to remind you that #GivingTuesday is on December 1, 2020.
From all of us at Hoosier Trails Council, thank you for your support on #GivingTuesday and every single day you help bring Scouting to more youth.
This holiday season consider giving the young person in your life the gift of Adventure! For only $96.50 your future Scout can enjoy 13 months of camping, fishing, hiking, engaging in the community through service, developing leadership skills, making friends and a lot more! Scouting’s programs are safe, age-appropriate, co-ed and did we mention fun. Instead of buying one more video game, gift something that will provide a head-start at leading a successful life.
Calling all Cub Scouts! The Hoosier Trails Council will still host its annual STEAM-O-Ree but due to health guidelines and location restrictions, we have opted to move this activity to the springtime of 2021 instead of February. Our hope is that we can hold this activity in an outdoor setting or that location restrictions will be improved to allow us to utilize a local school, as in the past. Please continue to visit our calendar for event details related to this and all Scouting programs. Cubs of all ages and siblings can enjoy a full day of activities learning about computers, physics, engineering, mathematics, robotics, art, and much more. This event is great for the entire family and inexpensive, so you can’t go wrong. Come and gain lots of new ideas for activities and experiments that you can take back to your Pack. Registration will open soon and look for more information at your Roundtable meetings.
Scouting At Home

We know its hard come up with ideas for your Scouts to advance in rank and still make it fun to participate in meetings and activities, especially when you are not able to be face-to-face. Hoosier Trails Council would like to help you make Scouting an adventure all year round. We have developed a Scouting At Home page full of advancement, activities, and ideas from all over the country. This is a great resource for families who are not able to attend in-person meetings or who may miss a meeting because of a scheduling conflict or vacation. You can direct them to all the tools they need to keep up with your unit and not fall behind in advancement. We will also host additional Virtual Merit Badge days and rank advancement assistance towards the end of the year for Scouts BSA members who were not able to join us at Maumee Meets Online. Please visit this page often and see the many ways you can enrich your Scout’s program with a few clicks of the mouse. 

We are working with a great team of leaders to provide Scouts BSA members an opportunity to earn some merit badges and Tenderfoot through First Class requirements (Eagle Quest) on a virtual platform on Sunday, December 6th. Register today for the Hoosier Trails Council Online Eagle Quest & Merit Badge Day. You will be contacted by a staff member with details and access to the required tools. Please remember to speak with your Scoutmaster and get approval for your chosen merit badge.

This event is designed for each Scout to choose only one (1) merit badge as the sessions all start at 1:00 pm. Please register for just one (1) merit badge or Eagle Quest at this time. Eagle Quest will be self-paced and last the entire time and you will have the opportunity to join in at any time and jump off the session based on what you need to work on. We will provide a schedule with activity times. Please remember that each participant must use a Google email account as we will be using Google Classroom as our instructional platform, along with Zoom.

Merit Badges Include:
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Communication

These Eagle Scout required merit badges will be offered as a partial completion as they require more time and work than what is offered in this one day activity. Please work with your unit leader and selected merit badge counselor to complete any last requirements.

It is our hopes that we can continue this effort in the weeks that follow to provide more opportunities like this.

2021 campsite reservations is live and our full menu of merit badges and programs will be available on December 1st. We are excited to get back to camp – in a tent – in the woods – with friends and nature. We will host the fourth year of our Mountaineer Challenge – The Hiveranno. This is a great program that tests your skills as a Scout and gives you an idea of what life was like back in the day. It is open to adult leaders and Scouts that are First Class and above. More facility and campsite improvements have been made and we are waiting to host your adventure of a lifetime. Reserve your campsite now!

Due to our continuous effort to provide a safe camping experience, Hoosier Trails Council is enforcing a strict capacity threshold to the number of Scouts and Scouters that will be able to attend each week of camp. It is vital that you reserve your week and site as soon as possible so you are able to enjoy a week out at Maumee Scout Reservation before we fill up. We are also making other changes to keep campers safe by eliminating camp provided wall tents and cots. This means that each troop will be asked to provide your own tents this year. MSR will provide breakfast and dinner each day as in the past but we ask that troops provide their own lunches throughout the week and cook in campsites. This will give Scouts the opportunity to hone their cooking skills and earn the Cooking Merit Badge. We have reduced the cost of camp for participance from $295 for youth and $195 for adults to $265 for youth and $165 for adults allowing more funds to provide for your lunches. No additional charges will incur for merit badges, as in the past. Please visit the Maumee Scout Reservation website often for additional information.
Hoosier Historical Hike
This hike was created by Scouts from the Wapahani District and the Hoosier Trails Council. This experience is a great way to learn about the history of Bloomington, Indiana. You will enjoy a three-phase hike that totals 5.5 miles in some of the most beautiful parts of the state. You can complete these hikes all at once or in different segments. The segments will include the downtown Bloomington area, Rose Hill Cemetery, and the Indiana University Campus. You will find 43 stops along these scenic routes. Please register for this hike and use the coordinates, within the event details, to find all the great locations and have fun, we have added some great questions that you can research along the way!
Order of the Arrow
2021 River Pass and Lodge Dues: The River Pass is a onetime payment for all the events of the up-coming year. This is a great way to get a discount on activities that you already attend and it’s only $75. You will be preregistered to all the council-level events. The 2021 River Pass is now available online and can be purchased along with your annual dues which is $15 for the 2021 year. If you register for your 2021 River Pass - All Access, annual dues are included! This is a great way to save time and money. Get your River Pass today and automatically be signed up for ALL activities and events for our lodge. *This pass is not valid for section or national events*
Planning for Adventure
The team leading Project Orion has received tremendous positive feedback, excitement and interest. Registration is in full swing and NOW is the time to secure your spot!
Through our conversations, we have had a few common questions and wanted to send answers to a wider audience.
QUESTION: What is Project Orion?
ANSWER: The Orion Project. As a 7-day/6-night experience, Orion will include opportunities for BMX, skateboarding, mountain biking, zip lines, canopy tours, challenge courses, climbing, shooting sports, whitewater rafting, fellowship with Scouts from across the nation and much more. Orion will be open to ALL Scouts, BSA youth. It will be held during the following weeks:
             Orion I             July 18 to July 24, 2021
             Orion II             July 25 to July 31, 2021
Click on the video below to learn more about the Summit Experience - BUT REMEMBER PROJECT ORION INCLUDES A DAY ON THE RIVER AND OTHER ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES!
Scouts, here is an awesome challenge! Between November 15 and December 15, if you sell 10 popcorn items online, you will be entered to win a $250 Amazon Gift Card. You receive an entry into the drawing for the card for every 10 items that you sell (sell 50 items, earn 5 chances to win). 10 Scouts will win this incentive. 

Additionally, Trail’s End is launching new incentives to help you hit your goals before the holidays. Scouts can earn bonus Amazon.com Gift Cards, and 15 Scouts will win* their choice of an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5! 

Entering the contest is easy! 
  • For every $200 in Online Direct Sales, Scouts will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card AND a chance to win their choice of a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X!
  • Sales must occur between Thursday, Nov 5 (8 PM EST) and Thursday, Nov 26 (8 PM EST).
  • Winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 1

Sanitizer Sale Support Scouting

Be Prepared! For limited time, the council will be offering Scout units the opportunity to sell hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and raise programming support for your Scout unit. As society transitions from being sequestered, companies, churches, schools, and families are going to be seeking this product. A Scout is Clean, a Scout is Helpful, a Scout is Prepared!
  • No Risk to Unit
  • $30/gallon compared to $45-70 online
  • Take Orders & Fulfilled within the Week
  •  Use Unit’s Connections to sell in bulk
  •  $7.50 unit commission, Sell 100 Gallons, earn Unit profit of $750

Register your unit to sell by emailing: Jon.Ocheltree@scouting.org
Scouting License Plates

These plates can be used as standard vehicle registration plates for passenger cars, recreational vehicles and trucks weighing less than 11,000 pounds. This is not a vanity plate, so special numbers or messages cannot be accommodated. Your plate selection is good until your next registration renewal.  When you purchase an Indiana Boy Scout license plate, you indicate your personal support of Scouting and add financially to the Hoosier Trails Council Endowment.
How can you participate? When you renew your plates, an additional fee is added on to your basic renewal fees, and that money is contributed to the Hoosier Trails Council endowment fund.

Renew Plates Online: Currently, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles offers Online Registration for your vehicle. Once you create an account, you can choose your specialized license plate. It's fast, easy and best of all - no standing in line! 

The Boy Scouts of America is the recipient of all proceeds from the sale of vehicles donated to One Car One Difference® and specifically designated by the donor to support the BSA. With your help, Scouting will continue providing youth the opportunity to try new things, give service to others, build self-confidence, and reinforce ethical standards. Use the form on the right side of the page to donate your vehicle, and help us ensure the future of America's youth.
Support the Hoosier Trails Council in Non-traditional Ways

Presently, the Hoosier Trails Council is working towards fulfilling our 2020 Friends of Scouting need to fund our life-changing programs. Here are some ways that your family can support Scouting that you may not have thought of:

  • AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_se_rspo_laas_aas 
National Youth Leadership Training 2021 Promo Video
Wood Badge Training 2021 Promo Video
Hoosier Trails Council offers many great training opportunities for adults to understand the roles and responsibilities of leadership along with many other focus areas of interest to the Scouting program. Many trainings are available online or you can choose to take them in person at a location near you. We host many trainings throughout the year for your convenience focusing on topics that matter to you.
Update Your Training for Re-Charters

Re-charter time is upon us and the number one item that holds up a charter from being completed on time is training. Leader training is a vital part to ensuring that you are providing a quality program for your Scouts and ensures that new leaders are comfortable in their rolls. Many leaders are recruited in the last half of the year and we need to be sure they are supported with the most up to date training opportunities before they dive too deep. Most leader trainings are available online and we also provide opportunities throughout the year for face-to-face trainings. The first training that is expected from every adult leader is Youth Protection Training. This is a great session to learn what the BSA requires from all adult leaders who will be working with our most valuable asset – our youth. Please log onto our website to complete this training every two years and take a look at some of the other opportunities that you can take advantage of.

Advanced Leadership Training:

Each year, Hoosier Trails Council offers two of the best advanced leadership trainings opportunities available in the Boy Scouts of America. Leadership in your units continuously change and grow from year to year and it is important to arm your new members with the great knowledge, techniques, discipline, and strong habits that exist in some of our most noted leaders. National Youth Leadership Training (Youth) and Wood Badge (Adult) focuses on team-building, making ethical decisions, leading others, communicating, servant leadership, and planning. It is all put on by experienced youth and adult leaders with the most up-to-date resources that are provided by the BSA. If you are looking for a great opportunity for your older Scouts, Venturers, and adult leaders to learn some advanced leadership skills, these are the trainings they will need. Registration will soon open for the courses and you will be able to sign up on line. They are held at Maumee Scout Reservation each year and promise to be a great adventure for all Scouts and Scouters. 
Training EXPO

The Hoosier Trails Council Training EXPO is an opportunity for leaders to come together for a day of short supplemental trainings that cover a range of topics common in Scouting and the outdoors. Due to health guidelines and location restrictions, we have opted to move this activity to the springtime of 2021 instead of February. All registered adult leaders may attend this event and take part in many great sessions. Topics change each year so plan to attend annually. This one-day event is designed to supplement many of the great Scout leader trainings that are currently offered. We will also be offering leader basic training for any of your new unit volunteers. Current information will be available on the council website soon.

Update Your Youth Protection Training

With fall membership season just around the corner, it is not too early to schedule your unit Youth Protection Training plan. Each year, any new adult that joins your unit as a leader must go through and understand Scouting’s Youth Protection Guidelines. Recruitment time is the best opportunity each year that you will have to encourage your new parents to take this course online or in person. Scheduling this training up front will also put you in a good position for your unit recharter deadlines. Youth Protection Training is the best course around for sharing Scouting’s barriers to abuse and keeping our young people safe.

Scouting is one of the safest youth programs available!
Congratulations, Recent Eagle Scouts
Thomas Charles Raymond Troop 224
Matthew Miller Troop 457
Zane Reece Lake Troop 495
Gabriel Alexander Felix Troop 100
Jacob Orion Morris Troop 121
Ethan Douglas Campbell Troop 693
Jared Leland Rigdon Troop 631
Nathaniel W. Kates Troop 148
Matthew Daniel Burkhardt Troop 717
Benjamin Edward LaVelle Troop 555
Donivan Paul Warren Troop 559
Timely Recharter of Every Scout Unit

One of our most important annual obligations we have, as Commissioners, is to assist each of our Scout leaders in Hoosier Trails Council complete the requirements needed for processing their unit Recharter packet. 

All information and instructions Scout units need to complete their Recharter is currently found on the HTC website: https://hoosiertrailsbsa.org/
Monday, December 14, 2020 is the date all Recharter documents are due to Holly Barton, Council Registrar, in the Scout office.  Commissioners, I strongly encourage that you meet with your assigned unit leaders and ensure they understand all that is required to submit their Recharter packet for completion.     
Let’s make this a priority to have our unit’s Recharter on time!

A few reminders are listed below for Commissioners and all Scout unit leaders:
  • Youth Protection Training (YPT) Certification - All Adult Scout Leaders and Volunteers assigned to a Scout unit must have completed the new online YPT training requirement. In addition, Scout leaders and volunteers are to have a signed Criminal Background Check (CBC) form on file with the HTC office. A unit’s Recharter packets will not be processed without these requirement forms completed.
  • Annual Registration Fees - The BSA National Council board of directors announced a new membership fee structure. Effective October 1, 2020, the fee structure will be:
  • $66 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting
  • $42 for youth members in Exploring
  • $42 for all adult members
  • $75 for unit charter fee
  • Journey to Excellence (JTE) – Before submitting their unit Recharter packet, Commissioners and Scout unit leaders are strongly encouraged to meet and review the Journey to Excellence Scorecard for their particular unit.  Scout units are still eligible to earn the Gold, Silver or Bronze level JTE award that recognizes their performance for managing a quality unit this Scout year.   

Marissa Souza, Muscatatuck District Commissioner
Valerie Dewar, Wapehani District Commissioner
Frank Dixon, White River Trails District Commissioner
Lindsey A. Smith, Council Commissioner