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
TIMELY SCOUTING NEWS

Scouting is one of the safest youth programs available!
Scouting Magazine Goes Digital

For 107 years, Scouting magazine has been bringing leaders, parents and volunteers news about “all-things Scouting” as well as resources for building an exceptional program. The print version of the publication may have ended with the May-June 2020 issue, but the resources for Scouting volunteers and parents are better than ever in the Scouting magazine app.
Even though the format for the trusted Scouting source has changed, the mission hasn’t. We are dedicated to continuing to deliver your same favorite features as well as some new topics to enjoy. With the app, you’ll always have access to the latest information to help you as Scouters and as parents.
So, check it out! The brand-new Scouting magazine app is available now in the App Store and Google Play.
The latest issue, September-October 2020, is online in a digital format, free to all adults registered with the BSA. Instead of waiting months for fresh content, the Scouting magazine app will be updated every day with something new.
You can sign up for notifications so you know when stories are posted on topics you like. Are you a Cub Scout leader? There’s a category for that. A parent? There’s a category for that, too. The app is easy to read, sleek and intuitive. Plus, you can have it with you and read it anywhere on your devices.
Council Reopening Plan Updated

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


Reminder: See These Recent Advancement Updates

The latest updates to advancement include temporary changes to Rank Advancement and the process for earning the Camping merit badge. Also, updates have been made to the Eagle Scout Extension Process that give councils the authority to grant an additional three-month extension, which will end December 31st, 2020.
Journey to Excellence Update

Scouting’s Journey to Excellence (JTE) is the BSA’s planning, performance and recognition program designed to encourage and reward the success of our units, districts, and councils. It is meant to encourage excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.
The BSA recognizes that given the extraordinary circumstances occurring in 2020, benchmarking 2019 to 2020 and 2021 to 2020 is not constructive, therefore, effective immediately, the Journey to Excellence recognition program for Districts and Councils will be discontinued for 2020 and 2021.
The Journey to Excellence Unit recognition program will continue.
The JTE data is valuable information, and to assist with membership data analysis in the future, a new membership reporting tool is under development. This tool will provide councils and districts with key membership data, including gender and ethnic diversity. Stay tuned for details about the rollout of the new tool.
UPCOMING SCOUTING ADVENTURES
Hoosier Trails 5k Run/Walk

The fourth annual Hoosier Trails 5K will be held on Saturday, November 14th at Ceraland Park in Columbus, Indiana. It is our mission to encourage personal growth among area youth by promoting physical fitness and outdoor adventure.

There is simply no better place to develop character and personal fitness than in the company of a small group of intrepid souls on a high adventure outing. High adventure works because it draws upon familiar Scouting values, and puts them to the test. Preparation and physical fitness are not merely outcomes, they are part of the cost of admission. The Hoosier Trails 5K was conceived to help smooth your road to adventure by emphasizing the importance of physical fitness, sharing trip information between Scout units, and promoting teamwork. 

As always, every entrant will receive a custom patch, and members of the same Scout unit will be formed into teams. Awards will again be given to the top three male and female Cub Scouts, male and female Scouts and male and female community members. The top three teams will receive customized flag totems and one lucky team will be randomly drawn for a Lodge outdoor cooking table.

Go to www.hoosiertrails5k.org to for more information and to register for the race.
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.
Virtual Events & Activities for Scouts

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. 

Scouters, it’s never too early to start thinking about Summer Camp. We will have campsite reservations live soon and our full menu of merit badges and programs will be available on December 1st. A lot has happened since 2019 and we have much more to expect for next season. 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. Come to Roundtable for more information or visit HoosierMaumee.org. As always, welcome to camp!
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*
FUNDING AWESOME SCOUTING ADVENTURES
Popcorn!
Popcorn time is all the time this year. The sale has been extended for your convenience. Your unit may have recently started back up and your leaders are just now talking about a fundraising plan. One thing, for sure, is that we need a way to fund great programming for our Scouts and selling popcorn has proven to be the easiest and most profitable approach. In times like this, Trails End has made selling convenient and safe for your Scouts.

We have developed a great resource page to help you plan and carry out your sale like a pro. Even if you are new, we think you will find everything you need to reach your goal.

Check out the Kernel Call-Out video series for a quick update on everything that is new and time-sensitive.

Register your unit to sell today and start the sale now with far more options than in the past!

More information is available in the Unit Kernel Guidebook or on your Unit Kickoff Presentation.

The Hoosier Trails Council is pleased to announce the Trail’s End Poppin’ in the USA Challenge! From 8pm EDT June 30, 2020 – 8pm EDT October 15, 2020 the first 200 Scouts to record an Online Direct order in 25 different U.S. states will earn a $50 Amazon.com gift card, and the first 50 Scouts to record an Online Direct order in 50 different U.S. states will earn a $150 Amazon.com gift card. *The Poppin’ in the USA Challenge applies to Online Direct orders 8pm EDT June 30, 2020 to 7:59pm EDT October 15, 2020. Valid Online Direct orders greater than or equal to $10 retail value shipping to any combination of 25 U.S. states (for the 25 state challenge) or all 50 U.S. states (for the 50 state challenge) qualify for the promotion. Shipping address will be used to determine order eligibility for orders with shippable products. Donation-only order eligibility will be based on billing address. For full terms and conditions, visit www.trails-end.com/terms

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 
Memorials & Tributes
Bea Hobbs
  • Jeffrey Osterman
  • Marilyn Brown
  • Donna & Harry Carson
  • Brenda & Ralph Sadler
  • Marilyn Rotino
 
Sue Lake
  • Marilyn Brown
  • Brenda Sadler
  • Marilyn Rotino
Tom Jena
  • Carolyn Jena
  • USFW Mooresville Friends
  • John & Carol Bock
  • Tamara & Jeff Sandwisch
  • Tim & Jeanne Bock
  • Max Jena
  • Corinne Rummel
  • Connie Barber
  • Becky DeYoung
  • Alice Kunze
  • Rebecca Schenk
ADULT & YOUTH TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
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. 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. Please save this event on your calendar and plan to attend on Saturday, February 6th, 2021. This may be a virtual event due to current health guidelines but current information will be available on the council website.

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.
Congratulations, Recent Eagle Scouts
Justus Donnell Belton, Troop 121
Aidan Paul Brown, Troop 121
Levi Christopher Fender, Troop 148
Colton Douglas Schuckmann, Troop 604
Hunter Douglas Schuckmann, Troop 604
Braydon Daniel Nutley, Troop 604
Caleb Scott Yager, Troop 190
Zachary Aaron McKinney, Troop 224
Braedon Eli Reynolds, Troop 529
Carl Rexford Miller, Troop 457
Kayden Douglas Gresham, Troop 518
Matthew Kevin Moxley, Troop 223
Jeffrey Scott Blanz, Troop 588
Ryan Austin Adams, Troop 219
Isaac Louis Ball, Troop 717
Ethan Jeffrey Harms, Troop 332
Michael John Crawley, Troop 646
COMMISSIONER SERVICE
Commissioner Service During COVID-19

For the past six months, COVID-19 has dominated our lives and has adversely impacted the many events and activities that were planned throughout our Hoosier Trails Council (HTC) Scouting program.
Not many of us anticipated, that even at this late date, we would be still talking about COVID-19, however, … “such is life!” 

This pandemic has been a sobering reality that has caused all of us to take a careful look at how we have had to adjust our Scouting routine for conducting events, such as: scheduling unit meetings and gathering activities, conducting education and training events, performing outdoor skills and traditional ceremonies for our Scout youth and Scout leaders at all levels. All have been affected. 
Perhaps the most direct impact COVID-19 has imposed upon us has been relying on virtual technology to communicate the Scouting movement and enforcing the safety protocols, by social distancing, wearing masks and using sanitizer to keep each other safe.  

Now that a new Scout year is underway, as Commissioners, we must commit ourselves to meet challenges we encounter for supporting Scout leaders throughout HTC. This includes efforts to recruit new Scouts, conducting Join Scout Night presentations, conducting popcorn sales and key fundraising events, and, soon, preparing to assist units with processing the recharters. 
  
These are all unprecedented challenges Commissioners will face as a result of COVID-19. However, I also believe this pandemic presents us with a great opportunity to excel in our efforts to provide great service and support to our Scout units and to continue to help them be successful.

This is a crucial period in Scouting, one in which I urge all Commissioners to take a moment to reassess what actions we can take to be more creative and imaginative in carrying out our responsibilities for offering the best Commissioner Service to every HTC Scout unit and to continue to deliver the promise of Scouting to our youth. 

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