You are receiving this email because you or a member of your family is registered with the Pathway to Adventure Council and/or you have opted to receive our e-newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.

February 2021
COVID-19 Information
The Pathway to Adventure Council requires all persons attending Scouting events, activities, or meetings to adhere to the City of Chicago’s “Protecting Chicago” Reopening Framework. As of January 31, 2021, the City of Chicago is currently under Phase IV Guidelines. In part, the guidelines state:
  • Outdoor Activities: Outdoor museums, performance venues, and other outdoor activities can continue at 40% capacity with a maximum of 100 individuals. Group sizes are limited to 50 people or less, with total capacity limited to 100 people, while social distancing.
  • Out-of-School Programs: Indoor group exercise or fitness classes capped at 15 individuals (e.g., dance, yoga). Programs in which participants are primarily seated/stationery may continue in cohorts of up to 15 people (e.g., painting, creative writing, homework help).
  • Social Events and Meetings: Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, private clubs, country clubs and other event venues limited to 25% capacity with no more than 25 guests indoors and outdoors.
The full list of guidelines can be found on the City of Chicago’s website.
Furthermore, for those who have been exposed to COVID-19, the quarantine period has changed from 14 days to 10 days if no symptoms are reported or 7 days if a negative test result is received and you have no symptoms.
The Pathway to Adventure Council Service Centers in Arlington Heights, Chicago, La Grange, and Munster will remain open, BUT you must make an appointment with a staff member before arriving. Contact information for all staff members can be found here
The Arlington Heights, Chicago, and La Grange Scout Shops will remain open without appointments. However, the Arlington Heights Scout Shop will be closed on Wednesdays, beginning on February 1, 2021. The La Grange Scout Shop will also be closed on Wednesdays beginning on February 15, 2021.
The Munster Scout Shop will remain open, but appointments are strongly encouraged. We also encourage placing orders in advance via email for the Munster Scout Shop.
In addition to the service centers being open for appointments only, the Pathway to Adventure Council requires that before any activity, meeting, or event, the organizers must ask all participants to answer the questions on the Model COVID-19 Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.
If attending a Scouting event, meeting, or activity, everyone must:
  • Practice social distancing and wear a face mask, except during physical activity.* Physical activity includes free play, games, sports, transportation (walking, cycling, hiking), and recreation.
  • Youth protection guidelines must be followed.
  • Clean frequently-touched surfaces after each use.
  • Stay home if they feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19.
*Children under 2 years old and those with health conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt from this precaution.

If you visit a city, state, or area with stricter COVID-19 guidelines, you must follow the stricter guidelines.
If you have any questions, please contact

To see a version of this announcement with resource/information links, please click here.
Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts Virtual Celebration
Join us on Sunday, February 21, 2021, at 6:00 pm for a virtual celebration of the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. At the event, we will highlight the 14 young women from PTAC who earned the rank and hear from Broadview Fire Chief, Tracy Kenny, who is one of only three female fire chiefs in Illinois. You don't want to miss this historic event! Please register using this link.
Scouting for Food
Scouting for Food planning is in full swing for our events on April 17th and April 24th. We now need our unit's to commit to participating by completing this form:

The commitment form lets us know where drop sites should be located, how many door hangers each unit needs, and how many trucks to rent. Once units complete the form they will be assigned an area to canvass on the 17th to drop off door hangers and collect food from those neighborhoods on the 24th. A live map of assigned areas will be on the Scouting for Food website. Units may choose (via the form) to donate their food to a council partner food bank that provides food to over 400 smaller pantries throughout the council or their own local pantry. Units that choose the latter must coordinate their own food donation for April 24 and be prepared to weigh or count their items before drop off. We will calculate the results of Scouting for Food as a council-wide donation, so every donation counts!

An expanded toolkit will be available in February. Use to stay up to date on all the information about Scouting For Food 
With the participation of all of our units, we can help fight hunger in our communities. Send questions to
Virtual Merit Badge Academy
The Pathway to Adventure Council is pleased to announce its spring virtual merit badge academy! Between Feb 20 and May 22, PTAC Scouts* can sign up for classes led by expert merit badge counselors! To see what classes are available and to register, use this link:

*Please note classes are open to PTAC Scouts only.

NEW DATE: MAY 8, 2021 - Youth Recognition and Council Awards Dinners Combined
Attention 2020 Class of Eagle Scouts, Quartermasters, Summit, Silver Beaver, NOESA, and Alumnus of the Year Award Recipients, the new date for the Council Recognition Dinner is May 8, 2021. The PTAC Recognition Dinner Celebrating Scouting - The Adventure Continues, will recognize the 2020 Class of Youth Awardees which includes the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts. All 2020 youth awardees attend for free. Please plan to join us to recognize our Scouts' and Scouters' unique achievements in the Scouting program. Click here to register!

Waterford Banquet Center
933 S Riverside Dr
Elmhurst, IL 60126
Council Recognition Dinner Art Contest
New to the Council Recognition Dinner this year, we are hosting an art/design contest! Youth Scouts of ALL ages are welcome to submit artwork that corresponds with the event's theme, "The Adventure Continues." The winning design will be featured on the dinner patch and face mask! All artwork should be 3"x5" and must include the council name (Pathway to Adventure Council) and the Fleur-de-Lis. Scouts must be registered with the Pathway to Adventure Council and have parent/guardian permission to enter. Entries must be submitted using this form
POSTPONED - Council-wide Camporee
The Council-wide Camporee that was scheduled for October 8-10, 2021 is being postponed to 2022. Each District will host its own Fall Camporee to provide a fun and interactive program for our Scouts. Look for information and calendar updates from your district to add to your unit's calendar planning.
Join 2021 Camp Staff
Camp Napowan and Owasippe Scout Reservation are now accepting applications for summer camp staff 2021! If you're looking for an amazing way to spend your summer, consider applying for camp staff. Scouts and Scouters age 14 and up are eligible for volunteer and/or paid positions. For more information or to apply, please visit our camp staff webpage:
2021 Family Camp at Camp Betz
A weekend camping experience for the whole family in Berrien Springs, Michigan! Camp Frank S. Betz is a 57-acre preserve that has been in continuous service since 1922. Camp Betz offers beautiful wooded campsites for tent camping. Flush toilets and showers are available. The program includes archery, BBs, crafts, swimming, boating, campfires, and more! While at camp, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the property and enjoy the beauty it offers. All meals will be provided on Saturday, along with a Sunday breakfast.
2021 Webelos Camp at Napowan or Owasippe
A three-night Webelos camping experience and preview to Scouts BSA camping! This program is tailored for next school year’s 4th and 5th grade Webelos Scouts and includes opportunities to earn several Webelos Adventures pins (both required and elective). Webelos will also be able to fish, swim, shoot archery and BBs, hike, explore, and have a fantastic adventure at summer camp! Attend as a den or as a Webelos Scout and parent.

Philmont 2022
Pathway to Adventure Council is sponsoring a 2022 Council Contingent Trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. The contingent will depart Chicago on July 2 and return on July 16. The per person fee, estimated to be $2250.00, will include the Philmont registration fee, all trip transportation, meals, lodging, Shakedown Weekend, Taste of Philmont, 10-mile Shakedown Hike, Philmont belt & buckle, trail tee shirts, a laundry bag for transporting a backpack, Philmont Tooth of Time Crew photo, and more. Registration closes on April 27, 2021, but spots fill quickly, so sign up today!
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
National Youth Leadership Training is an exciting, action-packed program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home units and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others. Courses are co-ed and are open to First Class, 13 years and older Scouts BSA troop members or members of a Venturing Crew or Sea Ship. This week-long leadership training experience will be held June 27 to July 3, 2021, at Camp Carlen, Owasippe Scout Reservation. More details can be found on our website and our Facebook page.

Registration opened on January 1, and there are only 48 spaces available, so sign up today!
The course cost is $275, which is the same as last year. Questions? E-mail
Position-Specific Training and Woodbadge
Every Scout deserves a trained leader!
Trained leaders who understand the program have a positive impact on the success of the unit resulting in a higher rate of advancement and retention. Most importantly trained leaders can bring more fun into the program.
Please become trained. Most basic training is available online at Login in a start taking training required for your Scouting position.

Once you've completed position-specific basic training, if you want to take your training to the next level, learn how to strengthen your unit, learn more about the what and why of Scouting, experience new things, have FUN, and learn how to transfer your training to your non-Scouting life, then sign up for Wood Badge! Wood Badge is a two-weekend course held at Camp Betz, in Berrien Springs, Michigan. The course will take place all-day September 10,11 & 12 and all-day October 2 & 3.
NRA Basic Rifle and Shotgun Trainings
Want to work with Scouts and Scouters to develop lifelong skills in a safe, meaningful environment? Do you like being a mentor or coach and teaching Scouts new skills? This is your opportunity to take the beginning courses to be on your way to becoming a member of the BSA Pathway to Adventure Council’s shooting sports team!

Regardless of your shooting experience, the basic courses listed below teach you the core fundamentals of firearm safety so that you can visit the range with confidence and with safety in mind. Learn how to properly handle, transport, and store your firearm, as well as how to keep children safe around firearms.

A little about the PTAC shooting sports team: Our shooting sports team members set up, run and manage the ranges at BSA activities throughout the Pathway to Adventure Council. Those ranges include Archery, Rifle, Shotgun, and much more! BSA requires that shooting sports team members hold certifications by recognized organizations (e.g.: NRA, USA Archery) for the discipline they are instructing and supervising.
We are offering two classes at a significant discount for registered Scouters:
  • NRA Basic Rifle class – Course fee - $75.00 (50% off normal pricing!)
  • March 6 & March 7
  • NRA Basic Shotgun class – Course fee - $75.00 (50% off normal pricing!)
  • March 13 & March 14
BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award
The Boy Scouts of America has recently unveiled the new BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award, which recognizes Scouts, Scouters, and organizations/individuals for contributing significantly to natural resource conservation and environmental protection.

As with many national recognitions, the steps associated with earning the award are PTAC-based: from advising the Scout on identifying the conservation topic of choice, learning more about the chosen topic, doing a project to mitigate the conservation issue, to educating others. Upon completion of two approved projects and project workbooks, the Scout has a board of review before PTAC’s Conservation Committee and then can be awarded the new Distinguished Conservation Service Award.

Please note that this award replaces the William T. Hornaday Bronze and Silver Awards. A temporary award has been developed for Scouts that were working on these awards and had already completed at least 2 service projects and had started on the 3rd or 4th projects by October 13, 2020. If the Scout meets these requirements they have until June 30, 2021, to complete the following awards. After these dates the awards will be retired and not available to be earned.

If you would like to share your interests in expanding conservation service project activities beyond your unit, please contact Wayne Schimpff at 773-406-9396 or about joining PTAC’s Conservation Committee. If you have questions about the new Distinguished Conservation Service Award Program, you can also contact Wayne Schimpff or visit the BSA's Distinguished Conservation Service Award webpage.
Whitney M. Young Service Award Nominations
The Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award recognizes outstanding service by an adult or an organization for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of Scouting opportunities for youth from low-income rural or urban backgrounds.

In this section of our newsletter, we will hear from our Council President, Marc Passiment.
January and February are busy months in Scouting. February 8 is the official date scouting began 111 years ago in the United States. Scouters worldwide celebrate February 22, the birthday of Robert Baden-Powell, as Founder's Day. Scouting is active year-round, but the start of this year seems to be busier than ever before.

Normally, as a Cub Scout leader, I would be planning the Pinewood Derby and the Blue and Gold, all while wrapping up the Webelos' final advancements, earning their Arrow of Light. As a Scouts BSA troop leader, I would be attending the cabin trip, where there was always more than a foot of snow and ice everywhere. Klondike challenges laid ahead, and everyone always wondered, will this be the year we get to take the wheels off the sled and pull it through the snow and not the rain? The Webelos would be crossing over, and it was time to make an impression on them. It was important for them to attend summer camp with the troop. As a Venture Crew leader, I was prepping for our long campout of the summer. We would be preparing to help with the Klondikes and spring camporees, so Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA members would get a glimpse of a high adventure unit and want to join.
As a Sea Scout leader, I would be graduating the group from the land ship and completing training. Plans would be finalized for the summer cruise. Rodney Scout Reservation has a cool sailing cruise of the Chesapeake Bay. As an Exploring leader, it was fun at Winterfest in Tennessee, a chance to show off skills while making new friends.

Of course, this year is different, yet still remarkably busy. Meetings have been plentiful. Planning is robust. We are all waiting to be able to get together again safely. I would have thought holding Zoom meetings, phone calls, and just sending emails would be easier. However, every moment of the day is continuously filled with new projects, work, and meetings. I do get to meet and spend time with more people than last year, but the days are long. I still do this, knowing that all the planning that happens this time of year, will eventually pay off. More than ever before, planning to be in the outdoors is good for the soul.

I look forward to seeing you all on the trail.

Scout helps fellow troop member fund a wheelchair for outdoor/Scouting activities

In May of 2020, Scouting volunteer and mom, Betsy Gates-Ehlers posted a photo of an all-terrain power chair on Facebook, stating that if she won the lottery one day, she would buy it for her son, Jake, who is in a wheelchair. A couple of days later, a fellow Scout mom, Natalie DiCosola, asked Betsy if her son, Dominic, could set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to get Jake the chair. Needless to say, Betsy and Jake were super surprised and gave their consent to start the fundraiser.

Dominic's logic was that Jake should have every opportunity in Scouting that he had! Up to this point, whether Jake was camping with his family or with Troop 209, hikes and rough terrain were tough in his everyday power chair. He would get stuck in soft spots, spin out in wet spots, and have a super rough ride! This new chair would change all of that!

So, Natalie set up the GoFundMe page. Within FOUR days, the fundraising goal was met! We placed the order, and in mid-July, Jake took possession of his new Action TrackChair. This chair is AWESOME! Now he can do any hikes that the Troop does and navigating campsites while on outings with the Troop will be a piece of cake! It was out of the goodness in Dom's heart that all this happened. Jake couldn't be happier, and we can never adequately express our gratitude to the DiCosola family!

Thank you to the DiCosola and Gates-Ehlers families for showing us what Scouting is all about! If you have a Scouting Story you'd like to share, please send it to
Please note that the Arlington Heights and La Grange Scout Shops are now closed on Wednesdays.
Continue the conversation, follow us on social media!