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January 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 a part of the framework, the City has extended the Stay-At-Home Advisory, which was issued on Monday, November 16, 2020. The extended advisory went into effect on Sunday, December 20, 2020. The Stay-At-Home Advisory is currently set for 30 days OR until such time as the Commissioner of Health determines a change to the guidance is appropriate.

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.

As a result of the extended Stay-At-Home Advisory, 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. 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 the following measures:
  • All Scouting activities, meetings, or events should be limited to 10 people or less, regardless of if the event is indoors or outdoors.
  • 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 still 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.
PTAC COVID-19 Townhall
On Thursday, January 14, at 7:00 PM the Pathway to Adventure Council will be hosting a COVID-19 Town Hall. The purpose of this Town Hall is to share the most current Council guidelines and address questions you have related to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-registration is required to receive unique login information. Please note access links to the meeting cannot be shared, and each person wishing to attend needs to register.
BSA Alumni Event
Join us on Monday, January 18, at 7:00 PM CST for a virtual BSA Alumni event! During the event, we will hear from New York Fire Department Assistant Chief, John Esposito. Assistant Chief Esposito will discuss how he uses lessons from Scouting every day as a leader in the nation's largest fire department. The event will be live-streamed on the BSA Alumni Facebook Page. Please note that all current and alumni Scouts/Scouters are welcome to join. For more information, check out the event flyer.
Save The Date- Youth Recognition Dinner and Art Contest
Please join us for our annual Youth Recognition Dinner on Saturday, May 8, at Waterford Banquet Center in Elmhurst, IL. At this event, we will be celebrating 2020 and early 2021 Eagle Scouts, Venturing Summit Award Recipients, and Sea Scout Quartermaster Award Recipients. In addition to dinner and fellowship, we will also have a guest speaker who is sure to inspire all attendees!
New 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, "Adventure through Adversity." The winning design will be featured on the Youth Recognition 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. The Deadline for the contest is Saturday, February 20, at 5:00 pm, and entries must be submitted using this form
Digital Science Adventures
Bored at home? Need a quick 10 minute bit of learning and fun? We are hosting digital science adventures with the University of Chicago!

If you are interested, please contact PTAC's Director of STEAM and Innovation, Dr. Kristen Vogt, at
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:
Now Accepting Campsite Reservations for 2021
We are looking ahead to summer camp in 2021, and we expect each session of camp at Napowan and Owasippe, to be fully booked! We are now accepting campsite reservations, so be sure you book your site today!

Dates, schedules, fees and reservation information can be found here:
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!
Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Eagle Service Project of the Year Award - Deadline Extended
Nominations are now being accepted for the Pathway to Adventure Council Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award (ESSPY).

The deadline has been extended to February 11, 2021. This allows all Female Eagle Scouts who earned their Eagle BOR on Feb 8th to submit their project for review.

The ESSPY award recognizes valuable service of an exceptional nature by an Eagle Scout candidate to a religious institution, a school, community, or other entity through completion of an Eagle Scout project.

An Eagle Scout, his/her parents, or any registered BSA volunteer (with the Eagle Scout’s permission) may submit the Eagle Scout service project for consideration. After we announce the council's ESSPY, we will submit the winner's Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook and Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Nomination Form (including attachments) to the National Eagle Scout Association for national award consideration.

To be considered:

For more information and the nomination form, please. click here.
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.
In this section of our newsletter, we will hear from our Council President, Marc Passiment.
2020 has come to an end. What a year it has been. 

Each December allows for reflection and a chance to look forward to renewal, this year more than most. It has been a year of firsts, challenges, good and bad times. It has been a year that tested our patience, knowledge, and fortitude. 

Now we move forward into 2021. What will the new year bring? We are about to find out as we continue to walk this trail together.

I look forward to scouting with all of you in 2021. Happy New Year.
Congratulations to our 2020 Silver Beaver recipients
The Silver Beaver Award is presented by the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, through the local Council to adult volunteer Scouters for their distinguished service to youth and their community. The award is intended to acknowledge noteworthy service of exceptional character to youth by registered Scouters including but not limited to Cub Scouters, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring leaders within the territory under the jurisdiction of Pathway to Adventure. It is considered to be the highest award a Boy Scout Council can bestow upon a volunteer Scouter.

We would like to Congratulate our newest recipients:

Joseph Ferreri, Norm Garges, Helen Gilmore, David Leahy, Colleen Leahy,
James Poueymirou, Anne Romani, and Russell Talbot
Please join us in recognizing these recipients at our annual Adult Recognition Dinner, which is scheduled for February 28.
Congratulations to our Alumnus of the Year
The Council Alumnus of the Year Award is the Scouting Alumni Association’s highest council recognition. The award was established to recognize alumni of the Boy Scouts of America who, over a sustained period of time, have used the skills and values they learned through their association with Scouting to make significant and long-lasting contributions to their local communities through their careers, avocations, and Scouting.

The Pathway of Adventure Council is excited to present Sean Gertsch with the Alumnus of the Year Award!

Please join us on February 28, at Crystal Sky Banquet Center as we recognize our alumnus and other dedicated volunteers at our Adult Recognition Dinner.
Congratulations to our NOESA recipients
The NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA) is a prestigious recognition granted by the Pathway to Adventure Council’s NESA committee to Eagle Scouts whose efforts have made a positive impact in the community.

This year, we are pleased to present the award to Sean Gertsch, Spencer Long, Joseph McCurdy, Rev. Francis Scanlan, and Don Swibes, Jr. Congratulations, to our 5 outstanding recipients!

Please join us on May 8, as we recognize these Outstanding Eagles at a reception at the Waterford Banquet Center in Elmhurst, prior to the Youth Recognition Dinner. Details on the reception will be available soon. 
Central Region Program Symposium
All adult Scouters are invited to attend the Central Region Program Symposium, which will take place March 12-14, 2021 at Beaumont Scout Ranch in St. Louis, MO. Whether your interest is Training, Advancement, Outdoor Program, Diversity, Venturing, or something else, the symposium will truly offer something for everyone! Check out the flyer for more details, or contact Laurie Cowan at with any questions.
Wilderness First Aid Certification
These classes are intended for Scouts/Scouters attending high adventure camps in 2021 or an Scout/Scouter who would like to complete a WFA certification course.

PTAC Receives STEM Grant in Northwest Indiana
The Pathway to Adventure Council recently received a $17,000 grant from the Legacy Foundation. The grant will support the delivery of our high-quality STEM in Scouting program to underserved youth in Gary and East Chicago. STEM in Scouting focuses on the many applications of computer science and gives kids opportunities to begin learning in-demand skills so they can be successful in our global, tech-based job market. This program is important because equity access to computer science education remains a challenge in many communities. Our goal is to close the digital divide, increase access to computers and technology, and prepare young people for potential future careers.
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