Council Announcements

Attention All Unit Leaders! 

There are two new developments that will affect your unit!

Youth Protection

Effective September 1, 2017, all new leader applications and disclosure forms being turned in must now include a copy of their Youth Protection Training certificate. If a copy of their Youth Protection Training certificate is not included, their application will not be accepted. There will no longer be a 30 day grace period for taking Youth Protection Training.

All currently registered leaders or previously registered leaders that are turning in applications & disclosure forms for new positions must be current in Youth Protection Training as well.

Each units Key 3 has access to a Youth Protection Training aging report through www.my.scouting.org by going to the Training Manager page. This report will give you the information that is needed to keep your unit leadership up to date with Youth Protection Training.  It is important that all unit leadership have current Youth Protection Training at the time of recharter, or there will be a delay in processing.

Registration Fees

Effective December 1, 2017, the annual membership fee for both youth and adult membership fees will increase to $33 per year.  This increase is due to the number and the size of claims made against the General Liability Insurance Plan (GLIP).  As a movement, we are self-insured, so every time there is claim or litigation the GLIP takes a hit.

The timing of this is not good due to many Cub Scout Packs just starting the process of recruiting new members and many units completed their budgeting and planning over the summer.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but continuing to protect our charter partners, Scouts, leaders, parents and staff has to be done.

If there are any questions, please contact the council service center

Thank you,

 Patrick Scherer

Scout Executive/CEO

Great Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America

Information Regarding the New Council Service Center

posted Aug 31, 2018, 2:03 PM by John Brkic

The Opportunity – Council Service Center

Last fall, the GTC’s Strategic Planning Committee led by Jim Pulk, identified as one of its goals, the need to consider options for our existing Scout Service Center.  Jim Nilsen, Chair of the Properties/Facilities subcommittee, led a thorough review of our existing Scout Center building, along with the current and future needs of GTC.  It was concluded that our existing service center is beyond capacity and is lacking office, meeting, storage and retail space.  This creates a challenging environment.

With these findings the Properties/Facilities subcommittee reached out to the Summit Land Bank and local commercial realtors to begin an initial investigation into what building options were potentially available and at what cost.  The subcommittee also looked at:

·         Expanding and remodeling our existing building on South Main Street.  The group spent quite a bit of time evaluating GTC’s existing building site, engaging some of our Board members with a lot of commercial development experience, and in the end the group concluded expanding on the existing site just does not make sense.

·         Purchasing/remodeling an existing building that would meet our needs.  The group looked at ten existing buildings that were/are currently for sale.  The buildings selected were all located in the Akron/SR8 corridor that the group felt, from a location perspective could work for employees, volunteers and customers.  This review though educational, did not provide any clear-cut building options worthy of pursuing.  The buildings visited were either too expensive, not in good locations or would require too much remodeling to meet GTC’s needs.   

·         Potentially building a new “Youth Leadership Training Center”. The group evaluated the new building option.  A site on the Camp Butler property, off of SR 303, was discussed and some very preliminary work was completed.  There was even a high-level conversation with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park officials regarding this option and location.  In the committee’s opinion the building new option is too expensive at this time. 

 

New Opportunity Presents Itself

 

On June 22, 2018, we were notified that one of the buildings the group had considered was going to be empty soon and the owner had significantly reduced the price.  This 21,000 square foot facility, located at 4500 Hudson Drive in Stow meets all the important requirements identified by the subcommittee.  At that point the subcommittee and the Key 3 reengaged.  This group did some additional fact gathering, due diligence, site visits, and reviewed documents provided by the seller.  With input from Jim Nilsen’s subcommittee, and several of our Board members with career experience in commercial property management and development, the Key 3 concluded that the building was a viable option to address GTC’s facility needs.


Actions Taken

On July 18, 2018, a special meeting of the GTC’s Executive Committee was called with thirteen members attending.  Pat Scherer and Jim Nilsen presented the opportunity, starting with a review of the existing Scout Center, GTC’s current needs, a picture tour and facts about the Hudson Drive building, a why now, a status of the discussion with the current owner and next steps.  After significant discussion, the Executive Committee passed a motion authorizing Patrick Scherer to enter into a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the purchase of the property.  The LOI serves only as a basis for further negotiations of a formal Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) and among other things provides for a 60 days due diligence period and specifically makes Closing subject to and contingent upon GTC obtaining full approval from its Executive Board.  On July 24, 2018, the LOI between the Seller and GTC was executed, and on August 13, 2018 a PSA was fully executed.

A special Executive Board meeting has been scheduled for October 8th, 4:00pm at Northeast Ohio Medical College for the sole purpose of making the final decision(s) on the proposed new building.

The GTC has a long history of financial, program and leadership excellence, and we are very confident our professional scouting staff, Board and volunteers will all work together to thoroughly review and evaluate this exciting opportunity.   

Order of the Arrow Membership Updates

posted May 23, 2018, 8:50 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 23, 2018, 8:54 AM ]

On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved some exciting updates to the Order of the Arrow program.

Beginning February 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scout units. The new Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:
  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Have experienced 15 nights of camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.
  • At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, hold the Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Award, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
  • Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.
Our commitment to our unchanging mission and purpose remains steadfast, and we are excited to welcome others who share that commitment by extending membership in Scouting’s National Honor Society to participants of all older youth programs. We look forward to having female members in 2019 and know that, like all of our OA members, they will serve as role models and inspirations to others – both within the Boy Scouts of America and beyond.

We anticipate that you may have some questions. Please be sure to read the FAQ section below. We will have more information at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, which will be held July 30 – August 4, 2018, and we will continue to release additional information as it becomes available in order to assist our lodges with implementation. Additional information will be available on the OA website's membership page.

We look forward to sharing what the OA has to offer with more young people and appreciate your support of this exciting new direction.

Read more about the election requirements and FAQs at https://oa-bsa.org/about/membership

Statement on BSA-LDS Relationship

posted May 9, 2018, 7:02 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 9, 2018, 7:02 AM ]

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) deeply appreciates the long-standing relationship we’ve had with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a chartered organization. While Scouting remains a beloved program for many LDS families, the Church has decided to pursue programming that helps it meet the needs of their increasingly global membership and will no longer charter units after December 31, 2019. We jointly express our gratitude to the thousands of Scout leaders who have selflessly served over the years in Church-sponsored Scouting units and wish the Church all the best as it prepares to introduce the new program in 2020.

There are many religiously-affiliated programs that are offered alongside Scouting, and as such, we are confident that many LDS Scouting families will go on to enjoy Scouting for years to come – continuing the legacy of LDS youth who have become Eagle Scouts and community leaders. For LDS families who want to continue the tradition of Scouting beyond 2019, the BSA will ensure a smooth transition to community-sponsored units that will welcome youth previously served by LDS-sponsored units.

At the same time, the Boy Scouts of America is excited about our future and the opportunity to grow by providing families more options for their children to benefit from the incredible character-building experiences we provide.


This article was written by John Churchill, a member of the Communications team at the Boy Scouts of America National Office. Please click here for the original post: https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/blog/statement-bsa-lds-relationship/

The Boy Scouts of America Organization Name is Not Changing, and Other Facts to Know and Share

posted May 7, 2018, 9:28 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 23, 2018, 8:57 AM ]

The Boy Scouts of America organization name will continue to be Boy Scouts of America. It is not changing.

Reports started circulating on Wednesday, May 2, concerning the update to the Boy Scout program name. That program currently serves boys ages 11 through 17. Beginning February 2019, the Boy Scout program name will change to “Scouts BSA” and will begin serving girls, as well as boys.

Under the new name of “Scouts BSA,” that program, which is the same iconic program it has always been, will continue to offer Scouting in single-gender troops, through which Scouts – ages 11 through 17 – can work to earn the Eagle Scout rank.

Before, during, and after that program name change, the overall organization name will continue to be Boy Scouts of America.

Both male and female participants in the Scouts BSA program will be referred to as “Scouts,” just as boys now in the Boy Scout program are often referred to as “Scouts.”

You can find more information about the announcement at ScoutingNewsroom and ScoutingWire. You can find more details about welcoming girls to Scouting at www.scouting.org/familyscouting.

Scouts BSA Troops Will Be Single-gender Troops

Concerning the single-gender troop structure in the Scouts BSA program, it will be as follows:

Troop structure will remain single gender, meaning a Scouts BSA troop will be made up of all boys or it will be made up of all girls. There will be no co-ed or mixed troops. Boys and girls will not be in troops together. Boys will be in troops with only boys, and girls will be in troops with only girls.

This will take effect during a scheduled launch on February 1, 2019.

Find more information about Scouts BSA at www.scouting.org/familyscouting.

Cub Scout Dens Will Be Single-gender Dens

The Cub Scout program, which serves youth ages 5 through 10 and had been available to boys since 1930, started serving girls in January 2018 through an Early Adopter program. Cub Scout registration will become available to boys and girls and in all councils starting in the Summer of 2018.

At the Cub Scout level, den and pack structures are as follows:

There will be three types of Cub Scout packs: all-boy packs, all-girl packs and packs that include a mix of girl dens and boy dens. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender: all boys or all girls.

This hybrid model builds on the benefit of a single-gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

For more information about the Cub Scout program, please visit www.scouting.org/programs/cub-scouts.

This article was written by Nathan Johnson, a member of the Communications team at the Boy Scouts of America national office. Please click here for the original post: https://scoutingwire.org/the-boy-scouts-of-america-organization-name-is-not-changing-and-other-facts-to-set-the-record-straight/

'Trained' Leader Designation to Require Hazardous Weather Training

posted Apr 11, 2018, 9:32 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 7, 2018, 2:30 PM ]

Every Youth Deserves Trained Adult Leaders
Effective April 30, new direct contact leaders must complete Hazardous Weather Training online to be considered position trained. The Scouting program takes place in the outdoors. This training discusses how to manage risks from the weather to our Scouting family.

And here is one story about why this is so important:

Imagine as a leader with a group of excited Scouts you arrive at a council camp for a camporee on a rainy Friday afternoon. Saturday morning is filled with the sounds of Scouts participating in the scheduled activities, only to have the weather turn blustery with sustained winds of about 30 mph and gusts up to 48 mph. The trees of the heavily forested area start swaying madly back and forth.

As a leader, what would you do? Would you continue with the camporee or evacuate the camp?

This was exactly the situation experienced earlier this year at Pacific Harbors Council’s Klondike Derby held at Camp Thunderbird. According to the National Weather Service, sustained winds of about 30 mph with gusts up to 48 mph were recorded near the camp between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. It soon became apparent to leaders that conditions had become unsafe and, around midmorning, with input from the council representative and Camp Thunderbird’s ranger, leaders decided to evacuate the camp.

“We made sure that we followed the Boy Scout Guide to Safe Scouting and our hazardous weather training to ensure that all scouts and adults made it home safe,” said Barb Dyer, Klondike committee chairwoman. "It was the right decision to cancel Klondike. While it’s disappointing that the boys couldn’t have the fun-filled weekend that was planned, I’m eternally grateful that safety is first with the BSA.”

A good decision it was, as several large trees and branches dropped on or near Scout campsites during the storm. No injuries were reported, but it could have turned out differently. Rebecca Ledford, an adult leader with Troop 4100, shared a photo of her son’s tent, which had been impaled by a heavy fallen branch — right where his pillow was.

On Sunday morning the “all clear” was given for Scouts and leaders to return to retrieve their belongings and break down their campsites.

One of the benefits of reporting incidents is so they can be used to help prevent similar occurrences. For additional documentation of incidents that have occurred in Scouting's outdoor classroom, visit National's Incident Reviews page. A highlight of the most impactful are Lightning, Heat and Hydration, and Hypothermia.

The Hazardous Weather Training course is available in the BSA Learn Center by logging in to your account on My.Scouting.org.

Silver Beaver Award Recipients Announced

posted Mar 22, 2018, 3:50 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 3:54 PM ]

Silver Beaver Award
The Great Trail Council is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Silver Beaver Award:

Jim Pulk, Council
Ray Deluga, Arrowhead District
Bill Hedrick, Lakes District
Paul Schumacher, Moecomdws District
Charmaine Schiele, Moecomdws District
Michael Thompson, Tri-Fires District
Cheryl Wormley, Whispering Pines District

The Council will be holding its Annual Recognition Celebration Dinner on Sunday, May 6, 2018, in the Historic Dining Hall at Camp Manatoc, with Punch Bowl Reception starting at 12:30PM followed by Dinner & Program at 1:00PM. Please join us in recognizing, congratulating and celebrating with each of these worthy recipients!

Eagle Scouts Honored at Annual Banquet

posted Mar 22, 2018, 8:52 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 8:53 AM ]

Class of 2017 Eagle Banquet
The Great Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America honored its 2017 Class of Eagle Scouts at a banquet held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn in Akron, Ohio on Sunday, March 11th.

The Great Trail Council includes eight districts – Arrowhead, Chippewa, Lakes, Moecomdws, Old Portage, Seneca, Tri-Fires and Whispering Pines – serving Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Summit, Trumbull and Northern Wayne counties of Northeast Ohio.

Last year, 251 Scouts in the council’s five and a half county area earned the Eagle Scout rank, the highest achievement in the national Scouting organization. Nationwide, a total of 55,494 young men became Eagle Scouts in 2017.

Annually, the Great Trail Council honors this achievement at a special event where Scouts are met at the ceremony by Eagle Sponsors comprising of prominent members of the community and distinguished Scouting volunteers. This year marks the 58th anniversary of the event.

Notable sponsors were recognized by the event’s Committee Chair, Howard Taylor, and included Representative Stephen D. Hambley for District 69, Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger, Judge Jon A. Oldham, Representative Marilyn Slaby for District 38, Current Council President Tim McNutt and Past Council Presidents Tom Geopfert and Jim Nilsen.

The Class of 2017 sponsor and keynote speaker, Matthew Wilson, Eagle Scout and 17th President of The University of Akron, offered words of wisdom to the Eagle Scouts.

“It's been said that life does not determine winners, winners determine life,” Wilson said. “Each one of you in this room, are winners.”

During a Court of Honor at the event, President Wilson was awarded the National Eagle Scout Association’s prestigious Outstanding Eagle Scout Award. Established during the BSA’s 100th Anniversary in 2010, recipients of the award have often inspired others through their actions and devoted a lifetime to their profession, avocation, community, and beliefs, at great sacrifice to themselves and their families.

Master of Ceremonies, Jacob Spinner, Eagle Scout Class of 2016 was presented with a membership into the National Eagle Scout Association by Rev. David Weyrick and Great Trail Council’s Scout Executive, Patrick Scherer.

The event concluded with the reaffirmation of the Eagle Scout Pledge. Only four percent of all Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle. Since the program’s inception in 1911, approximately 2.5 million people nationally have become Eagle Scouts.

Updated Youth Protection Training Now Available

posted Mar 8, 2018, 4:16 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 8, 2018, 4:32 PM ]

Youth Protection Training
Update Your Training by October 1, 2018

Over the decades, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in developing training and policies designed to keep young people safe. Over time, these policies have become standard with organizations across the nation. Now, the Boy Scouts of America is releasing fully updated training to further strengthen our ability to protect youth.

These changes include:
  • Updated Youth Protection Training, including insights from experts and survivors and the latest strategies for recognizing and preventing major forms of abuse. This is the designated Youth Protection Training for all adults. All volunteers must take the new training by October 1, 2018, no matter when they took the previous training.
  • An expanded ScoutsFirst Helpline to aid volunteers and families in addressing potentially dangerous situations.
  • Unlimited counseling and support for healing to anyone who has ever been abused in Scouting.
  • Youth Protection Training for youth members available in 2019.
In addition to updated training, we recently announced new policies to ensure compliance with mandatory training requirements, including:
  • As of January 1, 2018, no new leader can be registered without first completing youth protection training.
  • As of January 1, 2018, no council, regional, or national leader will be allowed to renew their registration if they are not current on their Youth Protection Training.
  • As of September 1, 2017, no unit may re-charter without all leaders being current on their Youth Protection Training. Registrars no longer have the ability to approve charters without full compliance.
  • Effective June 1, 2018, adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as a leader, including completion of a criminal background check and Youth Protection Training. The 72 hours need not be consecutive. With these changes, and many more outlined in the documents listed below, as well as the overview video, we will continue to build a safe environment for our youth.
If you are a Scouting volunteer, I encourage you to watch the video, become familiar with the resource documents, take the training and spread the word.

We realize the Oct 1 training deadline will be a challenge for some – but the safety of our children is too important to delay.

Thank you for your work in sharing the message of safety in Scouting. You make a difference every day, in ways you may never know. Truly, Youth Protection Begins with You.

Sincerely,

Michael Johnson
Director, Youth Protection

Additional Resources:

New Partnership with Bent Tree Coffee Roasters

posted Feb 26, 2018, 3:28 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 8, 2018, 12:42 PM ]

The Great Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America is proud to announce a partnership with Bent Tree Coffee Roasters for the 2018 annual product sale.  During this annual fall fundraiser, Scouts will now have the opportunity to sell local coffee, in addition to the traditional popcorn products. The campaign will now feature a variety whole bean coffee product, roasted and distributed locally.

Bent Tree Coffee Roasters is a small batch, artisan coffee roaster located in historic downtown Kent, Ohio. Founded in the Summer of 2011 by friends Ryan Brannon and Mike Mistur, their concept is simple: seek out and start with only high quality Arabican green coffee beans and carefully roast them to perfection. Bent Tree Coffee only sources coffee from those dedicated to taking an active role in all aspects of high quality coffee.

We couldn't be more excited to partner with the Boy Scouts of America. We respect and appreciate their long history of fostering youth development and look forward to working with the Scouts and Scout Leaders to make their fall fundraiser successful,” says Brannon.

In 2017, nearly 5,000 Scouts in Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Summit and Trumbull Counties sold $1.9 million in popcorn. Proceeds from the campaign went directly to support local Scouts, camp operations at three council camps in Peninsula and Canfield, and a number of other operations across the council. With the addition of the Family Scouting program in 2018, in which girls will be welcomed into Cub Scouts, the council looks to further expand its outreach into the community.

“More than ever, our annual product sale--now including coffee, will be vital to our Council’s success”, said Jody Gildersleeve, Director of Development for the Great Trail Council. “We are thrilled to work with local, enthusiastic partners like Mike and Ryan at Bent Tree Coffee.”

The annual fundraiser will kick off in August 2018, culminating in November. To learn more about Bent Tree Coffee Roasters, go to www.benttreecoffee.com, or purchase their products at various local retailers.

Coffee Partnership

Uniform Day is Now February 8th

posted Feb 7, 2018, 1:18 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Feb 26, 2018, 3:37 PM ]

Due to school closings, our Council Uniform Day has been postponed from February 7th to the 8th, the Birthday of the Boy Scouts! It's a time to use the best recruiters we have to bring more youth to Scouting. All Scouts need to do to participate is "suit up" by wearing their uniform to school. For Cub Scouts, that means their uniform shirt and neckerchief. For Boy Scouts and Venturers, that means their Field Uniform or Activity Uniform (Scouting t-shirt or polo). Scouts who participate in the Winter Uniform Day will receive a NEW Winter 2018 Great Trail Council Uniform Day Patch!

Leaders: To receive patches for your participating youth, call 330-773-4078 or email shardest@bsamail.org. Deadline to request patches is March 16, 2018.

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