Steve’s 2020 Growth Conference Recap

Sandra was invited to the 2020 Growth Conference, and I got to tag along (go see her recap, first)! I did a video recap over on my Scout blog, Boy Scouts Tech and I wanted to share the highlights of the conference with you:

Scouting’s best kept secret is the advances the national team have made with technology AND how they are going to manage program changes in the future – that is, how they are going to keep Scouting relevant in the 21st century. They have committed to using the Agile method of development, which will turnout great results for improving our technology and program materials.

They are also committed to reducing the amount of “regalia” we, as volunteers, need to buy for ourselves and our Scouts. For example, they are eliminating Tiger Scout socks, den-specific Den Leader patches (all Den Leaders will wear the Cub Scout Den Leader patch going forward) and there will only be one Cub Scout Belt, instead of den-specific belts.

Here are some of the resources that they passed along, please check them out!

  • Scoutbook Help Desk – tons of new and great resources with video how-tos!
  • Den Leader Tips & Tricks Videos – everything new and veteran Den Leaders need to roll into a productive Scouting year!
  • Scout Book Den Leader (BETA) sandbox – schedule an entire Scouting year for your den in a few clicks!
    • National IT is expecting to roll out a similar thing for Scouts BSA troops for youth leaders to plan out their Troops’ program
  • Explorer Career Interest Survey – now available online!
  • Scouting’s Bug Reporting system – having trouble with a BSA IT system? Lots of questions & answers available here, and the ability to open a trouble ticket with the National BSA IT team.
  • BSA Brand Center – are you building flyers or other materials online or printed? Please use the BSA brand center! The BSA’s marketing team has tons of pre-made content that has been market tested and complies with all our brand guidelines!

Register Now: Intro to Animal Tracking & Outdoor Awareness

Have you ever seen a series of animal tracks in the snow or mud and wondered what that animal was and what it was doing? If so, here is a great opportunity to learn how to solve these riddles!

Join us Saturday February 8 and Sunday February 9th for an Introduction to Animal Tracking and Outdoor Awareness! This course will be taught by Bill McConnell of Past Skills Wilderness School and will cover the basics of animal species identification, habitat use and discuss animal behavior and interactions. Expect to see various types of animal tracks and also other types of sign animals leave behind. You will learn how to begin to read these tracks like words in a book and have a whole lot of fun while doing it! FREE to all students ages 10-14 or above.

There is limited classroom space of 30 so please pre-register by calling or texting Bonnie Griffis at 406-451-4665 This event will begin at the Scout Hall in Choteau,MT at 10am on Saturday February 8th.

The coursework for this day will involve a couple hours of classroom work covering basic methodology, followed by a walk down Spring Creek at the Choteau City Park until 4pm to practice your new skills. Please bring a notebook and a lunch!

Sunday February 9th we will meet at the Scout Hall at 10am and then head to Freezeout for the day to really start to implement our new skills! Any out of town participants can meet us at the main buildings at Freezeout before we head to the field trip location. The class will end around 4pm. Transportation will not be provided but carpooling logistics can be discussed. Please bring a lunch and water!

For more information about Bill McConnell and his school please visit Past Skills Wilderness School.

Lewis & Clark District Merit Badge Academy List

The Lewis & Clark District Merit Badge Academy in Great Falls on February 22nd has announced it’s official list of Merit Badge offerings! Please see the leaders’ guide below for pre-requisites and other information about the Merit Badge Academy! Registration and Merit Badge selection will be handle in your unit’s Tentaroo.

Offered Merit Badges:

  • Automotive Maintenance
  • Backpacking
  • Chess
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation (class)
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Coin Collecting
  • Collections
  • Disabilities Awareness
  • Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship & Salesmanship
  • Fire Safety
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Photography
  • Public Speaking
  • Radio
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Weather
Continue reading “Lewis & Clark District Merit Badge Academy List”

Clarification on Summer Camp Early Bird Pricing

Via the Council Offices:

Due to much confusion between what the Montana Council Camping Guide and Website states for Early Bird pricing for 2020 versus what we had been informing units for receiving Early Bird pricing, I have some much-needed clarification for units to receive Early Bird camp pricing.  

We are going to honor the camping guide statement of “Early bird discount for registrations received and paid before December 31st, 2019, with $100 (per scout) due by January 15, 2020. Another $100 (per scout) and final numbers are due by February 15, 2020.  The Balance is due May 15, 2020.”

Any unit who has reserved a spot at one of our Camps by today, December 31, 2019 will have the early bird prices honored for the 2020 camping season in line with the payment schedule. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  We are open until 3pm today, and closed tomorrow. I will be back in the office Thursday morning.

 I am so very sorry for any confusion that has been brought on due to this

Holiday Party

2019 District Party

What: 2019 Lewis & Clark District Holiday Party
Where: Black Eagle Moose Lodge
401 21st St N
Black Eagle, MT 59414
When: Thursday December 5th, 6:30p

Join us for the Lewis & Clark District Holiday this Thursday! Everyone in the District is invited! We’ll be mixing and mingling in the jingle bell way from 6:30p – about 8:30p at the Moose Lodge in Black Eagle. Please bring a potluck dish to share with everyone!

NOVA Counselor Training

Mark Your Calendar: NOVA Counselor Cub Leader Training

When: January 9, 2020, 7:30 pm, immediately following the District Meeting
Where: Montana Council Offices 820 17th Ave S
What: NOVA Counselor Training for Cub Scout Leaders

John Parker is a NOVA Counselor, and as a part of his Wood Badge ticket, he is offering a NOVA Counselor training. Come join us, or send someone from your Pack to learn about the NOVA STEM Award!

Commissioners' Wreath

Looking for a Few Good Volunteers!

Do you know someone who used to be involved in Scouting, either as a youth, parent, or volunteer? I would like to talk to them about volunteering as a Unit Commissioner in the Lewis & Clark District. If you have suggestions of someone who could be a good candidate to serve as a Unit Commissioner, please shoot me an email, or text: or 406-203-4679.

What is a Unit Commissioner? A commissioner plays several roles, including friend, representative, unit “doctor,” teacher, and counselor. Most importantly, while experience in Scouting is helpful, a willingness to listen and help are key. We can train Scouting skills, but being a good listener and helper are a lot harder to teach.

Continue reading “Looking for a Few Good Volunteers!”