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eScouter - January 2014


To view the council calendar, visit or click here.


The Steve Fossett Center for Scouting is closed Wednesday, January 1, 2014.  The office will reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:30AM.

On January 7, 2014 NESA Chicago will celebrate the accomplishments of the latest Eagle Scout class from the Chicago Area Council.  This year's speaker is Dr. Clyde Yancy, Chief of Cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  We will also be presenting Dr. Yancy with the council's first Distinguished Eagle Scout Award since 1998.  The dinner will be held at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in the Feinberg Pavilion. The dinner will also serve as a "Gathering of Eagles" and we hope to have the largest reunion of Eagle Scouts gathered in Chicago present at the dinner.  All new Eagle Scouts (November 2012-November 2013) will receive an invitation in the mail to attend as the guest of a sponsor.  Anyone is welcome to attend as a sponsor.  There will be a special rate for Eagle Scouts who are 25 years old or younger.  For more information, or to register, visit

The Silver Beaver Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the Silver Beaver Award for 2013. The Silver Beaver is the highest award the Boy Scouts of America gives for service to youth in a local Council. The Silver Beaver recipients will be honored at the Council Annual Dinner. Those to be honored are:

  • Marie Gawne - Indian Trails Program District
  • Felix Gonzalez - Iroquois Program District
  • Tom McDonough - Fort Dearborn Program District
  • Colleen Polite - Western Trails Program District
  • Norbert Talend - North River Program District

We'd sure be obliged if you'd join us as we celebrate this year’s Silver Beaver recipients and all of our successes from the past year! So saddle on up and mosey on over to the Annual Chicago Area Council Dinner Round-Up.  This year's Western themed dinner will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at the Victoria Rosemont (Rosemont Holiday Inn Express) located at 6600 Mannheim Road Rosemont, 60018.  Click here for more information or to register.


The new campaign:
The 2014 camp card campaign has new vendors! Sears and Sports Authority will be the two break-offs. Your customers will then get to choose 10 additional discounts based on their preferred zip code for more savings. Because of the partnership we have established with the folks from Entertainment (the old school coupon book people) we will have the flexibility to offer local, regional and national merchants for your customers to choose from. You will save them up to 50% in categories such as dining, shopping, entertainment, services, travel, movies and more. 

Ordering, delivery & distribution:
Place your order for camp cards now. Only half the inventory that was ordered in 2013 will be ordered in 2014; units with proven sales will get first priority. The council reserves the right to limit distribution quantities.

Product is expected to be available late in January. Some roundtables may see product then. If you have sold in the past or if you submit an order form you will be emailed/mailed more details on the arrival of the cards. Otherwise see February’s e-Scouter for more distribution information.

If you have not settled out on your 2013 campaign you will not be able to participate.

Selling Benefits:

  • Savings valued at $50-100+
  • Save/sell anywhere throughout the U.S.
  • Your customers self-select the offers relevant to them
  • Up to 10 printed discounts; unlimited online savings

Click here to see demo of the personalized discounts:

Orders may still be submitted until January 2nd, 2014, to earn prizes and camp cash.  When orders are submitted, they will be filled from existing inventory or an order placed to fill them.

Congratulations to David Aurenz from Arrowhead Program District Troop 729, who won the overnight stay at Timber Ridge Lodge, four water park passes and $100 gift card for being the council's top popcorn seller!!!

Additional congratulations go out to the top 10 council sellers and weekly "fill it up" drawing winners who won a Pizza Party at Dave And Busters with $20 game card!!!  Click here to see full list of winners.

It is important for us to tell the community about the value of the Scouting program. As a unit leader, you hold the key to sharing all of the great outcomes Scouting provides. Click here to see how your unit can win prizes and bragging rights by sending us your success stories and photos of your Scouts in action!

The Chicago Area Council is proud to unveil a new staffing model designed to improve efficiency and provide better service and support to our families and volunteers. The new reorganization matches the talents of our executive staff with the key support functions in the field. The new plan means that we will go from our current eight districts to two service areas that combine four districts into the North Service Area and four districts into the South Service Area. Click here for more information and to see who your unit's executive is.

Contact your unit serving executive now to set up school talks and use our flyers, posters and yard signs to get the word out!!! Not sure who your unit serving executive is?  See the article above for the link to the list!  For more information, please contact Ernest Espinoza at or 312-421-8800 ext. 248.

The BSA is increasing its membership fee from $15 to $24 per year for all registered Scouts and adults effective January 1, 2014. Click here for more information.

Upon approval of the membership standards resolution in May of this year, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America began reviewing its policies and guidelines to help ensure a smooth transition to the new policy. Click here for more information that will help in answering questions you may have regarding the implementation of the resolution.

If you’re an Eagle Scout, we’d love to have you join us. Check out our website,, join our groups on Facebook ( and LinkedIn (search for NESA Chicago), or send us an email,

The Chicago Area Council no longer receives funding allocations automatically from the United Way. The only way to ensure your donation is directed to Scouting is by stating your preference on your annual pledge form. You will receive a reminder in the mail on how to designate your contribution to help fund the programs, leader training and infrastructure expenses that the Council assumes to ensure your Scouts have a quality experience. If you do not receive the letter or need it sooner please click here to be directed to the new form and additional instructions. As always, thanks for partnering with us to make Scouting available to Chicagoland’s youth.

Vehicles donated to One Car One Difference help our council. Your unwanted vehicle is picked up and auctioned and the proceeds support the Chicago Area Council. Refer to the FAQ sheet or One Car One Difference website for more information.

“Scouting’s Journey to Excellence” is the BSA’s council performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our units, districts, and council. To see the requirements for your unit or view a webinar for more information, please click here.


You're invited to experience fast-paced NBA action and non-stop entertainment - the world famous introductions, Benny the Bull, the Luvabulls and much more. See Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and the Bulls battle the Suns. And enjoy the energy of a sellout crowd!

On this special night, all Scouts, family and friends have the opportunity to purchase Chicago Bulls tickets at a discount. Tickets in the 100 level regularly priced at $125 are available for only $75, and Tickets in the 300 Level regularly priced at $75 are available for only $45! Tickets are limited so be sure to act fast!

To take advantage of this exclusive opportunity CLICK HERE. Your special offer code is Bulls.

Wanna hit the slopes?  Here is your chance. Join the Chicago Area Council on Martin Luther King Day  for a fun-filled day of skiing and/or tubing. This event is open to all Explorers, Venturing Crew Members, and any Scout over the age of 13.  Our adventures will take place at Sunburst Ski Resort in Kewaskum, WI....for more information please contact Senior Exploring Executive, Nicole Thomas...312-421-8800 ext 244 or via email at  Click here to see the different lift ticket and rental packages available.

This year the Chicago Wolves are offering multiple games to bring out your Scouts for a ton of fun!  Scout nights will be held on February 22, and March 15. Come early for the free pre-game fun fest from 5-6:30pm in the All State Arena Skyline room. Click here to download the order form for this fun-filled day!

MONSTER JAM rolls into Allstate Arena for EXCLUSIVE SCOUT SHOW with ALL TICKETS SMASHED to $10 on THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 6 P.M.   Visit: to order tickets NOW! Orders are prioritized by date received so order NOW to sit close to the DIRT and ACTION!

This exclusive show only:  FREE post-show PIT PARTY for all in attendance to meet drivers and take photos of the AWESOME MONSTER TRUCKS! Special anti-bullying campaign is part of this year’s show: CRUSH BULLYING WITH SCOUTS AND MONSTER JAM.   And don’t forget, ALL Scouts through the door receive an commemorative MONSTER JAM scout patch FREE when entering Allstate Arena on show day!

Beginning on August 8th, units can register for this ALL AVIATION Scout Camporee!!!  Scout AirFest 2014 will be held at the Lewis University Airport in Romeoville, IL the weekend of August 8-10, 2014.  This camporee is open to Scouts of all ages!!!  Be sure to visit the event website at The first 50 units to complete their unit registration will be guaranteed to receive a FREE INTRODUCTORY FLIGHT as well as a reduced event fee!  Prepare for take-off!!!  Register early!!!

The 23rd World Scout Jamboree will be held at Kirara-hama, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, from July 28 to August 8, 2015.  “WA: a Spirit of Unity” is the theme for the Jamboree. The Kanji Character “?” (WA) embraces many meanings such as unity, harmony, cooperation, friendship and peace. WA also represents Japan and its Culture. Go to for more information.
*BSA is in the process of finalizing pricing and participation information for the 2015 World Jamboree in Japan. Registration is not ready yet, so please go to to provide your contact information and, when registration is ready, BSA will contact them.  You can also send an email to Gary Gole, Area 4 VP, National/World Jamboree Area Coordinator,\international 


When a youth advances to any rank level, from Bobcat to Eagle, it is important that this is recorded on his BSA record. Rank advancement can be recorded on-line or by hand using the unit advancement form. If you have any questions about turning in advancement records please contact the Council office.

The advancement committee is holding a day of advancement training on Saturday February 22, 2014.  Please see the attached flyer for all of the training classes available.  We encourage all to attend.  There are classes for both youth and adults.

2013 was a successful year for Scouting in the Catholic Community. We had new Units being chartered to more Catholic Churches and Schools, youth growing in their faith through earning Catholic medals and a day long fishing outing at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.

Scout Sunday Ceremony:
The award ceremony will be Sunday January 26, 2014, 2:30pm – 3:30pm at Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N Wabash Ave Chicago, IL 60611 for St George, Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII recipients. We ask that recipients please be in the Cathedral by 2pm.

Would you like to share your Catholic faith?
There are many ways to help. You can become a Catholic Religious Medals Counselor; you can help start new Units at Catholic organizations or many other opportunities to volunteer. For more information please visit our web site at

The Cooking merit badge will become Eagle-required beginning Jan. 1, 2014.  Beginning Jan. 1, 2014,  regardless of when a Scout earned the Life rank or began working on Eagle, unless he fulfills all the requirements — with the exception of his board of review — before Jan. 1, 2014, he must earn the Cooking merit badge to become an Eagle Scout. 

All merit badge counselors must have valid youth protection training.  The advancement committee strongly encourages and recommends each new merit badge counselor take merit badge counselor training that is provided by the council advancement committee.  This training is very helpful and provides counseling specifics and updates that may not be known otherwise. Our council also requires they must be at least 21 years old.  The advancement committee has been checking every registered merit badge counselor in our counsel and have found there to be many counselors who have expired YPT.  When confirming if one has valid training, we look at that person’s ScoutNet profile.  If it doesn’t show that you have completed Youth Protection Training in ScoutNet in the last two years you will be removed as a Merit Badge Counselor by your district advancement chair.  If you are not sure if you have taken it and want to find out please call your district advancement chair or call the council office.  If you know you have taken it but it does not show up please provide a copy of your completion certificate to the council office or your advancement chair so it can get processed.

Venturing advancement is in the process of changing.  All current advancements should continue as the current advancement guidelines state in the Venturing handbook and in the current Guide to Advancement 2013.  As the new guidelines are finalized and released by National we will make sure all are notified.  You can expect many more details about program specifics in the coming months.


If you have any questions regarding this or any other advancement issue, please make sure to contact us.  We are always available to help you with any questions that you may have.  Our Staff Advisor, Joe Stocchero, can put you in touch with your District Advancement Chair if you don’t know who it is.  Please contact him at

One Saturday a month Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville hosts a five-hour class in which a Boy Scout from any troop can meet all of the requirements for the BSA Climbing Merit Badge. Badge requirements include: belaying, rappelling, knot tying, rope management & more. They recommend Scouts be at least 12 years old and have completed the First Aid Merit Badge. There must be a minimum of 6 participants to run the event.  The cost is $39.99/Scout. Click here to see available days and download a flyer that can be passed out to your Scouts. Contact Anita Johnson, Program Coordinator, at (630) 836-0122 or with questions or to sign up

Hey, Cub Scouts, did you know you can earn an achievement award with your baseball cards collection? Boy Scouts, you can earn a merit badge with your special collection of cards. Visit for more information!


As a leader in the Boy Scouts of America, you are tasked with presenting to groups of Scouts, family members, and other leaders.  While this course is important if you want to be a trainer, don't be fooled by it's name, Trainer's EDGE is not just for those on the training team.  This course will help you become comfortable with presenting in front of groups and give you new ideas on how to make sure you capture your audience's attention each and every time.  The next Trainer’s EDGE course will take place on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Council office. Download the registration form for additional details. For any questions please contact Bob Kurth at or Ernest Espinoza at

This Basic Training Extravaganza is a council-wide training day dedicated to conducting training for adult leaders in all phases of the Scouting family. On March 29th at St. Stan’s Kostka (Division and the Kennedy Expressway), 1255 North Noble St., Chicago, Illinois 60632. Please Car Pool. This is the opportunity to attend leader-specific training to prepare you for your opportunities and responsibilities relating to your leadership position.  This single day is packed with an abundance of information for leaders who want to provide the best program possible for their Scouts. You can register for all the basic trainings for Cub Scout, Boy Scouts and Venturing. There is even Charter representative Training offered! And best yet the Cub Scout trainings are also offered in Spanish! Click here to download the registration form. For any questions please contact Bob Kurth at or Ernest Espinoza at

En Español – 2014 Basico de Cub Scouts - March 29th, 2014  Tenemos entrenamiento basico para los lideres de primero a cinco grado en espanol! El entrenamiento esta ofrecido en la Universidad de Scouting en la St. Stan’s Kostka (Division and the Kennedy Expressway), 1255 North Noble St., Chicago, Illinois 60632

IOLS is a hands-on program giving adult leaders the practical skills needed to lead Scouts in the outdoors. Required for scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters to be considered trained, this course is recommended for anyone working with Scouts at outdoor activities or campouts. This weekend of camping, learning and fun will be held at Cantigny Park - April 25 -27, 2014. Click here for more information.

The Florida Sea Base, located in the warm weather of Florida, and the Philmont Training Center, located in the beautiful mountains of Cimarron, New Mexico, have Scouting training opportunities that you can share with Scouters from throughout the country. For information on the training opportunities, please stop by the council office and pick up your guide or e-mail Ernest Espinoza to send you information at

Did you recently receive a letter stating you need to take a training that you’ve already taken? If so, update your training record by visiting Remember, if you took training online, you DO NOT need to fill out this form – just enter your BSA member id number in your MyScouting profile and it will update your record at the council office automatically.

What does it take to be considered trained for your registered position in Scouting?  Check out national's list of basic training requirements to find out!

Looking for training near you? Visit the Council Training Page or for upcoming sessions.

The BSA online learning center is where you can take various online courses. All of these courses are now found through your MyScouting page at In order for your training to be recorded, you must have entered your member ID number into the MyScouting system.


FREE TOPO MAP SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR BOY SCOUT TROOPS is giving away 1,000 online topo map subscriptions ($49.98 value) to Boy Scout Troops in the US and Canada to help jump start camping and hiking trip planning for 2014. Click here for more information.


Volunteer to help improve Owasippe this spring at a work weekend.  Several skilled and unskilled labor work weekends will be held to improve the camp.  See the attached flyer and sign up today.

Camp staff interviews will be held on January 4, 9am to 12 pm, at the Steve Fossett Center, 1218 West Adams Street.  Scouts and Scouters interested in serving on camp staff should complete an application and attend.  The Counselor in Training (CIT) program begins at age 14, serving at camp for half of the summer season.  CITs age 15 will serve the entire summer season.  Visit for more information.  

Site reservations for 2014 opened up to all on September 1st, 2013.  Below are links to the site reservation forms. 
Owasippe Boy Scout Resident Camp
Reneker Family Camp

The Camping Committee has set the 2014 Scout fee at $280 and the Adult fee at $165.  There are no “out of council” surcharges.  The Camping Committee has set the Reneker cabin fee (attending with unit) at $310 and the attending without unit fee at $410.

Former Blackhawk Director and new District Executive Alex Lohse will serve as Camp Director for two sessions of Webelos Camp.  From July 7-11 and July 14-18, 2014, the Chicago Area and Calumet Councils will work together to provide Webelos Pirate Camp at Camp Betz, in southwestern Michigan.  During the 5 day/4 night experience, Webelos will work on outdoor-related Activity Pins and Shooting Sports Belt Loops while enjoying a pirate themed camp.  Camp Betz is approximately 1.5 hours from Chicago.  Download the flyer for more information.  Reservation forms will be distributed soon.

The Chicago Area Council contingent dates for 2015 are Sunday, July 19th through Friday, July 31st. These dates do not include time necessary to travel to and from Philmont Scout Ranch and are tentative. Philmont is located in northeaster New Mexico, just outside of a small town called Cimarron. The property covers about 214 square miles and ranges in elevation from approximately 6,000 feet above sea level at base camp to 12,441 feet above sea level on top of Mt. Baldy. Considered “high desert” area, temperatures in the summer range from 90+ during the day to 40 at night, depending on the area of the ranch where you are traveling.

Who can participate?
This contingent is available to any registered member of the BSA. Philmont participants must be at least 14 years old, or have completed 8th grade and be at least 13 years of age prior to participation. There are no rank requirements, only the age minimum. Each unit can send up to 6 people, but no more than 2 adults.

What is the cost?
We will collect approximately $1200 per participant in payments. The first payment, a $100 deposit, is due immediately and is non-refundable. This money will cover all expenses EXCEPT personal gear and souvenirs at Philmont.

Click for the Youth Application and the Adult Application. For more details, contact Steve Adams at

Do you have a favorite Scoutmaster you want to recognize, a loved one who has gone to the great council fire, or perhaps a staff person who made a difference? Or would you like to have your own name or troop number solidified in Owasippe history? Now you can remember that person or event that meant so much with a brick on the Owasippe 100th Anniversary patio.

The Owasippe 100th Anniversary Patio began as a part of Owasippe Scout Reservation’s 100 th Anniversary celebration in 2011. This is a great opportunity to document your time at Owasippe Scout Reservation or honor a family member or volunteer in a brick that will be permanently installed in in the Ad Center Complex at Owasippe Scout Reservation. These bricks will help to pave the way for Owasippe’s future as all proceeds from this program will go to endow Owasippe Scout Reservation. Fill out the order form and submit it to the council office or visit to order yours today!

Chicago Area Council is proud to present the 2013 National Scout Jamboree Contingent patch set. The thematic five-piece Jamboree Shoulder Patches surrounding the large center patch depicts historic scenes from Chicago's rich past as represented by each of the four stars on its municipal flag. Do not miss out on owning a piece of that history with our unique patch collection. All patches are sold as a set. Download the order form now.

Order of the Arrow

Remember that paying your dues is required for us to maintain you as an active member of Owasippe Lodge. The dues this year remain at a modest $11.00 if paid before March 15th.  The dues received last year helped support many of the activities and programs of the lodge and contributed to the cost of materials that were needed for vital service projects at Owasippe. Only with your support can we continue to serve our beloved camp and provide the needed materials for projects that benefit all Scouts. We encourage that all unit leaders survey the OA members in their unit during this time of re-charter. This is a great opportunity to also collect Order of the Arrow dues and submit them to the lodge as a unit.  Dues may be submitted online or via dues forms that are available online and at the council service center.

Owasippe Lodge 7 is proud to present the 2013 National Scout Jamboree Order of the Arrow patch set. This two-piece patch set (top flap and bottom pocket) depicts an iconic scene of Chicago’s skyline and the sun rising over Lake Michigan, represented by a six point star from our municipal flag. This patch set is being offered exclusively to dues paying members of the Order of the Arrow, Owasippe Lodge and Out-of Council OA members. Proof of registration may be required. Download the order form now.

Local Programs

Scouting North Service Area Webpage - Calendar

Scouting South Service Area Webpage - Calendar

Exploring – Webpage - Calendar

Sea Scouts Webpage - Calendar

Scout Shop

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It’s Pinewood Derby Season! Time to start creating that winning car! Make sure you have the right aerodynamics to blast past the competition this year with our PWD Tool Set! Make sure your event is a hit with these PWD Dessert Plates and PWD Napkins to really put that extra flare into your race day! Reward your winners this year with our PWD Neck Medals, that come in gold, silver, and bronze! Add that extra weight needed to get to that finish line with our new PWD Flexible Composite Weight Strip, easily cut with scissors to get that perfect fit!

Monday through Friday: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

The Chicago Scout Shop is now accepting applications for Sales Associates.
Shifts vary Monday - Saturday. Applicants must be; Reliable, Friendly, Energetic and Retail Experience.
Helpful Pluses: Familiarity with the Scouting Program and Bilingual. Applications available upon request.

Registering your advancements online or turning in an advancement form is the only way Scouts are credited with advancing in rank and completing Merit Badges. This is true for all program levels. Please show an online printout or paper copy of the Advancement Report when purchasing advancements so we can help to ensure that your Scouts receive the proper credit at the Council office.

The Chicago Scout Shop is for use by Scout families, volunteer leaders and Council staff, so that they may deliver the best Scouting program possible. Please let us know how we may assist you. (312) 738-3324 For information on the Scout Shop and National Supply click here.

Contact Us

Chicago Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
1218 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL.
Ph 312-421-8800
Hours: M-F 8:30am-4:30pm
Council Employee Directory