Unit Logo
» - - Seneca District - -

The Heart
of the

» - - Portage County - - - Communites We Serve -
Atwater, Aurora, Brimfield, Edinburg, Kent, Mantua, Mogadore, Randolph, Ravenna, Rootstown, Streetsboro & Suffield
» - - - Contact Us - - -

Have a Scouting question?
Have a Scouting suggestion?
Need some Scouting advice?
Contact Us.

» - - - Webmaster - - -

Dead links?
Browser problems?
Contact the Webmaster.

» - - - Disclaimer - - -

Site Content Disclaimer

» - - - JavaScript - - -

This site requires that JavaScript is enabled in your browser.

» - - - Updates - - -

Site updated 18-SEP-2017

Annual Membership Fees Increased

Effective 1 December 2017, the annual membership fee for both youths and adults will increase to $33.

The fee increase is due to the increased cost of claims made against the BSA's General Liability Insurance Plan.  The BSA is self-insured, meaning that it maintains a cash reserve to cover the cost of claims made against it.  These reserves are drawn down every time a claim is made or proceeds to litigation.


Proof of Current Youth Protection Training Required with New Adult Applications

Effective 1 September 2017, all new BSA Adult Applications submitted to the council Service Center must include a copy of the applicant's current (i.e. un-expired) Youth Protection Training (YPT) certificate.  The application will not be processed if the YPT certificate is missing.

Since including the YPT certificate is mandatory, the 30-day grace period for new adult volunteers to take Youth Protection Training has been eliminated.


Exemption From Second Class and First Class Swimming Requirements

The BSA's National Council has authorized local councils to grant exemptions to individual Scouts, on a case-by-case basis, from the Second Class and First Class swimming requirements.  Exemptions are based solely on the distance a Scout has to travel to a safe swimming location in order to complete the requirements.  If the council Scout Executive and the council Advancement Committee determine that the distance is "prohibitively far," then the council may grant an exemption and specify an alternate requirement.

This exemption was created for "geographically large or predominately rural councils." Since the Great Trail Council is neither geographically large nor predominately rural, it is unlikely that this exemption will be granted to Scouts in this council.

This exemption became effective on 1 August 2017.  The update to the rank requirements is a footnote added to the Second Class and First Class swimming requirements.  To see the text of the footnote, use this link to open the "Boy Scouts" page and then follow the "Advancement and Awards" link.

IMPORTANT:  This exemption cannot be used to avoid the swimming requirements.  It is not intended for Scouts having difficulty learning to swim or meeting the swimming requirements.

You can learn more about this exemption in this blog post on ScoutingMagazine.org.


Eagle Palms Requirements Changed

UPDATE:  On 23 August 2017, the following text was added to the original 10 July 2017 post on ScoutingMagazine.org:

The National Boy Scouting Subcommittee has released this statement, saying that the policy outlined in the post below has not changed but is currently under review:

"The current policy regarding Eagle Palms is any Eagle candidate having a board of review on or after Aug. 1, 2017, is eligible to receive the appropriate number of Palms based on the total number of merit badges earned prior to his board of review.  However, due to concerns from the Scouting family, this policy is currently under review.  All points of view are being carefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully considered.  However, that does not guarantee that any changes will be made to the policy.  When the review is complete and a decision is made, a notice will be sent out to announce that decision."

Orignal SenecaDistrict.org post:

What remains unchanged for both sets of requirements is that a Palm is awarded for every five (5) merit badges earned beyond the 21 merit badges needed for Eagle or the last Palm.  As before, this means a Bronze Palm for five (5), a Gold Palm for ten (10), a Silver Palm for fifteen (15), and appropriate combinations of Palms for higher totals.

The only change that applies to both sets of requirements is the elimination of a board of review.  Since a Palm is not a rank, it was decided by National Council that a board of review was no longer necessary.

The difference between the two sets of requirements is this:  For merit badges earned before an Eagle Board of Review, there is only one (1) requirement.  For merit badges earned after an Eagle Board of Review, there are five (5) requirements.

For merit badges earned before an Eagle Board of Review, you count up them up, figure out how many sets of five (5) there are beyond the 21 merit badges needed for Eagle, and award the appropriate Palms to the Scout at his Eagle Court of Honor.  That's it.  Nothing else needs to be done.  If there are any merit badges left over, they count towards the next Palm.

For merit badges earned after an Eagle Board of Review, three requirements are the same as before:  Req. 2 - Demonstrate Scout Spirit; Req. 4 - Earn five additional merit badges; and Req. 5 - Participate in a Unit Leader conference.

The two remaining requirements have been updated:  Req. 1 - Be active in the Boy Scouts of America for at least three (3) months; and Req. 3 - Set a satisfactory example of accepting responsibility or demonstrating leadership ability.

Req. 1 still includes three months of activity, but a Scout is no longer limited to activity in his unit.  Activity in any BSA program is acceptable, including Order of the Arrow, Venturing, camp staff, NYLT staff, NAYLE staff, etc.

Req. 3 now permits "accepting responsibility" in addition to "demonstrating leadership ability."  The reasoning here is that a Scout may earn Eagle by serving only in positions of responsibility, leadership being required only when a Scout is carrying out his Eagle service project.

IMPORTANT:  The new requirements are not retroactive.  If a Scout passed his Eagle Board of Review before 1 August 2017, he can earn Palms only by waiting three months for every five (5) merit badges earned beyond the 21 needed for Eagle.  The new requirements for earning Palms after an Eagle Board of Review apply to these Eagle Scouts.

The official publication of the new Palm requirements is forthcoming.  For details on the changes, open the "Boy Scouts" page by using this link and follow the "Eagle Scout" link.  These details are based on the 10 July 2017 blog post, "The way Scouts earn Eagle Palms has changed in a big way," on Bryan on Scouting.  This post includes additional explanations and comparisons of the new and old requirements which you may find helpful.

UPDATE:  You can download the PDF which is National Council's official publication of the new Eagle Palm requirements using this link.


Overnight Camping Requirements for Second Class and First Class Changed

On 1 August 2017, the number of overnight campouts required to earn Second Class and First Class ranks changed.  The numbers have been reduced to those required in 2015:  two (2) overnight campouts for Second Class and three (3) overnight campouts for First Class.

The number of "troop/patrol activities" required for each rank remains the same:  five (5) for Second Class and ten (10) for First Class.  A new category, "outdoor activities," has been added.  Overnight camping is now included in outdoor activities.

Here's how the activity arithmetic has changed.  For Second Class, instead of three (3) overnight campouts, three (3) outdoor activities are now required and at least two (2) of these activities must include overnight campouts.  For First Class, instead of six (6) overnight campouts, six (6) outdoor activities are now required and at least three (3) of these activities must include overnight campouts.

Clearly, an extra overnight campout counts as an outdoor activity.  So if you love camping, keep doing it.  Hiking, biking, boating, sailing, etc., certainly count as outdoor activities.  Outdoor service projects also count as outdoor activities.

If you choose an outdoor service project as an outdoor activity, please consider carefully how best to meet both the outdoor activity requirements and the service requirements for Second Class (2 hours) and First Class (3 hours). There does not appear to be any prohibition against applying a single outdoor service project to both the service and the outdoor activity requirements. However, in the spirit of doing the most good for the most people, consider signing off on both requirements at once only if the outdoor service project took longer than the time needed to fulfill a service requirement.

Likewise, be careful about applying work done to earn any outdoor-based merit badges to the outdoor activity requirement. Again, there does not appear to be any prohibition against doing so, but Scouts should be encouraged to use their time and energy to accomplish more, not to figure out ways to cut corners.

As with any change to rank requirements after the publication of the current "Boy Scout Requirements" handbook, Sec. of the Guide to Advancement 2017 gives a Scout until 31 December 2017 to choose which requirements to use.  Specifically:

"He may either continue or begin work using the old requirements, or he may switch to or begin work using the new requirements.  If he chooses to use the old requirements, he may continue using them until he has completed the rank."

The official publication of the revised Second Class and First Class requirements is forthcoming.  For details on the changes, open the "Boy Scouts" page by using this link and follow the "Advancement and Awards" link.  These details are taken from the 11 July 2017 blog post, "Revised campout requirements for Second Class, First Class" on Bryan on Scouting.

In closing, please be aware that some confusion surrounds the "Revised campout requirements..." post.  The post brings up the total number of overnight campouts a Scout needs to reach Eagle and the Camping Merit Badge.  The facts are true, but they are presented in a confusing way.

Here's what you need to know:  These changes to Second Class and First Class requirements do not change the requirements for any other rank or for any merit badge.  Req. 9a of the Camping Merit Badge still states "Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events."  Since the Camping Merit badge is required for Eagle, Req. 9a means every Eagle Scout will have camped for at least 20 nights regardless of how many nights they camped to earn Second Class or First Class.


"Guide to Advancement" and "Eagle Scout Rank Application" Updated
The new "Guide to Advancement 2017" is now available as a PDF file.  It supersedes the old 2015 version as THE official advancement guide for all Scouting programs.

You can download the PDF of the new "Guide to Advancement 2017" (33088) using this link.

To help you understand the changes, the Introduction includes a section listing "Significant Changes," as well as a section devoted to "Frequently Asked Questions."

UPDATE:  The Web version of the Guide to Advancement 2017 is available here. The full-color, hardcopy version can be purchased in the GTC Scout Shop or on ScoutStuff.org.

The updated "Eagle Scout Rank Application" form (512-728) is identified as the "April 2017 Printing" in the lower right corner on page two (2) of the form.  It should be used by all future Eagle candidates.

You can download the PDF of the new "Eagle Scout Rank Application" form using this link

If the previous "Eagle Scout Rank Application" form has already been approved by the council service center, nothing needs to be done.  The application is valid and will be accepted at the Eagle Board of Review.

If, on the other hand, the previous "Eagle Scout Rank Application" form has NOT been approved by the council service center, it is highly recommended that the Eagle candidate fill out and submit the new form.


Publicity Resources

A "Publicity Resources" section has been added to the "Training" page.

If you'd like to announce an upcoming Scouting event, to report a Scouting milestone in your unit, or to request coverage of a Scouting event, you can contact the media outlets listed in this new section.

To reach the "Publicity Resources" section, open the "Training" page and follow the "Publicity Resources" link.


Seneca District 2016 Volunteer Recognition Night

The Seneca District 2016 Volunteer Recognition Night was held at the April Roundtable.  The following awards were presented:

Cubmaster of the Year:  Candi Urban, Pack 3266.
Den Leader of the Year:  Richard Lowe, Pack 3233.
Den Leader Training Award:  Eric Daniels, Pack 3250.

Scoutmaster of the Year:  Bob Osterland, Troop 558.
Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year:  Keith Pearson, Troop 259, Seneca District Commissioner.
Committee Chair of the Year:  Anitra Roberts, Pack 3233, Troop 252, Crew 2262.

District Award of Merit:  Elwin Robison, Troop 573 and Dan McClory, Troop 257, Seneca District Committee.

Clyde Hazle Unit Award:  Troop 257.

Seneca Appreciation Award:  Brian Davis, Pack 3551, Council Committee.

Candi Urban also received her Wood Badge beads.

Pictures of the festivities can be found here.

Congratulations to the recipients and thanks to everyone who submitted nominations and who helped put on the ceremonies.


Tour and Activity Plan Eliminated

As of 1 April 2017, units are no longer required to submit any plans for official Scouting activities to council for review.

This is the only change to the BSA rules, regulations, and policies regarding official Scouting activities.  Everything else remains the same, including requiring permission slips from parents/guardians for youths and annual health and medical records for all participants.

The BSA's official explanation of this change can be found in the "Tour and Activity Plan Terminated FAQ" on Scouting.org.

You can also read about the changes in "BSA's Tour and Activity Plan Eliminated" on the Bryan on Scouting blog on ScoutingMagazine.org.

UPDATE:  The Guide to Safe Scouting has been updated to reflect the elimination of the Tour and Activity plan.  You can download a PDF copy of the latest Guide to Safe Scouting from this page.


"Eagle Scout Hacks" Handouts Available

If you sat in on the Boy Scout splits at Roundtable this year, you probably heard one of the presentations on "Eagle Scout Hacks."  If not, you might be asking, "What the heck is a hack?"

Hack is a "geek" term for a specific way of achieving an objective or accomplishing a goal.  Back in the day, hacks would have been called suggestions and recommendations.

Each presentation discussed one of four handouts created to address the following aspects of a Scout's advancement to Eagle:  1) "Be Prepared," 2) "Eagle Scout Rank Application," 3) "Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook," and 4) "Eagle Board of Review."

The goal of the first three handouts is to make a Scout think about the best way for him to earn Eagle so that he will fulfill the promise he makes every time he recites the first eight words of the Scout Oath:  "On my honor, I will do my best..."

Another goal of these three handouts is to make Scouters think about the best way for them to assist a Scout's advancement to Eagle.  The goal of the fourth handout is to make Scouters think about the best way to organize and conduct an Eagle Board of Review.

To download PDF copies of all four handouts, open the "Boy Scouts" page using this link, follow the "Eagle Scout" link and scroll down to the "Eagle Scout Hacks" section.


2017 Boy Scout Rank and Merit Badge Requirement Changes

The new 2017 Boy Scout Requirement book is out, and it contains a number of changes to rank requirements and merit badge requirements.  A new merit badge, Exploration, has also been released.

For complete details on all the changes, open the "Boy Scouts" page by using this link.  Follow the "Advancement & Awards" link to learn about the rank changes.  Follow the "Merit Badges" link to learn about merit badge changes and the new Exploration merit badge.



Second Class
     Req. 2d - Sentence structure change.
     Req. 8e - Wording change.

First Class
     Req. 8b - Added requirement to "develop a plan."


Major Updates to Requirements

Minor Updates to Requirements
     Camping, Cooking, Lifesaving


New Merit Badge

Major Updates to Requirements
     Disabilities Awareness, Pioneering, Radio

Minor Updates to Requirements
     American Business, Athletics, Automotive
     Maintenance, Climbing, Coin Collecting, Dentistry,
     Dog Care, Fire Safety, Fish and Wildlife
     Management, Fishing, Forestry, Game Design,
     Indian Lore, Journalism, Landscape Architecture,
     Leatherwork, Music, Nuclear Science, Plumbing,
     Programming, Pulp and Paper, Rifle Shooting,
     Safety, Salesmanship, Scholarship, Small-Boat
     Sailing, Sports, Traffic Safety, Wood Carving


Youth Protection for Online and Digital Communication

The current BSA Youth Protection Training videos cover many issues and situations.  Noticeably lacking, however, is instruction on how to apply the principles of two-deep leadership and no one-on-one contact between adults and youths to online and digital communication.

In order to make up for this lack of instruction, the "Online Guidelines" section has been added to the "Training" page of the this Web site.

To learn about the BSA's guidelines for online and digital communication, follow this link to open the "Training" page and then follow the "Online Guidelines" link.

The topics covered in the "Online Guidelines" section are:

1)  Two-Deep Leadership and No One-On-One Contact Between Adults and Youth Members Includes Digital Communication

2)  Two-Deep Administration of Online Platforms

3)  Social Media Guidelines

4)  Council Web Site Guidelines

5)  Unit Web Site Guidelines

This section includes links to the BSA Web pages that discuss these topics in detail, as well as excerpts from these pages that highlight key points of each topic.

If you need further assistance with these guidelines, you can contact the BSA National Council social media team at Social.Media@Scouting.org.


Cub Scout Advancement Changes

The Boy Scouts of America has announced changes to Cub Scout Adventure requirements in response to feedback from den leaders who have run the new Cub Scout program for a year.  All Adventures from Tiger through Webelos and Arrow of Light are affected.  There have also been some changes to the general requirements for advancement for each rank.

Most of the recommended changes involve reducing the number of requirements necessary to earn an Adventure.  These changes will speed up advancement, making it easier to fit everything into a typical program year of Cub Scouting.  In addition, the content of some Adventures has been changed.

[The changes are effective immediately (December 2016), and dens] may begin using the modified requirements as soon as they begin working on their next Adventure.  This implies that dens should complete their current Adventure using the old requirements.

UPDATE:  Changes to the Cub Scout Adventure and rank advancement requirements have been published as four separate PDFs, one each for Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos/Arrow of Light.  These PDFs can be downloaded from this page:  "Program Updates:  Cub Scout Advancement Modifications Made."

For more information about these changes, please read these two blog posts on ScoutingMagazine.org: "Modifications to Cub Scout program give den leaders more flexibility" and "Answers to your questions about the Cub Scout modifications."


Youth Protection and Digital Communication

There's a seldom discussed section of the BSA's Youth Protection guidelines that all Scouts and Scouters must be aware of and need to follow. It deals with digital communications, in all the various forms available today.

This post is meant to inform Scouters and their units how the guideline on digital communication applies to e-mail. This is important for Life Scouts who need to communicate with a District Eagle Representative in order to begin work on their Eagle service project, but it applies to all Scouts regardless of rank and all registered Scouters regardless of their position.

Any e-mail a youth sends to any adult Scout leader MUST be copied (CC:) to a parent or guardian AND to an adult leader in the youth's unit. The same holds true when an adult Scout leader sends an e-mail to a youth.

The wording of the relevant section of the Youth Protection guidelines is as follows:

"Two-Deep Leadership and No One-On-One Contact Between Adults and Youth Members Includes Digital Communication

"Leaders may not have one-on-one private online communications or engage one-on-one in other digital activities (games, social media, etc.) with youth members.  Leaders [and youths] should copy a parent [or guardian] and another leader in digital and online communication, ensuring no one-on-one contact exists in [e-mail,] text, social media, or other forms of online or digital communication."

This and other Youth Protection guidelines can be found in "Youth Protection and Adult Leadership," which is Chapter 1 of the Guide to Safe Scouting. It can also be found on Scouting.org using this link.


Scouter Reserves

Unit College Scouter Reserve, Venturing College Scouter Reserve, and Unit Scouter Reserve

Does your troop or crew have a former Scout who has turned 18 and is away at college, on a mission, or in the service and wants to stay registered in your unit?

To help keep these young adults in Scouting and connected to your unit, two registration codes exist:  92U, Unit College Scouter Reserve (UCSR) and 92V, Venturing College Scouter Reserve (VCSR).  Only the appropriate Youth Protection Training is required.  All other adult registration application criteria and fees apply.

These positions are meant primarily for college students who want to occasionally help out as an adult leader when they are home on break, but who don't have the time to take the training required for an Assistant Scoutmaster, Assistant Cubmaster, or Assistant Crew Advisor.

Young adults who serve regularly as an adult leader should register as an Assistant Scoutmaster, Assistant Cubmaster, or Assistant Crew Advisor and complete all the normal training requirements.

If you have adults who assist the leadership in your unit and are available to fill-in as a leader on an as-needed basis, they should use registration code 91U, Unit Scouter Reserve (USR).  Only the appropriate Youth Protection Training is required.  All other adult registration application criteria and fees apply.

An additional benefit of the 92U, 92V, and 91U registrations is that they remove untrained Assistant Scoutmasters, Assistant Cubmasters, and Assistant Crew Advisors from your unit's registration.  This change will improve your unit's Journey to Excellence score.

Adult leaders registered as 92U, 92V, or 91U are permitted to wear a uniform when appropriate, but there is no position patch.

Adult Application Registration Codes

92U (Unit College Scouter Reserve):  For troop and pack leaders 18 years and older away at college.
92V (Venturing College Scouter Reserve):  For crew leaders 21 years and older away at college.
91U (Unit Scouter Reserve):  For troop, pack, and crew adults 21 years and older living at home.


SenecaDistrict.org Post Archives

Looking for an old post?  If you can't find it on this page, look for it in the Post Archives.


Seneca District

Great Trail Council