Wapehani District & White River Trails District
Proudly serving the youth and families of Brown, Daviess, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Orange and Owen Counties.
Scouting Finds A Way
It is no secret that many of us would like to forget 2020. It was a year that Scouting faced an unforeseeable pandemic, which led to cancellations of many planned activities, personal and corporate challenges and disruptions. With an executive order from Indiana’s Governor, and schools closed for a few weeks to figure out how to move to a virtual platform, units which normally met at school facilities no longer had a place to hold their meetings. Scouting, like most everything else, had come to a halt. But Scouting didn’t stay down for long. Within a month or two virtual programming began to surface within the Council and around the country. Virtual merit badge fairs and Cub Scout challenges were developed and made available online. The virtual software program, Zoom, became the overwhelming choice for units, districts team and Council meetings, to continue the work of Scouting. As Coronavirus cases declined during late summer-early fall, Wapehani was able to sneak in a well-planned and attended fall event at Maumee. Some units were able to safely hold in-person meetings, carry out service projects, and even participate in weekend camp outs. While not all units were able to resume Scouting activities to the level listed above, units, districts, and the Council were able to keep Scouting moving forward.
Better Days Ahead
Awesome programming is key for keeping Scouts engaged. With 2020 behind us and vaccinations being administered, daily, better days lie ahead. In terms of activities, the Winter Rendezvous, which is the largest winter event in the Council, was moved to the end of February, in hopes that Coronavirus cases following the holidays would be in decline. It is hopeful that the event will take place, giving Scouts the needed boost of fun and adventure they crave. Scouts are also looking forward to summer camp. Registrations have come in from all over the Council as expectations are high, since summer camp was reluctantly canceled last year. Although this year will see some modifications to comply with new accreditation policies, the return to summer camp will be a breath of fresh air. In addition to these highly anticipated activities, Cub Scout activities such as the Fish-O-Ree, Cub-O-Ree Adventure, along with various district events and the much-anticipated Council Camporee at Hanover College, are on the calendar. Units that are in the planning process should review the Council calendar, so as, not to miss the awesome activities planned for this year.
Boy’s Life Undergoes Name Change, Same Great Magazine!
The magazine that has intrigued Scouts for the past 110 years has undergone a name change. Boy’s Life has become Scout Life. The magazine will still provide awesome articles, stories, and comic strips that have captivated the interests of Scouts everywhere. It will be published in two age-appropriate editions 10 times per year. The younger edition will be tailored to ages 5-10, while an older edition will be available for youth 11 to 17. Your Scout can receive the latest edition through the mail, or it can be delivered right to your tablet and smartphone. It must be noted that the electronic version is interactive with links to additional articles and games. To sign up for Scout Life go to scoutlife.org. While on the page, check out all the fun and engaging resources. The digital version can be found by searching for Scout Life magazine in your device’s app store. A yearly subscription cost is only $24 per year. Scouts can take advantage of a discount if they subscribe though their unit. Encourage your Scouts and families to sign up for a subscription today!
Hoosier History Hike
A great way to get up and moving while also learning all kinds of new and exciting facts about the history of and around Bloomington is to take part in a history hike. Our own WP/WRT Activities Chair, Tony Mitchell, has put together a fun and exciting roadmap of history for you to take advantage of. For just $5 you can take part in this hike while receiving a great new patch to show off. On this hike, you will see all kinds of historical landmarks from the Monroe County Courthouse to the World War I Memorial at Rose Hill Cemetery and learn about the stories that go along with them. There are 43 stops along the way and each one will be marked with coordinates to help you find them.
For details regarding the registration click here.
The Great Outdoors is Scouting’s Classroom!
There is a great quote from Robert Baden-Powell that serves as encouragement for challenging times such as we are now experiencing: “The open-air is the real objective of Scouting and the key to its success.” How true it was when he said it and how truer it is now. The “outdoors” have always been the best classroom for Scouting. In a world where the inside of a building is now considered a caution zone, the outdoors remains Scouting’s natural habitat. With some units still unable to resume meetings in-doors, where, they once met for activities, other units have found outside locations such as parks and personal property to gather. Additionally, some units have camped and have future plans in place before the end of the year. While Covid-19 has encouraged restrictions for meeting indoors, Scouts have at their disposal the outdoors, which, is Scouting’s best classroom.
“Do My Best”
Those words are very familiar to Scouting and are recited on a weekly basis during opening or closing of unit meetings. The message behind the three words are always a constant guide in any situation or season of life. While there are many questions, concerns, and even things beyond our control, doing our best is what we can choose to do. It is comforting to understand that we do not need to be perfect; we simply do our best. Although it is easy to allow the many challenges and changes that have come about because of Covid-19, to affect our attitude, we can remember the words of Robert Baden-Powell, who endured much adversity in life, as he encouraged other Scouts by saying, “A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.” He knew that challenges that brought changes were inevitable for everyone. Sometimes change comes because of challenges, others due to great opportunities that lie ahead, and many times because of both. While keeping a smile on our face and whistling our favorite tune, we focus on doing our best during the changes. As a matter of fact, this year has been all about challenges, changes, and how we have responded. With each one, and there have been many, we have been given the opportunity to “do our best.” Having said this, there will be a Town Hall style meeting via Zoom, in November, to discuss how best to address the challenges and changes the districts are experiencing now and others that are on the horizon. More information concerning the date and time will be forthcoming. Until then, keep a smile on your face and whistle your favorite tune, while doing your best.
Winter Rendezvous 2021!
A Scout favorite and always an exciting activity at Maumee for the districts, the Winter Rendezvous is scheduled to take place February 26-27. All aspects of the event are being reviewed in committee meetings, which recently began. The committee is considering best practices based on current restrictions, policies, and available resources to make the event safe and fun for all attendees. Every precaution will be taken to ensure that Scouts and adult leaders remain safe and healthy during the weekend. Also, the committee will make every effort to maintain the exciting and competitive activities that Scouts look forward to every year. Aside from all of these concerns, the hope is the only thing we will need to be concerned about is whether Mother Nature is going to practice social distancing.
Have you been wondering what your unit can do to restart Scouting this year? Well, I’ve got some great news for you; your unit can take part in the Wapehani District Geocaching expedition! This expedition was created by the district Training Chair Amber Kent. On the Wapehani District Webpage you can access a document that will give you all the information that you need to start your new adventure.
If this is your first time hearing about this experience or not, we urge you to check out this great opportunity. You can hunt for the caches as a unit or individually. Either way, you use your GPS and hints to find a treasure hidden all over the district. Some are easier to find than other but all of them are equally fun to search for. When you find the cache, you can write your name down on the sign-in sheet and maybe even exchange something you have for a patch or other prize in the cache!
Geoscouting: Scout Law series
WHAT IS GEOCACHING?
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates.
Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.
SCOUT LAW SERIES
This series of caches is themed to follow the 12 points of the Boy Scout Law.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
1. Choose one of the caches above and download the .pdf, which will provide:
Waypoints (coordinates) – where the cache can be found
Difficulty level - how easy/hard it will be to find once you arrive at the coordinates
Terrain rating – what the terrain is like at the coordinates (i.e. can you find the cache in flipflops or do you need to break out your hiking boots!)
Container size – what general size container you are looking for (i.e. microcache or toolbox)
Attributes – additional information about the cache location that you should know (i.e. is the cache wheelchair accessible, on a dog-friendly route, etc.) Click here for a common list of attributes.
Clues – any additional hints you might need to find the container (particularly helpful with difficult caches)
2. Using the description, coordinates, and clues provided… go find that cache!
3. After you locate the cache, sign the logbook and then log your find online here.
GEOCACHING RULES AND ETIQUETTE
Never geocache alone. Always use the buddy system. Better yet, make it a family event!
Follow Leave No Trace principles at all times.
Use a GPS device or smartphone app to find the waypoints (directions for using Android or iPhone).
BYOP (bring your own pencil) to sign the log.
Beware of muggles! Be stealthy when searching for your treasure! Don’t let muggles (non-geo-cachers) see the cache or the hiding spot, so that they do not move, steal, or damage the cache.
Always put the cache back exactly where you found it.
Optional: Some caches will have room for tradables. These are general small inexpensive novelty items, such as pencils, character erasers, guitar pics, etc. Just remember that if you take a tradable you must leave something of equal or greater value
Optional: Take a picture of yourself while on your cache adventure and post it to social media using #ScoutsBSA #Geoscouting #ScoutLawSeries #Wapehani
MAKE YOUR OWN GEOCACHE
If you are a scouter, either adult or youth, and would like to sign up to create and maintain a cache in this series, please email the Wapenhani activities chair, Tony Mitchell or the Wapehani Geoscouting Coordinator, Amber Kennedy Kent . They have plenty of resources to help you get started!
Note for youths: Creating a cache in this series should count towards the Geocaching Merit Badge (but please remember to get approval from your specific MB counselor):
8C. Set up and hide a public geocache, following the guidelines in the Geocaching merit badge pamphlet. Before doing so, share with your counselor a three-month maintenance plan for the geocache where you are personally responsible for those three months. After setting up the geocache, with your parent's permission, follow the logs online for 30 days, and share them with your counselor. You must archive the geocache when you are no longer maintaining it.
Eventually, each will link to a PDF with the cache info.