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GNFC eNews March 16, 2016
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March 16, 2016
News of Key Scouting Activities, Events and Upcoming Registration Deadlines

Published monthly by:
Greater Niagara Frontier Council #380
Boy Scouts of America
2860 Genesee Street

Buffalo, New York 14225
(716) 891-4073

More information at

Please pass this on to fellow Scouting leaders, parents and friends.
Encourage them to sign up for GNFC eNews and Updates

Table of Contents:

Scout Executive Remarks
Birchbark Expeditions
Jamboree 2017
Powder Horn
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
Cyber Chip 2.0 Powered by AT&T
Niagara Frontier Scout Shop
Tatonka District Pinewood Derby
The Basil Family of Dealerships
2016 National Trails Day

  If you would like more information  email us.

 Scout Executive Remarks

This has been an exciting month for Scouting in the Greater Niagara Frontier Council. This year’s University of Scouting was a huge success, thanks to our amazing volunteers. Thank you to Jason Crosby and the rest of the committee for a fantastic program.

We also launched Cyber Chip 2.0 powered by AT&T. We are the first council in the NATION to enter into this partnership. The trail we are blazing here at GNFC will be the path forward for the Cyber Chip program, nationwide. And I am proud to say we were able to bring it to our Scouts first!

The momentum and the positive energy I saw at University of Scouting will continue throughout the rest of the Scouting year, and into the summer and fall. Like the gentlemen from AT &T said at the press conference at University of Scouting, “we have the best volunteers and we are best Council in the country!” I echo that statement.

Thank you for everything you do, day in and day out for Scouting. Remember none of this is possible without your continued commitment and dedication to Scouting.


Russell Etzenhouser

Scout Executive/CEO of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council


Is your Unit represented?
Over the last couple of years, a new position was created called the Unit Membership Chair.  This position is meant to be a liaison with the District and Council Membership and Marketing efforts.   We would like every unit to identify someone to fill this role.    The person would be a point of contact for information and updates as well as be invited to participate in District Membership and Marketing planning activities.
Please let your District Executive know who that might be in your unit.  It could be someone filling another role like Committee Chair.  We would like to get them on a distribution list for the upcoming year.

It Never Ends!!!!
Recruiting new scouts is not a once a year event, it is an ongoing effort all year long.  Scouts can enter the program at any time and begin earning advancements whenever they arrive.  They just pick up the program wherever the Den or Patrol is in the process.  You might consider a mention in your faith based institution near or around your unit.  Put some Boys Life mini mags in the dentist or doctor office near your unit, with contact information on them.  Please ask permission first.  Mini mags are available free at the Scout Office.

Planning Planning, Planning!!

The Council membership Committee is busy planning the membership recruitment year.  Stay tuned for some announcements about how your Unit can get engaged!!

Recruiter Patch!

Did you know that the most successful units do their recruiting boy to boy!   They encourage their scouts to invite a friend or two to join them in their Adventure!  The Council Service Center has free Recruiter patches to be given to scouts that recruit a friend.  Some units have an ice cream social in the Fall, inviting scouts to bring their recruits!  Great idea!

Darlene Sprague


Camp Schoellkopf:

The merit badge schedule for Summer Camp at Camp Schoellkopf in 2016 is now available online.  Now's the time to start thinking about the merit badges you would like to sign up for camp.  This year we've added STEM related merit badges to a brand new Tech Center area that we are starting this year, and we have a few more required merit badges as well.  You can find the merit badge schedule here:

For those of you who have seen the merit badge schedule, we have made a few minor changes.  The changes include fixing typos in the Pre-Requisites, correcting the schedule for Small Boat Sailing, and adding pre-requisites for Ecology and Young Braves programs.  

If you have any questions about the merit badge schedule, feel free to contact Sean Jones our Program Director at (716) 935-9228 or

The 2016 Program Guide is now availablel. It has the full merit badge schedule in there as well as other information about this summer's program.

Camp Schoellkopf is also looking to fill a few more staff positions:

  • Provo Scoutmaster
  • C.O.P.E. Instructor
  • Head Cook
  • Cook
  • Kitchen Aide


 Birchbark Expeditions

What are your plans for a High Adventure program this summer? 

Birchbark Expeditions is a High Adventure program operated by GNFC taking crews for week-long back-country canoe tripping experiences in beautiful Canadian Algonquin Provincial Park.

The program has a few open crew slots available for this summer – check the crew availability chart to find out what is available. The program also has a few opportunities for provisional participants, allowing a scout and parent to participate without a full crew.

What are you waiting for?  The “Call of the Loon” is waiting for you!

See: for more details or drop us a note at

 Jamboree 2017

Jamboree 2017:

Experience the best of scouting in one place. From stadium shows to merit badges, patch trading to adventure sports, youll want to be at the Summit Bechtel reserve July 19-28 0in 2017. For the most up to date information and to sign up, visit BSAJAMBOREE.ORG

Staff and attendee registration is now open


The Council Training Committee enjoyed a busy and successful month with the help of many, many trainers. One week alone saw 43 Youth Protection Trainings completed as well as 16 District Committee Member Trainings. The remainder of the month was spent preparing for the U of S as well as training with the NYLT Staff.

A very special THANK YOU to Jason Crosby, Mark Oetinger, Eric Nagel, George Boller, Renee Bodkin, Darlene Kilhberg, Bibianne Bennett, Brandon Blatz, Liz Urbanski Farrell and Michael O’Sullivan for presenting an extremely successful U of Scouting, and Bob Germony for all of his work on the physical plant and arrangements at ECC South.



To all who have recently completed their training, especially those who trained in their positions at the University of Scouting.


To the following Trainers, for their efforts – JOB WELL DONE!

Mike Stewart, Darlene Sprague, Kendra Gaynor, AJ Block, Steve Molik, Brian Welsh, Art Aigner, Dan Berger, Dan McCarten, Thom Slomka, David Sepulveda, Connie Gildner, Donald Sonnenfeld, Ken Knox, Paul Kendzierski, Aaron Swanson, Kevin McNamara, Tony Sokolik, Greg Ash and Jim Heinrich



GNFC Training Contacts:

GNFC Training Chairman
Ron Krawczyk - (716) 435-5083

GNFC Training Staff Advisor
Bob Blatz - (716) 512-6215

GNFC Training Chairs
Red Jacket: 
Thom Slomka - (716) 818-3791

Onondaga: Bob Germony - (716) 440-2372

Polaris: Dave Sepulveda - (716) 425-6535


 Powder Horn


High Adventure Resource Management Course


Jason Crosby, Powder Horn 2016 Course Director


POWDER HORN is a high adventure resource management course designed to introduce Scouting’s adults and youth to the exciting program possibilities for their unit.  It will help your unit safely conduct outdoor high-adventure activities of a fun and challenging nature.  Powder Horn is not a personal development course or a team-building experience. Its purpose is to educate the youth and adult leaders about specific high-adventure skills, to connect them to resources to deliver those skills, and to get them excited about delivering those skills in an exciting, challenging way to youth.

Who is POWDER HORN for?

POWDER HORN is open to adults and venturing age youth (14 and older) registered with the BSA. The cost to enroll in POWDER HORN 2016 is $50.  You don’t have to enroll in POWDER HORN for an activity, but some POWDER HORN activities may be limited to those enrolled.  You can’t earn your POWDER HORN without being enrolled.

POWDER HORN 2016 will run as a series. 

February: Skiing and Snowboarding any Friday in February - more information or register

March: Skating and Curling - March 13

April: Search and Rescue, Mountaineering, Emergency Preparation - April 2, Camp Schoellkopf - more information or register
                   Wilderness First Aid*

May: Leave No Trace Trainer*

June: Paddlecraft Safety*

July: Sailing with Sea Scouts

August: Backpacking, Cooking, Bushcraft, Astronomy, Canoe, Kayak, Paddleboard, Sailing, Navigation

September: Mountain Biking, Conservation, Living History

October: Geocaching, Orienteering, COPE


*Credit will be offered for other high adventure trainings.

The program is still developing so watch for updates and many opportunities to earn your POWDER HORN.

 National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
"White Buffalo"

Date:  Sunday August 14th (4pm) - Saturday August 20th (10am), 2016 
Location:  Schoellkopf Scout Reservation,1373 Burrough Rd, Cowlesville NY 14037 (45 minutes Southeast from Buffalo NY)
Pre-Course Orientation: Parent and participants must attend one of the following dates:
Saturday July 16th 2016, from 10am-Noon OR
Monday July 25th, 2016, from 6:30-8:30pm 
** All medical forms, course paperwork, and dietary needs must be provided at the orientation**
Pre-Course Location:  Greater Niagara Frontier Council Service Center, 2860 Genesee St. Buffalo, NY 14225
$280.00 if registered before July 3rd, 2016  
$325.00 if registered after July 3rd, 2016
Registration Ends on Friday July 22th, 2016 or when the course is full.  Course size is limited to the first 48 participants registered.

Click here to Register

What is NYLT?

The National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is the premier 6 days, 5 nights outdoor leadership experience geared towards present and future leaders of Scouting.
Participants will be engaged in hands-on training led by Western New York’s finest youth staff.  The training will cover skills essential to leadership within your unit, school, and life activities.  The training activities will mimic one month of your units program.  This program is youth led under the mentorship of trained adults who provide a safe friendly Scout environment.  

What are the requirements to attend NYLT?

  1. Be at least 13 years of age at the time of the course
  2. Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America and at least be the rank of First Class
  3. Scouts must have Scoutmaster approval in order to attend the course
  4. Scouts must have a properly completed BSA Health Form

What Leadership Skills will the Scout will learn from taking NYLT?

  1. Developing effective communication skills, techniques to develop obtainable goals, teaching techniques including explaining, demonstrating, guiding and enabling others, and making ethical decisions.
  2. Developing the ability to meet new people and to form a highly functioning patrol.
  3. Learning safe outdoor skills including leave no trace techniques, patrol cooking with a lightweight stove, proper food safety, pioneering skills, backpacking techniques, and fire safety.
  4. How a patrol interacts with the Patrol Leadership Council and the Scoutmaster of a unit.
  5. Resolving conflicts within a patrol environment

Questions? Contact:

Bob Blatz - Council Staff Advisor
Phone: (716) 512-6215
Cell: (716) 445-5406
Ron Krawczyk - Course Director/Scoutmaster
Phone: (716) 435-5083
Brandon Blatz - Senior Patrol Leader
Phone: (716) 445-3350

 Cyber Chip 2.0 Powered by AT&T

Today’s youth are spending more time than ever using digital media and devices for education, research, socializing, fun and even Scouting. While the benefits are unquestionable, they may also encounter issues their parents never had to confront before such as cyberbullying, digital reputation, online predators, trolls and inappropriate content. To help Scout Leaders, families and volunteers keep our Scouts safe while online, the Greater Niagara Frontier Council and AT&T have launched Cyber Chip 2.0, an enhanced version of the Boy Scouts of America’s Cyber Chip program that incorporates AT&T’s Digital You public cyber safety and awareness campaign’s resources to guarantee all Scouts are Prepared, even while online!

The Cyber Chip 2.0 Powered by AT&T can be earned by any youth in the Boy Scouts of America, Greater Niagara Frontier Council.  All Scouts must complete the National BSA Cyber Chip for their Grade level and the below requirements.   Scouts DO NOT need to complete extra rerquirements for Cyber Chip 2.0 for Rank advancement, but are encouraged to complete.

Take the pledge to be an Upstander and not a Bystander and Help create a safe, responsible, and respectful digital world!

Click on the Cyber Chip 2.0 Logo below to find out more

 Niagara Frontier Scout Shop

Camping Clearance Now!

Up to 65% off original prices on a great variety of camping gear. We have tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, hydration packs, headlamps, flashlights, and more.

Hurry in to get the best selection!

Camping Clearance Ends


Get Ready for Camp 2016!

Get Ready for Camp 2016

New Boy Scout Handbooks!

We have the new Boy Scout handbooks on the shelves now!

Featuring updated images and design, this edition offers more information than ever before, including additional information pertaining to:

• Service at all ranks
• Healthy eating habits 
• Requirements
• Physical fitness at each rank
• Outdoor ethics
• Weather safety
• Risk assessment and mitigation
• Requirements incorporating Duty to God to show Scout Spirit


Blue & Gold Banquet

Create a banquet brimming with Scouting spirit to celebrate Cub Scouts in style! We have all your supplies for a memorable Blue & Gold Banquet:

  • Table covers
  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Cups
  • Paper Lanterns & Centerpieces
  • Cupcake Stands and Cups
  • Cake Picks
  • And more…

If you have a Cricut machine, we also have cartridges to make Cub Scout designs for your banquet.


Use this link to contact Brian:


Attention Scout Units - Important Tax Information:

In order for a purchase at the Scout Shop to be considered tax exempt, it must be purchased by either:

  • Cash
  • Unit Check
  • Unit Debit Card
  • Unit Gift Card

We can no longer accept personal credit cards or personal checks for Tax Exempt purchases per New York State Tax Law.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Check Information

Because we are a National Scout Shop, please make any checks (unit or personal) payable to "BSA", rather than to the council. Our bank will not accept checks made out to the council.

Gift Cards

Did you know the Scout Shop has gift cards? They are available in any amount and are a perfect choice when you don’t know what to get your favorite Scout or Scouter. They are redeemable at any National Scout Shop.


 Tatonka District Pinewood Derby

The First Ever Tatonka District Pinewood Derby was held this month !! It was an amazing success, with over 75 Scouts and Families in attendance! Events like this are not possible without the best volunteers, thank you to Chante Murphy and Nicole Dalton for coordinating the event! Also to The Basil Family of Dealerships for sponsoring the event, Guis Lumber & Home Center, NYGMS, Buffalo Public Schools, Mayor Byron W. Brown, Dunkin' Donuts and our District Chair Demone Smith. Look forward to seeing more video and pictures from the event! ‪#‎Scoutcity2016

 The Basil Family of Dealerships

Awesome opportunity for all our Scouting units in the Council! The The Basil Family of Dealerships are opening up all their dealerships for our Scouts to tour and earn badges! Listed in the flyer are all the details including, date, location, time, and contact info! Each unit can call and set up their own tour dates! If you have any dates please contact Ken at!

 2016 National Trails Day

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion, please e-mail: Bob Blatz

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