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GNFC eNews December 15, 2015
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December 15, 2015
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

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Table of Contents:

Message from the Scout Executive
Onondaga District
Our Newest Eagles
Polaris District
Red Jacket District
Scout Shop Updates

  If you would like more information  email us.

 Message from the Scout Executive


Hopefully by now your unit is done with your recharter.  Every Pack, Troop, Crew, Ship, and Post expires on December 31, 2015.  If you need help please reach out to your District Director or District Executive.  We can help you complete the process.  Once you have completed the online process you still need to print out your charter, get approval signatures, and submit it with payment to the Council Service Center.  Remember that every adult must be current with Youth Protection Training and must have completed their leadership training.  The new tools in allow you to check the training status of all registered leaders in your unit.  If the training record in the system is out of date, let your district training team member, unit commissioner, or staff member know and they can update the record.  The system does not automatically recognize some trainings that are no longer offered; however, we can record you as trained in the system manually provided that you met the qualifications to be considered trained at the time you took the training.  The most common example of this is Scoutmastership Fundamentals which was the Boy Scout Leader training that I took when I was an Assistant Scoutmaster.  I am trained as a Scout Leader, but I would not be considered trained automatically in the system.

The site is where you can update your personal information and depending on your registered role in Scouting, you can have access to everything from membership cards to training records.  This powerful tool allows members of the “Unit Key Three” (Committee Chairman, Chartered Organization Representative, and Unit Leader) to assign roles to other registered adults within the unit.  You can designate someone to serve as your Membership Chairperson, Training Chairperson, and Youth Protection Champion.  More roles are being added each quarter with Advancement Chairman due to be added soon.  This is all designed to help Committee Chairs and Unit Leaders spread out the responsibilities of running the Pack, Troop, or Crew with the other members of the committee.  All of this is in preparation for BSA implementing the ability to register completely online including payment and leadership approval.

The training feature in is best characterized as a work in progress.  The Cub Scout training that has been added has great content, but it will test your patience getting through it.  I have taken it to be trained as a den leader for my son’s Arrow of Light den.  The whole approach has changed from what we had before.  It is designed to be taken in three separate segments.  The first one before your first meeting, the second during the first month and the final segment over the first three months.  It is about two hours of content broken into about two dozen individual sections.  You have to complete all of the sections in each of the three segments to be trained.  Please reach out if you are having challenges with the new system.  Boy Scout Training and Venturing Training is scheduled to be added over the next few months.

I wish each of you a safe and joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year. 

                                                                                                                Russell Etzenhouser


OKPIK Cold Weather Training

It’s not too late to register for OKPIK 2016!  Registration is limited to the first 35 Scouters but will close on December 31st.  OKPIK weekend is January 22-24th at Camp Scouthaven with a cost of $55.00 which covers program, food, training materials, a patch and cubes.  Minimum age is 14 and First Class (with written permission.  Click here to register>. For more information contact Paul Kendzierski, Course Director at



2016 Powder Horn will be a series of monthly programs, rather than a long weekend.  The goal of this is to add depth to the program by providing day long activities to concentrate on specifics and give more details into those programs.  Look for activities at many high adventure locations and also activities that would be impossible to do at camp. 

To complete Powder Horn, you must participate in 10 electives.  Participants will have more flexibility in how and when they participate as if they are unable to make a certain session they can still complete Powder Horn by attending other days.  Programs will also be open to others that are not enrolled in Powder Horn expanding high adventure activities, as well as allowing participants to start their Powder Horn at any time.  There will be days when multiple electives are offered.  Elective credit is also offered for taking courses such as Okpik, starting in January Look for information for our February electives - skiing / snowboarding - coming out soon.

For more information contact or click here> out


University of Scouting

The University of Scouting will be held Saturday, March 5th at Erie Community College South Campus (across from Ralph Wilson Stadium) 8:00 am to 3:00pm.   We are currently looking for instructors who are willing to teach a 50 minute class on a scouting appropriate topic of your choice for Cub Scout adults, Boy Scout adults/scouts, or Venture adults/scouts.  If, you are interested in teaching, please send an email with your class topic to or call Mark Oetinger at 716-888-0114 by the end of December.  We will be publishing the class schedule in early January. If you are interested in having a scouting, not-for profit, business table at the event, please contact Ben Burke at 716-512-6214 or

American Red Cross Blood Drive

We will be hosting a blood drive here at the Council Service Center on Wednesday, December 30th, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.  All donors will receive a free t-shirt.  Scouts can also earn a patch.  Call the American Red Cross at 1-800 Red Cross or to schedule an appointment.  Walk-ins are also welcome. 

Calling all Eagle Scouts – Please visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, search for Eagle Scouts Residing in Western New York.  This site is for all Eagle Scouts including our Eagles that earned their Eagle Scout here in Buffalo or any Eagle Scout that is residing here now.  We have four outstanding events scheduled in 2016 and we want to connect you our fellow Eagle Scouts.  For more information please connect with us on LinkedIn or email Jim Battaglia at or call at 716-512-6204.  Once and Eagle always an Eagle.

Good Turn for America - Tops Collection Event: March 12th

The Greater Niagara Frontier Council and Tops Friendly Markets team up for Good Turn for America.  This is an annual event collecting food and other items for local pantries of your choosing. Registration will be open soon. Units should begin talking about the locations they want to register for as well as the food bank or other organization they want to collect for. The locations will be available in 2 shifts: 10:00 am to 1:15 pm or 12:45 to 4:00 pm. Units can sign up for one or both shifts at their chosen Tops location.


The Boy Scouts of American annually celebrates its founding on February 8, 1910.  Scout Sunday was added to the Scout celebration in the middle 1940's with a tradition started to make people in houses of worship aware of Scouting and to allow Scouts to live out their "Duty to God" pledges each week.  The purpose of this activity is to assist parishes who are not presently celebrating the anniversary of Scouting with their Scouting families and wish to add a "Scout Sunday" service.  To prepare for this there are a few guidelines to follow:  (1) Secure approval from the Pastor/Minister. (2) Plan the Music & Liturgy with respect to the people in charge at the church.  Scouts/Scouters may have Lay roles in Liturgy (readers, altar servers, gift bearers, etc.) (3) Announcement in the Bulletin or Newsletter.  (4) Everyone in Scouting in FULL UNIFORM (5) May also distribute the appropriate Religious Emblems at this time.

The next Scout Sunday will be celebrated on February 7, 2016. Click here to read the December Issue of the Bridge> TheBridgeDec.2015.pdf



This Season Give the Gift of Camp

Send your Scout to camp with our 2016 Camp Scouthaven Bundle.  A great gift idea for Grandparents who are still looking for that perfect gift for their Scout grandson.  Purchase a $450 Parent and Son Package and they can attend Winter Fun Day, Maple Sugaring and Pancake Breakfast, Cub Scout Family Weekend, Camp Scouthaven Summer Camp, and Halloween Fun Day.  For more information contact your District Executive or Susan Gruber. 

Camping Updates

Registration is now open for Summer Camp 2016.  Make sure to sign up your scouts and secure spots.  Your unit's camp coordinator should be able to register online.  If you have any camping questions, please contact Sue Gruber at 512-5216 or  

Coming up on January 1st, Camp Schoellkopf will be publishing its merit badge schedule so that scouts can start to plan on what they would like to take at summer camp and be ready when merit badge registration opens in March. Some merit badges like Shotgun Shooting, Welding, Chess, etc. tend to fill up quickly, so it's important to get your merit badge registrations in early.

Summer Camp Staff:  Want to be part of the summer camp staff team this summer?  All interested parties should contact Sue Gruber to schedule an interview.  Staff interviews will be held on January 9, 2016.  




Membership News

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.

If your designee would like to attend a 50 minute session at the University of Scouting, The Membership Chairperson - An important role in the Unit, the role will be explained.  The University of Scouting is being held on Saturday, March 5th at ECC South from 8am to 3pm.  And there is a patch for this!!

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.  Here are some ideas for year round recruitment, and more will be offered at the University of Scouting in a session called - Year Round Recruitment.  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.

 Onondaga District

Onondaga Winter Klondike

Attention all Troops! What do you plan on doing during the winter when it is 0 degrees besides shoveling and getting frost bite? Probably not a whole lot else, right? Well if you want to have some fun, register your troop for Onondaga’s Amazing Snow Race (the 2016 Klondike) hosted by Troop 457, held January 29th-31st at Camp Schoellkopf! This year’s program includes a lunch for all paid registrants during the day so each troop does not need to worry about cooking lunch in site! To register online, please click here>. Please refer to the program guide available at this link for information regarding supplies needed and procedures. See you there!

Attention all Packs! Who wants to be a champion? All of your boys do! The Annual Pinewood Derby hosted by Onondaga District is Saturday, February 27th at Eastern Hills Mall! Registration and pricing is upcoming!

 Our Newest Eagles
Name Unit Eagle Project Hours Earned Eagle
Warren Arno T440 St Gregory Basement Reorganization 211 11/22/2015
Christopher Botzenhart T601 Handicap Accessible Hunting Blind 234 11/18/2015
Joseph Chudy T601 American Cancer Society Landscaping 146 11/18/2015
Marshall Greene T57 Pavilion Refurbish 113 11/21/2015
William Keppel Jr T93 Hull House Sign and Banner 93 11/19/2015
Connor Krause T409 First Aid Equipment for Ebenezer UCC 152 11/2/2015
Joshua Little T664 Beeman Creek Park Kiosk and Map 63 11/18/2015
Stephen Martinkiewicz T643 Crandall Pond 150 11/15/2015
Joseph MeEachon T440 Outdoor Stations of the Cross 213 11/22/2015
Owen Torres T411 Penn Dixie Blue Bird House 142 11/17/2015
Matthew Wagner T643 Delevan Elementary School Trail 50 11/15/2015
Ryan Wilson T409 Project Stairway to Heaven 118 11/2/2015
Brian Wynne T630 Grand Island Nike Base Trail Restoration 138 11/19/2015
Austin Geiger T250 High School Rear Entrance Improvement 78 11/25/2015
Tanner Geiger T250 Clarence Nature Center Benches 76 11/25/2015
Jason Messenger T483 Buffalo Irish Center Wall Unit and Benches 106 11/9/2015
Alexander Wilson T457 Youth Day Camp 244 11/30/2015
Alex Zillioux T457 St John Cemetery Landscaping 73 11/16/2015
Martin Pietruszewski T230 Nativity School & Parish Office Garden 122 12/2/2015
Robert Piwko T400 SSPP Cafeteria Shelf 169 12/7/2015
Thomas Sawyer T335 Post 64 Parking Lot Reclaiming 106 12/07/15
Andrew Morrison T659 Backyard Project 218 12/16/15

 Polaris District

Polaris District Klondike Derby

Who Did It? Mystery

Camp Stonehaven, January 29-31, 2016

Battle for the Shultz Cup at the sled race and other games around camp. Use the clues to solve the mystery of untimely demise of Judge Finkle. 

Afternoon Cub Scout program included.  Click here for the program guide and to register>

 Red Jacket District

Red Jacket Klondike – Alaskan Plane Crash

Join us at Camp Scouthaven on January 15 – 17 2016 for the Red Jacket District Klondike hosted by Troop 230 and supported by Crew 614 and Troop 256 of the RED JACKET DISTRICT.  Save $2 per person by registering on line before Jan 5th by clicking here>  Suggested Theme Reading: Hatchet by Garry Paulsen and Brian's Winter also by Garry Paulsen 

Cub Scout Winter Family Fun Day

Fun for the whole family at Camp Scout Haven, January 16th, 9:30am – 2:00pm.  Cost is $10.00 per person (under 5 free) and lunch is included.  Activities will include Ice Hockey Snowman Making, Sledding, Snowshoeing, and MUCH MUCH MORE!!!!  Click here to register>

 Scout Shop Updates

Stuff Your Stocking- December 19th

Come visit us on Saturday, December 19th from 10-2 for great savings!

All purchases will be discounted by 15% (excludes uniforms, program literature, advancement, PWD and Gift Cards). What a great time to pick up those gifts for all your favorite Scouts and Scouters. The 15% will be in addition to any already discounted prices on qualified merchandise. Also this will be the perfect opportunity to be kind and purchase a gift for a less fortunate Scout on our Giving Tree. You can also combine this sale with our clearance items.

Make Sure No Scout Goes Without…  Be Part of Our Council’s Ethan Giving Tree!

When it comes to the good of every Scout in the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, support is alive and well in our community. In that spirit, something exciting is ‘growing’ in your Niagara Frontier Scout Shop right now…

Come see the ETHAN GIVING TREE! It’s set up in-store and loaded with ways to help Scouts in need right here within our own council.  Purchase a gift by December 19th, and make a real difference in someone’s Scouting adventure. Each card is for a local Scout, along with a “This Scout needs…” wish list. Pick yours today!

Thorlo Sock Sale: November 8th-January 2nd

Buy Two, Get 25% off Each Pair! Now through January 2nd, take advantage of this great sale on Thorlo Hiking Socks.

These durable socks reduce pressure and friction on your feet. If your feet hurt at the end of the day from your activities, let us show you how Thorlos can help you. If you do a lot of hiking or spend a lot of time on your feet, these can make your feet much happier.

All of our Thorlos are suitable for uniform wear. Take a few pairs on your winter camping trips to stay warmer. You can use the buddy system when shopping too. You and a friend can each get a pair of socks.  These socks also make good Christmas presents for youths and adults alike. Nursing homes and shelters are always looking for warm and soft socks as well.  All Thorlos are made right here in the USA.

Pinewood Derby

Join us at the Scout Shop on January 23rd for our Pinewood Derby Champ Camp!

We’re here to help you design the best car you can make. We can help you throughout the building process, from design tips, to balancing the weight, to the finishing touches. We have tools, graphite, weights, paint, decals, and more to make your car the best it can be.  We have everything Pinewood Derby, so you’ll race like a pro! For packs, we have a gift edition box for the same price.



In review, Scouting in 2015 was exciting, interesting, challenging, exasperating (at times) and changing. The new Cub Scout program has entered the 21st Century with a BANG! The activities are more challenging, while continuing to be age appropriate. The requirements have changed as well as many awards have either changed or have been retired.

With this as my segway, the training component for Cub Scout leaders online was difficult as best. The amount of leader distress conveyed back to Council, the Commissioners, the Training Committee, and the trainers was an indicator of just how many leaders were serious in their training component for their positions and their commitment to the Scouting program.

At this time I wish to thank Russell Etzenhauser, John Schmidt, and the Council Executive Committee, the entire office staff, the Commissioners, and the Commissioners staff, the Council Training Committee, the District Training Chairs, all the Council Trainers, and most importantly, the committed leaders and volunteers in our Scouting Program.

That being said, what does 2016 look like for training at GNFC?  The 1st Saturday in March will see the University of Scouting not only offer training for the various positions, they will also have a computer center to instruct all Scout leaders how to successfully negotiate and train at  Prior to this event, we have the months of January and February to help train and assist the untrained leaders.  We, the Districts and Council Training team will present whatever training is required.  Please contact us for any/all of your training needs, questions and concerns.

Again, thank you for all that you do for scouting and the youth in our program. Thank you for your patience and support of the Training component of the Council.  On behalf of the Council Training Committee, the District Training Chairs and all the trainers, I would like to wish everyone in the GNFC Scouting family a safe, healthy, happy and peaceful Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza ,and Holidays.

Ron Krawczyk
Council Training Chair



To all who have recently completed their training


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

Marianne Scime, Thom Slomka, Dave Wind, Dave Supevelda, Bob Germony, Art Aigner, Ken Knox, Steve Heeb, Paul Kezdieski, Jim Pankow, John Pankow, Dennis Smiegara, Paul Lucas, Michael O’Sullivan, Jim Gibbons, Richard Simkins, and Richard Raynor





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