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GNFC eNews November 19, 2015
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November 19, 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 News
Order of the Arrow
Our Newest Eagles
Polaris District
Radio Scouting
Red Jacket District
Scout Shop Updates
The Good News

 Message from the Scout Executive

I love this time of year.  The leaves have fallen, most years it is not too cold yet and there is lots of apple cider and great New York apples to choose from.  My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving.  It is the perfect time to take account of all the many things for which we are grateful.

I am grateful for a wonderful Cub Scout Pack with terrific caring leaders that is helping my two sons to thrive.  I am grateful for our community that puts families first and helps to make sure that all of our sons and daughters have opportunities to be successful.  I am grateful to have a happy and healthy family and to have a great church family too.

I am most grateful for the volunteers and staff that make Scouting happen across the Greater Niagara Frontier Council.  There are nearly three thousand of you that spend countless hours making meetings, trainings, overnights, and week-long trips special for the eight thousand youth that we serve.  You take your vacation time and turn it into Scouting experiences that last a lifetime for the boys and young men and women in your Pack, Troop, Team, Crew or Post.  Often we don’t get to see the result of that investment, but we know that it is there.

This summer I had the chance to spend the day with my Scoutmaster, Mr. Charles Hoffman, at the camp where I grew up outside of Kansas City.  I hadn’t spent a whole day with Mr. Hoffman since I was fourteen or fifteen years old.  Our time together reminded me of how much of an impact on my life Mr. Hoffman has had.  Next to my father there is no other man who has had that big an impact on my life growing up.  Thanks to Mr. Hoffman and the thousands like him right here in Western New York.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Catholic Committee

The Buffalo Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting will be conducting a SCOUT YOUTH RETREAT AT FATIMA SHRINE to earn requirements for Religious Emblems Programs on Saturday, November 21, 2015.  Sign In will start at 9:00 am, Opening Prayer, 9:30 am, and Closing Mass, 4:30 PM.

Fatima Shrine, 1023 Swann Road, Lewiston, NY  14092.  The cost is $15.00 per person and covers lunch - Pizza, Ice Cream & Beverage.  For more information and to register please contact Sue Vermeulen (716) 778-8887 or 

Saint Joseph the Worker Activity Patch:  The purpose of the Saint Joseph the Worker Activity Patch is for Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Scout Leaders to learn about St. Joseph the step-father of Our Lord Jesus.  Why he is known as the worker as well as being a family man with a strong faith?  This is a nice easy project to work on with your Scouts and the Patch can be purchased at the Scout Trading Post.


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. 


Buffalo Sabres Scout Night

December 4th, 7:00 pm, January 22nd, 7:00 pm, and March 5th, 1:00 pm

300 Level Tickets are just $28.00 each with $3.00 from each ticket purchased going back to the council.  To purchase tickets click here


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.


Support the Council when you shop this holiday season!

The holidays are approaching and everyone will be busy shopping for gifts. By shopping at, the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America could increase its AmazonSmile donations.

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Just look for the Greater Niagara Frontier Council – Boy Scouts of America. 



On Time Unit Charter
Please be sure to complete your Unit Charter before the December deadline.  If the charter is not completed you will not be able to hold meetings and events.  Contact your Unit Commissioner or your District Professional if you have questions or need help.

New Scouts and Leaders
Please be sure all of your new scouts and new leaders applications are turned into the Scout Office.  Be sure to welcome your new families to your meetings.  Make them feel included in the Pack or Troop by assigning someone to great them and help them with any questions or concerns.

Recruiting New Scouts all Year
Even though the Fall recruitment campaign is behind us, you can still recruit new scouts into the program.  Encourage your current scouts to invite their friends.  There is a free Recruiter patch for boys that recruit their friends.   As a Pack or Troop you can still run recruitment nights/events at your schools or churches or at a community spot.  Let's give all of our youth the opportunity to grow with Scouting as part of their life.

Membership Chair in your Unit        
If you have a membership chair in your unit, please share the contact information with your District Professional.  If you do not have a person recruited to perform this important function, please recruit someone.  We will be asking them to join in the planning for our recruitment events, and help with a social media campaign we are planning.  Have them check out this link.


 Onondaga District News

Commissioners Corner

The recharter deadline, December 15th, is coming up quickly and needs to be placed HIGH on the priority list. To facilitate the process it is important to turn in the applications and fees for your new Scouts and leaders as soon as possible.

If you are no longer in a leadership position in your unit, please let us know who we should be talking to, with their contact information.

Recharter Turn-in:

You can turn your charter in at the office Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm.  The Onondaga District will have Recharter evenings on:

Monday, December 7th at the Lancaster Municipal Bldg at Central and Broadway in Lancaster from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Fire Training Room on the first floor. Please park in the lot at the back of the building and come in the back door.

Tuesday, December 8th at the LDS Church 1424 Maple Rd, Williamsville from 6:30 to 8:30pm

Wednesday, December 9th (Roundtable) at the GNFC from 6:30 to 8:30pm

Make sure you have all your paperwork together along with the Member Training Report from when you hand in your charter. If paying by check, please bring in a BLANK CHECK to be sure the correct amount is paid.

If you have questions about the recharter process, please feel free to contact Marianne Scime at , 716-866-5827


Congratulations to Onondaga Pack 531 Akron, the winners of a Pizza party for having a great recruitment rally and growing their pack from 7 youth last year to 22 as of this month…    a 32% increase They had their fall carnival on Thursday November 12th and were very happy to add Pizza for all the cubs to the fun and festivities of the evening.

 Order of the Arrow

2015 Annual Order of the Arrow Lodge Bowling Night

Registration for OA Bowling is available online here> or on the lodge website You can also pick up a form in the council office. The event was originally scheduled for the Airport Lanes, however due to conflicts with the lanes we have moved bowling to the Transit Lanes, Transit and Losson Road. The date has remained the same - Friday December 11th, 7 to 9:15 pm. Price includes 2 hours of bowling, pop and pizza!

 Our Newest Eagles
Joshua Jensen T290 Templeton Cemetery Restoration 146 10/31/15
Stephen Marzano T664 Thompson Park Fence 89 10/21/15
Josh Slawatycki T290 Town of Elma Landscape Project 150 10/31/15
Peter Hector T431 Eggertsville Town Park 55 10/22/15
William Quinlan T104 Storm Drain Markers 148 10/26/15
Eoin Rapp T104 St Luke's Shelves 125 10/26/15
Willheim Kowal T429 Deck Rebuild 63 10/02/15
Kevin Morgan T483 Eighteen Mile Creek Trail Restoration 117 10/27/15
Nicholas Raczka T483 Kathleen Mary House Landscaping 100 10/27/15

 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>


Popcorn Distribution:  We are in need of volunteers to help with the Take-order distribution this Friday, November 20th at Confer Plastics, 2107 Liberty Drive, Niagara Falls beginning at noon, Please let Bob Blatz ( or 512-6215) know if you are able to come help.



 Radio Scouting

GNFC Takes to the Air Waves

On Friday, October 16, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the amateur radio call sign W2SSR to the Greater Niagara Frontier Council. The very next day, W2SSR was on the air for the 58th annual Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA).

Operating from the Onondaga District Camporee at the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, Scouts were able to talk with other Scouts and amateur radio operators from across the country and around the world.  Radio contacts were made with other Scout JOTA stations in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Long Island, and Virginia.  Contacts with non-Scout operators were made in Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Canada, and Germany. The radio operations were supervised by extra class licensee and Scouting alumni, Aaron Heverin (N2HTL), from the Radio Association of Western New York.  Over sixty-five Scouts & Scouters participated in the JOTA activities with eleven Scouts making radio contacts. 

Jamboree-On-The-Air is the largest international Scouting event, with over 700,000 participants around the globe.  It happens every year on the third weekend in October.  In the United States, nearly 14,000 participants take to the airwaves from 150 BSA Councils. 

The amateur radio station is on loan to the Greater Niagara Frontier Council from ICOM America, a leading radio equipment manufacturer.  The station kit includes all equipment necessary to get on the air.  It is available for use at unit meetings, campouts, roundtables, camporees, Klondike derbies, or other activities.  For more information about having the station at your Scouting event, contact Bob Blatz at the GNFC Service Center.

 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>


Red Jacket Awards Nominations Are Now Being Accepted

Thursday April 7th will be the Annual District Awards Dinner. Who will get the awards? That’s where you come in, please help us honor the Adult volunteers who make the Red Jacket Packs, Troops, Crews, Teams, and Posts the best units in Western New York! Nomination forms were included in every charter packet and will also be available at the upcoming roundtables November 18th and December 9th both at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hamburg.


 Scout Shop Updates

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.

Just pull a card, purchase a gift by December 19, 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!

Ethan Giving Tree will come down on December 19th or when we have filled all of the needs. Donations accepted November 14 – December 19.

Brian Reddan

Thorlo Sock Sale: Nov 8-Jan 2

Buy Two, Get 25% off Each Pair! Now through January 2, 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

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

 The Good News

Here are the winners of the Council Membership Contest

Onondaga District
Cooler: Pack 470
Pizza party: Pack 531

Polaris District
Cooler: Pack 529
Pizza Party: Pack 539

Tatonka District 
Cooler: Pack 139
Pizza Party: Troop 237

Red Jacket District
Cooler: Pack 1776
Pizza Party: Pack 336

Our Grand Prize winner was Pack 60 from Tatonka who received a $350 Camp Voucher for the Summer 2016 at sunny Camp Scouthaven!

Congratulations to all the winners!!





In 2016 Powder Horn will be occurring as 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.

For more information contact or check out


University of Scouting

The 2016 University of Scouting will take place on Saturday, March 5, at ECC SOUTH in Orchard Park. 

High Adventure is the theme for this year; look for new courses to bring adventure to your unit.  If you have course ideas it’s not too late to get them in contact

Get started on your Degree in Scouting or earn your Bachelor’s Degree for those that participated last year.  /document/uos-gnfc-degrees/
More new enhancements to the 2016 University of Scouting include the unit midway and cracker barrel for fellowship after the event.

For more information contact Jason Crosby - or check out


National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT “White Buffalo”)

Registration is now available for the National Youth Leadership Training on August 14th-20th at Camp Schoellkopf.  The National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is the premier 7 days, 6 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. Training will cover skills essential to leadership within your unit, school, and life activities. 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.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity for your boys as registration is limited to the first 48 participants that sign up.  For more information and to register, please go to> National Youth Leadership Training 2016




The month of October was quite a month for the Training Committee and the Council trainers:

  • Scoutmasters Specifics was given at Camp Stonehaven and had 15 participants trained

  • BALOO, Scoutmasters Specifics and IOLST was given at Camp Schoellkopf and at total of 88 participants were trained

  • Introduction to Leadership Training for Troops (ILT) was give and 52 scouts attended this training and were trained.

Our training totals for the month are:  BALOO (19), Scoutmasters Specifics (32), IOLST (52) and ILT (52)




To all who have recently completed their training


To The following Trainers, for their efforts – Dave Sepulveda, Aaron Swanson, Brandon Blatz, Bob Blatz, Jen Knox, Bob Germony, Dave Wind, Eric Reynolds, Gary House, Will Crosby and Brandon Kornowski. JOB WELL DONE!


THE FOLLOWING TRAININGS CAN BE FOUND ON THE COUNCIL WEBSITE AT or by googling GNFC BSA. All pertinent information and registration forms can be found under the category of TRAINING (as listed to the left column of the home page):

Pack Committee Challenge – 11/23

Troop Committee Challenge – 11/23


Den Leader Specifics – 12/7

Pack Committee Challenge – 12/7

Troop Committee Challenge – 12/7

Cub Masters Specifics – 12/12

BALOO – 12/12

Scoutmasters Specifics – 12/12

IOLST – 12/11-12




This year the Venturing Officers Association is off to a great start. The Venturing Officers Association is a group that connects all Venture Crews in the council and gives them a way to network with other Venture Crews and Ships.

This year the Venturing Officers Association has goals we are looking to set for this scouting year and some activities we are planning. First this month on November 21 the VOA is going to St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy to help pack food for thanksgiving. This is open to anybody in the council so if you want join the VOA email me and I will give you more information. We are also going to Rochester Curling Club to go curling in December.

We are working on recruitment for our program. We are looking at helping start new Venture Crews. We are creating a book that guides new units step by step on how to get started and give them contacts that will guide them. We will support every crew in our council that is a registered Venturing Unit.

National B.S.A. came out with an updated version of Leadership Skills for Crews. This is a training that Venturing youth need to take only once if they want to be an officer in their unit or the VOA. This year I will be teaching the course at University of Scouting. If you know any Venturing youth that don’t have the training please interest them in taking the training.

Finally after University of Scouting, the Venturing Officers Association will be running a Venturing Recruitment Night. The VOA will be planning this soon. If anybody has any ideas and want to jump in and help in planning the Venturing Recruitment Night let me know and we will gladly get you involved.

I want to thank Jim Battaglia for working with the VOA this past year. He answered every question I had and made contacting him super easy. I also want to thank our current Venturing staff advisor Jim Lupfer for taking on Venturing. I was super excited to see a professional show up to our meeting in a Venturing Uniform. Jim is doing a great job working with us so far and he has given me some great ideas.

If anybody is looking to get into Venturing or would like to start a Venture Crew you can contact me at any time I am always willing to help.

Yours in Venturing,

David Chriswell
Council Venturing President

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion, please e-mail: Paulette Voit

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