Message from the Scout Executive
Day Camp 2013
Friends of Scouting
Order of the Arrow
Scout Shop Updates
GNFC eNews - December 17, 2012

GNFC eNews - 

December 18, 2012
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:

 If you would like more information, email us.

 Message from the Scout Executive

The coming New Year is a time for us to take stock and assess our achievements.  The Journey to Excellence program gives us both a roadmap by which we can achieve success in our unit and it gives us a measure of our success along that path with bronze, silver or gold.  As a council we assess our progress along the Journey and set our goals for 2013 to help us improve and achieve more.  We achieved Gold Status in 2011 and have been on track to do so in 2012. 

The items that are measured are those that have been shown to increase the number of Scouts that choose to stay active in the program.  These can change from year to year based on how studies are showing what factors have the biggest impact on retaining youth members.  In essence it boils down to what makes an interesting high quality program for our Scouts.

Now is the time to look at your Pack, Troop, Crew or Ship and see what you can do to improve your Journey to Excellence score.  The program presents an increasing challenge each year because the standards are based on what the top performing units are doing across the country.  As we strengthen our home troop, pack or crew we increase the challenge for the future.  The top quarter in each area measured becomes the gold standard for the next year.

The holiday season is a great time for all of us in Scouting to appreciate the many blessings we have.  It is a time to celebrate our families and our faith.  We in the Greater Niagara Frontier Council have been blessed with great leadership in our Packs, Troops, Crews, and Posts, and on our Executive Board and District Committees.

I wish each of you a joyous holiday season and a happy New Year!


Entering your Service Hours!  Don't let your scouts hard work go unnoticed - be sure to log your scouts service time on the Journey to Excellence web site  Any adult leader can register to log hours.  For the 11-digit unit ID needed to register contact Entering your units service hours is necessary for earning the Journey to Excellence award.

NESA Eagle Scout Scholarship

Applications for the 2013 NESA Eagle Scout Scholarships are now available at and feature a link that leads directly to the form.  Please spread the work to Eagle Scouts in your troop.  All applicants are required to be Eagle Scouts and NESA members.  All scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than midnight on December 31, 2012.

If you have any questions, please call the NESA office at 972-580-2032.

HOLD OFF on starting another fundraiser! The newest way to earn your way to camp is here! "

Scouts can now earn their way to summer camp 2013 by participating in the GNFC Camp Cards Sale this Spring. Formal details will be announced soon, including dates and ordering instructions.  Units will receive a 40% commission on all Camp Cards that their Scouts are able to sell; which is a better commission than popcorn and of course units/Scouts are allowed to use their proceeds for any of their Scouting needs.

The Camp Card is a discount card that customers are able to use at local retailers and receive great discounts. Scouts sell each card for only $5 and each unit will receive $2 back for every card sold; a great fundraiser for both customers and Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Cub Scouts alike.  

All Scouting units of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council can participate and unit leadership will be notified in early January about how to sign up and place an order for cards. The best part of the sale is that you simply return the cards you don’t sell at no cost and no risk. Plus, several hundred cards can fit in the palm of your hand and are easily transported.

We are excited to bring you this new opportunity and can’t wait to get started. Look for more information soon.

PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest

Participation open to all children grades K-3.  Local and national prizes will be awarded. Entries accepted December 1, 2012 thru March 25, 2013. For rules & entry form, see: or contact Beth Critoph at 845-7000 x373. 

Klondike in the Tropics - relax at the Polaris District Klondike Derby at sunny Camp Stonehaven.  Some great new activities include dog sleds, snow shoeing, and snow snake; as well as classic beach games like volleyball.  Look for more information to come on the volcano building contest.  January 18-20, 2013.  Be there or be cold! Click here to register> Klondike Derby 

Spring Camporee May 17th - 19th

GOT GAME? SPORTS is the theme for the Spring 2013 Camporee will be at Reservoir State Park in Lewiston. Reservoir Park has undergone massive improvements and has many new facilities. At the camporee we'll have many popular, well known games; but we also know there are many games that troops have made up on their own and we want you to bring those. If you have a game or activity that your Troop always looks forward to we want you to bring it to this camporee. Please let us know at

Reservations for the 2013 Birchbark Season are now being accepted!

Birchbark Expeditions BSA, the Nationally Accredited program hosted by the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, operates one and two-week long high adventure canoe expeditions in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park and nearby waters.  One of the best values in a turn-key high adventure program, a fully-guided Birchbark Expedition teaches the back country camping skills and canoeing techniques needed to explore the interior waters of Upper Canada.  With a custom itinerary that fits the needs of any crew, your Birchbark Expedition will surely be a memorable experience.

Secure your unit reservation for the 2013 season with a $400 deposit using the Birchbark Expedition 2013 Application.  To learn more, visit the Birchbark Expeditions information page or use the Information Request Page to request an informative and hands-on presentation for your next troop/crew meeting.

High Adventure,
     the call of the Loon,
          the still water of Algonquin
               awaits your Boy Scout Troop or Venture Crew

We expect the available crew slots for 2013 to fill rather quickly, so don’t delay!

Philmont Twenty-14  “An Adventure to Remember”        July 19, 2014 - August 1st, 2014

Come to our Family Information Night at the Council Service Center, 2860 Genesee St., Buffalo, NY  14225 on Thursday, January 24, 2013.  Reservation forms are available at or at the Scout Service Center.  For more information contact A.J. “Army” Leonetti at or 891- 4073  (716) 480-5567.

Our trip includes:

  • Round trip airfare from Buffalo to Colorado Springs
  • A luxury coach to and from Philmont
  • Two week camping experience of a lifetime
  • Dinner at the Flying "W" Ranch (if it reopens after the fire)
  • All meals and transfers

Tours include (there could be some variations)

  • Air Force Academy Chapel
  • A night as a guest of Troop 237 and the Koshaire Dancers    
  • Kit Carson's home in Rayado
  • A tour of the Old Grist Mill
  • A huge banana split after a long hike
  • and much, much more!   

2013 Jamboree

Last chance to register for the 2013 Jamboree.  Be one of the first to experience BSA newest high adventure base - the Summit Bechtel Reserve - at the 2013 Jamboree.  Experience zip lining, canopy tours, scuba, mountain biking, shooting sports, patch trading, stadium shows, whitewater rafting and more.  Don't wait, register now -



Upcoming Camping Activities



The three part camp patch is now available at each camp for $6.00 per piece.  Trading Posts are open Saturday afternoons.


Help send a Scout to summer camp.  The Campership CSP is available for $50.00 with all proceeds going directly into the Campership Fund.  The CSP may be purchased at Camp or at the Council Service Center.


It’s never too late to sign up for Summer Camp.  Contact Sue in the Camping Department at 891-4073 ex. 5209 or go online to submit your reservation.

Need some help promoting Summer Camp to your unit?  Our promotion team can help.  Please contact the Sue in the Camping Dept.


Are you looking for some fun and new adventures in the summer?  Come join the Camp Staff.  Interviews will be held January 5, 2013, 8:30am to 4:00pm for Camp Schoellkopf and Camp Scouthaven.  Call Sue Gruber at 891-4073 ext 5209 to set up an appointment.

 Day Camp 2013

2013 Cub Scout Day Camp "A Jungle Safari"

Come with us as we go on safari to visit a new region of Africa every day. One day we will be in the Savannah with its unusual scenery and animals that live there. Another day we will visit Egypt and its rich history and so many other places. It will be great fun so come along and join our Jungle Safari!

Day Camp will consist of four weeks at four different locations. Week 1 – Lake Erie Social Club, Week 2 – Council Service Center, Week 3 – St. Martin dePorres, and Week 4 – Camp Stonehaven.

For more information visit our website or call Army Leonetti at 891-4073.

 Friends of Scouting

“Friends of Scouting Grow Character and Impact Youth”

Let us tell you a little bit about your Scout’s development and why you should schedule your Pack or Troop Friends of Scouting Presentation today.

Ever since our children were born we’ve measured their personal growth. It may have been their physical growth, by recording their weight or placing them against the door jam to measure their height with little lines over time.  As proud parents you probably keep school report cards to measure their intellectual abilities and growth.  

But what tools do we have to measure their character development?

One way to observe your son’s progress is through Scouting. By participating in Scouting and living the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and abiding by the Scout Motto or Promise we can track his growth in advancement through ranks, merit badges, activity pins, leadership, service to others, and being a part of a team.  Your Scouts advancement trail should make you a proud parent not only because of his growth from year to year, but because of the dividends your investment in Scouting will pay many years from now when your Scout’s moral compass helps him make good decisions over his lifetime.  

A quality program like this just doesn’t just happen.  The Scouting program is a result of the dedication of Scout leaders and parents just like you.  Support also comes from others within the local Scout Council.

The Greater Niagara Frontier Council provides many benefits to the local Scout units.  It helps make your unit a success and provides many resources to support leaders, Charter Organization partners, and our families.  The Council maintains a Scouting Service Center, outstanding camps at Schoellkopf, Scouthaven, and Stonehaven for summer time and year round camping opportunities, camp staff, program aides in the cities, professional and support staff, volunteer development, program resources and no cost basic leader training, and hosts activities throughout the year for Scouts to enjoy.

But the true cost of Scouting is greater than the small registration fee, greater than the dues that your unit may require and even greater than the fee charged for a week at camp which is all kept low so that all youth can experience the fun and excitement of the Scouting program.  

Family Friends of Scouting (FOS) support ensures that quality Scouting can happen.  Every family should be given the opportunity to experience an FOS presentation, learn more about the ways in which donations benefit the program their child enjoys, and consider making a gift dependent on their giving ability.  

The Greater Niagara Frontier Council is now scheduling Friends of Scouting presentations for your unit family night, Blue and Gold Dinner, Troop Court of Honor, unit picnic, recognition night, get together or parent night to take place between January 2013 and May 2013. The Districts are also looking for unit volunteers to help as a coordinator to communicate with families about FOS. We look forward to seeing you at the presentation.

Please contact your District Director and get your FOS date selected today. 

Onondaga District:         Patrick Covell         716-512-6213       

Polaris District:              Stuart Schnettler    716-512-6215       

Red Jacket District:        Greg Voyzey          716-512-6208        

Buffalo District:               Stephen Blass        716-512-6209     



Has your unit completed its charter for 2013?

Once you have combed through your roster and removed your non-attendees, are you happy with the size of your unit?

Are you happy with the number of new Tiger Cubs your Pack has?

Is your Troop expected to cross over Webelos this spring?  

If your answer is “No” to these questions, then what is your plan to improve your unit’s membership in 2013?

What school do you plan on drawing your future First Graders (if you are a Pack) and your soon to be Sixth Graders (if you are a Troop) from?

One program that National BSA has rolled out to the local Councils is the Adopt-A-School program, which is a program designed “to build strong, sustaining relationships with these schools…creating thousands of lasting community partnerships across the United States through committed volunteer efforts – from landscaping and cleanup outside the school building to Scouts’ active participation in school events throughout the year – the Boy Scouts of America will become a defined presence in improving our Nation’s schools.”   This is something that every unit should look into and see if it fits into their program.  The link has been provided.

This is a program that could benefit your unit to help develop its year-round recruitment efforts.

If you ever have any questions, please contact your friendly, neighborhood, unit commissioner or District Executive.

 Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow needs your help!

The OA is getting very close to positive growth.  We are asking for everyone that has not paid their 2012 dues to please pay them.  You can either pay them at:

 2012 Ho-De-No-Sau-Nee Lodge OA Dues Registration or stop by the Council office. 

The Vigil Breakfast will be happening on Saturday, December 29th at 8:30 am and will be held at St. Patrick’s on 1395 George Urban Blvd.    Cost for this event is $10.00.

The Falling Waters Chapter (Polaris District) and the Lodge have made much progress with the Lean-to project.   We are looking for help, especially with people who are skilled in carpentry.  Please contact Ranger Jerry at 731-5959 or 353-5813 if you are able to help out. 

 Scout Shop Updates

December 2012

Wishing Everyone a Happy Holiday and a Healthy New Year

First and most importantly, there is a change that affects Tax Exempt Purchases at the Scout Shop.  In compliance with the New York State Tax Laws and EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY in order for a unit purchase to be considered tax exempt it must be paid for with Cash, a Unit Check, a Unit Debit Card, or Unit Gift Card.  We can no longer accept Personal Credit Cards or Personal Checks for Tax Exempt Purchases.  If anyone has any questions please see Brandon Rueger for more details.

The Scout Shop will be closed for business on December 24-25 in observance of the Christmas Holiday.  We will open again on the 26th normal store hours. 

Beginning December 15th, many items are going to be permanently marked down as part of our December Clearance Event.  This is a great opportunity to grab some last minute holiday gifts. 

Some items included are:


  • Our Denim Jeans
  • TrekTek Jackets
  • BSA Brand Tents
  • A Variety of Jamboree Gear
  • Board Shorts, T-Shirts, Baseball Hats
  • Holiday Ornaments, Cards, and Bags

Now through December 31st all Thorlo Socks are 25% off.  These socks are made in the USA and are Official BSA Uniform.  They are thick cushioned for all types of terrain and comfort.  In addition, they are constructed with Thor-Lon® for resilience, durability, and better wicking.

For all Cub Scout Packs- ‘Tis the Season for Pinewood Derby.  We are fully stocked with cars, weights, decals, tools, ribbons, and patches.  So no need to fret, just give us a shout with what you need and we will take care of the rest. 

If you have not already, please check out the updated Scout Shop web page on the Greater Niagara Frontier Website.  The page now includes our upcoming promotions with dates and details as well as our phone number, fax, and hours.  Check it regularly to keep updated with everything going on in the shop including newly mentioned promotions.  You can get to it by clicking on the following link:

Brandon Rueger
Store Manager
Niagara Frontier Scout Shop