Involvement and Registration of Parents

The following email was sent to unit leaders and committee chairs in Trailblazer on June 23.


“In the past, at sign up nights, we have not required registration if there role is simply to “help” with events, such as pinewood derby, Blue and Gold, etc.   Increasingly, however, parents are taking roles in units that involve direct contact with youth without registering as a leader and being trained.  This includes regular driving (to most if not every event), active participation in unit meetings, active participation in committee meetings, hosting and moderating social media, etc.  All of these present a legal risk to the unit, should something unfortunate occur.

Parents are always welcome to attend events, meetings, and so forth.  However, once involvement moves beyond simple attend to active participation, they need to register.  This is to protect you, your chartered partner and most of all, your youth.

Please remember, as well, that anyone that registers needs to be youth protection trained at the time of registration.”

Internet Safety Rules revisted

The following email was sent to all Trailblazer unit leaders and committee chairs on June 23.


“Many units in Trailblazer have a variety of social media outlets for their members and friends.  I wanted to take a moment this morning to review BSA’s social media policies and suggestions.

Social media comes under BSA’s youth protection policies.  With this in mind, if youth are members of your page, please make sure that there are no private conversations between a youth and an adult.  Please also make certain that if any adult in your unit needs to contact a youth via electronic media (email, messaging, etc), that another adult is copied on that email.  This ensures that everyone is safe.

For photos, keeping our youth safe is paramount.  Avoid “tagging” youth in photos.  If you do choose to tag, then you must also have a release form signed by the parents.  It is recommended that you do this annually.  A copy of the release form can be found here:

At least two people should have administrator rights to a page, whether it is a web page, facebook, blog, twitter account, etc.  It is recommended that one of these be at the district level.  We do not have, and will likely not have, a district electronic communications chair.  With this in mind, a member of the Key 3 should be invited to be an administrator for a page.  Sarah Young (formerly Arnold), our former DE who is now the council’s web and social media director, is also willing to serve in this capacity.  This ensures that the policies and procedures of the BSA are being upheld (even though an individual creates the page, once any mention of BSA, BSA programs, patches, etc are used, BSA intellectual property rights apply.)

BSA does NOT recommend making pages private.  This is also to ensure compliance with youth protection policies.”

Great Winter Opportunity for Boy Scouts/Venturers!

We have a unit in our district headed to Ok-Pik over Christmas break.  They have space for 2 more boys to attend.  Cost will be $600 for the 6 day trip, and includes an afternoon of skiing at Mt. Kato on the 26th.  The group will leave Council Bluffs early in the morning of Dec 26 and return LATE on January 1, 2015.

The unit has asked that boys who attend have extensive camping experience, including at least two years of summer camp/high adventure experience.

If you have boys who may be interested, contact Jason Cruse, district director.

Merit Badge Counselors Needed!

We are gearing up for the SW Iowa Merit Badge College on October 25.  Registration will be available soon.  Right now, we have 31 merit badges lined up; we are looking for a few merit badge counselors.

–citizenship in the nation (morning session only)
–citizenship in the world

We’ve already added new merit badges for this year:  Digital Technology, Energy, Journalism, Mining in Society, Moviemaking, Sustainability, and Theater.  Other suggestions are welcome!  Contact Jason if you are interested/able to teach or if you know someone who might be:



Help us beat WAGON WHEEL!

It’s on folks!  Wagon Wheel and Trailblazer are about the same distance away from meeting our fundraising goals for the year:  around $20,000.  WE CAN’T LET THEM BEAT US!

Here’s how you can help:

–participate in call nights

–talk to your place of business about donating to support one scout (OR MORE!)  NOTE:  If you work outside of Trailblazer District, talk to Jason or Chris before asking about a donation.

–suggest (and help contact) a business that might be interested in sponsoring a class at either the Merit Badge College ($500 per class) or Cub College ($250 per class)


We are very close to reaching our goal!  Let’s beat Wagon Wheel and be one of the ONLY districts to reach our goal on time!