Community Activities in Crossroads of America Council
Community Partner Activities
Crossroads of America Council partners with several community organizations throughout the year to offer Scout units and families discounted and/or “behind the scenes” experiences at attractions and events.
Most of these events are NOT official BSA or Council events, therefore BSA staff are not required to be present. The Community Partner is responsible for all event communication to participants and the activities. Many of these events are also open to the public.
Families are welcome to attend events without their Scouting unit.
Current Partner Activities
Ticket order deadlines vary by event and registration information will be made available closer to each event date. Please contact Crossroads of America Council by email or by phone at (317) 813-7125 for more information.
Merit Badge and Advancement Activities
Throughout the year, Crossroads of America Council will host several merit badge and rank advancement opportunities for youth in Scouts BSA and Cub Scouts. Many of these are offered in conjunction with Community Partners such as the Indiana State Museum and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, to name a couple. Check back often as new activities will be added frequently.
Online Merit Badge Classes
Various Dates and Times
Join the merit badge instructors at Camp Belzer to complete merit badges through online classes. These classes are open to any Scout involved in a Scouts BSA program and is limited to 20 participants. More classes will be schedule and released each week.
To learn more, click here.
Merit Badge Sundays at Fort Harrison State Park
Various Dates / 1:00pm 2021 monthly class schedule
Register by emailing Dylan Allison
Join Dylan Allison, the interpretive naturalist at Fort Harrison State Park, for merit badge classes every month.
Advance registration is required. The cost is $10/Scout, payable at the park entrance. The fee does include the park entrance, however, if you have an annual park pass $7 is NOT subtracted.
*Please note, Scouts cannot be dropped off and left unattended with park staff. Parents/guardians must remain with their Scouts at all times throughout the duration of the program.
Address: 6000 N Post Road, Indianapolis, IN 46216
Classes are held at the Visitor Center
Update: All classes will follow guidelines related to social distancing, sharing items, etc. The instructor will now run classes as outdoor programs or, in the case of inclement weather, at a picnic shelter where spacing is easily maintained. If a certain requirement cannot be completed outdoors, the instructor will convey this to participants as they register.
Donate Life Indiana
We have partnered with Donate Life Indiana on an initiative to learn about and promote organ, eye, and tissue donation. This partnership comes at a perfect time as April is National Donate Life Month!
Scouts must complete a three step process to complete the requirements for the Donate Life Indiana Awareness Patch—watch a couple educational videos, complete a project, and have an educational discussion about what you have learned.
This initiative is open to all Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturers, and Explorers in Indiana. Scouts/Families can download the requirement form to find out how your Scout can earn the brand new, “Donation Awareness” patch and, more importantly, learn how to SAVE A LIFE.
Scouts are encouraged to complete these requirements during the month of April, but completion outside of the month of April is acceptable.
Should you have questions regarding Donate Life Indiana, please email Andi Amburgey Atherine, External Education Specialist.
Helping others is one of the fundamental values of Scouting and allows Scouts to see the value to contributing to their community. Scouts and units are encouraged to participate in community service activities regularly including those offered by the council, district or unit.
UPDATE – JTE Service Hour entry now has to be recorded via the Internet Advancement platform, using my.Scouting username and password for access. Information on the new site is available at help.scoutbook.com.
HOW TO: Record Service Hours (BSA) Video
Council Sponsored Community Service Events
The Council sponsors a variety of community service activities throughout the year by partnering with local organizations. All units are encouraged to participate in these events. In addition to performing a good deed, hours served count towards your unit service hours and can be entered using our buttons.
Good Turn for Nature – Council Fall Service Initiative
2021 dates and details coming soon!
Good Turn for Nature (GTN) aims to engage Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA and Venturers directly in acts of conservation. Scouts participate in outdoor activities at multiple sites across central Indiana, learning about the importance of caring for nature while having fun and giving back to their communities.
The GTN team will match units with host organizations, and together they will plan the logistics of the project.
GTN Partners: The Nature Conservancy, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Cope Environmental Center, and Bicentennial Nature Center Network members.
Community service serves as one of the pillars of the Scouting experience. As the world changes, the need for community service still exists and the need grows every day. Through the Boy Scouts of America and Adopt-a-School program, we can help alleviate this need through Scouting units partnering with their local schools throughout Indiana! Adopt-a-School projects proactively build relationships with your Scouting program and your local school.
Scouting For Food
Scouting for Food is a national Boy Scouts of America community stewardship project aimed at addressing the problem of hunger in local communities.
During this time, Scouts will be delivering bags/stickers and then picking up the bags of food at a later date. Once food is collected, units are to take it directly to their food pantry of choice.
Please talk to your District Scouting For Food Chair or your District Executive to find out the dates your unit will be participating in Scouting for Food.
To make a commitment in joining our mission, please click here for the online form.
Participation in Scouting for Food counts toward service hours.
Local Community Service Organizations
There are a number of great civic organizations in Indiana that could use the help of some great Scouts who are looking for service hours and projects. Please check out the organizations below to see if there is one that you would like to support.
Pack Away Hunger
Pack Away Hunger is a non-profit organization dedicated to greatly improving the lives of children and others who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. The lack of proper nutrition creates serious health and developmental consequences for individuals and has far reaching implications for communities. In the United States, 15.8 million children do not have regular access to healthy meals. In developing countries, one out of six children – roughly 100 million – is underweight, the result of acute or chronic malnutrition.
If you would like to sponsor an event, please visit their website.
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc.
Gleaners was founded in 1980 and is part of the Feeding America network of food banks. Since it’s inception, Gleaners has distributed over 360 million pounds of food and critical grocery products to nearly 600 hunger relief agencies and partners serving Hoosiers in need. In addition to food distribution to agencies, Gleaners serves most vulnerable populations, seniors and children, through specialty programs such as the BackSacks; Weekend Food for Kids, School-Based Pantry, Mobile Pantry, Summer Meals for Kids, and Senior Hunger Initiative Programs.
SAWs – Servants At Work, Inc.
Building Freedom One Ramp at a Time
SAWs®, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that builds wheelchair ramps to provide persons with disabilities and conditions of aging with the freedom to remain in their homes and reconnect with their communities. SAWs also provides meaningful experiences for volunteers that can be life changing for them as well as for the ramp recipient and their caregivers. Overcoming their activity impediments allows people to “age in place” and remain in their homes.
SAWs is a faith-based, ecumenical ministry that welcomes all who want to share in our mission. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and every vocation imaginable. Men and women work to provide freedom to anyone who would otherwise be trapped by everyday obstacles and financial circumstances. Building a SAWs® ramp begins well before a single board is cut. There are many ways to volunteer, some of which can be done from the comfort of your home. Help is needed for activities such as administration, client interviews, site surveys, grant writing and fundraising.
If you would like to get involved or if you just like to build stuff, register and they will surely contact you. If your group or organization would like to sponsor a service project both financially as well as with volunteers, please contact them at gro.spmarswas@ofni or (317) 844-7664. We will help you arrange an event.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.
Each year, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful supports an average of 500 community improvement projects with more than 30,000 volunteers. For the past three decades, we’ve partnered with neighborhoods, the public sector, and Indianapolis community groups and businesses to achieve our vision for a beautiful city.
If your Scouts are interested in getting involved, please check out some of their programs through their website.
Hoosier Hikers Council
Since 1995, the Hoosier Hikers Council has been building, repairing, and maintaining hiking and running trails in the state of Indiana. They provide maps and information for hikers, backpackers, and runners to assist in the use and enjoyment of Indiana trails. The work of their organization is sustained by supporters and volunteers who are motivated by the opportunity to give back to the trails they love to hike or run.
Please visit their website if your Scouts would like to commit some service hours to trail work and improving the hiking trails around Indiana.
NeighborLink Indianapolis is a private nonprofit organization that provides free home repairs and related services to low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities within Marion county, Indiana. They have one mission- to allow seniors in need to stay in their own homes safely and with dignity.
Please visit their website if your Scouts would like to help through their time or talent.
Themed Weeks at Camp Belzer
Camp Belzer is excited to announce this new program being offered at Camp Belzer!
The theme weeks will be an opportunity for a child to learn and have fun in a very specific topic of his or her choice, whether a registered Scout or not. The themes change each week offering the opportunity to come again and again if the child so chooses.
Activities, Events & Programs
2ND THROUGH 4TH GRADES – All are invited to attend these educational and fun weeks. Activities and lessons will vary from week to week based on the theme. Each week will focus on getting out of the classroom and learning by doing. For Cub Scouts, if possible, we recommend still attending the camp of his or her rank to complete adventures. Theme weeks will be fun and educational but will not focus on Cub Scout Adventures.
5TH THROUGH 8TH GRADES – All are invited to attend these educational and fun weeks. Activities and lessons will vary from week to week based on the theme. The themes will be the same as the 2nd through 4th grades but will not be the same program. The activities and program have been specially designed to be fun and interesting to this age group. Scouts will be able to earn merit badges. While members of the community who are not Scouts will not be able to earn merit badges, they will be challenged to grow through the BSA Merit Badge Program.
|WILDERNESS WEEK||June 8-12, 2020|
|STEM WEEK||June 15-19, 2020|
|FUR, FEATHERS, AND FERNS WEEK||June 22-26, 2020|
|AQUATICS WEEK||July 6-10, 2020|
|SHOOTING SPORTS WEEK||July 13-17, 2020|
Forms & Resources
The Crossroads of America Council offers a camp scholarship program where partial camp fees are awarded to youth who wish to go to camp but are unable to pay the full cost. Camperships can be awarded for up to 50% of the early program fee.