Community Activities | Crossroads of America Council, BSA

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.

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.

Indy Eleven
Scout Night with Indy Eleven vs. Louisville City
at Lucas Oil Stadium
Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 7:00pm

Come out and support the Indy Eleven for their regular season home opener.  All Scouts in attendance will have an opportunity to come down to the field post-game for a penalty kick.  Scouts also receive a special patch.

Ticket prices start at $15.  Scouts, family, and friends are able to take advantage of this offer.  To order your tickets, please click here.

This deal is only available online via this link.

For questions, please contact the Indy Eleven ticket office at
317-685-1100 or tickets@indyeleven.com.

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 Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, to name a couple. Check back often as new activities will be added frequently.

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Workshop at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Various Dates / 10:30am – 12:30pm
The April and May classes have been canceled.

What does it mean to be a Citizen? Did you know that President Benjamin Harrison is the reason you recite the Pledge of Allegiance and your school flies the US flag?

Join us to learn and find out the answers at the home of Indiana’s only US president. The registration deadline is at the end of the day the Thursday before the event.

Cost is $20 per Scout.  To register, click here.  To print flyer, click here.

Address: 1230 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Merit Badge Sundays at Fort Harrison State Park
Various Dates / 1:00pm
The following classes are full: March 15 – Nature 
April 5 – Plant Science, May 10 – Environmental Science

2020 monthly class schedule

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.

Register by emailing Dylan Allison

*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

Community Service

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 the button to the left.

Indy 500 Festival
500 Festival Parade

The 500 Festival Parade has officially been re-scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020 and they need our help!

Volunteer to set up and tear down chairs along the parade route and enjoy a front row seat among the 300,000 spectators, receive a special 500 Festival Parade patch.

If your unit is interested, contact Crossroads of America Council by email or phone at (317) 813-7125.

BSA Adopt-a-School
Adopt-a-School Program

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 – Postponed
March 21 – April 25, 2020

Scouting for Food is a national Boy Scouts of America community stewardship project aimed at addressing the problem of hunger in local communities. The CAC is partnering with Kroger for this annual spring food collection program with all proceeds staying in Central Indiana.  

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.  At the end of the campaign, Kroger will have 4 locations where your unit can make a final food drop to donate the food.  Stay tuned for Kroger locations and more specifics. 

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.

Children of Indiana Nature Park
Good Turn for Nature – Council Fall Service Initiative
September 26 to October 25, 2020

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. Make a commitment today and sign your unit up.

Participating Scouts receive a Nature IN-Deed to their personal place in the Children of Indiana Nature Park. By becoming young landowners, Scouts are empowered to care for their land.

Online Commitment Form – due June 30, 2020

Host organizations include: COPE, Fishers Park & Rec, Fort Harrison State Park, Greenfield Parks & Rec, Lieber State Rec Area, McCormick’s Creek State Park, Raccoon Lake State Rec Area, Shades State Park, Shakamak State Park, Summit Lake State Park, Turkey Run State Park, Whitewater Memorial State Park

Partners include: The Nature Conservancy, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Cope Environmental Center, and Bicentennial Nature Center Network members.

Camp Kikthawenund shoulder patch
Looking for a Service Project?

Camp Kikthawenund has several projects year-round. Check out the list of projects and the time of year they are available. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Todd VanHoover by email or (765) 552-7400.

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

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 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.

To help with Gleaners Food & Fund drive click here for their toolkit, and for a list of the most needed items click here.

The White River Alliance
The White River Alliance

In 2010, the White River Alliance teamed up with a few key watershed partners to implement the Clear Choices Clean Water campaign, a unique strategy to increase awareness and knowledge about residential yard choices and their impacts on water quality in our watersheds. Water quality friendly lawn care includes practices such as using phosphorus-free fertilizer, landscaping with native plants, managing yard and pet wastes, and properly maintaining septic systems. The focus began in Indiana but is spreading across the country.

To learn how to become involved, please visit the Clear Choices Clean Water website.

Servants at Work, Inc.
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 info@sawsramps.org, or (317) 844-7664. We will help you arrange an event.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.
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
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.

If your Scouts would like to commit some service hours to trail work and improving the hiking trails around Indiana, please visit their website.

NeighborLink Indianapolis
NeighborLink Indianapolis

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.

If your Scouts would like to help through their time or talent, please visit their website.

Themed Weeks at Camp Belzer

Summer Camp is one of the most exciting opportunities people look forward to each year. After reviewing our operations, we have determined for the health and safety of our participants, parents, staff and the extended community, we will not hold camp in person for the summer of 2020. We know camping is an iconic experience, but the health and safety of everyone is our top priority.

Alternative Activities

Adventure Boxes

We are excited to announce the launch of our Cub Scout Adventure Boxes. Each rank-specific box is filled with nearly everything you need to complete five elective Cub Scout Adventures at home and kick start your Cub Scouts advancement to the next rank this summer. Each box also comes with activity-specific written and video instructions so you can easily participate with your child.

Each Adventure Box is designed for one child and will ship after June 1, 2020.

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.

Theme Dates
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

Scholarships

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.

Are you or your company interested in being featured on this page?