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Ken Dutcher New Interim Chair of Three Rivers District
Ken Dutcher agreed to take on the interim chairmanship of the Three River District during last month's December committee meeting. He will hold the position until a new chair will be officially elected during the upcoming February District Annual Meeting.
Ken takes the place of outgoing chair Pat Stamato, who resigned when new job responsibilities prevented him from filling the requirements that the position calls for. District Director Steve Leonardi introduced Ken to the district members after telling about conversations with Pat, with Council President Joe Healy, and with the TRD Nominating Committee, who all approved of the choice. Steve said, "We all know Ken and his dedication to Scouting. His administrative skills are top notch." Steve cautioned that Ken's interim chairmanship is "Not intended to be a walk-in to become the district Chairperson in 2015."
Ken recognized that he will hold the position for just 2 months, but he insisted that he will try to put that limited time to good use. He recalled the very first meetings of the newly constituted "Eastern District," the excitement of something new and good starting, and, most of all, how those first meetings were "packed." He asked, "What happened to all those happy campers? Without looking backwards, what can I do to try to pull that back?" He characterized district meetings as, "We talk about things, but I'm not sure what actually gets done."
Ken listed some things that the district does well, such as program, training, and Boy Scout advancement (maybe not so well with Cub advancement). However he also noted some "challenges," such as a recent Scoutmaster training in Secaucus where only one Scouter out of the 22 attendees was local to Secaucus. Ken pointed out that Mark Wrightington had also been disappointed with local turnout from some events he ran in Hudson County. He said, "We've got to figure that out, but I'm not going to give up."
Ken also told about the Scoutmaster training he received, and how it was done without regard to the sponsoring district, saying, "Who cared about which district it was? It kept me in the program as an adult." Ken said he has contact with Scouters in other councils with ideas about "what's right." He said, "I don't care about what's right, I care about what works." He therefore intends to speak with lots of Scouters to ask about what they do in order to find out what works.
Ken concluded, "I like to have fun, so this won't be a 'job.' But we should have two or three times the number of people here, even if they're not here physically. We need more of you."
All TRD Units Must Recharter by Jan 15
Reminder: Each unit must submit its recharter papers by January 15, 2015 in order to be an on-time unit. The grace period of past years has been greatly reduced, so there is now a greater chance of a tardy unit being dropped from the database.
The downside of being dropped is that a unit may no longer purchase advancement badges from the Scout Shop, and that its members are no longer covered by Scout secondary insurance.
The steps to recharter are:
1. Log on to the Scout internet rechartering site at
2. Specify "First Time User", that is, "First time in 2015" and type in the 2015 unit ID code that was provided to you by the Council. Also make up a password to use when you return to the site later as a "Returning User."
3. Within the website, the steps to take are straightforward. Drop off any adults or youth as appropriate, and correct any spelling errors and provide address changes. A nice feature for Scout troops is the ability to "promote" a Webelos Cub into the troop, or to promote an 18-year old into an Assistant Scoutmaster.
4. You are allowed to add a new youth or adult to your roster, but you must also attach a corresponding paper Youth or Adult Application form along with the other paperwork, otherwise the new entry won't take. For adults, also attach a copy of their Youth Protection certification.
5. Verify the payment section. Ensure that Boys' Life subscriptions are accurate, and ensure that non-paying people are not charged. These include the Executive Officer head of the chartered organization (priest, rabbi, president, etc.), Tiger parents, "Scout parents," and dual-registered people whose fees were covered by some other set of recharter papers.
6. Click on "Submit" and print the resulting finalized roster.
7. The final printed roster will also contain a computed rechartering fee. IGNORE THIS NUMBER and recalculate it yourself using the worksheet that NNJC provides. The problem is our New Jersey "insurance surcharge." Instead of the on-line figure of $24 per person, the correct amount is $29 per person, plus an extra $40 for the unit. Then add on Boys' Life subscriptions at $12 each for the year.
8. Two people must sign the final printed roster before it's turned in: The Unit Leader and the Executive Officer.
9. It's OK to mail in the paperwork and payment, but it's a better idea to sit down first with a District Exec or one of his representatives and have him double-check the roster and the fee calculation.
District Membership Numbers Up (Yes, Up) in 2014
At last! We had 25 more youth registered with TRD units in 2014 versus this time last year! District Director Steve Leonardi explained why this modest increase was so important by recalling that TRD had suffered several years of declining membership, whereas 2014 showed that the trend can be reversed.
Steve added that the increase of 25 might end up as high as 45 depending on when we stop counting. That is, instead of choosing December 31 as the cutoff date, the Council decided to use January 9. Steve said that a newly-chartered unit in Union City plus some tardy application forms could add an estimated 20 more youth to the 2014 total.
Steve pointed out that the 2014 count was even more impressive when you consider that the year started with a net loss of 11 units and some 400 youth, all of which had to be made up somehow. He said, "We were able to dig out from this huge deficit," and pointed out that 9 new units had been chartered, saying, "We need to have units in order to have someplace where kids can join."
The above numbers reflect what are called "traditional units," that is, troops, packs, and Venture crews. The Council also runs a "Learning for Life" (LFL) program that has its own set of numbers. Steve said that Explorer posts seem to swap year-to-year between "traditional" and "LFL." In 2014, our seven Explorer posts wound up in the LFL statistics. Had they been part of the "traditional" count., our 2014 numbers would still look good but just a tad less so, with four fewer youth and one less unit.
Three Rivers District Calendar for January 2015
01/08/15 - Three Rivers District Committee Meeting
01/13/15 - Three Rivers District Roundtable
01/15/15 - TRD Assistant Commissioners Meeting
01/15/15 - Recharter papers due - ALL TRD UNITS
01/17/15 - TRD Tiger Tumble
01/24/15 - TRD Klondike Derby
01/31/15 - Merit Badge Counselor training
02/03/15 - BALOO training for new Cub leaders
(Was Jan 26)
01/04/15 - OA Lodge Banquet
01/10/15 - Wood Badge Dining Out
01/15/15 - Eagle Recognition Dinner
01/24/15 - NNJC Ski Day at Campgaw Mountain
01/30/15 - Silver Beaver Nominations Due
District Tiger Tumble (Jan 17)
Don't miss out on the 11th Annual Three Rivers District Tiger Tumble
A fun day for new Tigers!
January 17, 2015
Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School
$8.00 ($10.00 at the door)
(Just register and pay for your Tiger, adults come for free)
Click here to register your Tiger
Click here for a flyer:
• Calf Roping / Ring Toss
• Donut Eating
• Fishing Derby
• Marble Painting
• Raingutter Regatta
• Rubber Band Guns / Cork Guns
• Scooter Races
• Stomp Rockets
• Paper Plate Gliders – New this year !!!
Contact: Mark Wrightington 201-334-2714
We end the event with a small campfire. This link is to a short clip that was shown on NY1 about the 2009 Tiger Tumble: http://www.ny1.com/content/112172/new-tiger-cub-scouts-frolic-in-bergen-county
Three Rivers Klondike Derby (Jan 24)
2014 Three Rivers Klondike Derby
Saturday January 24, 2015
Campgaw Mountain County Reservation in Mahwah
Click here for the leader's packet:
The packet gives instructions on how the event will work and what each patrol should bring.
Click here for the "Roster Card" that each patrol should fill out in advance:
The $10 per person fee includes hot cocoa, hot soup, and a patch.
Scouts and Webelos should bring a Klondike-style sled to transport their gear from station to station. This year's stations will be:
2. Shelter Building
3. Fire Building
4. First Aid
5. Team Building
6. Knots and lashings
The Shelter Building station will be run by the "Camporees from Hell" crew that specializes in staging unusual (some would say zany) competitions.
Unit requirement: ONE VOLUNTEER LEADER TO ASSIST AT THE KLONDIKE!!!!!!!
Contact: Allen Sterk ApSterk@verizon.net
Friends of Turrell Beer Festival and Pig Roast (Feb 5)
Click here for a flyer:
Dear Friends of Camp Turrell,
We are coming up to our next event in less than one month. Please spread the word around to other Scouters and your friends. This promises to be a fun event. I promise no speeches, only good food and great beer.
High Point Brewery
22 Park Place
Butler, NJ 07405
$65 per person
You need to commit soon. We need to know in advance if you are attending, no walk ups because of food and location. Also you must be 21 to attend.
To attend, you have two choices:
1. Easiest...You can e-mail me back with how many tickets you need and pay at the door. (If you say you're coming, we will count on you being there and it will cost us if you don't attend). The good news is that you will be able to pay at the door, so long as you tell me in advance. Also, we can take cash, check or credit card.
2. Send check in advance.
If you have never been there, this brewery is great and very customer friendly. We will be tasting around 6 different beers. These beers are not for snobs but very German style. The brewery follows strict German purity standards. (You won't drink Coors after this) The food and beer will be great and I'm sure your non-scouting friends will love this event. (Bring your customers and clients!) The place can hold up to 250 people. The only warning is that it is a working brewery so dress for around 50 degrees (sweater or fleece). As to food, it will be German fare with a pig roast added. So we will have the German sausages, potatoes and red cabbage, etc. I don't know which dessert yet.
Hope to see you there.
P.S., we are a little over a third the way to our zip line goal and have started the engineering work. Please help us get there.
Big Changes to the Cub Program Coming in September (1)
Tune in to a Webinar that will explain major changes that will affect Cub advancement and other aspects of the program:
Units will be expected to swap over when they restart in September 2015, but don't be surprised if our Cub camps decide to get a head start with the badges they will be offering.
Here's the January 17 schedule, but they will record the sessions so you can tune in later.
• Saturday, January 17 at 8 a.m. (Central)
• Saturday, January 17 at 3 p.m. (Central)
Den Leader Webcasts
• Saturday, January 17 at 9:30 a.m. (Central)
• Saturday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. (Central)
LDS-Specific Considerations *
• Saturday, January 17 at 11 a.m. (Central)
• Saturday, January 17 at 6 p.m. (Central)
* It is recommended that those interested in the LDS session view one of the role-specific sessions first.
Although the content will be geared to the roles listed, anyone with an interest in learning about the new Cub Scouting program is welcome to attend. The sessions will be recorded for later viewing.
Big Changes to the Cub Program Coming in September (2)
• For all dens, Instead of passing "requirements", advancement will be based on completing seven core den-based "adventures".
• Plan on spending three den meetings for each adventure.
• Plan on immediate recognition after each adventure is completed. Tiger, Wolf, and Bear beads will be retired.
• For each den, there will be one family-based adventure and one "Duty to God" adventure.
• In addition to the 7 core adventures, there will also be elective adventures. Belt loops and academic pins will be retired.
• The core adventures for each den will differ and will be age-appropriate. For example, Webelos-1 will have a cooking-based adventure, while Webelos-2 will be renamed to "Arrow of Light" and will have several Boy Scout-based adventures.
• The Scout Shop will have new handbooks for boys, new guides for Den Leaders, and new wall charts.
• The Council Training Committee will receive a revised syllabus for each Cub Leader course they run.
Several New Merit Badges in the Works
This article was taken from the Scouting Magazine online site
Updated on October 10, 2014
Newest Merit Badges — Coming Soon
(Next to be released listed first)
Signs, Signals, and Codes
Estimated release: Early 2015
Description: American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most used language in the United States. The Signs, Signals, and Codes merit badge will cover Morse code, ASL, Braille, signaling, trail markings, and other nonverbal communications. Did you know that some of these have even saved people’s lives?
Estimated release: First quarter of 2015
Description: Computer or traditional animation tasks that will test a Scout’s creativity, artistic skills, and storytelling abilities.
Estimated release: TBD
Description: Teaching boys to use computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.
Description: The next generation of computing.
(Most-recent update listed first)
Update released May 2014
Update released December 2013
Note: This merit badge became Eagle-required on Jan. 1, 2014.
Moviemaking (was Cinematography)
Update released October 2013
Note: This merit badge received a name change and a few requirements tweaks. The merit badge formerly called Cinematography is now Moviemaking, which better reflects the requirements.
Update released at 2013 Jamboree.
The trail to Cycling merit badge just got a bit rougher
Newest Merit Badges — Available Now
(Newest listed first)
Released: April 16, 2014
Note: This merit badge will replace Computers merit badge, but Scouts may earn and wear both merit badges.
Description: Technology has come a long way since Computers merit badge was first introduced in 1967. This badge will teach Scouts about technology in the digital age.
Mining in Society
Released: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
Description: Mining has been an important part of the United States since the 19th century. Today, the U.S. mining industry employs 3 million people, directly and indirectly, and is a major contributor to the global mining landscape. Covers the history of mining, explores the status of mining in the 21st century, and introduces Scouts to modern mining careers.
Released: July 15, 2013
Eagle-required. Scouts must earn either this or Environmental Science.
Description: A badge to teach Scouts about climate change, species extinction, resource extraction, green chemistry, recycling, and zero-waste manufacturing.
Description: A tech-focused merit badge for the 21st Century.
Released on March 6, 2013
Includes both traditional games and video games. Will test Scouts’ creativity, problem-solving skills, and planning abilities.
Search and Rescue
Released on Aug. 20, 2012
Description: Scouts won’t fly helicopters, but they’ll get practice in finding and rescuing people in case a real emergency ever happens.
Released on June 13, 2012
Description: A basic-level merit badge for flat-water kayaking — whitewater kayaking will still fall under Whitewater merit badge.
Released on Feb. 24, 2012
Released on Apr 11, 2011
Released in Sep 2011
Released in Dec 2010
Released in Jun 2010
Released in May 2010
Released in Dec 2009
OA Unit Election Season in Progress
Lenapehoking Lodge IX will conduct unit elections for new members from January 1, 2015 through April 30, 2015. Unit elections are conducted by members of the local chapter - each district has a corresponding chapter. Units may not conduct their own elections. Units can find more information about the election requirements and procedure by clicking here:
From that page, click on the appropriate link for your chapter (district) and complete the form to request an election. Questions should be sent to
Ask about election procedures, scheduling elections, or, if your unit is new to the OA, scheduling an information session.
Medicine Wheel Dancers Performed for the World Scout Committee (Oct 18)
On Saturday, October 18th under the direction of Dance Team Chair Nick Miller and Adviser Jose Jerez the team performed at Ten Mile River Scout Camps for the members of the World Scout Committee who were just concluding a four day organizational retreat.
This was an experience of a lifetime as our brothers represented not just our Lodge and Council, but the BSA to the world! This event was the first of its type in the World Scout Organization and it was marked by 100% attendance of committee members from around the world. In the words of João Armando G, Chairperson, World Scout Committee - "The Order of the Arrow campfire was one of the highlights of our World Scout Committee Induction Session at TMR camps in New York."
More information about this incredible event can be found here:
Nicholas Miller, Dance Team Youth Advisor
Jose Jerez, Dance Team Advisor
How to Create a Professional Looking Recruiting Flyer
BSA National posted an informative set of how-to instructions, complete with start-off templates and advice from professional graphic designers.
It has good stuff! Click here:
Apologies to Our Readers – Program Helps
In the past, this section of our district newsletter was devoted to telling unit leaders about interesting possibilities for enhancing their program, such as Scout days and overnights with the NJ Jackals or the Battleship New Jersey. We also told about special deals from Scout-friendly vendors such as Modell's, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Moritz Embroidery.
However, from now on we have been asked to refrain from publicizing any other third party offerings except for the ones listed above, which are official NNJC Program Partners. Note that we will continue to publicize any event or offering sponsored by our own Scout organization; that is, BSA National, the Northeast Region, the Northern NJ Council, and all of the council's districts and troops and packs.
If you are a unit leader seeking to add some "pizzazz" to your program, you are urged to start by supporting our Program Partners. After that, please attend the district's monthly Roundtables, where you will meet other experienced Scouters who may be able to assist with suggestions of their own.
A Death: Steve Scanlon
Former Scoutmaster, Waldwick Troop 88
Stephen Scanlon, age 61, of Waldwick, died Thursday, January 1st, 2015. Stephen was born in New York and lived in Paramus before moving to Waldwick 37 years ago. He was a sound engineer for the Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Local 52 in New York since 1974. He also worked in the property department toward the end of his career.
He was very involved in the Boy Scouts for many years and served as Scoutmaster for Troop 88 out of Waldwick, NJ. He also coached Pee Wee Football in town for more than a decade and was involved in many of the events in the town of Waldwick and was named Citizen of the Year in 2004. Throughout all of these activities he served as a role model, teacher, friend and was known for his great stories and jokes. Beyond his regard for friends and family, Stephen displayed an immense compassion for animals, especially dogs.
He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Deborah Scanlon and his sons, Paul Scanlon, Bryan and his wife Diana Scanlon. He is also survived by his mother, Stephanie Scanlon of Paramus, NJ, sisters, Barbara Scanlon and Patricia and her husband Nicholas Lucarelli, and nephew Joseph Lucarelli. He was predeceased by his father, Edward R. Scanlon, in 1981.
The family will receive friends on Monday, January 5th from 5-9 pm at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Ave. Wyckoff, NJ. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 6th at 10am at St. Luke’s R.C. Church, 340 North Franklin Tpke., Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423. Memorial contributions in Stephen’s name may be sent to the Ramapo – Bergen Animal Refuge, 2 Shelter Lane, Oakland, NJ 07436, (www.rbari.org/donate/).
A Death: Randy Merlino
Assistant Scoutmaster, Paramus Troop 205
Randy L Merlino, age 59, of Paramus, NJ, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 4, 2015. Beloved husband of Julia Merlino. Devoted father of Michael, Christina and Samantha Merlino. Loving son of Arlene Merlino and the late Joseph Merlino. Stepson of Anne Merlino and the late Walter Zajac. Younger brother of Richard Merlino. Uncle of Richard Merlino, Serenity Miller, Jessica Merlino and Ethan Eng.
Randy worked at Con Edison for 39 years in the engineering department until his retirement in September, 2014. Randy was a member of Temple Avodat Shalom and its Brotherhood in River Edge, NJ.
In his 13 years of leadership positions for the Boy Scouts of America, he enthusiastically served as Assistant Den Leader and Committee Chairman for Cub Scout Pack 245, was Troop Committee Member and Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 205 and was Unit Commissioner for Twin Valley and Three Rivers District of the Northern New Jersey Council.
A funeral service was held on Tuesday, January 6, 2014, at Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge, NJ. Burial followed at Cedar Park Cemetery, Emerson, NJ. Memorial donations in memory of Randy L. Merlino may be made to your own favorite charity. Arrangements were by Louis Suburban Chapel, Fair Lawn, NJ.
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