Category Archives: Troop News

Public Health Merit Badge Class – Tuesday, April 7, 7:00 pm

Dear Scouts,

Hi, I’m Mrs. O’Koniewski and I’m very excited about talking to you about
Public Health.

I am Medical Technologist and I also have a Master’s degree in Public
Health. I run the Blood Bank at a community hospital in Illinois. I also
work in the other parts of the lab, including disease testing. Currently my
lab tests for influenza (the flu), streptococcus B (strep throat) and
mononuclosis (mono). In addition, our lab will begin testing for SARS CoV2
(the virus that causes COVID 19). This is a very exciting time in my field
and you will remember these days for the rest of your life. The COVID-19
Pandemic has turned our society on it’s end in an attempt to mitigate the
effects of the pandemic. We will talk about “coronavirus” during the Merit
Badge class!

Attached please find some handouts that you will need to either print out
or be able to view during our meeting. They are:

CDC Curve, 1 page

Public Health Merit Badge, 3 pages

diseases and immunization, 3 pages

Go to and download the
worksheets. You will need to complete the following:

Page 10, Requirement 5***

Pages 13-16, Requirements 7b and 8

***hold off on Requirement 5 for now. We obviously cannot go visit a
facility under the quarantine orders in place. I am searching for a
suitable online replacement that will allow to learn about solid or
wastewater management or food service.

Our Zoom meeting information:

password: troop216

I look forward to seeing each of you next week. In the meantime, please
feel free to contact me with any questions or to turn in your homework
ahead of time.

Yours in Scouting and in Health,

Karen O’Koniewski, MT(ASCP), MPH

Fwd: Eagle Scouts and Program Advancement During Coronavirus: Answers to Your Questions

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Scouting Wire <>
Date: Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 7:17 PM
Subject: Eagle Scouts and Program Advancement During Coronavirus: Answers
to Your Questions
To: <>

Volunteer Newsletter // This week’s can’t-miss Scouting news ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
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[image: Scouting Wire – The Official Voice of the Scouting Movement]
*This FAQ Will Help You Navigate Advancement During Coronavirus*
Advancement issues during COVID-19, including those for Eagle Scouts, are
addressed in this FAQ.
*Official Boy Scouts of America Website Concerning COVID-19 Issues*
The BSA has provided a response and other key info related to the situation
with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
* Website Remains Open and Can Ship Products to Your Home
For information about advancement and award items, contact customer service
*Scouting at Home: 58 Merit Badges Scouts Can Work on While at Home*
Details on how Scouts BSA members can earn merit badges and continue their
Scouting journey.
*These Activities Are Ideal for Cub Scouts Who Need Projects to Complete*
These projects, outlined by rank and age group, offer some options for kids
who are staying at home.
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Troop 216 COVID Update – 29 MAR

Troop 216,

Here is the latest and greatest guidance from GSLAC and BSA National. All
scout activities are canceled through 22 April. With that being said, we
will have to cancel the high ropes course activity scheduled for 18 April.
Our Order of the Arrow lodge has also canceled the spring ordeal weekend
which was scheduled for 24-26 April. Due to the current situation, any
scout who was called out in 2019, now has until July 2021 to complete their
ordeal. The fall ordeal is currently scheduled for 21-23 AUG. Since we
didn’t have a campout on the schedule yet for May, we could potentially
look at rescheduling the high ropes/Beaver Dam campout for a weekend in
May. Troop leadership will have to consult and see if this is feasible.
So, stand by for more information on that.

Mr Evans has sent out an individual spreadsheet detailing what your scout
has officially logged off in Scoutbook. Please review this data and relay
to Mr Evans any discrepancies or missing sign-offs. This is a great
opportunity to get all of our advancement data updated in Scoutbook.

If your scout hasn’t registered for summer camp yet, please email Mrs.
Bishop so she can give you login information for online registration. She
sent an email out about this recently.

Remember, if a scout needs a scoutmaster conference, board of review, or
blue card for merit badges, please reach out to Mr Gill, Mr Evans, or any

One last scheduling note, given the new GSLAC guidance, our first potential
meeting would be Monday 27 April. This shifts our Court of Honor to 4 May.

I will be forwarding several emails today from GSLAC and BSA National. One
is in regards to virtual merit badge counseling.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging
times. Please stay safe and make the best of this mandatory family time.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike O’Koniewsk
Troop Committee Chairman

Fwd: We have one top priority; to keep our Scouts, volunteers, staff, and their families safe.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: “Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America” <>
> Date: March 24, 2020 at 8:03:13 PM CDT
> To:
> Subject: We have one top priority; to keep our Scouts, volunteers, staff, and their families safe.
> Reply-To:
> March 24, 2020
> Scouts, volunteers, and families,
> We hope this letter finds you and your family well during these unprecedented times. Everyone has spent the last several days and weeks learning about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it’s affecting our community. Families are adjusting to stay-at-home orders and coping with school closures.
> We have one top priority; to keep our Scouts, volunteers, staff, and their families safe.
> As the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) increases, most states, local governments, and school districts have either issued or extended stay-at-home orders lasting until April 22 with some extending slightly beyond. As a result, we are extending the stoppage of all Scout activities, face-to-face meetings, and continuing the closure of all Council offices, Scout shops, and camps to April 22nd.
> This is most certainly a fluid situation. We will align with best practices and policies set forth by state and local governments, municipalities, and schools. In the future. restrictions may be reduced or lifted within regions of the Council thereby restoring Scout activities, face-to-face meetings, and the reopening of Council offices, Scout shops, and camps in that region; should changes to closures be warranted, we will promptly communicate with you.
> Together, we can help flatten the curve of this rapidly spreading virus and keep everyone safe. Stay positive, have faith, and know the health and well-being of our Scouts, volunteers, staff, and their families are our number one priority!
> Take care and be well,
> Ronald S. Green
> Scout Executive/CEO
> In the meantime, we encourage our Scout families to keep Scouting at home by participating in our Weekly Scout Challenge! Every Friday, a line-up of interesting activities for all ages, will arrive in your in-box for your Scouts to enjoy. Currently, Scouts are having fun with Week #1. For those leaders and parents who wish to track your Scouts progress, review this helpful advancement resource. Finally, stay connected with social media; The GSLAC Facebook and Instagram social communities are a great way to stay up to date on information, fun, and Scouting opportunities.
> ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
> Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
> 4568 West Pine Blvd.
> St. Louis, MO 63108
> Unsubscribe
> Update Profile | About Constant Contact
> Sent by
> in collaboration with
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Fwd: Troop 216 – COVID 19 Update 22MAR

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Troop 216 <>
> Date: March 22, 2020 at 1:58:17 PM CDT
> To: Albert Middeke <>, Bob Paty <>, Brian Heil <>, Diane Gill <>, Don Halpin <>, Garrett Valley <>, Grant Gill <>, Karen O’Koniewski <>, Mark Mason <>, Martina Bishopp <>, Michael Cummins <>, Mike Fairburn <>, Mike O’Koniewski <>, Mike Veith <>, Neil Joellenbeck <>, Reece Watson <>, Richard Coolbaugh <>, Shane Smith <>, Steve Kupsky <>, Steven Dunning <>, Tara Kuhne <>, Tim Valley <>, John Evans <>, Gary Gill <>, Alicia Alexander <>, Ann Sheehan-Busse <>, Ann Taylor <>, Brent Hall <>, Carrie Smith <>, Cheryl Seehausen <>, Christin Rigoni <>, Collin Listner <>, Craig Alexander <>, Dustin Hampton <>, Emily Joellenbeck <>, Emily Klingensmith <>, Erika Hall <>, Erika Kennett <>, Erika Kohoutek <>, Jessica Listner <>, Jon Klingensmith <>, Karen Joachimsthaler <>, Kevin Busse <>, Kevin Rayman <>, Kristy Fairburn <>, Kyle Kennett <>, Larry Miller <>, Michele Meckfessel <>, Mike Sanders <>, Natasha & Joe McClintock <>, Peggy Emling <>, Scott Seehausen <>, Sean Wellhausen <>, Tom Kuhne <>
> Subject: Troop 216 – COVID 19 Update 22MAR
> Troop 216 Family,
> With the recent announcement by Governor Pritzker that schools will remain closed through 7 April and the guidance from GSLAC that all scouting activities are canceled thru 31 MAR, we here at troop 216 want to remain positive and still try to continue the scouting program and not just shutdown.
> Right now we are looking at our first potential troop meeting being Monday 20 April, which was scheduled as a Court of Honor. We have decided to move the Court of Honor to Monday 27 April for now, barring any further postponements from state or federal government.
> The high ropes course/activity scheduled for 18 April as is still on. We haven’t canceled the campout yet, we are awaiting further words from GSLAC. However, right now, Beaver Damn state park is closed. At the minimum, we can still do the high ropes event as a day only activity. We will have to wait and see how long the shelter in place guidance remains in effect.
> This is a good time for scouts to work on the requirements for some eagle required merit badges. Several of these merit badges have requirements that involve keeping a log for either a budget, household chores, or a fitness routine. The family life merit badge has several requirements that involve family interaction with meetings, planning a project, or making a family decision. What a perfect time to accomplish this since we are all forced to spend time together whether we like it or not. To make it easy, I’ve included links at the bottom of this email to family life, personal fitness, and personal management merit badge requirements pages. I’ll reach out to our counselors for these badges and maybe 4 months down the road, we can set up merit badge sessions at a troop meeting so scouts can complete them.
> As for the adults, a big shout out to Steve Kupsky who has provided a list of the adults and what training they have accomplished. He also has provided links to the training. It doesn’t get any easier than that folks. Please take advantage of this down time and accomplish whatever can be online.
> A big thank you to Brian Heil and Albert Middeke who helped transport the trail to and from Gaslight Vinly for the decal installment. I’m having a hard time uploading the pictures to email, so I’ll try sending via text message.
> If any scout needs a scoutmaster conference or a board of review, please reach out to Mr Gill, Mr Evans, or any ASM so that we can coordinate via FaceTime or Skype.
> BSA National sent out some guidance for all scouts. I am going to forward that to everyone just to make sure you all have it. Apologize if you receive it twice.
> If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to call, email, or text me.
> Please remain calm, think positive, stay safe, and make good decisions. We will get through this as a nation and as a community.
> Yours in Scouting,
> Mike O’Koniewski
> Troop Committee Chairman
> —
> Additional information available on our webpage: – check the site often for Troop news, resources, calendar updates, etc.
> Please note that this email account is not monitored 24/7. If you have a question for a specific adult leader, please contact them privately.
> Troop Committee Chair – Mike O’Koniewski
> Scoutmaster – Gary Gill
> Advancements – John Evans
> Parent Coordinator – Tara Kuhne

Fwd: COVID-19 Closure/Cancellation Update

Begin forwarded message:

> From: “Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America” <>
> Date: March 16, 2020 at 11:41:56 AM CDT
> To:
> Subject: COVID-19 Closure/Cancellation Update
> Reply-To:
> March 16, 2020
> As mentioned in a communication sent to all Scouting families on Thursday, March 12th, the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s top priority is the health and safety of our Scouts, volunteers, staff, and their family members. In this spirit and given the unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19, effective tomorrow March 17th and remaining through April 5th are the following:
> All UNITS are to discontinue in-person meetings and all activities including camping trips.
> All DISTRICT and COUNCIL in-person meetings, activities, and camps are cancelled. Instead, consider using technology apps such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Duo, or Google Hangouts.
> All COUNCIL camps will be CLOSED.
> All SERVICE CENTERS will be closed. Council staff will be working remotely per CDC social distancing recommendations. Minimal services will continue via remote functions.
> These cancellations do NOT apply to our summer camp programs and events occurring beyond the closure period of APRIL 5th. The Council will continue to monitor the situation closely.
> How can you keep Scouting?
> Continue advancement by focusing on merit badge requirements that can be completed at home.
> Contact your merit badge counselor via email, Facetime, etc. (remember Youth Protection training with no one-on-one communication between youth and adult).
> Do a good turn daily. Look for ways to contribute to your community while staying safe.
> Stay in contact with friends and families in your unit even if it’s just to say hi via a phone call, Facetime, Duo or Google hangouts.
> As a unit leader, now is a good time to take online trainings and renew your Youth Protection Training.
> Encourage unit, district, and Council committees to continue normally scheduled meetings using technology apps such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Duo, or Google Hangouts.
> Regarding event refunds – When possible, we are rescheduling events for a later date. If you are registered for an event that is postponed, your registration will be transferred to the new date. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled event, you may request a refund. If you are so inclined, please consider not requesting a refund and allowing your event fee to support Scouting. This will help offset costs and lost income from cancelled events. For unit camping or event reservations, a credit will be given for future usage.
> We are closely monitoring the situation in our communities, staying current on recommendations from the CDC, and consulting with local health professionals on a frequent basis. Council leadership will continue to evaluate the situation daily. Updates will be shared as they are available. I would also encourage our families to connect with us on our social media pages to receive notifications.
> Facebook –
> Instagram –
> Twitter – @stlbsa
> For additional questions, please reach out to your District professionals or Dave Chambliss, Director of Marketing (
> We appreciate your cooperation and all you do for the young people in our program. It is important that our entire community pulls together to address this public health crisis.
> Sincerely,
> Ronald S. Green
> Scout Executive / CEO
> Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
> 4568 West Pine Blvd.
> St. Louis, MO 63108
> Unsubscribe
> Update Profile | About Constant Contact
> Sent by
> in collaboration with
> Try email marketing for free today!

Fwd: Troop 216 – COVID 19 Update – Important !!

Troop 216 Family,

Here is the latest and greatest given the recent announcement of the
closing of Illinois schools thru 30 March. Troop leadership has
coordinated with our Charter rep, Mike Veith, to still have our weekly
meeting on Monday, 16 March at 700pm. All those scouts who choose to
attend will have the opportunity to earn the public health merit badge. My
wife, Karen O’Koniewski, who has a masters degree in public health, has
volunteered to teach the scouts. This is a good time to take real world
events and give the scouts a good perspective on what is actually happening
around the globe. This is also a great time to emphasize how important it
is to remain calm, make good decisions, and be there to help our community;
all strong aspects of the scouting program.

While Karen is teaching the public health merit badge, the adults will
huddle up and come up with a plan for the rest of the month. Some things
to consider for the next few weeks:
**Can we conduct a scout master conference via apple FaceTime or Skype?
**Can we conduct a board of review vie the same platforms? Or can 3 adults
and the scout requesting advancement meet at a public place such as Dairy
Queen to conduct the Board of Review??
** In order to update Scoutbook for rank advancement, can a scout take a
picture of his handbook sign off page, send it to the scoutmaster or ASM
and receive credit for the rank in question.
** Can patrols coordinate via email the meal plans for the upcoming campout
on 27-29 MAR??

I believe the answer to all the above questions is yes, it’s time to take
advantage of modern day communication capabilities and apply it to the
current global crisis. This would be a great lesson to teach the scouts.
However, I’m open to discussion about the above mentioned at the meeting
Monday night.

GSLAC and BSA National have left it to the discretion of individual units
to hold regular meetings during the crisis. We will have an update from
First Christian Church representatives on the availability of our meeting
space past Monday March 16th.

The scout meeting on Monday is not mandatory, and NO attendance will be
taken. If parents feel they don’t want their scouts to participate, we as
a troop totally understand. Just trying to provide a scout program during
the current situation.

In summary, We will meet on Monday 16 March at 700pm, First Christian
Church. Public Health merit badge will be taught. Scoutmaster conferences
and Boards of Review will be available for those scouts who need one.

Please call, email, or text me if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.
We have a great team of leaders at Troop 216 who are thinking outside the
box to not let our scout program suffer during the current crisis.

Yours in Scouting,

Mike O’Koniewski
Troop Committee Chairman

Fwd: Germantown Fort Camp Out March 27 — Permission due March 23

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Troop 216 <>
Date: Tue, Mar 3, 2020 at 7:45 PM
Subject: Germantown Fort Camp Out March 27 — Permission due March 23

Hi, Troop 216 parents and Scouts.

Please see the attached permission slip for details about the March camp
out at the Germantown Fort on March 27-29. Permission forms and payment may
be turned in until Monday March 23, preferably no later than 7:30pm so that
Scouts can use meeting time to plan the meals and activities.

Go here
for more information about Bob Eversgerd’s Civil War Fort, or google
“Germantown Fort.”

Fwd: Camp Cards Fundraiser

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Troop 216 <>
Date: Wed, Mar 4, 2020 at 8:02 PM
Subject: Camp Cards Fundraiser

Troop 216 is participating in the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s Camp
Card fundraising program. Scouts are encouraged to sell $5 discount cards
that are good for area businesses in the Metro East area. There are 5 one
time only snap off cards for ACE Hardware, Schnucks, Great Clips, Dick’s
Sporting Goods, and Dave & Busters. There are also multi-use discounts at
places like Papa John’s, Denny’s, Rally’s, Family Video, etc. Basically if
the buyer uses the card once, they have covered the cost of the card.

*For every $5 card the Scout sells, the Scout will receive $2.50 in their
Scout account *that can be used for camp fees or camp gear purchase.
Encourage your scout to contact Asst. Scoutmaster Brian Heil of Troop 216
at any upcoming scout meeting to receive as many cards as the Scout thinks
they can sell. Additional benefits:

– Each Scout that sells at least 10 cards will receive a patch
– The first 1000 Scouts in the District that sell 20 cards will receive
2 tickets to the Cards/Dodgers ball game on April 7, 2020.

The selling window runs until March 31st. At the meeting on March 30th,
turn in all unsold cards and money for all sold cards. *All unsold cards
must be returned to the District or Troop 216 will be billed for those
cards. *Make checks payable to Troop 216.

2020 Summer Camp 7/12-18 – early bird registration due by 4/8; schedule MD appt for Medical Form completion

Troop 216 has secured the week of July 12th – 18th to attend summer camp at *S
bar F Scout Ranch* <>, *Camp Famous
Eagle*. Please completely review the Leaders Manual
for full details. (Note: This is the 2019 manual, but 2020 should be
available soon.)

*Early bird registration fee* – $300/scout (if paid in full by April 8,

*Regular registration fee* – $320/scout

(Adult fees will be divided among attendees; the troop receives 1-3 100%
adult discounts for certain numbers of scouts registered.)

*Additional costs:* Meals to and from camp, possible merit badge fees and
Trading Post spending money.

*Camperships* (financial assistance) are available from S bar F (May 1,
2020 application deadline – see page 18 in the Leaders Manual), the Council
and from Troop 216. Please contact Steve Kupsky, Diane Gill or Martina
Bishopp, before you register, to discuss further.


This year, parents can register their scouts online. The Parent Portal
allows you to enter the scout’s information (such as name, address, dietary
requirements, etc.), pay the registration fee, and select merit
badges. The 2020
Merit Badge Catalog
lists the available badges, times and descriptions.

*Please contact Martina Bishopp at an upcoming Troop meeting or email her
at *** <>* for an individual User
ID and Password to log into the Parent Portal. Each scout or parent will
have their own unique ID.*

– When you go to register in the Parent Portal, first add the scout’s
information in the “Update Information” area, next go to “Pay Now” and
complete your payment, then you can go back into “Update Information” to
select merit badges.
– Merit badges can be registered after payment of 50% of the summer camp
fee. But don’t forget to pay the remainder before April 8 to get the early
bird discount!
– *Once entered, merit badge selections will be reviewed by a Troop
Leader with notification made if any changes are recommended.*
– *Note*: Online payment is available as a debit from your bank account
or by credit card. If you need to pay another way or use a scout account,
please contact Ms. Bishopp. Once your payment is processed, you will be
able to go in and select merit badges online.
– *Summer camp refunds are given only under extenuating circumstances
including severe medical emergency. A refund request must be submitted for
consideration to <> by 8/30. The
refund amount is 75% after 6/1.*

*MEDICAL FORMS* (see attached form) are *due by **June 29* to Mrs. Gill or
Ms. Bishopp for participating SCOUTS & ADULTS! Part C requires your
physician to complete it, so be sure to schedule an appointment for the
pre-participation physical.

A permission slip will be made available in June for completion and
submission prior to departure.