Blog Post List

#8 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Sunday, May 3, 2020 1:47:00 PM

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our eighth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Since our last update, Harris County has expanded the “stay at home” order for non-essential business through May 20th. Therefore, the following modifications will be made to our plan that was released in update #7.

  • The Cockrell Scout Center will be open for drop off only beginning on Monday, May 4th with hours of 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
    • Any interaction needed with staff members must be conducted through phone and email. If you need assistance determining the appropriate person to contact, please refer to our updated “who to call directory,” or contact the receptionist at (713) 659-8111 during our office hours to be directed to the appropriate person.
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
  • The 5 Scout Shop locations will reopen on Monday, May 11thThese locations will be opened to limited retail traffic and curbside pickup. As part of the social distancing protocol, only credit card payments will be accepted at Scout Shop locations. Please visit here for more store information.

As a reminder, the following updates from update #7 are still applicable.

  • Our in-person Cub Scout District Day Camps for 2020 are cancelled and will be replaced with an alternative program to be rolled out in detail later in May. This program will include two elements:
    • An online “do at home” program for families (www.shac.org/virtual-day-camp)
    • A one-day program at Bovay Scout Ranch and Camp Brosig for Cub Scouts that will offer BB Gun and Archery Ranges and other camp activities. This one-day program will be offered in multiple sessions in July/August, assuming that they are permitted under current governmental guidance. Social distancing practices will be strictly enforced and communicated during the program rollout. (www.shac.org/outdoor-sports-day)
  • Our Cub Scout Resident Camps at Bovay Scout Ranch for 2020 are cancelled. Participants are encouraged to participate in the one-day program at our camps that will be conducted in July/August.
  • Scouts BSA Summer Camp 2020 at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake is cancelled. Each troop signed up for 2020 Summer Camp will be contacted to determine if they would like to move their reservation to 2021 Summer Camp at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake.
  • Our camping team is currently developing an alternate plan for a condensed Scouts BSA camp program at Camp Strake in July that incorporates current governmental guidance and social distancing. While the full program information will be available later in May, this program will include the following components:
    • Strict social distancing protocols, including separate tents required for all non-sibling Scouts and a highly-structured program schedule over 2-3 days.
    • Food service provided by the unit within the campsite to avoid large gatherings of participants.
    • Utilization of the most high-demand program elements for summer camp and provide the corresponding merit badge programs.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through June 30th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake. In addition to the aforementioned cancellations, this will affect the following additional events:
    • Cub Scout Adventure Camp (May 15-17)
    • OA Spring Fellowship (May 15-17)
    • National Youth Leadership Training (June 7-13 and June 14-20)
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events through June 14th are cancelled or postponed unless conducted over teleconference or online.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. For information on closing out your unit, please contact your District Scout Fair Chair or District Executive. Commission checks will begin being processed for units that have closed out their sale when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:

For all of the cancellations listed, full refunds will be applied and will begin to be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens on May 4th.

This situation continues to be dynamic and changing daily. Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – FacebookEmail, and Council Website. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (FacebookEmail, and Council Website) for updates. 

 

BSA National Statement on COVID-19       Previous Updates

Rank Advancement Update       Scouting at Home      Digital Safety        Online Meeting Resources

 

 

Scouting at Home 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, April 3, 2020 8:30:00 AM

​Scouting activities contribute to the academic development of the children who participate. In the elementary grades, the program is built around a series of theme-based explorations. As a Cub Scout advances, the requirements get more challenging, to match the new skills and abilities they have learned. Cub Scout advancement supports over 120 elementary TEKS. In the middle and high school grades, service, community engagement and leadership development become increasingly important parts of the program as youth lead their own activities. More than 85% of merit badges include requirements that meet National Science Education Standards, giving Scouts a foundation in everything from nuclear science to robotics. Learn more at www.shac.org/education.

BSA has resources to help both parents and leaders support Scouting at home, with stay-at-home activities for any Scout rank, and tips for continuing to work on advancement.

Learn More

Here are some additional great ideas to use at home to keep your Scout's skills sharp! Check back regularly and let your friends know about theses great options for at-home fun and learning for Scouting families and non-Scouting families alike. Read the important digital safety guidelines from BSA National Council.

Digital Safety Guidelines

 

When considering advancement opportunities for your Scout, especially merit badge classes, please keep the following in mind:

  1. Is the presenter following youth protection guidelines and digital safety guidelines?
  2. Is the presenter's process in line with basic BSA advancement procedures (see merit badge program and Guide to Advancement)
  3. Is the presenter charging a fee?
  4. How is the presenter ensuring that each youth actually and personally completes each requirement? (see Guide to Advancement section 7.0.3.2, which gives specific requirements and guidance for group instruction.)
  5. Do you have approval from your unit leader?
  6. Is the class occurring in a different time zone?

SHAC Virtual Scouting Guidelines

In order to comply with federal, state, and local guidelines, a number of temporary modifications are being allowed within the traditional Scouting program. As with all Scouting activities, the Guide to Safe Scouting and youth protection policies must be followed. These temporary council guidelines, in addition to BSA National guidelines, are in place to help navigate virtual Scouting while traditional programming is disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Virtual Scouting Guidelines               Rank Advancement Guidelines


SHAC Virtual Scouting

Volunteers have developed a series of remote Scouting classes. The coursework will be completed through live video conferencing calls. Classes are being added regularly. Classes are free. (Central Standard Time)



Service Projects

Doing service together is one way that Scouts keep their promise “to help other people.” Helping others is one of the fundamental values of Scouting and allows Scouts to see the value and impact they make by contributing to their community.  

For Scouts BSA, all service projects must be approved by the unit leader (Scoutmaster) in order to count towards rank advancement. "A service project is a special Good Turn that puts Scout spirit into action.” (Scout Handbook). Projects can take many forms.




Scout Saturday Live

The Western Los Angelos County Council holds a weekly Scout Saturday Live (SSL) and FUN for the entire family. Packed with games, projects, science experiments, and prizes, the SSL! livestream broadcast has something for everyone. The program will air every-other Saturday and is hosted by Scouts.

Scouts who view and participate in the show’s activities have multiple opportunities to check-off requirements toward advancements, awards and merit badges. The next show is scheduled for May 23rd at 10:30 am (Pacific Daylight Time)




 


Merit Badge Classes

The Circle Ten Council is offering several online merit badges. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. The cost is $5. (Central Daylight Time)





 


Merit Badge Classes

The Caddo Area Council is offering several online merit badges. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. (Central Daylight Time)


Merit Badge Classes

The Black Warrior Council is offering three virtual Merit badge classes via Zoom. Class sizes are limited. (Central Daylight Time)


Scout Connect

Heart of America Council has a series of online merit badge courses. More merit badges are being added each week. (Central Daylight Time)

  • Scout Connect:
    • Animation Merit Badge
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Journalism
    • Music
    • American Labor
    • Law
    • Public Health
    • Genealogy



Scoutbook App

The new Scoutbook App makes it easier than ever for youth and their parents to view and track advancement. Find the advancements your Scout needs to work on to finish their rank.



Advancement Academy

The Cascade Pacific Council has an Advancement Academy with digital den meetings and online merit badge class. Digital den meetings are offered through Zoom and promoted through Facebook. Participants are asked to sign up in advance. (Pacific Time Zone)



Merit Badges at Home

Scouting Magazine shared a list of 58 merit badges that Scouts can complete from home. 



Weekly Challenge

For the next few weeks, the Greater St. Louis Area Council is posting a Weekly Scout Challenge with a variety of Scouting at home challenges every Friday. By the way, parents and Scouters are not left out! Why let the youth have all the fun! 


Merit Badges / Live Events

Alamo Area Council has several online merit badges and Facebook live events.




ScoutShare 

Seneca Waterways Council has set up a site to share ideas on how to do Scouting remotely, plus suggestions on how to work on documents together, and how to hold meetings together if you’re not in the same room.




Daily Scouting Videos

The Dan Beard Council is posting daily Scouting videos and activities that can be done at home! 




Merit Badges

The Narragansett Council has a variety of resources. (Eastern Time Zone)



Scoutbook App

The new Scoutbook App makes it easier than ever for youth and their parents to view and track advancement. Find the advancements your Scout needs to work on to finish their rank.



Boys' Life App

BSA has just released an entire year’s worth of Boys’ Life issues for free on their app! Find projects you can create from home and stories that will take your minds on adventures all over the world.



Scout On

Connecticut Rivers Council has useful programs for all types of Scouts, leaders and parents.  


Online Scouting Resources 

Digital Safety in a Time of Increased Online Activity 

As local councils and units use digital and online resources, such as video conferencing, to continue Scouting meetings, projects and advancement during the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Council is providing the following guidance. Note this guidance is not comprehensive and may differ from the legal requirements of state or local jurisdiction. 

  • BSA’s youth protection policies apply to all online activities. All online activities, including video and audio conferencing through platforms such as Zoom and Skype, must adhere to the BSA’s current youth protection guidelines for digital communications, including the BSA’s Digital Privacy guidelines and the BSA’s Social Media Guidelines. Because safety features and privacy controls vary widely from platform to platform, and out of respect for families’ own preferences concerning social media usage, we strongly recommend using business-oriented conferencing platforms—for example, Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting and others—to conduct online group activities instead of platforms intended for online gaming (e.g., Discord, Robolux, Twitch). 

BSA’s Digital Privacy Guidelines         BSA’s Social Media Guidelines

  • Safeguard personal information. If you collect a person’s personal information online—for example, through web forms used to register people for online meetings—then you should post a notice or disclosure at the point of collection describing how you will use the information. The notice should be conspicuous and written in plain English. Keep in mind, video conferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom) have their own privacy policies which apply to data collected through the platform (e.g., if the platform is hosting your web form). Organizers of Zoom and Skype meetings—for example, unit leaders and Merit Badge counselors—may obtain personal information about a youth, such as his or her name, phone number or email address. Meeting organizers must keep such information private and not share a youth’s personal information with anyone else except that youths’ parent or guardian or the unit leader responsible for recording advancements. For example, a Merit Badge counselor should not publicly post or otherwise disclose a roster containing personal information of Scouts who the counselor has worked with. 
  • Recording online meetings is not authorized. As a reminder, Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse prohibits any one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth members – in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form. Electronic communication between adults and youth should always include another registered leader or parent. We believe our existing policy is the best way to protect youth and volunteers, and we do not believe recording online meetings would provide any additional material benefit. To the contrary, recording calls would increase personal risk as call recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks and the effect of BSA’s existing policies, we are not authorizing the recording of online meetings. 

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

  • Collecting personal information from youth under 13 is not recommended. We advise against collecting personal information directly from youth under 13 years of age due to the parental notice and consent requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). COPPA does not restrict the collection of personal information about a youth from his or her parent or guardian. For the purposes of COPPA, “personal information” includes first and last name; home or other physical address; screen name or username that functions as online contact information; telephone number; a social security number; or a photograph, video, or audio file containing the child’s image or voice. 

Videoconferencing

Den and troop meetings, boards of review and Scoutmaster conferences don't have to be put on hold just because we're practicing social distancing. Here are a few resources to help you get started.






Educational Activities

HMNS at Home

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is offering digital museum experiences right in the comfort of your home. Dive into their online collection with video archives and virtual tours, connect with our social media and dig even deeper with Beyond Bones.


Merit Badge Classes

Alamo Area Council Scouting at Home  
Aloha Council Epic Merit Badges $$
Bay Area Council Online Virtual Classes  
Blue Ridge Council Online Merit Badge Classes  
Caddo Area Council Online Workshops  
California Inland Empire Council Online Merit Badge Classes  
Capitol Area Council Activities To Continue #ScoutingAtHome  
Cascade Pacific Council Advancement Academy  
Central Florida Council Online Merit Badge Programs 2020  
Central North Carolina Council Virtual Merit Badge Classes  
Chickasaw Council Virtual Merit Badge  
Chief Seattle Council Scouting from Home  
Circle Ten Council 2020 DCD Going Viral Merit Badge Mania  
Circle Ten Council Online Merit Badge University  
Connecticut Rivers Council At Home Scouting  
Dan Beard Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Del-Mar-Va Council Scouting at Home – Scouts BSA  
Denver Area Council Scouting at Home!  
Evangeline Area Council Online Merit Badges  
Garden State Council Scout Online  
Glacier’s Edge Council Scouting From Home  
Great Rivers Council Scouting @ Home  
Great Smokey Mountain Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Greater Alabama Council Online Merit Badge Offerings  
Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Keep Scouting – Resources  
Gulf Stream Council Remote Activity Workshops  
Hawk Mountain Council Virtual Merit Badge Classes  
Heart of America Council ScoutConnect  
Heart of New England Council Virtual Merit Badge Counseling  
Hoosier Trails Council Virtual Merit Badge Day  
Lake Erie Council Scouting at Home Merit Badge Series  
Las Vegas Area Council Merit Badge Clinics  
Michigan Crossroads Council Virtual Merit Badge Clinic  
Mid-America Council Scouting At Home – Scouts BSA  
Mount Baker Council North Cascades Scouting From Home  
Mountaineer Area Council Scouting at Home  
Mt. Diablo Silverado Area Council MDSC iBadge 2020  
Narragansett Council Merit Badge Event Registration  
National Capital Area Council Merit Badges @Home  
Northern Star Council Scouting at Home  
Orange County Council Virtual Advancement  
Overland Trails Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Ozark Trails Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Palmetto Council Online Merit Badge Classes  
Pee Dee Area Council Online MBU  
Piedmont Council Online Merit Badge Classes 2020  
Potawatomi Area Council Virtual Merit Badge Clinics  
Prairielands Council Virtual Scouting at Home  
Rocky Mountain Council Scouting at Home  
San Francisco Bay Area Council Virtual Exploration Camp  
Seneca Waterways Council Virtual Merit Badge Days  
Sequoyah Council Scouting From Home  
Simon Kenton Council 2020 Online Merit Badge University $
Spirit of Adventure Council Base Camp Merit Badges Every Friday at 9am ET, the council opens approximately 20 new classes for enrollment and has a class size capped at 25 students.
Suffolk County Council Virtual Merit Badge Classes  
Texas Southwest Council Merit Badge Workshop  
Western Los Angeles Council Merit Badge University  

 

Cub Scout Advancements

Here is a list of Cub Scout Advancements that are easy to complete at home. Reach out to your leader and ask which Adventures you should work on at home. They may have some additional ideas.

Adventure
(click for requirements)
Area Required/
Elective

Lion | Kindergarten

Animal Kingdom community R
Build it Up, Knock it Down building E
Gizmos and Gadgets motion and force E
I'll Do It Myself being prepared E
Pick My Path do a good turn daily E
Ready, Set, Grow plants E
  Rumble in the Jungle virtual den meeting  

Tiger | 1st Grade

Backyard Jungle nature R
My Family's Duty to God faith R
Tiger Bites nutrition R
Curiosity, Intrigue, and Magical Mysteries magic, virtual den meeting E
Family Stories family heritage E
Sky is the Limit space E
Stories in Shapes art E
Tiger-Safe and Smart safety E
Tiger Tales story-telling E

Wolf | 2nd Grade

Duty To God Footsteps faith R
Paws on the Path hiking R
Adventures in Coins coins E
Code of the Wolf games and secret codes E
Digging in the Past dinosaurs E
Finding Your Way navigation E
Germs Alive germs E
Grow Something plants E
Motor Away transportation E
Paws of Skill sports and fitness E

Bear | 3rd Grade

Baloo the Builder tools R
Bear Claws knives R
Fellowship and Duty to God faith R
Paws for Action citizenship R
Bear Picnic Basket cooking E
Make It Move engineering E
Roaring Laughter jokes and games E
Robotics robots E
Super Science science experiments E
A World of Sound world music, E

Webelos Scouts | 4th & 5th Grade

Fellowship and Duty to God faith (4th grade)
Duty to God and You faith R (5th grade)
First Responder first aid R
Adventures In Science science R
Art Explosion art E
Aware and Care disabilities awareness E
Build My Own Hero citizen heroes E
Engineer engineering E
Fix It home repairs E
Game Design games E
Looking Back, Looking Forward your own timeline E
Maestro music E
Moviemaking moviemaking E
Project Family family life E

Fun Stuff

 


NASA STEM @ Home

NASA offers a variety STEM activities for kids in grades K-4 with ideas to build, problems to solve, books to read, pages to color and games to play.

 


Project Wet

Interactive activities about water topics including water cycle, ocean, fresh water, watersheds, water conservation and protection, indirect and direct water use and more.


Comments

Let us know about any additional Scouting resources we can add to the list. 

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Council Communications on COVID-19     BSA Statement on COVID-19     Rank Advancement Update

Rank Advancement Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, April 2, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Cub Scouting / Scouts BSA / Venturing / Sea Scouting Rank Advancement and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following questions regarding advancement have arisen as we deal with closures, cancellations, or other issues caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Although there are difficulties and constraints, advancement can continue. Youth, parents, and leaders should work together to implement creative, common sense ways to facilitate advancement while adhering to the Guide to Safe Scouting and following the rules of Youth Protection training.

Please follow this link to the Guide to Advancement (GTA), which remains the primary source for information related to Scouts BSA advancement. It is referenced throughout the answers provided from the National Council.

Learn More (link is regularly updated) 

 

 

 

 

Contact

For more information, contact your district advancement chair.

An Important Update from the Sam Houston Area Council 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:35:00 PM

Dear Scouting Community,

Today, the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.

We want to highlight important points that are most relevant to the Sam Houston Area Council: 

  • The Sam Houston Area Council has not filed for bankruptcy. Our Council is legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
  • Scouting programs will continue. This means that unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects will take place as usual. In short, we expect no changes to the local Scouting experience in Southeast Texas. 
  • Scouting is safer now than ever before. Over many years, we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization. We can also assure you that our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe.
  • Restricted donations – past, present or future – can only be used for their designated purpose. In addition, Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other annual donations made to our Council will continue to fund necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to local Scouting programs. 

While we do not anticipate the national organization’s bankruptcy filing will have any direct impact on the local Scouting experience or your involvement with our Council, we understand you may still have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. To that end, the national organization has established a dedicated restructuring website, www.BSArestructuring.org

This site includes a helpful Resources page, where you will find a short video explaining what Chapter 11 means for Scouting, as well as a FAQ. The site’s Milestones page will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process.  

If you have any questions about local Scouting, you can always feel free to reach out directly to our Deputy Scout Executive Thomas Franklin at Thomas.Franklin@Scouting.org 

Through your engagement and dedication to Scouting, the Sam Houston Area Council will continue to bring adventures, values and lifelong benefits to youth and our communities for generations to come. Thank you for your trust and support as we continue this important mission. 

Yours in Scouting,

Clay C. Williams
Chair of the Board

Forrest J. Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Thomas O. Varnell 
CEO/Scout Executive

National Scout Jamboree Registration is Open 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, January 11, 2020 3:37:00 PM

July 21-30, 2021 (plus travel days)

Live Scouting’s Adventure

Scouting’s flagship event is one-of-a-kind. Over the course of 10 summer days, once every four years, the Boy Scouts of America comes together for a gathering of approximately 40,000 Scouts, leaders, and staff that showcases everything that is great about the BSA and its members. The result is the national Scout jamboree. To keep up with the latest information, visit the Summit website.

Scouts and Scouters will explore all kinds of adventures—stadium shows, pioneer village, Garden Ground hikes, adventure sports, patch trading, and more—in the heart of one of nature’s greatest playgrounds. With 10,000 acres at the Summit to explore, there’s no shortage of opportunities to build Scouting memories.

The jamboree is the best of Scouting rolled into 10 days of fun, friends, and adventure. You won’t want to miss out on this incredible Scouting experience.

Learn More

 

Council Contingent  

The council will take approximately 200 Scouts to the national jamboree as part of the council contingent. The contingent will head to the Summit for 10 days of activities ranging from shooting sports, mountain biking, zip-lining, rock climbing, white water rafting and more!  

The jamboree is open to youth who meet the participant qualifications, are physically fit, and agree to the jamboree code of conduct on a first come first serve basis. All Scouts BSA youth must be currently registered in a troop and be a minimum of age 12. All Venturers must be currently registered in a Venturing crew and meeting Venturing age requirements.

Scouts will be assigned to a jamboree troop consisting of 36 Scouts and four adult leaders. Every Scout will be a member of a patrol within the troop. Contingent members will be required to attend some troop meetings (as scheduled by the jamboree troop Scoutmaster), submit a completed jamboree medical form signed by a licensed physician and indicating compliance with specified immunizations and attend a contingent meeting (date TBD).

Participation in the National Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is a physically demanding experience. The layout, grade and elevation of the site requires substantial walking as part of everyone’s daily schedule. A number of activities require more stamina and fitness too—think climbing, rappelling, rafting, mountain biking, and skateboarding. It is essential that all participants and staff are prepared for the physical demands of the Summit prior to arrival. Facing the Challenge at the ’21 Jamboree will require one to be physically fit!

Registration

The registration fee is $3,000 and includes transportation, admission fees, meals, lodging, insurance, and most patrol and troop equipment. There are additional expenses that include uniforms and personal gear, spending money, and memorabilia items. All participants will have to sign and agree to live by a jamboree code of conduct and be physically fit in order to attend. The participant's BSA ID number is needed to register. Find the BSA Member ID at the bottom-center of your BSA membership card, ask your unit leader, or look it up in my.scouting.org (under Menu, then My Profile) or Scoutbook (under My Profile, then Edit Profile).

A $150 coupon will be issued for the last payment for anyone who registers by July 1, 2021, and makes all payments on time.

Youth Registration

Qualified youth can attend the jamboree with the council contingent. Youth registration is a two-step process.

Step 1: SHAC Registration / Payment
Step 2: Jamboree Registration  

Payment Schedule

Deposit $175
4/1/2020 $450
6/1/2020 $450
8/1/2020 $450
10/1/2020 $450
12/1/2020 $450
2/1/2021 $575

Adult Leadership

Adult registration is a three-step process. Qualified adult leaders are needed to serve as jamboree troop Scoutmasters, assistant Scoutmasters and crew Advisors. Leaders must be approved by the national jamboree committee and complete jamboree Scoutmaster training.

Step 1: Apply for Contingent Staff
Step 2: SHAC Registration / Payment (complete after approval)
Step 3: Jamboree Registration  

Jamboree Staff

Registration to serve on jamboree staff is open. Serving on staff is a rewarding experience that lets you help make a young man or young woman’s jamboree experience one they’ll never forget. It’s not all work, though. You’ll get plenty of time to enjoy the jamboree fun. Visit the jamboree website for more informationVolunteer staff may select to work the entire jamboree or the first or last half of the jamboree. The registration fee does not include transportation; staff ages 16-25 can pay a discounted price to work the entire jamboree.

Register to Serve on Staff

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

In 2009, the BSA purchased 10,600 acres of property adjacent to West Virginia’s New River Gorge National River area in order to create the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. The Summit is the new home of achievement, adventure, and innovation in Scouting. 

Visitors

The excitement of the jamboree isn’t limited to Scouts. The Summit features a large visitor area, where day-users can try out some of the activities that the Scouts are dialing in around other parts of the Summit. Whitewater rafting and kayaking, rock climbing and bouldering, and mountain biking are just a few of the activities offered at the Summit. There’s also skateboarding, BMX, shooting sports, and zip-line challenge courses. And that’s just the beginning.

Contacts

Kenneth Berntsen
SHAC Jamboree Contingent Leader
 kenneth@berntsen.cc
 National Jamboree

Sandra Borrego
SHAC Jamboree Contingent Registration
 (713) 865-9123
sandra.borrego@scouting.org

 

Brandon Lewis
Director of Support Service
 (713) 756-3319​
 brandon.lewis@scouting.org

 

The Rocks

High Gear

The Ropes

The Park

The Trax

Two-Deep Leadership 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, February 6, 2019 8:42:00 AM

What’s the difference between ‘two-deep leadership’ and ‘no one-on-one contact’?

Source: Scouting Magazine

While no Scouter questions the value of Youth Protection training and policies — we all agree on the need to keep young people safe — some Scouters have asked for clarification about implementation.

Many of those questions are about policies requiring two-deep leadership and prohibiting one-on-one contact. On occasion, those separate policies get confused and intermingled.

So I checked with the Youth Protection team for clarification.

Essentially, it boils down to this: At least two adults are required on every BSA outing. During that outing, there should be no one-on-one contact between an adult and a youth. The “no one-on-one contact” rule also applies to leaders interacting with youth outside of the Scouting program where grooming of youth, parents and other adults could occur. Parents and youth are advised to follow this and other Youth Protection policies for the overall safety of all involved.

But there might be moments when just one leader is present with two or more Scouts. That’s fine, as long as the situation doesn’t involve one adult and one youth. (Of course, if we’re talking about a Scout with his or her parent/guardian, that’s always OK.)

For example, let’s say Troop 451 is driving to a campout. There are nine Scouts and three adults on the trip. The first SUV might have two adults and five Scouts. The other would then have one adult and four Scouts. Is this a “two-deep leadership” violation? No. (I covered this back in 2015.)

What about if there are only two adults present on a campout of eight Scouts, and one group wants to go hiking while the other stays at camp to fish?

While Youth Protection policies don’t expressly forbid it, it’s not the recommended approach because of health and safety concerns. What if the adult on the hike gets injured? What if the adult back at camp has an emergency? In those situations, it would be helpful to have a second adult present. Many troops in that situation would want at least four leaders: two to go on the hike and two to stay at camp.

For a closer look at this important subject, here’s what the Youth Protection team said:

What do ‘two-deep leadership’ and ‘no one-on-one contact’ mean?

While sometimes the Youth Protection policies may seem to be confusing, they really aren’t. Therefore we’d like to provide the following in hopes of clarity on the actions of two-deep leadership and no one-on-one contact.

From the Youth Protection website, let us provide the following:

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. Parents and youth using these safeguards outside the Scouting program further increase the safety of their youth. Those who serve in positions of leadership and supervision with youth outside the Scouting program will find these policies help protect youth in those situations as well.

  • Two-deep leadership is required on all outings. A minimum of two registered adult leaders — or one registered leader and a participating Scout’s parent or another adult — is required for all trips and outings. One of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.
  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. In situations requiring a personal conference, such as a Scoutmaster conference, the meeting is to be conducted with the knowledge and in view of other adults and/or youth.
  • The policies of two-deep leadership and no one-on-one contact between adults and youth members also apply to digital communication. Leaders may not have one-on-one private online communications or engage one-on-one in other digital activities (games, social media, etc.) with youth members. Leaders should copy a parent and another leader in digital and online communication, ensuring no one-on-one contact takes place in text, social media, or other forms of online or digital communication.

Why are these policies in place, and how do they differ?

Safety from all forms of abuse, including sexual abuse and injury from accidents, is crucial for all Scouting programs. Requiring a minimum of two adults participating allows for more supervision so that leaders can take a break and still have more than enough supervision present.

The “no one-on-one contact” rule (which, remember, includes digital communications, such as text, emails and gaming) is a core component of combating the “grooming” of a youth for sexual abuse.

An abusive adult will seek to have a one-on-one relationship with a youth separate from adults, parents and peers which includes inappropriate conversations, and seeking to being alone with a youth. This typically occurs in and out of Scouting program activities when a leader seeking to sexually abuse a child seeks to separate the child from appropriate adult.

While similar to two-deep Leadership in some ways, “no one-on-one” specifically states that adult/youth interactions is not appropriate without another adult — preferably a Youth Protection-trained leader — being present.

Additionally, our Health and Safety team strongly recommends a minimum of two adult leaders on all outings in case of injury to a youth or an adult. This is so aid can be sought without putting youth at risk.

A question from a Scouter, annotated

Below I have included an email I received from a Scout volunteer in New York.

The Scouter’s words are in black. The Youth Protection team’s responses are in red.

In our troop, and at summer camp with other troops, it seems nobody understands Youth Protection consistently. The most common misunderstanding is that two adults must always be present with any number of Scouts. 

This causes our Troop leadership to require at least four adults on each campout, so two can remain in camp while two others go off on activities with the boys, for instance. That’s great.

It seems like the policies of Two Deep, and No One-on-One get confused and intermingled, when in fact they are generally related, but different policies. See the explanation above.

My understanding is, as long as Two Deep is practiced for the overall campout or event, it is always OK for a single adult to be with Scouts as long as there is more than one boy present. Not quite, we prefer to have a minimum of two adults as your previous paragraph described.….

For instance, if half the Scouts stay in camp with one adult, and half go on a hike the the other adult, that is OK. Not a good idea, especially for Health and Safety reasons listed above. If the Scout leader were sick or injured, there would be no adults present. 

 I also understand it is OK for a single adult to be with a single Scout, as long as they are in view of others. For instance, at summer camp, an adult could take a boy to the infirmary, as long as they were in view of others during that time. True, given this example.

Or an adult and boy could canoe together, if they were in the proximity of other Scouts and adults. True, given this example.

I have put together the following summary of the Youth Protection policies that I am hoping may clarify things for those in our troop who don’t quite understand it. I would appreciate it if you would review it and tell me if you feel it is accurate and appropriate for me to share with other leaders. 

Two Deep Leadership

A minimum of two adults: at least one adult a minimum of 21 years old, and at least one adult who is a registered leader, is required for all trips and outings. Correct.

One-on-One Contact 

One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. 

The following exceptions and situations are allowed:

– One Scout with his parent/guardian. No problem 

– One adult with two or more Scouts. That depends on the situation. For example, traveling to and from program activity, Scouting meetings and especially outside of Scouting it is not a good practice to have one adult with two Scouts, as the sexual abuser can and will use this as an opportunity to have singular access to Scouts.

– One adult with one Scout in view of other adults and/or youth. Seems OK, given the examples above. 

– Two adults with one or more Scouts. Excellent.  

Do’s and Don’ts of Scouts BSA 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, January 12, 2019 5:16:00 AM

New Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training

As the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) welcomes girls into Cub Scouts and older girls into the Scouts BSA program starting on February 1, it is important that families understand the program or organization they are joining.

There have been some instances where our volunteers may have inadvertently used the name or trademarks of the Girl Scout of the USA (GSUSA) brand in spreading the word that girls are or will soon be part of all BSA programs. GSUSA recently have filed a lawsuit asserting that these instances have caused confusion. While we don’t believe there has been any such confusion, we respect and support the GSUSA and their rights to their brand.

To ensure that we promote our programs in a clear and Scout-like manner, we have developed resources to make sure our leaders are aware of the do’s and don’ts in promoting BSA programs.

The Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training we are introducing today is one of the efforts underway to be sure Scouters have a clear understanding of what they can do. This builds on the infographic below, and the guidance provided to councils in April.

Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training

This training should be shared with all staff and volunteers to bring this understanding to all parts of our community.

While our goal is to encourage youth to join our program, we must always be clear in our communications about the program they are joining.

  • We are The Boy Scouts of America.
  • The Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA are different organizations.
  • We support all other youth organizations and do not disparage them.
  • We encourage parents to enroll all youth in a character development program that meets their needs – and the BSA is certainly ready to welcome them.

To aid you in this effort, councils and volunteers are encouraged to use these intro talking points as you host info sessions and launch efforts for Scouts BSA.

Talking Points

Additionally, please use this resource to help address any questions you might get in the community about this matter.

Resource


Right Way to Refer to Scouts BSA

Source  With tens of thousands of girls already enjoying the Cub Scout program and more young women poised to join the Scouts BSA program when it opens in February of 2019, there’s a lot of excitement around the programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America. 

In all of that excitement, it’s important to remember that at all levels, from our members and volunteers to our professional staff, we take the brand and trademark rights of all organizations seriously and have worked proactively to differentiate our unique program offerings. That, of course, includes the Scouts BSA program, so when referring to that program in any local council or unit materials — including recruiting fliers, announcements, promotional materials, social media posts, and beyond — be sure to use the details in the below infographic for the right way to go about it. 

Infographic

As has been our tradition at the Boy Scouts of America, we applaud the efforts of all youth-serving organizations and encourage families to participate in character and leadership development programs of their choice. The BSA wants boys and girls to have an opportunity to join one or more of these organizations. While we all use different delivery models, our distinct missions have one thing in common – to serve youth.


Scouts BSA do’s and don’ts

Source Do … reiterate that as our organization welcomes families, boys and girls to our programs, the name of our organization remains the same. We are the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Our mission — preparing young people for life — hasn’t changed and is found in all our programs:

  • Cub Scouts
  • Boy Scouts (becoming Scouts BSA on Feb. 1, 2019)
  • Venturing
  • Sea Scouts
  • STEM Scouts
  • Exploring
  • Learning for Life

Do … use only official Boy Scouts of America (BSA) materials, which are located on the BSA Brand Center. We’ve seen some well-intentioned assets developed by Scouters as they prepare to welcome girls that include problematic phrasing like “we’re starting a girl Scouts BSA troop.” Instead, you’re asked to use the downloadable email templates, flyers, postcards, posters, social media images, troop cards, videos, web banners and more available on the BSA Brand Center.

Don’t … use names, programs, marks, logos or images of the GSUSA or combine them with those of the BSA.

Don’t … use the word “girl” in front of “Scout.” Don’t say, for example “girl Scouts BSA troop” or “girl Scouts.” This includes in flyers, conversation, social media, etc.

Do … say things like:

  • Join Troop 123 for girls.
  • Our church has a boy troop and is forming a girl troop.
  • Join the BSA. Find a troop for girls near you at BeAScout.org.

Do … remember that the BSA and GSUSA are separate organizations. The BSA is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. GSUSA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. If those around you say or suggest otherwise, politely correct them!

Don’t … disparage other youth-serving organizations in any way. We want all youth-serving organizations to succeed in their efforts to help make the world a better place.

Do … refer ALL media inquiries (TV, radio, newspapers, online) to the BSA PR team by email at pr@scouting.org.

Do … refer all questions about GSUSA programs to the local GSUSA council or GirlScouts.org.

Do … review the Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training available on the Family Scouting page under “Scouts BSA Program Resources.” You’ll learn about the best terminology and practices as you prepare to launch Scouts BSA troops in February.

A closing thought

Remember the fifth point of the Scout Law and be Courteous at all times.

The Boy Scouts of America applauds the work of the GSUSA in service to our nation’s youth and is committed to respecting the organization’s rights and programs.


Communication Guidelines Regarding Other Youth-Serving Organizations

Source  Do not use the intellectual property of the Girl Scouts of the USA or other organizations. For example, do not use any of the following on any local council or unit materials, including recruiting flyers, announcements, and promotional material, even ones jointly organized or sponsored, regardless of the format or distribution method (e.g., online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). This specifically includes:

  • The trademarks “Girl Scout”, “Girl Scouts” or “Girl Scouts of the USA”
  • GSUSA’s trefoil logo, either with solid fill or with profiles
  • Insignia or emblems of the Girl Scouts
  • Images of Girl Scout uniforms, including photos of people dressed in GSUSA uniforms
  • Famous slogans or mottos associated with the Girl Scouts, including famous quotes by the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon-Low
  • Other distinctive names and brand elements associated with the Girl Scouts

The BSA has provided approved materials for your use. If you become aware of any materials containing these items, immediately remove and stop their distribution. If you are contacted by GSUSA regarding any inappropriate use of the Girl Scouts brand, please contact the Legal Department at burgin.hardin@scouting.org or 800-323-0732, x494.

Support the work of all youth-serving organizations. The Girl Scouts and other organizations across the country all have the same goal in mind — helping youth grow into better citizens. All youth-serving organizations depend on the generosity of individuals and businesses across the country — from retailers who permit fundraising on their premises to schools that open their cafeterias for recruiting events.

To that end, we should always be supportive of other youth-serving organizations and their efforts so that we can all be successful in growing youth into better citizens.

We are the Boy Scouts of America. When inaccurate stories appear in the media, we will take the higher ground. We will apologize for and correct mistakes. We will correct significant inaccuracies in a courteous fashion. We applaud the efforts of all who serve youth. We will speak positively and support the efforts of all other youth-serving organizations.

Originally distributed in the Scout Executive Packet- Week of 4/23/18

Camp Development March 2018 Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, March 27, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Camp Development for the 21st Century

March 2018 Update

The Sam Houston Area Council (“council”) has the vision to become a leader in camping by having first-class facilities that are well maintained and provide safe, fun and educational outdoor programs for our Scouts.  In 2012, the council approved a new Camping Vision Statement: Exemplary, Sustainable Outdoor Experiences and Creative Learning for 21st Century Youth and Their Leaders.”

To achieve this vision, the council has a properties master plan.  This plan is modified from time to time based on need and situational events.

In developing the plan, the following are key principles that drive decisions:

  • Exemplary – first-class facilities, maintained to meet today’s standards;
  • Program Impact – delivering high-quality programs associated with quality facilities – basically driving towards achieving the goals of the Camping Vision Statement;
  • Impact – maximizing the use and access based on location to our camps by as many Scouts as possible;
  • Efficiency – being a good steward of resources and eliminating redundancy; and
  • Sustainable – a long-term solution for ongoing operating and maintenance costs and the long-term maintenance of facilities.

Plans

The current plan includes the development of new camps including the new Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas) that opened in 2015, the new Camp Strake (near Evergreen, Texas) planned to open late 2019 and a new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas), which will open in a few years.  It also comprises making improvements to Camp Brosig (near Sealy, Texas) and McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas). Please view the Camp Strake Video for additional information about the exciting plans for Camp Strake.

Camp Strake has had a construction schedule with a plan for opening in summer 2019 for Scouts BSA summer resident camp.  However, due to unfavorable weather conditions for construction, including multiple significant rainfall events since the 2nd quarter of 2016 that delayed the initial groundbreaking and site clearing, and Hurricane Harvey in the 3rd quarter of 2017, which affected the timing for acquisition of a critical federal permit -- construction is behind that schedule. 

Aerial View of Tsuru Scout Camp

Because of the impact our unfavorable weather has had and continues to have on construction progress, we are at risk of not having the Tsuru Scout Camp finished by May 2019 in time for Scouts BSA summer resident camp.  Therefore, rather than trying to rush the construction beyond what is practical and risk not having the Tsuru Scout Camp completely operational for summer 2019, the decision has been made to cease planning to conduct the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Camp Strake.  The timing of the decision and announcement will allow troops to make alternative summer resident camp plans for 2019.

Plans remain to open Camp Strake later in 2019.  The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances.  Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.  

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Camp Development –  March 2018 Update (“FAQ”) below for information about the Camping Vision Statement, properties master plan, schedules and plans for Scouts BSA summer resident camp during summer 2018 and 2019. 

For additional information about Camp Strake (e.g., design plans, construction schedule, periodic updates), please reference www.samhoustonbsa.org/camp-strake

Funding  

Donations are a major source of funding to develop capital improvements in the properties master plan. The council is in the midst of a major gifts campaign called Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign, which will dedicate more than $21 million for this purpose. The Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign is an initiative to unleash the potential of our programs and camp properties to best serve the needs of Scouting families in the 21st century. Please refer to the Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign for more information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions - Updated March 2018

General Camp Development

What are the Sam Houston Area Council’s plans for camp development?

In 2012, the Sam Houston Area Council (“Council”) approved a new Camping Vision Statement: Exemplary, Sustainable Outdoor Experiences and Creative Learning for 21st Century Youth and Their Leaders.”

Our vision is to become a leader in camping by having first-class facilities that are well maintained and to provide safe, fun and educational outdoor programs for our Scouts.

To achieve this vision, the council has a properties master plan.  This plan is modified from time to time based on need and situational events.

The plan includes developing new camps such as the Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas) that opened in 2015, the new Camp Strake (near Evergreen, Texas) that is currently scheduled to open no later than end of 2019, and a new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas), which will open in a few years.  It also comprises making improvements to Camp Brosig (near Sealy, Texas) and McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas).   

Are there any metrics/standards being used to measure how the council achieves the Camping Vision Statement?

Yes.  They are below.

Exemplary

  • Do the camps provide the opportunity to fulfill the aims and methods of Scouting?
  • Are facilities and programs safe and well maintained and meet today’s standards?
  • Are all program needs (Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing) based on the defined role of the camp being met? 
  • Are the numbers of participants utilizing the programs at an appropriate level and increasing over time?
  • Are the programs fun, creative and educational?
  • Are the camps appropriately located for their intended use?

Sustainable

  • Does the camp operate within a board approved budget?
  • Is the property environmentally sound for future generations?

21st Century Youth

  • Are programs that are conducted attractive and exciting for today’s youth?
  • Are the programs that are conducted leading youth to lifelong values, service and achievement?

Other

  • User (youth and adult) feedback will be sought as a confirmation of their experience.

Definitions

  • Well maintained – “routine maintenance and major maintenance is conducted as scheduled and needed.”
  • Environmentally sound for future generations – “the camp and its facilities are designed, managed and maintained in a manner that balances program use with sustainability.”
  • Attractive and exciting for today’s youth – “incredible facilities and fun and/or intense outdoor programs that expand the limits of what youth can do."

Camp Strake

Where is the location of the new Camp Strake that is being constructed?
The new camp is located near the community of Evergreen, Texas, between New Waverly and Coldspring, and is about 75 miles from Houston. It is near Highway 150.  Scouts and Scouters will be able to easily get there by taking Interstate 45 or Highway 59.  It is about a thirty-minute drive from the entrance of the original Camp Strake. 



 
How many acres does the new Camp Strake have?
The property includes 2,816 acres and is surrounded on three sides by the Sam Houston National Forest. 






 
Why was this site selected?
The Evergreen site was selected because it is in the heart of our target area, met our site selection criteria, which included convenient location and protection from urbanization and encroachment, and allows for expansion for programs in the future.  It is surrounded on three sides by the Sam Houston National Forest, the Lone Star Hiking Trail is adjacent to the property, and the site will have easy access after the completion of the Grand Parkway.  

 
What will the new Camp Strake look like?

The new Camp Strake will be first-class and state-of-the-art for Scouts and their leaders and will have two distinct sections:

  • A Scout camp named the Tsuru Scout Camp developed for weekend and resident camp operations for Scouts BSA program and Venturers;
  • The Leadership Institute for advanced training programs for adult leaders and Scouts BSA program and Venturers. 

The Scout camp for Scouts BSA and Venturers will have the following facilities:

  • 20 campsites with pavilions
  • Air-conditioned dining hall with 450 person capacity
  • Camp headquarters building
  • Large program pavilion
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) center
  • Merit badge pavilions
  • Shooting Sports complex with rifle, shotgun and pistol ranges and for archery, including a sporting arrows course
  • Climbing pavilion with restrooms
  • Low ropes course
  • Zip line
  • Climbing and rappelling tower
  • Bikes and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) area
  • Aquatics Center with a swimming pool and pool house
  • Aquatics Center with lake (28-acre lake being created), observation deck and canoe storage
  • Aquatics training pavilion
  • Sports fields
  • Basketball court
  • Extensive trail system
  • Order of the Arrow ceremony site
  • Arena for 1,200 people
  • 1 Chapel for 250 people
  • 1 Chapel for 100 people
  • Modern restrooms and shower houses
  • 40 summer camp staff huts

The Leadership Institute will have the following facilities:

  • Leadership Training Center
  • 4 dormitories with 32-person capacity each
  • 4 cabins with 8-person capacity each
  • Arena for 100 people
  • Chapel for 100 people
  • 2 Training pavilions
  • Training campsite
  • Shower houses
When will the new Camp Strake open?

Camp Strake is currently under construction.  It has had a construction schedule with a plan for opening in summer 2019 in time for Scouts BSA summer resident camp. However, due to unfavorable weather conditions for construction, including multiple significant rainfall events since the 2nd quarter of 2016 that delayed the initial groundbreaking and site clearing, and Hurricane Harvey in the 3rd quarter of 2017, which affected the timing for acquisition of a critical federal permit -- construction is behind that schedule. 

Because of the impact our unfavorable weather has had and continues to have on construction progress, we are at risk of not having the Tsuru Scout Camp finished by May 2019 in time for Scouts BSA summer resident camp.  Therefore, rather than trying to rush the construction beyond what is practical and risk not having the Tsuru Scout Camp completely operational for summer 2019, the decision has been made to cease planning to conduct the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Camp Strake.  The timing of the decision and announcement will allow troops to make alternative summer resident camp plans for 2019.

Plans remain to open Camp Strake later in 2019. The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances. Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.
Why is it taking until 2019 to open the new Camp Strake since the land was purchased back in 2013 and 2014?

There are many things that go into the development of a project of this size and it takes time to accomplish them all. Just imagine, during many of our programs throughout the year, Camp Strake will be the largest community in San Jacinto County.    

Compare Camp Strake to a university campus or small city. Each have features such as roads, power, water, sewer, buildings and other amenities, which require permitting from the local, state and/or federal levels -- some of which take considerable time. Camp Strake is just like constructing a university campus or small city. 

Additionally, unfavorable weather conditions for construction have caused the project to fall behind its original construction schedule.

Following are some highlights about Camp Strake when the project is completed:
 

  • 4 miles of roads
  • 11.7 miles of trails
  • 122 vertical structures
  • Over 150,000 square feet of facilities
  • 3 Chapels
  • 20 Campsites with pavilions
  • Aquatics Center with a swimming pool and pool house
  • 28-acre lake for non-motorized boating, swimming and fishing
  • 12 Modern restrooms/shower houses
  • Air-conditioned dining hall with a 450-person capacity
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center
  • Shooting Sports complex with rifle, shotgun and pistol ranges and for archery, including a sporting arrows course
  • Climbing tower and COPE course
  • 19 Training/Merit badge pavilions
  • Administrative (camp headquarters) building
  • Arena for 1,200 people
  • 40 Summer camp staff huts
  • Training center
  • 4 (32-person capacity) dorms
  • 4 (8-person capacity) cabins
  • Wastewater treatment plant

Following are some of the processes and projects that have gone into and will continue to go into the development the camp:

  • Program requirements established by Camp Strake Project Definition Team
  • Master planning by architect based on program requirements
  • Land study for infrastructure including roads, power, water, sewer and lake, etc.
  • Endangered species and archeological studies conducted as required
  • Design completed by Camp Strake Design Team with architect after multiple focus group meetings involving Scouts, leaders, and special user groups such as climbing, shooting sports, etc.
  • Budget developed and approved by Board of Directors
  • Construction documents for all infrastructure features and 122 vertical structures completed by architect
  • Contractor(s) selected by Camp Strake Construction Committee
  • Required permits obtained from local, state and federal agencies
  • Site work including creation of new 28-acre lake
  • Infrastructure (roads, power, water and sewer) constructed
  • Multiple permits at the local, state and federal levels
  • Vertical structures (122) constructed
Additionally, the creation of a new lake requires obtaining state and federal permits that take considerable time.  After the permits are obtained and the site work for the lake is completed, it then takes many months for the lake to fill with rainwater.
Can I go see the new Camp Strake site now?
No, not at this time. While we are very anxious for everyone to see the new Camp Strake, it is an active construction site and therefore it is not safe for visitors. Additionally, because of contractual agreements with our contractors doing the work there, we are required to restrict visitor access.

In the meantime, we will provide updates including photographs of the work in progress at www.samhoustonbsa.org/camp-strake.

Camp Strake Progress

Will there be opportunities to see the Camp Strake before it is fully constructed and opened?

We think there will be, but none have been scheduled yet due to the construction schedule. We plan to seek help with service projects in developing the 11.7 miles of hiking trails on the property. A plan for that will be developed and announced later.

 

 

 

Where can I get additional information about Camp Strake and keep up with its construction?
Information about Camp Strake is on the council’s website. Periodic updates on the progress of construction will be posted there. Please reference www.samhoustonbsa.org/camp-strake.

Camp Strake Progress

What will we do if we use all the space at Camp Strake

The site for Camp Strake was selected because it contains 2,816 acres and provides ample space for expanding programs and adding campsites for weekend camping for Scouts/Venturers for years to come. The Tsuru Scout Camp and Leadership Institute areas are only impacting about 500 acres, so we have ample space for future expansion.

Also, the property is already master planned with a site for a future Cub World.

Summer Camp 2018 and 2019

What are the council’s plans for Scouts BSA summer resident camp in summer 2018 and 2019 until the new Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake can open?

Our plans are not to conduct Scouts BSA summer resident camp at one of our camp properties and instead assist our Scouts BSA troops to find a suitable summer resident camp at another council’s camp to meet their needs. 

There are many other local council camps in the Texas region.  We have partnered with the Capitol Area Council headquartered in Austin, Texas for troops to consider their Scouts BSA summer camp program at Lost Pines Scout Reservation, located in Bastrop, Texas. 

The Capitol Area Council has expanded their Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp seasons in 2018 and 2019 to accommodate our troops. 

Also, we will continue to provide campership assistance for our Scouts in need to participate in a Scouts BSA summer resident camp program if they attend the Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp in 2018 or 2019.

Why not plan to open in summer 2019 even if the Tsuru Scout Camp is not completely constructed?
The primary reasons are: 
  1. We want to provide the best experience possible and having a fully operational camp is the best way to do that.
  2. If the camp is not fully constructed by that time, it would mean it is still an active construction site.  An active construction site would be unsafe for campers and would include restricted areas.  Also, it would not be prudent or cost effective to pause construction and require our contractors to come back two months later to complete their projects.
     
How would my troop register for Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp at the Lost Pines Scout Reservation for summer 2018, and how would my Scout/s in need of campership assistance apply for it?
The link to the Capitol Area Council’s website page for Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp is www.bsacac.org/activities/for_boy_scouts/summercamp.

Once their registration for summer resident camp 2018 and 2019 is open, just register for a session with them just as you would any other camp.

The application for your Scout(s) that need campership assistance will be conducted through the Sam Houston Area Council.  Please contact the Support Services Department at the Council for additional information regarding that application process.

For all Scouts that we provide a campership to attend Lost Pines Scouts BSA Camp in summer 2018 or 2019, we will pay the Capitol Area Council directly on behalf of your troop.

 
Can my Scouts who need campership assistance apply for a campership if my troop is attending summer resident camp at any other camp other than Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp?
No. We are only providing campership assistance for our Scouts whose troops are attending summer resident camp in 2018 or 2019 at Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp.
Why is that?

While we will promote all local councils’ camps in the Texas region for your troop to consider attending in summer 2018 or 2019, we decided to pair up with a camp close to Houston that had the ability to increase capacity at its camp and for simplicity in processing campership assistance that we will continue to provide to our Scouts in need.  

The Capitol Area Council’s Lost Pines Scout Reservation is located outside of Bastrop, which is approximately 125 miles and about a two-hour drive from Houston.

Why not conduct Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch utilizing Tellepsen Scout Camp in summer 2018 or 2019 like we have been doing for Scouts BSA Winter Camp?

That was considered but decided not to for reasons such as:

  • Cub Scout Resident Camp is conducted in June and July at the McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch. This would conflict with scheduling a Boy Scout resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch because each program would need to use the dining hall at the same time.
  • Because of the scheduling conflict and use of the dining hall, a Scouts BSA summer resident camp program could not be scheduled until late July, which historically has had the lowest demand for summer camp sessions.   
  • Rather than planning to conduct one or two week-long sessions of Scouts BSA resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch, utilizing Tellepsen Scout Camp that would have to be held in late July that we anticipate the demand would be low, we determined it would be more helpful and effective to find a suitable summer resident camp at another council’s camp to meet their needs.
  • Lack of ability to conduct the standard summer aquatic programs.

Camp Strake Programs

Will Scouts BSA resident camp be held at Camp Strake?

Yes.  Camp Strake will be home to our summer resident camp programs for our Scouts BSA Girl program and for our Socuts BSA winter resident camp program. 

While the original construction schedule was to have it completed by May 2019 in time for the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp, due to unfavorable weather conditions for construction, including multiple significant rainfall events since the 2nd quarter of 2016 that delayed the initial groundbreaking and site clearing, and Hurricane Harvey in the 3rd quarter of 2017, which affected the timing for acquisition of a critical federal permit -- construction is behind that schedule.

Because of the impact our unfavorable weather has had and continues to have on construction progress, the decision has been made to cease planning to conduct the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Camp Strake.  The timing of the decision and announcement will allow troops to make alternative summer resident camp plans for 2019.

Plans remain to open Camp Strake later in 2019.  The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances.  Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.  

Also, Scouts BSA winter resident camp will move to Camp Strake from McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch.  The current schedule for that to occur is December of 2019.  The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances.  Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.
 
What types of programs will be offered at Scouts BSA summer resident camps at Camp Strake?
The Scouts BSA summer resident camp programs at Camp Strake – both during the summer and winter – will be the opportunity to show the full range of what Camp Strake has to offer. Current plans for these programs include:
  • A fully-trained staff engaged to deliver the best possible program experience
  • Exceptional food service in a new, state-of-the-art and air-conditioned dining hall
  • Unique staffed program experiences in "Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience" (COPE), aquatics (lakefront and pool-based), shooting sports, climbing, STEM and ecology, and Scouting skills
  • Exciting backcountry opportunities in hiking, biking, and ATV programs
  • Impressive camp-wide events, including campfire programs at a spirit-filled 1,200 person arena
  • Comfortable camping facilities that will include pavilions in each campsite, modern and convenient restroom/shower facilities, and direct access to key program areas
  • Between summer and winter camps, over 75 unique merit badges will be offered, in addition to a comprehensive First Class emphasis program.
What programs will Camp Strake offer for weekend camping for Scouts BSA and Venturers?

Camp Strake will offer a full range of program opportunities for unit-led outdoor experiences. During a weekend, a troop or crew will have the opportunity to utilize the aquatics programs at the new lake and pool, experience a state-of-the-art shooting sports program, seek adventure in climbing and COPE activities, or explore the vast network of trails, including the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest, through hiking and backpacking programs.
 

 

What types of programs will be offered at the Leadership Institute at Camp Strake?
The Leadership Institute at Camp Strake will serve as the council’s primary site for our pinnacle training opportunities for youth and adults – Wood Badge and National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). It will also serve as a facility to accommodate basic and supplemental training, as well as a venue for planning meetings and retreats for Scouting groups.

We also are planning for it to be the site for some BSA area-wide and regional training courses.





 

Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch

Will there be a new Cub World at Camp Strake?
Not at this time.  However, there will be a new Cub World named the Janis and George Fleming Cub World developed at the Bovay Scout Ranch instead of Camp Strake.  It is planned to be constructed in a few years.





 
Why is the Janis and George Fleming Cub World going to be at Bovay Scout Ranch instead of Camp Strake?
Primarily, there are two reasons. First, we already have facilities for Cub Scouts at Bovay Scout Ranch, and there is ample room for expansion utilizing the existing resources for our Cub camping program.

Second, is more cost-effective. We already have some infrastructure in place at Bovay Scout Ranch to support incorporating a new Cub World. At the new Camp Strake, the infrastructure, including roads, sewer, water, etc., would have to be constructed to support a Cub World there.



 
When will the new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch constructed?
No schedule has been developed at this time. However, it is an important project and plans are being developed to construct the first phase as soon as all the necessary funding is secured.

The first phase of development includes six campsites, each with a pavilion, three restrooms/showers and two program elements. Additional phases will be added as funding is secured.




 
Will there ever be a Cub World at Camp Strake?
There could be. Camp Strake has the space and is master planned for a Cub World. The necessary demand for another Cub World and the funding to develop it will determine that timing.






 

Bovay Scout Ranch

What are the plans for McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch?

Following are the planned projects by priority:

  • First Group of Projects
    • Roadway renovations
    • Restroom (Field Sports area)
    • Refurbish and repair existing buildings
  • Second Group of Projects
    • Parking lot expansion
    • Electrical extension into campsites
    • Storage facility at lake front
    • Pool renovation
    • Storage/Check-out building for the BMX Track
    • Nature Building Renovation (concrete floor)
  • Third Group of Projects
    • Storage facility at lake front
    • Expand pool features
When will these projects at McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch be completed?
Projects will be completed as soon as the needed funds are raised and collected through the Leaders of Tomorrow campaign.

 

Camp Brosig

What are the plans for Camp Brosig?

The plans for Camp Brosig are to continue to make improvements to it as soon as the needed funds are raised and collected through the Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign.

Following are the planned projects:

  • Road repairs
  • Camp entrance
  • 2 shower/restroom facilities
  • BB gun range (Cub Scouts)
  • Archery range (Cub Scouts)
  • 2 program pavilions
  • Campsite pavilions (carport style)

General

Our camps have not always been well maintained. How will the council maintain our new camps and the improvements that are being made now?
For the first time in our council’s history, we have an endowment with sufficient resources to maintain Camp Strake into the future. We are in the process of building an endowment for Bovay Scout Ranch that in time may have sufficient resources to maintain it over time, as well.

The resources of the council are limited. We are thoughtful and take seriously our charge to use those resources wisely to provide Scouting programs to an increasing number of youth. That is our mission. It is important that we eliminate redundancies in properties and have efficient and sustainable camp operations.

The way we will maintain our camps requires us to not have more camp properties than we need based on usage, demand, and sustainability. Also, we desire and are striving to an adequate endowment for the camps that we need based on usage and demand.
How many camp properties and acres of land will the council own and operate after Camp Strake is completed?

Our council will own and operate three camp properties with a combined total of 4,395 acres. 

  • Bovay Scout Ranch / 1,245 contiguous acres and an additional separate 242 acres.  It includes:  
    • McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camp
    • Future Janis and George Fleming Cub World
    • Tellepsen Scout Camp
  • Camp Brosig / 92 acres
  • Camp Strake / 2,816 acres. It includes:
    • Tsuru Scout Camp 
    • Leadership Institute (to be named)
What is the history of camp properties that the council closed and sold?

The council’s first camp was Camp Masterson. It was located twenty-one miles from Houston near Shelton. The land, consisting of 20 acres, was donated to the Council in 1925. It was closed and the land was given back to the Masterson family heirs in 1927.

Camp Hudson was the Council’s second camp. It was located in Houston on what is known today as Memorial Drive. The land for it, consisting of 100 acres, was donated to the Council in 1925 and 1928. It was closed and the land was sold in 1973.

The council’s third camp was Camp Strake. It was located in Conroe about 38 miles from Houston. The land, consisting of 2,359 acres, was purchased in 1943. In 2012, it was decided to relocate Camp Strake to a rural area. This resulted in the land of the original Camp Strake to be sold in 2013, with a lease back from the buyer for the use of the land through 2014.

The land for the new Camp Strake, consisting of 2,816 acres, was purchased in two separate transactions. The first in 2013 and the second in 2014.

The council’s fourth camp was El Rancho Cima. It was purchased in 1954 using funds raised from a capital campaign. It is located near Wimberley, Texas about 30 miles south of Austin and 45 miles north of San Antonio. It was approximately 185 miles from downtown Houston, resulting in a drive time from that location of plus/minus four hours on a Friday evening.

In May 2015, flooding caused significant damage and loss to the Cockrell River Camp at El Rancho Cima resulting in its closing. In the ten plus years prior to the May 2015 flood, there had been other flooding. After months of diligent analysis by a special task force of the Council’s Board of Directors in 2015, it was decided to eventually close El Rancho Cima and sell the property. The camp was closed in 2017 and the property is being marketed to be sold.

The Hudson Scout Reservation was another of the council’s camps. It was located about 120 miles from Houston near Centerville, Texas. The land, consisting of 3,190 acres, was purchased in 1974. It was closed and the land was sold in 1991.

The Hamman Scout Camp was another of the council’s camp properties. It was located seven miles southwest of the city of Bandera, Texas, which is approximately 250 miles from downtown Houston. The land, consisting of 965 acres, was donated to the Council in 1987 and was sold in 2017.

 

Questions

For additional questions, contact communications@shac.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Scouts First Helpline 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 25, 2017 7:45:00 AM

'Scouts First' Helpline for Abuse and Youth Protection

BSA, Our Commitment

The protection of youth is the primary obligation of every individual involved in the Boy Scouts of America — including leaders, parents, members and professionals. The BSA has been and will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to create barriers that help prevent abuse and to recognize and report child abuse regardless of where it occurs.

Nationwide, the BSA requires everyone involved with Scouting to report any known or suspected abuse to local authorities.

Scouts First Helpline

As part of the BSA’s “Scouts First” approach to the protection and safety of youth, the BSA has established a dedicated 24-hour helpline at 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726-8871) to receive reports of any known or suspected abuse or significant violations of youth protection policies that might put a youth at risk.

24-hour helpline: 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726-8871)

The helpline’s goal is to provide immediate assistance to BSA professionals in the investigation, reporting and dealing with abuse allegations or to ensure that the victim, unit, and council are fully supported and the actions taken are properly documented.  All known or suspected abuse and significant youth protection policy infractions must be reported to the Scouts First Helpline after mandatory reporting to law enforcement or child protective services.

Responding to Abuse

When information regarding known or suspected abuse is first discovered, the following steps should immediately be taken by those responding:

  • Get the victim medical treatment, if required, and to a place of safety if needed
  • Ensure the victim(s) parents are notified as soon as possible
  • Notify law enforcement and/or child protective services
  • Call the Scouts First Helpline

Reporting Abuse or Youth Protection Violations

Accurate information is critical to an appropriate response; however, a lack of specific information is not a reason to delay a report of known or suspected abuse or significant youth protection policy violations. At a minimum, every effort should be made to have the following information available when reporting to the Scouts First Helpline:

  • The name, age, council, and unit of the alleged victim(s)
  • The name and phone number of the victim’s parent(s)
  • The name, age, council, and unit of any other known or suspected victim(s) and their parents contact information
  • The name, position, council, and unit of alleged perpetrator(s)
  • The name and phone number of the law enforcement or protective service agency to which the incident was reported
  • The name, unit, and council of any known witnesses
  • The name and phone number of the reporter
  • Details of the incident: who, what, where, and when

The reporter may also be asked to submit the information on a Youth Protection/Membership Incident Information Form (paper or online).

Hours of Operation

The Scouts First Helpline will be answered 24/7. The call may initially be answered by a person who gathers initial information and then escalates the report for further handling.

Questions or Concerns

Questions regarding the Scouts First Helpline and the above procedures should be directed to BSA Membership Standards at 972-580-2365 or 972-580-2007.

NOTE: The Scouts First Helpline is for reporting abuse or significant violations of the BSA’s youth protection policies only. While all youth protection policies must be taken seriously, minor, non-recurring infractions with no indication youth are at risk can be addressed at the unit level. Any other questions should continue to be directed to the BSA’s Member Care team at 972-580-2489.

Never Miss a Post 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, July 12, 2017 6:09:00 PM

To keep up with the latest council news, like us on Facebook.

How to Never Miss a Post

Once you've liked our council's Facebook page, click on 'Following' and select 'See First.' Our posts will appear at the top of your News Feed no matter what time of day you visit Facebook.

Remember to follow your district's Facebook page as well. 

 

Help spread the word about Scouting on Facebook

 

Engage.

Click, like, comment, and share our posts. 

 

Mention the council in your posts. 

Type "@Sam Houston Area Council" and then select the council from the list that appears.

 

Share Memories.

Share your Scouting memories with us by sending photos and videos.  You can post them on our wall or send them to us as a message. You may just see them posted on our wall.

 

Invite Friends.

Invite your Scouting friends to Like our page. 

 

 

The Sam Houston Area Council is focusing on leveraging the power of communications through websites and on social media through Facebook.  The more Scouters share and repost, the more powerful our marketing can be.

Share your unit social media sites

While we are currently focused on Facebook, we have plans to expand to other types of social media. 

We are compiling a list of unit social media sites so we can work together to spread the word about Scouting by tagging, liking commenting and sharing each other posts. 

Would you like your unit website to be listed on your district website?  If so, please complete our social media survey.

Sam Houston Area Council
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