Blog Post List

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

Updates to William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, January 3, 2020 11:34:00 AM

The William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award is to recognize volunteers who organize Scouting units. The award is a square knot placed over the three colors representing the three phases of our program—Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting.

The award has been updated. Previously, the award was maxed out at one volunteer per new unit. Now, “an appropriate number of volunteers who made significant efforts to start the new unit" can receive the recognition.

The revision is retroactive for the entirety of 2019, meaning volunteers who organized traditional units any time after Jan. 1, 2019, are eligible under the revised requirements.

(Source: Scouting Magazine) William D. Boyce didn’t start the BSA all by himself.

Sure, he was the man who signed the papers to make the Boy Scouts of America official — at exactly 11:03 a.m. on Feb. 8, 1910. But just like the volunteers who start new BSA units every year, Boyce had plenty of help.

For Boyce, that help came in the form of names you might recognize, such as Daniel Carter Beard, Ernest Thompson Seton and James E. West.

Think about the men and women who started your pack, troop, ship or crew. I’m guessing you’re not thinking of just one person but at least two or three.

In recognition of the team effort often involved in starting a new Scout unit, the BSA has revised the requirements for its William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award to allow multiple volunteers to be honored in a single unit.

Previously, the award was maxed out at one volunteer per new unit.

The revision is retroactive for the entirety of 2019, meaning volunteers who organized traditional units any time after Jan. 1, 2019, are eligible under the revised requirements.

What about those Scouts or Scout leaders who are founding members of a new unit but weren’t significantly involved in starting the unit?

They’re eligible to wear the Founder’s Bar, which we covered in detail in this post.

How many volunteers can receive the William D. Boyce award?

Your council can help you decide the right number of volunteers to receive the award in your new unit.

In order to keep the award special, the BSA suggests that you keep the recognition to “an appropriate number of volunteers who made significant efforts to start the new unit.”

What are the requirements for the William D. Boyce award?

It’s a little more involved than simply starting a new unit. The unit should be organized using the BSA’s Unit Performance Guide (No. 525-025) and the four pillar steps:

  1. Know the Market
  2. Make the Call
  3. Build the Team
  4. Grow the Unit

A volunteer is eligible to be considered for the award after the new unit renews its charter for the first time and receives Journey to Excellence recognition at the Bronze level or above.

See the full requirements in this PDF.

What do recipients of the William D. Boyce award get?

The highest-profile recognition item for the William D. Boyce award is a gold, green and red square knot.

Scouters who organize more than one unit don’t wear a second knot. Instead, they wear what’s called a “program device” — a small pin that goes on the knot itself and represents the type of unit organized: Cub Scout pack, Scouts BSA troop, Venturing crew or Sea Scout ship.

The knot and up to three program devices may be worn in recognition for organizing up to four new traditional units. One volunteer could receive and wear multiple program devices for organizing more than one unit in the same program.

Who was William D. Boyce?

William D. Boyce was in London in 1909 when he got lost in the fog. Out of the fog stepped a “little lad of 12” who offered to help him find his way. Boyce tried to give the youngster a tip, but the boy refused, saying he was just doing his Good Turn as a Scout.

Boyce was intrigued by the Scout Movement, which had begun in 1907 in England. He returned home from England with pamphlets, badges and a uniform. Six months later, on Feb. 8, 1910, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America.

Scout Fair Coupon Books 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, December 21, 2019 2:44:00 PM

Scout Fair Kickoff

January 23, 2020

At the Scout Fair kick-off, unit leaders will receive coupon books, training, and leader tools. Every unit should send at least one representative. 

Kickoff Locations

Scout Fair coupon books are a brilliant way for units to raise money and prepare Scouts to earn their own way! The Scout Fair coupon book offers great savings for the buyer, while Scouts earn commissions for every $10 coupon book purchased. Buyers support the Scouting program while receiving hundreds of dollars in valuable savings from partners such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Buffalo Wild Wings, Luby's, Fuddruckers, Houston Dynamo/Dash the Houston Astros and many more. All units receive a 30% base commission for each $10 Scout Fair coupon book sold, for funds turned in on or before Scout Fair. Participate at Scout Fair with a booth and earn an additional 10% commission. Units can also take advantage of early bird turn-in dates offering 5%, 3% and 1% additional bonus commissions. In addition, Scouts will qualify for prizes once they sell 15 coupon books. Please refer to the Scout Fair prize brochure for prizes and sales levels.

Sign up to Sell Coupon Books       Turn-in Locations        District Contacts

Sign Up for Scouting for Food 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, December 4, 2019 8:43:00 AM

January 25, 2020 (hanger drop off)
February 1, 2020 (food collection)

Scouting for Food is a council-wide service project to care for people in our local communities who are hungry and those in need. In partnership with the Souper Bowl of Caring, the project begins Saturday, January 25, 2020, as Scouts distribute door hangers in their neighborhoods to announce the upcoming food drive. Scouts return the following Saturday, February 1, 2020, to pick up and deliver donations to their local food banks and pantries.

A Scout promises to help other people at all times. There is no better way to show our Scouting spirit than by participating in the annual Scouting for Food drive! Now is the time to show our community the Scouting values of being loyal, helpful, kind, and cheerful.

Scouts will help make a difference to fight hunger. Scouting for Food is the leading service program for Boy Scouts of America and is a part of the national BSA program - Good Turn for America.

Unit Registration 

A unit representative should register the unit for Scouting for Food.

Register             Unit Leader Guidebook

The unit Scouting For Food chair should attend the January district roundtable to pick up door hangers. All participating Scouts will receive a Scouting for Food patch.

Contacts

For questions, contact your district Scouting for Food chair or district professional.

Super Troop at the New Camp Strake 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Sunday, December 1, 2019 10:58:00 AM

July 12-18 or July 19-25, 2020

Super troop is a temporary troop made up of Scouts from troops around the council. Super Troop is a fantastic opportunity for Scouts to attend an extra week of summer camp, for a Scout to attend camp individually if they can't attend camp with their unit, or for those Scouts who just like to camp. Super Troop is staffed each week by experienced volunteer Scouters.

Summer camp is a week-long council-organized overnight camp for Scouts BSA that operates under council-retained leadership. The program provides opportunities for Scouts to earn merit badges along their advancement trail.

Learn More and Register           About Camp Strake           About Summer Camp

Cub Scout Spring Camp Registration Open 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 9, 2019 2:59:00 PM

Adventure Camp

Adventure Camp is weekend campout for Cub Scouts and their families at Bovay Scout Ranch. Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos Scouts and their families will enjoy an exciting variety of activities at several program areas. Meals are eaten in the air-conditioned dining hall. A staff member in each area will provide program supplies and support the parents who will be invited to assist in leading the activities.

Conducted at the McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camp area of Bovay Scout Ranch, activities may include: seeking treasure in the lost mine, archeological quest at the dinosaur dig, high speed pedal feat at the BMX bike track, Robin Hood style adventure at the archery range, marksmanship at the BB gun range, action at the Bud Adams sports field, exploring our camp at the nature center, and splashing in the water at the David Weekley Family Water Park (weather permitting).

Packs, dens and individual families may register as a pack or individually. Pack registration is preferred to keep families together. Dens and families that register individually will be combined with dens and families from other packs. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and sessions fill up fast.

The fee is $40 per person and includes three meals (lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday with vegetarian and turkey patty options), a patch and the Scout’s program supplies.


Learn More and Register

Family Camping

During family camping weekends, the pack leadership plans the camping program and food. Enjoy all the wonder and beauty of the central Texas rolling hills and lakes at Bovay Scout Ranch. Bovay has year-round camping program opportunities for pack overnighters and Webelos dens. Conveniently located 60 minutes from downtown Houston, Bovay Scout Ranch can be found just three miles south of Navasota on the east side of Highway 6, on County Road 317. Campsites, restrooms and showers are available; however, the program areas and dining hall are not available during family camping.

 

Camp Staff

Bovay Scout Ranch is looking for dedicated volunteers and paid staff to serve Scouting by working at McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camp throughout the year and Resident Camp during July. The requirements are stiff; the jobs are demanding; the experience is exhilarating. For applications, contact Geno Aguilar.
 

Contacts

 

Vincent Manning
Bovay Scout Ranch Professional Advisor
 (713) 756-3380
 Vincent.Manning@scouting.org

 

 

 

Background Check Disclosure and Background Check Authorization FAQ's 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:59:00 PM

Every registered adult leader should have received an email from BSA National this week that included the new Background Check Disclosure and Background Check Authorization Form that needs to be submitted by all adult leaders during the upcoming recharter cycle.

The steps below must be completed before your 2020 annual registration can be processed.

  1. Review the disclosure document “Background Check Disclosure
  2. Once you have reviewed the “Background Check Disclosure," print the document titled “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization
  3. Review the additional disclosures on that form, then complete and sign the Authorization using an ink/wet signature. 
    *Note: A print signature is required for this document. Electronic signatures, faxes or email copies will not be accepted.
  4. Turn in the signed Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form promptly to your unit leader.

FAQ’s from National BSA Legal

1. Is the BSA doing credit checks on volunteers?

No. The BSA will only use these signed authorization forms for approval to obtain a criminal background check. State and federal laws regulating background checks and consumer credit checks require that both items be mentioned on the form since a full background check includes both parts. Again, the BSA is only using this form for authorization to obtain a criminal background check.

2. Why is this being done now?

Starting in 2020, rechecks will be performed every five years, but it will take several years to recheck all leaders. Unfortunately, technical limitations and changes in the law over the last five years prevent us from using existing authorizations from older applications. As such, new disclosure had to be sent and new signed authorization forms obtained. Rechartering provides the best window to collect and verify they have been received before the council processes the recharter application.

3. What about volunteers that are not registered with units?  

All currently registered adults and employees who have not had a criminal background check in the last five years will be rechecked and need to submit the authorization form.

4. What happens if a unit leader does not provide an authorization?

Leaders who do not provide new authorization will not be able to renew their registration.  

Additional FAQ’s from the Sam Houston Area Council

1. Why is the BSA requiring this?  

As part of our on-going commitment to safety for our youth, the BSA is enhancing our criminal background check process. Currently, background checks are run when an adult registers and when they change positions (complete a new application). The new authorization form grants permission for the BSA to run additional background checks without requiring an additional application from the adult.

2. What is different about this authorization form?

Past versions of the authorization for a background check granted permission for the BSA to obtain a background check. The new authorization expands this permission to state the volunteer’s authorization remains valid throughout their volunteer relationship with the BSA.

3. How do I submit this form?

These forms should not be directly turned into the council service center. Volunteers in local Scouting programs (packs, troops, crews, ships, posts) should submit their form to their unit’s recharter coordinator for inclusion in their annual recharter, which is due in December. The unit will then submit these forms for all leaders in that unit in conjunction with their recharter paperwork at the recharter turn-in in December. District volunteers should submit their form to the district commissioner or district professional to include with the district recharter.

4. What about those with multiple registrations?

A copy of the authorization form for a leader should accompany each recharter where he or she is registered as an adult leader. Photocopies of the original signed document are acceptable

5. Does this apply to merit badge counselors?

Yes. Merit badge counselors should submit these forms to the district commissioner or district professional to be included in the district recharter. 

Contact

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council appreciates your patience and diligence as we institute this important process to continue placing the safety of our youth at the forefront of our operations. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

LDS: Continue the Legacy 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, August 30, 2019 8:01:00 AM

Source. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that starting on January 1, 2020, it will shift the focus of its youth programs toward serving an increasingly global membership. That means the LDS church will no longer charter Scout units beginning in 2020 and beyond.

Following is some information for the thousands of LDS families who love being a part of the Scouting adventure and want to continue their journey and for the other BSA Scouters who want to help them do that.

A path to stay in Scouting for LDS families

The long-standing relationship between the BSA and the LDS church won’t continue in a formal capacity, but it certainly will live on in LDS families where Scouting has become a strong and vibrant tradition. Some LDS families have a multigenerational Scouting tradition. Others share a newly discovered passion for Scouting. All who want to continue their Scouting journey are more than welcome to do so.

“All youth, families and leaders are encouraged to continue their active participation and financial support of Scouting … ,” the LDS church in its joint statement with the BSA expressed that it will continue to support Scouting even after its official partnership has ended.

“While the church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after December 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting’s continuing and growing success in the years ahead,” according to the statement.

For LDS church members looking for a new Scouting home

Source. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can explore the BSA’s unit locator tool, found at BeAScout.org to find a new Scout unit. Families can enter their zip code, and the site shows the closest Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships. (This is a good reminder to unit leaders to make sure your BeAScout pin is up to date!)

Once families have identified a few nearby units, here are a few more steps:

  1. Visit more than one unit. “You might find that one suits your family more than another one, even if it’s a bit farther away,” she says. “Not all units Scout the same way.”
  2. Visit your top unit more than once.
  3. Take the family and a friend to the unit meeting.
  4. Ask questions and get contact information. “Getting contact information from their New Member Coordinator means that you can ask questions when you get home,” Mayfield says. “Not all questions come to mind while at the meeting.”

For community packs and troops welcoming LDS church members

Source. All packs and troops should have a New Member Coordinator (learn more here and on Scouting Magazine’s ScoutCast podcast.)

“It’s a relatively new position — but one that is extremely valuable,” Mayfield says. “This person, or group of people, can have a variety of responsibilities and can help new families feel welcome when they arrive for meetings or events.”

She offers these reminders about the New Member Coordinator:

  • The New Member Coordinator doesn’t wear a uniform because a new family might feel more comfortable being welcomed by someone in casual clothing. The BSA has a whole line of New Member Coordinator accessories to help you be identified.
  • Provide new families with a welcome packet that includes information about the unit, meetings, outings, fundraising, membership, uniforming and more.
  • Sit with the new family during the meeting, get their contact information and invite them back for the new meeting. “I hand them my business card with my information and get their cell number and text them a thank you right away,” Mayfield says.

Beyond the importance of a New Member Coordinator, Mayfield offers three more tips:

  • Keep your website and social media accounts up to date. When families who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are looking for a new unit, they’ll likely scout you out online.
  • Be warm, welcoming and willing to talk. Latter-day Saints understand the aims and methods of Scouting, but because of the unique nature of their involvement, there are some aspects of Scouting they haven’t experienced. For example, they might be less familiar with recruitment strategies or fundraising projects.
  • Welcome people the way that you welcome them. For Mayfield, that’s baking. “I’ll make cookies, cupcakes and even cakes to welcome people,” she says. “There’s nothing quite like the personal touch of having a treat delivered to your door.”

Recruiting Scouts currently enrolled in LDS units

Source.  Community-based packs and troops may recruite youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS youth are encouraged to remain in their Latter-day-Saint-sponsored Scouting unit through December 31, 2019.

BSA volunteers may provide a church-approved flyer for recruiting Latter-day Saints boys to their packs and troops. The flyers must be provided to bishops and branch presidents, who will direct them to be posted on bulletin boards in church meetinghouses through 12/31/19. Those flyers are not to include images that identify the church or quotes from church leaders.

BSA recruiting of church members should be done directly with families and not in church meetinghouses.


About the BSA and the LDS church

Source. Throughout the BSA’s relationship with the LDS church, LDS Scouts have benefited from the BSA’s life-changing programs. Hundreds of thousands of LDS young men have become Eagle Scouts.

The BSA, in its official statement, said, “we jointly express our gratitude to the thousands of Scout leaders who have selflessly served over the years in church-sponsored Scouting units and wish the church all the best as it prepares to introduce the new program in 2020.” The BSA has begun working with all of its councils to help ensure a smooth transition for the many LDS families who will continue their Scouting journey.


Three Reasons our Family will Still be in Scouting in 2020 

. Last year The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would discontinue its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and introduce a worldwide youth program in 2020. While our family fully plans to embrace the new Church Child and Youth Development Initiative, we also intend to continue our participation in Scouting. Here’s why:

Reason #1: Structure.

The Boy Scouts of America has been around for over a century, and the BSA has proven its worth as a structured program. This structure is a remarkable support to both Scouting leaders and Scouting families. Regular quality activities, handbooks full of information, and leader specific trainings all provide a tried and true ladder guiding youth to leadership, character, citizenship and fitness.

BSA programs—Cub Scouting thru Venturing—are based and built on age-appropriate activities, like stepping stones. My Cub Scout learns to handle a pocket knife, my Boy Scout earns the Woodcarving Merit Badge. My younger son takes a mile hike with his den, my older son hikes for 30 miles with his troop. You get the picture. My children are benefitting from a program shaped and tested for decades, with applicable achievements for each group, and all under an umbrella of specially trained leaders. Scouting is a safe place to learn and grow.

Additionally, I love that Scouting youth have requirements—steps that must be followed—and hard tasks to complete. As humans, we rarely choose to over-extend ourselves, but the organization of Scouting gently and consistently compels youth to climb higher, be better, and accomplish hard things. In a world becoming increasingly wishy-washy and self-centered, I find the structure of Scouting remarkable and helpful to my parenting efforts.

Reason #2: Skills.

Scouting is all about skills—building fires, camping, backpacking, tying knots, pitching tents, cooking, swimming, lifesaving, first aid. The list of Scouting skills is endless! Take a glance at the 137 merit badges offered to understand the full gamut of opportunities available to Scouts. Where pushing buttons with thumbs has become an all-to-common society staple for youth, I am grateful for skills taught through the BSA programs.

“Outing” is a key component of Scouting. Leave the lethargy and apathy at the door and step into adventure: rock-climbing, rappelling, canoeing, biking, rafting… the list goes on and on.vAnd the fun isn’t just for the older youth. Last week our Cub Scouts learned and played the iconic game of marbles. Imagine seven 9-year-olds, squealing, laughing and cheering as their marbles rolled across the dirt. And in the preceding weeks our Cub Scouts hiked, whittled with pocket knives, cooked over a fire, constructed with carpentry tools, pitched tents, conducted science experiments, practiced safety, and built contraptions with simple machines. Scouting is all about skills.

The skills lead me to Reason #3: Substance.

Scouting is chock-full of substance. Let’s face it; there are a million and one extra-curricular options for kids today. But I can’t think of another activity, club, pastime, team or sport based on Duty to God, Country, and Family. Each week I watch Cub Scouts raise their arms in the Scout Sign and recite the century-old Oath and Law—promising to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind…the iconic list goes on.

When any youth commits to Scouting values, we’ve won a battle for our future. Like I’ve said before, our time as a family is precious, yet the substance—the values and character-building opportunities—offered through BSA programs put Scouting at the top of our extra-curricular list.

And my fourth point—if I may have one—is Patriotism.

No one does patriotism like the Boy Scouts of America. Two weeks ago I stood with over 100 other observers at a campfire. The sky was crystal clear. The stars shone brightly. The full moon came up over the ridge. The fire glowed orange and red. It couldn’t have been a more picturesque evening. Around the campfire stood eight solemn Boy Scouts. With all the respect they could muster, they displayed a flag, tattered and torn. Then, while the audience watched, they shared history in broken and emotional tones, before respectfully retiring the flag in the flames.

The audience was completely silent, engulfed in the emotion of the moment. My 12-year-old son was one of the boys by the fire. Four of his younger siblings watched him participate in that sacred event. It was worth gold to me to know that he had set a standard of respect for our family as he handled the American flag that evening. Yes, no one does patriotism like the Boy Scouts of America.

Will the partnership between the Church and the BSA end in December? Yes. But for our family Scouting will go on. The structure, skills, substance and patriotism offered by the BSA are—in my mind—indispensable. It is my belief that Scouting will compliment—not compete with—any other extra-curricular activity, including the forthcoming Church initiative.

Our family looks forward to another century of citizenship, fitness, leadership, and character through the Boy Scouts of America. In 2020 we will Still be Scouting.


Former National Commissioner Charles Dahlquist on the BSA-LDS Relationship

Source. The Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) share a deep commitment to developing young boys into strong, moral, ethical men.  I believe the bond between the BSA and the LDS Church is as strong today as it began back in 1913 when the Church became the first sponsor of a local Scouting unit.

This week, the Church announced it will no longer offer Venturing and Varsity programs to older boys, rather refocusing its programming for young men around local Church activities that promote spiritual and personal growth and development.  As we all know, we offer a variety of programs from Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to STEM Scouts and Venturing, and our chartered partners are in the best position to decide which programs most appropriately meet the needs of the youth they serve. We recognize that not all programs are a perfect fit for all partners. As we continue to work closely with all of our partners, the Boy Scouts of America will ensure that no boy who wishes to join the Scouting movement will miss out on the positive life opportunities of being a Scout.

The Church will continue Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. In nearly all cases, Varsity and Venturing participants registered at local Church wards are also registered in Boy Scouts. I know Church families and young men are thrilled to see this important partnership continue.

Those of us in the Scouting community who also belong to the LDS Church understand the mutual respect and passion we share for developing young men as we see it firsthand every day. Our relationship dates back to the very beginning of the Scouting movement and in 2013 the Church proudly celebrated 100 years of Scouting.  We look forward to another century of partnering with an institution so deeply committed to values and the development of young men.

Scouting Works

Today’s relationship between Scouting and the Church is strong because we know our programs work well together. We see the results of young men who have gone through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and the impact these programs have on their families and communities.

A Tufts University study of kids ages 6-12 found that youth who participate in Scouting for even a short period of time exhibit strong moral values and positive character attributes, allowing them to embrace new opportunities, overcome obstacles and become better prepared for future success.

I have always appreciated the BSA’s commitment to supporting the Church, and all of its religious partners, in every way possible. The Church has always been able to run its Scouting programs according to its beliefs and standards, and at a core level, the Church’s goals to shape young men matches the BSA’s own moral and ethical mission. That commitment has not changed, and we continue to view Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts as programs that effectively serve the young men and families in the LDS Church.

The Value of Service through Scouting

Over the past century, the LDS Church has made Scouting an integral tool in shaping young men’s outlook on community. In 2016, Scouts commitment to community service nationwide surpassed 15 million hours. What an amazing accomplishment for our Scouting community and for our youth. I can’t help but be moved by the countless instances where a Boy Scout’s selfless service made a big impact on a neighbor’s life or helped improve his community in a very real and personal way.

Scouting Continues to Shape Tomorrow’s Leaders

In addition to service, it is clear that young LDS men who participate in Scouting gain valuable lessons in leadership that begin in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts that ultimately shape their path to adulthood. Countless Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts are currently serving their Church mission in locations across the globe and I know each are putting the values and lessons learned at their local Boy Scouts Troop, or on a Scouting camping trip or outing, to good use. Those of us active in the Scouting community recognize, and I believe the LDS Church agrees, that Boy Scout programs set up our youth participants for success.

Former LDS Church President Gordon Hinckley once said, “If every boy in America knew and observed the Scout Oath, we would do away with most of the jails and prisons in this country. This program builds boys, builds their futures, leads them on the right path so they can make something of their lives.  Every man or woman who helps a boy along the road of life not only does a great thing for him but does a great thing for society as a whole.”

I know President Hinckley’s message rings true today. I look forward to working with you, the larger Scouting community, and the LDS Church to offer programs that serve our young men and their families.

— Charles


Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

National BSA's Consideration of Bankruptcy Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, June 1, 2019 1:55:00 PM

What I Need to Know about Scouting in Sam Houston Area Council 

SHAC Facts 

  • Sam Houston Area Council (“SHAC”) is incorporated in the State of Texas as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The National BSA organization is a separate corporation. 
  • Founded in 1914 and serves a sixteen (16) county area in the Houston Region. 
  • Recognized as a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, holds GuideStar’s Gold Star for transparency and the 4-star rating (highest rating) from Charity Navigator with an average score of 93% for fiscal responsibility and transparency. 
  • Expansive and Growing Market Reach serving approximately 46,000 youth through a volunteer network of approximately 16,000 volunteers. 
  • Over 1,100 Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout every year.
  • Scouts and leaders annually contribute 450,000 plus service hours, estimated at a value of over $7 million.

National BSA’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Considerations 

PowerPoint Presentation

  • Primary Reason for National BSA’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Considerations  
  • Driver is the number of claims for alleged sex abuse incidents that occurred in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s that have come forward after some states in the past recent years extended the statute of limitations for such claims. 
  • We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children. 
  • We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. 
  • We believe victims, we support them, we will cover the expense for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward
  • We steadfastly believe that one incident of abuse is one too many and we are continually improving all of our policies to prevent abuse. 
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is a financial restructuring and reorganization.
  • It is not a total liquidation — National BSA is not going out of business. 
  • It would create a trust for all victims to be fairly compensated. 
  • It would ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted. 
  • BSA’s plan is to have all local councils across the USA discharged from any current filed claims and possible future claims. 
  • In response to and in preparation for anything that might happen regarding National BSA’s bankruptcy considerations, SHAC’s Board of Directors is doing its due diligence to research and act accordingly to protect SHAC’s assets. 

Nationwide Leader in Youth Protection

  • BSA’s Youth Protection
  • Developed and began implementing new youth protection policies and training in 1980s.
  • Examples include:
  • Leadership Selection
         ⇒ Completion of application including a criminal background check and mandatory Youth Protection training
         ⇒ Volunteer Screening Database check 
  • Required Training
       ⇒ Youth Protection Training is required for all BSA registered volunteers 
  • Youth Protection Reporting Procedures for Volunteers
       ⇒ Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies 
       ⇒ Mandatory Report of Child Abuse 
  • Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse
       ⇒ Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities 
       ⇒ One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting. 
  • Policies and training are working and are best practices for youth-serving organizations. 
  • 90% of all claims for alleged sexual abuse incidents occurred prior to 1987 ― before BSA’s development and implementation of current youth protection policies and required training. 
  • In 2018, there were five known victims of sexual abuse in BSA’s Scouting programs nationwide at a time when there were 2.2 million youth in our programs. 

Opportunities for All 

  • Legacy programs for boys have not changed. 
  • Innovative Family Scouting program of Cub Scouts with gender-specific dens welcomed over 1,500 girls in SHAC in 2018 and iconic Boy Scouts program remains the same but has changed the name to Scouts BSA and now includes gender-specific troops for girls with 386 girls enrolled in SHAC as of May 31, 2019. 

Commitment to At-Risk Youth 

  • Since the early 1970s, SHAC has invested millions of dollars to impact the lives of youth in the inner-city areas of the Houston Region through initiatives such as ScoutReach
  • In 2019, SHAC will invest $2.4 million in ScoutReach to serve approximately 9,400 youth – primarily at approximately 50 elementary campuses within the Houston Independent School District. 

Financial Strength and Stability 

  • SHAC is one of the strongest councils in the BSA from the perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment and talent. 
  • Every dollar contributed to SHAC stays in SHAC – 87% of every dollar contributed to SHAC is invested in programs and services. 

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.