Blog Post List

Earn the Recruiter Strip 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, November 7, 2016 8:57:00 AM

No one is a better recruiter for Scouting than a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer who is enjoying the fun and educational activities that Scouting has to offer.

Scouts who recruit a friend into Scouting can earn the recruiter patch.  

The embroidered cloth strip can be purchased from the Scout Shop, and is worn on uniform below right pocket.

Success Stories

Luke was the only 2nd grader to show up at his pack’s join Scouting night, so they weren’t going to have a Wolf den.  He went out and recruited four friends to join Scouting.  He basically recruited an entire Wolf den!

Darrius was the only 4th grader returning to his pack this fall, so he was challenged him to get out and bring in some more Webelos.  He brought 11 more Webelos!

Not only did they earn they earn the recruiter patch, but they get to hang out at Scout meetings with their friends. Great job, Luke and Darrius!

Encourage your Scouts to bring a friend to your next meeting.

 

Why Scouting

Source: scouting.org

For almost 100 years, Scouting programs have instilled in youth the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Today, these values are just as relevant in helping youth grow to their full potential as they were in 1910. Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives.

The Boy Scouts of America provides youth with programs and activities that allow them to 

  • Try new things. 
  • Provide service to others. 
  • Build self-confidence. 
  • Reinforce ethical standards.

While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, Scouting goes beyond that and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community. 

Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is communicated to them that those in the Scouting family care about what happens to them, regardless of whether a game is won or lost.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Scouting promotes activities that lead to personal responsibility and high self-esteem. As a result, when hard decisions have to be made, peer pressure can be resisted and the right choices can be made.

Benefits of Cub Scouting

Source: scouting.org

As a worldwide brotherhood, Scouting is unique. It is based on the principles of loving and serving God, of human dignity and the rights of individuals, and of recognizing the obligation of members to develop and use their potential. It is a movement dedicated to bringing out the best in people. Cub Scouting doesn't emphasize winning as an end result, but rather the far more demanding task of doing one's best.

When Scouting can help nurture courage and kindness and allow boys to play, to laugh, to develop their imaginations, and to express their feelings, then we will have helped them grow. We want boys to become useful and stable individuals who are aware of their own potential. Helping a boy to learn the value of his own worth is the greatest gift we can give him.

Cub Scouting Is Fun

Boys join Cub Scouting because they want to have fun. For boys, however, fun means a lot more than just having a good time. "Fun" is a boy's code word for the satisfaction he gets from meeting challenges, having friends, feeling good about himself, and feeling he is important to other people. While the boys are having fun and doing things they like to do, they also learn new things, discover and master new skills, gain self-confidence, and develop strong friendships. 

Cub Scouting Has Ideals

Cub Scouting has ideals of spiritual and character growth, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The Scout Oath is a pledge of duty to God and family. The Scout Law is a simple formula for good Cub Scouting and good citizenship. The Cub Scout motto, "Do Your Best," is a code of excellence.  Symbols, such as the Cub Scout sign, Cub Scout salute, and the Living Circle, help boys feel a part of a distinct group and add to the appeal of belonging to a widely respected organization.

Cub Scouting Strengthens Families

The family is an important influence on our nation's youth. There are many different types of family structures in today's world. Scouting is a support to all types of families as well as to organizations to which families belong. We believe in involving families in the training of youth, and we are sensitive to the needs of present-day families. Cub Scouting provides opportunities for family members to work and play together, to have fun together, and to get to know each other a little better.

Cub Scouting Helps Boys Develop Interests and Skills

In Cub Scouting, boys participate in a broad array of activities. Cub Scouts develop ability and dexterity, and they learn to use tools and to follow directions. Recognition and awards encourage them to learn about a variety of subjects, such as conservation, safety, physical fitness, community awareness, academic subjects, sports, and religious activities. These interests might become a hobby or even a career later in life.

Cub Scouting Provides Adventure

Cub Scouting helps fulfill a boy's desire for adventure and allows him to use his vivid imagination while taking part in skits, games, field trips, service projects, outdoor activities, and more. A variety of adventure themes let a boy play the role of an astronaut, clown, explorer, scientist, or other exciting character. Boys find adventure in exploring the outdoors, learning about nature, and gaining a greater appreciation for our beautiful world.

Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan

The advancement plan recognizes a boy's efforts and achievements. It provides fun for the boys, teaches them to do their best, and helps strengthen understanding as family members work with boys on advancement requirements. Badges are awarded to recognize advancement, and boys like to receive and wear these badges. The real benefit comes from the worthwhile things the boy learns while he is earning the badges, as his self-confidence and self-esteem grow.

Cub Scouting Creates Fellowship

Boys like to be accepted as part of a group. In Cub Scouting, boys belong to a small group called a den where they take part in interesting and meaningful activities with their friends. The Cub Scout den and pack are positive places where boys can feel emotionally secure and find support. Each boy gains status and recognition and has a sense of belonging to this group.

Cub Scouting Promotes Diversity

In Cub Scouting, boys may learn to interact in a group that may include boys of various ethnicities, income levels, religions, and levels of physical ability. By having fun together and working as a group toward common goals, Cub Scouts learn the importance of not only getting along, but also of working side by side with other boys of different races, classes, religions, cultures, etc.

Cub Scouting Teaches Duty to God and Country

The BSA believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God, and encourages both youth and adult leaders to be faithful in their religious duties. The Scouting movement has long been known for service to others. Scouting believes that patriotism plays a significant role in preparing our nation's youth to become useful and participating citizens. A Cub Scout learns his duty to God, country, others, and self.

Cub Scouting Provides a Year-Round Program

Cub Scouting has no specific "season"—it's a year-round program. While spring and summer pack activities are informal and there are many activities that Cub Scouts do outdoors, there's still plenty of fun to be had in the fall and winter: the pinewood derby, blue and gold banquet, skits, stunts, craft projects, and indoor games help to round out an entire year of fun and activities.

Cub Scouting Is a Positive Place

With all the negative influences in today's society, Scouting provides your son with a positive peer group who can encourage him in all the right ways. Carefully selected leaders provide good role models and a group setting where values are taught and help to reinforce positive qualities of character.

Scouting Apps 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, November 5, 2016 3:26:00 AM

Boys’ Life Magazine and Scouting Magazine Apps 

Source:  Scouting Newsroom Blog

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines have two official mobile apps. Both apps can now be downloaded directly to your mobile device to make the world of Scouting available at your fingertips. 

Boys’ Life has been delivering fascinating and fun content to readers on ink and paper for decades, but new technology brings a new level of content. Readers will still get all the content they love — Scouts in Action, jokes, cartoons and super Scouting outings — plus access to new multimedia content such as videos, slideshows and easy social media sharing.

Downloading the app is as easy as typing “Boys’ Life magazine” into the search box of any app store, including Apple, Google Play and Amazon Kindle. Readers can also sport the new version of the classic publication on their wrist — Boys’ Life is available for Apple Watch too.

Both apps are free to download and once you open either app, you can elect to purchase an annual subscription for either magazine.

Current subscribers to the print version of Boys’ Life will receive the digital subscription for free. To access the app, all you’ll need to do is input your account number, which can be located on your magazine’s address label. Those who are not subscribed can buy a digital subscription though the app, or they can subscribe at the half-price “Scout rate” using special promo code FBTW0216 on the Boys’ Life website.

Find the Scouting magazine app on any app store simply by searching “Scouting magazine USA” or try “BSA” (the UK Scout Association has already published its Scouting magazine). Subscriptions to the digital Scouting — which includes the entire 103-year Scouting archive — are available via in-app purchase for just $4.99 a year.

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazine apps offer access to more than a century of content. (Photo credit: Scouting magazine)

Decades of Scouting Literature at Your Fingertips

Digital subscribers of Boys’ Life can buy almost any single copy dating to the very first issue, published March 1, 1911. Scoutingmagazine subscribers will have direct access to all of that publication’s content from 1913 to today. This means with the apps, you’ve got every issue of each magazine ever produced, right in your pocket.

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines publish quality information and entertainment for a wide variety of audiences, and you don’t have to be a registered Scouter to subscribe.

The release of the apps makes anywhere, anytime, any place an opportunity to read your favorite Scouting publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scouts with Disabilities 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 5, 2016 10:22:00 AM
 

Scouting helps by giving Scouts with disabilities "...an opportunity to prove to themselves and to others that they can do things - and difficult things too - for themselves." Lord Baden-Powell (Aids to Scoutmastership)

The council is committed to making Scouting accessible and enjoyable to all Scouts, regardless of their abilities. Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has included fully participating members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. The BSA's policy is to treat members with disabilities as much like other members as possible. It has been traditional, however, to make some accommodations in advancement if absolutely necessary. By adapting the environment and/or our instruction methods, most Scouts with disabilities can be successful in Scouting.

The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities is full participation. Youth with disabilities can be treated and respected like every other member of their unit. They want to participate like other youth - and Scouting provides that opportunity.

An individual is considered to have a "disability" if she or he:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities - seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working,
  • has a record of such an impairment, or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

Ideas for Assisting Scouts with Special Needs             Disabilities Awareness Flyer


Training

The council's disabilities awareness committee offers a variety of training courses for Scouters and parents of Scouts. Contact the council Disabilities Awareness Committee to request a training. Visit the council training scheduled to see a list of upcoming courses.

The national disabilities awareness website has several PowerPoint presentations to offer new and potential leaders of Cub Scouting , Boy Scouting, and Venturing with the basic knowledge and skills needed to include and serve Scouts with disabilities skills. Participants will learn about the process of advancement, and national procedures and policies of the Boy Scouts of America. 

  • Essentials in Serving Scouts With Disabilities
  • Including Scouts With Disabilities (in English and Spanish)

Resources

There are many resources available to parents and leaders of Scouts with disabilities and special needs:

Advancement Flexibility Allowed

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, or Sea Scouts who have disabilities may qualify for limited flexibility in advancement. Allowances possible in each program are outlined below. It does not necessarily matter if a youth is approved to be registered beyond the age of eligibility. Experience tells us those members whose parents are involved, or at least regularly consulted, progress the farthest. The Guide to Advancement outlines advancement for Cub Scouts (10.2.1.0), Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts (10.2.2.0) and Venturers and Sea Scouts (10.2.3.0) with special needs.

Individual Scout Advancement Plan for Boy Scouts

The Individual Scout Advancement Plan (ISAP), No. 512-936 is similar to an Individual Education Plan, which is used in schools to establish a student’s special education eligibility. It can also help plan an approach for the education of a student who has disabilities that preclude his or her full participation in a typical curriculum. An ISAP is specific to each Scout and is usually prepared in a cooperative effort between parents, Scout leaders, and a health care professional. The objective of an ISAP is to chart a course through the advancement program that helps a Scout or Venturer with disabilities achieve as much as any limitations will allow, and to facilitate applications for alternative requirements, merit badges, and registration beyond the age of eligibility, as appropriate.

Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges

In order to earn merit badges, Scouts must successfully complete all requirements as stated, no more, no less. Though this rule applies to Scouts with disabilities, some, because of the severity of their medical condition, are permitted to earn alternative badges in lieu of those required for the Eagle Scout rank. Topic 10.2.2.3 “Alternative Merit Badges for Eagle Scout Rank” in the Guide to Advancement outlines the process. Scouts with special needs must first earn as many of the Eagle-required badges they’re capable of earning before applying for any alternatives. With help from his parent or guardian and unit leader, the Scout’s careful review of the requirements prior to starting work on an Eagle-required badge will help him determine if the badge is attainable. If this isn’t possible, he should apply for approval to earn an alternative badge once he has completed all the other required ones. Planning ahead is the key. If the Scout qualifies, his parent or guardian and leader may proceed helping him apply for alternative merit badges early on so the Application for Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, No. 512-730, can be completed and submitted on time. It should also be noted the alternative merit badge chosen must provide a similar challenging experience as the required badge.  

Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility

Youth members with severe physical disabilities and youth and adults with developmental or cognitive challenges may be able to Request Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, No. 512-935  in the BSA. This allows them to work through the advancement program at a pace appropriate to their needs. The steps to do this are relatively easy and you will find them outlined in section 10.2.2.4  of the Guide to Advancement.

A collaboration of parents, Scout leaders, and qualified health professionals can complete the information that must be submitted to the local council for approval. This team should have a good understanding of the Scout’s abilities and disabilities, and how these will affect his ability to complete requirements for advancement. The information submitted will help the council make a proper assessment, so preparers need to be sure to include as much detail as possible.

It is suggested that any Scout who qualifies should be registered this way as soon as possible so he or she has ample time to complete the requirements. The advancement program is challenging, but many members with disabilities have found ways to succeed. Providing them extra time to work on requirements and merit badges, when approved in advance, has proven to be helpful.


How do I register my new Scout as having a disability or special needs?

There is no special registration process for Scouts with a disability or special need or procedure to collect such information. Instead, the parents need to talk to unit leaders about their sons’ or daughters’ particular challenges. A good unit can and does make simple accommodations for individual members whenever possible. If the youth has mobility or health restrictions that will affect camp activities, these are generally collected on the camp physical examination form. Camps don’t necessarily share this information with the entire staff, so adult leaders may find it helpful to talk directly to camp counselors about these restrictions.The disability or special needs status of a Scout or Venturer isn’t otherwise relevant outside the unit unless the youth requires – and qualifies for – advancement accommodations or additional time to fulfill requirements. These accommodations are generally restricted to youth with “permanent and severe” disabilities. A parent or Scout leader can contact the council Disabilities Awareness Committee for suggestions, resources and valuable perspectives if needed.


Abilities Digest

Find the BSA Abilities Digest on Twitter @AbilitiesDigest and on Facebook. Subscribe to the BSA Abilities Digest quarterly newsletter by sending an email to disabilities.awareness@scouting.org.  Put “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject line and put your name, email address, and council in the message.


Contacts

Every unit is different, and every Scout with special needs has a uniqueness all his or her own. If a problem arises, parents and adult leaders can usually handle it themselves; however, knowledgeable Scouters may offer additional solutions and valuable perspectives. The council Disabilities Awareness Committee is available to provide training and to be a resource to help resolve challenges. Contact the council Disabilities Awareness Committee if you need help with:

Contact the Council Disabilities Awareness Committee

Service Project Resources 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, January 1, 2016 1:02:00 PM

Doing service projects together is one way that Scouts keep their promise "to help other people." While a Scout should do his best to help other people every day, a group service project is a bigger way to help people. While you're giving service, you're learning to work together with others to do something that's good for your community.

Community service is a very important part of Scouting in which units perform community service projects, conservation projects, projects for their chartered organization, or participate in an Eagle Scout project.

Service projects may help the natural world, the community, or the chartered organization.

Civic Service Project Ideas

Resources

Houston Community ToolBank

The Houston Community ToolBank is a nonprofit tool lending program serving other nonprofits by putting high-quality tools in the hands of the volunteers. For three pennies on the dollar, the Houston Community ToolBank provides fast and easy access to tools (e.g., loppers, drills, ladders, wheelbarrows, shovels, hammers, rakes, safety cones, water coolers, cordless drills, safety gears, painting equipment) for Eagle Scout projects and community service projects to increase the impact and community revitalization efforts.

Learn More

How to borrow tools

  1. Follow the link on the Houston ToolBank website to complete the membership application.
  2. Provide proof of your organization’s nonprofit status or charitable mission.
  3. Submit a Tool Order online; pay the Tool Handling Fee online (or upon pickup).
  4. Confirm your pickup time with ToolBank staff.  All visitation is by appointment.
  5. Pick up your tools at the ToolBank.
  6. Have a super project! Tools may be borrowed for up to 8 weeks.
 

About the ToolBank

The Houston Community ToolBank was founded in 2012, and is the fifth affiliate of ToolBank USA. The first affiliate, the Atlanta Community ToolBank, has been lending tools since 1992 and equips roughly 50,000 volunteers and nonprofit employees with tools every year. The success of a ToolBank is measured largely by tool borrower satisfaction.

The result is a deliberate focus on customer service and accountability. These values foster community trust in the ToolBank, and empower charitable organizations to increase their overall impact through the use of ToolBank tools. ToolBank USA was founded in 2008 by a generous grant from the Home Depot Foundation to export the ToolBank model across the country. Please visit www.toolbank.org for a listing of ToolBank locations, and for information on how to build a ToolBank in your community.

Reporting Service Hours

Units are encouraged to report their service projects on the Journey to Excellence website. This helps provide the community an accurate report on the great service and dedication our Scouts are showing throughout the Sam Houston Area Council.

Why Community Service Is Important

Scouting has a unique opportunity and responsibility to teach better citizenship to American youth.

  1. Community service projects are the most important way to teach good citizenship because they are an active involvement in which most all of a youth’s senses are engaged, not a passive condition of only listening.
  2. Many youth are finding it increasingly difficult to find meaning and satisfaction in life. Young people are seen as a liability on the family budget instead of an economic asset as in the early part of the 20th century. Youth may see the world as a place that is already shaped, is beyond their influence, and where they are, for the most part, not needed. One of the great contributions of Scouting service projects is to provide youth with major areas of life which they can shape and where their ideas are listened to and valued. Service projects are activities that make youth feel competent and capable.
  3. Amid an atmosphere of cynicism for public life and government office, Scouting service projects can help youth have a more positive experience in civic participation.
  4. More than any past generation, today’s youth need good adult role models outside of the home. Scouting provides additional role models of law-abiding citizens involved in their communities. Scouting members learn to take responsibility in the civic arena by working side by side with these role models.
  5. In a cultural environment that places heavy emphasis on material things, Scouting service projects place emphasis on the value of human individuals and “helping other people at all times.”
  6. One of the most important functions of a good Scout unit is giving youth a much-needed sense of belonging. Unit service projects deepen this function by giving not only youth members, but the entire unit a greater sense of belonging to their communities.
  7. Service projects help foster community pride.