Blog Post List

Philmont Council Contingent 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, February 2, 2018 10:48:00 PM

Council Contingent

Each year the council sends several contingents of Scouts and Scouters to Philmont Scout Ranch. This is a great opportunity for units who have youth who want to attend Philmont but not enough youth to fill the minimum Philmont crew size requirement. Participants must meet the Philmont Scout Ranch health requirements and be a registered Scout (ages 14 or older) or Scouter. 

The cost to attend with the council contingent in 2018 is $1,750 (paid in three installments) and includes Philmont fees, transportation to and from Philmont, and food. Let us know if you are interested in attending. 

The link is an interest survey and does not commit a person to going or not going to Philmont.  If you express interest then someone from the council will contact you in regards to making a commitment.  

2018 Council Contingent Interest Form    

 

About Philmont

Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America's largest national High Adventure Base. Its 34 staffed camps and 55 trail camps provide an unforgettable adventure in the high country along hundreds of miles of rugged, rocky trails.

Learn More

 

Contacts

Monica Cotten
Office Assistant
(713) 756-3322
Monica.Cotten@scouting.org

 

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

 

 

 

 

World Scout Jamboree 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, January 11, 2018 2:02:00 PM

July 22 - August 9, 2019

The 24th World Scout Jamboree is an educational event that brings together the world’s young people to promote peace and mutual understanding and to develop leadership and life skills. The jamboree will feature the hallmarks of past world jamboree programs, such as the Global Development Village, the World Scout Centre, a special sustainability initiative, and the socialization elements that allow participants to make lifelong friends from around the world.

Unlike any other youth event, the World Scout Jamboree invites you to surround yourself in diverse global cultures by joining your new Scouting friends at a single destination for 12 unforgettable days. The jamboree experience extends beyond your home—and beyond the boundaries of our countries—to create a global adventure that will last a lifetime! The event is being held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. The United States, Canada and Mexico are hosting the event.

It is specifically designed for young people ages 14 to 17 years old from National Scout Organizations, which are members of WOSM.

There are three ways to be a part of the USA contingent. Scouts whose birthdays fall between July 22, 2001, and July 21, 2005 (age 14-17 by the time of the jamboree), have the unique opportunity to join the contingent as a youth. Scouters born before July 22, 2001, may apply to be either an adult leader or an IST (International Service Team, a.k.a. staff member).

The USA contingent has 10,000 spots available. Join the mailing list to express your interest in the 2019 World Scout Jamboree - USA Contingent. You will receive occasional emails about going to the WSJ, how to register and important deadlines. 

USA Contingent WSJ Website         Join the USA Contingent Mailing List         WSJ World Website

Scoutbook Training and Instructions 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:17:00 AM

SHAC to provide Scoutbook

Beginning in 2018, Sam Houston Area Council will pay for Scoutbook for all volunteer-run packs and troop. 

Update 12/14/17: Scoutbook is a web-based application designed for computers or mobile devices. It delivers a suite of easy-to-use web-based tools that are helpful to Scouts, parents and unit leaders, and enables units to communicate, update records, track advancement, and manage activities better. Because of the many potential benefits that are available in this tool, the Sam Houston Area Council has agreed to purchase Scoutbook for all volunteer-led Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops in 2018.

Unit leaders will receive a letter in the mail providing the access code to enter into Scoutbook and instructions. Once this code is entered, your Cub Scout pack will have access to all of the benefits of Scoutbook. While Scoutbook is not required to be used in reporting Cub Scout advancements, it is highly encouraged as it can be synced to Internet Advancement (IA) and, once done, eliminates the need to entering Cub Scout records twice (once in a tracking program and once in IA).

Beginning the second quarter of 2018, Scoutbook and Scoutbook Lite will replace internet advancement.

Scoutbook Training 

University of Scouting - March 24, 2018

Scoutbook training will be conducted at University of Scouting on March 24, 2018.


All Units Must Activate Youth Advancement Sync

Source

All units that use Scoutbook must activate the youth advancement sync now. Don’t procrastinate! Don’t wait until the last minute; and definitely don’t wait until the week you need to purchase your advancements! If advancement sync is not activated for your unit by March 1, 2018, you will no longer be able to approve advancements in Scoutbook. We do not anticipate extending the deadline. For more information and instructions on how to activate the Scoutbook youth advancement sync, see this page: http://bit.ly/syncadv

Once Sync'd How to Print Out Report for Council and Scout Shop

The second video here will show you how to print out the report you need to bring to your council to purchase advancements: http://bit.ly/syncadv All the councils and scout shops have been notified that they are to accept the unit advancement form from Scoutbook for sync’d units in leu of the form from Internet Advancement. If they have questions they can send them to Scoutbook.support@scouting.org or advancement.team@scouting.org

Progress on Scouting App

The new Scouting App that will be available for Scouts and Parents to track and maintain advancements is in quality assurance testing. We expect to roll out in BETA within the next few weeks. Stay tuned here for more information.

Updated Boy Scout Requirements 

Scoutbook has been updated to reflect the 2018 Boy Scout Requirement Changes. Requirements listed in the Boy Scout Requirements book for rank advancement, Eagle Palms, and merit badges are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America and are effective Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018. However, these requirements might not match those in the Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, as the Boy Scout publication is distributed on an annual basis. The most current and any updated merit badge requirements can be found at www.scouting.org/meritbadges.


Scoutnet to Sync with Internet Advancement

Attention Scoutbook users,

In the coming weeks, unit leaders who use Scoutbook should look for an email regarding syncing Scoutbook and Internet Advancement. Troops in the Sam Houston Area Council have already started receiving them and all Scoutbook units should receive an email by the end of October. After following a few simple steps, units will no longer need to use Internet Advancement and can just use Scoutbook!  

Learn More     Unit Update     What is Scoutbook?


What is Scoutbook

What is Scoutbook?

Scoutbook is a web application designed for mobile devices. Scoutbook delivers a suite of easy-to-use Web-based tools that are helpful to Scouts, parents and unit leaders. It enables units to better communicate, update records, track advancement and manage activities.

Which Scouting programs does Scoutbook support?

Scoutbook currently is designed for Cub Scout, Boy Scout. and Venturing units.

Who can register as a Scoutbook user?

Although any adult leader or Scout can register, Scoutbook is designed specifically for registered unit leaders, registered Scouts, and parents or guardians of registered Scouts.

How do I subscribe?

Visit Scoutbook.com to register; however, please wait for further instructions before subscribing.

Is training available?

Yes. Training resources are available once you are logged in at Scoutbook.com, and additional training is in development.

Who can see my information?

Scoutbook is a secure platform that provides a safe way for parents, Scouts, and leaders to record, track, and manage their Scouting experience. Personally identifiable information will be kept secure. Unit leaders can see Scout advancement information as well as training data on other unit volunteers.

Can I port my third-party unit-management vendor data to Scoutbook?

There will be no need to port data from other third-party vendors because Scoutbook will link to all unit membership data.

Can I still use other third-party unit-management vendors once Scoutbook launches?

Although Scoutbook will be made available to all units, they may continue to choose other third-party applications. However, Scoutbook will be the only unit-management system fully integrated with the BSA database.

How do Scoutbook and Commissioner Tools fit into My.Scouting and Commissioner Tools?

Scoutbook is a unit-management web application that will become the one-stop shop for Scouts, parents, and unit leaders to record and manage their Scouting experience. This tool will provide unit members a way to track advancements, unit activities, and unit communications.

Commissioner Tools is a module within My.Scouting Tools, which allows volunteers and employees to evaluate unit health and identify units in need of assistance. Commissioners will continue to use Commissioner Tools to monitor the health of their units, but should expect the data to become more robust as more Scouts and unit leaders engage with Scoutbook.

Questions

Where do I go for answers to technical questions related to Scoutbook?

More information is available on the Scoutbook.com forums.

 

 

 

Questions

Where do I go for answers to technical questions related to Scoutbook?

More information is available on the Scoutbook.com forums.

Please follow Scoutbook.com on Facebook to keep up with their latest updates and monthly blog posts.

Council Contact

Donna Burke
 (713) 756-3398
 donna.burke@scouting.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Scouting Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 25, 2017 8:50:00 AM

Recently, the BSA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved welcoming girls into our iconic Cub Scout program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. This decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders — as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting — to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remains an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows us to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families. 

This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for our iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.

Read BSA’s announcement and additional information regarding Family Scouting:

The Sam Houston Area Council will now begin to develop plans on how to implement these decisions as they become effective in 2018 and 2019.  We will keep our stakeholder groups informed using various platforms. 

As we develop these plans to pursue new opportunities to better serve families, we acknowledge the value of the programs of Girl Scouts of the USA respecting their importance in meeting the needs of girls and that our programs can be complementary in meeting the needs of families with girls.

We are proud of the healthy relationship our Sam Houston Area Council has with our sister organization, the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. We have had ongoing discussions with the executive leadership of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. The leadership of our two organizations is in dialogue on how we can direct each of our resources and proven programs to meet the needs of youth and families in the communities we serve.

Five Things You Should Know about the Boy Scouts of America’s Program Expansion

Source: October 2017

Cub Scouts

  1. Girls can join Cub Scouts in Fall 2018. Starting in August 2018, girls will be eligible to join the BSA's existing Cub Scouts program.
  2. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, meanwhile, will have local decision-making power to determine if I have a pack with only boy dens, a pack with boy dens and girl dens, or a pack with only girl dens.
  3. Charter organizations decide for their pack. A charter organization may choose to either remain an all-boy pack, have an all-girl pack, or a have a pack of girls and boys.

Boy Scouts

  1. A middle/high school age program for girls will launch in 2019. The BSA will announce a program for Boy Scout aged girls in 2018, which will launch in 2019. This program will parallel the current Boy Scout program, include the same curriculum and merit badges, and allow girls to earn the Eagle Scout rank.
  2. Program requirements will be the same for both genders. The BSA's existing programs for boys and the new programs for girls will operate under the same curriculum and requirements. There has been no indication in the information shared that would indicate any changes in the requirements. 



Family Program Questions and Answers

Decision and Rationale

Q. What decision did the BSA make regarding girls’ involvement in the organization?

The Boy Scouts of America’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. It is important to note that the BSA did not decide to make the Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting programs co‐ed; instead, the organization has introduced a unique model that builds on the benefits of a single‐gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

Starting in 2018 (exact start date yet to be confirmed), families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Chartered partner organizations may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all‐boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a new program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019 (with a more specific start date to be determined soon), that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

Q. What do we know about the changing needs of today’s families?

The BSA is not only listening to our Scouting families, but also to those that haven’t joined theprogram. We understand that families today are busier and more diverse than ever.

  • Most are dual‐earners.
  • There are more single‐parent households than in previous decades.
  • Many underserved communities, including fastest‐growing Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family.
  • And, all families have less free time. More than one‐third of parents feel they spend too little free time with their kids, and millennial parents are desperate to spend more time interacting with their kids.

Q. Is this change a result of the BSA’s declining membership numbers?

No. The BSA has experienced renewed interest in Scouting, and we believe that is largely in response to program innovation and a more thorough understanding of what families want and need when it comes to extracurricular activities. In fact, recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. Following an evaluation of what families and young people want and need when it comes to extracurricular activities and Scouting, the BSA welcomes girls into expanded programs from Cub Scouts to the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

Q. Is this change a departure from the BSA’s core mission and values?

No. In fact, this aligns with our mission and values. After all, the values of Scouting as detailed in the 12 points of the Scout Law – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – are relevant and important for both young men and women.

Our mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. To achieve our mission, we create innovative programs and evolve existing ones that respond to the needs of today’s families and deliver them through dedicated volunteers in communities across the nation.

Q. What research did the BSA conduct that informed this decision?

To inform this decision, the Boy Scouts of America conducted extensive research. The BSA also evaluated input from thousands of volunteers who participated in the nationwide family listening sessions.

The results were overwhelmingly positive and supported the decision to welcome girls into Cub Scouts and provide a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The research found that parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. The BSA also surveyed young girls and found that 90 percent of girls age 11‐18 are interested in joining the BSA’s programs. Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed the relevance of the program for young women.

Q. Are BSA programs relevant for girls?

Yes. On average, more than 90 percent of Scouting families and leaders believe the BSA programs are relevant to both boys and girls. What’s more, education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed the relevance of the program for young women.

Q. Why didn’t the BSA partner with the Girl Scouts or another organization to serve girls?

The BSA had several conversations with other youth‐serving organizations, but found through extensive research and conversations with parents that there is a need and an interest to welcome girls to our existing programs. We celebrate all youth‐serving organizations that build character and feel the most important thing is to allow parents the ability to choose the program that is best for their family. What’s more, the BSA has been providing programs to young girls since 1971 when we extended our Exploring program to young women. Girls also participate in our Venturing, Sea Scouts and STEM Scouts programs.

Q. How are the BSA programs different from what girls would experience with Girl Scouts?

BSA programs provide character‐ and leadership‐building experiences that give young people a solid foundation for their futures. We celebrate all youth‐serving organizations that build character and feel the most important thing is to allow parents the ability to choose what program is best for their family.

Q. Why are you just now allowing girls into the Boy Scouts?

The BSA’s decision to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program and to offer a program for older girls comes from input we have received from our Scouting families, as well as prospective Scouting families. We understand that families today are busier and more diverse than ever. The BSA believes we owe it to families to structure our program offerings in a way that fits into their busy lives to deliver character development and values‐based leadership training that Scouting promises. It is important to underscore that the BSA has provided programming to young women and young men for many years through Sea Scouts, STEM Scouts, Exploring and Venturing.

  • STEM Scouts: 45% of participants are girls/young women, 55% are boys/young men
  • Exploring: 39% of participants are girls/young women, 61% are boys/young men
  • Venturing: 23% of participants are girls/young women, 77% are boys/young men
  • Sea Scouts: 40% of participants are girls/young women, 60% are boys/young men

Q. Why is the BSA recommending single‐gender units instead of a co‐ed model?

The leadership of the BSA determined that the best way to welcome girls to serve today’s families was to offer a unique model that builds on the proven benefits of our single‐gender program, while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

Community Response

Q. What are you hearing from BSA leaders around the country about this announcement?

The decision was informed by members of the BSA at all levels of the organization and from all parts of the country, so we are seeing support for the decision reflect that input. This is an exciting time for the BSA. We value the partnership with BSA leaders across the country as we continue to innovate and evolve our proven programs to meet the needs of today’s families and provide the types of experiences that parents and their children want most.

Q. Do you think current youth members or adult volunteers will withdraw?

The decision to welcome girls into expanded programs from Cub Scouts to Eagle Scout rank presents several opportunities for families to get their youth involved in a program that has been proven to deliver character and leadership traits that parents say they desire for their children. A Tufts University study 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. This programming is in response to what we’ve heard from our Scouting families in addition to those who are not involved in the BSA. A majority of parents surveyed said they are interested in having their daughters involved in a program like the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. What’s more, many of our current families, Scouts, donors, volunteers and professional staff are in support of this decision. We are confident that this change will meet the needs of today’s families.

Q. How do you know parents will sign their daughters up for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts?

The BSA originally began discussions about young girls in Scouting based on numerous requests from families. We recognized a need and worked to understand how we could meet it. In addition to conversations with parents, recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. We made this change so we could bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible, all while staying true to our mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Q. What are the Girl Scouts saying about this expanded program for girls?

The BSA had several conversations with other youth‐serving organizations, but found through extensive research and conversations with parents that there is a need and an interest to welcome girls to our existing programs. We celebrate all youth‐serving organizations that build character and feel the most important thing is to allow parents the ability to choose what program is best for their family. What’s more, the BSA has been providing programs to young girls since 1971 when we extended our Exploring program to young women. Young girls also participate in our Venturing, Sea Scouts and STEM Scouts.

Operations and Implementation

Q. Is this for all levels of Scouting?

Starting in 2018 (exact start date yet to be confirmed), families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all‐boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019 (with a more specific start date to be determined soon), that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single‐gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

Q. How will the BSA respond to parents who don’t want coeducational programs?

It is important to note that BSA did not decide to make the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programs co‐ed; instead, the organization has introduced a unique model that builds on the benefits of a single‐gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls. Starting in 2018, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Chartered partner organizations may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all‐boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a new program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019 (with a more specific start date to be determined soon), that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

Q. How soon can we integrate girls into packs? Can we have a “soft” roll out?

The implementation team has not yet finalized an official start date. Scout executives will receive notification as soon as timing is confirmed by the BSA National Executive Committee. Until then, it is recommended that all units that receive interest in the program from their community develop a list with contact information so that they can reach out to those interested when the details are finalized.

Q. At what age can girls join Scouting?

In 2018, families can choose Cub Scouts for their sons and daughters, starting at age six. A chartered partner may also decide to invite Kindergarten‐age girls to a den participating in the Lion program.

Q. Will you change the organization’s name?

The Boy Scouts of America, in name and as an organization, has stood for character development and values‐based leadership training for more than 107 years. It is, unequivocally, one of the most recognized, respected and valuable brands on the planet. Therefore, while we have expanded the reach of our programs among today’s youth and their families, our name remains the same, and our brand will continue to be a source of pride that we will protect and foster as we look to extend the reach of our promise to more families.

Q. In what cities/states will this program be available?

BSA’s programs are offered to youth nationwide.

Q. Will girls be able to earn the same merit badges?

Yes. Since merit badges are currently earned in the Boy Scout program, girls will be able to earn merit badges through the Scouting program for older girls that will be announced in 2018 and is projected to be implemented in 2019, with a more specific start date to be determined soon.

Q. Do chartered organizations have a choice whether or not to adopt the expanded program?

Yes. Charter organizations always have the option to select from the numerous BSA program offerings. They can select all or one of the BSA programs that they feel best meet the needs of their members and the communities around them.

Q. Will there be new curriculum for girl participants? Will you change the program to accommodate girls?

No. Our existing programs are relevant for young men and women. After all, the values of Scouting as outlined in the Scout Law – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – are relevant and important values for both young men and women.

Q. Will girls have to meet the same requirement to achieve Eagle Scout?

Yes. Our goal is for young women to aspire to and achieve the Eagle Scout rank by meeting the same criteria and achievements as young men.

Q. How will packs and dens be structured? Can a chartered organization choose not to include girls?

An existing chartering organization may choose to serve girls or remain an all‐boy pack. When creating a new pack, a chartered organization may form an all‐boy pack, an all‐girl pack, multiple packs or a pack of girl dens and boy dens. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, meanwhile, can include any combination of all‐boy or all‐girl dens. The choice is left to individual leaders in consultation with their chartered organization. This hybrid model builds on the benefit of a single‐gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

Q. If I have a question about how to incorporate girls into the pack, who should I talk to?

In an overwhelming number of existing packs across the country, girls have already informally been participating in activities, including pack meetings and family camping, so the BSA doesn’t foresee major issues in welcoming girls officially to packs. Because the program itself is not changing, your unit commissioner would be the most knowledgeable person to talk to about the Scouting program. Your district executive is also a resource.

Q. What updates to youth protection will be implemented to ensure the safety of boys and girls?

Youth protection and safety is paramount in all of the BSA’s programs. We invest resources and time to continuously strengthen our youth protection program. At the Cub Scout level, the program is already designed for the family, and we’ve had sisters of Cub Scouts participating in activities for many years – that was one of the reasons we were moved to consider this decision. Young women have been part of Venturing for two decades, and the current youth protection requirements already apply to both male and female participants. Two‐deep leadership is required at all meetings, events and outings. This is a minimum requirement and additional supervision may be necessary, depending on the nature of the activities and the size of the group. As we deliver this additional program for older girls, we will be evaluating any changes needed to ensure the safety of all youth.

Q. What about camping with girls?

Since camping in the Cub Scout program includes the entire family, the Cub Scout outdoor family camping guidelines are still in place regardless of a pack’s composition. Camping guidelines for older girl participants will be confirmed when the organization announces the Scouting program for older girls in 2018, for implementation in 2019. As a point of reference, young women have been part of Venturing for two decades, and the current youth protection requirements already apply to both male and female participants. Twodeep leadership is required at all meetings, events and outings. This is a minimum requirement and additional supervision may be necessary, depending on the nature of the activities and the size of the group. As always, the BSA continues to evaluate and improve our youth protection training across all programs. In Venturing, when an activity includes both boys and girls, at least one adult male and one adult female must be present at the activity, one of whom must be registered as an adult member of the BSA.

Q. Will girls be allowed into the Order of the Arrow?

Youth members that join the Scouting program for older girls (11 to 18) will be eligible to join a Scouting honor society. Details about a Scouting honor society for girls will be shared when plans for an older girl program are announced in 2018 for implementation in 2019.

Q. May an adult male lead an all‐girl unit?

Yes, an adult male can lead an all‐girl unit, just as we already have adult females leading all boy programs. Youth protection requirements still apply to both male and female participants. Two-deep leadership is required at all meetings, events and outings. This is a minimum requirement and additional supervision may be necessary, depending on the nature of the activities and the size of the group.

Q. Should dens for girls and dens for boys meet at the same time and place?

It is up to the pack or the den to decide meeting times and places.

Q. Can separate boy and girl dens work on the same activity at the same time together?

There is no set rule or guideline on this. If appropriate, this can be treated the same as two dens of the same gender working together. It will be up to the good judgement of leaders to decide what is best for their units.

Q. Will we have different uniforms for boys and girls?

All uniforms continue to be reviewed and adjusted to meet participant needs. While the fit and styling may be a bit different, the uniforms will remain fundamentally the same.

Q. Will the basic training courses be modified to include some specifics on working with girls and addressing their specific developmental needs?

Yes, we will evaluate our training and update materials as needed.

Q. What facility changes will need to happen at our camps?

The Boy Scouts of America has been serving young women for decades. Councils will evaluate their program facilities and make any needed changes.

Q. Will current Venturers get credit for their crew leadership roles if the girls join a troop and need leadership experience for advancement?

Advancement guidelines for older girl participants will be confirmed when the organization announces the Scouting program for older girls in 2018.

Q. Will the expansion be rolled out like a pilot, or implemented all at one time?

The Boy Scouts of America’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. This will not be handled as a pilot.

Q. How do units respond to girls who want to join BSA programs immediately?

We are excited to welcome girls who are interested in joining the Cub Scouting program in 2018. The implementation team has not yet finalized an official start date. Scout executives will receive notification as soon as timing is confirmed by the Executive Committee. Until then, it is recommended that all units that receive interest in the program from their community develop a list with contact information so they can reach out to those interested when the details are finalized.

Q. Have major chartered partners met and weighed in on this change?

Chartered partners were consulted throughout the research and evaluation process. Since the decision we have received supportive feedback from a number of our partners.

Q. What is being done to help us with diversity?

Diversity continues to be important to the Boy Scouts of America. We are dedicated to creating an environment that welcomes diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization in order to best meet the needs of today’s youth, families, and communities. Our focus goes beyond ethnicity to include gender and generational diversity, which we believe add to the richness of the BSA through the exchange of ideas from people with various backgrounds and experiences.

Q. Will girls who enter in the fall of 2018 as Arrow of Light have a troop ready to accept them at crossover time in 2019?

Yes, we expect that the Scouting program for older girls will be ready to accept participants in 2019. A specific start date has yet to be confirmed.

 

 

 

 

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.

Shop on Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate to the Sam Houston Area Council 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, October 24, 2017 1:08:00 PM

Amazon Smile

AmazonSmile is a perfect way to support the Sam Houston of America.

  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support Sam Houston Area Council by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.

 

Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

Additional ways to help ensure the success of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council with meaningful gifts include: company matching gifts, company volunteer grants or by donating cars, trucks, RVs, trailers, boats, motors, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, securities, uniforms, camping equipment and yes, even services.

Adventure Camp Spring Registration is Open 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Sunday, October 1, 2017 8:52:00 PM

Register Now for Spring

McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camp is an overnight, full program camp for all family members at Bovay Scout Ranch. Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos and their families will enjoy an exciting variety of activities at several program areas and food service in the camp’s 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 at Bovay Scout Ranch, McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camps 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 K.S. “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).

Enjoy all the wonder and beauty of the central Texas rolling hills and lakes at Bovay Scout Ranch. Conveniently located just 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.    

Registration

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 for camp is $40 per person and includes three meals (lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday with vegetarian and turkey patty options), patch and Scout’s program supplies. Children under five attend free of charge; please note that the program is designed for Scouts. Scouts must be members of the Boy Scouts of America. A $100 non-refundable deposit for the group secures a spot.

One adult per 15 youth in the pack may attend at no cost. This adult will be asked to volunteer to work as program staff and must attend the 8:00 am leader’s meeting. To ensure your camp reservation, registrations, including all fees, must be complete thirty (30) days prior to the camp date. For your convenience, Bovay offers limited quantities of patches, snacks, beverages, and t-shirts for sale in the camp store called Trader Vics.

Every adult attending Bovay Scout Ranch must follow Bovay’s policies and procedures located in the Leader's Guide and the Guide to Safe Scouting. Click on a date to register:

 

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.
 

Frequently Asked Questions About McNair Adventure Camp

How are refunds handled?
See the refund policy.
Are vegetarian meals available?
Yes. Please contact Geno Aguilar at 713-756-3304 to place your request 30 days prior to your camping date.
What are the leadership requirements?

Every pack and den must provide two-deep leadership. Sufficient adult leadership must be provided on all trips and outings based on the total number of youth attending. Cub Scouts must bring at least one family member. Webelos may be under the direction of a Webelos leader, but Webelos leaders may not be responsible for more than one additional “nonfamily member” youth. Every adult must have a copy of their Youth Protection Training certificate taken online within last two years. Tiger Cubs are approved to participate in Adventure Camp, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Every Scout and child must be under the supervision of a leader, parent or guardian. Bovay follows all Guide to Safe Scouting rules.

One adult per pack (or registering group) must have a Hazardous Weather Training certificate (taken online within last two years).
What health form do I need to bring to Adventure Camp?
A copy of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Parts A and B) must be turned in for every participant.
What do the fees include?
The fee for Adventure Camp is $40 per person and includes three meals (lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday), patch, and Scout’s program supplies. Children under five attend free of charge; please note that the program is designed for Scouts.  Scouts must be members of the Boy Scouts of America.  

One adult per 15 youth in the pack may attend at no cost. This adult will be asked to volunteer to work as program staff and must attend the 8:00 a.m. leader’s meeting.
What are the check-in procedures?

Campers may check-in between 3:00 - 10:00 p.m. on Friday evening or between 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. The dining hall will be closed for Saturday breakfast so please plan accordingly. Programs begin on Saturday at 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. and run until 5:00 p.m. Campers will be served lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast Sunday morning.

The designated leader will check-in at registration office in the administration building (approximately one mile past the main gate on the left) and register the unit or group. Registration lines can be a long on busy weekends so please be patient. To facilitate a quicker registration process, please be sure to have all of the mandatory paperwork: 
1. Camp roster, two copies;
2. Youth Protection Training, copy of certificate for every adult;
3. Current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Part A & B for all Scouting events) for every participant, two copies alphabetized in an envelope or notebook (one to keep in campsite and one to turn in during registration);
4. Camp registration confirmation (printed receipt);
5. Hazardous Weather Training, copy of certificate for one adult in the group (taken online within past years).

When registration is complete, the staff will assign campsites and campers may then proceed to their campsite. All Bovay campsites have a pavilion with multiple picnic tables and a red fire water bucket. Distribute wristbands to all youth and adults. All persons onsite must wear their designated wristbands at all times. Wristband colors determine which rotation schedule the Scout should follow. Please follow the specified rotation schedule as the program is designed for a specific number of youth at each outpost.

What are the departure procedures?

Departure is after breakfast on Sunday. Camp closes at 11:00 am. On the morning of departure, the campmaster will drop off cleaning supplies at the restrooms. Follow the written instructions for cleaning assigned showers and restrooms. Scouts should conduct a “police line” where Scouts stand within arm’s length of each other and walk the entire campsite picking up all trash. The campmaster will inspect each campsite to make sure the campsite, restrooms, showers, and pavilions are undamaged and clean, and that all gear and trash is removed. After passing inspection, proceed to the administration building to sign out and pick up paperwork.

What is the schedule?
Tentative Schedule:

Friday

Check-in at administration building, camp set-up, dinner on own, pack free time between 3:00 – 10:00 pm

Leader's meetings in Safari Room at 8:00 pm

Saturday

Late check-in at administration building, camp set-up, breakfast on own from 7:00-9:00 am

Program activities

Lunch in dining hall

Program activities

Dinner in dining hall

Pack free time in campsites

Sunday

Breakfast in dining hall

Camp breakdown / Check-out

Camp closed at 11:00 am

Note:  You will receive the final rotation schedule at check-in. Schedules vary based on camp attendance.

What do we need to bring to Adventure Camp?

Bring:  Tent; sleeping bag, sheets, or blanket and pillow; cot or air mattress; toiletries (e.g., shampoo, toothbrush, deodorant); water bottle; towel and wash cloth; sunscreen; insect repellent; swimsuit; clothes appropriate for weather; rain gear, extra clothes; Scout uniform (determined by pack); closed toed shoes (tennis shoes) and extra pair; flashlight with fresh batteries; personal medication; first aid kit, one per registered group; BSA Annual Health and Medical Form, Part A & B; required for every participant; Small trash bags for restrooms; 55 gallon trash bags for campsite; Camper Release Form, for Scouts whose parents are not attending camp. All items should be marked with name and unit number.

Optional:  Alarm clock; battery operated lantern; bicycle and bike helmet; book of faith; camera; camp chair; Cub Scout handbook; fishing gear; glow sticks (great to keep track of your kids at night and to play games); lockable footlocker; money for trading post; shower shoes; snacks (do not keep in tent); sports drinks or flavor packets for water (to help keep Scouts hydrated); sunglasses

Adults also need to bring a copy for camp: 
1. Youth Protection Training, copy of certificate for every adult;
2. Hazardous Weather Training, copy of certificate for one adult in the unit (taken online within past years);
3. Roster, one for unit

What NOT to bring to camp:  Alcohol, electronics/game equipment, firearms, guns and ammunition, illegal drugs, liquid fuel lanterns or stoves, pets, scooters, skates, skateboards, valuables

Where can I find Bovay's policies?
Every adult attending Bovay Scout Ranch must be familiar with the complete leader’s guide (see the link to the leader's guide in the Resources section above), and the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Contacts

 

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

 

 

 

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
Social Media Channels

Facebook icon     

  flickr icon  you tube icon

Unit Websites and Social Media 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, June 1, 2017 9:56:00 AM

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
Social Media Channels

Facebook icon     

  flickr icon  you tube icon

Help spread the word about Scouting on Facebook

 

Like Us.

 

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. 

 

Select 'Post in News Feed'.

Select the ‘Post in News Feed’ option on the ‘Liked’ button. 

 

Studies show that page posts typically reach a small amount of their total followers. Facebook uses algorithms to determine which stories appear in a user’s Newsfeed. Just liking a page doesn’t guarantee that it will show up in your feed. Engaging (i.e., clicking, liking, commenting, tagging, and sharing) with a page’s content makes it more likely that you’ll see it.

New Online Membership Registration 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, March 9, 2017 3:49:00 AM

Great news!

Scouting families and prospective Scouting families have asked for it, and now it is here!

Beginning this fall, the traditional paper registration method will not be the only way to join Scouting. This is a giant leap forward in allowing prospective members and leaders to register in a way that's convenient for them, and it creates a more efficient and user-friendly registration experience for units, districts, and councils.

Beginning in April, a new online registration option will launch. This option will be convenient and safe and, because it offers greater efficiency, it will allow the ability to reach and serve more youth.  

All applications and payment of the registration fees can be completed online. This will eliminate the need for travel to the Cockrell Scout Center to turn in and pay for new applications.

More Information
 

Before You Start – Preparation Checklist

There are important steps you must take to prepare!

It is critical that you complete all items on the checklist for your Scouting role below to ensure you are granted the necessary permissions to work within the online registration system. Access to information, and the ability to take action within the system, is granted based on these permissions. To have the appropriate access, your role, council name, and a valid email address must be listed correctly in your my.scouting tools profile.

 

Training Videos 

 

How-To Files 

My.Scouting.org

One of the requirements to access online membership registration is the charter organization representative, unit leader and committee chairman must have a My.Scouting account. This account will allow approval online of all applications. When registering for an account a BSA member ID number is required. This number is found on BSA membership cards.  

Set up an My.Scouting Account 

Special Message to LDS Units

Units chartered to the LDS Church are automatically recognized in the online registration system. Your registration fees will continue to be paid directly by the Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Therefore, your invoice should show a balance of $0.00 for registration fees.

However, families will be given the opportunity to purchase Boys' Life magazine, which is not covered by the Church and will be on the invoice at checkout for the family to pay.

Contacts, FAQs, Assistance

My.Scouting

  1. Visit the website 
  2. Contact Member Care Contact Center at myscouting@scouting.org or 972-580-2489


BSA member ID number

  1. Ask the unit leader or unit commissioner. They can access My.Scouting Tools and look up individual member IDs in the Member Manager tool. The member ID is also on a roster from Internet Advancement that's accessible under Menu/Legacy Web Tools/Internet Advancement.
  2. Contact Donna Burke at donna.burke@scouting.org or 713-756-3398 
  3. Contact the Member Care Contact Center: myscouting@scouting.org or 972-580-2489

Online registration

  1. Registration workflow
  2. FAQs
  3. Questions about the preparation checklist, contact the Member Care Contact Center at myscouting@scouting.org or 972-580-2489
  4. District executive

BeAScout.org

District website units page

  • Send updates to district webmaster (use website feedback form under the resources tab on district website)