Blog Post List

Register for Day Camp 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, March 4, 2017 7:26:00 AM

It's a jungle out there. This year, day camp will be a safari adventure. Cub Scouts and their families will go wild, learn new skills, and make new friends. Day camp is a council camp hosted by districts for Scouts entering 1st – 5th grade for the 2017-2018 school year. Scouts will enjoy BB guns, archery, sports, games, and crafts, rank advancements, Scout skills, fun and more. 

Register before March 13, 2017, and get a limited-edition cap. Late registration begins May 7, 2017. Registration closes two weeks before camp.

(Camp Location)
Place Mats Register 2017 Dates Time Location Contact
Aldine Pathfinder
(North Houston)
  Register June 12-16 3:00 - 8:00 pm Northside Christian Church Lance Campbell
(Bryan, TX)
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Register June 12-16 8:00 - 3:00 pm Camp Howdy Ronald
(Southwest Houston)
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Register June 5-9 6:00 - 9:15 pm Longfellow Elementary Ronald
Big Cypress
(Cypress, TX)
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Register for AM
Register for PM
June 5-8
AM: 8:30am - 2:00pm
PM: 3:00 - 8:30 pm
Cy-Fair Exhibition Center
Holly Householder
(El Campo, TX)
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Register June 12-15 8:00 am - 3:00 pm El Campo American Legion Denise Kopecky
(Rosenburg, TX)
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Register June 6-9 2:00 - 8:30 pm Fort Bend County Fairgrounds John DeVeaux
(West Houston)
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Register June 12-16 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Houston Farm and Ranch Jenn Mikes
David Crockett
(Sealy, TX)
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Register June 6-9 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Camp Brosig Dee Dee Michel
Flaming Arrow
(New Caney, TX)
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Register June 20-22 9:00 - 4:30 pm A.V. "Bull" Sallas Park Denise Dupaix
George Strake
(Conroe, TX)
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Register June 12-16 8:30 am - 1:30 pm, M-Wed
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Fr

LDS Church-Crighton Ward

Lorie Thornton
Iron Horse
(Spring, TX)
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Register June 12-16 3:00 - 8:00 pm Northside Christian Church Lance Campbell
(West Houston)
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Register June 12-16 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Houston Farm and Ranch Jenn Mikes
North Star
(West Houston)
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Register June 6-9 2:00 - 8:30 pm Fort Bend County Fairgrounds John DeVeaux
(Tomball, TX)
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Register June 6-9 2:00 - 8:00 pm Spring Creek Park Adam Chojnacki
(Tomball, TX)
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Register June 19-23 7:45 am - 3:15 pm Burroughs Park Joseph Gornick
(Baytown, TX)
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Register June 14-17 5:45 - 9:15 pm LDS Church in Baytown Angie Broussard
San Jacinto
(La Porte, TX)
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Register June 5-9 4:30 - 9:00 pm Lomax Arena Richard Higgins
(Central Houston)
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Register June 12-16 5:30 - 8:30 pm Knights of Columbus, Whitney St. Adina Akin
Soaring Eagle
(Cypress, TX)
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Register June 6-9 3:00 - 8:30 pm St. Timothy Lutheran Church Becca Franco
Tall Timbers
(Conroe, TX)
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Register June 5-9 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm Grace Crossing Church Vaughan Miller
(Soutwest Houston)
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Register June 12-16 5:30 - 9:00 pm LDS Church, S Dairy Ashford Jason Hoffart
Texas Skies
(West Houston/Katy)
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Register June 5-9 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Houston Farm and Ranch Susan Neilson
Thunder Wolf
(Missouri City, TX)
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Register June 6-9 3:00 - 8:00 pm Elkins High School Susan Driever
Twin Bayou
(Southwest Houston)
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Register June 12-15 6:00 - 9:15 pm Longfellow Elementary Ronald McAdams
W.L. Davis
(Southeast Houston)
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Register June 6-9 5:00 - 8:30 pm Gregg Elementary School Felecia Reed


Camps are operated and licensed under the guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America National Camp Standards and the Texas Department of State Health Services Youth Camp Program Regulations.





Sherry Diekmann
Council Day Camp Chair 

Geno Aguilar
Day Camp Registration
 (713) 756-3304


Vincent Manning
Day Camp Professional Advisor
 (713) 756-3380


Does Scouting Work? 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, March 1, 2017 11:56:00 AM

Source:  Scouting Wire

For 106 years (as of this week) Boy Scouts of America has been the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, helping young people to be “Prepared. For Life.” We know it, parents know it, Scouts and Scouters know it – but we wanted scientific proof that Scouting positively impacts character development in youth. So we got it and shared it on Scouting Wire.

Scouting Builds Positive Character

To recap, a research team from Tufts University worked with the Cradle of Liberty Council to measure the character attributes of both Scouts and non-Scouts. The project, which was funded by the John Templeton Foundation and led by Dr. Richard M. Lerner, surveyed nearly 1,800 Cub Scouts and nearly 400 non-Scouts to better understand character development of Scouts. After a two-and-a-half-year period, the study proved Scouting builds positive character and prepares young people for life.

Add This New Video to Your Toolkit

We packaged up some helpful tools to further show the value of Scouting in Resources to Help You Prove the Value of Scouting – but now we’ve got one more asset to add to your council’s toolkit!

Internet users – especially millennials- are consuming more video content than ever, so it’s important to reach potential Scouting families via the medium that’s most engaging and interesting to them. The video below showcases the study’s findings in a brief, animated summary that’s easy to understand and fun to watch. It’s the perfect recruiting tool to highlight why Scouting is the right choice for any parent seeking valuable experiences for their children.

Watch the video for yourself and then share in your councils and social networks. You can share the video from YouTube and download it via the Marketing and Membership Hub

BSA Eligibility FAQ's 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, February 20, 2017 2:44:00 PM

On January 30, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America announced and released the following statement:

As one of America’s largest youth-serving organizations, the Boy Scouts of America continues to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible.

“While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.  Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.

“The BSA is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.”

The link below is to a video of Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, on this topic. 

Below are questions and answers regarding this topic.

Understanding the Decision

Q. What is the BSA’s policy on allowing transgendered youth as members in Scouting?
A. The BSA does not have a policy on transgender youth. For more than 100 years, the BSA, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information documented on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs, such as Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

Q. What is changing?
A. Starting today, we will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application. BSA local councils will help facilitate locating units that can provide for the welfare and best interest of the child.

Q. Why are you making this change?
A. For more than 100 years, the BSA, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information documented on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

Q. What programs does this impact?
A. This change to eligibility requirements will impact single-gender programs – Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs specifically for males in the first grade through age 17. This change does not impact STEM Scouts, Exploring or Venturing.

Q. Can an individual who was born a girl but identifies as a boy join Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?
A. Yes. We will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application.

Q. Can an individual who was born a boy but identifies as a girl join Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?
A. No. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs specifically for males in the first grade through age 17. We will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application. Transgender girls can join STEM Scouts, Venturing and Exploring, since these programs are available to females.

Q. Is there a benefit to making this decision?
A. We hope that the change in our approach in determining eligibility will enable us to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible, and we encourage all interested, eligible youth to apply. Transgender youth face many struggles daily — at school, in their communities, and even at home with their parents and families. They are more likely to be harassed, have higher rates of depression, high levels of anxiety and are more likely to commit suicide than other children. At school, the atmosphere for many is hostile, and it may be even worse at home or in their communities. While it is understandable that our Scouting family may be concerned about how to best serve a transgender boy in Scouting or how welcoming a transgender boy in the program may impact a unit, these statistics shed light on a group of kids that could benefit tremendously from the benefits of Scouting in building character and leadership, as well as the supportive camaraderie and community that results in our units.

Q. How can this decision be made without my unit’s input?
A. While individual units (e.g., Packs, Troops, etc.) are locally associated with community organizations, local councils and units are chartered by the national BSA organization. This means that youth who register to participate in a Scouting program are registered as part of the national organization, which sets eligibility requirements for all councils and participating units. Decisions made regarding participant eligibility are made according to the national requirements – not at the local council or unit level – which do not discriminate with respect to gender identity. If a unit does not think it can offer a safe and welcoming environment, then BSA local councils will help facilitate locating units that can provide for the welfare and best interest of the child.

Q. Is there mounting pressure to be more inclusive and change your policies again?
A. We understand and appreciate that the values and the lessons of Scouting are attractive to the entire family, so we are committed to identifying program options that will help us truly do so. This is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate in order to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible.

How the Decision Affects My Unit

Q: How does this impact religious organizations who sponsor Scouting?
A: While religious partners will continue to have the right to make decisions based on religious beliefs, we will work with families to find local Scouting units that are the best fit for their children. If a religious organization declines to accept a youth or adult application based on their religious beliefs, they should notify the council so that a unit open to accepting the individual can be offered as an option.

Q. Will non-religious chartered organizations be allowed to determine eligibility?
A. As with all Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops, volunteer leadership of each unit determines their ability to provide a safe and effective program for the youth who seek membership. Further, decisions made regarding participant eligibility are made according to the national requirements – not at the local council or unit level – which do not discriminate with respect to gender identity. If a unit does not think it can offer a safe and positive environment for these youth members, then BSA local councils will help facilitate locating units that can provide for the welfare and best interest of the child.

Q: What additional Youth Protection Training is needed as a result of this decision?
A: No additional Youth Protection Training is needed; however, it is appropriate to have a heightened sensitivity for youth safety precautions. The Center for Disease Control and other experts have reported that transgender youth are at a significantly higher risk of abuse at the hands of other youth than are other boys. This risk increases as boys grow older and the Scouting program provides more opportunities for youth to be outdoors with less direct supervision. The BSA’s Youth-on-Youth Training Materials (available at are designed to help adult leaders prevent and react to youth-on-youth incidents that might occur within the context of Scouting, especially in a camping or overnight setting.

Q: If a transgender boy decides to join our troop, how will we know how to handle the issues that may arise while camping and on other outings?
A: When considering Scouting for a transgender youth, the youth’s parents must have an initial discussion with the council and unit addressing the following questions: 1) Is the child living culturally as a boy? 2) Is the child recognized by his family as a boy? And 3) Is the child recognized by his school and/or community as a boy? Living culturally as a boy generally includes dressing as a boy, using a culturally accepted male name or nickname, parents/caregivers using male pronouns when referring to the child, and being considered “a boy” in his daily-life.

The matters set out in the Transgender Guidelines (available to local council professional staff) must be discussed and agreed upon by parents, unit leaders, and the boy before the boy joins. This agreement will include a plan that defines expectations for managing the Scouting experience so as to create a welcoming, safe environment. As part of the guidelines, a council professional must be involved in the initial assessment of whether the unit can or will accept the youth and whether there is sufficient common ground to put together an effective plan to address personal privacy, including bathroom and sleeping arrangements.

Q: What bathroom should a transgender boy use? What about tenting/sleeping arrangements?
A: Matters of personal privacy, including bathroom and sleeping arrangements, will be addressed by customized plans developed with input from the transgender boy and his family. More details about the contents of the plan are available in the Transgender Guidelines (available to local council Scout Executives.)

Q. Will you provide a list of inclusive units?
A. We don’t keep such a list, but we will work with families to find local Scouting units that are the best fit for their children.

Girls in Scouting

Q: Doesn’t this decision effectively allow girls in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout program?
A: No, transgender boys are considered boys. This is a legal decision that many states have adopted. Although we previously referred to the information documented on a birth certification to verify eligibility, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently.

Q. Can an individual who was born a boy but identifies as a girl join Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?
A. No. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs specifically for males in the first grade through age 17. We will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application. Transgender girls can join STEM Scouts, Venturing and Exploring, since these programs are available to females.

Q. What Scouting programs are available to young women?
A. The BSA offers programs for girls and young women through Venturing, STEM Scouts and Exploring.

Q. Have any of our Chartered Organizations made a statement in response to this change?
A. Yes, and we will list those statement in the FAQ as we receive them.
LDS Church Statement


If you have other questions regarding this topic, please let us know by emailing Thomas Franklin at  We will respond to any other questions as quickly as possible.  


Jamboree Patch Set 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, February 14, 2017 7:00:00 AM

The council is offering a very special 2017 National Scout Jamboree patch set. The collectible patches highlight eight national parks. The backpack patch is 8.7" x 8.5."

The patch set will be available for order until May 15, 2017. Patches can be ordered separately or in sets. A set consists of all troop and crew council shoulder patches, Order of the Arrow flap, staff patch and the backpack patch. If you are not attending the jamboree as a participant, the only way to get the limited edition council shoulder patch is to order the set.

Order Patches

There are still spots available to attend the jamboree as a participant or on staff. It's an event that you and your Scout will not want to miss.

National Scout Jamboree
July 19-28, 2017 

Live Scouting’s Adventure

The National Scout Jamboree is Scouting’s flagship event. It’s a gathering of approximately 40,000 Scouts, leaders, and staff that showcases everything that is great about the BSA and its members. Over the course of 10 summer days, once every four years, the Boy Scouts of America comes together. 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.



Council Contingent  

The council will take over 300 members 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!  Registration is a two-step process.

Step 1: Register for Jamboree with SHAC              Step 2: Register for Jamboree with National 

The jamboree is open to Boy Scouts and Venturers who meet the participant qualifications on a first come first serve basis. A Boy Scout must have completed the 6th grade, or will be at least 12 years old and a First Class Scout by July 1, 2017, but not have reached his 18th birthday by August 1, 2017

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).

The projected cost to attend the jamboree is $1,975 and covers 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. Review the payment schedule for additional information.

Please note these important items: After registering with the Sam Houston Area Council for the jamboree, contingent members will also need to complete a more involved online application with the National Council (BSA ID number will be needed). All participants will have to sign and agree to live by a jamboree code of conduct in order to be accepted into the contingent

Adult Leadership: Qualified adult leaders are needed to serve as jamboree troop Scoutmasters, assistant Scoutmasters and crew Advisors. The anticipated cost is $1,975 and includes transportation, admission fees, meals, lodging, insurance and most patrol and troop equipment. Leaders must be approved by the national jamboree committee and complete jamboree Scoutmaster training. Please contact Brett Lee for more information.

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 information.Volunteer staff may select to work the entire jamboree or the first or last half of the jamboree. Staff with medical expertise are needed (e.g., doctors, nurses, dentists, medical office staff). The registration fee does not include transportation; staff ages 16-25 through July 18, 2017 pay half price to work the entire jamboree:

  • Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017 is $850)
  • Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017 is $425)
  • Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017 is $425)

Register to Serve on Staff          Order of the Arrow members can staff through Operation Arrow

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. 


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.


Update Your Pin at 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, February 14, 2017 6:45:00 AM

Unit Leaders:

Make sure your unit’s information is correct on is a tool prospective families use to find units to join. Is your unit information up to date or do you have the unit leader from three years ago as your contact?

We suggest you list your feeder school(s) and/or church in the description. If your unit does not have a website, refer them to the district website (preferably the unit’s page, for example, 

The following registered leaders in your unit have the ability to update your unit's meeting location and contact information:

(A) Unit Leader: this means your Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach, Crew Advisor or Skipper
(B) Unit Committee Chair
(C) Chartered Organization Representative

Here’s what you need to do to update your unit's pin - the whole process should take less than 10 minutes:

  • Step 1. Log onto your account at “” and select “BeAScout” from the Unit Tools section on the left-hand menu. A new page will be displayed: There are two "tabs" on this window, and you should be on "Unit Pin Management" - if not, then click the "Unit Pin Management" tab. 
  • Step 2. Take a moment to look over the Unit Pin Management screen: If at any time you are lost, look for the "Help" link in the upper right-hand corner of the page for help.  Also, note that the "Google Pin Preview" section, in the bottom-right area of the page, will display what will appear on the Google map.  It will change as you enter/edit information in these steps. 
  • Step 3. Check the "Unit Description" - this box contains a combination of your unit name and your chartered organization. If that the information is incorrect then reach out to your district executive (DE) for assistance. 
  • Step 4: If your Scout unit has a website, enter the web address (URL).  Otherwise, enter your district website, preferably the unit’s page on the district website (e.g., You can always edit this field later if your unit establishes a website.
  • Step 5. Update the Alternate Unit Description: many units opt to type their unit type and number followed by their meeting location (example: "Pack 867 - Lincoln Elementary")
  • Step 6: Make sure the Pin Status says "Active" if you want your pin visible to perspective Scouts and parents on the map. 
  • Step 7a: Select your primary contact. The primary contact will receive all emails from prospective Scout parents, so be sure to let the person know that they will be responding to all parent leads. If the fields in this section are "grey" then you must check the "Contact Person" box in the "Fields Displayed on Google Pin" section at the bottom-left side of the page.  If the person is already a registered adult leader in your Scout unit, then their name will be selectable from a list.  Once selected, all information is automatically provided in this section's fields. 
  • Step 7b: Also be sure to check all the information with the primary contact volunteer and edit fields that are no longer current (e.g., phone number, email address). It is very important that you keep this information up-to-date as volunteers and contact information will change over time.
  • Step 8. Enter the location where your unit holds its meetings (address information). This address will dictate where your unit pin will appear on Google Maps.  Note that it may be helpful to enter the name of your meeting location "address 1" and the street address on "address 2"
  • Step 9. Type special announcements, up to 133 characters, in the box under Special Announcements. We suggest you list your feeder school(s) and/or church.
  • Step 10. Check the Google PIN preview - this is a preview of what will appear on the map. Parents will only be able to see what is in this box, so please review it carefully for accuracy. 

NOTE: There is an option to change the icon from a Scouting map symbol representing your unit type to something else. Please DO NOT change the unit logo icon.

  • Step 10. Once you are done, click the “SAVE” button and your information will be uploaded.

That’s all you need to do to set up your unit for Be sure to do this as soon as possible so your unit will get recruiting leads.

Verify unit information on district website

Verify the unit contact information on your district website. There is a unit page on the toolbar of every district website.  Please make sure your unit’s information is correct.  There is a link at the top of the page to submit corrections to the webmaster.  The information on this page is important as this information shows up in internet searches. Also, fill out our social media survey, so we can help promote your unit.

Unit Websites and Social Media 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Sunday, January 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.



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.

Cub Scout Program Updates 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, December 1, 2016 3:40:00 PM

Modifications to Cub Scout program give den leaders more flexibility

Source: Scouting Magazine, posted on November 30, 2016 by 

The Boy Scouts of America has announced modifications to Cub Scouting that make the program more flexible for busy parents, den leaders and Cubmasters.

The BSA gathered feedback from den leaders who had delivered the new Cub Scouting program for a year. What they learned was that some den leaders had difficulty fitting into their program year all of the adventures required for advancement. This resulted in boys not advancing. After a thoughtful and deliberate review, the BSA has released some modifications to address this concern.

What are the modifications? Some adventure requirements that previously were mandatory will become optional, in a move intended to give Cub Scouters more control over their den program.

The changes, which take effect today (Nov. 30, 2016), were approved by the National Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America.

The fine-tuning reflects the BSA’s three-step approach to new programs: Launch. Learn. Modify.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know. 

Cub Scouting’s fall 2016 modifications, an overview

  • First of all, you won’t need to buy any new materials. The new requirements will be posted in a free addendum available at This will supplement the handbooks in current circulation and for sale online and in Scout shops.
  • While the overall feedback from den leaders about the new Cub Scout program has been very positive, some den leaders said a number of the new adventures had requirements that were too difficult for dens to complete within the Scouting year. 
  • The number of new Cub Scouts is up in many areas of the country, but rankadvancement rates have not kept pace, meaning the BSA’s team of volunteers and staff advisers wanted to react quickly to eliminate what might have become a roadblock for some dens.
  • A national volunteer task force developed a solution: Make more of the adventure requirements optional, giving dens more flexibility to match their unique needs.
  • The modifications are designed to ensure that adventure requirements are achievable by today’s Cub Scout dens within a program year. This means they are achievable by all Cub Scouts, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
  • Most of the modifications involve the number of requirements that must be completed, reducing the mandate to a number achievable within the limited time available to many dens. This is done while retaining the rich program options that allow leaders to build strong programs adapted to their needs.
  • The changes increase den-level customization. Units that can handle more content, perhaps because they meet more often or for longer periods, can — and should! — keep the optional requirements part of their program. On the other hand, those that have struggled to finish the requirements will welcome these changes as a way to meet their needs.
  • With the modifications, dens should be able to complete one adventure in approximately two den meetings.
  • The transition should be seamless, with leaders able to use revised requirements as the den begins any new adventure.

Where to find the new requirements

Simply log on to I suggest making it one of your bookmarks

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


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


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 " 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


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)


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 (, Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts ( and Venturers and Sea Scouts ( 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 “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  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  Put “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject line and put your name, email address, and council in the message.


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