Blog Post List

Scout Fair Tips 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, April 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Dear Scouting families and leaders,

We are gearing up for one of the most exciting times of the year for our Scouts! It’s hard to believe that our 80th Annual Scout Fair is less than a month away. Scout Fair is our yearly celebration that showcases family fun and Scouting excitement! Scouts from across our council join for a day of good-old Scouting fun. Scout Fair is a tremendous opportunity for the public to see what Scouting is all about with hands-on activities and fun for everyone- for all ages!  

Scout Fair Program, Map, and Booth Assignments

Let’s BE PREPARED to have one of the greatest Scouting events on Saturday, May 6, 2017, from 10 am– 3 pm at Minute Maid Park. Along with our new location are several new opportunities and features this year. Bring all your Scouts and family members to this tremendous event. Please read through the following information to make it the best day possible for your family and your Scouts. 

In this update you will find information on the following topics:

Key Dates and Deadlines

Please mark the following important dates and times on your calendar:

        April 21, 2017 Deadline to register for a booth/service     
  April 25, 2017 Deadline to purchase parking pass 
  April 26, 2017 Parking passes to be mailed  
  April 30, 2017 Booth Location Notification e-mailed to Committee Chair and Booth Chair  
  May 6, 2017 Service Assignment Notification e-mailed to Committee Chair and Booth Chair   
  May 6, 2017, 6am-10am Scout Fair Booth Set-up
  May 6, 2017, 10am – 3pm Scout Fair Event  
  May 6, 2017, 3pm-5pm Scout Fair Booth Breakdown

Location Information: Security, Admission, Food, Parking and Access

Our Scout Fair location for 2017 is Minute Maid Park located at 501 Crawford St, Houston, TX 77002. To maximize your fun and fully enjoy your Scout Fair experience, please allow plenty of time for travel, parking and entering the park. We encourage you to please plan your route and morning arrival times for Saturday accordingly. Here are several key items to keep in mind:

  1. Security  Due to Minute Maid Park’s position as a Major League Baseball facility, please be prepared to go through magnetometers and bag check any time you are entering the building.  The applies to all guests, regardless if they have already been screened at a different gate.  Please allot extra time for security checks when preparing for your day at the Scout Fair.
  2. Admission  Entry into Minute Maid Park is free. There will be no fee to attend Scout Fair at Minute Maid Park.
  3. Food Absolutely NO outside food or drink will be allowed in the park. Scouts are welcome to exit the facility and go to their vehicles, picnic nearby and return as necessary. There will be several Aramark concessions stands throughout Minute Maid Park where food and drink items will be available for purchase.
  4. Parking  will be at a premium. Due to the Cinco de Mayo parade bringing additional people into the area, we anticipate a greater demand for parking. Prepaid parking passes for $12.00 designated for Minute Maid Park Lots A, B and C are HIGHLY recommended. The deadline to purchase your parking pass is April 26th. Purchase parking passes here: www.samhoustonbsa.org/scoutfair  Parking passes will be distributed through the following methods of your choice:

Parking Pass

a. Either by mail starting on the week of April 28th
b. Or through pick up at the Council Scout Center from April 20th-April 27th. You may collect your parking pass beginning on the evening of April 20th at the Council Coordinated meeting, and up until April 27th in the SHAC Support Services Department during regular business hours. Any parking passes not collected by April 27th will be mailed. Any parking passes not sold by April 25th will be sold to the public, first-come-first-served basis.

  1. Parking Lot Access
  • Access to Minute Maid parking Lots A, B and C will be accessible from the north side entrances off of Preston and Charters (west side entrance), St. Emanuel and Hutchinson entrance from the North side.
  • Texas Street Access is only available till 8:30 am Saturday. After noon all streets will be open to the public after the parade ends.
  • Please note maps on the website and your parking pass that will indicate the open entrances.
  • Preston on the East side of the stadium is two way. Hamilton is One Way North to South. Chartres is One Way, South to North. St. Emanuel and Hutchison are two way.
  • Harris County Sheriff Department and HPD Officers will be on site to move traffic and assist in access to Minute Maid Parking lots.
  • WE REPEAT: Please plan your route and morning arrival times for Saturday accordingly.

Parking Map

Street Closures due to Cinco de Mayo Parade

  • Street closures on May 6th, 2017 will impact the original unloading and vehicular move-in on Saturday morning after 8:30 am.
  • Beginning at 8:30 am street closures will be in effect and movement around Minute Maid Park will be impacted.
  • Saturday setup will begin at 6:00 am to 8:30 am and will have the least amount of Cinco de Mayo and Scout Fair traffic congestion.
  • If you are dropping off items from a vehicle or trailer, we encourage you to arrive between 6:00 am -8:00 am. Vehicle access to drop off will close at the park after 8:30 am. As street closures begin, you will need to park and bring your items in by walking from the parking lots.
  • If you have a large booth item and need to work out a delivery process, contact Fritz Maxwell at 281-813-3825, Russell Carman at 281-433-4502 or Dennis Olheiser at 281-831-0787 by Sunday, April 30th. They can assist with drop-off options.
  • Traffic congestion and street closures on Saturday after 8:30 am will impede driving access to the Minute Maid Park on Texas, Hamilton, Congress and Preston. WE REPEAT: Please plan your route and morning arrival times for Saturday accordingly.

Scout Fair Booth/Service Unit Registration

Deadline Friday, April 21, 2017

  • Participate by hosting a booth!

There is still time to register your unit to host a Scout Fair Booth! Host a Scout Fair booth and allow your Scouts to display their accomplishments, or create a new and exciting activity for them to present. Booth activity ideas are endless! Be creative and have fun with this, but please review the Guide to Safe Scouting and the Safety Booth Requirements Manual before finalizing your booth plans. Booth space is limited so please register as soon as possible. We hope to see your unit there! Table and chair rentals will be available for your booth - $15.00 for tables and $5.00 for chairs. Supplies are limited. Visit www.shac.org/scout-fair-leader-page/#Booths for more information and to register.

Booth Participation

  • Participate by providing service at Scout Fair!

If you don’t have an idea for a booth, but still want to participate at Scout Fair, register as a Service Unit! Service troops, crews, teams ships and posts can assist with all sorts of needs such as set-up Saturday morning or clean up Saturday afternoon, serve at various council booths, run errands during Scout Fair, etc. If you can only help at specific times, let us know when you register. Please be advised, Cub Scout packs will not have this option this year. Visit www.shac.org/scout-fair-leader-page/#Booths to register.

Service Participation

Scouts Paws for A Cause - A Scout is Helpful

In celebration of the Sam Houston Area Council Scout Fair, we are excited to present “Scouts Paws for a Cause” – a special Scout Fair service project dedicated to help animals in need.  A Scout is Helpful, so let’s join and help support our local animal shelters! You can easily participate by bringing an item from the donation list and dropping it off at several designated booths during Scout Fair. Everyone that participates will receive a special prize based on this year’s theme, "Scouts Today. Legends Tomorrow." All donations will be distributed to various local animal shelters. Visit http://www.samhoustonbsa.org/scouts-paws-for-a-cause-scout-fair-service-project-2017-04-06 for more information.

More Information

Donation List for Items to Bring to Scout Fair:

  • Canned Puppy Food: Purina Pro Plan Puppy
  • Canned Adult Dog Food: Purina Pro Plan Adult
  • Canned Kitten Food: Fancy Feast Kitten (Petco brand), Tender Turkey Feast or Authority (PetSmart Brand) - Beef/Poultry Flavors only
  • Canned Adult Cat Food: Fancy Feast Classic Adult (Petco Brand): Beef/Poultry Flavors only or Authority (PetSmart Brand) - Beef/Poultry Flavors only
  • Items such as pet toys and blankets will also be accepted

(No fish/seafood flavors for any of the varieties, please.)

Special Event Attractions and Highlights

  • Indoor booths -  Visit hundreds of fun, hands-on, activities and crafts located throughout the concourse area
  • Outdoor booths - Sample Dutch oven creations and other camp food delicacies fresh off the camp stove, in addition to numerous other attractions
  • Main stage - Enjoy live entertainment
  • Midway - Meet Scouting’s community partners and learn fun Scout skills
  • Scout Shop - Shop for all your Scouting needs (Union Station)
  • Union Station will be the designated location for Patch pick-up, Winner’s Circle and Coupon book money turn in. (Union Station is on the west side of the park). 
  • Parade of Flags We will have a parade inside Minute Maid Park to celebrate the conclusion of the fair beginning at 2:00 p.m. Each unit is encouraged to have a youth carry a unit flag. You can join the parade when it passes by your booth.
  • Legends Areas We will have 7 legends areas. There will be a "Scorecard" that a youth can get signed off in each Legends area. Youth that get their "Scorecard" signed off in each of the 7 areas will receive a commemorative wooded coin. Scorecards and coin pick-up can be done at one of the 5 commissioner booths located inside the park. Youth will also receive a ticket for a drawing in each Legends area. Drawings will be held for prizes at 11:00 a.m., Noon and 1:00 p.m. at the inside stage. Prizes must be picked up before the close of Scout Fair.

Safety tips and reminders

  • Youth protection and two deep leadership are always required. Enforce the buddy system. Have a safety talk with the Scouts about any possible hazards. Have the boys wear their uniform! Please review the safety reminders and the booth safety guidelines as our Scouts’ safety is our number one priority.
  • Risk Management- The best way to stay safe is to avoid getting into trouble in the first place. That requires planning, training, leadership, good judgment, and accepting responsibility. For any emergency situation, please contact the appropriate parties as necessary.

Submit your photos

Take lots of photos! Send your photos to our council Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SHAC.BSA These photos will generate excitement and help promote the Scouting mission to the Houston community.

The Cinco de Mayo parade will disperse by noon and should have no impact during take down and loading at 3:00 pm. We must be clear of Minute Maid Park and their parking lots by 5:00 pm Saturday. Thanks again for all you are doing to make Scout Fair so successful. We are all good Scouters and can work through this process. Above all, we hope you and your Scouts have a safe, fun and memorable experience. We are working hard to ensure this event is a great success. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Scout Fair team. We are looking forward to seeing you and serving with you!

Yours in Scouting Service,

2017 Scout Fair Management Team

Steve Taylor
Fritz Maxwell
Russell Carmen
Brandon Lewis
Marty Sepulveda

Scouts Paws for a Cause: Scout Fair Service Project 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, April 18, 2017 9:11:00 PM

May 6, 2017

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Sam Houston Area Council Scout Fair, we are excited to introduce “Scouts Paws for a Cause” – the first ever youth-led Scout Fair Service Project! This year, SHAC has teamed up with several local animal shelters to provide support for these organizations dedicated to caring for our furry friends.  

Open to all participants at Scout Fair, you can easily take part in this awesome event by bringing an item from the donation list and dropping it off at the designated booths during Scout Fair. Additionally, those who participate will receive a special prize based on this year’s Scout Fair theme, "Scouts today. Legends tomorrow."

As the old saying goes “everything’s bigger in Texas,” so join the 20,000 attendees expected this year and be sure you are a part of the biggest Scout Service Project that Houston has ever seen!

Donation List for Items to Bring to Scout Fair:

Canned Puppy Food

  • Purina Pro Plan Puppy

Canned Adult Dog Food

  • Purina Pro Plan Adult

Canned Kitten Food

  • Fancy Feast Kitten – Tender Turkey Feast (no fish/seafood, please)
  • Authority (PetSmart Brand) - Beef/Poultry Flavors only (no fish/seafood, please)

Canned Adult Cat Food

  • Fancy Feast Classic Adult (Petco Brand):  Beef/Poultry Flavors only (no fish/seafood, please)
  • Authority (PetSmart Brand) - Beef/Poultry Flavors only (no fish/seafood, please)

Sign up for Resident Camp 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Sunday, April 9, 2017 5:40:00 AM

Resident camp is a three-night campout at Bovay Scout Ranch for Cub Scouts entering the first through fifth grade the following school year. From Cub Scout skills to rank advancements, these camps are full of fun and learning. Cub Scouts attending resident camp are also encouraged to register for day camp, as the advancements offered at resident camp add to those offered at day camp.

Resident camp includes activities such as riding BMX bikes, shooting archery and BB guns, playing sports, canoeing, fishing, making crafts, learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), exploring nature, stargazing, branding, and splashing in the pool.

In addition, the resident camp program will focus on the new Cub Scout program electives:

  • Tiger: Floats and Boats, Rolling Tigers
  • Wolf: Paws of Skill
  • Bear: Salmon Run, A Bear Goes Fishing
  • Webelos: Aquanaut, Into the Woods, Into the Wild       

Registration

Click on the session below to register.

Session Register Session Date Session Time
Session 1 Register July 9 - 12, 2017 Sun at 2 pm - Wed at 11 am
Session 2 Register July 12 - 15, 2017 Wed at 2 pm - Sat at 11 am
Session 3 Register July 16 - 19, 2017 Sun at 2 pm - Wed at 11 am
Session 4 Register July 19 - 22, 2017 Wed at 2 pm - Sat at 11 am
Session 5 Register July 23 - 26, 2017 Sun at 2 pm - Wed at 11 am
Session 6 Register July 26 - 29, 2017 Wed at 2 pm - Sat at 11 am

Costs and Fees

There is a maximum of 180 Cub Scouts per session; sessions fill up quickly.  Only those with full payment, camp roster and Adult in Camp Compliance forms submitted by May 1 are guaranteed a spot. Cub Scouts attending must be members of the BSA and be under the supervision of an adult. One adult for each family is expected. Youth fees are $120 and adult fees are $70, if paid by May 1. All newly chartered Cub Scout packs receive a 25% discount. 

Campers need to bring their own tent and cots. There are a limited number of tents and cots available for rent. Indicate rental requests when making a reservation. Tents are walled, canvas tents on a metal frame attached to a concrete slab, and will accommodate two cots. 

Camp Staff

Bovay Scout Ranch is looking for dedicated volunteers and paid staff to serve Scouting by working at Bovay Scout Ranch for Adventure Camp throughout the year, and Resident Camp during July. The requirements are stiff; the jobs are demanding; the experience is exhilarating. Applications are available here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Resident Camp

How are refunds handled?
See the council refund policy.
Do I have to register with my pack?
Pack reservations are encouraged, so families in the same pack are assigned to the same campsite.  Dens and individual families not able to attend with their pack may make their own reservations, and will be combined with other dens and families from different packs.
What health form do I need to attend Resident Camp?
Every participant must provide a copy of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Parts A and B).
What do the fees include?
The Cub Scout fee includes activity supplies, t-shirt, patch and eight meals (dinner on day 1, three meals on days 2-3, and breakfast on Day 4). Adult fees include meals.
What are the adult leadership requirements?
Wolves and Bears should bring at least one family member. Webelos may register one adult for every four Webelos Scouts. Every Scout and child must be under the supervision of a leader, parent or guardian.

Every adult must submit an Adult in Camp State Compliance Form by May 1stThe state of Texas requires that the council complete a background check on each adult attending camp.

Packs must submit the following for each adult at check-in:
1. BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Parts A and B) for each adult 
2. Sexual Offender database check for each adult.  Go to the website, click on name, click agree, search using first name, last name and date of birth, then print. 
2. Copy of Classroom Facilitated Youth Protection Training certificate for each adult (online YPT is not accepted). Find a class near you.  Classes will also be offered on the first day of camp. 
3. One adult per registered group must provide a copy of Hazardous Weather training certificate (taken online at www.my.scouting.org within last two years).
What are the check-in procedures?
Campers should arrive between 2:00-2:45 pm. Campers will be given their campsite assignment to set up camp. A campsite host will greet campers in the campsite and help with check-in procedures. When you arrive, please inspect your campsite and any rental equipment (cots or tents), to make sure there are no safety issues or prior damages. If your cots or tents have any problems, please report it immediately to your campsite host. All campsites have a pavilion with multiple picnic tables, and a fire water bucket.

After everyone in your pack has arrived, the campsite host will escort two adults and all of the Cub Scouts for the required health screening, safety talk, and swim checks. Swim checks will take place from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the water park. Everyone will be checked for swimmer or non-swimmer status. 

Leader check-in.  The designated leader will check in at the registration office in the administration building (approximately one mile past the main gate, on the left) and register the unit. To facilitate a quick registration process, please be sure to have all of the mandatory paperwork:

1. Camp registration confirmation
2. Proof of Classroom Facilitated Youth Protection Training (YPT) for each adult
3. Current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Part A&B), two copies for each participant. Alphabetized copies in an envelope or notebook (one for campsite, one for camp). 
4. Hazardous Weather training certificate for one adult in your group
5. Copy of Sexual Offender Database Check for each adult

Note:  the adult in Adult in Camp Compliance form required by the state of Texas for each adult and Bovay Camp Roster are to be submitted by May 1.

A mandatory leader’s meeting is held at 7:00 pm on the first day in the Safari Room at the administration building. Every adult should attend except those needed to supervise the Cub Scouts in the campsite. During the leader’s meeting, the key staff will be introduced, information distributed and questions answered.

What are the departure procedures?
Departure is after breakfast on the last day of the session; camp closes at 12:00 pm. The campsite host will assist you in checking out.  Please let them know ahead of time what specific time you will be ready to leave.  On the morning of departure, the camp host will drop off cleaning supplies for the restrooms.  Scouts in each campsite 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 camp host will inspect each campsite to make sure the campsite, restrooms, showers, and pavilions are undamaged and clean, Bovay tents closed, gear and trash removed, and evaluation forms completed.  After passing inspection, the designated leader should proceed to the administration building to sign out, turn in evaluations and pick up medical forms.
 
What is the schedule?
Tentative schedule:

Day 1

2:00 pm Check-in at the gate. Meet staff at campsite.
3:00 pm Swim checks, safety talks, medical checks.
5:00 pm Pack free time, review rules, establish buddies
5:45 pm Flag ceremony
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Free time for Cub Scouts
7:00 pm Leader orientation (adult meeting)
8:30 pm Campfire
9:30 pm Lights out!!

Day 2 / 3
7:00 am Chapel service (Day 2), Sunrise hike (Day 3)
7:50 am Flag ceremony
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Program
12:00 pm Lunch / quiet time / den time
2:00 pm Program
5:00 pm Free time
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Game night (Day 2), Campfire (Day 3)
8:30 pm Stargazing
9:30 pm Lights out

Day 4
7:45 am Flag ceremony
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Break camp, campsite inspection, equipment return
11:00 am Camp closed

You will receive the final schedule during check-in.

What do we need to bring to Resident Camp?

Bring:  Tent (if not renting from camp); sleeping bag, sheets, or blanket and pillow; cot or air mattress (if not renting from camp); 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; Annual Health & Medical Form, Part A & B, required for every participant two copies alphabetized in two notebooks). Mark all items 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:  Hazardous Weather training certificate, one adult per registered group; Bovay Camp Roster, one per registered group, two copies; Leader’s Guide, one copy per group; Camper Release Form, for Scouts whose parents are not attending camp; Adult in Camp Compliance form submitted to SHAC by May 1st; copy of Sexual Offender database check; BSA unit membership roster; proof of Classroom Facilitated Youth Protection Training, one per adult.

What NOT to bring to camp: alcohol, electronics, firearms, guns and ammunition, Illegal drugs, liquid fuel lanterns or stoves, pets, scooters, skates, skateboards, valuables

Where can I find Bovay Scout Ranch policies?
Bovay Scout Ranch policies and procedures are located here.

Contact

Geno Aguilar
Bovay Scout Ranch Registration
(713) 756-3304
 Geno.Aguilar@scouting.org
 Bovay Scout Ranch: 3450 County Road 317, Navasota, TX 77868
 Resident Camp Reservations
 Resident Camp Feedback
 Cub Scout Camping

 

 

Register for Day Camp 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, April 5, 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. 

Late registration begins May 7, 2017. Registration closes two weeks before camp.

District
(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
Arrowmoon
(Bryan, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 12-16 8:00 - 3:00 pm Camp Howdy Ronald
McAdams
Aquila
(Southwest Houston)
Letter Size
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Register June 5-9 6:00 - 9:15 pm Longfellow Elementary Ronald
McAdams
Big Cypress
(Cypress, TX)
Letter Size
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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
Brahman
(El Campo, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 12-15 8:00 am - 3:00 pm El Campo American Legion Denise Kopecky
Brazos
(Rosenburg, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 6-9 2:00 - 8:30 pm Fort Bend County Fairgrounds John DeVeaux
Copperhead
(West Houston)
Letter Size
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Register June 12-16 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Houston Farm and Ranch Jenn Mikes
David Crockett
(Sealy, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 6-9 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Camp Brosig Dee Dee Michel
Flaming Arrow
(New Caney, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 20-22 9:00 - 4:30 pm A.V. "Bull" Sallas Park Denise Dupaix
George Strake
(Conroe, TX)
Letter Size
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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)
Letter Size
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Register June 12-16 3:00 - 8:00 pm Northside Christian Church Lance Campbell
Mustang
(West Houston)
Letter Size
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Register June 12-16 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Houston Farm and Ranch Jenn Mikes
North Star
(West Houston)
Letter Size
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Register June 6-9 2:00 - 8:30 pm Fort Bend County Fairgrounds John DeVeaux
Orion
(Tomball, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 6-9 2:00 - 8:00 pm Spring Creek Park Adam Chojnacki
Phoenix
(Tomball, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 19-23 7:45 am - 3:15 pm Burroughs Park Joseph Gornick
Raven
(Baytown, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 14-17 5:45 - 9:15 pm LDS Church in Baytown Angie Broussard
San Jacinto
(La Porte, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 5-9 4:30 - 9:00 pm Lomax Arena Richard Higgins
Skyline
(Central Houston)
Letter Size
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Register June 12-16 5:30 - 8:30 pm Knights of Columbus, Whitney St. Adina Akin
Scoutreach   Register June 6-9 4:00 - 8:00 pm YET Center Yolanda Ramar
Soaring Eagle
(Cypress, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 6-9 3:00 - 8:30 pm St. Timothy Lutheran Church Becca Franco
Tall Timbers
(Conroe, TX)
Letter Size
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Register June 5-9 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm Grace Crossing Church Vaughan Miller
Tatanka
(Soutwest Houston)
Letter Size
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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)
Letter Size
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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)
Letter Size
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Register June 6-9 3:00 - 8:00 pm Elkins High School Susan Driever
Twin Bayou
(Southwest Houston)
Letter Size
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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.

 

 

 

Contacts

Sherry Diekmann
Council Day Camp Chair
 sedieckmann@gmail.com 

Geno Aguilar
Day Camp Registration
 (713) 756-3304
 Geno.Aguilar@scouting.org

 

Vincent Manning
Day Camp Professional Advisor
 (713) 756-3380
 Vincent.Manning@scouting.org

 

Classroom Facilitated YPT 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, April 4, 2017 6:24:00 AM

Are you going to a licensed camp in the State of Texas?  The Texas Department of State Health Services requires all camp staff members and adults attending the following camps complete Classroom Facilitated Youth Protection Training:

Find a course near you

Classroom Facilitated YPT is different than online YPT.  Over 30 Classroom Facilitated YPT courses are being offered throughout the council. You can attend any course. There is no charge for Classroom Facilitated YPT, and unless noted, preregistration is not required. Classroom Facilitated YPT is good for two years from the date of completion. FAQ's for BSA Classroom Facilitated YPT.

Youth Protection training is designed to help keep youth safe from abuse. During YPT Training, participants learn the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Guidelines, signs of abuse, and how to report suspected abuse.

Tour and Activity Plans Terminated 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, April 1, 2017 12:29:00 PM

The Boy Scouts of America is ending the Tour and Activity Plan system and removing it from my.scouting.org, effective April 1, 2017. This decision by a BSA National Council cross-functional team will reduce the administrative burden on our volunteer leaders.

Our council’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee reminds volunteers that even though the Tour and Activity Plan system no longer exists, proper planning before a Scouting activity is a critical component to keeping Scouts, leaders, and parents safe. The Guide to Safe Scouting and other resources can help you in your planning. Those resources are found throughout the training and literature of the organization and listed in the FAQ below. 

We recommend that you sign up for the weekly Scouting Wire newsletter to ensure you receive updates directly in your inbox.

Scouting Wire newsletter

Q. What does this mean for me, my unit, my council, and the Scouting family?

Commitment to Safety      Guide to Safe Scouting      Risk Assessment Strategy      Camp Standards

  • Changes the conversation, engaging everyone in risk-based planning vs. process.
  • Eliminates processing, freeing staff to focus on membership and removing administrative burden.

Q. What is the new process?

A. There is no required process, although Scouters are reminded to conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies. Flexible risk assessment tools are summarized in the Guide to Safe Scouting, and detailed in the Enterprise Risk Management Guidebook.

Guide to Safe Scouting            Enterprise Risk Management Guidebook

Q. Will there be a replacement for the Tour and Activity Plan?

A. No.

Q. Will units have to file any trip forms of any kind? Is there any REQUIRED notification to council for trips?

A. No, however the BSA program includes several planning tools (Checklists, The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety, Flying Plan) that are designed not for “filing,” but to prompt discussions/conversations about risks.  

Checklists             The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety

Q. Why are you terminating the plan?

A. In addition to the above reasons, the BSA has adopted a flexible risk assessment strategy for your use. This is summarized in the Guide to Safe Scouting, and detailed in the Enterprise Risk Management Guidebook. Knowing and running the program as designed includes numerous safety features.

Guide to Safe Scouting         Enterprise Risk Management Guidebook

Q. Does this include Exploring?

A. Yes, the manual process Exploring has used for Outing permits in the past is also discontinued.

Q. This is the first I’m hearing of this, why?

A. The termination of the plan is effective on April 1, 2017.  

Q. Will the entire activity plan idea go away?

A. No, having a plan is part of “Be Prepared.” Planning is integral into the program literature.  

Q. What will this mean for considering safety on these outings?

A. The Scouting program, as contained in our handbooks and literature, integrates many safety features. However, no policy or procedure will replace the review and vigilance of trusted adults and leaders at the point of program execution. Source: Commitment to Safety

Commitment to Safety

Q. Is the change simply, “We don't have to fill out a Tour and Activity Plan anymore?” All the other steps are the same?

A. The program hasn’t changed. For example, permission from parents is still needed to take youth on a trip, as would be program requirements for annual health and medical records for all participants. The Cub Scouts camping program is still limited to council-approved locations, and so on.  

Q. Has all literature been updated to reflect this change?

A. Key documents are either updated or in the process of being updated. Other literature will be updated in the normal revision cycle, so it may take several years to complete. If you find something to be updated, feel free to let us know with the “Got Questions” link to the left.

Insurance Questions

Based on initial feedback, many questions have arisen on insurance. The elimination of the tour and activity plan was not driven by insurance, or the many myths/misconceptions including “ … you have to file a Tour and Activity Plan, and/or be in a field uniform to have insurance … ” surrounding insurance. The following insurance related FAQs and sources are offered.  

Q. Will the liability insurance policy still provide coverage if a tour and activity plan is no longer required?

A. Yes. Registered volunteers are provided primary general liability insurance coverage for official Scouting activities except when using an automobile or watercraft. A volunteer’s (whether registered or not) automobile liability insurance is primary with the local council automobile policy providing excess automobile coverage. Non-registered volunteers are provided excess general liability and automobile liability insurance coverage for official Scouting activities. There is not a requirement to fill out a form for coverage.

Insurance Coverage

Q. What is an official Scouting activity?

A.  An official Scouting activity is defined in the insurance policy as consistent with the values, Charter and Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, the operations manuals, and applicable literature of the Boy Scouts of America.

Insurance Coverage

Contacts

Wayne McLeland
Tour Plan Coordinator
 (713) 756-3309
 wayne.mcleland@scouting.org

Brett Lee
Professional Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3306
 brett.lee@scouting.org

 

May 1, Silver Beaver Nominations Due 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:36:00 AM

Silver Beaver Award

Nominations due May 1, 2017

The Silver Beaver Award is the highest form of recognition that a local council can bestow on a volunteer. In 1931, BSA President Mortimer L. Schiff recommended to the national board that an award be devised for recognition of distinguished service to youth in the area of a local council, and the concept of the Silver Beaver Award recognition was established.

Silver Beaver Nomination Form

The Sam Houston Area Council has participated in this recognition program since its inception, presenting Silver Beaver Awards in 1931 to W. A. Childress and to E. A. Hudson. Beginning with those first two awards, more than 1500 adult leaders in our council have been recognized in this manner. ​Download a complete list of Sam Houston Area Council Silver Beaver Award recipients. The Silver Beaver Award is presented at the Council Recognition Reception.

Council Recognition Reception

November 28, 2017  |   7:00 pm

Chapelwood United Methodist Church,
11140 Greenbay St., Houston TX 77024 (map)

The Council Recognition Reception is held annually to honor the recipients of the Silver Beaver Award and Heroism Awards. Join your fellow Scouters in recognizing the recipients of the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award a council can bestow on a volunteer Scouter.


2016 Silver Beaver Recipients

Contact

For questions, send an email to silverbeaver@shac.org.

 

 

 

Camp Development March 2017 Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, March 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Camp Development for the 21st Century

March 2017 Update

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

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

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

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

Plans

The current plan includes the development of new camps including the new Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas) that opened in 2015, the new Camp Strake (near Evergreen, Texas) planned to open in summer 2019 and a new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas), which will open in a few years.  It also comprises making improvements to Camp Brosig (near Sealy, Texas) and McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas) and discontinuing operations at El Rancho Cima, which historically had low usage, has annually operated with a significant operating deficit and has no viable plan for sustainability.

Camp Strake is currently under construction with a schedule for opening in summer 2019 for Boy Scout summer resident camp.  Please view the Camp Strake Video for additional information about the exciting plans for Camp Strake.  



Camp Strake Lake Rendering
*Planned lake requires permits that are in process to attain.

After months of diligent analysis by a special task force of the council’s Board of Directors in 2015, and other rationale as described in the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Camp Development – March 2017 Update (“FAQ”), it was decided and announced in December 2015 that eventually El Rancho Cima would close and the property would be sold.

After marketing El Rancho Cima for sale since July 2016, the property is now under contract to be sold later in 2017. Therefore, plans are for El Rancho Cima to close upon the conclusion of Boy Scout summer resident camp, which ends on July 15, 2017.

El Rancho Cima Decommissioning: For anyone who wants to participate and see El Rancho Cima before it closes, there will be a camp staff alumni activity and a decommissioning of El Rancho Cima activity on July 15, 2017.   Please see the El Rancho Cima Decommissioning Celebration activity for additional information and to register to participate.

Register for the El Rancho Cima Decommissioning Activity

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Camp Development –  March 2017 Update (“FAQ”) for information about the Camping Vision Statement, properties master plan, schedules and plans for Boy Scout summer resident camp during summer 2018. 

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

Camp Strake Plans

Funding  

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

Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign 

Frequently Asked Questions

General Camp Development

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

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

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

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

The plan includes developing new camps such as the Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas) that opened in 2015, the new Camp Strake (near Evergreen, Texas) that is currently scheduled to open in summer 2019, and a new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas), which will open in a few years.  It also comprises making improvements to Camp Brosig (near Sealy, Texas) and McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas).   

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

Yes.  They are below.

Exemplary

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

Sustainable

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

21st Century Youth

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

Other

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

Definitions

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

Camp Strake

Where is the location of the new Camp Strake that is being constructed and scheduled to open in summer 2019?
The new camp is located near the community of Evergreen, Texas, between New Waverly and Coldspring, and is about 75 miles from Houston. It is near Highway 150.  Scouts and Scouters will be able to easily get there by taking Interstate 45 or Highway 59.  It is about a thirty minute drive from the entrance of the original Camp Strake. 



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






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


 
What will the new Camp Strake look like?

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

  • Scout camp developed for weekend and resident camp operations for Boy Scouts and Venturers;
  • Leadership Institute for advanced training programs for adult leaders and Boy Scouts/Venturers.        

 

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

  • 20 campsites with pavilions
  • Air conditioned dining hall with 450 person capacity
  • Event administration building
  • Large program pavilion
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) center
  • Eight merit badge pavilions
  • Shooting Sports Center with rifle, shotgun and pistol ranges
  • Shooting Sports Center for archery and sporting arrows course
  • Climbing pavilion with restrooms
  • Low ropes course
  • Zip line
  • Climbing and rappelling tower
  • Bikes and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) area
  • Aquatics Center with a swimming pool and pool house
  • Aquatics Center with lake (new lake with size range of 20-30 acres being created), observation deck and canoe storage
  • Aquatics Training pavilion
  • Sport fields
  • Basketball court
  • Extensive trail system
  • Order of the Arrow ceremony site
  • Arena for 1,200 people
  • 1 Chapel for 250 people
  • 1 Chapel for 100 people
  • Modern restrooms and shower houses
  • 40 summer camp staff huts

The Leadership Institute will have the following facilities:

  • Leadership Training Center
  • 4 cabins with 8 person capacity each
  • 4 dormitories with 16 person capacity each
  • Arena for 100 people
  • Chapel for 100 people
  • 2 Training pavilions
  • Training campsite
  • Shower houses
When will the new Camp Strake open?
It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019. That date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances.
Why is it taking until 2019 to open the new Camp Strake since the land was purchased back in 2013 and 2014?
There are many things that go into the development of a project of this size and it takes time to accomplish them all. Just imagine, during many of our programs throughout the year, Camp Strake will be the largest community in San Jacinto County. Compare Camp Strake to a university campus or small city. Each have features such as roads, power, water, sewer, buildings and other amenities, which require permitting from the local, state and/or federal levels some of which take considerable time. Camp Strake will be just like constructing a university campus or small city. Following are some highlights about the new Camp Strake:
  • ​Will have 126 structures
  • Will have 4 miles of roads
  • Will have 11.7 miles of trails
  • Over 150,000 square feet of facilities built
  • Future lake of 20-30 acres
  • Camp Strake will be the largest community in San Jacinto County during many of our weekend or weeklong programs throughout the year

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

  • Program requirements established by Camp Strake Project Definition Team
  • Master planning by architect based on program requirements
  • Land study for infrastructure including roads, power, water, sewer and lake, etc.
  • Endangered species and archeological studies conducted as required
  • Design completed by Camp Strake Design Team with architect after multiple focus group meetings involving Scouts, leaders, and special user groups such as climbing, shooting sports, etc.
  • Budget developed and approved by Board of Directors
  • Construction documents for all infrastructure features and 126 vertical structures completed by architect
  • Contractor/(s) selected by Camp Strake Construction Committee
  • Required permits obtained from local, state and federal agencies
  • Site work including creation of new lake in the size range of 20 – 30 acres
  • Infrastructure (roads, power, water and sewer) constructed
  • Vertical structures (126) constructed
Additionally, the creation of a new lake requires obtaining state and federal permits that take considerable time. After the permits are obtained and the site work for the lake is completed, it then takes many months for the lake to fill from rain water.
What will we do if we use all the space at Camp Strake?
The site for Camp Strake was selected because it contains 2,816 acres and provides ample space for expanding programs and adding campsites for weekend camping for Boy Scouts/Venturers for years to come. The Scout camp and Leadership Institute areas are only impacting about 500 acres, so we have ample space for future expansion. Also, the property is already master planned with a site for a future Cub World.  
Will Boy Scout resident camp be held at Camp Strake?
Yes. Camp Strake will be home to our summer and winter resident camp programs. Beginning in the summer 2019, Camp Strake is currently scheduled to be the site for our Boy Scout summer resident camp. Also, Boy Scout winter resident camp will move to Camp Strake from McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch. The current schedule for that to occur is December of 2019.



 
What types of programs will be offered at Boy Scout summer resident camps at Camp Strake?
The Boy Scout summer resident camp programs at Camp Strake – both during the summer and winter – will be the opportunity to show the full range of what Camp Strake has to offer. Current plans for these programs include:
  • A fully-trained staff engaged to deliver the best possible program experience
  • Exceptional food service in a new, state-of-the-art and air conditioned dining hall
  • Unique staffed program experiences in Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE), aquatics (lakefront and pool-based), shooting sports, climbing, STEM and ecology, and Scouting skills
  • Exciting backcountry opportunities in hiking, biking, and ATV programs
  • Impressive camp-wide events, including campfire programs at a spirit-filled 1,200 person arena
  • Comfortable camping facilities that will include pavilions in each campsite, modern and convenient restroom/shower facilities, and direct access to key program areas
  • Between summer and winter camps, over 75 unique merit badges will be offered, in addition to a comprehensive First Class emphasis program.
When can my troop sign up for Boy Scout summer resident camp for summer 2019?
That will not be known for certain until later in 2018. But please plan to be one of the first troops to participate in the first Boy Scout summer resident camps at Camp Strake! We anticipate that when registration opens for summer 2019, campsites and spots will go fast.
What programs will Camp Strake offer for weekend camping for Boy Scouts and Venturers?
Camp Strake will offer a full range of program opportunities for unit-led outdoor experiences. During a weekend, a troop or crew will have the opportunity to utilize the aquatics programs at the new lake and pool, experience a state-of-the-art shooting sports program, seek adventure in climbing and COPE activities, or explore the vast network of trails, including the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest, through hiking and backpacking programs.



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







 
Can I go see the new Camp Strake site now?
No, not at this time. While we are very anxious for everyone to see the new Camp Strake, it is an active construction site and therefore it is not safe for visitors. Additionally, because of contractual agreements with our contractors doing the work there, we are required to restrict visitor access. In the meantime, we will provide updates including photographs of the work in progress at www.samhoustonbsa.org/camp-strake.

Camp Strake Progress


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




 
Why is the Janis and George Fleming Cub World going to be at Bovay Scout Ranch instead of Camp Strake?
Primarily, there are two reasons. First, we already have facilities for Cub Scouts at Bovay Scout Ranch, and there is ample room for expansion utilizing the existing resources for our Cub camping program. Second, is more cost effective. We already have some infrastructure in place at Bovay Scout Ranch to support incorporating a new Cub World. At the new Camp Strake, the infrastructure, including roads, sewer, water, etc., would have to be constructed to support a Cub World there.



 
When will the new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch constructed?
No schedule has been developed at this time. However, it is an important project and plans are being developed to construct the first phase as soon as all the necessary funding is secured. The first phase of development includes six campsites, each with a pavilion, three restrooms/showers and two program elements. Additional phases will be added as funding is secured.




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






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

Camp Strake Progress

El Rancho Cima

What is the background of El Rancho Cima and what were the reasons back in 2015 for the decision for it to close and be sold?
El Rancho Cima was purchased in 1954 using funds raised from a capital campaign. It is located near Wimberley, Texas about 30 miles south of Austin and 45 miles north of San Antonio. It is approximately 185 miles from downtown Houston, resulting in a drive time from that location of plus/minus four hours on a Friday evening. El Rancho Cima contains three separate camping areas for Boy Scouts/Venturers:
  • Cockrell River Camp
  • Walter Scout Camp at Horseshoe Bend
  • Hamman High Adventure Base at Ironwheel Mesa
These three camping areas provide for weekend camping and Boy Scout summer resident camp.

Historically, weekend camping at El Rancho Cima has little usage. During the years 2012 – 2014, only 2.8% of the council’s Boy Scout troops used El Rancho Cima for weekend camping. This low percentage of troops using El Rancho Cima for weekend camping has been the norm for many years.

Also, El Rancho Cima has been a site for the council’s Boy Scout summer resident camp. This began in the 1950s and has continued through today. From the time El Rancho Cima opened and until 2005, the council also conducted another Boy Scout summer resident camp at Camp Strake. Leading up to and since 2005, there has not been enough demand to conduct Boy Scout summer resident camp at two separate camp properties.

During the years 2012 – 2014, only 9.0% of the council’s troops participated in the Boy Scout summer resident camp program at El Rancho Cima. Of those Boy Scout troops, 61% camped at Cockrell River Camp, 33% camped at Walter Scout Camp at Horseshoe Bend, and 6% camped at Hamman High Adventure Base at Ironwheel Mesa.

While these percentages of the council’s Boy Scout troops participating in Boy Scout summer resident camp at El Rancho Cima are low, our council does have a high percentage of Boy Scout troops participating in summer resident camp, which is what is most important.

The council is proud to share that in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, we achieved the Gold level in BSA’s Journey to Excellence1 for Boy Scout camping. We achieved the Silver level ranking in 2011 and 2012.

In 2014, we had 80.9% of Boy Scouts/Venturers participate in summer resident camp. In 2015, we had 82.7% of Boy Scouts/Venturers participate in summer resident camp. In 2016, we had 85.6% of Boy Scouts/Venturers participate in summer resident camp.

The numbers confirm that a significant majority of our council’s Boy Scouts and their troops participate in summer resident camp at other council’s camps in Texas and across the country or at BSA’s national high adventure bases.

El Rancho Cima’s costs to operate year-round on a per Scout basis has been much more than any of the council’s other camps, and from the period 2012 – 2014, it had a year-round average operating deficit of $615,000. This annual average operating deficit had been consistently occurring for many years.

In May 2015, flooding caused significant damage and loss to the Cockrell River Camp resulting in its closing. Cleanup efforts began in August 2015 of Cockrell River Camp.

In the ten plus years prior to the May 2015 flood, there had been other flooding and it appears the frequency of flooding is increasing. This increases our safety risks to Scouts camping near the river and/or conducting programs on the river.

After months of diligent analysis by a special task force of the council’s Board of Directors in 2015, it was decided to eventually close El Rancho Cima and sell the property.
 
1“Journey to Excellence” is the BSA's council performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our units, districts, and councils. It is meant to encourage excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA. For Boy Scout camping, the measurement is to increase the percentage of Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts attending long-term camp and high-adventure program at any in-council/out-of-council long–term summer camp, high - adventure experience, or Jamboree, or serving on camp staff as entered on the national camping form.

− In 2016, the Gold Level could be achieved with 80% Boy Scouts camping or 65% camping and improving over previous year by a minimum of 2-point increase.
− In 2016, the Silver Level could be achieved with 65% Boy Scouts camping or 55% camping and improving over previous year by a minimum of 2-poinincrease.
− In 2016, the Bronze Level could be achieved with 55% Boy Scouts camping or improving over previous year by a minimum of 2-point increase.
How did the council come to this decision back in 2015?
The catalyst for this decision was the loss of Cockrell River Camp during May 2015 due to the flooding of the Blanco River. Because of this, in June 2015, the council’s Board of Directors created a new ad hoc Boy Scout & High Adventure Resident Camp Task Force (“Task Force”) to develop a program implementation plan for Boy Scout and High Adventure Resident Camp for 2016 through 2018 and to determine a long-term future strategy for Boy Scout and High Adventure Resident Camp operations for the council, and to present that long-term future strategy to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for review and consideration.

The Task Force included nine members who represented a wide array of interests and backgrounds in Scouting. After extensive meetings in June and August, coupled with a site visit of the Cockrell River Camp, the Task Force formulated near-term recommendations for the clean-up of Cockrell River Camp and also prepared preliminary long-term recommendations.

These near-term recommendations and preliminary long-term recommendations were presented to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors in August. The Executive Committee conducted extensive discussion of these recommendations and charged the Task Force to identify and evaluate all possible alternatives that could be considered.

The Task Force carried out extensive further analysis in September through October 2015. In their analysis, they considered the following criteria for every possible alternative:
  • Affordability
  • Program Quality
  • Impact
  • Sustainability 
They presented a final recommendation for this plan to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors in November 2015, at which time it was approved with twenty-two (22) votes in favor, zero (0) votes against and two (2) abstentions. In December 2015, the Board of Directors ratified the Executive Committee’s approval of this plan with fifty-one (51) votes in favor, three (3) votes against and one (1) abstention.
Now that El Rancho Cima is under contract to be sold later in 2017, what is the schedule for its closing and are there any opportunities to see it again before it closes?
Yes, there are opportunities to see El Rancho Cima again before it closes on July 15, 2017.

The schedule is for El Rancho Cima to close upon the conclusion of Boy Scout resident camp, which ends on July 15, 2017.

On July 15, 2017, there will be a camp staff alumni activity and a decommissioning of El Rancho Cima activity for anyone who wants to participate.

Please see the El Rancho Cima Decommissioning Activity for additional information and to register to participate.

In addition, there may be limited space still available for a troop to register to participate in Boy Scout summer resident camp in 2017 at El Rancho Cima. Please see www.samhoustonbsa.org/summer-camp for information about what space if any, is still available.

Also, weekend camping is still available for Boy Scout troops and Venturing crews through the middle of May 2017. Please see www.samhoustonbsa.org/weekend-camping for information about weekend camping at El Rancho Cima.
Has the council ever closed and sold camp properties before?
Yes. The council’s first camp was Camp Masterson. It was located twenty-one miles from Houston near Shelton. The land, consisting of 20 acres, was donated to the council in 1925. It was closed and the land was given back to the Masterson family heirs in 1927.

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

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

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

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

The Hamman Scout Camp was another of the council’s camp properties. It was located seven miles southwest of the city of Bandera, Texas, which is approximately 250 miles from downtown Houston. The land, consisting of 965 acres, was donated to the council in 1987 and was sold in 2017.
What are the council’s plans for Boy Scout summer resident camp in summer 2018 with the new Camp Strake not scheduled to open until summer 2019?
Our plans are not to conduct Boy Scout summer resident camp in 2018 at one of our camp properties and instead assist our Boy Scout troops to find a suitable summer resident camp at another council’s camp to meet their needs.

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

The Capitol Area Council has expanded their Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp season in 2018 to accommodate our troops.

Also, we will continue to provide campership assistance for our Scouts in need to participate in a Boy Scout summer resident camp program if they attend the Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp in 2018.
How would my troop register for Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp at the Lost Pines Scout Reservation for summer 2018, and how would my Scout/s in need of campership assistance apply for it?
The link to the Capitol Area Council’s website page for Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp is www.bsacac.org/activities/for_boy_scouts/summercamp. Once they open their registration for summer resident camp 2018, just register for a session with them just as you would any other camp.

The application for your Scout/(s) that need campership assistance will be conducted through the Sam Houston Area Council. Additional information regarding that application process will be made available after the 2017 summer resident camp season.

For all Scouts that we provide a campership to attend Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp in summer 2018, we will pay the Capitol Area Council directly on behalf of your troop.
Can my Scouts who need campership assistance apply for a campership if my troop is attending summer resident camp at any other camp other than Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp?
No. We are only providing campership assistance for our Scouts whose troops are attending summer resident camp in 2018 at Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp.
Why is that?
While we will promote all local councils’ camps in the Texas region for your troop to consider attending in summer 2018, we decided to pair up with a camp close to Houston that had the ability to increase capacity at its camp for this one year and for simplicity in processing campership assistance that we will continue to provide to our Scouts in need.

The Capitol Area Council’s Lost Pines Scout Reservation is located outside of Bastrop, which is approximately 125 miles and about a two-hour drive from Houston.
Why not conduct Boy Scout summer resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch utilizing Tellepsen Scout Camp in summer 2018 like we have been doing for Boy Scout Winter Camp?

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

  • Cub Scout Resident Camp is conducted in June and July at the McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch and this would conflict with scheduling a Boy Scout resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch because each program would need to use the dining hall at the same time.
  • Because of the scheduling conflict and use of the dining hall, a Boy Scout summer resident camp program could not be scheduled until late July, which historically has had the lowest demand for summer camp sessions.   
  • Rather than planning to conduct one or two week-long sessions of Boy Scout resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch, utilizing Tellepsen Scout Camp that would have to be held in late July that we anticipate the demand would be low, we determined it would be more helpful and effective to find a suitable summer resident camp at another council’s camp to meet their needs.
  • Lack of ability to conduct the standard summer aquatic programs.
Is it possible that even though El Rancho Cima is under contract for sale that it this sale will not take place?
It is always possible that any real estate transaction under contract may not close that business transaction even though it is under contract.
Who is the potential buyer and what are their plans for the property?
It is a standard practice to have a confidentiality agreement in the contract for this type of real estate transaction and there is one in our contract. Therefore, we cannot comment on that at this time
If for some reason this contract for sale of El Rancho Cima does not close, will it change plans for the timing of when El Rancho Cima closes?
No. If this contract for the sale of El Rancho Cima does not close, we anticipate that we will have another potential buyer that will place the property under contract.
Did we consider a lease-back of El Rancho Cima through summer 2018?
While our ideal strategy was to obtain an agreement with the buyer for a lease-back program through summer 2018, we were not able to achieve that arrangement.
Why not keep El Rancho Cima and continue to operate Boy Scout summer term resident camp there?
Not only is El Rancho Cima the most expensive camp to operate on a per Scout basis year-round, but it also has very low usage for weekend camping, which is the lowest of all our camps. Additionally, we will have a new state-of-the-art Camp Strake and will conduct summer resident camp there. The demand does not exist to operate summer resident camp at two separate locations.

El Rancho Cima has in the recent past had an average annual deficit of approximately $600,000 to operate it year-round. That deficit each year can be used in more effective ways to get more youth into Scouting and provide a program for them.

Also, there are no sustainable means to maintain the camp in the condition that it deserves. The cost to rebuild Cockrell River Camp to meet the standards of our Camping Vision Statement are cost prohibitive and we have no funding model to do that.

Additionally, because of the flooding and potential changes to the flood plain on the Blanco River, we do not have confidence that we could obtain all the required permits to rebuild near the river.

Bovay Scout Ranch

Have there been any additional projects completed at Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch since it opened in 2015?

Yes.  The following additional projects were completed in 2016: 

  • Climbing tower lighting
  • Pavilion at climbing tower
  • Canoe launch bulkhead on lake
  • Canoe storage building
  • Canoe area pavilion
  • Campfire arena
What are the plans for McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch?

Following are the planned projects by priority:

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

 

Camp Brosig

What are the plans for Camp Brosig?

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

Following are the planned projects:

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

General

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

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

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

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

  • Bovay Scout Ranch / 1,245 contiguous acres and an additional separate 242 acres.  It includes:  
    • McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camp
    • Future Janis and George Fleming Cub World
    • Tellepsen Scout Camp
  • Camp Brosig / 92 acres
  • Camp Strake / 2,816 acres. It will include:
    • Scout Camp (to be named)
    • Leadership Institute (to be named)

 

Questions

For additional questions, contact Thomas.Franklin@scouting.org.

 

It's Time for Spring Recruiting 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:58:00 AM

Spring is here Scouters, and you know what that means? It’s time to reach out to all of those potential Scouts and give them the opportunity to join Scouting.

Did you know that 46% of families have never been asked to join Scouting? Based on a recent national survey you can see how Scouts and families find out about an join a Scouting. 68% are asked by a Scout, friend, volunteer or the charter organization to join. What can we do during spring recruiting to ask the 46% who have never been asked to join?  
 

Packs are encouraged to hold spring recruiting events. For Cub Scouts, there is no better time to personally invite your son's friends to a meeting! District and pack campouts are coming up as well as day campresident camp and summertime pack activities! And don’t forget about all of those potential Scouts, the kindergarteners who can join on June 1! March and April is the time to get talkin’ with the schools and ask if you can invite kids to join Scouting! Sometimes we think we can only recruit in the fall, but spring is a great time to get new Scouts and their families involved early.

But what about the Boy Scouts and Venturers? March is the perfect month to have an open house to invite friends and other potential Scouts for the opportunity to see what your troop, crew and ship is made of. Check out some of the cool resources:

Put your unit on the map

Calling all unit leaders: now is the perfect time to put your unit is on the map at www.BeAScout.org with a Google pin! Update your unit information with your new unit leaders, and make it EASY for new Scouting families to find you.

  • Sign into MyScouting
  • Under “Unit Tools” select BeAScout
  • Select “Unit Pin Management”
  • Update your unit information

If you are the current unit leader and are unable to update your unit pin, please contact your district executive and ensure that you are currently registered as the Cubmaster or committee chair.

Contacts

If you have questions, please contact your district membership chair or district executive.

 

 

 


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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 Cesiah Molina at Cesiah.Molina@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)