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

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, June 8, 2015 1:08:00 PM

Amazon Smile

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

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

 

Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

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

Build Stronger Units 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, May 14, 2015 6:00:00 PM

A common element of strong units is they all have a good annual program planned a year in advance, that is then shared with all families in the form of a calendar, trained leaders and the right leaders. After Program Preview, units should conduct an annual program planning conference to get ready for the coming year. Using national planning resources, as well as various calendars (e.g., council, district, school, chartered partner), units can develop a program filled with safe and fun activities and adventures.  Planning ahead allows the unit to generate new ideas, find resources, and allow more Scouts to have a quality program that is exciting and will create memories! 

The Program Guide contains valuable information about council and district programs, descriptions and calendars and is an essential tool for unit leaders. 

Additional resources can be found here.

Leaders who want a meaningful, exciting, and comprehensive youth program that achieves the objectives of the Scouting program will find this format ideal. The result is a well-managed, well-financed unit. Recognizing this, the BSA recommends the following plan:

  1. Plan your complete annual program.

2.  Develop a budget that includes enough income to achieve the program.

3.  Identify the amount of product (e.g., popcorn, Scout Fair Coupon Books) that will need to be sold per youth member to reach the income goal.

4.  Get commitments from parents and youth.

Sign up for Resident Camp 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, May 11, 2015 8:53:00 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: seeking treasure in the Lost Mine, high speed pedal action at the BMX bike track, Robin Hood style adventure at the archery range, shooting on the BB gun range, action at the K.S. “Bud” Adams Sports Field, exploring camp at the Nature Center, and splashing in the water at the David Weekley Family Water Park.

Sessions are filling up fast. The 2015 resident camp program will focus on the new Cub Scout program electives:

  • Tiger: Floats and Boats, Rolling Tigers
  • Wolf: Spirit of the water, Adventure in coins
  • Bear: Salmon Run , A Bear Goes Fishing
  • Webelos: Aquanaut, Earth Rocks

Scouts will also learn to say the Scout Oath in American Sign Language! In addition, guided nature hikes, and an evening astronomy programs set resident camp apart as an outstanding way to make memories with your sons and grandsons! 

     
Resident Camp Registration

Register Session Date Session Time
Session 2 July 12 - 15, 2015 Sun at 2 pm - Wed at 11 am
Session 3 July 15 - 18, 2015 Wed at 2 pm - Sat at 11 am
Session 4 July 19 - 22, 2015 Sun at 2 pm - Wed at 11 am
Session 5 July 22 - 25, 2015 Wed at 2 pm - Sat at 11 am
Session 6 July 26 - 29, 2015 Sun at 2 pm - Wed at 11 am
Session 7 July 29 - August 1, 2015 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 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 Scout registering for camp is encouraged. Youth fees are $120 and adult fees are $70, if paid by May 1. All newly chartered Cub Scout Pack receive a 25% discount. 

Campers need to bring their own tent and cots. There are a limited number of tents and cots available for a rental fee.  Indicate rental requests when making a reservation. Tents are canvas walled, on a metal frame attached to a concrete slab, and will accommodate two cots. Tents are $10, and cots are $7.

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 that 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 1st The state of Texas requires that the council complete a background check on each adult attending camp.

Packs must submit the following for each adults 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.myscouting.org within last two years).
What are the check-in procedures?
Campers should arrive between 2:00-2:45pm. Campers will be given their campsite assignment to set up camp. A campsite host will greet you in your 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 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 Camp State Compliance Form for each adult and Bovay Camp Roster were 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 your resident camp; camp closes at 12 noon  Your 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 Bovay); sleeping bag, sheets, or blanket and pillow; cot or air mattress (if not renting from Bovay); 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 two2 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; Sexual Offender database check; BSA Unit Membership Roster; Proof of Classroom 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's policies?
Bovay's policies and procedures are located here.

For Questions Contact:

 

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

 

 

Changes to the Guide to Advancement 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, April 23, 2015 8:15:00 AM

The 2015 version of the Guide to Advancement has been released. There are 13 big changes.

Source: Scouting Magazine

The Guide to Advancement is a critical reference tool for anyone involved in advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing and Sea Scouts.

It’s not meant to be read cover to cover. Instead, it’s organized and indexed so you can find answers to your advancement questions quickly. I appreciate that the sometimes-complicated topics covered in the Guide are conveyed in plain English.

The Guide to Advancement is updated every two years to reflect changes to programs, requirements and policies. Changes come from a team of national-level professionals and volunteers. Many of the new sections are the result of frequently asked questions that the Advancement team is answering through new policies.

You can find a complete list of significant changes to the Guide in section 1.0.3.0, beginning on Page 7. But I wanted to pick out 13 of the changes I consider the biggest:

 

1. Merit badge worksheets not allowed for certain requirements

Section: 4.2.0.1

What’s new: This language clarifies the official policy on something I’ve blogged about before: merit badge worksheets. Filling out a worksheet will not be allowed for requirements that use words like “show,” “demonstrate” or “discuss.”

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“In Boy Scouting, advancement requirements must be passed as written. If, for example, a requirement uses words like ‘show,’ ‘demonstrate,’ or ‘discuss,’ then that is what Scouts must do. Filling out a worksheet, for example, would not suffice”

2. Scoutmaster conferences should be face-to-face, not online

Section: 4.2.3.5

What’s new: New language says Scoutmaster conferences should be held face-to-face and not online. That means Skype, which is great for some purposes but not as personal as a face-to-face conversation, is out.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement: “Scoutmaster conferences are meant to be face-to-face, personal experiences. They relate not only to the Scouting method of advancement, but also to that of ‘association with adults’ (see topic 2.0.0.4, ‘The Methods of Scouting’). Scoutmaster conferences should be held with a level of privacy acceptable under the BSA’s rules regarding Youth Protection. Parents and other Scouts within hearing range of the conversation may influence the Scout’s participation. For this reason, the conferences should not be held in an online setting.”

3. New Cub Scout program now included in the Guide

Sections: Changes throughout the Cub Scout sections, including 4.1.0.0–4.1.1.5

What’s new: Lots. Language now reflects the new Cub Scout program that launches on June 1, 2015.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement: “Den leaders, Cubmasters, and their assistants conduct meetings implementing the three steps in Cub Scout advancement: preparation, qualification, and recognition. Four separate den leader guides — one each for the Tiger, Wolf, and Bear programs, and one combined for Webelos and Arrow of Light — explain the mechanics for doing so while helping to maximize advancement.”

4. New Venturing awards outlined

Sections: 4.3.0.0 to 4.3.4.0

What’s new: Almost everything. Last year (2014) saw the introduction of a new Venturing Awards program: Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“Four awards make up the Venturing advancement track: Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder, and Summit, but others also are described below. Venturers have until their 21st birthday to complete their awards.”

5. Sea Scouts aren’t Venturers*

*Updated: This change is pending a vote in May.

Section: 4.4.0.0

What’s new: Sea Scouting, previously considered a “special-interest program carried on as part of Venturing,” is now separated.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“Sea Scouts are not Venturers.” Also: “The Sea Scout Bronze Award is discontinued, and Sea Scouts no longer work on Venturing awards.”

6. Unit merit badge counselor lists shouldn’t be available to Scouts online

Section: 7.0.2.3

What’s new: Units can (and maybe even should) establish a list of registered merit badge counselors. But Scouts should get those names and contact info from a Scoutmaster, not from a list made available online.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“Due to concerns about merit badge counselor privacy, and since Scouts should receive the names and contact information from the Scoutmaster, unit counselor lists should not be made available to Scouts online.”

7. Merit badge instruction should be small in scale

Section: 7.0.3.0

What’s new: Rather than large merit badge classes reminiscent of a boy’s time in high school, the BSA encourages smaller-scale instruction.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“The sort of hands-on interactive experience described here, with personal coaching and guidance, is hardly ever achieved in any setting except when one counselor works directly with one Scout and his buddy, or with a very small group. Thus, this small-scale approach is the recommended best practice for merit badge instruction and requirement fulfillment. Units, districts, and councils should focus on providing the most direct merit badge experiences possible. Large group and Web-based instruction, while perhaps efficient, do not measure up in terms of the desired outcomes with regard to learning and positive association with adults.”

8. Merit badge prerequisites get explained

Section: 7.0.4.11

What’s new: This whole section is new. It explains merit badges that appear to have prerequisites.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“Some merit badges appear to have ‘prerequisites.’ The Emergency Preparedness merit badge, for example, requires the earning of the First Aid merit badge. But since the requirement does not state that First Aid must be earned before beginning work on the other Emergency Preparedness requirements, it is not, by definition, a prerequisite. It is just another requirement. Even though ‘Earn the First Aid Merit badge’ is the first requirement, it need not be the first requirement fulfilled. It is just that the Emergency Preparedness merit badge is not finished until after the First Aid merit badge is completed.”

9. Youth observers aren’t allowed at boards of review

Section: 8.0.1.0

What’s new: No youth should sit in to “observe” a board of review.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“The unit leader may remain in the room, but only to observe, not to participate unless called upon. The number of ‘observers’ at a board of review should otherwise be minimized. The members of the board of review, however, have the authority to exclude the unit leader or any other observers if they believe their presence will inhibit open and forthright discussion. Youth observers are not permitted in boards of review for Boy Scouting advancement.”

10. Guidance offered for boards of review conducted through videoconferencing

Section: 8.0.1.6

What’s new: This whole section is new. It covers boards of review conducted through videoconferencing. Face-to-face boards of review are preferred, but sometimes that’s impossible. So this section helps explain how to run a successful board of review through this format.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“From time to time, however, as Scouts go off to college or the military, or live in very remote locations, for example, it may be virtually impossible to hold in-person boards of review. In those rare situations where it is unreasonable to expect a Scout to travel long distances, or to wait several months, it is permissible to use videoconferencing.”

11. The official Eagle Scout Rank Application is the only one to use

Section: 9.0.1.3

What’s new: A clarification explains that the official Eagle Scout Rank Application (512-728) is the only one Scouts should use.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“Scouts must submit the official Eagle Scout Rank Application, No. 512-728, found at www.scouting.org/advancement. No other form or application is permitted. Special worksheets or spreadsheets have been created in some councils that when filled out electronically produce a completed application. Because the official application changes from time to time, and because submitting out-of-date applications can cause confusion and delays, Scouts must not be required to use these tools. If they do use them, they still must complete and submit the official Eagle Scout Rank Application.”

12. Crowdfunding for Eagle Scout projects explained

Section: 9.0.2.10

What’s new: Fundraising for Eagle Scout projects isn’t required. Plenty of awesome projects are completed without fundraising. But if a Scout needs to raise money, he may use crowdfunding to do so, provided he follows the policies outlined in this section. This is something I’ve blogged about.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“Typical unit fundraisers with which unit leadership is familiar, such as car washes, are the best options. Another alternative, contingent on local council approval, is the use of ‘crowdfunding’ via the Internet. If this method is used, however, then all concerned, from the Scout and his parent or guardian to the unit leader and those approving fundraising at the local council, should be aware that fees may be involved and that fundraising for something like an Eagle project may or may not comply with the website’s terms of service. There can be other issues as well, such as what to do if more — or less — than what is needed is raised. It is important that someone in a position of responsibility reads and understands the website’s ‘fine print.'”

13. Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility form created

Section: 10.1.0.2

What’s new: This new form is used to register a person who will remain as a youth member beyond the age of eligibility.

Excerpt from 2015 Guide to Advancement“The Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, No. 512-935, found in the appendix and at www.scouting.org/advancement, should be used in this process.”

The Guide to Advancement is the official source for administering advancement in helps Scouters understand and implement the advancement programs and procedures of the Boy Scouts of America: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.

Additional information and best practices appear in
other official BSA resources such as BSA Advancement Newsthe national Advancement Team’s Twitter feed, and the advancement educational presentations released by the national Advancement Committee. The latest advancement resources can be found on the BSA advancement resources page

Internet advancement allows units to enter youth advancements, awards, and merit badges.

 


New Cub Scouts Program Updates Training 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, April 18, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Cub Scout Program Updates

Saturday, August 15, 2015
9:00 - 11:00 am
Cockrell Scout Center (2225 North Loop West, Houston, TX 77008)

Experience the NEW Cub Scout Adventure Program

The Cub Scout program is changing! Come and learn all about the new exciting changes that went into effect June 1, 2015!

All Cub Scout leadership, parents, den leaders, committee members, and unit commissioners are invited to attend. There is no charge to attend. Read our blog for more information about the new program.

RSVP for Cub Scout Program Updates Training                 Get pack meeting plans for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017


Everything you need to know about the new Cub Scouting program

Adventure ahead! By now, you’ve heard that Cub Scouting is getting a big upgrade on June 1 of this year. We’ve got your road map to the new Cub Scouting program, including what’s changing (and what isn’t), the new adventure loops and tips on how to transition your pack to the revised program.

The Cub Scout motto is “Do Your Best,” but maybe it should be “Embrace Change.” Since Cub Scouting began in 1930, the program has changed frequently. Age limits have dropped. Tigers have been introduced. Lions have gone extinct. The Webelos Scout program has appeared and expanded. Den mothers have become den leaders, and men and women now serve as Cubmasters. But perhaps the biggest changes lie ahead. Effective June 1, the BSA is making sweeping changes to Cub Scouting, changes that promise to make the program more fun and engaging.

 


What’s Not Changing?
Earlier this year, rumors flew around the Internet that the Cub Scout uniform was changing. It’s not.

In fact, most things about Cub Scouting are staying the same, including den and pack structures, age and gender requirements, and the emphasis on fun and doing your best.

Cub Scouting will now have seven methods: Living the Ideals (which incorporates the former Making Character Connections method), Belonging to a Den, Using Advancement, Involving Family and Home, Participating in Activities, Serving Home and Neighborhood, and Wearing the Uniform.

All that’s really changing is how the ideals and advancement methods are implemented.


Updated Ideals
Cub Scouting has come a long way from the 1930s, when Cub Scouts pledged to be “square” (considered a good thing at the time!). Back then, the Cub Scout Promise simply read, “I, [name], promise to do my best to be square and to obey the Law of the Pack.” As part of the revised Cub Scout program, the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack have been retired, and boys will now learn the Scout Oath and Scout Law. This change emphasizes the unity of the Scouting movement and makes it a bit easier for Cub Scouting to live out Scouting’s mission and vision statements, both of which refer to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The Cub Scout motto, sign, salute and handshake are not changing. 


What’s an Adventure?
Perhaps the most important word in the revised Cub Scout program is “adventure.” In Cub Scout terms, an adventure is a collection of themed, multidisciplinary activities representing enough engaging content for three den meetings and one pack meeting — about a month’s worth of programming, in other words.

The word “adventure” emphasizes that Cub Scout activities should be fun and should take boys places they’ve never been. The adventures focus on learning by doing instead of learning by listening. Requirements are full of words like build, play, go, find, demonstrate and discover, not words like discuss, learn and share.

The Tiger, Wolf and Bear books contain 19 adventures each, while the Webelos Handbook (which covers two years) contains 27. That means there will be plenty of material for year-round fun, even in the Arrow of Light year.


The Academics and Sports Program
Cub Scouts have been earning belt loops for individual and team sports since 1985 and for academic subjects since 1991, and it’s no doubt they enjoyed the bling. Often, however, earning belt loops detracted from the advancement program as some boys (and leaders) focused on easy belt loops over more challenging — and meaningful — achievements.

With the introduction of the new advancement program, the Academics and Sports Program has been retired. However, many of its best elements have been incorporated into the new adventures, and the new adventure loops ensure that boys’ belts will be as jangly as ever.


Advancement
The old advancement program included a dizzying array of beads, badges, belt loops, arrow points, compass points and activity pins.

Now, each rank will follow the same format. To earn a rank, a boy must complete a mix of seven required and elective adventures.

New Cub Scouts will continue to earn the Bobcat badge before working on other requirements. To earn Bobcat, boys must learn about the Scout Oath and Scout Law and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto and salute; they must also complete the exercises described in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.

Boys receive an adventure loop (previously called belt loops) for each adventure at the Tiger, Wolf and Bear levels, and an adventure pin (worn on the Webelos colors or Webelos cap) for each adventure at the Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks. The recognition items for required adventures are full-color, while the ones for elective adventures are monochromatic. Once a boy completes seven adventures for a given rank, he receives the pocket patch.

To maintain consistency across ranks, boys entering the program in the fifth grade no longer must earn the Webelos badge as a prerequisite for Arrow of Light.


Transitioning to the Revised Program
The revised program goes into effect on June 1. Boys who join on or after that date will complete the new Bobcat requirements and then start on the appropriate rank for their age group (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos or Arrow of Light). Similarly, returning Cub Scouts will move to the next rank in the revised program when their program year starts. (The transition works a little differently in packs chartered to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. See the guide posted atscouting.org/programupdates for details.)

Boys who have earned the Webelos badge and are moving to Arrow of Light this summer or fall have two options:

  1. they may continue to work out of the current handbook and complete the old Arrow of Light requirements, or
  2. they may begin using the new Webelos Handbook for Arrow of Light.

If they choose option 2, they must complete the four required adventures; their three electives may come from the new adventures or from activity badges they earned under the old program but did not use to fulfill Webelos rank requirements.


Introducing Ethan
Boys are aspirational by nature. They long to become like their big brothers, their older cousins, and the kids who are a grade or two ahead of them in school.

Starting this year, many Cub Scouts will aspire to be Ethan.

Ethan is a new character who appears in all four Cub Scout handbooks and speaks directly to the reader about what he’s been doing in Scouting. In each handbook, Ethan is a year or two older than the boys he’s addressing. (In theTiger Handbook, he’s a Wolf, while in theWebelos Handbook, he’s a Boy Scout.)

Ethan introduces each of the required adventures, shares tips from his own experiences and previews what boys can look forward to as they progress in Scouting. While Ethan is a good Scout, he’s not a perfect one. He struggles to master the square knot, he gets scared by a spooky ghost story, and he forgets the jelly for PB&J sandwiches. But he always has fun and is always ready for his next adventure.


New for 2015: Den Leader Guides
The revised program comes complete with four printed den leader guides that complement the youth handbooks. More comprehensive than the old Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide, these books offer the following resources for each adventure:

  • The rationale for the adventure
  • Takeaways for Cub Scouts (learning objectives)
  • A list of the adventure requirements
  • Planning and implementation notes
  • Detailed meeting plans (including supply lists and handouts)

Meeting preparation should be easier because the guides are self-contained — there’s no need to search through other publications for games or song lyrics, for example. Leaders who pilot-tested the adventures found that it took them about 45 minutes to prepare for an hourlong meeting.


What About Akela?
In the revised Cub Scout program, Akela will still be a special term for any leader, and the Cub Scout sign will still resemble the attentive ears of a wolf. Cub Scouting’s use of characters from The Jungle Book will be mentioned in the youth handbooks but, beyond that, the TC, Akela and Baloo characters won’t show up. (Keep in mind that The Jungle Book was published in 1894 and that most people’s frame of reference is the Disney movie that came out 48 years ago.)


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Breaking News

New Pack Meeting Plans Available Now!
Pack meeting plans for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Cub Scouting years are now available! From the Cubmaster’s Minute to resource lists, you’ll find everything you need to lead fun and engaging pack meetings! And they support the new Cub Scouting program, too! Click here to download the plans.

Updated Requirements for Cub Scout Awards
The requirements for the National Den Award, National Summertime Pack Award, Cub Scout World Conservation Award, and the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award have been revised to reflect the new Cub Scouts program launching June 1, 2015. Click here for details .

New Cub Scouting Images Available Now!
Looking to update your presentations with new graphics? Click here for images such as: the new Tiger logo, new adventure loop and pin icons, new youth handbook covers, new leader resource covers, and more! Click here.

Purchasing Adventure Loops and Pins for Recognition
The new adventure insignia (belt loops and pins) will be available for purchase in Scout Shops as immediate recognition devices. No advancement report required. Purchase of rank badges continues to require signed advancement reports. Click here for policy statement .

Day Camp Guidance – New Cub Scout Program Launch
If you’ve planned your 2015 Day Camp using the current Academics and Sports program (retiring as the new program transitions June 1), no need to change course. Work with your local scout shop to make sure the needed insignia from the current program are still available and in their inventory. Click here for further guidance .

Transition in LDS Chartered Units – New Cub Scout Program
Need additional guidance on transitioning from the current to the new Cub Scout program in LDS units? Click here for details on making a smooth transition .


Orientation Videos

Exciting changes are coming to the Cub Scouting program that will make it simpler to execute for unit leaders and more fun for boys! Check out the videos below outlining the changes.


Supplemental Roundtable Content

To help prepare unit leaders for the new Cub Scouting program launching June 1, supplemental roundtable content has been developed to replace or supplement the current sessions listed as "Cub Scout Interest Topics" for January–July 2015. 

Available installments are posted below.

January – Program Support for Den Leaders
Topic Guide 
Presentation Materials 

February – Advancement
Topic Guide 
Presentation Materials 

March – Program Planning
Topic Guide 
Presentation Materials 
Worksheet 

April – New Pack Meeting Plans
Topic Guide 
Presentation Materials 

May – Aquatic Adventures
Topic Guide 
Presentation Materials 

Additional content will be posted the last week of each month as follows:

June – Campfire Programs
July – Resources for Packs and Den Leaders


Latest Information

Find more information at scouting.org/programupdates

 

Upcoming Scout Days 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, April 14, 2015 12:18:00 PM

Buffalo Soldier Scout Days

Sunday, September 20 and Sunday, November 15
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
 
The Buffalo Soldiers Museum has an exciting opportunity for Scouts on several days.  The Museum has offered to include guided tours and the opportunity to review advancement requirements for the Heritages Belt Loop and American Cultures Merit Badge. The Scout Days also include re-enactments of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The cost is $3 for Scouts and $5 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets Call (713) 942-8920. This program was conceived by the African American Committee on Scouting. 
 

Scout Night at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus 

Friday, July 17, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
NRG Stadium

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® Presents LEGENDS, the 144th edition of the Greatest Show On Earth brought to you locally by Chick-fil-A of Houston. Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show - - Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and mysterious creatures of the past: a Unicorn, a Pegasus and a Woolly Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions! Come one hour early to meet our animals and performers at the All Access Pre-Show - FREE with your ticket! Each Scout will receive a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Scout Patch.

Scout Prices: $29, $19 & $17
For information or to order groups of ten or more, please contact Christina at 281-367-9717 or email atchristina@texasgrouptickets.com 
Or purchase tickets online by clicking here. Use the password BSCT. Note that service and handling fees will apply for online purchases. After purchasing online, to receive your patches call Christina at 281-367-9717 or email at christina@texasgrouptickets.com. Deadline to order tickets is Friday, July 10.

Coin Collecting Merit Badge

August 1-2, 2015

Boy Scouts can work on the Coin Collecting Merit Badge at the Bellair Coin Club Coin Show. Scoutings in uniform are admitted free. The Coin show will have rare US coins, gold and silver bullion, world and ancient coins and more.  The event is being held at the Bellaire Civic Center (7008 South Rice Avenue, Bellaire, Texas 77401) from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Saturday and from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm on Sunday. For more information, call 281-910-0741.

Sugar Land Skeeters Scout Sleepover

Friday, August 7, 2015 

Join the Sugar Land Skeeters for a Scout Sleepover on Friday, August 7.  Scouts will be able to participate in a pre-game parade, watch the game from box seats, enjoy post-game fireworks and camp out on the field. Tickets are $26. For more information, please contact Sonny Okpon at(281) 207-9120 orsokpon@sugarlandskeeters.com.
 

Safety Merit Badge at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital

August 15 and October 17, 2015
 
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital will host several opportunity for Boy Scout troops or individuals to fulfill the requirements for the Safety Merit Badge. This program includes an interactive, educational component and tour of the emergency and trauma services of the hospital. A light breakfast is provided. All sessions are from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Location: 6411 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030. Cost is $25 registration fee per Scout. Any Boy Scout (at least 10 years of age) can participate. Each session is limited to 20 Scouts. Prerequisite work must be completed prior to arrival to the facility. To register, contact 713-222-CARE (2273) or by clicking here. For questions, contact the Pediatric Injury Prevention Coordinator, via email: traumaprevention@memorialhermann.org or via phone: 713.704.0108.
 

Wet 'n Wild Scout Day

Saturday August 29, 2015
 
"Splash into Safety" and join Wet 'n Wild for Scout Day. A section of the park opens at 9:00 a.m. (an hour early) exclusively for Scouts to see lifeguards in action with lifesaving rescues, first aid practice and skills you can use every day. Select attractions will open at 9:30 a.m. for the scouts and their families.  The Scout Day special event ticket will also include lunch in one of the private pavilions and a souvenir patch. This special event ticket must be pre-purchased. Pre-Purchased Ticket Price: $33.99 each, plus tax . Deadline: Pre-purchase by August 15, 2015. To Purchase Tickets call: (281) 355-3300 ext. 113 or ext. 114 For more information about Wet 'n Wild Splash Day call (281) 355-3300 ext. 103

Scout Day with the Astros

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Join the Houston Astros celebrate Scout Day at Minute Maid Park. Arrive early to participate in a pregame parade and stay late for a post game run around the bases! To order tickets click here, password: Scout. For orders of 20 or more and to save on service charges contact Brent Broussard at (713) 259-8316.  The first 2000 Scouts will receive a Scout Day Patch. To receive a patch orders must be made through link or as part of a Scout group through this offer. For more information contact Brent Broussard at (713) 259-8316 or Broussard@astros.com.

 


National Weather Service Skywarn Classes

The National Weather Service Houston/Galveston office offers free Skywarn classroom and webinar training courses on how to spot and report severe weather. Scouters are invited to attend. Upcoming training sessions are posted here.

 

 


Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a variety of classes for Scouts.

  • Tigers, Wolves, and Bears can earn the Astronomy, Geology, Science, and Weather Belt Loops and Pins in 2-hour classes. Two classes can be taken in one day and entrance to the general exhibits is included. Classes are offered through the school year on Saturdays.
  • Engineer, Forester, Geologist, Naturalist and Scientist activity badges can be earned by Webelos in two-hour classes on Saturdays through the school year. The Engineer, Into the Woods, Earth Rocks, Into the Wild, and Science adventure badges will be introduced in the summer and fall of 2015 . Two classes can be taken in one day and entrance to the general exhibits is included.
  • Boy Scouts and Webelos can attend the museum's Summer Scout Academy! A total of 28 different merit badges are offered, including four Eagle Scout required badges during summer classes. Two or three badges with similar topics are grouped together in each week-long class. Registration opens in February.
  • Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos can spend the night at the museum during the Scout Adventure Night!  Scouts can all have an exclusive adventure through the Museum exhibit halls, with activities and a special program in the Burke Baker Planetarium, where Scouts have a clear night adventure under the stars!

The Health Museum

The Health Museum offers a variety of classes for Scouts. Private classes can also be scheduled for groups of 10 or more Scouts on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Webelos can work on the Forester, Geologist, Traveler, Citizen, Readyman, Scientist, Fitness, and Aquanaut badges.
  • Boy Scouts can work on 21 different merit badges.

 


Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center offers a variety of classes for Scouts. Scouts investigate the nature sanctuary with a naturalist and learn about the fascinating ecology of the forest. All of our Scout programs are conducted by staff naturalists and use our nature sanctuary as a field laboratory for hands-on explorations!

  • Tigers, Wolves and Bears can work on some outdoor advancements during their Cub Scout Workshops.
  • Webelos can work on the Naturalist and Forester badges
  • Boy Scouts can work on the Bird Study merit badge and conduct Eagle Scout projects.

Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo offers a spend the night at the zoo for a unique, after-hours experience which includes interactive activities, touchable animals, pizza dinner, Scout advancements on certain nights, and a continental breakfast!  
 


Weather Center Houston

The Weather Center Houston offers the Boy Scout Weather merit badge.


Armand Bayou Nature Center

The Armand Bayou Nature Center offers a variety of classes for Scouts. 

  • Tigers, Wolves and Bears can work on several outdoor advancements.
  • Webelos can work on the Naturalist and Forester badge.


Watch for additional Scout Days to be announced soon.

For more information, contact:

Shane Burks
Marketing/Communications Director
(713) 756-3301
 Shane.Burks@shac.org

 

 

 


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