Blog Post List

Sign up for Popcorn 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:57:00 AM

Hundreds of thousands of dollars go back to the Scouting program in the Sam Houston Area Council as a result of the annual popcorn sale. 73% of all dollars collected during the sale support local Scouting. The popcorn sale is a way for a Scout to support his or her way through the various activities during the year. There are three options to sell popcorn: traditional take order sales, sell online to friends and family out of town and show-n-sell. For more information, contact your district popcorn kernel or district executive.

Sign up to sell popcorn           Learn More

New for this year, units that sign up to sell popcorn by June 30th will receive a free drone! Also, units that sell over $12,000 will receive free home popcorn delivery.

 

Why Sell?

• Increase your unit and council income – 73% stays in the local area.
• Scouts pay for their way for various Scouting programs and activities.
• Scouts learn life lessons by earning their own way.
• There are loads of incentives to motivate Scouts: cool prizes, $600 club, $1800 club. 


Contacts

For more information, contact your district popcorn kernel or district executive.

Popcorn Project Coordinator
 (713) 756-3374
popcorn@shac.org

Tony Hensdill
Field Development Director
 (713) 756-3374
 tony.hensdill@scouting.org

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

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)

 

Does Scouting Work? 

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

Source:  Scouting Wire

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

Scouting Builds Positive Character

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

Add This New Video to Your Toolkit

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

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

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

BSA Eligibility FAQ's 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://scoutingnewsroom.org/press-releases/bsa-addresses-gender-identity/?utm_source=scoutinglink 

Below are questions and answers regarding this topic.

Understanding the Decision

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How the Decision Affects My Unit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Girls in Scouting

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

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

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

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

Contact

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

 

Update Your Pin at BeAScout.org 

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

Unit Leaders:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verify unit information on district website

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

Cub Scout Program Updates 

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

Modifications to Cub Scout program give den leaders more flexibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cub Scouting’s fall 2016 modifications, an overview

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

Where to find the new requirements

Simply log on to scouting.org/programupdates. I suggest making it one of your bookmarks

Earn the Recruiter Strip 

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

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

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

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

Success Stories

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

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

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

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

 

Why Scouting

Source: scouting.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Cub Scouting

Source: scouting.org

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

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

Cub Scouting Is Fun

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

Cub Scouting Has Ideals

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

Cub Scouting Strengthens Families

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

Cub Scouting Helps Boys Develop Interests and Skills

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

Cub Scouting Provides Adventure

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

Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan

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

Cub Scouting Creates Fellowship

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

Cub Scouting Promotes Diversity

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

Cub Scouting Teaches Duty to God and Country

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

Cub Scouting Provides a Year-Round Program

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

Cub Scouting Is a Positive Place

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

Scouting Apps 

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

Boys’ Life Magazine and Scouting Magazine Apps 

Source:  Scouting Newsroom Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decades of Scouting Literature at Your Fingertips

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

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

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