December 26-31, 2017

Winter camp is a wonderful opportunity for troops to camp and Boy Scouts to earn merit badges. Merit badge classes are taught by Scouters with real-life experiences in the field. The 32nd annual winter camp will be held at Bovay Scout Ranch (3450 County 317, Navasota, TX 77868), just three miles outside of Navasota, TX. Over 50 merit badge classes are offered, including many merit badges that are not normally offered at summer camp.

Merit badge registration is open. The designated leader needs to edit the unit's existing registration to enter merit badges; use the link in the emailed receipt from Doubleknot to edit the initial registration.

Registration

The cost for each Boy Scout to attend winter camp is $295. Each troop must pay a $295 deposit upon registration. In addition, to secure spots for individual Scouts, the troop must pay a deposit of $125 per Scout by October 31st. Troop registering after this deadline need to pay the deposit for each Scout at the time of registration. This deposit may be transferred to another Scout in the same troop but is not refundable.

Adult Fees

Each troop is allowed to register up to two adult leaders at no cost. At least one of the leaders must be age 21 or older, with the other leader aged 18 or older. All additional leaders are $150 per adult. Those adults serving on staff will not be charged a fee. The two free adults, as described above, are in addition to those adults serving on staff.

Unit Registration

Units must provide one staff member for every six Scouts attending winter camp. The winter camp staff register individually, and not with the unit. 

Unit Registration        Adult in Camp Compliance Form      Staff Registration  

The state of Texas requires that the council conduct a criminal background check and sex offender database check on every adult who will be at camp. All adults attending winter camp must submit an Adult in Camp Compliance form on or before December 1, 2017, to allow sufficient time for the background checks to be completed. 

Individual Scout Registration

Scouts may attend winter camp even if their troop isn't attending. Scouts have two options:

  1. Scouts attending without a parent/guarding must find another troop to attend winter camp with. The winter camp staff can help Scouts find a troop. The unit hosting the lone Scout will add the Scout to their winter camp registration. The parent/guardian then pays the registration fee to their winter camp troop.
  2. Scouts attending with a parent/guardian should register as a unit. On the online registration form, answer yes to the question, “Do you need to be put in a campsite with another troop to meet leadership requirements?”

Deadline for Outstanding Balances

All outstanding fees must be paid on or before December 1st. Any troops not paying the full balance by that date risks having their registration canceled and all deposits being forfeited.

Refund Policy

The council refund policy can be found at www.shac.org/forms#refund.

Winter Camp Staff

Over 250 staff members are needed to provide the best possible program for the Scouts. Staff positions include serving as a merit badge counselor, service crew member or camp commissioner. Volunteers are also needed to help in the dining hall, trading post, quartermaster store, business office, and program areas. 

Staff meeting: All winter camp staff should attend the staff meeting on December 6, 2017, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Cockrell Service Center.

Staff work weekend: Staff are highly encouraged to help set up camp during the staff work weekend on Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm at Bovay Scout Ranch.

Adult Staff

Adult staff (ages 18 or older on December 31st need to register online, and then submit the following forms to wayne.mcleland@scouting.org by November 15, 2017:

Registration is a two-step process:

Step 1: Register           Step 2: Adult in Camp Compliance Form (submit by December 1st)

The state of Texas requires that the council conduct a criminal background check and sex offender database check on every adult who will be at camp. All adults attending winter camp must submit an Adult in Camp Compliance form on or before December 1st, to allow sufficient time for the background checks to be completed. 

Youth Staff

Youth staff (ages 17 and younger on December 31st) need to register online, and then submit the following forms to wayne.mcleland@scouting.org by November 15, 2017:

Register

Parent's Guide

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Scouts are expected to strive to achieve the above aims while living the principles of the Scout Oath and Law.

Participant Packing List

 

  • Field uniform (Scout uniform) and belt 
  • Clothing appropriate for weather
  • Long sleeve shirt (2 to 4) 
  • Socks (4 or 5 pair) 
  • Pants (2 to 4 pair) 
  • T-shirts (no tank tops) (4 or 5 pair) 
  • Shoes (closed toe) or hiking boots 
  • Cap or hat 
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas or sleeping clothes
    (wool, polypropylene or polyester, never cotton!) 
  • Sleeping bag (1 or 2), blankets, sheet 
  • Pillow 
  • Cot or pad 
  • Personal first aid kit 
  • Rain gear (pants and jacket) 
  • Winter coat 
  • Towels and washcloth 
  • Soap and shampoo 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • Comb, brush, mirror 
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Comb, brush, mirror 
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Insect repellent (non-aerosol) 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Boy Scout Handbook 
  • Water bottle (or canteen) and cup 
  • Spiral notebooks 
  • Pen or pencils 
  • Completed merit badge prerequisites
  • Letter writing material 
  • Backpack 
  • Work gloves 
  • Dirty clothes bag 
  • Watch 
  • Portable chair or camp stool 
  • Pocket knife and Totin' Chip
Optional
  • Thermal underwear
    (pants and shirt, not cotton) 
  • Spending money for trading post 
  • Nontoxic, noncombustible, environmentally friendly hand warmers
  • Mosquito netting  
  • Camera 

 

Don’t Bring: 

  • Valuables
  • Electronics (e.g.,  iPod, iPad)*
  • Fireworks 
  • Sheath or hunting knives 
  • Pets 
  • Hammocks 
  • Personal firearms and ammunition 
  • Jewelry 
  • Personal bows and arrows 
  • Fuel burning hand warmers 

*Electricity is very limited.

Mark all items with name and troop number.

Winter Camping Tips

Participants are expected to come to camp prepared for variable weather. Although temperatures average between 40 to 60 degrees during winter camp, temperatures have been known to dip as low as 19 degrees and rise as high as 80 degrees.

Sources - Scouting Magazine: Winter camping tips and tricks to help you enjoy the fourth season, Eight essentials for staying warm while cold-weather campingOutdoor Smarts: How to Keep Warm in Camping's Fourth Season; Boys' Life: How to Stay Warm With the Right Winter Gear

Dressing for the cold. When dressing for cold weather, focus on a layering system including the three Ws: wicking, warmth and wind. Your base layer should be wicking (like an athletic shirt), an insulating layer should be warming (like fleece or wool) and an exterior layer should block the wind. Use clothing you have, focusing on the right combination of fabrics.

Wicking Layer or Base. Also commonly known as long underwear, the base layer is worn closest to your skin. Its main job is to wick away sweat and moisture so your skin stays dry. Wear it relatively tight to the skin and use only wool or synthetic base layers. Never use cotton because it will not keep you warm once it’s wet, whether from sweat or precipitation. These base layers come in various weights, from heavy for frigid conditions to lightweight for warmer temps and activities that cause a lot of sweating, such as strenuous hiking and cross-country skiing. It’s a good idea to have one extra pair of base layers to change into every night at camp.

Warmth Layer or Insulation. The insulation layer is worn atop the base layer and is designed to provide the majority of your insulation. It should be made of fleece, wool, down or synthetic insulation and can be a pullover, zip-up jacket or vest, depending on how much insulation you need.

Windproofing Layer or Shell. The outermost layer, the shell jacket and pants protect you from wind and wet conditions. There are two types of shells: the hard shell is a lightweight layer that’s windproof and waterproof, capable of handling heavy rain and very wet conditions; a soft shell is made of a more flexible, soft-faced material that’s windproof yet highly breathable, and water-resistant enough to protect you against everything except a heavy downpour.

Mittens. Mittens are warmer than gloves. If insulated mittens get wet, they stay that way. Wool mitts worn inside leather or nylon shells are removable for faster drying. Wool gloves are needed for dexterity when cooking.

Sleeping. Be sure to change into dry clothes for sleeping — moisture retained in field clothes will cause chilling. For overnight warmth, wear wool, polypropylene or polyester (never cotton!) long johns, socks and a balaclava to bed. Place a scarf across your neck to seal drafts.

Sleeping bags. Two sleeping bags — one placed inside the other — should provide enough warmth down to about zero degrees. If you don’t have a closed-cell foam pad to use as a sleeping mat, try half-inch-thick foam carpet padding.

Ground cloth. In warmer months, a plastic ground cloth should be used inside your tent to stay dry. However, in winter, use the ground cloth beneath your tent to keep it from freezing to the ground.

Toes cold? Put on a hat. Your body loses up to half of its total heat in 40-degree temperatures. So, when it’s below freezing and your head is uncovered, you could be radiating more than three-fourths of your overall body heat from your head.

Baggy clothes are back in style at least in the freezing-cold wilderness. Your body heats itself most efficiently when it’s enveloped in a layer of warm air. If your clothes are too tight, you’re strangling the cold right out of your body. Dressing in loose layers helps aid this convection layer of air. Tight clothes or too-tight boots can also restrict blood-flow.

The three W’s. Every cold-weather camper needs to dress for the occasion. You’ll need a wicking layer (long underwear), a “warm” layer (fleece) and a “wind” layer (waterproof shell).

Stay hydrated. In winter, you may not be aware of how much you’re sweating. A gulp of ice-cold water is hardly appetizing, but it is important to keep drinking. Hot drinks and soup are a great way to replenish liquids, electrolytes, and heat. Keep extra tea bags on hand, as well as bouillon cubes, and hand out hot drinks liberally, especially at the end of the day when energy is low.

Camp Program 

Learn more about the exciting program and merit badges begin offered at winter camp.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication

Scouts who require medication should bring enough of the medication to last throughout camp. BSA National Camping Standards (HS-508) states the following rules apply to storage and administration of medication:

All prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications must be stored under lock (including those requiring refrigeration), except when in the controlled presence of medical staff or a troop’s adult leader who is responsible for administration and/or dispensing medications. Locked refrigerated storage is available in the health lodge.

An exception to the above requirements may be made for a limited amount of medication to be carried by a camper, leader, parent, or staff member for life-threatening conditions, including epinephrine injector, heart medication, and inhalers, or for a limited amount of medication approved for use in a first-aid kit. The winter camp medical staff shall advise the acting Scoutmaster as to whether a medication falls under this exception.

Buddy System

All Scouts should adhere to the buddy system throughout camp. No Scout should ever be found wandering through camp alone. We recognize that this can be difficult if the Scout has not scheduled classes with fellow members of their troop. We encourage troops to attempt to pair Scouts in classes as much as possible. If this is not feasible, the Scout should walk with other Scouts in his class to the location of the merit badge class. Due to the number of Scouts and the short amount of time between classes, this should be a relatively simple exercise.

Special Medical Needs

If a Scout has special needs, please let your unit leader know. Camp staff will do whatever they can to accommodate. The troop leader will notify the camp staff of any requests with the troop’s registration.

Youth Leaving and Returning

We highly encourage parents to allow youth to remain on camp property the entire time camp is in session. This reduces unnecessary traffic in and out of camp and allows youth to have the complete residential camp experience with their troop.

Youth will only be allowed to check out from camp prior to final checkout by an adult authorized on Part B of the Scout’s BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. Please ensure that parents in your troop have included all authorized adults on this form. Without this authorization on the form, only an adult from the Scout’s troop registered for camp or the parent signing the form will be allowed to remove the child from camp prior to final checkout.

No one, including a Scout leader or parent, will be allowed to leave camp with a person under the age of 18 without having checked out at the winter camp office and receiving a ticket which will be taken by security just before you reach the exit of the camp.

During checkout the last day of camp, adult leaders will receive exit tickets for all youth in their troop from their camp commissioner once they have successfully checked out.

Lost and Found

If any lost items are found, they should be turned in at the winter camp office as soon as is reasonably possible. Likewise, if anyone from your troop has lost an item while at winter damp, check with the winter camp office to determine if it has been returned there.

Lost items will be kept in the winter camp office through the end of winter camp. After winter camp, the camp director will dispose of the items left at camp (e.g., donated to a non-profit organization, returned to the council office, thrown in the trash). The council, nor its staff, shall be held responsible for any lost items.

Do not bring valuables to camp. To assist in returning items to their rightful owner, please ensure that all items brought to camp has the owner’s name and troop number marked on them.

Questions

Parents of campers should contact their troop leaders with questions about winter camp. Many of the adult leaders attending winter camp are quite experienced and can answer questions.

 

Advancement  Program

Merit Badges

The highlight of any camp is the program offered at that camp. In addition to numerous merit badge classes offered at winter camp, we have an energetic program staff that is dedicated entirely to planning great activities all week long.

Dozens of different merit badges will be offered including approximately half of the Eagle Scout required merit badges.

Best of all, many of our merit badges are taught by adults with decades of experience in the field the merit badge aims to cover. 

Five class periods will be scheduled for Scouts to earn merit badges, work on skills toward the trail to First Class rank or participate in an activity period.

Registration for merit badges is open. Some classes have extremely limited space due to facilities or equipment (e.g., rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, archery, and welding). Please do not sign up a Scout for a merit badge that they have already started with another counselor or that they have already earned. This is unfair to other Scouts who wish to begin the process of earning the merit badge at winter camp.

Please keep in mind that, on occasion, we may need to cancel merit badge classes based on lack of interest or due to unavailability of merit badge instructors. Scouts should be flexible in their goals for earning merit badges while at winter camp. While it is rare that we must cancel a class, it has happened.

Once a merit badge class is full, Scouts will not be allowed to register for the class. A list of prerequisites will be available soon.

 Merit Badges      Prerequisites

Merit Badge Add/Drop

The Scoutmaster or designee should advise Scouts before selecting merit badges. Class sizes are limited. Merit badges can be added or dropped online until December 19, 2017. After the merit badge registration system closes, changes can only be made at the winter camp office at Bovay Scout Ranch on December 26th before 5:00 pm. The following rules will apply:

  • Only one form may be turned in per unit.
  • The form must be signed by the acting Scoutmaster for the troop
  • The form must be filled out completely.
  • Schedules will not be reprinted for troops making changes in camp.
  • No changes will be accepted after 5:00 pm on December 26th.

Our merit badge instructors will be advised not to allow any Scouts to take their class unless they are listed on the roster.

Rank Emphasis

For Scouts working on requirements toward Tenderfoot, Second Class or First Class ranks, classes designed to teach Scouts the skills necessary to complete these requirements are available. The counselors will not sign off on the requirements, as that is left to the troop Scoutmaster and/or those the Scoutmaster has designated as adult leaders permitted to sign off on rank advancement requirements. Instead, the classes are there to merely teach basic Scoutcraft skills needed to advance in these initial ranks.

Classes are scheduled in such a manner that Scouts working toward Tenderfoot, Second Class or First Class will also have an opportunity to take at least one or two merit badges.

Additional Programs

Field Activities

Winter camp isn’t all merit badges and rank advancement. Our dedicated program staff has planned an outstanding array of field activities for Scouts to participate in during their activity period (e.g., dodgeball, ultimate, volleyball)

In addition, an activity tent will have a variety of board games and card games with other Scouts. A geocaching challenge will be held daily with a hint included in the daily newsletter.

Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow is the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. For over 100 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long-term resident camping, developing leaders, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich, support and help to extend Scouting to America's youth. 

At winter camp, Arrowmen who are members of Colonneh Lodge, and who have served their troops for at least 10 months since their Ordeal ceremony, will have the opportunity to seal their membership in the Order of the Arrow by completing a Brotherhood ceremony. The Brotherhood ceremony will take place on the evening of December 28th. Announcements will be made in camp concerning the time and location of the Brotherhood walk and talk, as well as the time for the Brotherhood ceremony that evening.

Any interested Arrowmen should sign up for the Brotherhood ceremony at the winter camp office. Arrowmen seeking Brotherhood membership should also ensure that their dues are current with Colonneh Lodge, as that is a requirement of achieving Brotherhood membership.

As a celebration of the importance of Order of the Arrow to our Scout camps, and to celebrate those Arrowmen who are furthering their commitment to their troops through sealing their Brotherhood membership in the Order of the Arrow, all Arrowmen are encouraged to wear their OA sash with their uniform to evening assembly and at dinner on December 28th. Any Arrowmen who are Brotherhood or Vigil members are also welcome and encouraged to attend the Brotherhood ceremony that evening to welcome those Arrowmen who seek to strengthen the ties of brotherhood by sealing their membership. 

Scouts Own Service

A Scout is Reverent. The location and time of the Scouts Own Service will be announced at camp. We will celebrate the blessings given to us by God through a selection of songs, discussion, and a little bit of fun.

Evening Activities

Skit Night

Skit Night is on December 27th and isn’t just about being entertained by our program staff and your fellow Scouts – it’s also a competition to show which troop has the best skit!

Moreover, our program staff will be carefully evaluating your skits to determine which are best. Awards for first, second and third place skits on each skit night will be awarded at the closing campfire at the end of the week. In addition, the best skits from each skit night will be asked to perform that skit for the closing campfire. Snacks will be provided so you will have something to munch on while enjoying the skits

Movie Night

On December 28th, make your way to the dining hall for some entertainment and watch a movie on the big screen! In addition to a great movie chosen by our staff, participants will also enjoy some great movie theater snacks.

Theme Night

On the evening of December 29th, everyone will gather in the activity field for a theme night party. This is always the most popular event at winter camp, as it involves a number of competitions and activities. Just follow the music from our very powerful sound system to the festivities!

Our theme this year is pirate – think of movies and great stories that portray pirates with a variety of personalities, situations, and costumes.

Competition awards for first, second and third place will be announced at closing campfire:

  • Costume Competition – Scouts wishing to participate should come prepared with a Scouting appropriate costume based on the theme for this year. We’ll allow your imagination to determine how best to fit your costume to this year’s theme. Please be aware that this is an individual competition. While troops are welcome to coordinate their costumes, such coordination shall not be taken into account in judging the costumes for prizes.
  • Patrol/Troop Flag Competition – Come prepared to design a troop or patrol flag (this is left to the discretion of the troop’s Senior Patrol Leader, based on the number of Scouts from your troop attending winter camp) based on this year’s theme.
  • Patrol/Troop Design Competition – Each year we ask troops or patrols (again, up to SPL depending on number of Scouts from your troop in attendance) to build an object at camp based on the theme. It could be a vehicle, a plane, a space ship, a trophy – who knows? Use whatever materials you have on hand.
  • Scoutmaster Cookoff – This is a competition for the adult leaders in camp. The acting Scoutmaster, with the assistance of any willing adults from their troop, may choose to test his or her outdoor culinary skills to produce the best dish. Dishes will be judged starting at 8:30 pm sharp at the dining hall, so come prepared to serve your dish to our panel of judges at that time. The identity of the judges will be kept secret until the judging begins. Dishes will be judged based on the following criteria: Taste, Aroma, Appearance, Creativity, and Relation to Theme.

Closing Campfire

What better way to cap off a week of winter camp than to come together around a campfire for an evening of songs, skits, awards presentation. 

Troop Recognition

In addition to the awards that a troop may earn at theme night or the individual advancement that Scout may earn at camp, there are various opportunities for a troop or individual to earn additional recognition at winter camp.

Iceberg Award

An annual tradition, the Iceberg Award can be earned by troops at winter camp by participating in various activities in camp, participating in service projects, acting as the color guard or leading the camp in prayer at camp assemblies, and performing duties as assigned by their camp commissioner. A troop receiving the Iceberg Award has exemplified Scout Spirit and contributed to making winter camp a better place for everyone.

Additional information about earning the Iceberg Award can be obtained by contacting your camp commissioner.

Patch Segments

Scouts can earn various segment patches to go around the event patch. 

  • Iceberg – all members of a troop earning the Iceberg Award will receive this segment
  • Service – all members of a troop earning the Service Award will receive this segment
  • Pirate – any Scout completing all geocaching challenges will earn this segment based on this year’s theme

Winter Camper Award

Although not part of the winter camp program, it is possible to earn the Sam Houston Area Council Winter Camper Patch while at winter camp (if the weather cooperates!) Registered Scouts and leaders qualify when they have met the following criteria of:

Camping three days and two nights at a Scouting activity with temperatures of 42.5 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Official temperatures will be provided in the unit checkout packet to let you know if the members of your troop qualify for the Winter Camper Patch. Patches may then be purchased for $3 each by a troop from the Cockrell Scout Center (front desk, not the Scout Shop).

 

Leader's Guide

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Unit Leader Informational Meeting

December 6, 2017   |   6:00 - 8:00 pm

All troops should send at least one leader, preferably the acting winter camp Scoutmaster to the informational meeting. Critical information about camp will be provided and questions answered. The meeting will be held at the Cockrell Scout Center, which is located at 2225 North Loop West, Houston, Texas 77008.

Campsite Assignments

Camp Map      Campsite Assignments

Recommended Troop Equipment

 

  • Participant packing list
  • Troop sign (should include troop number) 
  • Troop flag 
  • US flag 
  • Twine and poles for lashing 
  • Lanterns 
  • Stove 
  • Matches/lighters 
  • Dining fly(s)
  • Rope 
  • Tents, poles & stakes* 
  • Five-gallon water buckets (with lids) 
  • Ice chests 
  • Trash
  • Lockable storage container 
  • Troop first aid kit 
  • Compass 
  • Service project gear: shovels, rakes,
    hoes, bow saws, loppers,
    hammers
  • Camp chairs 
  • Pots—coffee/water 
  • Fire wood (if no burn ban) 
  • Bulletin Board: 
    • Bulletin board 
    • Camp roster 
    • Troop duty roster 
    • Scout schedules 
    • Push pins

Paperwork: 

  • Troop Advancement Records 
  • Troop Merit Badge Library 
  • Troop’s Camping Attendance 
  • Winter Camp Leaders Guide 

Camp Arrival and Check-in

Troops will not be allowed to enter Bovay Scout Ranch before 1:30 pm on December 26th. Troops are asked not to line up on the road entering \ before this time, as an excessive number of vehicles and trailers could cause a line of vehicles to overflow onto the Highway 6. This presents a safety hazard for your youth and leaders, as well as other drivers on the road.

There are two methods through which check-in by a troop may be accomplished: early check-in at the Cockrell Scout Center, or on-site check-in at Bovay Scout Ranch.

Early Check-In

Troops may check in several weeks before camp begins. By checking in early, a troop will be provided with a pass that they will present at the security checkpoint they reach when first arriving in camp. Troops that have checked in early will then be allowed to proceed immediately to their campsite, or if they have changes to their check-in information, they will be allowed access to an express check-in line available only to those who have checked in early. This line will be intended only to update an existing early check in with minor changes to the troop’s roster.

Early check-in will be offered at the following times:

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Cockrell Scout Center
  • Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the McNair Adventure Camp Dining Hall at Bovay Scout Ranch

In order to be eligible to participate in early check-in, each troop must have the following:

  • BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (including Parts A, B & C) for each person attending camp (youth and adult)
  • Classroom Youth Protection Training Card completed in 2016 or 2017 for every adult attending camp 
  • BSA Hazardous Weather Training Certificate completed in 2016 or 2017 for every adult attending camp 
  • An Adult in Camp Compliance Form must have been previously turned in (due no later than December 9, 2017) for every adult coming to camp. 

On-Site Check-In

Upon arriving in camp, troops that have yet to check in should park and then the acting Scoutmaster should proceed to the dining hall at Bovay Scout Ranch. There will be a line for troops who have not participated in early check-In. Members of our staff will examine your paperwork and ensure that everything is complete.

In-Camp Troop Leaders Meeting

On the first evening of winter camp, December 26th, we will hold a meeting of all acting Scoutmasters and senior patrol leaders from each troop. The meeting will be held at 8:00 pm in the dining hall. During this meeting, the key staff members will emphasize important health and safety rules and make important announcements. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions of the key staff at this time. Refreshments will be served at this meeting, including cookies, punch and coffee.

Mission Statement 

Winter camp is a Boy Scout resident camp run by volunteers designed to:

  • Strengthen troops through the patrol method – Many activities and competitions are designed to encourage troops to work through the patrol method to participate in various activities throughout camp and to reinforce through week-long exercise the principles of the patrol method taught at weekly troop meetings throughout the year.
  • Provide opportunity for individual advancement – Through an extensive number of opportunities to earn merit badges, while being instructed by Scouters who work in fields related to the merit badge subject, Scouts can expect to receive an in-depth treatment of the subject matter that could lead to a better appreciation for the subject and possibly influence their future education and career decisions. In addition, through instruction in traditional Scoutcraft, newer Scouts are prepared through the rank emphasis program to return to their troop and excel in meeting and exceeding the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.

Scouts and Scouters alike are expected to strive to achieve the above aims while living the principles of the Scout Oath and Law.

Youth Protection

As a residential camp accredited by the Boy Scouts of America, we closely follow all youth protection policies set forth by the Boy Scouts of America. In addition, the State of Texas has enacted statutes and regulations concerning youth protection which also apply to our camp. No exceptions to these policies may be made.

Two-Deep Leadership

It is the policy of the Boy Scouts of America that trips and outings may never be led by only one adult. At least two adult leaders, one of whom must be 21 years or older, are required for trips or outings. It is the responsibility of the chartered organization of any Boy Scout troop to inform the committee and leadership of the unit that sufficient adult leaders are provided on all trips and outings.

While we recognize that winter camp presents many troops with unique challenges concerning this requirement. Adult leaders may rotate in and out as needed so long as there are two adult leaders from each troop on property at all times.

When such rotations occur, adults must check in and out of the winter camp office so that our staff is made aware of the identity and contact information for all adult leaders for each troop in camp.

Texas Youth Camp Safety and Health Act

In order to protect the health and safety of youth attending residential camps in the State of Texas, the Texas legislature has enacted the Texas Youth Camp Safety and Health Act. While many portions of this statute concern the facilities and staffing of a youth residential camp, portions of this law affect troops directly.

All adults coming to camp, whether working on staff or not, must complete the Adult in Camp Compliance form no later than December 9, 2017. Completing this form allows council office staff to complete a criminal background check on each adult in camp (regardless of time spent in camp).

Classroom Facilitated Youth Protection Training (YPT)

Pursuant to the Texas Youth Camp Safety and Health Act, all adults coming into contact with youth in camp must have completed a youth protection training that includes administration of an exam consisting of at least 26 questions concerning the training provided. The adult must have passed the exam by correctly answering at least seventy percent (70%) of the questions on the exam. The exam must be kept on file by the organization providing the training and a card will be issued to the person successfully completing the training. This training shall remain valid for two years from the date of completion, as reflected on the card.

A copy of your card must be provided to the council office on or before December 1st. Copies of the cards may be sent to wayne.mcleland@scouting.org. If you have an adult leader attending camp who has yet to complete training by this date, please advise Wayne McLeland at the address above when you e-mail the cards for your adult leadership. As soon as the adult completes their training, they should e-mail a copy of the card to Wayne McLeland at the address above.

Due to the fact that the online BSA youth protection training system does not meet the above examination requirement, online BSA Youth Protection Training (YTP) cannot be used to satisfy this state law.

Find upcoming Classroom Facilitated Youth Protection Trainings at www.samhoustonbsa.org/training-schedule#ypt.

Classroom Facilitated YPT

Staffing

One of the many unique aspects of our winter camp is the fact that our entire staff is composed of volunteers. We do not hire Scouts or adults to teach merit badges or run our kitchen. We rely upon volunteers to take time away from work and their families in order to provide an outstanding program for the hundreds of Scouts in camp each year.

In order to be able to provide adequate staff for our camp, we require all troops attending winter camp to have at least one person from that troop on our staff for every six Scouts registered for camp, or any portion thereof.

For example, if a troop is bringing just four Scouts to camp, they need one person from the troop to serve on staff for winter camp. If a troop is bringing eight Scouts to camp, two people must serve on staff.

For troops bringing up to 12 Scouts, this shouldn’t pose a major issue, as each troop should be bringing at least two adults to camp to meet two-deep leadership requirements. 

Rest assured that any adult leader who agrees to staff at winter camp will not have their ability to supervise and advise their troop adversely affected. The greatest need for most staffers is during times when most Scouts are busy at merit badge classes or enjoying activity period.

Prospective staff members must be at least 15 years of age (certain staff positions may have more stringent age requirements). Interested persons may apply for staff by going to the following link: http://samhoustonbsa.doubleknot.com/event/2017-winter-camp-staff-application/2185672

Applications are subject to approval by the camp director and must be submitted on or before November 15, 2017.

Health, Medical and Safety Issues

Health Lodge

The Health Lodge is located along the breezeway in the administrative building next to the dining hall. The Health Lodge is staffed by personnel trained to handle minor accidents and illnesses. The Health Lodge will be open continuously during camp. For minor injury or illness bring the Scout/adult to the Health Lodge for treatment. The Buddy System should be followed at all times. For a major injury (broken bones, unconsciousness, unsure), send a runner to the Health Lodge and medical staff will come to the Scout or adult. Please do not move a Scout or adult with a major injury!

Special arrangements for treatment of more serious cases have been made with physicians and hospitals in Navasota. If such treatment is required, the camper's parent(s) will be notified by telephone, and their desires concerning further treatment will be respected.

BSA Annual Health and Medical Record

All persons coming to winter camp, whether youth or adult, and regardless of the amount of time spent in camp, must have a completed BSA Annual Health and Medical Record consisting of Parts A, B and C. The form must be completed in its entirety and must contain all applicable signatures. 

BSA Health and Medical Record

Based on incomplete forms we have seen in the past, the following are the most common errors or omissions made on the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record submitted to our staff in prior years:

  • Part A is missing immunizations or is missing dates for the immunizations. Please complete the form rather than attaching an immunization record alone. Incorporating the information into the form speeds up the process of evaluating the form itself at check-in.
  • Part B is not signed by the adult participant or by an adult or guardian (for youth). In order to be able to treat youth in camp for more than immediate life-threatening conditions, our medical staff must have signed consent of a parent or guardian of a youth as contained in Part B. Also, adults who cannot otherwise consent due to incapacity must have signed this page in order for our medical staff to provide more than stabilization treatment.
  • Part C of the form signed by a physician during 2017. The physician’s examination must have been completed on or after January 1, 2017. Undated Part C’s will not be accepted, even if signed by the physician. Therefore, ensure that the physician completing Part C dates the form when he or she signs it.
  • Using an outdated form. BSA issued an updated form in 2014. We will not accept any part of the medical form that is not the 2014 printing. To ensure you are using the correct form, use the form available at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/ahmr.aspx.

Please carefully review all BSA Annual Health and Medical Records prior to check-in. Give yourself ample time so that any errors or omissions may be corrected by the parents of the youth or the adult to whom the form belongs.

When bringing forms for check-in, please do not bring the form in a binder or plastic sheeting. Parts A, B and C should be stapled for one person. This will allow us to efficiently review and file the forms. We do not have the room to store troop binders.

Do not provide original forms. While we will do our best to return forms to those requesting the return of the medical forms, it is best to provide copies. These forms are destroyed after camp.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication

Scouts and adults who require medication should bring enough of the medication to last throughout camp. BSA National Camping Standards (HS-508) states the following rules apply to storage and administration of medication:

All prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications must be stored under lock (including those requiring refrigeration), except when in the controlled presence of Medical Staff or a troop’s adult leader who is responsible for administration and/or dispensing medications. Locked refrigerated storage is available in the winter camp health lodge.

An exception to the above requirements may be made for a limited amount of medication to be carried by a camper, leader, parent, or staff member for life-threatening conditions, including epinephrine injector, heart medication, and inhalers, or for a limited amount of medication approved for use in a first-aid kit. The winter camp medical staff shall advise the acting Scoutmaster as to whether a medication falls under this exception.

Special Medical Needs

If you have one or more members of your troop who have special medical needs, such as refrigeration for medicine, please ensure that information is included in the online registration. CPAP machines must be battery powered, as power outlets close to campsites are scarce. We will, however, do what we can to meet reasonable requests to accommodate requests timely submitted through your troop’s registration.

Trips to the Doctor or Hospital

In the event that a camper requires the attention of a doctor or the services of a hospital, the following procedure must be followed:

  1. The responsibility of the unit leadership is to provide transportation for unit member(s) requiring services from a doctor or hospital.
  2. One adult leader from the unit will accompany the unit member(s) requiring services from a doctor or hospital and is asked to carry insurance forms in for completion. He must obtain the individual's health record from the health officer before going to the doctor or hospital.
  1. Parent(s) or guardian(s) will be immediately notified by the winter camp health officer of any serious illness or injury. If parents will not be at home during the week of camp, have them advise you where they can be located.
  2. The camp will provide transportation ONLY when a unit has none available.
  3. Directions to doctor's offices and hospitals will be available at the health lodge.
  4. All cases requiring outside medical care must be cleared by the camp health officer. This is an agreement with the local health services facilities, insurance company, and a claim procedure.
  5. Check back in with health officer upon return to camp and return health form.

Any clarification of the above procedures may be obtained by discussing them with the health officers on duty at the health lodge.

Council Insurance

The Sam Houston Area Council Accident and Sickness Insurance plan covers your registered Scouts and adult leaders while at camp. (Please register parents staying with your troop as a member of your troop committee). This coverage does not include SHAC LDS units (LDS troops should contact their church for insurance forms for camp) or units from out of council. Out-of-council units should bring a claim form from their council.

The plan is with Health Special Risk, Inc. and is excess coverage. The first $300.00 or less of coverage will be paid by Health Special Risk, Inc. Charges above $300.00 should be filed under the family’s major medical insurance. Health Special Risk, Inc. will then pay all charges not recovered under any other insurance. Families without insurance will receive instructions from Health Special Risk, Inc., but in any event up to $7,500 of coverage for sickness or injury is provided (Special coverage limits cover dental and transportation). The camp will file the initial claim at the time of treatment. All patients must be referred to the physician or hospital by Camp Health Personnel.

Buddy System

All Scouts should adhere to the buddy system throughout camp. No Scout should ever be found wandering through camp alone. We recognize that this can be difficult if the Scout has not scheduled classes with fellow members of their troop. We encourage troops to attempt to pair Scouts in classes as much as possible. If this is not feasible, the Scout should walk with other Scouts in his class to the location of the merit badge class. Due to the number of Scouts and the short amount of time between classes, this should be a relatively simple exercise.

Smoking Policy

Per BSA national policy, smoking by youth at any Scouting event shall not be tolerated. If a youth is caught smoking at winter camp, the youth’s parents or guardians will be contacted by phone and shall be required to pick the youth up from Bovay Scout Ranch immediately.

Smoking by adults is not permitted in any tent, pavilion or building. Smoking is also not permitted in the dining hall at any time.

While we highly discourage smoking while in camp, adults who choose to do so must not smoke within sight of any youth. Moreover, in the event of a burn ban, smoking may be prohibited on Bovay Scout Ranch property entirely. Please check with the winter camp office to determine whether such a burn ban is in place.

Transportation

BSA National Vehicle Insurance Requirements

Each Troop is responsible for safe transportation to and from camp and meets the BSA National Insurance requirements as laid out in the current version of the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Use of Vehicles / Trailers In Camp

Upon arrival at Bovay Scout Ranch, drivers of vehicles will be provided parking passes. Drivers are required to write their name and cell phone number on the parking pass itself and keep it visible on their dashboard at all times the vehicle is present on Bovay Scout Ranch property. The name and phone number on the parking pass will allow our security staff to contact you in the event the vehicle needs to be moved or if any other issues with the vehicle arise.

Vehicles without proper parking permits found on Bovay Scout Ranch property may be towed at owner’s expense.

Under no circumstances should a vehicle or trailer enter the campsite itself at any time. Entry of vehicles into the campsite could leave unsightly ruts in the campsite and could possibly damage plumbing located close to the surface.

Parking areas are provided at designated locations for leaders who drive vehicles. Only camp vehicles are permitted beyond the parking lot on camp service roads.

Immediately after the unloading of troop and Scout equipment on the first day of camp, please remove all vehicles to designated parking spaces. Vehicle Permits will be distributed at check-in along with maps designating parking locations for various vehicles.

Vehicles should not be moved from these parking areas during camp unless the driver is leaving camp or has specific permission to move the vehicle (e.g., staff members given permits to use vehicles to transport equipment each day). This is a necessary measure due to the heavy use of roads by pedestrians, including hundreds of Scouts moving back and forth to merit badges and other activities.

Troop trailers are to be parked off of the service road in the available parking areas in front of each campsite.

The speed limit in camp is 20 mph on blacktop roads (unless otherwise posted) and 10 mph on gravel or dirt roads.

Drivers who continue to violate rules regarding the operation of vehicles in camp will be asked to leave camp immediately.

Leaving and Returning

For the safety of all in camp, procedures have been implemented for leaving and returning to camp while camp is ongoing.

Adults Leaving and Returning

Scouters (aged 18 or older) may leave camp and return as needed, but we do ask all Scouters to make efforts to keep trips in and out of camp to a minimum. Due to the large number of campers, excessive vehicular traffic presents a possible danger to pedestrians using the roads to move between merit badge classes or going to the dining hall. Adults should check in and out with the winter camp office so that we are aware of who is on property at all times. In the event of an emergency, we must be able to account for all campers.

Youth Leaving and Returning

We highly encourage parents to allow youth to remain on camp property the entire time camp is in session. This reduces unnecessary traffic in and out of camp and allows youth to have the complete residential camp experience with their troop.

Youth will only be allowed to check out from camp prior to final checkout by an adult authorized on Part B of the Scout’s BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. Please ensure that parents in your troop have included all authorized adults on this form. Without this authorization on the form, only an adult from the Scout’s troop registered for camp or the parent signing the form will be allowed to remove the child from camp prior to final checkout.

No one, including a Scout leader or parent, will be allowed to leave camp with a person under the age of 18 without having checked out at the winter camp office and receiving a ticket which will be taken by security just before you reach the exit of the camp.

During checkout the last day of camp, adult leaders will receive exit tickets for all youth in their troop from their camp commissioner once they have successfully checked out.

Meals

All menus have been reviewed by a certified dietician and are designed to provide active and healthy boys with the nutrition and calorie intake needed for low-temperature camping.

2017 Menu

The first meal served will be dinner on December 26th, so troops should make plans to eat lunch before arriving at Bovay Scout Ranch that afternoon. A “grab and go” breakfast is served the morning of December 31st as troops prepare to check out and depart.

Breakfast and Dinner

Breakfast and dinner are served in the dining hall shifts. Shift A eats breakfast and dinner prior to morning and evening assembly. Shift B eats breakfast and dinner after morning and evening assembly. During dinner, a salad bar and soup of the day will be offered. Campers are expected to wear their Boy Scout field uniform (Scout uniform) to dinner.

Lunch

Lunch is picked up from the dining hall and taken to the troop campsite. Troops should send only enough people to carry the food back to their campsite. During the lunch period, there is ample time for rest and relaxation, as there are no activities taking place. Scouts are encouraged to take this time to fellowship with members of their troop and other troops in their campsite, get some rest, and perhaps work on some of their merit badge requirements.

Special Dietary Needs

In the event anyone in your troop has special dietary needs, please ensure this information is included in the troop’s registration online registration. 

Special Medical Needs

If a Scout has special needs, camp staff will do whatever they can to accommodate. The troop leader should notify the camp staff of any requests during online registration.

Lost and Found

Lost and found is located in the winter camp office. Items will be kept in the winter camp office through the end of winter camp. Any items left at Bovay Scout Ranch after winter camp may be disposed of as determined at the discretion of the camp director, including being donated to a non-profit organization, returned to the council office, thrown in the trash, etc. Sam Houston Area Council, nor its staff, shall be held responsible for any lost items not claimed by the end of winter camp.

To assist us in returning items to their rightful owner, please ensure that all items your troop brings to camp have the owner’s name and troop number marked on them.

Check-out

Because of the large number of troops and the compressed time frame in which check out occurs, please read this section carefully to ensure a smooth checkout process. Your cooperation will ensure that we are able to help you get on the road back home as quickly as possible.

Checkout on Evening of December 30th

A number of troops traditionally choose to leave Bovay Scout Ranch on the evening of December 30th. While we encourage all troops to remain for the entire event, we understand that some troops wish to leave the evening before winter camp ends.

As soon as your troop has determined that it wishes to check out early, please notify the camp commissioner’s office immediately. This will assist the camp commissioners in coordinating timely checkouts that evening.

  • The first step for a troop packing up to leave on December 30th is to have their camp completely broken down, packed in the troop trailer or otherwise moved to the front of the campsite.
  • The troop should also carefully police their campsite to ensure that it is left in better condition than it was found. If any tables or other items were moved by the troop, they should be returned to their original location.
  • The troop should send someone to the camp commissioners office to notify them that they are ready for a camp inspection. Also, ensure you pick up your checkout packet at the winter camp office at this point if you have not yet done so. Please be patient awaiting inspection of your campsite, as our camp commissioners are in high demand by troops attempting to check out of camp at this point.
  • Once a camp commissioner has inspected the campsite and determined that it is in good condition, he or she will provide you with passes which will allow you to take your vehicles out of their parking areas and drive them carefully to the front of your campsite. You will also be provided tickets for each youth in your troop which will authorize you to remove the youth from camp. You will also need the pass and tickets to exit the camp that evening. Do not attempt to drive your vehicle to your campsite prior to receiving the pass and tickets from the camp commissioner.
  • Please be mindful of the fact that camp vehicles and other troops attempting to pack are trying to get past you on the road. Ensure your vehicle is pulled as far off the road as is possible without pulling into your campsite.
  • Again, please do not drive into the campsite or move your trailer into the campsite – you must remain on the paved road or in a parking space.
  • Once the vehicles are loaded, the troop must return the vehicles to a valid parking area or immediately leave camp.
  • Only retrieve medical forms from the Health Lodge once you are ready to depart camp. If you remain in camp, we will not have medical forms for you or your Scouts.

Under no circumstances, however, will a troop be allowed to check out on December 30th unless they have been cleared by a camp commissioner to load up their vehicles by 5:00 pm on December 30th. In that event, all vehicles must either be back in the parking lots of out of camp by 5:30 pm in order to ensure that roads are cleared before pedestrian traffic picks up at dinner time.

Troops who have packed and returned their vehicles to a designated parking area may remain in camp through the conclusion of the closing campfire. The troop, at that time, should immediately and safely leave camp.

Check-out on December 31th

Since most pedestrian traffic will have greatly diminished by the last day of camp, check-out procedures are simplified from the early check-out procedure.

  • Breakdown camp, pack the troop trailer, and move items to be loaded in vehicles to the front of the campsite.
  • The troop should carefully police their campsite to ensure that it is left in better condition than it was found. If any tables or other items were moved by the troop, they should be returned to their original location.
  • The troop should send someone to the camp commissioners office to notify them that they are ready for a camp inspection. Also, ensure you pick up your checkout packet at the winter camp office at this point if you have not yet done so. Please be patient awaiting inspection of your campsite, as our camp commissioners are in high demand by troops attempting to check out of camp at this point.
  • Once a camp commissioner has inspected the campsite and determined that it is in good condition, he or she will provide you a pass allowing your troop to exit camp, as well as tickets for the youth in your troop to allow you to remove them from camp property. You may now retrieve your vehicles and load remaining items.
  • Please be mindful of the fact that camp vehicles and other troops attempting to pack are trying to get past you on the road. Ensure your vehicle is pulled as far off the road as is possible without pulling into your campsite.
  • Again, please do not drive into the campsite or move your trailer into the campsite – you must remain on the paved road or in a parking space.
  • If you so choose, you may now pick up medical forms for your troop from the health lodge. Any forms left behind will be destroyed.
  • You’re all set to head home – drive safe!

Schedule

Time

26-Dec

27-Dec

28-Dec

29-Dec

30-Dec

31-Dec

6:30 am   Reveille
6:45 am   Service troops report  
7:00 am   Shift A breakfast  Pick-up breakfast
7:45 am Staff report Morning assembly - SM / SPL meeting Service projects
8:00-10:15 am Shift B breakfast 
9:15-10:15 am Activity / Advancement Period 1 Troop check-out

10:40-11:40 am

Activity / Advancement Period 2  
12:00-12:35 pm Lunch pickup at dining hall   
12:40-1:15 pm Lunch and rest  
1:30·2:30 pm Troop check-in
and set-up
Activity / Advancement Period  3  
2:50 -3:50 pm Activity / Advancement Period 4  
4:10-5:10 pm Activity / Advancement Period 5  
5:30 pm Service troops report
5:45 pm Shift A dinner  
6:30 pm Evening assembly  
6:45 pm Shift B dinner   
8:00 pm SM I SPL meeting
(dining hall)
Skit Night Movie Night Theme Night Closing  
10:00 pm Quiet time in campsites   
11:00 pm TAPS  

Camperships

 

Trading Post

The trading post will be located in the same building as the winter camp offices. Just look for the signs above the door!

The trading post will be stocked with an assortment of collectible items and camp essentials.

Hours for the trading post can be found on the doors to the trading post.

Snack Shack

Feeling a little hungry in the middle of the day? Need a pick-me-up before dinner? Stop by the Snack Shack! Our friendly staff will have an assortment of snacks and drinks for you to pick from.

Contacts

Parents of campers should contact their troop leaders with questions about winter camp. Many of the adult leaders attending winter camp are quite experienced and can answer questions.

Council Contacts

Wayne McLeland
Winter Camp Registration
(713) 756-3309
wayne.mcleland@scouting.org

Nathan Doherty
Winter Camp Professional Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3308
 nathan.doherty@scouting.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.samhoustonbsa.org/winter-camp