Camp Strake Leader's Guide

Camp Strake is a first-class, state-of-the-art camp at a rural site near the Sam Houston National Forest, close to the community of Evergreen.

Camp Strake is surrounded on three sides by the Sam Houston National Forest and has the Lone Star Hiking Trail close to one corner of the property. The Lone Star Hiking Trail is close to one corner of the property.

This leader’s guide will provide basic information about camp operations and the camp programs offered and help prepare units for outstanding camping programs.

Printable View              About Camp Strake

Directions

Camp Strake is located on 2,816 acres between New Waverly and Coldspring near the community of Evergreen, Tx. The camp is a 1.5-hour drive from downtown Houston and close to I-45 and the Grand Parkway. Camp Strake is located at 2020 Camp Strake Rd., Coldspring, TX 77331Latitude and longitude: 30.608901, -95.230270.

 

Directions from Houston:

  • Take I-45N to exit 94 (FM 1097) toward Willis
  • Turn right onto Montgomery St. (.7 mi)
  • Turn left onto Danville St. (360 ft)
  • Turn right onto FM 1097 / Stewart St (9.6 mi.)
  • Turn right onto TX-150E (8.8 mi)
  • Turn left onto FM 945N (3.6 mi)
  • Turn left into Camp Strake at the sign. 

Camp Reservations and Fees

 

Reservation Links

Learn More

Troops, Crews & Ships  
    •​ Weekend Camping   
    •​ Winter Camp  
    •​ Summer Camp  
    •​ Full Throttle  
Packs: There are no programs for Cub Scouts at Camp Strake. Learn more about Cub Scout Camping.
District/council reservations are made by the district professional or staff advisor

Leader Information

Rangers / Campmasters:  Camp Strake is served by a camp director and two rangers in residence at the camp. Unit needing assistance during their time at camp should contact one of the rangers. During most weekends, there will be one or more campmasters, volunteers who provide additional support to the weekend activities. The campmasters are located in the check-in building near the entrance to the camp.

Check-in/out: Check-in is after 3 pm on Fridays and check-out is before 11 am on Sundays. 

Parking: all cars are to park in the campsite parking lots. Do not drive past the gates (e.g., to the ranges or through camp). Unit trailers are to remain in the parking lot (not in the grassy area of the campsite). Bikes (non-motorized) can only be ridden on the horseshoe around the outer rim of the campsites and on the road to shooting sports. Helmets are required when riding a bike. Bikes can not be ridden through camp.

WiFi: The following locations at camp are equipped with internet connectivity. Check with the ranger for information on the WiFi router name and password. Use of this system is monitored, and users are required to accept conditions for use. Wifi works best at • Headquarters •  STEM Building • Dining Hall • Staff Lounge • Grand Pavilion

 

Camp Strake Program Areas

Learn more about the program areas and specific leadership requirements at shac.org/weekend-camping#strake.

Program Areas

Map & Leadership Requirements

Campsites:       
     • Campsites   Troops, crews and ships can reserves campsites.
Ranges:      
     • Archery   Ranges can be reserved as part of the registration process. There are additional leadership requirements to use the ranges.
     • Rifle  
     • Pistol  
     • Shotgun  
Climbing:     The climbing tower and COPE courses can be reserved as part of the registration process. There are additional leadership requirements to use the climbing tower and COPE course.
     • Climbing  
     • COPE    
Mountain Biking     The mountain bikes can be reserved as part of the registration process.
Aquatics:     The aquatics areas can be reserved as part of the registration process. There are additional leadership requirements to use the boats (canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, rowboats) and aquatics areas.
     • Boating  
     • Pool  
     • Lake Swimming  
Buildings:     Buildings and pavilions can be reserved as part of the registration process.
     • Merit badge pavilions  
     • Dining Hall  
     • STEM Center  
     • HQ Training Room  
     • Grand Pavilion  
     • WL Davis Room  
     • Arena  
Certified Leadership      
     • Certified Leadership   For units that don't have certified leadership, request qualified personnel to run program areas.
Open Areas:      
     • Orienteering   A 5K orienteering course has been set up and takes one to two hours to complete. Bring your own compasses.
     • Geocaching   There is a geochaching course with ten hidden geocaches around camp. Bring your own compasses.
     • Disk Golf     There is a 9-hold disk golf course. Bring your own frisbees
     • Gaga Ball     There are two Gaga ball pits. Scouts must be monitored and supervised. Bring your own ball.
     • Fishing     Catch and release fishing is allowed camp. Bring your own equipment. Fishing licenses are not required.
     • Nature Trails   There are nature trails marked with trees and 3 native plant pollinator gardens to work on plant identification and various merit badges.

Medical Information and Emergencies

Health Lodge: The Health Lodge at camp is located in the administration building. It is not usually open during weekend camping times except for when district or council events are occurring at the same time. When the Health Lodge is open, the staff can handle minor injuries and illnesses. Any emergency that cannot be treated at the Health Lodge will be referred to a local hospital or doctor’s clinic. The unit leader or assistant will transport the patient to the outside medical facility.

Hospital Treatment: Should any participant at Camp Strake require medical treatment beyond the first aid capabilities provided by the participant’s unit or camp staff at the Health Lodge, they will be evacuated to the nearest medical treatment facility. The nearest hospital is Cleveland Emergency Hospital located at 1017 South Travis Ave, Cleveland TX.

Emergencies: The camp has emergency phone numbers posted near all telephones and FM radio communication throughout the camp. In an emergency, the camp ranger, or designee, will initiate emergency procedures depending upon the situation. During emergencies, adult leaders should supervise their own unit’s response appropriately. If an evacuation is necessary, it will be initiated by the camp ranger.

Camp Strake Emergency Numbers:

 
Emergencies Emergency 9-1-1
Hospitals Cleveland Emergency Hospital (~35 minutes away; open 24 hours)
1017 South Travis Ave, Cleveland TX
(936) 291-3411
Huntsville Memorial Hospital (~45 minutes away; open 24 hours)
110 Memorial Hospital Dr, Huntsville, TX 77340
(281) 592-5400
EMS EMS – Coldspring Volunteer Fire Department (~10 minutes away)
20 Hill Ln, Coldspring, TX 77331
(936) 653-2302
Sherriff San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department
75 W. Cedar Ave, Coldspring, Texas 77331
(936) 653-4367
Fire Department Coldspring Volunteer Fire Department
20 Hill Ln, Coldspring, TX 77331
(936) 653-2302
Forest Service Sam Houston National Forest
394 FM 1375 West, New Waverly, Texas 77358
(936) 344-6205

Where council policies are more restrictive than national policies, the council policies apply.

  1. Safety is Your Responsibility posterSafety. The BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them. 

    All BSA's Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed and all Scouting activities be conducted in a safe and prudent manner including the Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities. All participants must follow youth protection guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:
  • Two-deep leadership on all outings is required.  
  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. 
  • The buddy system should be used at all times. 
  • Discipline must be constructive.

Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid. As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the SAFE Checklist of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.

Youth Protection Guidelines     Guide to Safe Scouting      SAFE Checlist      Enterprise Risk Management

Resources: Campout Safety Checklist • Activity Consent Form and Approval By Parents or Legal Guardian • Scouting Safely • Reminders for Outings Overnight Checklist Cubs Scouts Overnight Checklist Webelos Scouts

  1. Leadership Requirements. Each registered unit must provide a minimum of two-deep leadership. Sharing adult leaders during council activities by two units in order to satisfy two-deep leadership requirements is NOT allowed.   

    “Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided." (SourceYouth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs

    "All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive. One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting." (Source)

    Adult ratios for Cub Scouts (Source) Cub Scouts should attend the camping event with their parent(s)/ guardian(s).
  • Lions and Tigers must have their adult partner present to take part. (Source)
  • For all other ranks: only in exceptional circumstances, a Cub Scout whose parent or legal guardian cannot attend a unit overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of another registered adult member of the BSA, a parent of a Cub Scout who is also attending. The unit leader and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all Youth Protection policies apply. At no time may another adult accept responsibility for more than one additional nonfamily member youth.(Source)
  • Webelos Den Camping: Each Scout should attend with their parent(s) or guardian(s). A Webelos Scout whose parent or legal guardian cannot attend a den overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of at least two registered leaders. The leaders and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all youth protection policies apply. (Source)
  • Tenting
  1. Medical Forms. Every participant must have a current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. During weekend camping, unit leaders keep a copy of medical forms for all participants. During long-term camp, units are to take two copies of the forms (one for the health lodge and one to keep in the campsite).
  2. Medications. The taking of prescription medication is the responsibility of the individual taking the medication and/or that individual’s parent or guardian. Unit leaders should ensure that prescription medications for their Scouts are properly stored and administered. (Source)

  3. Council Insurance. All registered members of Sam Houston Area Council troops are covered by Health Special Risk unit insurance. A claim form must accompany each Scout who is referred to an outside medical facility. This is secondary coverage. If there is no other policy, this will be the primary insurance. Out-of-council troops must provide proof of accident and sickness insurance upon arrival at camp. For more information or copies of the form, contact Wayne McCleland at 713-756-3309 or Wayne.McLeland@scouting.org. Generally, a copy of the form is not required by the medical facility at the time of treatment. 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. For additional information, contact wayne.mcleland@scouting.org.

  1. Background checks (for events 4+ days long). All adults in camp for any long-term camp or training with youth present (e.g., day camp, winter camp, summer camp, resident camp, NYTL) that is 4 days or longer must have a completed background check on file with the council. All registered adults will have a current background check completed as part of their recharter for the year. 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 that requires the council to conduct a criminal background check and sex offender database check on every adult who will be at camp. All adults attending camp in any capacity must complete an Adult in Camp Compliance (ACC) form utilizing the link on the event webpage, a minimum of two weeks before the event, to allow sufficient time for the background checks to be completed. Completing this form allows the council office staff to complete a criminal background check on each adult in camp (regardless of time spent in camp). Visitors should also complete an ACC form; persons who have not completed an ACC form will have to be escorted by an adult the entire time they are on camp property and will only be permitted to enter camp if someone is available to escort them. The council reserves the right to deny participation by any adult based on the information obtained through the background check. The link to submit a form will be on the event webpage. (Source)
  1. Training.
  • trained patchYPT: All registered BSA adults must take Youth Protection Training (YPT) online. All parents attending a campout are highly encouraged to take YPT. (Source)
  • Hazardous Weather: At least one leader present must have current Planning and Preparing for Hazardous Weather taken online(Source)
  • For pack camping/overnighters and Webelos den camping: At least one adult on a pack family campout/overnighter must have completed Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) to properly understand the importance of program intent, youth protection policies, health and safety, site selection, age-appropriate activities, and sufficient adult participation. Find a BALOO course near you. (Source)
  • CPR/AED and Basic First Aid (recommended for all adventures). (Source). Find first aid courses near you.
  • Additional training:
  1. Roster. Every group must submit a camp roster listing all participants to the campmaster or camp ranger by Saturday at 10:00 am.

                       Camp Roster
     
  2. Campsite Assignments. During camping activities at council properties, girl troops will be assigned to different campsites from boy troops. Venturing crews and ships will be assigned to different campsites as Scouts BSA units. Specific campsite assignments are provided when checking in at camp.
     
  3. Incident Reporting. Any incident that requires the intervention of medical personnel, involves emergency responders, or results in a response beyond Scout-rendered first aid must be reported. Near-miss incidents (does not result in injury, illness, or damage by definition, but it had the potential to do so) should also be reported. Report any known or suspected abuse or significant violations of youth protection policies that might put a youth at risk. using the Scouts First Helpline (24-hour helpline: 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726- 8871). The Scouts First Helpline is for reporting abuse or significant violations of the BSA’s youth protection policies only. While all youth protection policies must be taken seriously, minor, non-recurring infractions with no indication youth are at risk can be addressed at the unit level. Any other questions should continue to be directed to the BSA’s Member Care team at 972-580-2489. (Source)
     
  4. Transportation. Each troop is responsible for safe transportation to and from camp and meets the requirements as laid out in the current version of the Guide to Safe Scouting. Seat belts are required for all occupants. Passengers may not ride on the rear deck of a station wagon. Trucks may not be used for transporting passengers except in the cab. Trailers must never be used for carrying passengers. Use of ATVs, UTVs, or golf carts at camps other than at approved facilities is not allowed. Staff use of these types of vehicles in any camp will be approved and supervised by a camp ranger or camp director. (Source
    Resources: • Transportation Policy•​ Insurance Coverage•​ Driver’s Pledge•​ The Risk Zone, •​ Motor Vehicle and Driver Checklist, •​ Do you need to travel in uniform to be covered by BSA insurance?

     
  5. Vehicles. All vehicles must have a vehicle pass. These are available upon arrival at check-in. Speed Limits are 25 mph on main roads and 10 mph near campsites areas. Vehicles must stay on improved roads and parking areas. Do not drive or park in campsites or on the grass.
     
  6. Trash should not be buried or burned. All garbage should be placed in the dumpster.
     
  7. Damage to equipment and facilities. Report all lost or broken equipment to the camp ranger or camp master. Needed repairs: Report all lost or broken equipment or items needing repair to the camp ranger or campmaster.
     
  8. Tape. Only painter's tape can be used on buildings or pavilions; do not use any other tape (e.g., duct tape). If needing to hang something, use something that won't damage buildings or trees.
     
  9. Living trees at council properties may not be cut down without the approval of the camp ranger. Do not dig holes, climb or cut trees.
     
  10. Campfires are permitted in the designated fire rings and must be attended to at all times. Always have a shovel/rake and water or other extinguishing materials handy. Extinguish all fires before leaving camp properly by ensuring campfires are completely cold-out and completing a test on cooled ash for any sign of heat before the fire is considered extinguished. Beware of current fire conditions, especially if it has been dry and windy. Check for any active burn ban and consider wind direction and projected size of fire before starting. Keep fires low and reduce sparks in windy conditions. Do not use liquid accelerants. The use of liquid fuels for starting any type of fire is prohibited. Use of liquid-fueled stoves and lanterns is not permitted on council properties except as allowed during high adventure activities (e.g. backpacking stoves). Permission to use liquid-fueled devices must be obtained from the camp ranger before use. Government-issued fire bans supersede camp policy without exception. (Source
    Resources: •​ Fire Safety Tips; •​ Chemical Fuels and Equipment Policy

     
  11. Check-in. Check-in for weekend camping begins after 3:00 pm on Fridays and check-out is no later than 2:00 pm on Sundays. For other events, check the event-specific webpage.
     
  12. Departure procedures. Make sure the campsite, restrooms, showers, and pavilions are undamaged and clean, and that all gear and trash is removed. Scouts should conduct a police line where Scouts stand within arm’s length of each other and walk the entire campsite picking up all trash. Ashes from campfires should be removed from the fire rings and disposed of in ash barrels next to dumpsters.
     
  13. Fishing. Catch and release fishing is allowed at council camps. Bring your own poles. Fishing licenses are not required.
     
  14. Not Allowed. The following items are not allowed at council camps:
  • Alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs (Source)
  • Fireworks
  • Skateboards
  • Skates and rollerblades
  • Hammocks
  • Personally owned firearms, archery equipment, and crossbows. Normally, personally owned firearms and archery equipment may not be taken to council properties. However, there are certain circumstances related to high adventure programs that are best facilitated by using equipment not owned by the council (e.g. high caliber rifles, black powder firearms, pistols, and compound bows). In these cases, a permit to use personal firearms or archery equipment must be filed with the council shooting sports committee. When approved, this form will be presented to the camp master, ranger, or camp director at the time the equipment is brought to camp. While at camp, this equipment will be secured in approved council storage facilities.
  • Personally owned slingshots or projectiles
  • Personally owned offroad vehicles (ATV/UTV/Golf Carts)
  • Personally owned watercraft. Normally, personally owned watercraft (e.g. rowboats, canoes, kayaks, jet skis, sailboats) may not to used at council properties. However, there are certain circumstances related to high adventure programs that are best facilitated by using equipment not owned by the council. Venture crews and ships may own watercraft that are well suited for use at council properties. Permission to use such equipment must be obtained from the camp ranger at the appropriate property. This approval must be presented at the camp before launching any watercraft. Appropriate precautions must be taken to clean such watercraft prior to use in order to prevent contamination of council properties. Non-council-owned watercraft are not permitted to be stored on council properties.
  • Personally owned generators except as approved by the camp director or ranger.
  • Personal climbing harnesses and helmets, if inspected and approved by the lead climbing instructor at the time of use may be used on council properties. All other personally owned climbing gear may not be used on council properties, except equipment used to support high adventure programs or trainings that are best facilitated by using specialized equipment not owned by the council (e.g. protection, ascenders, etc). In these cases, requests must be submitted to the council climbing committee for approval prior to use. Approved requests will be provided to the camp ranger at the council property prior to use of the equipment.
  • Radio-controlled boats, aircraft, or vehicles other than for council-approved programs.
  1. Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs. Smoking/vaping is only allowed in one’s own vehicle in the parking areas out of the view of Scouts. The use of tobacco or vaping in any form by campers under 21 years of age is not allowed. As outlined in the Scouter Code of Conduct, Scouting activities are not a place to possess, distribute, transport, consume, or use any of the following items prohibited by law or in violation of any Scouting rules, regulations, and policies: alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, including marijuana. In addition, the Code of Conduct specifies that if you are taking prescription medications with the potential of impairing any functioning or judgment, you will not engage in activities that would put youth at risk, including driving or operating equipment. (Source)
     
  2. Footwear. In order to protect feet from weather conditions and environmental stressors and to reduce the possibility of foot injuries, closed-toe shoes are to be worn at all times in camp. At Camp Strake and Bovay Scout Ranch, sandals may be worn inside the enclosed pool areas; however, closed-toe shoes are to be worn during movement to and from the pool area. (Source)
     
  3. Uniforms. The field uniform and activity uniform are encouraged. (Source) Summers in the east Texas area tend to be hot and humid. It is a tropical climate where afternoon rain showers are common. Campers should carry a daypack with rain gear and a water bottle. There is a water station at each campsite where water bottles can be filled. Winters can be very cold; staying warm requires finding the right combination of layers with specific layers depending on your body, the temperature, wind speeds, and how much you sweat. Resources: Let’s stop the practice of having Scouts sing for a lost item.
     
  4. Bikes. All cyclists must wear a properly sized and fitted helmet. The use of motorized bicycles, skateboards, or scooters at council camps is not allowed. Resource: Biking
     
  5. Pets are not allowed in camp except for service animals. Permission to use service animals must be approved/granted by the camp ranger. Any service animals in the camp must be secured by the owner at all times. (Source)
     
  6. Swim Tests (Camp Strake & Bovay Scout Ranch). All individuals participating in aquatics programs on council properties must have successfully completed an appropriate BSA swim test as outlined in Chapter 5 of the BSA Aquatics Supervision, pamphlet No. 34346 (pp 37-42). The test may be conducted by units prior to their attendance at a council aquatics program provided the test is validated by qualified supervision using the BSA swim test (Form 430-122). Qualified supervision includes those leaders who have successfully completed BSA Aquatics courses (Instructor, Lifeguard, Cub Supervisor, Swimming and Rescue), or Red Cross or YMCA Lifeguard qualification. A current copy of the supervisor’s certification must be attached to the swim test record form. Completed and validated swim test records must be provided to camp staff before participation in aquatics programs will be permitted. The council camp aquatics program director or camp director will review all unit swim test forms, and determine what, if any, retests at camp may be required. (Source)
     
  7. Photographs. Please be advised that promotional videotaping/photography may be in progress at any time at an event. Your entrance constitutes your agreement that the council and district have the right and permission to use and publish the photographs/film/ videotapes/electronic representations and/or sound recordings made at Scouting activities. (Source: BSA Annual Health and Medical Form - Part A)
     
  8. Drones. Personally owned drones (i.e., UAS or small-unmanned aircraft systems) may only be used by adults on council properties with the approval of the camp ranger. The ranger will also specify permissible times and areas for operation in order to prevent interference with any camp activities. Drone safety is the law. Operators flying unmanned aircraft can endanger other aircraft, people, or property when flying recklessly or without regard to risks. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assumes owners and operators of unmanned aircraft are generally concerned about safety and willing to exercise good judgment when flying their aircraft. However, basic aeronautical knowledge and awareness of responsibilities in shared airspace are not common knowledge. Refer to the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. There are two types of fliers: recreational flyers and certificated remote pilots. Recreational drone flight rules only apply to flights that are purely for fun or personal enjoyment and are not operated for a business or any form of compensation. Flights for any other purpose (including volunteering for a non-profit organization like taking pictures or video as goodwill) require part 107 certificationDrone flyers (remote pilot in command) must:
    • Ensure the UAS is not conducting surveillance or photographing persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission. (Source)
    • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
    • Ensure the UAS is not flying in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
    • Ensure the UAS is not flying at night, over people or moving vehicles, or from a moving vehicle, and remains at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property. Only drone pilots operating under Part 107 (certificated remote pilots) may fly at night or over people and moving vehicles following FAA rules. (Source & Source)
    • Fly below 400'. (Source)
    • Keep the drone in eyesight at all times (Source). Use a visual observer to also keep eyes on the aircraft at all times to ensure it is not a collision hazard.
    • If the drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, it must be a registered FAA Drone Zone.
    • Follow the BSA’s drone safety guidelinesFAA rules, and all local laws and ordinances.
    • Fly only for recreational purposes, not business, unless the pilot is a certified remote pilot (part 107 certification). (Source)
    • Complete The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and present the completion certificate to the ranger, if requested.
      Certified remote pilots must also present proof of FAA Part 107 certification, if requested. (Source)

Click on the icon () in the upper right-hand corner to make the map full screen.

Google Map


Camp Strake Orienteering Course

There is a permanent orienteering course established at Camp Strake. A copy of the map and clue sheet along with a compass should be provided to each buddy team that runs the course. This is a challenging course for beginning participants, but it does meet the layout requirements for the First Class rank orienteering requirement. Before going on the course, participants should be familiar with map reading techniques and compass use. Orienteering is a competition event. Units using the course should encourage Scouts to move as quickly as possible without missing any of the control points. There are numerous places along the course where the heights or widths of objects can be measured. It is not possible to travel in straight lines on this course. Participants will have to use their land navigation skills to maneuver around obstacles. An experienced team can complete the course in about an hour. Most teams will require at least two hours to do the course. For additional information or assistance, contact David Van Kleeck at david.vankleeck@entouch.net.

Orienteering Basics: The sport of orienteering began in the late 19th century in Scandinavia. In its classic form, orienteers (competitors) are given a topographic map with a series of controls marked on it. They find these controls in order and return to the starting point; the orienteer with the best time wins. 

Scope: Following are instructions for the orienteering courses currently established at Camp Strake. Operation of these courses supports the conduct of the Orienteering Merit Badge and rank advancement requirements. From time to time, it may also support troop program activities as well as council-supported orienteering events.

Policies: Orienteering is normally an individual competitive event. It is essentially a cross-country race using a map and compass to find specified waypoints. However, in order to comply with BSA safety requirements, any orienteering activity at Camp Strake must use the buddy system. Participants will be advised not to cross any fences on the camp property. The northern boundary of the orienteering courses is the range road. There are no orienteering control points located north of this road.

Procedures: The present full course is over a mile in length (straight-line distances) and thus meets the First Class rank orienteering requirement. Clearly, it is not possible to travel in straight lines between points because of the terrain and vegetation. That will challenge even the more experienced orienteering participants. The objective of the course is to use the orienteering map provided to find and identify correctly all of the control points in the order laid out for the course. The following table contains the key for the order of the points in the course.

Sequence
Latitude
Longitude
Comments
Start 30.617822 N   95.254781 W   STEM Building
1 30.615464 N 95.253134 W Future Chapel Site
2 30.617731 N 95.251278 W North of Campsite #1
3 30.622100 N 95.251081 W Trail NW of Training Ctr
4 30.623303 N 95.255112 W West of Lake Spillway
5 30.625055 N 95.254448 W Road from Archery to Lake
6 30.625747 N 95.260593 W South of ATV building
7 30.622606 N 95.257953 W NW of climbing tower
8 30.619964 N 95.257466 W West side of silt pond
9 30.617326 N 95.258206 W Road west of Campsite #17
Finish 30.618887 N 95.254777 W West of Grand Pavilion

The overall layout of the points is shown in the picture below. This is provided primarily for use by the leaders supervising the orienteering activity. It can be used in debriefs following the activity to help participants find any points they had difficulty with during the course. Yellow points are orienteering course control points.

Participants should know their pace counts. A football field makes a good known distance. There is a known distance marked on the Camp Strake activity field near the course start point. Most Scouts have a count between 110 and 120 paces per 100 yards. The participants should use the orienteering map along with a compass to find the control points in order.

Distances can be estimated using the scale on the map.

  • When the participants reach control points, they should record the point name in the table on the back of the orienteering map sheet in the box corresponding to the control point number. Or use the hole punch at the control point to punch a pin pattern on their course card. Those in charge of running the course can check the completeness and accuracy of the card once participants complete the course.
  • To run an event, provide buddy pairs (never do Scout events solo) with a map and compass. Sequence buddy pairs so that they start every 30-60 seconds apart. Record their start time.
  • Orienteering is a timed event; thus, the winner is the buddy team with the fastest time while also getting all of the control point names correct.
  • Cards with incorrect names or hole punches will result in the buddy pair being disqualified for competition purposes. Being disqualified does not prevent Scouts from meeting the rank advancement requirement nor any of the applicable Orienteering Merit Badge requirements.
  • Organizers should recognize the top finishers.

Geocaching

Geocaching is a sport that combines land navigation using maps and GPS receivers with problem-solving and competition. In geocaching, participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. Often, there are tiny trade items you can take away as souvenirs.

Geocaching is often described as a “game of high-tech hide and seek.” It’s a fun way to spend a day or a weekend and to practice important Scouting skills.

Scope: Following are instructions for the geocaching course currently established at Camp Strake. Operation of this course supports the conduct of the Geocaching Merit Badge and rank advancement requirements (use of a GPS). From time to time, it may also support troop program activities as well as council-supported events.

Policies: Geocaching is normally an individual activity. It is essentially a cross-country treasure hunt find specified caches. However, in order to comply with BSA safety requirements, any geocaching activity at Camp Strake must use the buddy system.  Participants will be advised not to cross any fences on the camp property. The northern boundary of the orienteering courses is the range road. There are no geocaches located north of this road.

Procedures: The present set of geocaches comprises a course is over a mile in length (straight-line distances) if the participant chooses to find the caches in the order listed. Clearly, it is not possible to travel in straight lines between points because of the terrain and vegetation. The objective of the course is to use a GPS receiver (handheld receiver or cell phone app) along with a map to find the caches. Caches may be located in the order listed, or individually depending on the time available. If you choose to use the caches as a course, you will find clues to find the next cache in the sequence in the current cache. So, it is possible to complete the course by providing only the location of the first cache in the sequence. 

Cache #
Latitude
Longitude
Cache Name
Location
1 30.617609 N   95.253761 W   Science Guy STEM Building
2 30.615467 N 95.253695 W Reverence and Reflection   Future Chapel
3 30.617187 N 95.247325 W Welcome Mat Entrance Building
4 30.619995 N 95.251963 W Sunshine Bridge Bridge west of Training Building
5 30.621333 N 95.253581 W Showtime Arena
6 30.622512 N 95.251482 W Little Dutch Boy Dam
7 30.625229 N 95.254942 W William Tell Archery Range
8 30.622671 N 95.257429 W Stairway to Heaven Climbing Tower
9 30.621508 N 95.263697 W The Heights Mt. Franklin
10 30.620071 N 95.255895 W Pirates Cove Boathouse

Geocaching Resources:


Disc Golf 

Disc golf is a flying disc sport in which players throw a disc at a target; it is played using rules similar to golf. There is a 9-hole course at Camp Strake. Players complete a hole by throwing a disc from a tee pad or area toward a target, known as a basket, throwing again from where the previous throw landed until the basket is reached. The number of throws a player uses to reach each basket is tallied; players seek to complete each hole in the lowest number of total throws.

Disk Golf Resources:

Gaga Ball

There are two Gaga ball pits at Camp Strake. One is located behind the Grand Pavillion and one is in the sports field. Scouts must be monitored and supervised at all times. Gaga ball is a fast-paced, high-energy game that is a kinder, gentler version of dodgeball in an octagonal pit. Players begin with one hand on any side of the wall of the pit. A ball is tossed into the pit, and players yell “GA,” “GA,” and “BALL!” to mark each time the ball bounces in the pit. On the third bounce (“BALL!”), gameplay begins. Players can hit the ball with an open or closed hand but must leave the pit if they are hit by the ball anywhere below the waist. The ball cannot be held but can be caught on a flyball to get the previous “hitter” out. The last player standing wins the round. Games typically last a few minutes and can be intensified by the addition of a second ball. Leaders need to supply a dodgeball.

Fishing

Catch and release fishing is allowed at camp to catch bass, sunfish, bluegill and catfish. Bring your own poles and equipment. Hooks must be barbless. Suggested bait include worms, corn, jigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and topwater lures. Fishing licenses are not required.

Nature Trails

Camp Strake Nature Guide

The Camp Strake Nature Guide gives brief descriptions of some of the numerous varieties of trees and other plants found along the nature trail. Scouts in troops can work on First Class #5 (Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants in your community) and various merit badges.

There are three native pollinator gardens at camp. The sunny garden is next to the tree line west of the STEM center, the shady garden is located west of the STEM center on the path between the trees, and the boggy garden is located on the west side of the HQ building

Camp Strake Nature Guide      Camp Strake Pollinator Gardens

 

iNaturalist

iNaturalist is a free app to help identify plants and animals. Get connected with a community of over a million scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research-quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. Download the app on your phone or visit iNaturalist.org.

Upload pictures to identify plants and wildlife. Tag Camp Strake.


About the Buddy System

Scouting’s buddy system calls for Scouts to pair up with a friend or two for all activities. This helps ensure safety and accountability and teaches Scouts to have responsibility for others. The buddy system is a key part of Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse. Looking out for one another anywhere and everywhere is the keystone to the buddy system. Just because you’re in a populous place doesn’t mean you can’t get overlooked by those around you. Buddies are there to watch you when others may not. They stay nearby to monitor you, alerting a safety team if help is needed. (Learn More)

Buddy system guidelines: 

  • The buddy system should be used at all times, not just for aquatics. 
  • It’s recommended that buddies know and be comfortable with each other. No youth should be forced into or made to feel uncomfortable by a buddy assignment.
  • It is strongly encouraged to pair Scouts of similar abilities, ages and maturity. Buddy pairs should be no more than two years apart in age and should be single gender. There are no boy-girl buddy pairs in any programs, including Venturing and Sea Scouts.
  • A buddy team may consist of three Scouts when necessary, like an odd number in a group.

The Adventure Plan (TAP)

Just as young people grow, learn and mature in a continuing progression of experience so, too, do the camping and outdoor programs of the BSA. The BSA offers a continuum of experiences based on the age, interest and ability level of youth, and also offers recognition awards for all levels of Scouting outdoor AdventuresThe Adventure Plan (TAP) is a tool to guide unit leaders through all stages of adventure planning.

The Adventure Plan (TAP)

Food

Outdoor Principals

Outdoor Awards

Leave No Trace

Instilling values in young people and preparing them to make moral and ethical choices throughout their lifetime is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Leave No Trace helps reinforce that mission, and reminds us to respect the rights of other users of the outdoors as well as future generations. Appreciation for our natural environment and knowledge of the interrelationships of nature bolster our respect and reverence toward the environment and nature. Leave No Trace is an awareness and an attitude rather than a set of rules. It applies in your backyard or local park as much as in the backcountry. We should all practice Leave No Trace in our thinking and actions–wherever we go.

The principles of Leave No Trace might seem unimportant until you consider the combined effects of millions of outdoor visitors. One poorly located campsite or campfire may have little significance, but thousands of such instances seriously degrade the outdoor experience for all. Leaving no Trace is everyone’s responsibility. All participants are to follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly (Pack It In, Pack It Out)
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Winter Camping Tips

Sources: 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 SeasonHow to Stay Warm With the Right Winter Gear

What are some winter camping tips?
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. 

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).

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 softshell 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.

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 great ways 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.

Contacts

Area
Learn More
Camp Strake Contacts    
    •​ Camp Strake Contacts   
    •​ Weekend Camping Contacts  
    •​ Summer Camp Contacts  
    •​ Winter Camp Contacts  
    •​ Full Throttle Contacts  
   
Camping Resources  
    •​ Campmasters  
    •​ NCAP  
    •​ Camp Staff  
 
Area
Learn More
Program Committee Contacts   
    •​ Advancement Contacts
    •​ Aquatics Committee Contacts
    •​ Camping Committee Contacts
    •​ Climbing Contacts
    •​ Conservation Committee Contacts
    •​ Disabilities Awareness Committee   
    •​ Fishing Committee         
    •​ Training Contacts
    •​ Shooting Sports Contacts   
   
Program Area Contacts  
    •​ Order of the Arrow Contacts   
    •​ Venturing Contacts   
    •​ Sea Scouts Contacts