Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For the latest information, visit www.shac.org/news


#11 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 9/29/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our eleventh update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Any units wishing to conduct small-scale meetings or activities should do so only if able to meet specific preventative guidance from the State of Texas and the Center for Disease Control and upon consultation with and approval from their chartered organization.

  • All in-person council meetings through October 31st are cancelled or postponed unless conducted over teleconference or online.
    • Council Coordinated Meeting, scheduled for October 15th, will be conducted virtually. Please visit here to register in advance (required).
    • The Council Board of Directors Meeting, scheduled for October 19th, will be conducted virtually.
  • District meetings (ex: Roundtables, District Committee Meetings, Commissioner Staff Meetings) may be conducted in person only if standards from the State of Texas and CDC for can be met. Otherwise these meetings should be conducted over teleconference or online.
  • No overnight district or council activities may be conducted through October 31st.
  • Day-only activities by a district or the council may be conducted, with prior approval of the council’s Enterprise Risk Management committee. Only approved activities will appear on the council and district official websites. All events must meet strict social distancing protocols that have been shared with District Key-3 leadership.
    • Merit Badge Days will continue to be held at Camp Strake through the fall. More information, including how to register, may be found here and will updated as more days are added.
  • Weekend camping for Cub Scouts at Bovay Scout Ranch is cancelled through December 31st.
    • Additional “Outdoor Sports Days” will be conducted at Bovay Scout Ranch during the fall as a replacement for Adventure Camp overnight programs. More information, including registration, is available here.
  • Weekend camping for Scouts BSA at Tellepsen Scout Camp and Camp Strake will be opening for limited registration beginning Monday, October 12th. Participating troops must follow council policies regarding social distancing and COVID-19 prevention measures, along with State of Texas protocols for camps.
  • The Cockrell Scout Center remains open for drop off only with hours of 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
    • Any interaction needed with staff members must be conducted through phone and email. If you need assistance determining the appropriate person to contact, please refer to our updated “who to call directory,” or contact the receptionist at (713) 659-8111 during our office hours to be directed to the appropriate person.
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
  • The 5 Scout Shop locations are open to limited retail traffic. Please visit here for more store information, including updated store hours.
  • University of Scouting will be conducted in both online and in-person formats during the week of November 9-14th. More information can be found here.
  • Colonneh Lodge has established plans to conduct Order of the Arrow Ordeals during COVID-19. Please visit here for more information.
  • Our council program team is currently looking at planning and potential alternate planning for other upcoming major events – including Winter Camp and Scout Fair. More information regarding those events will be made available as the situation evolves.

Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – FacebookEmail, and Council Website. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (FacebookEmail, and Council Website) for updates. 

 

BSA National Statement on COVID-19       Previous Updates

Rank Advancement Update       Scouting at Home      Digital Safety        Online Meeting Resources

 

 

 

#10 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 7/27/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our tenth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate this situation as best we can. 

  • Any units wishing to conduct small-scale meetings or activities should do so only if able to meet specific preventative guidance from the State of Texas and the Center for Disease Control and upon consultation with and approval from their chartered organization.
  • All in-person district and council meetings through September 30th are cancelled or postponed unless conducted over teleconference or online. This includes district committee meetings, district roundtables, and council committee meetings.
    • Council Coordinated Meeting, scheduled for August 20th, will be conducted virtually. Please visit here to register in advance (required).
  • No overnight district or council activities may be conducted through September 30th.
  • Day-only activities by a district or the council may be conducted, with prior approval of the council’s Enterprise Risk Management committee. Only approved activities will appear on the council and district official websites. All events must meet strict social distancing protocols that have been shared with District Key-3 leadership.
    • Merit Badge Days will continue to be held at Tellepsen Scout Camp on Saturdays in August and in September, they will extend to Camp Strake. More information, including how to register, may be found here and will be updated as more days are added.
  • Weekend camping for Cub Scouts at Bovay Scout Ranch is cancelled through December 31stThis cancellation includes, but is not limited to, Cub Scout Adventure Camp, Fun with Family, and Webelos Coyote Extreme.
    • All packs registered for weekend camping for the Fall at Bovay Scout Ranch will receive a full refund.
    • Additional “Outdoor Sports Days” will be conducted at Bovay Scout Ranch during the fall. Activities will include BB guns, archery, water activities, fishing and a closing ceremony. More information, including registration, will be available in August.
  • The Cockrell Scout Center remains open for drop off only with hours of 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
    • Any interaction needed with staff members must be conducted through phone and email. If you need assistance determining the appropriate person to contact, please refer to our updated “who to call directory,” or contact the receptionist at (713) 659-8111 during our office hours to be directed to the appropriate person.
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
  • The 5 Scout Shop locations are open to limited retail traffic. Please visit here for more store information, including updated store hours.
  • Our council program team is currently looking at alternative planning for major council events later in the Fall - including University of Scouting, Order of the Arrow Events, and Winter Camp. More information regarding those events will be made available as the situation evolves.

Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – FacebookEmail, and Council Website. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (FacebookEmail, and Council Website) for updates. 

 

BSA National Statement on COVID-19       Previous Updates

Rank Advancement Update       Scouting at Home      Digital Safety        Online Meeting Resources

 

 

#9 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 6/2/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our ninth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate this situation as best we can. 

  • As an alternative to summer resident camp, members of Scouts BSA now have the opportunity to register for Merit Badge Days that will be held at Tellepsen Scout Camp on Saturdays in July and August. More information, including how to register, may be found here.
  • Cub Scouts will have two opportunities for day camp programming this summer:
    • Virtual Day Camp will be conducted during two sessions in July, free of charge. More information, including how to register, may be found here.
    • Outdoor Sports Days will be conducted at Camp Brosig and Bovay Scout Ranch in late July and early August. Activities will include BB guns, archery, water activities, fishing and a closing ceremony. More information can be found here, and registration will be open soon.
  • The Cockrell Scout Center remains open for drop off only with hours of 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
    • Any interaction needed with staff members must be conducted through phone and email. If you need assistance determining the appropriate person to contact, please refer to our updated “who to call directory,” or contact the receptionist at (713) 659-8111 during our office hours to be directed to the appropriate person.
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
  • The 5 Scout Shop locations are open to limited retail traffic. Please visit here for more store information, including updated store hours..
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through June 30th.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events through June 14th are cancelled or postponed unless conducted over teleconference or online.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. For information on closing out your unit, please contact your District Scout Fair Chair or District Executive. Commission checks will begin being processed for units that have closed out their sale when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs.We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:

In addition to these local updates, the council has received information regarding an updated fee structure from National BSA. Our team is putting together an FAQ and additional information that will be sent out in tomorrow’s (June 3) e-Scouter newsletter.

Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – FacebookEmail, and Council Website. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO


#8 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 5/3/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our eighth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Since our last update, Harris County has expanded the “stay at home” order for non-essential business through May 20th. Therefore, the following modifications will be made to our plan that was released in update #7.

  • The Cockrell Scout Center will be open for drop off only beginning on Monday, May 4th with hours of 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
    • Any interaction needed with staff members must be conducted through phone and email. If you need assistance determining the appropriate person to contact, please refer to our updated “who to call directory,” or contact the receptionist at (713) 659-8111 during our office hours to be directed to the appropriate person.
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
  • The 5 Scout Shop locations will reopen on Monday, May 11thThese locations will be opened to limited retail traffic and curbside pickup. As part of the social distancing protocol, only credit card payments will be accepted at Scout Shop locations. Please visit here for more store information.

As a reminder, the following updates from update #7 are still applicable.

  • Our in-person Cub Scout District Day Camps for 2020 are cancelled and will be replaced with an alternative program to be rolled out in detail later in May. This program will include two elements:
    • An online “do at home” program for families
    • A one-day program at Bovay Scout Ranch and Camp Brosig for Cub Scouts that will offer BB Gun and Archery Ranges and other camp activities. This one-day program will be offered in multiple sessions in July/August, assuming that they are permitted under current governmental guidance. Social distancing practices will be strictly enforced and communicated during the program rollout.
  • Our Cub Scout Resident Camps at Bovay Scout Ranch for 2020 are cancelled. Participants are encouraged to participate in the one-day program at our camps that will be conducted in July/August.
  • Scouts BSA Summer Camp 2020 at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake is cancelled. Each troop signed up for 2020 Summer Camp will be contacted to determine if they would like to move their reservation to 2021 Summer Camp at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake.
  • Our camping team is currently developing an alternate plan for a condensed Scouts BSA camp program at Camp Strake in July that incorporates current governmental guidance and social distancing. While the full program information will be available later in May, this program will include the following components:
    • Strict social distancing protocols, including separate tents required for all non-sibling Scouts and a highly-structured program schedule over 2-3 days.
    • Food service provided by the unit within the campsite to avoid large gatherings of participants.
    • Utilization of the most high-demand program elements for summer camp and provide the corresponding merit badge programs.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through June 30th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake. In addition to the aforementioned cancellations, this will affect the following additional events:
    • Cub Scout Adventure Camp (May 15-17)
    • OA Spring Fellowship (May 15-17)
    • National Youth Leadership Training (June 7-13 and June 14-20)
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events through June 14th are cancelled or postponed unless conducted over teleconference or online.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. For information on closing out your unit, please contact your District Scout Fair Chair or District Executive. Commission checks will begin being processed for units that have closed out their sale when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:

For all of the cancellations listed, full refunds will be applied and will begin to be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens on May 4th.

This situation continues to be dynamic and changing daily. Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – FacebookEmail, and Council Website. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (FacebookEmail, and Council Website) for updates. 

 

BSA National Statement on COVID-19       Previous Updates

Rank Advancement Update       Scouting at Home      Digital Safety        Online Meeting Resources

 

 


#7 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 4/3/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our seventh update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Since our last update, the President has outlined the three-phase plan for Opening Up America Again. In addition, Governor Abbott has an updated Executive Order in regards to the state’s reopening. Additionally, over the past several weeks multiple teams of staff and volunteers have worked diligently to review our plans for daily operations, meetings, activities, and our summer programming at our camping facilities. Utilizing the current (and evolving) government guidance, feedback from unit leadership and families, and a thorough review from our Enterprise Risk Management team, the following decisions have been made as the council’s path forward.

  • The Cockrell Scout Center will reopen on Monday, May 4th with limited staff and social distancing protocols in place.
    • The Cockrell Scout Center will have a “drop off only” visitor policy. Any interaction needed with staff members should be conducted through phone and email. If you need assistance determining the appropriate person to contact, please refer to our updated “who to call directory,” or contact the receptionist at (713) 659-8111 during our office hours to be directed to the appropriate person.
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
  • All the Scout Shop locations will reopen on Monday, May 11th with limited staff and social distancing protocols in place. (new date)
    • Scout Shops will be open to limited retail traffic and curbside pickup. As part of the social distancing protocol, only credit card payments will be accepted at Scout Shop locations. Please visit here for more store information.
      • The Houston Scout Shop will be open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
      • The Stafford, Strake, Clear Lake and Champions stores will be open Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm.
  • Our in-person Cub Scout District Day Camps for 2020 are cancelled and will be replaced with an alternative program to be rolled out in detail later in May. This program will include two elements:
    • An online “do at home” program for families
    • A one-day program at Bovay Scout Ranch and Camp Brosig for Cub Scouts that will offer BB Gun and Archery Ranges and other camp activities. This one-day program will be offered in multiple sessions in July/August, assuming that they are permitted under current governmental guidance. Social distancing practices will be strictly enforced and communicated during the program rollout.
  • Our Cub Scout Resident Camps at Bovay Scout Ranch for 2020 are cancelled. Participants are encouraged to participate in the one-day program at our camps that will be conducted in July/August.
  • Scouts BSA Summer Camp 2020 at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake is cancelled. Each troop signed up for 2020 Summer Camp will be contacted to determine if they would like to move their reservation to 2021 Summer Camp at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake.
  • Our camping team is currently developing an alternate plan for a condensed Scouts BSA camp program at Camp Strake in July that incorporates current governmental guidance and social distancing. While the full program information will be available later in May, this program will include the following components:
    • Strict social distancing protocols, including separate tents required for all non-sibling Scouts and a highly-structured program schedule over 2-3 days.
    • Food service provided by the unit within the campsite to avoid large gatherings of participants.
    • Utilization of the most high-demand program elements for summer camp and provide the corresponding merit badge programs.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through June 30th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake. In addition to the aforementioned cancellations, this will affect the following additional events:
    • Cub Scout Adventure Camp (May 15-17)
    • OA Spring Fellowship (May 15-17)
    • National Youth Leadership Training (June 7-13 and June 14-20)
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events through June 14th are cancelled or postponed unless conducted over teleconference or online.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. For information on closing out your unit, please contact your District Scout Fair Chair or District Executive. Commission checks will begin being processed for units that have closed out their sale when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:

These decisions have not come easily, as our camping programs are the highlight of the year for a great number of our thousands of Scouts. Ultimately, we believe our condensed plan for summer programming is the best and safest solution for our youth to experience the Scouting program this summer. For all of the cancellations listed, full refunds will be applied and will begin to be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens on May 4th.

This situation continues to be dynamic and changing daily. Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – FacebookEmail, and Council Website. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (FacebookEmail, and Council Website) for updates. 

BSA National Statement on COVID-19       Previous Updates

Rank Advancement Update       Scouting at Home      Digital Safety        Online Meeting Resources

 

 


#6 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 4/3/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our sixth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

On Tuesday the President issued updated timeframes for social distancing protocols and the State of Texas announced an extension of the stay at home order through April 30th. As a result, the following will now be in effect:

  • The Cockrell Scout Center and all Scout Shop locations will remain closed until Friday, May 1st. This is subject to change as the situation evolves. Please monitor our communications for any updates. As a result:
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
    • The processing of most Eagle applications will be suspended during the office closure. All pending Eagle applicants should consult the updated Advancement information for COVID-19from National BSA. Please send any further advancement questions or concerns to Brendan Cronin (brendan.cronin@scouting.org).
    • Refunds for any canceled or postponed activities and events will be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through May 11th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake.
    • The Camp Strake Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, scheduled for May 8th and 9th, will be postponed, and a new date will be published once set. Construction for the camp, however, remains on schedule for completion.
  • No decisions on summer programming have been made at this time. This includes Summer Camp at Camp Strake, Cub Scout Summer Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch, National Youth Leadership Training, and Cub Scout Day Camps. If cancellation is necessary, the council will issue refunds for these activities.
  • As previously announced, all district and council meetings, activities, and events through May 4thare canceled or postponed. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved.
    • Council Coordinated Meeting, scheduled for April 23rd, has been canceled.
    • As previously announced, the council’s Eagle Scout Reception scheduled for May 3rd has been postponed. We are working to reschedule this event for the summer/fall.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. For information on closing out your unit, please contact your District Scout Fair Chair or District Executive. Commission checks will be issued after the Cockrell Scout Center re-opens.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:
  • If your unit is in need of advancement awards during this time that Scout Shops are closed, please use the following steps:
    • Unit Leader will email in their Scoutbook Advancement report toNDCSupply.Orders@scouting.org
    • Please include contact phone number so that the Customer Service team member can contact for payment information.
    • Customer Service Rep will contact Unit Leader for credit card information, ship to and bill to address, and verify the correct Council along with the actual advancement needed.

This situation continues to be dynamic and changing daily. Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – Email, SHAC Website, and Facebook. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (FacebookEmail, and Council Website) for updates. 

 


#5 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/25/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our fifth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Yesterday Harris County announced a Work Home, Stay Home Order through April 3rd. This is in conjunction with the current White House and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance already in effect. As a result, the following will now be in effect:

  • The Cockrell Scout Center and all Scout Shop locations will remain closed until Monday, April 6th. This is subject to change as the situation evolves. Please monitor our communications for any updates. As a result:
    • Field-based staff (district executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
    • The processing of most Eagle applications will be suspended during the office closure. All pending Eagle applicants should consult the updated Advancement information for COVID-19 from National BSA. Please send any further advancement questions or concerns to Brendan Cronin (brendan.cronin@scouting.org).
    • Refunds for any canceled or postponed activities and events will be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events through May 4th are canceled or postponed. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved.
    • Council Coordinated Meeting, scheduled for April 23rd, has been canceled.
    • As previously announced, Scout Fair, scheduled for April 4th at NRG Arena, has been canceled.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through May 4th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake.
    • The Cub Scout Adventure Camps scheduled for April 17-19 and May 1-3 are canceled. After the Cockrell Scout Center reopens, we will work to reschedule or refund units for their participation in these event.
    • The OA Arrowman Bash scheduled for April 24-26 has been rescheduled for May 15-17 at Camp Strake. Any questions or concerns should be directed sent to program@colonneh.org
    • Powder Horn, scheduled for April 17-19 and May 1-3 have been postponed. We will communicate updated dates once scheduled.
    • Wood Badge Course 20-1, scheduled to have its second weekend on April 25-26, will be rescheduled. We will communicate directly with participants regarding rescheduling this training.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. This decision has been made to comply with social distancing guidelines placed into effect by the CDC. After the Cockrell Scout Center reopens, we will begin collecting final turn-ins and processing commission checks so that units will have funds available for summer programming. More information will be sent to those units participating in the sale in the next week.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • The council’s Eagle Scout Reception scheduled for May 3rd has been postponed. We are working to reschedule this event for the fall.
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#4 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/17/20)

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our fourth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Yesterday the President announced the White House Guidance for COVID-19. As a result, the following will now be in effect:

  • The Cockrell Scout Center and all Scout Shop locations will be closed effective tomorrow, March 18th. These locations are currently scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 30th. This is subject to change as the situation evolves. Please monitor our communications for any updates. As a result:
    • Field-based staff (district executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
    • The processing of most Eagle Scout applications will be suspended during the office closure. However, if you have an Eagle Scout application that needs immediate approval, please contact brendan.cronin@scouting.org. If it is not an immediate need, we ask that you delay submittal until after the closure. Additionally, we received guidance from BSA National regarding special circumstances around Eagle Scout application deadlines during COVID-19. Learn More.
    • Accounts payable will be administered by a small team once each week.

As a reminder, the following information was shared yesterday and is still in effect:

  • Scout Fair, scheduled for April 4th  at NRG Arena, has been canceled. Unfortunately, we are unable to reschedule this event in 2020. Scout Fair will return in the spring of 2021, as scheduled.
  • Scout Fair Coupon Pack Sales are suspended. This includes the cancelation of any pre-scheduled appointments for selling at Kroger stores. Additional information on an updated calendar and protocol for the sale will be published as the situation further develops.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16th through April 13th. This includes all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig and Bovay Scout Ranch.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events from Monday, March 16th through April 13th are canceled. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved. This includes the previously-announced cancelation of University of Scouting on Saturday, March 21st and the Cub Adventure Camp on March 27-29th.  
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, which includes the new guidance from the White House.

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#3 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/16/20)

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our third update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward.

  • Scout Fair, scheduled for April 4th at NRG Arena, has been canceled. Unfortunately, we are unable to reschedule this event in 2020. Scout Fair will return in the spring of 2021, as scheduled.
  • Scout Fair Coupon Pack Sales are suspended. This includes the cancelation of any pre-scheduled appointments for selling at Kroger stores. Additional information on an updated calendar and protocol for the sale will be published as the situation further develops.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16th through April 13th. This includes all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig and Bovay Scout Ranch.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events from Monday, March 16th through April 13th are canceled. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved. This includes the previously-announced cancelation of University of Scouting on Saturday, March 21st and the Cub Adventure Camp on March 27-29.  
  • The Cockrell Scout Center and our Scout Shops will remain open for business at this time. However, we ask to limit visitations to the office to essential visits only. If you are coming to visit a staff member, please consider calling instead. Our field staff will be working remotely, but will be available to communicate by phone or email.
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC.

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#2 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/13/20)

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to update you on our newest response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward.

Following the announcement of the closure of most of our area school districts, the following actions are being taken to ensure a safe environment is provided for all Scouting programs:

  • All council camping facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16th through March 30th. Operations for the limited amount of activities occurring this weekend will continue. This closure will include the Cub Scout Adventure Camp scheduled for March 27-29th. Our program team will be reaching out to units scheduled for that Cub Adventure Camp to reschedule the unit’s participation.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events from Monday, March 16th through March 30th are canceled. This includes the previously-announced cancelation of University of Scouting on Saturday, March 21st. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved.
  • The Cockrell Scout Center and our Scout Shops will remain open for business at this time. However, we ask to limit visitations to the office to essential visits only. If you are coming to visit a staff member, please consider calling instead. 
  • No decision has been made at this time for Scout Fair on April 4th. Our team continues to collaborate the local health officials and the facility management at NRG Arena to determine the most appropriate course of action going forward.
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs.

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#1 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (3/12/20)

Following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council is working in ongoing coordination with local health officials with regards to the operations of Scouting programs and the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

Our top priority in Scouting is the safety of our youth members, families, and volunteers. First and foremost, the decision to participate in Scouting is voluntary, and each family should make a personal decision for what level of participation, if any, it will have in Scouting meetings and activities during this outbreak.

The Sam Houston Area Council would like to emphasize the following guidance from the CDC, which should be applied to all Scouting meetings and activities:

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Travelers Returning from Abroad

  • Depending on your travel history, you should stay home for a period of 14 days if you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

This situation is a dynamic and evolving situation and our council leadership will be monitoring the situation closely alongside local health officials and determine the most appropriate response to the conditions at hand. For determining participation in Scouting activities, in addition to following all of the above guidance from the CDC, the following actions should be taken.

Unit / Den Meetings and Activities

  • Unit leadership should first consult with your unit’s Chartered Organization. The organization may have policies or protocols that have been put in place in response to COVID-19. Remember that the Chartered Organization “owns” your Scouting unit and has ultimate authority in these decisions. 
  • If your unit’s meeting place is a different entity than your unit’s Chartered Organization, the unit leadership should consult with the meeting place as to any policies or protocols that they have put in place in response to COVID-19. For many Cub Scout Packs, this will be a school campus. Arrangements for alternate meeting locations may be needed.
  • For any outside activities, contact the facility’s management to determine if that facility has put any restrictions or policies in place in response to COVID-19.
  • After consulting with the Chartered Organization, unit committees should determine the most appropriate path forward in delivering the Scouting program for its families. The unit leadership should respect any family’s decision not to participate during this outbreak, and make plans to help Scouts that do not participate re-engage after it is complete.

District Meetings and Activities

  • District leadership should consult with the facility manager of all district meeting locations and event locations to determine if those facilities have put in place any policies or protocols in response to COVID-19. Arrangement for alternate meeting and event locations may be needed.
  • No meeting or activity should be postponed or canceled without the approval of the Council’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee. Any such request should come with the full recommendation of the District Key-3 and communicated through the District Executive.

Council Facilities

  • At this time, all facilities owned by the Sam Houston Area Council are open for full operations. This includes the Cockrell Scout Center, Bovay Scout Ranch, Camp Brosig, and construction operations at Camp Strake.
  • Our facilities team is working to acquire additional handwashing stations, soap, and cleaning supplies to comply with the guidance provided by the CDC.

Council Events

  • All scheduled council events are being examined on a case-by-case basis by the Council Enterprise Risk Management Committee.
  • University of Scouting is scheduled for next Saturday, March 21st at Mickey Leland Prep Academy. Houston ISD announced today that all facilities will be closed next week for extensive cleaning. Due to this closure, the council must cancel the spring session of University of Scouting next Saturday. All resources from that event will be shifted towards our course in the fall, and full refunds will be provided to all registered participants.
  • Cub Adventure Camp is scheduled for March 27-29 at Bovay Scout Ranch. At this time, the camp will move forward as scheduled.
  • Scout Fair is scheduled for April 4th at NRG Arena. Our council team is working closely with the facility management and county health officials to determine the best course of action, in accordance with guidance issued by the CDC for Mass Gatherings / Large Community Events. Final determinations for the Scout Fair event will be made and communicated closer to the scheduled event, but at least one week prior.

 

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates.