Blog Post List

Supplemental Training 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, September 6, 2022 5:21:00 PM

Training is an important part of learning to become an effective leader. Trained leaders impact the quality of programs, leader tenure, youth tenure, and a whole lot more. A trained leader is better prepared to make the Scouting program all it can be! Every Scout deserves a trained leader. Joining courses required for to become registered leaders are available through the BSA Online Learning Center at my.scouting.org

Supplemental training is designed to provide orientation beyond the basic training offered in leader-specific training. The council is offering a variety of supplemental training courses during the fall.


Shooting Sports

In Scouting events and activities, the BSA’s primary consideration is the safety of its youth and adult members. To achieve that goal, the BSA, in consultation with other organizations, has created specific guidelines for shooting sports. The shooting sports committee is providing archery, rifle, shotgun and pistol training and instructor certification to prepare those individuals who will serve in a leadership or supervisory role in the various shooting sports activities. These training courses allow leaders to run a shooting sports range at a troop, crew, ship, district, or council event and to teach the Shooting Sports Merit Badges. 

Register for Shooting Sports Training           Learn More about Shooting Sports


Climbing Training

Topping Out is a climbing tower instructor's course for adults that spans two evenings and two weekends. Participants learn about climbing equipment such as cams, stoppers, hexs, and anchors. Participants also learn how to effectively supervise climbing and rappelling activities. Topping Out is a climbing tower instructor's course. Individuals who satisfactorily demonstrate the skills necessary to be an instructor will be able to run climbing programs in their unit. 

Register for Climbing Training         Learn More


First Aid

The council offers are a variety of first aid training courses throughout the year including First Aid/CPR/AEDFirst Aid/CPR/AED Instructor Course, and Wilderness First Aid.

First Aid/CPR/AED: First aid training gives participants the information and skills needed to help during many emergency situations. 

First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor Course: This course will train instructor candidates to teach basic-level American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED courses. 

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is the assessment of and treatment given to an ill or injured person in a remote environment where definitive care by a physician and/or rapid transport is not readily available. Participants will learn how to assess, treat, and (when possible) contain emergencies within the scope of their training. Organizations and individuals may provide students who successfully complete the 16-hour curriculum a certificate of completion of a class that meets the criteria of the Boy Scouts of America for Wilderness First Aid. The content of this course may not deviate, either through additions or deletions, from the approved curriculum. Youth and adult Scout leaders are encouraged to take this first-aid course, which offers a management dimension that most curriculums fail to address. Scout leaders will likely find it the most valuable program they’ll ever take. The BSA requires at least one person (two preferred) per unit to be WFA-certified for certain high-adventure camp and backcountry experiences. 

Register for First Aid Training


Wood Badge

Wood Badge is the Boy Scouts of America's ultimate leadership training designed to meet the advanced leadership needs of Scouters in all aspects of the BSA, whether unit, district, or council level – from assistant den leaders to Scoutmasters, from Cubmasters to Venturing Advisors, from committee members to commissioners. It is a fun, energetic and inspiring course guaranteed to infuse your unit with fun and meaning – all designed to fulfill the mission of the BSA, and ensure our youth is getting everything they are promised from the program.

Reflecting the best of nearly a century of Scouting experience, Wood Badge draws upon the most current leadership models used by corporate America, academic circles and successful organizations throughout the country. Participants can expect to develop skills in many areas, including leadership theory, team building, problem-solving, communication, project planning and more.  These skills can be taken back to packs, troops, crews and ships to help leaders guide youth in dynamic Scouting programs.  Scouters will find these skills invaluable in their business and personal lives as well.

Learn More and Register for Wood Badge


Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS)

Working as patrols, this hands-on course provides adult leaders the practical outdoor skills they need to lead Scouts in the out-of-doors. Upon completion, leaders should feel comfortable teaching Scouts the basic skills required to obtain the First Class rank. Along with basic training, this course is required of all direct contact leaders registered in troops in order to be considered trained. The training is a weekend course and takes about 15 hours to complete.  

Register for IOLS


Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO)

BALOO is the Cub Scout leader training required for any Cub Scout den or pack outdoor event, including packing camping, overnighters and Webelos den overnighters. BALOO training is comprised of two components – an online component, and a practical, hands-on component. Both components must be completed to qualify as a trained Cub Scout outdoor leader and to receive the BALOO recognition patch. The online component contains introductory and basic information and must be completed prior to the practical component at my.scouting.org. The practical component is an overnight outdoor camping experience that takes about 16-hours to complete. A minimum of one BALOO-trained adult must attend every pack overnighter. 

Register for BALOO


University of Scouting

November 11-12, 2022

Outdoor Training Weekend and College of Commissioner Science

University of Scouting is a semi-annual training event for leaders of all program levels, district and council leaders and parents.

Learn More and Register


Camp Strake is Going Full Throttle 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, August 20, 2022 9:05:00 AM

October 21-23, 2023

Camp Strake (2020 Camp Strake Rd., Coldspring, TX 77331)

Full Throttle is a weekend event for Scouts BSA. Troops who are camping at Camp Strake in September can sign up their Scouts to participate in various program areas. The camp staff provides the program leadership.

Program areas typically include shooting sports (rifle, shotgun, archery), climbing, COPE (high-ropes course), swimming, ziplining, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and ATV riding.

Learn More and Register

 

Winter Camp Registration is Open 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, August 17, 2022 5:34:00 AM

December 26-31, 2022

Camp Strake
2020 Camp Strake Rd. 
Coldspring, TX 77331

Winter camp is a wonderful opportunity for troops to camp and Scouts to earn merit badges. Merit badge classes are taught by Scouters with real-life experiences in the field. Winter camp is held at Camp Strake, a first-class and state-of-the-art facility for Scouts and their leaders. Over 80 merit badge classes are offered, including many merit badges that are not normally offered at summer camp.

 

Learn More & Register

 

 

Adventure Camp Registration is Open 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, July 20, 2022 6:32:00 PM

Adventure Camp is weekend campout at Bovay Scout Ranch. Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos Scouts and their families will enjoy an exciting variety of activities at several program areas. Meals are eaten in the air-conditioned dining hall. A camp staff team member in each area will provide program supplies and support the parents who will be invited to assist in leading the activities.

Conducted at the McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camp area of Bovay Scout Ranch, activities may include: seeking treasure in the lost mine, archeological quest at the dinosaur dig, a high-speed pedal feat at the BMX bike track, Robin Hood-style adventure at the archery range, marksmanship at the BB gun range, action at the Bud Adams sports field, exploring the camp at the nature center, and splashing in the water at the David Weekley Family Water Park (weather permitting).

Learn More and Register

Registration should be completed by the pack leader or Webelos den leaders (for Webelos den camping). Families that register individually will be combined with families from other packs. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis; sessions fill up fast.

Contacts

For more information, visit shac.org/adventure-camp.

 

Register for Summer Camp 2023 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Sunday, July 10, 2022 12:31:00 PM

Summer camp is a week-long council-organized overnight camp for Scouts BSA that operates under council-retained leadership. The program provides opportunities for Scouts to earn merit badges along their advancement trail.

Summer camp is held at Camp Strake, a first-class and state-of-the-art facility for Scouts and their leaders. Program areas include shooting sports (rifle, shotgun, archery, sporting arrows), climbing, rappelling, boating (canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding), swimming, ATV riding, ziplining, merit badge classes and more.

Sign up now for summer 2023! Register by October 1, 2022 for an early bird discount

Learn More and Register

About Camp Strake

Camp Strake has 20 campsites with pavilions and an air-conditioned dining hall, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) center, a 28-acre lake, an aquatics center with a swimming pool and pool house, extensive trail system, basketball court, sports fields, chapel and more. The camp has been designed and built to meet both ADA and Boy Scouts of America requirements. The program will be offered to both girl and boy units concurrently. 

Facilities and Program Areas

All facilities at Camp Strake are ADA compliant. Many of these facilities, including the dining hall, are air-conditioned.

Check-in Building

At the entrance to Camp Strake is the check-in building. This facility is used to greet visitors, provide directions, and issue parking permits. All visitors should be prepared to stop at this building to sign-in.

Camp Headquarters

Camp headquarters houses the camp phone, lost and found, mail, offices, quartermaster, trading post, health lodge, and a training room.

Dining Hall

The dining hall seats 460 people. High quality and nutritious meals are provided by a professional service. The parade field on the west side of the dining hall is used for flag ceremonies.

Campsites

Campsites are nestled in shaded areas throughout the camp. Every campsite has picnic tables, a covered pavilion with electricity. Shower houses are located along the main campsite road and are shared by three or four campsites. Individual stalls are ADA compliant and have a toilet, shower, and sink.



  


STEM

The STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) building is in the program area just south of the administration building. The building is outfitted with equipment and materials to support a robust STEM and conservation program.


 

Aquatics

The aquatics area contains a pool, fishing area, beachfront with lake swimming area, and boating area to support the full range of aquatics related merit badges. The 28-acre lake provides a venue for canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. A portion of the lake is reserved for conservation and fishing activities.



 


Shooting Sports

The shooting sports area contains a rifle range with 16 firing positions and a maximum range of 100 yards, a shotgun range, archery range, sporting arrows range, and 3D archery range.

Climbing / High Ropes Course

The 32-foot-tall climbing tower and training pavilion is located at the west end of the lake. The top of the tower has a great vantage point overlooking the entire camp. The tower is designed to allow beginner and experienced climbers to test and improve their skills. The high adventure program will also include a zipline and ATV program.



Staff Area

The staff area is west of the check-in building and contains a main staff building that includes office, storage, laundry, and meeting facilities. Adjacent to this building is 40 two-person huts and a shower/latrine facility.

 


Bridge to the Integrity Institute


Merit Badge Pavilion


Grand Pavilion

National Scout Jamboree 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, April 20, 2022 7:59:00 PM
 

NATIONAL JAMBOREE

 

July 19-28, 2023  |  Bechtel Summit, West Virginia

Scouting’s flagship event is one-of-a-kind. Over the course of 10 summer days, once every four years, the Boy Scouts of America comes together for a gathering of approximately 40,000 Scouts, leaders, and staff that showcases everything that is great about the BSA and its members. The result is the national Scout jamboree. To keep up with the latest information, visit the Summit website.

Scouts and Scouters will explore all kinds of adventures—stadium shows, pioneer village, Garden Ground hikes, adventure sports, patch trading, and more—in the heart of one of nature’s greatest playgrounds. With 10,000 acres at the Summit to explore, there’s no shortage of opportunities to build Scouting memories.

Learn More & Register

Face the Challenge

The truth is that young people can achieve more than they believe is possible. Scouting uniquely prepares its members to redefine their boundaries, push past them and emerge from the experience with the confidence that no matter the challenge, they can meet it.

Nothing is impossible for the prepared young person — no future is out of reach for a group of committed people who care. It’s important to signal that the limits people perceive are self-imposed and that with an embrace and application of the 12 points of the Scout Law and three points of the Scout Oath, there is a bright and positive future. Participants in the 2021 National Jamboree will learn that character is created when you achieve more than you thought possible.

Council Contingent  

The council will take approximately 200 Scouts to the national jamboree as part of the council contingent. The contingent will head to the Summit for 10 days of activities ranging from shooting sports, mountain biking, zip-lining, rock climbing, white water rafting and more!  

The jamboree is open to youth who meet the participant qualifications, are physically fit, and agree to the jamboree code of conduct on a first come first serve basis. All Scouts BSA youth must be currently registered in a troop and be a minimum of age 12. All Venturers must be currently registered in a Venturing crew and meeting Venturing age requirements.

Scouts will be assigned to a jamboree troop consisting of 36 Scouts and four adult leaders. Every Scout will be a member of a patrol within the troop. Contingent members will be required to attend some troop meetings (as scheduled by the jamboree troop Scoutmaster), submit a completed jamboree medical form signed by a licensed physician and indicating compliance with specified immunizations and attend a contingent meeting (date TBD).

Participation in the National Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is a physically demanding experience. The layout, grade and elevation of the site requires substantial walking as part of everyone’s daily schedule. A number of activities require more stamina and fitness too—think climbing, rappelling, rafting, mountain biking, and skateboarding. It is essential that all participants and staff are prepared for the physical demands of the Summit prior to arrival. Facing the Challenge at the ’21 Jamboree will require one to be physically fit!

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

In 2009, the BSA purchased 10,600 acres of property adjacent to West Virginia’s New River Gorge National River area in order to create the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. The Summit is the new home of achievement, adventure, and innovation in Scouting. 

 

#16 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response  

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, March 21, 2022 10:45:00 AM

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our sixteenth 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.

  • Unit programming should be conducted under current guidelines from the State of Texas and the CDC with the approval of the unit’s chartered organization and subject to the current COVID-19 protocols of any meeting or activity facility.
  • Face coverings should follow the new CDC COVID-19 by County guidance.  In short, all US counties are classified as low-, medium-, or high-risk.  There are no mask recommendations for low-risk areas. For medium-risk areas, if you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions.  In high-risk areas, wear a mask indoors in public when social distancing is not possible.
  • District and Council meetings and events may be conducted in person and will utilize the same face-covering policy, unless held at a facility that is not council-owned, as those facilities may have additional restrictions that should be followed.
  • We recommend that units utilize the updated pre-event medical checklist for activities. These forms are no longer required to be turned in when visiting council camps.
  • Social Distancing should be followed in all situations where it is feasible.
  • Overnight district and council activities and trainings are allowed for all Scouting programs. Districts are no longer required to submit activity plans to the Council ERM Committee. Districts should continue to have their District ERM Chair review program plans for district activities. 
  • If you were exposed to or test positive for COVID-19 then you should follow CDC Quarantine and Isolation guidance

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.org. The 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!

Debbie Rollinson
Council Commissioner

Dan Bellow
Chair of the Board

Marvin Smith
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     Rank Advancement Update  

BSA Brand Standards 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, June 25, 2021 4:30:00 AM

Help Ensure Everyone Follows BSA Brand Standards as They Create Materials for Recruiting Season

To ensure that we promote our programs in a clear and Scout-like manner, it important to remind units to follow BSA Brand Guidelines and use approved materials from the BSA Brand Center in developing their recruiting materials. This includes following the requirements included in the Scouts BSA Branding Dos and Don’ts Guide and the associated Brand Training Guide.  

The Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training is one of the efforts underway to be sure Scouters have a clear understanding of what they can do. This training should be shared with all volunteers to bring this understanding to all parts of our community.

BSA Brand Guidelines     BSA Brand Center    Scouts BSA Branding Dos and Don’ts Guide    Brand Training Guide

While our goal is to encourage youth to join our program, we must always be clear in our communications about the program they are joining.

  • We are The Boy Scouts of America.
  • The Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA are different organizations.
  • We support all other youth organizations and do not disparage them.
  • We encourage parents to enroll all youth in a character development program that meets their needs – and the BSA is certainly ready to welcome them.

Youth Safety | Ongoing Commitment 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:46:00 AM

The safety of children in our programs is the most important priority of the Boy Scouts of America. 

The BSA’s safeguards highlighted below are key parts of our multilayered approach to help keep kids safe.

These measures were informed by respected experts in the fields of child safety, law enforcement, and child psychologyand are among the strongest safeguards found in any youth-serving organization. 

 

Learn More

Returning to Scouting 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, October 16, 2020 9:19:00 AM

The Steps You Can Take Right Now to Help You Return to Scouting Activities 

(Source) While many Scout units have a desire to return to Scouting activities, they have questions about how to do so safely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the recent webinar on how to hold meetings safely during COVID-19, attendees received tips on the key steps they can be taking right now to find a safe way to return to their meeting activities.

Step 1: Check your local requirements to see if you can meet. The safety requirements vary greatly around the nation, so it’s vital to check on what your local government requires and abide by those regulations. The BSA SAFE Restart Scouting Checklist has been specifically created to help you guide you through this as you build a framework for getting back to your Scouting activities. 

Step 2: Call the families in your Scout unit to see how they’re doing. Check in by phone to connect personally with these families. Listen to their responses and gauge their readiness to return to Scouting activities. If laws in your community permit meeting, and you’ve met the other requirements of the SAFE Restart Scouting Checklist, spend some time talking about your process and the intention to return to Scouting activities safely. 

Step 3: Connect with other leaders and families to find solutions for ways the unit can meet safely. Currently, some traditional meeting places for Scout units are not available because of the pandemic, but there may be other viable, safe options for meeting that can be discussed. Some of these options may be outdoors using social distancing. Other options may be virtual. Be sure to use the guidance for Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activities when meeting virtually.  

Step 4: Engage your chartered organization. Especially if you’re having difficulty finding a meeting place, talk with your chartered organization to see what other options they might be able to provide. While a meeting room might not be available, perhaps the parking lot, a field, or a park could be a safe alternative. Whatever the proposed location, the chartered organization should be made aware of the issue and brought into the discussion.

Step 5: Reach out to the school in your community. If you’re used to working with your local school for a recruiting night, meeting space or otherwise, connect with them to talk about ways your Scout unit could be of service and assist them during this time. 

Step 6: Make sure you’ve updated your BeAScout pin and are using all of the available easy-to-use online registration tools. As you get back to Scouting, help new families find and join your unit without ever needing any paper to change hands. 

Though the times remain uncertain, Scouts and Scouters are resilient, and following the above steps can help you to Be Prepared and ease the process of getting back to Scouting quickly and safely whenever local requirements allow it.