Blog Post List

#9 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:30:00 PM

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

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

 

 

Cub Scout Virtual Day Camp 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, June 2, 2020 9:05:00 AM

July 13-17 or July 20-24, 2020

The 2020 day/twilight camps are going virtual. Get ready to grab your electronic device this summer for some virtual Cub Scout camp fun! Even though the camp is virtual, it is also intended to be a chance for the Scouts to get up, create things, get moving and do activities outdoors again. 

The free virtual Cub Scout camp is a council-hosted event for Cub Scouts entering 1st through 5th grade for the 2020-2021 school year. There is no registration fee. 

Learn More and Register

Program

Cub Scouts can work on three rank specific adventures or electives on Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, live events will be held from 1:00 - 2:00 pm with ceremonies, special guests and a service project.

 



Webelos Scouts
                     (4th & 5th grade)

 Into the Woods
 Build My Own Hero
 Project Family  

Contacts

For questions, contact the event chairs.

Scouts BSA: Merit Badge Days 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, June 2, 2020 9:00:00 AM

July 11, 12, 18, 19; August 1, 2, 8, 9

Tellepsen Scout Camp
3450 County Rd 317
Navasota, TX 77868


merit badge sash

Scouts in troops can participate in one-day merit badge classes held at Tellepsen Scout Camp on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August.

Classes will be held from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.  State of Texas and Center for Disease Control requirements will be followed and class sizes will be limited. Classes will stay together for the day and will not mix with other groups. Parents will drop off and pick up their Scout at the merit badge class. Scouts will go through a medical screening up arrival.

Registration

The registration fee is $20 per class.  Individual Scouts can register.

Learn More and Register

Tellepsen Scout Ranch

Tellepsen Scout Camp is located at Bovay Scout Ranch. The camp is located at 3450 County Road 317, Navasota, TX 77868).

First Class Emphasis Program (FCE)

The First Class Emphasis program is for first-year Scouts that focuses on teaching the Scouts the skills necessary to complete many of the Tenderfoot, Second Class or First Class skills. The class will work as a patrol and have the opportunity to learn most of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. The FCE instructors will not sign off on any skills. The list of skills the Scouts worked on during the First Class Emphasis program will be available in the online registration system. The Scout will then need to demonstrate the skills learned to their Scout leader. After demonstrating proficiency in each skill the Scoutmaster or designee will then sign off the requirements in the Scout Handbook and Scoutbook.

Contacts

For questions, contact the event chairs.

Outdoor Sports Days 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, June 1, 2020 7:22:00 AM

July 25 or 26, 2020 | 8:00 am - 1:30 pm | Bovay Scout Ranch
August 1, 2020 | 8:00 am - 3:00 pm | Camp Brosig

Outdoor Sports Days are one-day Cub Scout events held at a council camp. Activities will include BB guns, archery, water activity, and fishing. Cub Scouts can choose from one of three dates. Check-in begins at 8:00 am. Events begin at 9:00 am.

Register

The registration fee is $25 per Scout and includes a patch and water bottle. Space is limited.

July 25           July 26           August 1


What to Bring

  • copy of BSA Annual Health and Medical Record 
    (Part A & B for all Scouting events) for every attendee
  • closed-toed shoes (e.g., tennis shoes)
  • sack lunch (eat breakfast before arriving)
  • sunscreen
  • hand sanitizer
  • backpack or day pack
  • insect repellent, optional
  • hat, optional
  • Scout uniform or pack t-shirt, optional
  • snacks, optional
 


About Bovay Scout Ranch

Bovay Scout Ranch is a 1,498 acres are a natural paradise for plants and wildlife with rolling hills, lakes, campsites surrounded by native Huisache and Bois-d'arc trees and spectacular sunsets. The camp is located about 60 minutes from Katy, and is six miles south of Navasota (one mile south of TX-6 BUS N and Tx-6 N Split) on the east side of TX-6 on County Road 317. Address: 3450 County Road 317, Navasota, TX 77868

              

Directions through Hempstead:

  • Take Hwy 290 W through Hempstead
  • From Hempstead take Hwy 6N for 16 miles
  • Turn right onto County Road 317
  • Travel to end of road through camp gate

Directions through Conroe:

  • From Conroe take Hwy 105W for 45 miles
  • Turn left onto Hwy 6 South for 3 miles
  • Turn left onto County Road 317 (just past Grassy Creek)
  • Travel to end of the road through camp gate.

About Camp Brosig

Camp Brosig is a 92-acre council camp, located six miles north of Sealy, TX, in Austin County. Camp Brosig is located at 1893 Trenckmann Road, Sealy, TX 77474. Take I-10 to Sealy and exit at State Highway 36. From the traffic light turn left and go 5.1 miles until you pass the intersection with Farm Road 331. Driver another .6 miles to Trenkman Road. Turn left and go 1.6 miles to Camp Brosig gate on the left. Turn in and drive to the farmhouse on the hill.


Virtual Day Camp

Cub Scouts are also encouraged to attend the virtual day camp. The virtual day camp program will include rank advancements, games, special guests, crafts and more.

Learn More About Virtual Day Camp


Contacts

Jenn Mikes
Council Day Camp Chair
 jennifer.mikes.scouting@gmail.com 

Vincent Manning
Day Camp Professional Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3380
 vincent.manning@scouting.org

 

Covid-19 Updates         Scouting at Home         Rank Advancement Updates

Scouting at Home 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, April 3, 2020 8:30:00 AM

​Scouting activities contribute to the academic development of the children who participate. In the elementary grades, the program is built around a series of theme-based explorations. As a Cub Scout advances, the requirements get more challenging, to match the new skills and abilities they have learned. Cub Scout advancement supports over 120 elementary TEKS. In the middle and high school grades, service, community engagement and leadership development become increasingly important parts of the program as youth lead their own activities. More than 85% of merit badges include requirements that meet National Science Education Standards, giving Scouts a foundation in everything from nuclear science to robotics. Learn more at www.shac.org/education.

BSA has resources to help both parents and leaders support Scouting at home, with stay-at-home activities for any Scout rank, and tips for continuing to work on advancement.

Learn More

Here are some additional great ideas to use at home to keep your Scout's skills sharp! Check back regularly and let your friends know about theses great options for at-home fun and learning for Scouting families and non-Scouting families alike. Read the important digital safety guidelines from BSA National Council.

Digital Safety Guidelines

 

When considering advancement opportunities for your Scout, especially merit badge classes, please keep the following in mind:

  1. Is the presenter following youth protection guidelines and digital safety guidelines?
  2. Is the presenter's process in line with basic BSA advancement procedures (see merit badge program and Guide to Advancement)
  3. Is the presenter charging a fee?
  4. How is the presenter ensuring that each youth actually and personally completes each requirement? (see Guide to Advancement section 7.0.3.2, which gives specific requirements and guidance for group instruction.)
  5. Do you have approval from your unit leader?
  6. Is the class occurring in a different time zone?

SHAC Virtual Scouting Guidelines

In order to comply with federal, state, and local guidelines, a number of temporary modifications are being allowed within the traditional Scouting program. As with all Scouting activities, the Guide to Safe Scouting and youth protection policies must be followed. These temporary council guidelines, in addition to BSA National guidelines, are in place to help navigate virtual Scouting while traditional programming is disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Virtual Scouting Guidelines               Rank Advancement Guidelines


SHAC Virtual Scouting

Volunteers have developed a series of remote Scouting classes. The coursework will be completed through live video conferencing calls. Classes are being added regularly. Classes are free. (Central Standard Time)



Service Projects

Doing service together is one way that Scouts keep their promise “to help other people.” Helping others is one of the fundamental values of Scouting and allows Scouts to see the value and impact they make by contributing to their community.  

For Scouts BSA, all service projects must be approved by the unit leader (Scoutmaster) in order to count towards rank advancement. "A service project is a special Good Turn that puts Scout spirit into action.” (Scout Handbook). Projects can take many forms.




Scout Saturday Live

The Western Los Angelos County Council holds a weekly Scout Saturday Live (SSL) and FUN for the entire family. Packed with games, projects, science experiments, and prizes, the SSL! livestream broadcast has something for everyone. The program will air every-other Saturday and is hosted by Scouts.

Scouts who view and participate in the show’s activities have multiple opportunities to check-off requirements toward advancements, awards and merit badges. The next show is scheduled for July 4 at 10:30 am (Pacific Daylight Time)




 


Merit Badge Classes

The Circle Ten Council is offering several online merit badges. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. The cost is $5. (Central Daylight Time)





 


Merit Badge Classes

The Caddo Area Council is offering several online merit badges. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. (Central Daylight Time)


Merit Badge Classes

The Black Warrior Council is offering three virtual Merit badge classes via Zoom. Class sizes are limited. (Central Daylight Time)


Scout Connect

Heart of America Council has a series of online merit badge courses. More merit badges are being added each week. (Central Daylight Time)

  • Scout Connect:
    • Animation Merit Badge
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Journalism
    • Music
    • American Labor
    • Law
    • Public Health
    • Genealogy



Scoutbook App

The new Scoutbook App makes it easier than ever for youth and their parents to view and track advancement. Find the advancements your Scout needs to work on to finish their rank.



Advancement Academy

The Cascade Pacific Council has an Advancement Academy with digital den meetings and online merit badge class. Digital den meetings are offered through Zoom and promoted through Facebook. Participants are asked to sign up in advance. (Pacific Time Zone)



Merit Badges at Home

Scouting Magazine shared a list of 58 merit badges that Scouts can complete from home. 



Weekly Challenge

For the next few weeks, the Greater St. Louis Area Council is posting a Weekly Scout Challenge with a variety of Scouting at home challenges every Friday. By the way, parents and Scouters are not left out! Why let the youth have all the fun! 


Merit Badges / Live Events

Alamo Area Council has several online merit badges and Facebook live events.




ScoutShare 

Seneca Waterways Council has set up a site to share ideas on how to do Scouting remotely, plus suggestions on how to work on documents together, and how to hold meetings together if you’re not in the same room.




Daily Scouting Videos

The Dan Beard Council is posting daily Scouting videos and activities that can be done at home! 




Merit Badges

The Narragansett Council has a variety of resources. (Eastern Time Zone)



Scoutbook App

The new Scoutbook App makes it easier than ever for youth and their parents to view and track advancement. Find the advancements your Scout needs to work on to finish their rank.



Boys' Life App

BSA has just released an entire year’s worth of Boys’ Life issues for free on their app! Find projects you can create from home and stories that will take your minds on adventures all over the world.



Scout On

Connecticut Rivers Council has useful programs for all types of Scouts, leaders and parents.  


Online Scouting Resources 

Digital Safety in a Time of Increased Online Activity 

As local councils and units use digital and online resources, such as video conferencing, to continue Scouting meetings, projects and advancement during the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Council is providing the following guidance. Note this guidance is not comprehensive and may differ from the legal requirements of state or local jurisdiction. 

  • BSA’s youth protection policies apply to all online activities. All online activities, including video and audio conferencing through platforms such as Zoom and Skype, must adhere to the BSA’s current youth protection guidelines for digital communications, including the BSA’s Digital Privacy guidelines and the BSA’s Social Media Guidelines. Because safety features and privacy controls vary widely from platform to platform, and out of respect for families’ own preferences concerning social media usage, we strongly recommend using business-oriented conferencing platforms—for example, Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting and others—to conduct online group activities instead of platforms intended for online gaming (e.g., Discord, Robolux, Twitch). 

BSA’s Digital Privacy Guidelines         BSA’s Social Media Guidelines

  • Safeguard personal information. If you collect a person’s personal information online—for example, through web forms used to register people for online meetings—then you should post a notice or disclosure at the point of collection describing how you will use the information. The notice should be conspicuous and written in plain English. Keep in mind, video conferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom) have their own privacy policies which apply to data collected through the platform (e.g., if the platform is hosting your web form). Organizers of Zoom and Skype meetings—for example, unit leaders and Merit Badge counselors—may obtain personal information about a youth, such as his or her name, phone number or email address. Meeting organizers must keep such information private and not share a youth’s personal information with anyone else except that youths’ parent or guardian or the unit leader responsible for recording advancements. For example, a Merit Badge counselor should not publicly post or otherwise disclose a roster containing personal information of Scouts who the counselor has worked with. 
  • Recording online meetings is not authorized. As a reminder, Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse prohibits any one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth members – in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form. Electronic communication between adults and youth should always include another registered leader or parent. We believe our existing policy is the best way to protect youth and volunteers, and we do not believe recording online meetings would provide any additional material benefit. To the contrary, recording calls would increase personal risk as call recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks and the effect of BSA’s existing policies, we are not authorizing the recording of online meetings. 

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

  • Collecting personal information from youth under 13 is not recommended. We advise against collecting personal information directly from youth under 13 years of age due to the parental notice and consent requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). COPPA does not restrict the collection of personal information about a youth from his or her parent or guardian. For the purposes of COPPA, “personal information” includes first and last name; home or other physical address; screen name or username that functions as online contact information; telephone number; a social security number; or a photograph, video, or audio file containing the child’s image or voice. 

Videoconferencing

Den and troop meetings, boards of review and Scoutmaster conferences don't have to be put on hold just because we're practicing social distancing. Here are a few resources to help you get started.






Educational Activities

HMNS at Home

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is offering digital museum experiences right in the comfort of your home. Dive into their online collection with video archives and virtual tours, connect with our social media and dig even deeper with Beyond Bones.


Merit Badge Classes

Alamo Area Council Scouting at Home  
Aloha Council Epic Merit Badges $$
Bay Area Council Online Virtual Classes  
Blue Ridge Council Online Merit Badge Classes  
Caddo Area Council Online Workshops  
California Inland Empire Council Online Merit Badge Classes  
Capitol Area Council Activities To Continue #ScoutingAtHome  
Cascade Pacific Council Advancement Academy  
Central Florida Council Online Merit Badge Programs 2020  
Central North Carolina Council Virtual Merit Badge Classes  
Chickasaw Council Virtual Merit Badge  
Chief Seattle Council Scouting from Home  
Circle Ten Council 2020 DCD Going Viral Merit Badge Mania  
Circle Ten Council Online Merit Badge University  
Connecticut Rivers Council At Home Scouting  
Dan Beard Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Del-Mar-Va Council Scouting at Home – Scouts BSA  
Denver Area Council Scouting at Home!  
Evangeline Area Council Online Merit Badges  
Garden State Council Scout Online  
Glacier’s Edge Council Scouting From Home  
Great Rivers Council Scouting @ Home  
Great Smokey Mountain Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Greater Alabama Council Online Merit Badge Offerings  
Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Keep Scouting – Resources  
Gulf Stream Council Remote Activity Workshops  
Hawk Mountain Council Virtual Merit Badge Classes  
Heart of America Council ScoutConnect  
Heart of New England Council Virtual Merit Badge Counseling  
Hoosier Trails Council Virtual Merit Badge Day  
Lake Erie Council Scouting at Home Merit Badge Series  
Las Vegas Area Council Merit Badge Clinics  
Michigan Crossroads Council Virtual Merit Badge Clinic  
Mid-America Council Scouting At Home – Scouts BSA  
Mount Baker Council North Cascades Scouting From Home  
Mountaineer Area Council Scouting at Home  
Mt. Diablo Silverado Area Council MDSC iBadge 2020  
Narragansett Council Merit Badge Event Registration  
National Capital Area Council Merit Badges @Home  
Northern Star Council Scouting at Home  
Orange County Council Virtual Advancement  
Overland Trails Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Ozark Trails Council Virtual Merit Badges  
Palmetto Council Online Merit Badge Classes  
Pee Dee Area Council Online MBU  
Piedmont Council Online Merit Badge Classes 2020  
Potawatomi Area Council Virtual Merit Badge Clinics  
Prairielands Council Virtual Scouting at Home  
Rocky Mountain Council Scouting at Home  
San Francisco Bay Area Council Virtual Exploration Camp  
Seneca Waterways Council Virtual Merit Badge Days  
Sequoyah Council Scouting From Home  
Simon Kenton Council 2020 Online Merit Badge University $
Spirit of Adventure Council Base Camp Merit Badges Every Friday at 9am ET, the council opens approximately 20 new classes for enrollment and has a class size capped at 25 students.
Suffolk County Council Virtual Merit Badge Classes  
Texas Southwest Council Merit Badge Workshop  
Western Los Angeles Council Merit Badge University  

 

Cub Scout Advancements

Here is a list of Cub Scout Advancements that are easy to complete at home. Reach out to your leader and ask which Adventures you should work on at home. They may have some additional ideas.

Adventure
(click for requirements)
Area Required/
Elective

Lion | Kindergarten

Animal Kingdom community R
Build it Up, Knock it Down building E
Gizmos and Gadgets motion and force E
I'll Do It Myself being prepared E
Pick My Path do a good turn daily E
Ready, Set, Grow plants E
  Rumble in the Jungle virtual den meeting  

Tiger | 1st Grade

Backyard Jungle nature R
My Family's Duty to God faith R
Tiger Bites nutrition R
Curiosity, Intrigue, and Magical Mysteries magic, virtual den meeting E
Family Stories family heritage E
Sky is the Limit space E
Stories in Shapes art E
Tiger-Safe and Smart safety E
Tiger Tales story-telling E

Wolf | 2nd Grade

Duty To God Footsteps faith R
Paws on the Path hiking R
Adventures in Coins coins E
Code of the Wolf games and secret codes E
Digging in the Past dinosaurs E
Finding Your Way navigation E
Germs Alive germs E
Grow Something plants E
Motor Away transportation E
Paws of Skill sports and fitness E

Bear | 3rd Grade

Baloo the Builder tools R
Bear Claws knives R
Fellowship and Duty to God faith R
Paws for Action citizenship R
Bear Picnic Basket cooking E
Make It Move engineering E
Roaring Laughter jokes and games E
Robotics robots E
Super Science science experiments E
A World of Sound world music, E

Webelos Scouts | 4th & 5th Grade

Fellowship and Duty to God faith (4th grade)
Duty to God and You faith R (5th grade)
First Responder first aid R
Adventures In Science science R
Art Explosion art E
Aware and Care disabilities awareness E
Build My Own Hero citizen heroes E
Engineer engineering E
Fix It home repairs E
Game Design games E
Looking Back, Looking Forward your own timeline E
Maestro music E
Moviemaking moviemaking E
Project Family family life E

Fun Stuff

 


NASA STEM @ Home

NASA offers a variety STEM activities for kids in grades K-4 with ideas to build, problems to solve, books to read, pages to color and games to play.

 


Project Wet

Interactive activities about water topics including water cycle, ocean, fresh water, watersheds, water conservation and protection, indirect and direct water use and more.


Comments

Let us know about any additional Scouting resources we can add to the list. 

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Council Communications on COVID-19     BSA Statement on COVID-19     Rank Advancement Update

Rank Advancement Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, April 2, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Cub Scouting / Scouts BSA / Venturing / Sea Scouting Rank Advancement and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following questions regarding advancement have arisen as we deal with closures, cancellations, or other issues caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Although there are difficulties and constraints, advancement can continue. Youth, parents, and leaders should work together to implement creative, common sense ways to facilitate advancement while adhering to the Guide to Safe Scouting and following the rules of Youth Protection training.

Please follow this link to the Guide to Advancement (GTA), which remains the primary source for information related to Scouts BSA advancement. It is referenced throughout the answers provided from the National Council.

Learn More (link is regularly updated) 

 

 

 

 

Contact

For more information, contact your district advancement chair.

An Important Update from the Sam Houston Area Council 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:35:00 PM

Dear Scouting Community,

Today, the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.

We want to highlight important points that are most relevant to the Sam Houston Area Council: 

  • The Sam Houston Area Council has not filed for bankruptcy. Our Council is legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
  • Scouting programs will continue. This means that unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects will take place as usual. In short, we expect no changes to the local Scouting experience in Southeast Texas. 
  • Scouting is safer now than ever before. Over many years, we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization. We can also assure you that our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe.
  • Restricted donations – past, present or future – can only be used for their designated purpose. In addition, Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other annual donations made to our Council will continue to fund necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to local Scouting programs. 

While we do not anticipate the national organization’s bankruptcy filing will have any direct impact on the local Scouting experience or your involvement with our Council, we understand you may still have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. To that end, the national organization has established a dedicated restructuring website, www.BSArestructuring.org

This site includes a helpful Resources page, where you will find a short video explaining what Chapter 11 means for Scouting, as well as a FAQ. The site’s Milestones page will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process.  

If you have any questions about local Scouting, you can always feel free to reach out directly to our Deputy Scout Executive Thomas Franklin at Thomas.Franklin@Scouting.org 

Through your engagement and dedication to Scouting, the Sam Houston Area Council will continue to bring adventures, values and lifelong benefits to youth and our communities for generations to come. Thank you for your trust and support as we continue this important mission. 

Yours in Scouting,

Clay C. Williams
Chair of the Board

Forrest J. Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Thomas O. Varnell 
CEO/Scout Executive

National Scout Jamboree Registration is Open 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, January 11, 2020 3:37:00 PM

July 21-30, 2021 (plus travel days)

Live Scouting’s Adventure

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.

The jamboree is the best of Scouting rolled into 10 days of fun, friends, and adventure. You won’t want to miss out on this incredible Scouting experience.

Learn More

 

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!

Registration

The registration fee is $3,000 and includes transportation, admission fees, meals, lodging, insurance, and most patrol and troop equipment. There are additional expenses that include uniforms and personal gear, spending money, and memorabilia items. All participants will have to sign and agree to live by a jamboree code of conduct and be physically fit in order to attend. The participant's BSA ID number is needed to register. Find the BSA Member ID at the bottom-center of your BSA membership card, ask your unit leader, or look it up in my.scouting.org (under Menu, then My Profile) or Scoutbook (under My Profile, then Edit Profile).

A $150 coupon will be issued for the last payment for anyone who registers by July 1, 2021, and makes all payments on time.

Youth Registration

Qualified youth can attend the jamboree with the council contingent. Youth registration is a two-step process.

Step 1: SHAC Registration / Payment
Step 2: Jamboree Registration  

Payment Schedule

Deposit $175
4/1/2020 $450
6/1/2020 $450
8/1/2020 $450
10/1/2020 $450
12/1/2020 $450
2/1/2021 $575

Adult Leadership

Adult registration is a three-step process. Qualified adult leaders are needed to serve as jamboree troop Scoutmasters, assistant Scoutmasters and crew Advisors. Leaders must be approved by the national jamboree committee and complete jamboree Scoutmaster training.

Step 1: Apply for Contingent Staff
Step 2: SHAC Registration / Payment (complete after approval)
Step 3: Jamboree Registration  

Jamboree Staff

Registration to serve on jamboree staff is open. Serving on staff is a rewarding experience that lets you help make a young man or young woman’s jamboree experience one they’ll never forget. It’s not all work, though. You’ll get plenty of time to enjoy the jamboree fun. Visit the jamboree website for more informationVolunteer staff may select to work the entire jamboree or the first or last half of the jamboree. The registration fee does not include transportation; staff ages 16-25 can pay a discounted price to work the entire jamboree.

Register to Serve on Staff

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. 

Visitors

The excitement of the jamboree isn’t limited to Scouts. The Summit features a large visitor area, where day-users can try out some of the activities that the Scouts are dialing in around other parts of the Summit. Whitewater rafting and kayaking, rock climbing and bouldering, and mountain biking are just a few of the activities offered at the Summit. There’s also skateboarding, BMX, shooting sports, and zip-line challenge courses. And that’s just the beginning.

Contacts

Kenneth Berntsen
SHAC Jamboree Contingent Leader
 kenneth@berntsen.cc
 National Jamboree

Sandra Borrego
SHAC Jamboree Contingent Registration
 (713) 865-9123
sandra.borrego@scouting.org

 

Brandon Lewis
Director of Support Service
 (713) 756-3319​
 brandon.lewis@scouting.org

 

The Rocks

High Gear

The Ropes

The Park

The Trax

Two-Deep Leadership 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, February 6, 2019 8:42:00 AM

What’s the difference between ‘two-deep leadership’ and ‘no one-on-one contact’?

Source: Scouting Magazine

While no Scouter questions the value of Youth Protection training and policies — we all agree on the need to keep young people safe — some Scouters have asked for clarification about implementation.

Many of those questions are about policies requiring two-deep leadership and prohibiting one-on-one contact. On occasion, those separate policies get confused and intermingled.

So I checked with the Youth Protection team for clarification.

Essentially, it boils down to this: At least two adults are required on every BSA outing. During that outing, there should be no one-on-one contact between an adult and a youth. The “no one-on-one contact” rule also applies to leaders interacting with youth outside of the Scouting program where grooming of youth, parents and other adults could occur. Parents and youth are advised to follow this and other Youth Protection policies for the overall safety of all involved.

But there might be moments when just one leader is present with two or more Scouts. That’s fine, as long as the situation doesn’t involve one adult and one youth. (Of course, if we’re talking about a Scout with his or her parent/guardian, that’s always OK.)

For example, let’s say Troop 451 is driving to a campout. There are nine Scouts and three adults on the trip. The first SUV might have two adults and five Scouts. The other would then have one adult and four Scouts. Is this a “two-deep leadership” violation? No. (I covered this back in 2015.)

What about if there are only two adults present on a campout of eight Scouts, and one group wants to go hiking while the other stays at camp to fish?

While Youth Protection policies don’t expressly forbid it, it’s not the recommended approach because of health and safety concerns. What if the adult on the hike gets injured? What if the adult back at camp has an emergency? In those situations, it would be helpful to have a second adult present. Many troops in that situation would want at least four leaders: two to go on the hike and two to stay at camp.

For a closer look at this important subject, here’s what the Youth Protection team said:

What do ‘two-deep leadership’ and ‘no one-on-one contact’ mean?

While sometimes the Youth Protection policies may seem to be confusing, they really aren’t. Therefore we’d like to provide the following in hopes of clarity on the actions of two-deep leadership and no one-on-one contact.

From the Youth Protection website, let us provide the following:

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. Parents and youth using these safeguards outside the Scouting program further increase the safety of their youth. Those who serve in positions of leadership and supervision with youth outside the Scouting program will find these policies help protect youth in those situations as well.

  • Two-deep leadership is required on all outings. A minimum of two registered adult leaders — or one registered leader and a participating Scout’s parent or another adult — is required for all trips and outings. One of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.
  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. In situations requiring a personal conference, such as a Scoutmaster conference, the meeting is to be conducted with the knowledge and in view of other adults and/or youth.
  • The policies of two-deep leadership and no one-on-one contact between adults and youth members also apply to digital communication. Leaders may not have one-on-one private online communications or engage one-on-one in other digital activities (games, social media, etc.) with youth members. Leaders should copy a parent and another leader in digital and online communication, ensuring no one-on-one contact takes place in text, social media, or other forms of online or digital communication.

Why are these policies in place, and how do they differ?

Safety from all forms of abuse, including sexual abuse and injury from accidents, is crucial for all Scouting programs. Requiring a minimum of two adults participating allows for more supervision so that leaders can take a break and still have more than enough supervision present.

The “no one-on-one contact” rule (which, remember, includes digital communications, such as text, emails and gaming) is a core component of combating the “grooming” of a youth for sexual abuse.

An abusive adult will seek to have a one-on-one relationship with a youth separate from adults, parents and peers which includes inappropriate conversations, and seeking to being alone with a youth. This typically occurs in and out of Scouting program activities when a leader seeking to sexually abuse a child seeks to separate the child from appropriate adult.

While similar to two-deep Leadership in some ways, “no one-on-one” specifically states that adult/youth interactions is not appropriate without another adult — preferably a Youth Protection-trained leader — being present.

Additionally, our Health and Safety team strongly recommends a minimum of two adult leaders on all outings in case of injury to a youth or an adult. This is so aid can be sought without putting youth at risk.

A question from a Scouter, annotated

Below I have included an email I received from a Scout volunteer in New York.

The Scouter’s words are in black. The Youth Protection team’s responses are in red.

In our troop, and at summer camp with other troops, it seems nobody understands Youth Protection consistently. The most common misunderstanding is that two adults must always be present with any number of Scouts. 

This causes our Troop leadership to require at least four adults on each campout, so two can remain in camp while two others go off on activities with the boys, for instance. That’s great.

It seems like the policies of Two Deep, and No One-on-One get confused and intermingled, when in fact they are generally related, but different policies. See the explanation above.

My understanding is, as long as Two Deep is practiced for the overall campout or event, it is always OK for a single adult to be with Scouts as long as there is more than one boy present. Not quite, we prefer to have a minimum of two adults as your previous paragraph described.….

For instance, if half the Scouts stay in camp with one adult, and half go on a hike the the other adult, that is OK. Not a good idea, especially for Health and Safety reasons listed above. If the Scout leader were sick or injured, there would be no adults present. 

 I also understand it is OK for a single adult to be with a single Scout, as long as they are in view of others. For instance, at summer camp, an adult could take a boy to the infirmary, as long as they were in view of others during that time. True, given this example.

Or an adult and boy could canoe together, if they were in the proximity of other Scouts and adults. True, given this example.

I have put together the following summary of the Youth Protection policies that I am hoping may clarify things for those in our troop who don’t quite understand it. I would appreciate it if you would review it and tell me if you feel it is accurate and appropriate for me to share with other leaders. 

Two Deep Leadership

A minimum of two adults: at least one adult a minimum of 21 years old, and at least one adult who is a registered leader, is required for all trips and outings. Correct.

One-on-One Contact 

One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. 

The following exceptions and situations are allowed:

– One Scout with his parent/guardian. No problem 

– One adult with two or more Scouts. That depends on the situation. For example, traveling to and from program activity, Scouting meetings and especially outside of Scouting it is not a good practice to have one adult with two Scouts, as the sexual abuser can and will use this as an opportunity to have singular access to Scouts.

– One adult with one Scout in view of other adults and/or youth. Seems OK, given the examples above. 

– Two adults with one or more Scouts. Excellent.  

Do’s and Don’ts of Scouts BSA 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, January 12, 2019 5:16:00 AM

New Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training

As the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) welcomes girls into Cub Scouts and older girls into the Scouts BSA program starting on February 1, it is important that families understand the program or organization they are joining.

There have been some instances where our volunteers may have inadvertently used the name or trademarks of the Girl Scout of the USA (GSUSA) brand in spreading the word that girls are or will soon be part of all BSA programs. GSUSA recently have filed a lawsuit asserting that these instances have caused confusion. While we don’t believe there has been any such confusion, we respect and support the GSUSA and their rights to their brand.

To ensure that we promote our programs in a clear and Scout-like manner, we have developed resources to make sure our leaders are aware of the do’s and don’ts in promoting BSA programs.

The Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training we are introducing today is one of the efforts underway to be sure Scouters have a clear understanding of what they can do. This builds on the infographic below, and the guidance provided to councils in April.

Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training

This training should be shared with all staff and volunteers to bring this understanding to all parts of our community.

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.

To aid you in this effort, councils and volunteers are encouraged to use these intro talking points as you host info sessions and launch efforts for Scouts BSA.

Talking Points

Additionally, please use this resource to help address any questions you might get in the community about this matter.

Resource


Right Way to Refer to Scouts BSA

Source  With tens of thousands of girls already enjoying the Cub Scout program and more young women poised to join the Scouts BSA program when it opens in February of 2019, there’s a lot of excitement around the programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America. 

In all of that excitement, it’s important to remember that at all levels, from our members and volunteers to our professional staff, we take the brand and trademark rights of all organizations seriously and have worked proactively to differentiate our unique program offerings. That, of course, includes the Scouts BSA program, so when referring to that program in any local council or unit materials — including recruiting fliers, announcements, promotional materials, social media posts, and beyond — be sure to use the details in the below infographic for the right way to go about it. 

Infographic

As has been our tradition at the Boy Scouts of America, we applaud the efforts of all youth-serving organizations and encourage families to participate in character and leadership development programs of their choice. The BSA wants boys and girls to have an opportunity to join one or more of these organizations. While we all use different delivery models, our distinct missions have one thing in common – to serve youth.


Scouts BSA do’s and don’ts

Source Do … reiterate that as our organization welcomes families, boys and girls to our programs, the name of our organization remains the same. We are the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Our mission — preparing young people for life — hasn’t changed and is found in all our programs:

  • Cub Scouts
  • Boy Scouts (becoming Scouts BSA on Feb. 1, 2019)
  • Venturing
  • Sea Scouts
  • STEM Scouts
  • Exploring
  • Learning for Life

Do … use only official Boy Scouts of America (BSA) materials, which are located on the BSA Brand Center. We’ve seen some well-intentioned assets developed by Scouters as they prepare to welcome girls that include problematic phrasing like “we’re starting a girl Scouts BSA troop.” Instead, you’re asked to use the downloadable email templates, flyers, postcards, posters, social media images, troop cards, videos, web banners and more available on the BSA Brand Center.

Don’t … use names, programs, marks, logos or images of the GSUSA or combine them with those of the BSA.

Don’t … use the word “girl” in front of “Scout.” Don’t say, for example “girl Scouts BSA troop” or “girl Scouts.” This includes in flyers, conversation, social media, etc.

Do … say things like:

  • Join Troop 123 for girls.
  • Our church has a boy troop and is forming a girl troop.
  • Join the BSA. Find a troop for girls near you at BeAScout.org.

Do … remember that the BSA and GSUSA are separate organizations. The BSA is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. GSUSA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. If those around you say or suggest otherwise, politely correct them!

Don’t … disparage other youth-serving organizations in any way. We want all youth-serving organizations to succeed in their efforts to help make the world a better place.

Do … refer ALL media inquiries (TV, radio, newspapers, online) to the BSA PR team by email at pr@scouting.org.

Do … refer all questions about GSUSA programs to the local GSUSA council or GirlScouts.org.

Do … review the Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training available on the Family Scouting page under “Scouts BSA Program Resources.” You’ll learn about the best terminology and practices as you prepare to launch Scouts BSA troops in February.

A closing thought

Remember the fifth point of the Scout Law and be Courteous at all times.

The Boy Scouts of America applauds the work of the GSUSA in service to our nation’s youth and is committed to respecting the organization’s rights and programs.


Communication Guidelines Regarding Other Youth-Serving Organizations

Source  Do not use the intellectual property of the Girl Scouts of the USA or other organizations. For example, do not use any of the following on any local council or unit materials, including recruiting flyers, announcements, and promotional material, even ones jointly organized or sponsored, regardless of the format or distribution method (e.g., online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). This specifically includes:

  • The trademarks “Girl Scout”, “Girl Scouts” or “Girl Scouts of the USA”
  • GSUSA’s trefoil logo, either with solid fill or with profiles
  • Insignia or emblems of the Girl Scouts
  • Images of Girl Scout uniforms, including photos of people dressed in GSUSA uniforms
  • Famous slogans or mottos associated with the Girl Scouts, including famous quotes by the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon-Low
  • Other distinctive names and brand elements associated with the Girl Scouts

The BSA has provided approved materials for your use. If you become aware of any materials containing these items, immediately remove and stop their distribution. If you are contacted by GSUSA regarding any inappropriate use of the Girl Scouts brand, please contact the Legal Department at burgin.hardin@scouting.org or 800-323-0732, x494.

Support the work of all youth-serving organizations. The Girl Scouts and other organizations across the country all have the same goal in mind — helping youth grow into better citizens. All youth-serving organizations depend on the generosity of individuals and businesses across the country — from retailers who permit fundraising on their premises to schools that open their cafeterias for recruiting events.

To that end, we should always be supportive of other youth-serving organizations and their efforts so that we can all be successful in growing youth into better citizens.

We are the Boy Scouts of America. When inaccurate stories appear in the media, we will take the higher ground. We will apologize for and correct mistakes. We will correct significant inaccuracies in a courteous fashion. We applaud the efforts of all who serve youth. We will speak positively and support the efforts of all other youth-serving organizations.

Originally distributed in the Scout Executive Packet- Week of 4/23/18