Blog Post List

Powder Horn 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:41:00 AM

Powder Horn is an action-packed, hands-on, six-day course which helps Scouts and Scouters learn how to implement high adventure activities into their troop, crew or ship.

Do you have young adults in Venturing who are looking to breathe underwater because they have already learned how to filter it?  What about Scouts who are ready to maximize their shooting skills?  Or Sea Scouts wanting to sail in a different country?  Would you like to expose Scouts in your troop, crew or ship to rock climbing, Dutch oven cooking, geocaching, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, firefighting, search and rescue, trekking in a different countries, mountain biking, fly fishing, canoeing, wilderness first aid, astronomy, shooting sport (e.g., rifle, shotgun, handgun, archery), equestrian, 1860 baseball, wilderness survival, National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT), Sea Scouts, the Kodiak Challenge, the Hornaday award, Messenger of Peace, living history, Leave No Trace, vendors, the National Scout Jamboree, event planning, scuba diving, and more?

The course spans two, three-day weekends:

Powder Horn is offered once every year, so do not miss this chance to attend.  Set your sights on a course that maximizes Scouting skills while bringing adrenaline, new activity ideas and leadership to your unit.  Powder Horn is designed to introduce and expose adults in troops, crews and ships and the youth leaders to the activities, training and resources necessary to manage a successful outdoor or high adventure unit-level program.  It is based on the eight core requirements and eighteen electives found in the Venturing Ranger program.  It is intended to help leaders get out of the box in finding and using resources, and in the way they lead their unit-level outdoor and high adventure programs.

Powder Horn trainers do not teach you to be an expert, or even to be self-sufficient in any aspect of outdoor skills.  Unit leaders will still need to find knowledgeable, trained, and certified individuals to help provide a safe and exciting outdoor high adventure program.              

Registration

Adult leaders from all Scouting programs and young adults age 14 and older are eligible to attend; there are no restrictions on attending the course a second time. The course has a limited capacity and fills up early, so don’t wait to register!  The cost is $275 per person.  Powder Horn is offered only once every year, so do not miss this chance to attend. Registration closes March 15, 2019.

Learn More and Register

 

University of Scouting Registration Now Open 

Friday, February 1, 2019 10:00:00 AM

March 23, 2019

Mickey Leland College Prep Academy
1510 Jensen Dr.
Houston, TX 77020

University of Scouting is a semi-annual training event for leaders of all program levels, district and council leaders and parents. It is an action-packed, fun-filled single day of supplemental training where participants choose from over 100 courses. Sessions are led by experienced volunteers who will help you enhance your ability to deliver a fun and exciting program to the Scouts. This unique day of seminars provides information, techniques, and best practices on how to improve your Scout program. Whether you are new to the program or a veteran of many years, the University of Scouting has something for you. 






Registration 

Pre-registration is highly encouraged as classes fill up. Walk-ins are welcome; however, please arrive early, to select classes. Lunches are available for purchase for adults and youth, or you are welcome to bring your own lunch. At checkout, pay with a credit card, electronic check, or PayPal. Council refund policyJoin our Facebook event and let your Scouting friends know you are attending.

   

Early registration
(before 3/21/2019)

Registration

Onsite Registration

            Adult participant fee $30 $35 $40
  Youth in troop, crew, ship and post (ages 14-18) $20 $35 $40
     Lunch $8 (optional) $8 (optional)  

 
        Course Catalog          Register 

How to Register - Click on the Register button

Step 1: Select a participant 
Step 2: Select a category (period)
Step 3: Choose a class (click “+” sign)
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each period
Continue steps 1, 2 and 3 for additional participants

Step 4: Review the schedule at the bottom of the page
Step 5: Click continue and the bottom of the page 
Step 6: Checkout
Step 7: Payment

Classes that are full will not show up.
Youth can only register for youth classes.

Schedule

Check-in begins at 7:00 am. Courses run from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm.

Who should attend? 

There is something for everyone! From new Scouters or parents to Scouters with many years of experience, University of Scouting has something for you!

Contacts

Jeanne Gebo
University of Scouting Registration
 (713) 756-3305
jeanne.gebo@scouting.org

Patrick Martin
University of Scouting Chair
 (713) 503-8705
 erinviking@sbcglobal.net

 

Ajey Chandra
Council Training Chair
 (832) 459-4179
 ajeychandra@yahoo.com

Brendan Cronin
Program Director and Training Chair Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3308
 brendan.cronin@scouting.org

 

 

 

Kroger Booth Sign-Up 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, January 24, 2019 9:00:00 PM

About Scout Fair  |  Unit Booths  |  Leader Information  | Prizes  |  Contacts  |  Turn-In Locations  |  Resources

 

 

Kroger Booths

Kroger managers allow units to sell Scout Fair coupon books in front of their stores. Units must register to reserve a time and location. Do not contact the store manager. Read the Kroger coupon book booth selling guidelines before registering. The registration link will be posted on Facebook.  

  • Kroger booths will be scheduled in four-hour blocks.
  • Each unit will be permitted up to four Kroger booths during the initial registration period.
  • Units who do not follow this policy will have their registration deleted.
  • After February 3, 2019, at 11:55 pm, units can register for additional booths; be courteous to other units.

Units can sell coupon books at other locations given they have permission from store management and follow the store rules and regulations and the coupon book booth selling guidelines. 

Kroger Booth Sign-up     Booth Guidelines       


Scout Fair coupon books are a brilliant way for units to raise money and prepare Scouts to earn their own way! The Scout Fair coupon book offers great savings for the buyer, while Scouts earn commissions for every $10 coupon book purchased. Buyers support the Scouting program while receiving hundreds of dollars in valuable savings from partners such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Buffalo Wild Wings, Luby's, Fuddruckers, Houston Dynamo/Dash the Houston Astros and many more. All units receive a 30% base commission for each $10 Scout Fair coupon book sold, for funds turned in on or before Scout Fair. Participate at Scout Fair with a booth and earn an additional 10% commission. Units can also take advantage of early bird turn-in dates offering 5%, 3% and 1% additional bonus commissions. In addition, your Scouts will qualify for prizes once they sell 15 coupon books. Please refer to the Scout Fair prize brochure for prizes and sales levels. 

Sign up to Sell Coupon Books       Turn-in Locations        District Contact

Coupon Book Store Front Selling

Coupon book booths are direct sales opportunities which generally are located at retail stores, businesses, organization sponsored events, farmers markets, sporting events, or parking lots where units have permission to set up a table/booth to sell Scout Fair to the public. Booth sales are a joint responsibility; parents and Scouts should be included in planning, decision-making, and participation. Scout Fair coupon book booths help Scouts:

  1. Discover - by setting goals and seeking locations that would be beneficial to meet their goal;
  2. Connect - by establishing communications to business managers and obtaining permission to hold a booth sale; and
  3. Take action - by building confidence in themselves and their abilities, as they meet people, communicate effectively, and inspire others, discuss goals, deliver the Scout Fair message and make a difference in the world.

Scout Fair coupon book booths also help Scouts expand their sale goals and encourage them to go beyond friends and family for making sales. Before contacting a business, read the coupon book booth selling guidelines at businesses.

Coupon Book Selling Guidelines

Coupon Book Sales Booth Guidelines, Rules and Procedure

Scout Fair coupon book booths are direct sales opportunities which generally are located at retail stores, businesses, organization sponsored events, farmer’s markets, sporting events, or parking lots. Units must have permission to set up a table/booth to sell Scout Fair to the public. Booth sales are a joint responsibility; parents and Scouts should be included in planning, decision making and participation.

Selling coupon books help Scouts:

  • Discover - by setting goals and seeking locations that would be beneficial to meet their goal;
  • Connect - by establishing communications to business managers obtaining permission to hold a booth sale;
  • Take Action - by building confidence in themselves and their abilities as they meet people, communicate effectively, and inspire others, discuss goals, deliver the Scout Fair message and make a difference in the world.

Guidelines to Obtain a Booth

  1. Obtain rules, regulations, and equipment supplied by the booth location organization.
  2. To submit a request for certificates of insurance go to www.shac.org/forms.
  3. Units will comply with local municipal ordinances and obey the Scout Oath and Law.
  4. Units are not limited to their district areas, but we recommend trying to sell in your district area first prior to traveling outside of your district area.
  5. Kroger Booths: Kroger has partnered again with the council. Kroger has continued to commit as title sponsor providing discount coupons in each of the coupon books. For questions, contact shac.scoutfair@gmail.com.

Unit Scout Fair chairs are required to register for a Kroger booth through the link available at www.shac.org/scout-fair-leader-page/#Coupon-Books.

Violation of these policies may negatively impact future participation. Booths for all Kroger locations are confirmed and managed through the council. Do not contact Kroger managers directly; only units with confirmed Kroger locations may sell coupon books.

  • Kroger booths are scheduled in four-hour blocks.
  • Units will be permitted to register for up to four Kroger booths during the initial registration period. This allows all units to be given the opportunity to request at least one Kroger booth. The registration link will be posted on www.facebook.shac.org/shac.bsa.
  • After the initial registration period, units can then register for additional Kroger booths.
  • Please remember that each unit (pack, troop, crew, ship) needs to designate only one person to schedule the unit’s Kroger booth appointments, and the designated person can only schedule for that one unit. There is no exception to this rule. Booking by more than one person subjects the unit’s appointments to cancellation.
  • All Kroger booths are pending council approval. A reminder email will be sent approximately 24 hours before your appointment. This email must be on-site during the booth sale and presented to the Kroger manager confirming the date and time slot.
  • Units are responsible for confirming appointments. The best way to confirm a booth appointment in real time is to use the Genbook app available on Apple or Android, or use the Genbook system.
  • Appointments need to be cancelled in Genbook to so another unit can use the spot.
  • To cancel an appointment, use the Genbook system and click on “Manage an existing appointment” in the top right corner. Use the same email address that was used to original book the appointments. If you do not know your password, simply click “Forgot your password”, enter the same email address used to book the appointments, and follow the directions.

Booth Supplies

  • Coupon books
  • tables and chairs
  • unit displays of activities and events
  • Sales Banner / Posters. Scout made poster can have the greatest impact. Make sure post can be read from a distance of at least 15-feet.
  • Decorations
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather: coats, sunscreen, raincoat
  • Snacks / drinks
  • Canopy, if needed

Guidelines for Booth Sale

The BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. 

BSA Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed. All participants must follow youth protection guidelines. Highlights include:

  • Two-deep leadership on all outings required.
  • No one-on-one contact between adults and youth members.
  • The buddy system should be used at all times.
  • Discipline must be constructive.
  • Tour plans must be filled out, but are not required to be filed. www.shac.org/tour-plans
  • Scouts must be in field uniform to identify them as a member of the Boy Scouts of America. Activity uniforms (Scout t-shirt) are not to be worn.
  • The booth/table must be a minimum of 10-feet from the doorway and not block any customer’s entrance to the store. Scouts must stand next to the table and not step out in- front of a customer blocking their path in and out of the store.
  • Tables must have a table cloth/covering and appropriate identification signage identifying the Scout Fair sales and the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Only unit leaders or unit coupon book chair’s phone numbers may be provided to customers.
  • It is up to the unit treasurer whether checks will be accepted by the unit for coupon sales, please determine this prior to booth sales. Have a cash box with change. Secure the cash box appropriately to avoid theft.
  • Be sure to thank the store manager or business manager for allowing your unit to hold a booth.
  • Say thank you to customers and non-customers.
  • Tipping is not accepted; however, donations are accepted and must be turned in to council toward coupon book sales. Please make this clear with parents and Scouts.

Sales Tips

Schedule Scouts in blocks no longer than one to two hours at a time. Try and rotate as many Scouts in the booth to ensure equal selling opportunity. Successful Booths typically have two to three Scouts at a time, but higher traffic locations with multiple entrances will require more Scouts. Encourage Scouts to be positive. Create scripted one-liners for the Scouts to use, “Support Scouts and get hundreds of dollars of value in coupons.” or if at Kroger, “Want to save on your purchase today?” Get creative, yet be truthful. Make attractive table displays. Display a unit goal poster and pictures of activities in which the unit has participated. Advertise your unit, its goal and how the funds will be used.

Promote

Ask parents to promote your booth sells on social media apps (e.g., Facebook, Nextdoor).

Contacts


About Scout Fair

April 6, 2019

NRG Arena

10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Scouts and the entire family will enjoy visiting hundreds of booths with fun activities and crafts, learning Scout skills, meeting new friends and tasting the delicious outdoor cooking. Meet leaders and Scouts from your neighborhood. Sample the amazing dutch oven creations and other delicacies in the outdoor cooking area. Watch demonstrations, interact with participating booths from our community partners and pick up free offers.

 

2018 Pictures       2017 Pictures       2016 Pictures

Scout Fair is open to the public and is free; NRG parking is typically $12. There are hundreds of activities at Scout Fair that the entire family will enjoy. Packs, troops, crews, ships and posts from around the council set up interactive booths to show our community what Scouting is all about, and to share Scouting skills with fellow Scouts and Scout leaders. Booths have typically included crafts, games, rope making, orienteering, obstacle courses, first aid activities, art, hobbies, gardening, leatherworking, music, nature activities, outdoor cooking, rope bridges, putt-putt golf, catapults and much more. Scouts and parents work together to set-up and run the booth. For more information regarding booth registration, ideas and rules and regulations, please refer to the leader informationBring comfortable walking shoes and your camera. Share your Scouting memories with us on social media and remember to tag the Sam Houston Area Council

Plan your day to capture the many activities at Scout Fair:

  • Indoor booths -  Visit hundreds of fun, hands-on activities and crafts
  • Outdoor booths - Sample dutch oven creations and other camp food delicacies
  • Scouting resource booths - Receive information about the council’s exciting programs
  • Scout Shop - Shop for all of your Scouting needs
  • Fleet - Sea Scouts demonstrate their unique boating opportunities

The Conservation Corner has exhibitors from a variety of businesses, non -profits and city, state, and federal agencies that display information and hands-on activities related to the natural sciences, resource stewardship, and animal science. learn how to have fun in the outdoors while offering service opportunities and ideas to help manage our resources for future generations. Areas of interest on display:

Geology and Natural Resources featuring fossil and mineral identification and hunting, gold panning, conventional and renewal energy exhibits, forestry and an opportunity to have your picture taken with TRex or Smoky Bear.

Area Parks and Museums featuring program and service opportunities as well as live snakes, insects and other critters.

Aquatic Ecology featuring Fishing’s Future Aquatic Ecology Arena with touch tanks with live marine critters, casting area to catch plastic fish, fishing knot tying as well as the ability to work on parts of A Bear Goes Fishing Elective, Fly Fishing, Fish and Wildlife Management, Soil and Water Conservation, Oceanography and Kayak Merit Badges.

The STEM areas feature demonstrations and hands-on activities related to some of the latest exciting developments in science and engineering as well as often overlooked technology that makes modern life possible. Exhibits include demonstrations on robotics, astronomy in the portable planetarium, welding, etc. The University of Houston Atmospheric Science truck will also participate in two instrumented balloon launches from their research instrumented truck. It also offers an opportunity to learn about careers in related areas.

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

Leave No Trace Trainer Course 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, January 1, 2019 12:06:00 PM

March 15-17, 2019

The Leave No Trace Trainer Course is an overnight course for individuals, ages 14 and up who wish to guide units in developing a culture that effectively demonstrates responsible outdoor choices that reduce impacts of Scouting activities. 

Leave No Trace Trainersoutdoor ethics guides, and outdoor ethics advisors are the backbone of Scouting’s outdoor ethics program, providing instruction to individuals and units wishing to adopt cutting-edge outdoor ethics into their unit programs. 

The event is being held at Camp Brosig in Sealy, TX from Friday at 6:00 pm to Sunday at 11:00 am.

Register

 

 

 

 

 

SHAC Update: News Story on National BSA 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:10:00 PM

News reports have begun to circulate reporting that the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America (“National BSA”) is considering filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States.

We have been informed by National BSA that they are exploring options regarding a financial restructuring of National BSA, but they have no imminent actions or immediate decisions forthcoming at this time.   

We want to assure you that Scouting locally in the Sam Houston Area Council is strong and that we are in a good financial position.

The Sam Houston Area Council and National BSA are different entities with completely separate finances. Through years of good financial stewardship and governance, we, the Sam Houston Area Council, have built a sound balance sheet, a strong endowment and no debt.

Below are a few facts about the Sam Houston Area Council: 

  • The Sam Houston Area Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Texas.  Our camps, our Scout Center, our bank funds and endowment are owned and controlled locally by the Sam Houston Area Council
  • The Sam Houston Area Council is one of the strongest councils in the BSA from the perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment and talent.  
  • Councils receive no funding from the National BSA organization.  In fact, we pay fees to National BSA as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services. We receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially independent not-for-profit organization.
  • The nature of the relationship for a council with the National BSA organization is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory. 
  • Areas where we partner with National BSA for business purposes includes things such as several insurance programs, services for IT, and expertise related to camping and Youth Protection.  Also important to note is our local council employee benefits, such as healthcare and retirement, are funded by each council through programs controlled and operated by National BSA.  By law, the retirement assets for employees are the assets of the employees, not National BSA.  Therefore, any financial restructuring of National BSA will have no impact on those retirement assets.
  • The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain.  Each pack, troop, crew, etc. is owned by its chartered organization, which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution.  Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.   
  • Dollars given locally to the Sam Houston Area Council stay at the Sam Houston Area Council.

The future of the Sam Houston Area Council is bright and exciting!   We will end 2018 with growth in our membership, serving over 46,000 youth. Our programming will go on uninterrupted regardless of what, if any, financial restructuring the National BSA pursues.

We are building for the future.  Our new Camp Strake is under construction.  We are approaching completion of our current Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign with objectives for camp improvements, endowment and membership outreach with a $43,000,000 goal to unleash the potential of our programs and camp properties to best serve the needs of Scouting families in the 21st century.

With your continued support for our Friends of Scouting annual campaign, we will continue to offer Scouting to an expanding group of truly remarkable young people.

It is our hope that the National BSA organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face.  The Sam Houston Area Council will continue to focus on bringing high-quality and safe programs for over 46,000 youth in each of the neighborhoods we serve.

Thank you for your continued support, help and leadership.

Thomas O. Varnell |CEO/Scout Executive


What leaders need to know regarding media speculation about the BSA’s financial situation

Source News broke this week speculating on the financial situation of the Boy Scouts of America, including a suggestion that the organization may be considering the option of bankruptcy.

While that headline sounds startling, here’s the reality: Scouts, parents and adult volunteers can (and should) keep on enjoying the same great Scouting program uninterrupted.

On Wednesday, Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh shared on his blog that “our daily mission will continue and that there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected.”

In other words, this weekend’s camping trip? Still a go. Next month’s Pinewood Derby? Green light. Next summer’s World Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve? Bring it on.

Your council’s upcoming Friends of Scouting campaign will happen as usual, as well. Which reminds me: Funds you donate to your local council through FOS stay local.

This is all meant to remind you that young people are counting on leaders like you. That hasn’t changed.

These young people committed their time and resources to joining your pack, troop or crew. Nothing should, or will, stand in your way as you deliver on that commitment. The BSA will be here to support you and your Scouts’ journey through this great movement.

So what’s next? That’s all I know right now, but Surbaugh assured us that the organization will “communicate transparently as there are developments or updates to share.”

BSA’s commitment to keeping children safe

Even as the BSA works with experts to address our financial future, the organization is committed to “fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting,” Surbaugh wrote.

“As you all know, we have always taken care of victims — we believe them, we believe in fairly compensating them and we have paid for unlimited counseling, by a provider of their choice, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since an instance of abuse,” he wrote.

Surbaugh continued that, “throughout our history we have taken proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse. I want to stress that at no time in our history have we knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and we always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.”

Scouting is more important now than ever. And with the BSA’s move to welcome girls, there’s real momentum.

Scouting is 108 years strong, and everyone — from volunteers to professionals — is working hard to ensure the BSA is around for the next 108 years and beyond to continue serving the youth of our nation.

Camp Development March 2018 Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, March 27, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Camp Development for the 21st Century

March 2018 Update

The Sam Houston Area Council (“council”) has the vision to become a leader in camping by having first-class facilities that are well maintained and provide safe, fun and educational outdoor programs for our Scouts.  In 2012, the council approved a new Camping Vision Statement: Exemplary, Sustainable Outdoor Experiences and Creative Learning for 21st Century Youth and Their Leaders.”

To achieve this vision, the council has a properties master plan.  This plan is modified from time to time based on need and situational events.

In developing the plan, the following are key principles that drive decisions:

  • Exemplary – first-class facilities, maintained to meet today’s standards;
  • Program Impact – delivering high-quality programs associated with quality facilities – basically driving towards achieving the goals of the Camping Vision Statement;
  • Impact – maximizing the use and access based on location to our camps by as many Scouts as possible;
  • Efficiency – being a good steward of resources and eliminating redundancy; and
  • Sustainable – a long-term solution for ongoing operating and maintenance costs and the long-term maintenance of facilities.

Plans

The current plan includes the development of new camps including the new Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas) that opened in 2015, the new Camp Strake (near Evergreen, Texas) planned to open late 2019 and a new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas), which will open in a few years.  It also comprises making improvements to Camp Brosig (near Sealy, Texas) and McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas). Please view the Camp Strake Video for additional information about the exciting plans for Camp Strake.

Camp Strake has had a construction schedule with a plan for opening in summer 2019 for Scouts BSA summer resident camp.  However, due to unfavorable weather conditions for construction, including multiple significant rainfall events since the 2nd quarter of 2016 that delayed the initial groundbreaking and site clearing, and Hurricane Harvey in the 3rd quarter of 2017, which affected the timing for acquisition of a critical federal permit -- construction is behind that schedule. 

Aerial View of Tsuru Scout Camp

Because of the impact our unfavorable weather has had and continues to have on construction progress, we are at risk of not having the Tsuru Scout Camp finished by May 2019 in time for Scouts BSA summer resident camp.  Therefore, rather than trying to rush the construction beyond what is practical and risk not having the Tsuru Scout Camp completely operational for summer 2019, the decision has been made to cease planning to conduct the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Camp Strake.  The timing of the decision and announcement will allow troops to make alternative summer resident camp plans for 2019.

Plans remain to open Camp Strake later in 2019.  The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances.  Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.  

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Camp Development –  March 2018 Update (“FAQ”) below for information about the Camping Vision Statement, properties master plan, schedules and plans for Scouts BSA summer resident camp during summer 2018 and 2019. 

For additional information about Camp Strake (e.g., design plans, construction schedule, periodic updates), please reference www.samhoustonbsa.org/camp-strake

Funding  

Donations are a major source of funding to develop capital improvements in the properties master plan. The council is in the midst of a major gifts campaign called Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign, which will dedicate more than $21 million for this purpose. The Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign is an initiative to unleash the potential of our programs and camp properties to best serve the needs of Scouting families in the 21st century. Please refer to the Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign for more information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions - Updated March 2018

General Camp Development

What are the Sam Houston Area Council’s plans for camp development?

In 2012, the Sam Houston Area Council (“Council”) approved a new Camping Vision Statement: Exemplary, Sustainable Outdoor Experiences and Creative Learning for 21st Century Youth and Their Leaders.”

Our vision is to become a leader in camping by having first-class facilities that are well maintained and to provide safe, fun and educational outdoor programs for our Scouts.

To achieve this vision, the council has a properties master plan.  This plan is modified from time to time based on need and situational events.

The plan includes developing new camps such as the Tellepsen Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas) that opened in 2015, the new Camp Strake (near Evergreen, Texas) that is currently scheduled to open no later than end of 2019, and a new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas), which will open in a few years.  It also comprises making improvements to Camp Brosig (near Sealy, Texas) and McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch (near Navasota, Texas).   

Are there any metrics/standards being used to measure how the council achieves the Camping Vision Statement?

Yes.  They are below.

Exemplary

  • Do the camps provide the opportunity to fulfill the aims and methods of Scouting?
  • Are facilities and programs safe and well maintained and meet today’s standards?
  • Are all program needs (Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing) based on the defined role of the camp being met? 
  • Are the numbers of participants utilizing the programs at an appropriate level and increasing over time?
  • Are the programs fun, creative and educational?
  • Are the camps appropriately located for their intended use?

Sustainable

  • Does the camp operate within a board approved budget?
  • Is the property environmentally sound for future generations?

21st Century Youth

  • Are programs that are conducted attractive and exciting for today’s youth?
  • Are the programs that are conducted leading youth to lifelong values, service and achievement?

Other

  • User (youth and adult) feedback will be sought as a confirmation of their experience.

Definitions

  • Well maintained – “routine maintenance and major maintenance is conducted as scheduled and needed.”
  • Environmentally sound for future generations – “the camp and its facilities are designed, managed and maintained in a manner that balances program use with sustainability.”
  • Attractive and exciting for today’s youth – “incredible facilities and fun and/or intense outdoor programs that expand the limits of what youth can do."

Camp Strake

Where is the location of the new Camp Strake that is being constructed?
The new camp is located near the community of Evergreen, Texas, between New Waverly and Coldspring, and is about 75 miles from Houston. It is near Highway 150.  Scouts and Scouters will be able to easily get there by taking Interstate 45 or Highway 59.  It is about a thirty-minute drive from the entrance of the original Camp Strake. 



 
How many acres does the new Camp Strake have?
The property includes 2,816 acres and is surrounded on three sides by the Sam Houston National Forest. 






 
Why was this site selected?
The Evergreen site was selected because it is in the heart of our target area, met our site selection criteria, which included convenient location and protection from urbanization and encroachment, and allows for expansion for programs in the future.  It is surrounded on three sides by the Sam Houston National Forest, the Lone Star Hiking Trail is adjacent to the property, and the site will have easy access after the completion of the Grand Parkway.  

 
What will the new Camp Strake look like?

The new Camp Strake will be first-class and state-of-the-art for Scouts and their leaders and will have two distinct sections:

  • A Scout camp named the Tsuru Scout Camp developed for weekend and resident camp operations for Scouts BSA program and Venturers;
  • The Leadership Institute for advanced training programs for adult leaders and Scouts BSA program and Venturers. 

The Scout camp for Scouts BSA and Venturers will have the following facilities:

  • 20 campsites with pavilions
  • Air-conditioned dining hall with 450 person capacity
  • Camp headquarters building
  • Large program pavilion
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) center
  • Merit badge pavilions
  • Shooting Sports complex with rifle, shotgun and pistol ranges and for archery, including a sporting arrows course
  • Climbing pavilion with restrooms
  • Low ropes course
  • Zip line
  • Climbing and rappelling tower
  • Bikes and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) area
  • Aquatics Center with a swimming pool and pool house
  • Aquatics Center with lake (28-acre lake being created), observation deck and canoe storage
  • Aquatics training pavilion
  • Sports fields
  • Basketball court
  • Extensive trail system
  • Order of the Arrow ceremony site
  • Arena for 1,200 people
  • 1 Chapel for 250 people
  • 1 Chapel for 100 people
  • Modern restrooms and shower houses
  • 40 summer camp staff huts

The Leadership Institute will have the following facilities:

  • Leadership Training Center
  • 4 dormitories with 32-person capacity each
  • 4 cabins with 8-person capacity each
  • Arena for 100 people
  • Chapel for 100 people
  • 2 Training pavilions
  • Training campsite
  • Shower houses
When will the new Camp Strake open?

Camp Strake is currently under construction.  It has had a construction schedule with a plan for opening in summer 2019 in time for Scouts BSA summer resident camp. However, due to unfavorable weather conditions for construction, including multiple significant rainfall events since the 2nd quarter of 2016 that delayed the initial groundbreaking and site clearing, and Hurricane Harvey in the 3rd quarter of 2017, which affected the timing for acquisition of a critical federal permit -- construction is behind that schedule. 

Because of the impact our unfavorable weather has had and continues to have on construction progress, we are at risk of not having the Tsuru Scout Camp finished by May 2019 in time for Scouts BSA summer resident camp.  Therefore, rather than trying to rush the construction beyond what is practical and risk not having the Tsuru Scout Camp completely operational for summer 2019, the decision has been made to cease planning to conduct the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Camp Strake.  The timing of the decision and announcement will allow troops to make alternative summer resident camp plans for 2019.

Plans remain to open Camp Strake later in 2019. The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances. Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.
Why is it taking until 2019 to open the new Camp Strake since the land was purchased back in 2013 and 2014?

There are many things that go into the development of a project of this size and it takes time to accomplish them all. Just imagine, during many of our programs throughout the year, Camp Strake will be the largest community in San Jacinto County.    

Compare Camp Strake to a university campus or small city. Each have features such as roads, power, water, sewer, buildings and other amenities, which require permitting from the local, state and/or federal levels -- some of which take considerable time. Camp Strake is just like constructing a university campus or small city. 

Additionally, unfavorable weather conditions for construction have caused the project to fall behind its original construction schedule.

Following are some highlights about Camp Strake when the project is completed:
 

  • 4 miles of roads
  • 11.7 miles of trails
  • 122 vertical structures
  • Over 150,000 square feet of facilities
  • 3 Chapels
  • 20 Campsites with pavilions
  • Aquatics Center with a swimming pool and pool house
  • 28-acre lake for non-motorized boating, swimming and fishing
  • 12 Modern restrooms/shower houses
  • Air-conditioned dining hall with a 450-person capacity
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center
  • Shooting Sports complex with rifle, shotgun and pistol ranges and for archery, including a sporting arrows course
  • Climbing tower and COPE course
  • 19 Training/Merit badge pavilions
  • Administrative (camp headquarters) building
  • Arena for 1,200 people
  • 40 Summer camp staff huts
  • Training center
  • 4 (32-person capacity) dorms
  • 4 (8-person capacity) cabins
  • Wastewater treatment plant

Following are some of the processes and projects that have gone into and will continue to go into the development the camp:

  • Program requirements established by Camp Strake Project Definition Team
  • Master planning by architect based on program requirements
  • Land study for infrastructure including roads, power, water, sewer and lake, etc.
  • Endangered species and archeological studies conducted as required
  • Design completed by Camp Strake Design Team with architect after multiple focus group meetings involving Scouts, leaders, and special user groups such as climbing, shooting sports, etc.
  • Budget developed and approved by Board of Directors
  • Construction documents for all infrastructure features and 122 vertical structures completed by architect
  • Contractor(s) selected by Camp Strake Construction Committee
  • Required permits obtained from local, state and federal agencies
  • Site work including creation of new 28-acre lake
  • Infrastructure (roads, power, water and sewer) constructed
  • Multiple permits at the local, state and federal levels
  • Vertical structures (122) constructed
Additionally, the creation of a new lake requires obtaining state and federal permits that take considerable time.  After the permits are obtained and the site work for the lake is completed, it then takes many months for the lake to fill with rainwater.
Can I go see the new Camp Strake site now?
No, not at this time. While we are very anxious for everyone to see the new Camp Strake, it is an active construction site and therefore it is not safe for visitors. Additionally, because of contractual agreements with our contractors doing the work there, we are required to restrict visitor access.

In the meantime, we will provide updates including photographs of the work in progress at www.samhoustonbsa.org/camp-strake.

Camp Strake Progress

Will there be opportunities to see the Camp Strake before it is fully constructed and opened?

We think there will be, but none have been scheduled yet due to the construction schedule. We plan to seek help with service projects in developing the 11.7 miles of hiking trails on the property. A plan for that will be developed and announced later.

 

 

 

Where can I get additional information about Camp Strake and keep up with its construction?
Information about Camp Strake is on the council’s website. Periodic updates on the progress of construction will be posted there. Please reference www.samhoustonbsa.org/camp-strake.

Camp Strake Progress

What will we do if we use all the space at Camp Strake

The site for Camp Strake was selected because it contains 2,816 acres and provides ample space for expanding programs and adding campsites for weekend camping for Scouts/Venturers for years to come. The Tsuru Scout Camp and Leadership Institute areas are only impacting about 500 acres, so we have ample space for future expansion.

Also, the property is already master planned with a site for a future Cub World.

Summer Camp 2018 and 2019

What are the council’s plans for Scouts BSA summer resident camp in summer 2018 and 2019 until the new Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake can open?

Our plans are not to conduct Scouts BSA summer resident camp at one of our camp properties and instead assist our Scouts BSA troops to find a suitable summer resident camp at another council’s camp to meet their needs. 

There are many other local council camps in the Texas region.  We have partnered with the Capitol Area Council headquartered in Austin, Texas for troops to consider their Scouts BSA summer camp program at Lost Pines Scout Reservation, located in Bastrop, Texas. 

The Capitol Area Council has expanded their Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp seasons in 2018 and 2019 to accommodate our troops. 

Also, we will continue to provide campership assistance for our Scouts in need to participate in a Scouts BSA summer resident camp program if they attend the Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp in 2018 or 2019.

Why not plan to open in summer 2019 even if the Tsuru Scout Camp is not completely constructed?
The primary reasons are: 
  1. We want to provide the best experience possible and having a fully operational camp is the best way to do that.
  2. If the camp is not fully constructed by that time, it would mean it is still an active construction site.  An active construction site would be unsafe for campers and would include restricted areas.  Also, it would not be prudent or cost effective to pause construction and require our contractors to come back two months later to complete their projects.
     
How would my troop register for Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp at the Lost Pines Scout Reservation for summer 2018, and how would my Scout/s in need of campership assistance apply for it?
The link to the Capitol Area Council’s website page for Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp is www.bsacac.org/activities/for_boy_scouts/summercamp.

Once their registration for summer resident camp 2018 and 2019 is open, just register for a session with them just as you would any other camp.

The application for your Scout(s) that need campership assistance will be conducted through the Sam Houston Area Council.  Please contact the Support Services Department at the Council for additional information regarding that application process.

For all Scouts that we provide a campership to attend Lost Pines Scouts BSA Camp in summer 2018 or 2019, we will pay the Capitol Area Council directly on behalf of your troop.

 
Can my Scouts who need campership assistance apply for a campership if my troop is attending summer resident camp at any other camp other than Lost Pines Boy Scout Summer Camp?
No. We are only providing campership assistance for our Scouts whose troops are attending summer resident camp in 2018 or 2019 at Lost Pines Scouts BSA Summer Camp.
Why is that?

While we will promote all local councils’ camps in the Texas region for your troop to consider attending in summer 2018 or 2019, we decided to pair up with a camp close to Houston that had the ability to increase capacity at its camp and for simplicity in processing campership assistance that we will continue to provide to our Scouts in need.  

The Capitol Area Council’s Lost Pines Scout Reservation is located outside of Bastrop, which is approximately 125 miles and about a two-hour drive from Houston.

Why not conduct Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch utilizing Tellepsen Scout Camp in summer 2018 or 2019 like we have been doing for Scouts BSA Winter Camp?

That was considered but decided not to for reasons such as:

  • Cub Scout Resident Camp is conducted in June and July at the McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch. This would conflict with scheduling a Boy Scout resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch because each program would need to use the dining hall at the same time.
  • Because of the scheduling conflict and use of the dining hall, a Scouts BSA summer resident camp program could not be scheduled until late July, which historically has had the lowest demand for summer camp sessions.   
  • Rather than planning to conduct one or two week-long sessions of Scouts BSA resident camp at Bovay Scout Ranch, utilizing Tellepsen Scout Camp that would have to be held in late July that we anticipate the demand would be low, we determined it would be more helpful and effective to find a suitable summer resident camp at another council’s camp to meet their needs.
  • Lack of ability to conduct the standard summer aquatic programs.

Camp Strake Programs

Will Scouts BSA resident camp be held at Camp Strake?

Yes.  Camp Strake will be home to our summer resident camp programs for our Scouts BSA Girl program and for our Socuts BSA winter resident camp program. 

While the original construction schedule was to have it completed by May 2019 in time for the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp, due to unfavorable weather conditions for construction, including multiple significant rainfall events since the 2nd quarter of 2016 that delayed the initial groundbreaking and site clearing, and Hurricane Harvey in the 3rd quarter of 2017, which affected the timing for acquisition of a critical federal permit -- construction is behind that schedule.

Because of the impact our unfavorable weather has had and continues to have on construction progress, the decision has been made to cease planning to conduct the 2019 Scouts BSA summer resident camp at Camp Strake.  The timing of the decision and announcement will allow troops to make alternative summer resident camp plans for 2019.

Plans remain to open Camp Strake later in 2019.  The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances.  Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.  

Also, Scouts BSA winter resident camp will move to Camp Strake from McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch.  The current schedule for that to occur is December of 2019.  The opening date is predicated on favorable weather conditions and no unforeseen circumstances.  Additional information will follow in the coming months regarding the timeline and commissioning plans.
 
What types of programs will be offered at Scouts BSA summer resident camps at Camp Strake?
The Scouts BSA summer resident camp programs at Camp Strake – both during the summer and winter – will be the opportunity to show the full range of what Camp Strake has to offer. Current plans for these programs include:
  • A fully-trained staff engaged to deliver the best possible program experience
  • Exceptional food service in a new, state-of-the-art and air-conditioned dining hall
  • Unique staffed program experiences in "Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience" (COPE), aquatics (lakefront and pool-based), shooting sports, climbing, STEM and ecology, and Scouting skills
  • Exciting backcountry opportunities in hiking, biking, and ATV programs
  • Impressive camp-wide events, including campfire programs at a spirit-filled 1,200 person arena
  • Comfortable camping facilities that will include pavilions in each campsite, modern and convenient restroom/shower facilities, and direct access to key program areas
  • Between summer and winter camps, over 75 unique merit badges will be offered, in addition to a comprehensive First Class emphasis program.
What programs will Camp Strake offer for weekend camping for Scouts BSA and Venturers?

Camp Strake will offer a full range of program opportunities for unit-led outdoor experiences. During a weekend, a troop or crew will have the opportunity to utilize the aquatics programs at the new lake and pool, experience a state-of-the-art shooting sports program, seek adventure in climbing and COPE activities, or explore the vast network of trails, including the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest, through hiking and backpacking programs.
 

 

What types of programs will be offered at the Leadership Institute at Camp Strake?
The Leadership Institute at Camp Strake will serve as the council’s primary site for our pinnacle training opportunities for youth and adults – Wood Badge and National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). It will also serve as a facility to accommodate basic and supplemental training, as well as a venue for planning meetings and retreats for Scouting groups.

We also are planning for it to be the site for some BSA area-wide and regional training courses.





 

Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch

Will there be a new Cub World at Camp Strake?
Not at this time.  However, there will be a new Cub World named the Janis and George Fleming Cub World developed at the Bovay Scout Ranch instead of Camp Strake.  It is planned to be constructed in a few years.





 
Why is the Janis and George Fleming Cub World going to be at Bovay Scout Ranch instead of Camp Strake?
Primarily, there are two reasons. First, we already have facilities for Cub Scouts at Bovay Scout Ranch, and there is ample room for expansion utilizing the existing resources for our Cub camping program.

Second, is more cost-effective. We already have some infrastructure in place at Bovay Scout Ranch to support incorporating a new Cub World. At the new Camp Strake, the infrastructure, including roads, sewer, water, etc., would have to be constructed to support a Cub World there.



 
When will the new Janis and George Fleming Cub World at Bovay Scout Ranch constructed?
No schedule has been developed at this time. However, it is an important project and plans are being developed to construct the first phase as soon as all the necessary funding is secured.

The first phase of development includes six campsites, each with a pavilion, three restrooms/showers and two program elements. Additional phases will be added as funding is secured.




 
Will there ever be a Cub World at Camp Strake?
There could be. Camp Strake has the space and is master planned for a Cub World. The necessary demand for another Cub World and the funding to develop it will determine that timing.






 

Bovay Scout Ranch

What are the plans for McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch?

Following are the planned projects by priority:

  • First Group of Projects
    • Roadway renovations
    • Restroom (Field Sports area)
    • Refurbish and repair existing buildings
  • Second Group of Projects
    • Parking lot expansion
    • Electrical extension into campsites
    • Storage facility at lake front
    • Pool renovation
    • Storage/Check-out building for the BMX Track
    • Nature Building Renovation (concrete floor)
  • Third Group of Projects
    • Storage facility at lake front
    • Expand pool features
When will these projects at McNair Cub Adventure Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch be completed?
Projects will be completed as soon as the needed funds are raised and collected through the Leaders of Tomorrow campaign.

 

Camp Brosig

What are the plans for Camp Brosig?

The plans for Camp Brosig are to continue to make improvements to it as soon as the needed funds are raised and collected through the Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign.

Following are the planned projects:

  • Road repairs
  • Camp entrance
  • 2 shower/restroom facilities
  • BB gun range (Cub Scouts)
  • Archery range (Cub Scouts)
  • 2 program pavilions
  • Campsite pavilions (carport style)

General

Our camps have not always been well maintained. How will the council maintain our new camps and the improvements that are being made now?
For the first time in our council’s history, we have an endowment with sufficient resources to maintain Camp Strake into the future. We are in the process of building an endowment for Bovay Scout Ranch that in time may have sufficient resources to maintain it over time, as well.

The resources of the council are limited. We are thoughtful and take seriously our charge to use those resources wisely to provide Scouting programs to an increasing number of youth. That is our mission. It is important that we eliminate redundancies in properties and have efficient and sustainable camp operations.

The way we will maintain our camps requires us to not have more camp properties than we need based on usage, demand, and sustainability. Also, we desire and are striving to an adequate endowment for the camps that we need based on usage and demand.
How many camp properties and acres of land will the council own and operate after Camp Strake is completed?

Our council will own and operate three camp properties with a combined total of 4,395 acres. 

  • Bovay Scout Ranch / 1,245 contiguous acres and an additional separate 242 acres.  It includes:  
    • McNair Cub Scout Adventure Camp
    • Future Janis and George Fleming Cub World
    • Tellepsen Scout Camp
  • Camp Brosig / 92 acres
  • Camp Strake / 2,816 acres. It includes:
    • Tsuru Scout Camp 
    • Leadership Institute (to be named)
What is the history of camp properties that the council closed and sold?

The council’s first camp was Camp Masterson. It was located twenty-one miles from Houston near Shelton. The land, consisting of 20 acres, was donated to the Council in 1925. It was closed and the land was given back to the Masterson family heirs in 1927.

Camp Hudson was the Council’s second camp. It was located in Houston on what is known today as Memorial Drive. The land for it, consisting of 100 acres, was donated to the Council in 1925 and 1928. It was closed and the land was sold in 1973.

The council’s third camp was Camp Strake. It was located in Conroe about 38 miles from Houston. The land, consisting of 2,359 acres, was purchased in 1943. In 2012, it was decided to relocate Camp Strake to a rural area. This resulted in the land of the original Camp Strake to be sold in 2013, with a lease back from the buyer for the use of the land through 2014.

The land for the new Camp Strake, consisting of 2,816 acres, was purchased in two separate transactions. The first in 2013 and the second in 2014.

The council’s fourth camp was El Rancho Cima. It was purchased in 1954 using funds raised from a capital campaign. It is located near Wimberley, Texas about 30 miles south of Austin and 45 miles north of San Antonio. It was approximately 185 miles from downtown Houston, resulting in a drive time from that location of plus/minus four hours on a Friday evening.

In May 2015, flooding caused significant damage and loss to the Cockrell River Camp at El Rancho Cima resulting in its closing. In the ten plus years prior to the May 2015 flood, there had been other flooding. After months of diligent analysis by a special task force of the Council’s Board of Directors in 2015, it was decided to eventually close El Rancho Cima and sell the property. The camp was closed in 2017 and the property is being marketed to be sold.

The Hudson Scout Reservation was another of the council’s camps. It was located about 120 miles from Houston near Centerville, Texas. The land, consisting of 3,190 acres, was purchased in 1974. It was closed and the land was sold in 1991.

The Hamman Scout Camp was another of the council’s camp properties. It was located seven miles southwest of the city of Bandera, Texas, which is approximately 250 miles from downtown Houston. The land, consisting of 965 acres, was donated to the Council in 1987 and was sold in 2017.

 

Questions

For additional questions, contact communications@shac.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Two-Deep Leadership 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, February 6, 2018 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.  

Family Scouting Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 25, 2017 8:50:00 AM

Recently, the BSA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved welcoming girls into our iconic Cub Scout program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. This decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders — as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting — to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remains an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows us to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families. 

This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for our iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.

Read BSA’s announcement and additional information regarding Family Scouting:

The Sam Houston Area Council will now begin to develop plans on how to implement these decisions as they become effective in 2018 and 2019.  We will keep our stakeholder groups informed using various platforms. 

As we develop these plans to pursue new opportunities to better serve families, we acknowledge the value of the programs of Girl Scouts of the USA respecting their importance in meeting the needs of girls and that our programs can be complementary in meeting the needs of families with girls.

We are proud of the healthy relationship our Sam Houston Area Council has with our sister organization, the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. We have had ongoing discussions with the executive leadership of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. The leadership of our two organizations is in dialogue on how we can direct each of our resources and proven programs to meet the needs of youth and families in the communities we serve.

Five Things You Should Know about the Boy Scouts of America’s Program Expansion

Source: October 2017

Cub Scouts

  1. Girls can join Cub Scouts in Fall 2018. Starting in August 2018, girls will be eligible to join the BSA's existing Cub Scouts program.
  2. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, meanwhile, will have local decision-making power to determine if I have a pack with only boy dens, a pack with boy dens and girl dens, or a pack with only girl dens.
  3. Charter organizations decide for their pack. A charter organization may choose to either remain an all-boy pack, have an all-girl pack, or a have a pack of girls and boys.

Boy Scouts

  1. A middle/high school age program for girls will launch in 2019. The BSA will announce a program for Boy Scout aged girls in 2018, which will launch in 2019. This program will parallel the current Boy Scout program, include the same curriculum and merit badges, and allow girls to earn the Eagle Scout rank.
  2. Program requirements will be the same for both genders. The BSA's existing programs for boys and the new programs for girls will operate under the same curriculum and requirements. There has been no indication in the information shared that would indicate any changes in the requirements. 



Family Program Questions and Answers

Decision and Rationale

Q. What decision did the BSA make regarding girls’ involvement in the organization?

The Boy Scouts of America’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. It is important to note that the BSA did not decide to make the Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting programs co‐ed; instead, the organization has introduced a unique model that builds on the benefits of a single‐gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

Starting in 2018 (exact start date yet to be confirmed), families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Chartered partner organizations may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all‐boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a new program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019 (with a more specific start date to be determined soon), that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

Q. What do we know about the changing needs of today’s families?

The BSA is not only listening to our Scouting families, but also to those that haven’t joined theprogram. We understand that families today are busier and more diverse than ever.

  • Most are dual‐earners.
  • There are more single‐parent households than in previous decades.
  • Many underserved communities, including fastest‐growing Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family.
  • And, all families have less free time. More than one‐third of parents feel they spend too little free time with their kids, and millennial parents are desperate to spend more time interacting with their kids.

Q. Is this change a result of the BSA’s declining membership numbers?

No. The BSA has experienced renewed interest in Scouting, and we believe that is largely in response to program innovation and a more thorough understanding of what families want and need when it comes to extracurricular activities. In fact, recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. Following an evaluation of what families and young people want and need when it comes to extracurricular activities and Scouting, the BSA welcomes girls into expanded programs from Cub Scouts to the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

Q. Is this change a departure from the BSA’s core mission and values?

No. In fact, this aligns with our mission and values. After all, the values of Scouting as detailed in the 12 points of the Scout Law – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – are relevant and important for both young men and women.

Our mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. To achieve our mission, we create innovative programs and evolve existing ones that respond to the needs of today’s families and deliver them through dedicated volunteers in communities across the nation.

Q. What research did the BSA conduct that informed this decision?

To inform this decision, the Boy Scouts of America conducted extensive research. The BSA also evaluated input from thousands of volunteers who participated in the nationwide family listening sessions.

The results were overwhelmingly positive and supported the decision to welcome girls into Cub Scouts and provide a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The research found that parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. The BSA also surveyed young girls and found that 90 percent of girls age 11‐18 are interested in joining the BSA’s programs. Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed the relevance of the program for young women.

Q. Are BSA programs relevant for girls?

Yes. On average, more than 90 percent of Scouting families and leaders believe the BSA programs are relevant to both boys and girls. What’s more, education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed the relevance of the program for young women.

Q. Why didn’t the BSA partner with the Girl Scouts or another organization to serve girls?

The BSA had several conversations with other youth‐serving organizations, but found through extensive research and conversations with parents that there is a need and an interest to welcome girls to our existing programs. We celebrate all youth‐serving organizations that build character and feel the most important thing is to allow parents the ability to choose the program that is best for their family. What’s more, the BSA has been providing programs to young girls since 1971 when we extended our Exploring program to young women. Girls also participate in our Venturing, Sea Scouts and STEM Scouts programs.

Q. How are the BSA programs different from what girls would experience with Girl Scouts?

BSA programs provide character‐ and leadership‐building experiences that give young people a solid foundation for their futures. We celebrate all youth‐serving organizations that build character and feel the most important thing is to allow parents the ability to choose what program is best for their family.

Q. Why are you just now allowing girls into the Boy Scouts?

The BSA’s decision to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program and to offer a program for older girls comes from input we have received from our Scouting families, as well as prospective Scouting families. We understand that families today are busier and more diverse than ever. The BSA believes we owe it to families to structure our program offerings in a way that fits into their busy lives to deliver character development and values‐based leadership training that Scouting promises. It is important to underscore that the BSA has provided programming to young women and young men for many years through Sea Scouts, STEM Scouts, Exploring and Venturing.

  • STEM Scouts: 45% of participants are girls/young women, 55% are boys/young men
  • Exploring: 39% of participants are girls/young women, 61% are boys/young men
  • Venturing: 23% of participants are girls/young women, 77% are boys/young men
  • Sea Scouts: 40% of participants are girls/young women, 60% are boys/young men

Q. Why is the BSA recommending single‐gender units instead of a co‐ed model?

The leadership of the BSA determined that the best way to welcome girls to serve today’s families was to offer a unique model that builds on the proven benefits of our single‐gender program, while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

Community Response

Q. What are you hearing from BSA leaders around the country about this announcement?

The decision was informed by members of the BSA at all levels of the organization and from all parts of the country, so we are seeing support for the decision reflect that input. This is an exciting time for the BSA. We value the partnership with BSA leaders across the country as we continue to innovate and evolve our proven programs to meet the needs of today’s families and provide the types of experiences that parents and their children want most.

Q. Do you think current youth members or adult volunteers will withdraw?

The decision to welcome girls into expanded programs from Cub Scouts to Eagle Scout rank presents several opportunities for families to get their youth involved in a program that has been proven to deliver character and leadership traits that parents say they desire for their children. A Tufts University study found that youth who participate in Scouting for even a short period of time exhibit strong moral values and positive character attributes, allowing them to embrace new opportunities, overcome obstacles and become better prepared for future success. This programming is in response to what we’ve heard from our Scouting families in addition to those who are not involved in the BSA. A majority of parents surveyed said they are interested in having their daughters involved in a program like the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. What’s more, many of our current families, Scouts, donors, volunteers and professional staff are in support of this decision. We are confident that this change will meet the needs of today’s families.

Q. How do you know parents will sign their daughters up for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts?

The BSA originally began discussions about young girls in Scouting based on numerous requests from families. We recognized a need and worked to understand how we could meet it. In addition to conversations with parents, recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. We made this change so we could bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible, all while staying true to our mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Q. What are the Girl Scouts saying about this expanded program for girls?

The BSA had several conversations with other youth‐serving organizations, but found through extensive research and conversations with parents that there is a need and an interest to welcome girls to our existing programs. We celebrate all youth‐serving organizations that build character and feel the most important thing is to allow parents the ability to choose what program is best for their family. What’s more, the BSA has been providing programs to young girls since 1971 when we extended our Exploring program to young women. Young girls also participate in our Venturing, Sea Scouts and STEM Scouts.

Operations and Implementation

Q. Is this for all levels of Scouting?

Starting in 2018 (exact start date yet to be confirmed), families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all‐boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019 (with a more specific start date to be determined soon), that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single‐gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

Q. How will the BSA respond to parents who don’t want coeducational programs?

It is important to note that BSA did not decide to make the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programs co‐ed; instead, the organization has introduced a unique model that builds on the benefits of a single‐gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls. Starting in 2018, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Chartered partner organizations may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all‐boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a new program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019 (with a more specific start date to be determined soon), that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

Q. How soon can we integrate girls into packs? Can we have a “soft” roll out?

The implementation team has not yet finalized an official start date. Scout executives will receive notification as soon as timing is confirmed by the BSA National Executive Committee. Until then, it is recommended that all units that receive interest in the program from their community develop a list with contact information so that they can reach out to those interested when the details are finalized.

Q. At what age can girls join Scouting?

In 2018, families can choose Cub Scouts for their sons and daughters, starting at age six. A chartered partner may also decide to invite Kindergarten‐age girls to a den participating in the Lion program.

Q. Will you change the organization’s name?

The Boy Scouts of America, in name and as an organization, has stood for character development and values‐based leadership training for more than 107 years. It is, unequivocally, one of the most recognized, respected and valuable brands on the planet. Therefore, while we have expanded the reach of our programs among today’s youth and their families, our name remains the same, and our brand will continue to be a source of pride that we will protect and foster as we look to extend the reach of our promise to more families.

Q. In what cities/states will this program be available?

BSA’s programs are offered to youth nationwide.

Q. Will girls be able to earn the same merit badges?

Yes. Since merit badges are currently earned in the Boy Scout program, girls will be able to earn merit badges through the Scouting program for older girls that will be announced in 2018 and is projected to be implemented in 2019, with a more specific start date to be determined soon.

Q. Do chartered organizations have a choice whether or not to adopt the expanded program?

Yes. Charter organizations always have the option to select from the numerous BSA program offerings. They can select all or one of the BSA programs that they feel best meet the needs of their members and the communities around them.

Q. Will there be new curriculum for girl participants? Will you change the program to accommodate girls?

No. Our existing programs are relevant for young men and women. After all, the values of Scouting as outlined in the Scout Law – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – are relevant and important values for both young men and women.

Q. Will girls have to meet the same requirement to achieve Eagle Scout?

Yes. Our goal is for young women to aspire to and achieve the Eagle Scout rank by meeting the same criteria and achievements as young men.

Q. How will packs and dens be structured? Can a chartered organization choose not to include girls?

An existing chartering organization may choose to serve girls or remain an all‐boy pack. When creating a new pack, a chartered organization may form an all‐boy pack, an all‐girl pack, multiple packs or a pack of girl dens and boy dens. Cub Scout dens will be single gender — all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, meanwhile, can include any combination of all‐boy or all‐girl dens. The choice is left to individual leaders in consultation with their chartered organization. This hybrid model builds on the benefit of a single‐gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

Q. If I have a question about how to incorporate girls into the pack, who should I talk to?

In an overwhelming number of existing packs across the country, girls have already informally been participating in activities, including pack meetings and family camping, so the BSA doesn’t foresee major issues in welcoming girls officially to packs. Because the program itself is not changing, your unit commissioner would be the most knowledgeable person to talk to about the Scouting program. Your district executive is also a resource.

Q. What updates to youth protection will be implemented to ensure the safety of boys and girls?

Youth protection and safety is paramount in all of the BSA’s programs. We invest resources and time to continuously strengthen our youth protection program. At the Cub Scout level, the program is already designed for the family, and we’ve had sisters of Cub Scouts participating in activities for many years – that was one of the reasons we were moved to consider this decision. Young women have been part of Venturing for two decades, and the current youth protection requirements already apply to both male and female participants. Two‐deep leadership is required at all meetings, events and outings. This is a minimum requirement and additional supervision may be necessary, depending on the nature of the activities and the size of the group. As we deliver this additional program for older girls, we will be evaluating any changes needed to ensure the safety of all youth.

Q. What about camping with girls?

Since camping in the Cub Scout program includes the entire family, the Cub Scout outdoor family camping guidelines are still in place regardless of a pack’s composition. Camping guidelines for older girl participants will be confirmed when the organization announces the Scouting program for older girls in 2018, for implementation in 2019. As a point of reference, young women have been part of Venturing for two decades, and the current youth protection requirements already apply to both male and female participants. Twodeep leadership is required at all meetings, events and outings. This is a minimum requirement and additional supervision may be necessary, depending on the nature of the activities and the size of the group. As always, the BSA continues to evaluate and improve our youth protection training across all programs. In Venturing, when an activity includes both boys and girls, at least one adult male and one adult female must be present at the activity, one of whom must be registered as an adult member of the BSA.

Q. Will girls be allowed into the Order of the Arrow?

Youth members that join the Scouting program for older girls (11 to 18) will be eligible to join a Scouting honor society. Details about a Scouting honor society for girls will be shared when plans for an older girl program are announced in 2018 for implementation in 2019.

Q. May an adult male lead an all‐girl unit?

Yes, an adult male can lead an all‐girl unit, just as we already have adult females leading all boy programs. Youth protection requirements still apply to both male and female participants. Two-deep leadership is required at all meetings, events and outings. This is a minimum requirement and additional supervision may be necessary, depending on the nature of the activities and the size of the group.

Q. Should dens for girls and dens for boys meet at the same time and place?

It is up to the pack or the den to decide meeting times and places.

Q. Can separate boy and girl dens work on the same activity at the same time together?

There is no set rule or guideline on this. If appropriate, this can be treated the same as two dens of the same gender working together. It will be up to the good judgement of leaders to decide what is best for their units.

Q. Will we have different uniforms for boys and girls?

All uniforms continue to be reviewed and adjusted to meet participant needs. While the fit and styling may be a bit different, the uniforms will remain fundamentally the same.

Q. Will the basic training courses be modified to include some specifics on working with girls and addressing their specific developmental needs?

Yes, we will evaluate our training and update materials as needed.

Q. What facility changes will need to happen at our camps?

The Boy Scouts of America has been serving young women for decades. Councils will evaluate their program facilities and make any needed changes.

Q. Will current Venturers get credit for their crew leadership roles if the girls join a troop and need leadership experience for advancement?

Advancement guidelines for older girl participants will be confirmed when the organization announces the Scouting program for older girls in 2018.

Q. Will the expansion be rolled out like a pilot, or implemented all at one time?

The Boy Scouts of America’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. This will not be handled as a pilot.

Q. How do units respond to girls who want to join BSA programs immediately?

We are excited to welcome girls who are interested in joining the Cub Scouting program in 2018. The implementation team has not yet finalized an official start date. Scout executives will receive notification as soon as timing is confirmed by the Executive Committee. Until then, it is recommended that all units that receive interest in the program from their community develop a list with contact information so they can reach out to those interested when the details are finalized.

Q. Have major chartered partners met and weighed in on this change?

Chartered partners were consulted throughout the research and evaluation process. Since the decision we have received supportive feedback from a number of our partners.

Q. What is being done to help us with diversity?

Diversity continues to be important to the Boy Scouts of America. We are dedicated to creating an environment that welcomes diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization in order to best meet the needs of today’s youth, families, and communities. Our focus goes beyond ethnicity to include gender and generational diversity, which we believe add to the richness of the BSA through the exchange of ideas from people with various backgrounds and experiences.

Q. Will girls who enter in the fall of 2018 as Arrow of Light have a troop ready to accept them at crossover time in 2019?

Yes, we expect that the Scouting program for older girls will be ready to accept participants in 2019. A specific start date has yet to be confirmed.

 

 

 

 

Scouts First Helpline 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 25, 2017 7:45:00 AM

'Scouts First' Helpline for Abuse and Youth Protection

BSA, Our Commitment

The protection of youth is the primary obligation of every individual involved in the Boy Scouts of America — including leaders, parents, members and professionals. The BSA has been and will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to create barriers that help prevent abuse and to recognize and report child abuse regardless of where it occurs.

Nationwide, the BSA requires everyone involved with Scouting to report any known or suspected abuse to local authorities.

Scouts First Helpline

As part of the BSA’s “Scouts First” approach to the protection and safety of youth, the BSA has established a dedicated 24-hour helpline at 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726-8871) to receive reports of any known or suspected abuse or significant violations of youth protection policies that might put a youth at risk.

24-hour helpline: 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726-8871)

The helpline’s goal is to provide immediate assistance to BSA professionals in the investigation, reporting and dealing with abuse allegations or to ensure that the victim, unit, and council are fully supported and the actions taken are properly documented.  All known or suspected abuse and significant youth protection policy infractions must be reported to the Scouts First Helpline after mandatory reporting to law enforcement or child protective services.

Responding to Abuse

When information regarding known or suspected abuse is first discovered, the following steps should immediately be taken by those responding:

  • Get the victim medical treatment, if required, and to a place of safety if needed
  • Ensure the victim(s) parents are notified as soon as possible
  • Notify law enforcement and/or child protective services
  • Call the Scouts First Helpline

Reporting Abuse or Youth Protection Violations

Accurate information is critical to an appropriate response; however, a lack of specific information is not a reason to delay a report of known or suspected abuse or significant youth protection policy violations. At a minimum, every effort should be made to have the following information available when reporting to the Scouts First Helpline:

  • The name, age, council, and unit of the alleged victim(s)
  • The name and phone number of the victim’s parent(s)
  • The name, age, council, and unit of any other known or suspected victim(s) and their parents contact information
  • The name, position, council, and unit of alleged perpetrator(s)
  • The name and phone number of the law enforcement or protective service agency to which the incident was reported
  • The name, unit, and council of any known witnesses
  • The name and phone number of the reporter
  • Details of the incident: who, what, where, and when

The reporter may also be asked to submit the information on a Youth Protection/Membership Incident Information Form (paper or online).

Hours of Operation

The Scouts First Helpline will be answered 24/7. The call may initially be answered by a person who gathers initial information and then escalates the report for further handling.

Questions or Concerns

Questions regarding the Scouts First Helpline and the above procedures should be directed to BSA Membership Standards at 972-580-2365 or 972-580-2007.

NOTE: The Scouts First Helpline is for reporting abuse or significant violations of the BSA’s youth protection policies only. While all youth protection policies must be taken seriously, minor, non-recurring infractions with no indication youth are at risk can be addressed at the unit level. Any other questions should continue to be directed to the BSA’s Member Care team at 972-580-2489.