Blog Post List

Special Needs and Disabilities Conference 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, January 18, 2023 11:33:00 AM

National Special Needs and Disabilities Conference

April 21-22, 2023  |  Cockrell Scout Center

Understanding and Navigating Behaviors and Mental Health in Scouting

Presented by: Boy Scouts of America, National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee

BSA's National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee is hosting a two-day conference on Understanding Behaviors and Mental Health in Scouting. The conference is designed for Scouters in leadership positions at all levels (pack, troop, crew, ship, district, council, camp staff), BSA professionals, parents/guardians, caregivers, and anyone interested in learning more about supporting Scouts with special needs or disabilities. 

The registration fee is $150 and includes meals and snacks. 

Register       Learn More

Topics

Several knowledgeable guest speakers are scheduled to present on various topics.

  • Ages and Stages
  • Scout Transitions
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Managing Behaviors
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Success Through Failure    

Adventure Camp Registration is Open 

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

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

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

Learn More and Register

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

Contacts

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

 

Register for Summer Camp 2023 

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

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

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

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

Learn More and Register

About Camp Strake

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

Facilities and Program Areas

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

Check-in Building

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

Camp Headquarters

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

Dining Hall

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

Campsites

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



  


STEM

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


 

Aquatics

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



 


Shooting Sports

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

Climbing / High Ropes Course

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



Staff Area

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

 


Bridge to the Integrity Institute


Merit Badge Pavilion


Grand Pavilion

National Scout Jamboree 

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

NATIONAL JAMBOREE

 

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

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

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

Learn More & Register

Face the Challenge

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

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

Council Contingent  

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

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

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

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

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

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

 

BSA Brand Standards 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Youth Safety | Ongoing Commitment 

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

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

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

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

 

Learn More

Returning to Scouting 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Promote Scouting on Social Media 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, August 19, 2020 8:59:00 PM

Help promote Scouting on social media by adding a photo frame around your profile picture. Encourage families to Text Cub Scout, Scouts BSA or crew to 31996. They will be sent to www.shac.org/join, a website with all packs listed by school district and links to register online.

To find the frame, click on edit/update your profile picture (or go to www.facebook.com/profilepicframes), search for a frame by entering Sam Houston Area Council, then choose one of our four frames.

 

       

Support Scouting with Amazon Smile 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, August 15, 2020 10:58:00 AM

(SourceNow you can support Scouting without lifting a finger — or at least not more than one.

AmazonSmile, the simple and no-cost way to donate to the Sam Houston Area Council, now works on the Amazon Shopping app for iPhone and Android.

That means it’s easier than ever to support Scouting anytime, anywhere.

Through its AmazonSmile program, Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice — at no cost to you. You’ll get the same prices, selection and service found on Amazon.com, but now Amazon gives 0.5% of its cut to a good cause.

The Sam Houston Area Council is an eligible AmazonSmile charity. Individual packs, troops, posts, ships and crews are not eligible.

Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

Why use AmazonSmile

Sure, I agree that 50 cents on a $100 tablet might not seem like a huge donation. And it’s not a substitute for the generous contributions you regularly make to local Scouting through campaigns like Friends of Scouting. But as any frequent Amazon shopper knows, your purchases add up.

What’s the news here?

Previously, AmazonSmile required the user to shop using their browser — either on a desktop computer or through the mobile browser on a smartphone.

That meant that when you shopped in the official Amazon app, you weren’t contributing to your chosen charity — even if you had already activated AmazonSmile.

By adding AmazonSmile to its official app, Amazon is making the program available anytime, anywhere. So now when you buy a blender from the back seat or a printer from the patio — our council still gets that 0.5%.

How to activate AmazonSmile on your iPhone or Android

Step 1: Join AmazonSmile

If you aren’t yet an AmazonSmile member, sign up at smile.amazon.com using a web browser (mobile or desktop). You’ll sign in with your Amazon credentials, and the site will walk you through the process.

Amazon will ask you to choose your favorite charity. This is where you search for “Sam Houston Area Council.”

Step 2: Open the Amazon Shopping app on your phone

If you don’t have the app already, download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Step 3: Open Settings within the app

Open Settings by tapping the three horizontal lines (aka the “hamburger”) at the top left and tapping “Settings.”

Step 4: Tap AmazonSmile

Step 5: Tap the button for “Turn on AmazonSmile”

You’ll need to follow the three-step setup process. Note that Amazon requires you to turn on notifications to be able to use AmazonSmile on your phone.

Step 6: Make note of your renewal date

Amazon asks that you renew your AmazonSmile donation every six months. This is easy but required. When six months are up, you’ll have to choose your favorite charity again. If you don’t, purchases made until you do will not count.

Step 7: Confirm that AmazonSmile is active before your next purchase

Look for AmazonSmile at the top of the app as you browse. You’ll also see your chosen charity on the confirmation screen.

Learn More

An Important Update from the Sam Houston Area Council 

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

Dear Scouting Community,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in Scouting,

Clay C. Williams
Chair of the Board

Forrest J. Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Thomas O. Varnell 
CEO/Scout Executive