Headquarters houses the camp phone, lost and found, troop mail, camp director's office, program director's office, camp commissioner office, quartermaster, trading post, health lodge, and business manager's office. Office hours will be posted.
If a Scout has special needs, camp staff will do whatever they can to accommodate them. The troop leader should notify the camp staff of any requests during online registration.
All Scouts should adhere to the buddy system throughout camp. Scouting’s buddy system calls for Scouts to pair up with a friend or two for all activities. This helps ensure safety and accountability and teaches Scouts to have responsibility for others. No Scout should ever be found wandering through camp alone. The buddy system can be difficult if a Scout doesn't have scheduled classes with fellow members of their troop. Troop leaders are encouraged to attempt to pair Scouts in classes as much as possible. If this is not feasible, the Scout should walk with other Scouts in the class to the location of the merit badge class. Due to the number of Scouts and the short amount of time between classes, this should be a relatively simple exercise.
Lost and Found
Lost and found is located in the winter camp office. Items will be kept in the winter camp office through the end of winter camp. Any items left at Camp Strake after winter camp may be disposed of as determined at the discretion of the camp director, including being donated to a non-profit organization, returned to the council office, thrown in the trash, etc. Sam Houston Area Council, nor its staff, shall be held responsible for any lost items not claimed by the end of winter camp.
To assist in returning items to their rightful owner, please ensure that all items your troop brings to camp have the owner’s name and troop number marked on them.
Smoking / Vaping Policy
Per the Guide to Safe Scouting, smoking or vaping by youth at any Scouting event shall not be tolerated.
"An important way adult leaders can model healthy living is by following the policies on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youths, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems that simulate tobacco smoking. All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants. As outlined in the Scouter Code of Conduct, Scouting activities are not a place to possess, distribute, transport, consume, or use any of the following items prohibited by law or in violation of any Scouting rules, regulations, and policies: alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, including marijuana. In addition, the Code of Conduct specifies that if you are taking prescription medications with the potential of impairing any functioning or judgment, you will not engage in activities that would put Scouts at risk, including driving or operating equipment." Source
Smoking by adults is not permitted in any tent, pavilions or buildings. While smoking at camp is discouraged, adults who choose to do so in the designated areas and must not smoke within sight of any youth. Moreover, in the event of a burn ban, smoking may be prohibited on the property. Please check with the camp office to determine whether such a burn ban is in place.
Alcohol, Illegal Drugs or Stimulants
The consumption, possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs or controlled substances while participating in the program at Camp Strake is not permitted. All local, state and federal laws will be enforced when a violation involving the above substances is reported. Violators will be asked to leave the camp immediately.
Personal firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, and fireworks are not allowed in camp.
Fires, Liquid Fuels and Propane
Fires are to be built only in the designated areas and under proper supervision. Liquid fuels are not permitted. Propane is to be used only under adult supervision. Empty cylinders and cans must be given to the camp quartermaster for disposal. National policy prohibits the use of open flames in tents. This includes mosquito coils, catalytic heaters, gas lanterns, stoves, candles, and smoking material. All tents and flys must be marked with "No Flames in Tents." (Source)
Internet and WiFi is limited at camp. Internet and Wi-Fi are available at camp for staff members and as it is needed for merit badges. Due to the large number of Scouts at winter camp, if reliable internet access is needed for personal business, bring a hotspot.
BSA National Vehicle Insurance Requirements
Each troop is responsible for safe transportation to and from camp and meets the requirements as laid out in the current version of the Guide to Safe Scouting.
Use of Vehicles / Trailers In Camp
Upon arrival at camp, drivers of vehicles will be provided parking passes. Drivers are required to write their name and cell phone number on the parking pass itself and keep it visible on their dashboard at all times the vehicle is present on camp property. The name and phone number on the parking pass will allow our security staff to contact the owner of the vehicle in the event the vehicle needs to be moved or if any other issues with the vehicle arise. Vehicles without proper parking permits found on camp property may be towed at owner’s expense.
Under no circumstances should a vehicle or trailer enter the campsite at any time. Entry of vehicles into the campsite could leave unsightly ruts in the campsite and could possibly damage plumbing located close to the surface. Parking areas are provided at designated locations for leaders who drive vehicles. Only camp vehicles are permitted beyond the parking lot or on camp service roads. Vehicle permits will be distributed at check-in, along with maps designating parking locations for various vehicles.
Camp Strake is a walking camp. Vehicles should not be moved from these parking areas during camp, unless the driver is leaving camp or has specific permission to move the vehicle (e.g., staff members given permits to use vehicles to transport equipment each day). This is a necessary measure, due to the heavy use of roads by pedestrians, including hundreds of Scouts moving back and forth to merit badges and other activities. Troop trailers are to be parked in the available parking areas in front of each campsite. Personally owned vehicles are not allowed to drive through the middle of camp.
The speed limit in camp is 10 mph on blacktop roads (unless otherwise posted) and 5 mph on gravel or dirt roads.
Drivers who continue to violate rules regarding the operation of vehicles in camp will be asked to leave camp immediately.
Campers are permitted to use non-motorized personal bicycles in specific areas of camp. Helmets are required when riding a bike.
Bikes can only be ridden on the asphalt loop around the outer rim of the campsites and on the road to climbing and shooting sports. Bikes can not be ridden through camp (Camp Central Road, Aquatics Road, and/ or near Headquarters, STEM Center, the Dining Hall, or Grand Pavilion). Please be sure to bring a bike lock for security. Please note that Sam Houston Area Council and Camp Strake are not responsible for damages/ thefts to personal bikes and injuries caused by such tools.
Scouts taking the Cycling Merit Badge can bring their own mountain bike, but it will be inspected to make sure it meets course requirements.
Leaving and Returning to Camp
For the safety of all in camp, procedures have been implemented for leaving and returning to camp while camp is ongoing.
Adults Leaving and Returning
Scouters (aged 18 or older) may leave camp and return as needed; please keep trips in and out of camp to a minimum. Due to the large number of campers, excessive vehicular traffic presents a possible danger to pedestrians. Adults should check-in and out with the winter camp office so that the camp leadership is aware of who is on the property at all times. In the event of an emergency, the camp leadership must be able to account for everyone at camp.
Youth Leaving and Returning
Parents are encouraged to allow Scout to remain at camp all week. This reduces unnecessary traffic in and out of camp and allows youth to have the complete camp experience with their troop. Youth will only be allowed to check out from camp prior to final checkout by an adult authorized on Part A of the Scout’s BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. Please ensure that parents in your troop have included all authorized adults on this form. Without this authorization on the form, only an adult from the Scout’s troop registered for camp or the parent signing the form will be allowed to remove the child from camp prior to the final checkout.
No one, including a Scout leader or parent, will be allowed to leave camp with a person under the age of 18 without having checked out at the winter camp office and receiving a ticket which will be given to a security team member before leaving camp.
During checkout, on the last day of camp, adult leaders will receive exit tickets for all youth in their troop from their camp commissioner once they have successfully checked out.
The trading post is located in the camp headquarters building and is stocked with merit badge pamphlets, t-shirts, Scouting literature, handicraft supplies, camp patches, mugs, camping equipment, cold drinks, ice cream, drinks and candy. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Scouts who want to purchase a pocket knife must show their Totin' Chip. Hours for the trading post can be found on the doors to the trading post.
The Snack Shack location under the lake observation tower will have an assortment of snacks and drinks.
Each campsite has modern restrooms and shower houses within walking distance. Each latrine comes complete with two private modern toilets and a handwashing station. Each shower has individual showers for each Scout or adult. It is the responsibility of the troop leadership to monitor the behavior of the Scouts at the showers. The camp commissioner will post a schedule for latrine duty at each facility. Cleaning materials will be at each facility and additional materials may be obtained from the camp quartermaster.
Winter camp is an outdoor experience, and the campers are visitors to the camp’s natural area. Scouts must remember to live up to the Outdoor Code and be considerate in the outdoors. Throwing rocks at or attempting to catch animals such as rabbits, snakes, armadillos, etc is not only dangerous to the animal, but to campers as well. Please report any troubles with snakes or other animals to the camp staff immediately.
Leave No Trace
Instilling values in young people and preparing them to make moral and ethical choices throughout their lifetime is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Leave No Trace helps reinforce that mission, and reminds everyone to respect the rights of other users of the outdoors as well as future generations. Appreciation for our natural environment and knowledge of the interrelationships of nature bolster our respect and reverence toward the environment and nature. Leave No Trace is an awareness and an attitude rather than a set of rules. It applies in backyards or local parks as much as in the backcountry. All participants should practice Leave No Trace principles.
The principles of Leave No Trace might seem unimportant until considering the combined effects of millions of outdoor visitors. One poorly located campsite or campfire may have little significance, but thousands of such instances seriously degrade the outdoor experience for all. Leaving no trace is everyone’s responsibility. All participants are asked to follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly (Pack It In, Pack It Out)
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors