Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For the latest information, visit www.shac.org/news


#6 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 4/3/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our sixth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

On Tuesday the President issued updated timeframes for social distancing protocols and the State of Texas announced an extension of the stay at home order through April 30th. As a result, the following will now be in effect:

  • The Cockrell Scout Center and all Scout Shop locations will remain closed until Friday, May 1st. This is subject to change as the situation evolves. Please monitor our communications for any updates. As a result:
    • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
    • The processing of most Eagle applications will be suspended during the office closure. All pending Eagle applicants should consult the updated Advancement information for COVID-19from National BSA. Please send any further advancement questions or concerns to Brendan Cronin (brendan.cronin@scouting.org).
    • Refunds for any canceled or postponed activities and events will be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through May 11th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake.
    • The Camp Strake Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, scheduled for May 8th and 9th, will be postponed, and a new date will be published once set. Construction for the camp, however, remains on schedule for completion.
  • No decisions on summer programming have been made at this time. This includes Summer Camp at Camp Strake, Cub Scout Summer Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch, National Youth Leadership Training, and Cub Scout Day Camps. If cancellation is necessary, the council will issue refunds for these activities.
  • As previously announced, all district and council meetings, activities, and events through May 4thare canceled or postponed. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved.
    • Council Coordinated Meeting, scheduled for April 23rd, has been canceled.
    • As previously announced, the council’s Eagle Scout Reception scheduled for May 3rd has been postponed. We are working to reschedule this event for the summer/fall.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. For information on closing out your unit, please contact your District Scout Fair Chair or District Executive. Commission checks will be issued after the Cockrell Scout Center re-opens.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:
  • If your unit is in need of advancement awards during this time that Scout Shops are closed, please use the following steps:
    • Unit Leader will email in their Scoutbook Advancement report toNDCSupply.Orders@scouting.org
    • Please include contact phone number so that the Customer Service team member can contact for payment information.
    • Customer Service Rep will contact Unit Leader for credit card information, ship to and bill to address, and verify the correct Council along with the actual advancement needed.

This situation continues to be dynamic and changing daily. Our Enterprise Risk Management Team is working regularly and diligently to determine our plans going forward. If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 response for the Sam Houston Area Council, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.orgThe council remains committed to keeping our constituents updated regularly with new information as we have it. We will continue to communicate through three main mechanisms – Email, SHAC Website, and Facebook. Please consult these regularly for updates.

Thank you for all you do for Scouting

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (FacebookEmail, and Council Website) for updates. 

 


#5 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/25/20)

Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our fifth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Yesterday Harris County announced a Work Home, Stay Home Order through April 3rd. This is in conjunction with the current White House and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance already in effect. As a result, the following will now be in effect:

  • The Cockrell Scout Center and all Scout Shop locations will remain closed until Monday, April 6th. This is subject to change as the situation evolves. Please monitor our communications for any updates. As a result:
    • Field-based staff (district executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
    • The processing of most Eagle applications will be suspended during the office closure. All pending Eagle applicants should consult the updated Advancement information for COVID-19 from National BSA. Please send any further advancement questions or concerns to Brendan Cronin (brendan.cronin@scouting.org).
    • Refunds for any canceled or postponed activities and events will be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events through May 4th are canceled or postponed. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved.
    • Council Coordinated Meeting, scheduled for April 23rd, has been canceled.
    • As previously announced, Scout Fair, scheduled for April 4th at NRG Arena, has been canceled.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through May 4th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake.
    • The Cub Scout Adventure Camps scheduled for April 17-19 and May 1-3 are canceled. After the Cockrell Scout Center reopens, we will work to reschedule or refund units for their participation in these event.
    • The OA Arrowman Bash scheduled for April 24-26 has been rescheduled for May 15-17 at Camp Strake. Any questions or concerns should be directed sent to program@colonneh.org
    • Powder Horn, scheduled for April 17-19 and May 1-3 have been postponed. We will communicate updated dates once scheduled.
    • Wood Badge Course 20-1, scheduled to have its second weekend on April 25-26, will be rescheduled. We will communicate directly with participants regarding rescheduling this training.
  • The Scout Fair Coupon Book Sale for 2020 is now closed. This decision has been made to comply with social distancing guidelines placed into effect by the CDC. After the Cockrell Scout Center reopens, we will begin collecting final turn-ins and processing commission checks so that units will have funds available for summer programming. More information will be sent to those units participating in the sale in the next week.
  • The online popcorn sale is open. The online popcorn sale is a great opportunity to raise funds for your unit’s Scouting program virtually – all while keeping social distancing intact. For more information on how to participate, please contact Mary Welch (mary.welch@scouting.org).
  • The council’s Eagle Scout Reception scheduled for May 3rd has been postponed. We are working to reschedule this event for the fall.
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, the White House, and local jurisdictions. There are a number of great resources available regarding Scouting program during this period of social distancing:

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#4 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/17/20)

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our fourth update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation as best we can.

Yesterday the President announced the White House Guidance for COVID-19. As a result, the following will now be in effect:

  • The Cockrell Scout Center and all Scout Shop locations will be closed effective tomorrow, March 18th. These locations are currently scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 30th. This is subject to change as the situation evolves. Please monitor our communications for any updates. As a result:
    • Field-based staff (district executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
    • The processing of most Eagle Scout applications will be suspended during the office closure. However, if you have an Eagle Scout application that needs immediate approval, please contact brendan.cronin@scouting.org. If it is not an immediate need, we ask that you delay submittal until after the closure. Additionally, we received guidance from BSA National regarding special circumstances around Eagle Scout application deadlines during COVID-19. Learn More.
    • Accounts payable will be administered by a small team once each week.

As a reminder, the following information was shared yesterday and is still in effect:

  • Scout Fair, scheduled for April 4th  at NRG Arena, has been canceled. Unfortunately, we are unable to reschedule this event in 2020. Scout Fair will return in the spring of 2021, as scheduled.
  • Scout Fair Coupon Pack Sales are suspended. This includes the cancelation of any pre-scheduled appointments for selling at Kroger stores. Additional information on an updated calendar and protocol for the sale will be published as the situation further develops.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16th through April 13th. This includes all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig and Bovay Scout Ranch.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events from Monday, March 16th through April 13th are canceled. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved. This includes the previously-announced cancelation of University of Scouting on Saturday, March 21st and the Cub Adventure Camp on March 27-29th.  
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC, which includes the new guidance from the White House.

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#3 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/16/20)

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our third update, on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward.

  • Scout Fair, scheduled for April 4th at NRG Arena, has been canceled. Unfortunately, we are unable to reschedule this event in 2020. Scout Fair will return in the spring of 2021, as scheduled.
  • Scout Fair Coupon Pack Sales are suspended. This includes the cancelation of any pre-scheduled appointments for selling at Kroger stores. Additional information on an updated calendar and protocol for the sale will be published as the situation further develops.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16th through April 13th. This includes all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig and Bovay Scout Ranch.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events from Monday, March 16th through April 13th are canceled. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved. This includes the previously-announced cancelation of University of Scouting on Saturday, March 21st and the Cub Adventure Camp on March 27-29.  
  • The Cockrell Scout Center and our Scout Shops will remain open for business at this time. However, we ask to limit visitations to the office to essential visits only. If you are coming to visit a staff member, please consider calling instead. Our field staff will be working remotely, but will be available to communicate by phone or email.
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs. We strongly encourage units to comply with all current recommendations of the CDC.

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#2 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (update 3/13/20)

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to update you on our newest response to the COVID-19 outbreak and protocols for Scouting operations going forward.

Following the announcement of the closure of most of our area school districts, the following actions are being taken to ensure a safe environment is provided for all Scouting programs:

  • All council camping facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16th through March 30th. Operations for the limited amount of activities occurring this weekend will continue. This closure will include the Cub Scout Adventure Camp scheduled for March 27-29th. Our program team will be reaching out to units scheduled for that Cub Adventure Camp to reschedule the unit’s participation.
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events from Monday, March 16th through March 30th are canceled. This includes the previously-announced cancelation of University of Scouting on Saturday, March 21st. Meetings that can be rescheduled over teleconference or online are approved.
  • The Cockrell Scout Center and our Scout Shops will remain open for business at this time. However, we ask to limit visitations to the office to essential visits only. If you are coming to visit a staff member, please consider calling instead. 
  • No decision has been made at this time for Scout Fair on April 4th. Our team continues to collaborate the local health officials and the facility management at NRG Arena to determine the most appropriate course of action going forward.
  • Units should continue to consult with their chartered organizations to determine the best path forward for their Scouting programs.

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. 


#1 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response (3/12/20)

Following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council is working in ongoing coordination with local health officials with regards to the operations of Scouting programs and the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

Our top priority in Scouting is the safety of our youth members, families, and volunteers. First and foremost, the decision to participate in Scouting is voluntary, and each family should make a personal decision for what level of participation, if any, it will have in Scouting meetings and activities during this outbreak.

The Sam Houston Area Council would like to emphasize the following guidance from the CDC, which should be applied to all Scouting meetings and activities:

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Travelers Returning from Abroad

  • Depending on your travel history, you should stay home for a period of 14 days if you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

This situation is a dynamic and evolving situation and our council leadership will be monitoring the situation closely alongside local health officials and determine the most appropriate response to the conditions at hand. For determining participation in Scouting activities, in addition to following all of the above guidance from the CDC, the following actions should be taken.

Unit / Den Meetings and Activities

  • Unit leadership should first consult with your unit’s Chartered Organization. The organization may have policies or protocols that have been put in place in response to COVID-19. Remember that the Chartered Organization “owns” your Scouting unit and has ultimate authority in these decisions. 
  • If your unit’s meeting place is a different entity than your unit’s Chartered Organization, the unit leadership should consult with the meeting place as to any policies or protocols that they have put in place in response to COVID-19. For many Cub Scout Packs, this will be a school campus. Arrangements for alternate meeting locations may be needed.
  • For any outside activities, contact the facility’s management to determine if that facility has put any restrictions or policies in place in response to COVID-19.
  • After consulting with the Chartered Organization, unit committees should determine the most appropriate path forward in delivering the Scouting program for its families. The unit leadership should respect any family’s decision not to participate during this outbreak, and make plans to help Scouts that do not participate re-engage after it is complete.

District Meetings and Activities

  • District leadership should consult with the facility manager of all district meeting locations and event locations to determine if those facilities have put in place any policies or protocols in response to COVID-19. Arrangement for alternate meeting and event locations may be needed.
  • No meeting or activity should be postponed or canceled without the approval of the Council’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee. Any such request should come with the full recommendation of the District Key-3 and communicated through the District Executive.

Council Facilities

  • At this time, all facilities owned by the Sam Houston Area Council are open for full operations. This includes the Cockrell Scout Center, Bovay Scout Ranch, Camp Brosig, and construction operations at Camp Strake.
  • Our facilities team is working to acquire additional handwashing stations, soap, and cleaning supplies to comply with the guidance provided by the CDC.

Council Events

  • All scheduled council events are being examined on a case-by-case basis by the Council Enterprise Risk Management Committee.
  • University of Scouting is scheduled for next Saturday, March 21st at Mickey Leland Prep Academy. Houston ISD announced today that all facilities will be closed next week for extensive cleaning. Due to this closure, the council must cancel the spring session of University of Scouting next Saturday. All resources from that event will be shifted towards our course in the fall, and full refunds will be provided to all registered participants.
  • Cub Adventure Camp is scheduled for March 27-29 at Bovay Scout Ranch. At this time, the camp will move forward as scheduled.
  • Scout Fair is scheduled for April 4th at NRG Arena. Our council team is working closely with the facility management and county health officials to determine the best course of action, in accordance with guidance issued by the CDC for Mass Gatherings / Large Community Events. Final determinations for the Scout Fair event will be made and communicated closer to the scheduled event, but at least one week prior.

 

As Scouts and Scouters, it is our duty to be prepared. We also must not panic while making the best decisions possible for our Scouting programs and its members. Our council leadership is committed to being diligent with regular communications as this situation evolves. As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

Thank you for all you do for Scouting.

Forrest Bjerkaas
Council Commissioner

Clay Williams
Chair of the Board

Tom Varnell
Scout Executive / CEO

 

Contact

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

As this is a constantly evolving situation, please regularly monitor our standard means of communication (Facebook, Email, and Council Website) for updates.