Blog Post List

#6 SHAC Communication for COVID-19 Response 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, April 3, 2020 10:03:00 AM

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 Resident 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 to NDCSupply.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. 

BSA National Statement on COVID-19       Previous Updates

Rank Advancement Update       Scouting at Home      Digital Safety        Online Meeting Resources

 

 

Scouting at Home 

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

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

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

Learn More

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

Digital Safety Guidelines

 

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

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

Scouting Activities

Scoutbook App

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



Boys' Life App

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



Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)

April 3-5, 2020

This is a one-of-a-kind special edition of JOTI and will bring Scouting to the homes of young people around the world during a challenging time. Scouts can learn about safety measures, mental and physical health and digitally engage as global citizens through a range of different activities. The best part is, they’ll make new friends from around the world! Scouts can also work on the BSA International Spirit Award.






Merit Badge Classes

The Big Cypress District, Sam Houston Area Council is offering several online merit badges and STEM/Nova Cub Scout classes. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. Space is limited. Registration closes 4/4/20. (Central Daylight Time)

Cub Scout STEM/Nova (2nd - 5th grades)
  • Cub Scout Science Everywhere
  • Cub Scout Tech Talk
  • Cub Scout Fearful Symmetry
Merit Badges
  • Art 
  • Gardening 
  • Communications 
  • Citizenship in the Community 
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Family Life
  • Music
  • Photography





 


Merit Badge Classes

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





 


Merit Badge Classes

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


Merit Badge Classes

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

  • Programming Merit Badge - April 7-9
  • Learn More 


Scout Connect

Heart of America Council has a series of online merit badge courses. (Central Daylight Time)

  • Scout Connect
  • Animation Merit Badge
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Coming soon
    • Journalism
    • Scouting Heritage
    • Music
    • Art
    • Collections
    • Law
    • Personal Management
    • Public Health
    • Railroading
    • Salesmanship



Advancement Academy

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


Scouting at Home

The Atlanta Area Council has a list of features content directly from Scoutbook and includes ideas of other activities Scouts can do. Plus, suggestions for video platforms – and of course, reminders about the importance of following youth protection standards. 


30-Day Challenges and Bingo

Download a 30-day challenge for Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos Scouts and Scouts BSA.


Merit Badges at Home

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



Weekly Challenge

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


ScoutShare 

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




Daily Scouting Videos

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




Fun Projects for Cub Scouts

Scouting Magazine lists a variety of fun projects for Cub Scouts to do from home



Scout On

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


Online Scouting Resources 

Digital Safety in a Time of Increased Online Activity 

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

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

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

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

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

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

Videoconferencing

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






Educational Activities

HMNS at Home

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


Fun Stuff

 


NASA STEM @ Home

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

 


Project Wet

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


Cub Scout Advancements

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

Adventure
(click for requirements)
Area Required/
Elective

Lion | Kindergarten

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

Tiger | 1st Grade

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

Wolf | 2nd Grade

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

Bear | 3rd Grade

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

Webelos Scouts | 4th & 5th Grade

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

Comments

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

Comments are hidden. If you want us to contact you, leave your email address.

 

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

Rank Advancement Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, March 17, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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

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

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

Learn More

 

 

 

 

Contact

For more information, contact your district advancement chair.

Sign up for Day Camp 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, March 10, 2020 10:51:00 AM

Grab your astronaut helmet and space suit and prepare to explore the universe. Day/twilight camp is a council camp hosted by districts for Scouts entering 1st through 5th grade for the 2019-2020 school year. No matter what camp you choose, you can be sure it will be loaded with an awesome program such as BB guns, archery, sports, games, and crafts, rank advancements, Scout skills, fun and more. Most camps welcome siblings (ages 3+) and Scouts in troops, crews and ships, so you can make this a great summer for your entire family. Find a camp near you, using our Google map.

Participants receive a t-shirt and patch. Advancements offered at day camp supplement the exciting program offered at resident camp. With 24 different camps to choose from, registered Scouts and their families can find a camp to fit their busy schedules. Camps are run by volunteers. 

Registration: The registration fee includes a patch, t-shirt, and program supplies. Registration closes two weeks before the first day of camp.

Promotional Placemats

Free two-sided placemats are available to use at banquets, pack meetings or den meetings to help promote day camp and resident camp. 

 Promotional Placemats

 

Please notify the day camp webmaster of any for this page corrections. 

District
(Camp Location)
Register 2020 Dates Time Location Contact  
Aquila
(Southwest Houston)
Register June 1-5 6:00 - 9:00 pm Westbury Methodist Church Jeremy Penner  
Arrowhead
(West Houston)
Register June 1-5 4:00 - 8:00 pm Long Acre Ranch Rhyan Mays  
Arrowmoon
(Bryan, TX)
Register June 8-12 8:00 - 3:00 pm Camp Howdy Luis Guzman  
Big Cypress
(Cypress, TX)
Register June 1-4
8:30 am - 2:00 pm (am Session)
3:00 pm - 8:30 pm (pm Session)
Cy-Fair Exhibition Center
Adam Nicely  
Brahman
(El Campo, TX)
Register TBD 8:00 am - 3:00 pm El Campo American Legion Dawn Rivera  
Brazos
(Rosenburg, TX)
Register June 9-12 2:00 - 8:30 pm Long Acres Ranch Jake Lilley  
Copperhead
(West Houston)
Register June 15-19 2:30 - 8:00 pm Epiphany Lutheran Church Autumn Jones  
David Crockett
(Sealy, TX)
Register June 4-5 &
June 6
4:00 - 8:00 pm
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Camp Brosig Jennifer Cochran  
Flaming Arrow
(New Caney, TX)
Register June 16-18 1:30 - 8:30 pm A.V. Bull Sallas Park Connie Oubre  
George Strake
(Conroe, TX)
Register June 2-5 1:00 - 6:00 pm The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Spring) Jen Thomas  
Iron Horse
(Spring, TX)
Register June 8-12 3:00 - 8:00 pm Northside Christian Church Ronda Schaub  
Lone Star
(Central Houston)
Register June 8-11 5:30 - 8:45 pm KC Hall
(Whitney St.)
Kim Morales  
Mustang
(West Houston)
Register June 15-19   TBD    
Orion
(Tomball, TX)
Register June 9-12 2:00 - 8:00 pm Church of Good Shepherd Victoria Weaver  
Phoenix
(Tomball, TX)
Register June 15-18 7:45 am - 3:15 pm Burroughs Park Christopher Bir  
Raven
(Baytown, TX)
Register June 10-13 5:30 - 9:30 pm, Wed-Fr
10:00 am - 4:30 pm, Sat
American Legion, David H. McNerney Post 658 Rollins Collins  
San Jacinto
(La Porte, TX)
Register June 15-19 4:30 - 9:00 pm Lomax Arena Desiree Jenkins  
Scout Reach 
Houston Service Area
Register Varies 4:00 - 8:00 pm Varies Ronald George
Soaring Eagle
(Cypress, TX)
Register June 2-5 3:00 - 8:00 pm St. Timothy Lutheran Church Tess Wall  
Texas Skies
(West Houston/Katy)
Register June 8-12 9:00 am - 3:00 pm TBD Kendall Mitchell  
Thunder Wolf
(Missouri City, TX)
Register TBD 3:00 - 8:00 pm

Elkins High School

Joanna Ouderkirk  
Twin Bayou
(Southwest Houston)
Register June 1-5 5:30 - 9:00 pm St. Luke's Methodist Church Amber Moncla  
W.L. Davis
(Southeast Houston)
Register June 4-5 &
June 6
4:00 - 8:00 pm
9 am - 1 pm
Gregg Elementary School    

 

Camps are operated and licensed under the guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America National Camp Standards and the Texas Department of State Health Services Youth Camp Program Regulations.

 

Contacts

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

Geno Aguilar
Day Camp Registration
 (713) 756-3304
 geno.aguilar@scouting.org

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

 

Resident Camp Registration is Open 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, March 6, 2020 4:53:00 PM

Resident camp is a three-night campout at Bovay Scout Ranch for Cub Scouts entering the first through fifth grade the following school year. From Cub Scout skills to rank advancements, these camps are full of fun and learning. Cub Scouts attending resident camp are also encouraged to register for day camp, as the advancements offered at resident camp add to those offered at day camp. Resident camp includes activities such as riding BMX bikes, shooting archery and BB guns, playing sports, canoeing, fishing, making crafts, learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), exploring nature, stargazing, branding, and splashing in the pool. In addition, the resident camp program will focus on Cub Scout program electives:

  • Tiger: Floats and Boats, Rolling Tigers
  • Wolf: Paws of Skill
  • Bear: Salmon Run, A Bear Goes Fishing
  • Webelos Scouts: Aquanaut, Into the Woods, Into the Wild

Registration can be completed by the pack leadership or by families if attending on their own. Dens and individual families not able to attend with their pack will be combined with other individual dens and families. There is a maximum of 250 Scouts per session. Cub Scout fees are $120 and adult fees are $70. Children under five attend free of charge; please note that the program is designed for Cub Scouts. The Cub Scout fee includes activity supplies, t-shirt, patch and eight meals; adult fees include eight meals. All youth (entering 1st grade and up next school year) must be members of the Boy Scouts of America and be under the supervision of an adult. One adult from each family is expected to attend. All newly chartered packs receive a 25% discount. 

Learn More and Register

 

Contacts

 

Vincent Manning
Bovay Scout Ranch Professional Advisor
 (713) 756-3380
 vincent.manning@scouting.org

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

Leave No Trace Trainer Course 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, February 11, 2020 11:06:00 AM

April 24-26, 2020

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

 

 

 

 

 

National Scout Jamboree Registration is Open 

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

July 21-30, 2021 (plus travel days)

Live Scouting’s Adventure

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

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

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

Learn More

 

Council Contingent  

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

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

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

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

Registration

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

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

Youth Registration

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

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

Payment Schedule

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

Adult Leadership

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

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

Jamboree Staff

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

Register to Serve on Staff

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

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

Visitors

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

Contacts

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

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

 

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

 

The Rocks

High Gear

The Ropes

The Park

The Trax

Background Check Disclosure and Background Check Authorization FAQ's 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:59:00 PM

Every registered adult leader should have received an email from BSA National this week that included the new Background Check Disclosure and Background Check Authorization Form that needs to be submitted by all adult leaders during the upcoming recharter cycle.

The steps below must be completed before your 2020 annual registration can be processed.

  1. Review the disclosure document “Background Check Disclosure
  2. Once you have reviewed the “Background Check Disclosure," print the document titled “Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization
  3. Review the additional disclosures on that form, then complete and sign the Authorization using an ink/wet signature. 
    *Note: A print signature is required for this document. Electronic signatures, faxes or email copies will not be accepted.
  4. Turn in the signed Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization” form promptly to your unit leader.

FAQ’s from National BSA Legal

1. Is the BSA doing credit checks on volunteers?

No. The BSA will only use these signed authorization forms for approval to obtain a criminal background check. State and federal laws regulating background checks and consumer credit checks require that both items be mentioned on the form since a full background check includes both parts. Again, the BSA is only using this form for authorization to obtain a criminal background check.

2. Why is this being done now?

Starting in 2020, rechecks will be performed every five years, but it will take several years to recheck all leaders. Unfortunately, technical limitations and changes in the law over the last five years prevent us from using existing authorizations from older applications. As such, new disclosure had to be sent and new signed authorization forms obtained. Rechartering provides the best window to collect and verify they have been received before the council processes the recharter application.

3. What about volunteers that are not registered with units?  

All currently registered adults and employees who have not had a criminal background check in the last five years will be rechecked and need to submit the authorization form.

4. What happens if a unit leader does not provide an authorization?

Leaders who do not provide new authorization will not be able to renew their registration.  

Additional FAQ’s from the Sam Houston Area Council

1. Why is the BSA requiring this?  

As part of our on-going commitment to safety for our youth, the BSA is enhancing our criminal background check process. Currently, background checks are run when an adult registers and when they change positions (complete a new application). The new authorization form grants permission for the BSA to run additional background checks without requiring an additional application from the adult.

2. What is different about this authorization form?

Past versions of the authorization for a background check granted permission for the BSA to obtain a background check. The new authorization expands this permission to state the volunteer’s authorization remains valid throughout their volunteer relationship with the BSA.

3. How do I submit this form?

These forms should not be directly turned into the council service center. Volunteers in local Scouting programs (packs, troops, crews, ships, posts) should submit their form to their unit’s recharter coordinator for inclusion in their annual recharter, which is due in December. The unit will then submit these forms for all leaders in that unit in conjunction with their recharter paperwork at the recharter turn-in in December. District volunteers should submit their form to the district commissioner or district professional to include with the district recharter.

4. What about those with multiple registrations?

A copy of the authorization form for a leader should accompany each recharter where he or she is registered as an adult leader. Photocopies of the original signed document are acceptable

5. Does this apply to merit badge counselors?

Yes. Merit badge counselors should submit these forms to the district commissioner or district professional to be included in the district recharter. 

Contact

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council appreciates your patience and diligence as we institute this important process to continue placing the safety of our youth at the forefront of our operations. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact Thomas Franklin, Deputy Scout Executive, at thomas.franklin@scouting.org

National BSA's Consideration of Bankruptcy Update 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, June 1, 2019 1:55:00 PM

What I Need to Know about Scouting in Sam Houston Area Council 

SHAC Facts 

  • Sam Houston Area Council (“SHAC”) is incorporated in the State of Texas as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The National BSA organization is a separate corporation. 
  • Founded in 1914 and serves a sixteen (16) county area in the Houston Region. 
  • Recognized as a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, holds GuideStar’s Gold Star for transparency and the 4-star rating (highest rating) from Charity Navigator with an average score of 93% for fiscal responsibility and transparency. 
  • Expansive and Growing Market Reach serving approximately 46,000 youth through a volunteer network of approximately 16,000 volunteers. 
  • Over 1,100 Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout every year.
  • Scouts and leaders annually contribute 450,000 plus service hours, estimated at a value of over $7 million.

National BSA’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Considerations 

PowerPoint Presentation

  • Primary Reason for National BSA’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Considerations  
  • Driver is the number of claims for alleged sex abuse incidents that occurred in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s that have come forward after some states in the past recent years extended the statute of limitations for such claims. 
  • We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children. 
  • We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. 
  • We believe victims, we support them, we will cover the expense for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward
  • We steadfastly believe that one incident of abuse is one too many and we are continually improving all of our policies to prevent abuse. 
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is a financial restructuring and reorganization.
  • It is not a total liquidation — National BSA is not going out of business. 
  • It would create a trust for all victims to be fairly compensated. 
  • It would ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted. 
  • BSA’s plan is to have all local councils across the USA discharged from any current filed claims and possible future claims. 
  • In response to and in preparation for anything that might happen regarding National BSA’s bankruptcy considerations, SHAC’s Board of Directors is doing its due diligence to research and act accordingly to protect SHAC’s assets. 

Nationwide Leader in Youth Protection

  • BSA’s Youth Protection
  • Developed and began implementing new youth protection policies and training in 1980s.
  • Examples include:
  • Leadership Selection
         ⇒ Completion of application including a criminal background check and mandatory Youth Protection training
         ⇒ Volunteer Screening Database check 
  • Required Training
       ⇒ Youth Protection Training is required for all BSA registered volunteers 
  • Youth Protection Reporting Procedures for Volunteers
       ⇒ Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies 
       ⇒ Mandatory Report of Child Abuse 
  • Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse
       ⇒ Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities 
       ⇒ One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting. 
  • Policies and training are working and are best practices for youth-serving organizations. 
  • 90% of all claims for alleged sexual abuse incidents occurred prior to 1987 ― before BSA’s development and implementation of current youth protection policies and required training. 
  • In 2018, there were five known victims of sexual abuse in BSA’s Scouting programs nationwide at a time when there were 2.2 million youth in our programs. 

Opportunities for All 

  • Legacy programs for boys have not changed. 
  • Innovative Family Scouting program of Cub Scouts with gender-specific dens welcomed over 1,500 girls in SHAC in 2018 and iconic Boy Scouts program remains the same but has changed the name to Scouts BSA and now includes gender-specific troops for girls with 386 girls enrolled in SHAC as of May 31, 2019. 

Commitment to At-Risk Youth 

  • Since the early 1970s, SHAC has invested millions of dollars to impact the lives of youth in the inner-city areas of the Houston Region through initiatives such as ScoutReach
  • In 2019, SHAC will invest $2.4 million in ScoutReach to serve approximately 9,400 youth – primarily at approximately 50 elementary campuses within the Houston Independent School District. 

Financial Strength and Stability 

  • SHAC 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. 
  • Every dollar contributed to SHAC stays in SHAC – 87% of every dollar contributed to SHAC is invested in programs and services.