December 2011 

Newsletter for Scouts, Supporters & Valued Volunteers   



SPOTLIGHT:  Scout Fair 2012

 Discover Your World  On Saturday, April 14th, 2012, Scouts from 16 counties will unite in one place to showcase their Scouting skills.  Register for your booth and be a part this amazing event. Demonstrate the discoveries you've made in Scouting, sample great tasting food and learn some new things from our partners on the merit badge midway.  View leaders page.

General News

Play Dodgeball!

Sign up a team from your company to DODGE, DIP, DUCK, DIVE and DODGE your way to win braggin rights in this zaney and spirited team building competition slated for June 9.  contact


Looking for Holiday Gift Ideas... how about a Scout Night with one of our partners...


Texas A&M vs Northwestern, Dec. 31

11am kick off for the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Reliant Stadium. Scout Day: Receive a commemorative Scout patch, participate in pre-game flag ceremony and get a game ticket for $20. Call 832 667 3219 or


Rockets are ON...Scout Night Jan. 14

Rockets vs Portland Trailblazers...7PM. Scout tickets from $16-$33 and include gift from the Rockets. flier



Scouts...Harlem Globetrotters, Jan. 29

Join us for Scout Day with the Harlem Globetrotters, January 29, 2012 @ 2 p.m. The first 200 Scouts to purchase tickets may attend a pregame Harlem Globetrotters Skills Camp, "Hoops and Health." Fulfill some requirements for Sports Advancement and learn Around the World, Magic Cirlce and Alley 'Oop tricks. Contact or at 713-758-7577. Tickets $15 and up. 



Monster Jam Scout Night, Feb. 4

Come celebrate the 30th anniversary of Grave Digger as the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam returns to Reliant Stadium, February 4th at 7 p.m.  Scout Night includes $10 tickets, a Monster Jam Scout Patch and a free pit pass per ticket.  Contact Christina Benavides 281-367-9717





The Cockrell Foundation Matches Gifts thru Dec. 15

Great way to honor a new Eagle Scout...consider a lifetime membership in the James E. West Fellowship to endow the outstanding programs we now have and provide for future needs. While the James E. West membership is $1000, your donation of only $500 can bestow this honor. Due to the generosity of The Cockrell Foundation Matching Gift Program, you donation will be matched dollar for dollar for endowment gifts of $500-$25,000. These gifts can be pledged and paid over several months as long as they are paid in full by December 15, 2011. Your honoree will receive a certificate, a knot for his uniform, and a lapel pin.  For more information. Contact or (713)756-3321 




Donate Your Car for Scouting  Learn more here 









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Save the date...17th Annual Ten Commandments Hike, Sat. Feb. 18th.  Three hikes this year... The Downtown Hike, The North Hike, and the The Southwest HIke. Tour various churches, learn about their teachings and earn advancement requirements. Registration coming Jan. 1



Katy Area Eagle Scout Meet-UP... Eagle Scouts Stan Stanley, council commissioner; Stan Kitzman, Waller County commissioner; and Paul Huttenhoff and Brian Foster, leaders of BSA Troop 424, are co-hosting a Katy area Eagle Scout Meet-Up at La Finca Mexican Restaurant, 23930 Westheimer Parkway in Cinco Ranch, on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. Eagle Scouts  RSVP. Event is free.  A portion of food/drink proceeds will be donated to SHAC.


Sugarland Skeeters vs Bridgeport Bluefish...Join us August 24, 2012 for our first Skeeters Scout Night. Cubs Scouts will take part in a pregame advancement workshop to fulfill some requirements of Baseball Belt Loop. Boy Scouts will enjoy an overnight camp out with a movie/snacks/breakfast on Skeeters Field!


Tickets $12 for Cub Scouts and family members. Tickets $20 for game and overnight campout (750 people maximum) for Boy Scouts. Reserve by Dec. 31 and receive a free baseball cap, worth $15.00 alone! Please call 281 240 4565 or contact


YMCA offer... No Joining Fee in January

Find ways to get fit together at the YMCA of Greater Houston Open House on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Join us for fun, food, activities, giveaways and more. Contact your local Y for Open House times near you click here. New members in January will enjoy no joining fee (up to a $100 value)  Already a Y member? YMCA members will continue to receive a free month membership for every member referral. The Y is the nation's leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Learn more



The ExxonMobil Foundation offers a volunteer incentive program to help the Sam Houston Area Council for hours served individually or as part of an approved team project. Recent changes in this program allow districts to benefit - but each district needs to apply in order to participate.  Read more or contact or  (713) 756-3318



The official Sam Houston Area Council Facebook

















As we begin our second century of Scouting, we want to ensure that every Scout receives the very best program possible.  Journey to Excellence (JTE) can help achieve this vision through benchmarks on advancement, retention, training and service. 


Highlight:  "The Camp Experience"  

This is the January JtE Highlight. Each month, you should be reviewing progress toward your JtE goals for the end of your charter year. Now is the time to start thinking about your camping highlight of the year. For Cubs, this is Day Camp and Resident Camp. For Scouts, this is long term camp. For Varsity and Venturing, this is a superactivity. All of these require planning that should be started about now to have a successful camping season. 


See goals associated with this element of JTE.  Each month you can review your progress with reports  We recommend you update your scoresheet monthly. We are showing the 2012 requirements, some packs rechartering in January and February will use the 2011 requirement to earn their awards


Long term activities such as Day Camp, Resident Camp, Long-term Camp and Superactivity tend to build strong team spirit. Other important outcomes are advancement, recognition, and growth toward independence. Challenging, age-appropriate activities are an important way we help young people grow. Long term camps, whether they are day camps or a long-cruise over the horizon help our young people mature.

None of these programs happen by magic. If you have not already made plans, you need to start your process now. Make your reservations. Start your fund-raising projects. Teach and practice the skills that are needed. Prepare the youth and the adults for the commitment that it requires (and it is a commitment!) Long-term camp experiences are usually the highlightsof a youth's experience in Scouting. Make sure your youth have that opportunity!


Please note....Next Year, for all units who recharter in December through February and on, there is a new Journey to Excellence scoresheet for the coming year.   




 Leader Updates

December Rechartering

If you recharter in December, be sure to call the Cub Scouts who may be considering dropping the program.  Scouting should fit in with other commitments... you may be able to suggest another den or pack would be a better fit. For 5th grade Webelos, help the family choose a troop that will meet their needs.  These gestures can make a big impact!


Key Leaders Conference, Jan. 21

Save the date... January 21st at 8:30 (breakfast will be served from 7:00 to 8:30) for the 2012 Key Leaders' Conference. There will be classes showing district leadership the upcoming changes for 2012 as well as keeping those leaders abreast of the goings on within the Sam Houston Area Council.  Also, the 2011 Journey to Excellence awards will be given to those districts who have achieved this accomplishment.


Scouting for Food starts Jan. 28

Our Council's annual good turn begins Jan. 28 for doorhangers and Feb. 4 for food pick-up. Make plans now to be a part of Scouting for Food. Scouting for Food is your opportunity to help fight hunger in the Sam Houston Area Council. Join us along with the Souper Bowl of Caring, Houston Food Bank, and Papa Johns to help our local community. Look for more information at your District Roundtables. Click here for more information and to sign up your unit  



Popcorn Update

Please visit the popcorn page to find details regarding popcorn distribution. Aeros Experience Registration, Frequently Asked Questions and other pending items regarding the Poptober 2011 Popcorn Campaign. Congratulations to Luke Witten in Pack 130 out of the Golden Arrow district for selling $10,088 in popcorn maintaining his third year as top over all council salesmen.


Important Dates:

Popcorn Distribution Pick-Up Dec. 9 & 10 (Check district website; Unit Prize Orders Due Dec. 10);Unit Payments Due Dec. 22; Aeros Redemption Extended Jan. 20, 2012;

Houston Aeros Scout Night Feb. 4, 2012


Reaching your Journey to Excellence?

Journey to Excellence helps Districts to measure program quality on a month to month basis towards year-end GOLD qualification. All District Journey to Excellence criteria is nearing wrap-up phase. The most critical item on the form is item #1: unit participation in Journey to Excellence. All Unit Commissioners and District Committee members are encouraged to stress participation. More on JTE. If you are a District Level volunteer and have questions about the Journey to Excellence District form ONLY, please e-mail questions to Annette Matthews


Schedule Your 2012 FOS Presentation

The Friends of Scouting (FOS) program is the annual fundraising campaign that supports Council-wide programs, camps, training and helps close gaps so that EVERY boy can join Scouting and none are left behind. Please identify a date for a FOS Family Presentation as soon as possible. Our goal is 100% participation from all of our Scouting families, so that we can continue to meet the needs for youth and leaders. Any investment counts, no matter the size. Pledges can be broken down into annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly installments. Contact your local District Executive for questions and arrangements. 


Internet Advancement  

 Having trouble finding your online unit ID for advancement.  We publish and regularly update the list of all pack, troop, crews, ships and team ID numbers here 



University of Scouting, "A World of Adventure!"

Saturday, February 11th is the largest Scout training day of the year! A great opportunity to enhance your Scouting experience- Location is Aldine Senior High School, Online registation coming soon! Click here for more info 



New Community Service Forum

Check out the COMMUNITY SERVICE WEB FORUM now located on the home page.  Service Projects are listed by Scouting program and geographic area. Know about any service requests you can't fulfill yourself? Share the Community Service Forum link so they can register the project for more or ongoing help.


For Your Monthly District Committee Meeting...

New Work Plans for District Committee members are now available. The Work Plans include the agenda for the monthly committee meeting and forms for each district committee:  Activities, Advancement, Camping, Finance, Membership, Training. This and more in District Operations  



New Leader Training

Training of youth and adult leaders is very important to the success of the Boy Scout Program. Adult training begins with Fast Start and Youth Protection Training. The next step is an introduction to Scouting called "This is Scouting" also available online  This session is designed to acquaint you with the overall Scouting goals and organization. Training continues with Leader Specific Training for the Scouting position that you are registered for. There are several training opportunities available in the Sam Houston Area Council. Please consult the council training calendar for a session that best fits your schedule



Woodbadge Leadership Training 


Wood Badge is BSA's ultimate leadership training for adults, where participants are immersed in a six-day course covering the theory, practice, and experience of appropriate skills for leading others within Scouting and beyond the BSA. If you haven't had the wonderful opportunity to take Wood Badge training, take a look at our newly added Spring schedule. You must complete basic training for your position and then get your applications in to the council office , Program Services Department. For more information 


Philmont Training in 2012

Since 1950, Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, New Mexico has served as the National Training Center of the Boy Scouts of America. Each summer, conferences are conducted at "PTC" by the various departments and committees of the BSA national council. In 2012 there are dozens of exciting conferences. Register by December 31, 2011to qualify for the early bird registration price!



Enjoy the magic of Philmont with your family while you learn the "best methods" of Scouting in your conference. Your family members will enjoy hikes into the Philmont backcountry, horseback rides, crafts, games, and so much more! You'll also have plenty of opportunities to explore Philmont and the surrounding area together as a family. To register and more details  


Go for a HIKE

The Addicks and Barker flood control reservoirs offer some excellent hiking opportunities for Houston Area Scouts.  Contact Gregg Nady at to get maps or GPS routes of these trails and others.   


Addicks Reservoir:  The 2.4 mile roundtrip Bear Creek North trail with trailheads at: 1) War Memorial & Clay Road signal light on the south (requires crossing at the ROW fence on the north side of Clay Road) or 2) next to Climber's Court in Twin Lakes subdivision off Eldridge Road. Elevation ranges from 101-109'.


Barker Reservoir:  Train Track/Buffalo Bayou Loop: 5 miles roundtrip with elevations from 86-100'. Easterly segments near T103 (ditch which flows into Buffalo Bayou) can be very wet and muddy after rains.


 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, Explorers

No Cook Meals

Don't let the burn ban affect your next campout or Scouting activitiy! There are still lots of fun and excitement to be had in spite of the weather conditions and fire bans.  If you plan ahead for "no-cook meals" and bring high-calorie power foods, you can make sure your body receives the  sustenance it needs. Remember to drink plenty of water with every meal.


NEW...Webelos Coyote Trail Extreme

Coyote Trail Extreme (CTX) Camp Program is a specialty adventure weekend camp program for Webelos.  Webelos will work on Arrow of Light requirements while trekking across the Ranch to exciting Outpost program areas. With an introduction to the patrol method, Webelos gain insight into the importance of team work and an introduction to Boy Scouts.  There are two different programs: WOW (Webelos Outdoor Warrior) and WON (Webelos Orienteering and Navigation). While both programs focus on Arrow of Light requirements, WOW has a shooting sports emphasis and WON has an orienteering emphasis.  Space is very limited, so register early! 


District Day Camp / Twilight Camp 2012 

Save your district date for 2012 "Jungle Adventure" Day / Twilight Camp next summer. Scouts entering first thru fifth grade for the 2012-13 school year may attend. Scouts will make new friends and have fun earning rank advancements, shooting BBs and archery, learning new skills, playing sports, games and making crafts. Each camper will receive a t-shirt and patch.
Day Camp is a great supplement for the exciting advancement program offered at Bovay Scout Ranch Resident Camp  


High Adventure Session at REI, Dec.11

Whether you are heading to Philmont or planning another high adventure outdoor experience, you are invited to Scout Night at REI for an informative evening on gear. Experienced REI staff members will facilitate sessions on Camping Gear, Backpacks, Sleeping Bags & Pads, Footwear, and Outerwear. The stores will be closed except for participants to this event. Event is Free. Registration is required. Sessions from 7pm - 9pm.  Register Willowbrook location on Dec. 11.



El Rancho Cima, Save $20 per Scout thru 12.31

New programs for older scouts including high adventure


Rough Riders.  Sr Patrol Leaders and Scoutmasters who sign up their unit by Dec. 31 will save $20 per scout and receive a special edition belt buckle. Lasso two units who didn't come last year and you'll get a custom branding iron for your unit. To sign up, call Tami Kinn at 713 756 330 



Registration Limited for Winter Camp...Deadline Dec. 15

Troop and Staff applications are being accepted for Winter Camp at Camp Strake beginning Dec. 26th. Limited number of positions available...900 Scouts and 300 adults.Troop registraion  Staff applicationMore on Winter Camp 



Eagle Scout Announcements

Astronaut and Distinguished Eagle Scout, Mike Fossum will headline the Eagle Gathering on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at the Merrill Center in Katy, TX.  A private alumni reception with Mike Fossum will begin at 5:30 pm.  New Eagles will gather for a reception with mentoring opportunities at 5:30 pm.  Free to all 2011 Eagles and those who complete their board of review by February 24, plus their Scoutmaster and two family members.  Alumni registration   New Eagle Scout registration 


 Earn recognition for your Eagle Scout Service Project (and a possible $2,500 cash prize) by submitting your project for the Adams Eagle Scout Service Project Award. Apply here



Apply for Eagle Scout Scholarships for 2012 at



National Jamboree... more here 








Order of the Arrow

Colonneh Lodge banquet, Jan. 14

Arrowman will gather for a night of celebration at the annual Colonneh Lodge OA Banquet on January 14, 2012 at 6pm.  Together we share our appreciation for the outgoing officers and welcome the new incoming lodge officers. The Lodge Banquet will be held at the Cockrell Service Center and is an opportunity to recognize the Chapter of the Year, new Vigil Honor Members, Colonneh Lodge Numbered Certificate recipients, Founders Award recipients and to celebrate the past year's accomplishments.  It's also a time to look back at all of fun that was had over the past year and to spend time with your fellow Arrowman.  For more information, visit


Leadership Development, Jan. 14

All Arrowman are invited to attend the Lodge Leadership Development, David Hinds Memorial Training, a dynamic annual leadership training event on January 14, 2012 from 8:30 am till 4:00 pm. Learn more about the OA and Colonneh Lodge and how to become a better leader.  Youth and Adult training classes include leadership development, event planning, goal setting, and other tools needed to improve chapters.  This important training is held at the Cockrell Service Center and is open to all Arrowman, but is required for all Lodge and Chapter Officers and Advisers.   For more information, visit


Brotherhood Ceremonies

Have you been in the Order of the Arrow for more than 10 months? An Ordeal member's commitment is to return in service to their unit, a duty that should never be neglected. The Brotherhood honor is a step that an Ordeal member should take when ready to seal their membership within the OA. Take part in a spectacular Brotherhood ceremony marking the completion of induction into the Order of the Arrow: Dec 28 at Strake Seaton Lodge at 7:00. more 


National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC)

Colonneh Lodge is taking a contingent to the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) which will held at Michigan State University from July 30 through August 4, 2012. NOAC will feature a number of unique events, including ceremonies, drum, and dance, evening shows, the OA history museum, awesome recreation competitions, Founder's Day Parade, the Grand Hodag, inter-Region dodge ball and more. Cost is $800-$900.  Deposit is due by January 1.  Space is limited

Boy Scouts of America, Sam Houston Area Council