Boy Scouts of America, Sam Houston Area Council
Escouter Newsletter                                            Oct. 2013      
In This Issue
Leader's News
Program News
Community Scout Events
Order of the Arrow
Quick Links
Donate your car or boat to Scouting

New edition:
Guide to Advancemnt

Houston Arboretum offers Cub Scout courses on forestry, nature, conservation
HMNS new advancement courses for fall.  also new Cub Scout sleepover adventure 

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National BSA and

Interamerican Scout Conference to be hosted in  Houston in Fall of 2016


In September, SHAC youth & adult representatives traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to participate in the 25th Interamerican Scout Conference. They met scout representatives from 33 countries of North, South, & Central America, and the Caribbean that make up the Interamerican Region, one of the six regions of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM).

The "Howdy Team" from Houston - Kelsey

McLeland, Gus Sanchez and Daniel Lopez with support from Ron Thomas, Bill Farrell, and Armando Aguirre - presented a spirited, winning bid to the General Assembly as BSA ambassadors to host the 26th Interamerican Scout Conference.

The last time this tri-annual meeting was held in the US was in 1972 in Miami.


A Century of Service

On April 11, 1914, the Sam Houston Area Council received its first charter to give boys the benefits of the Scouting Movement  

Check out the featured activities to celebrate our Century of Service. .  Reserve your place now at camp to ensure your 2014 CAMP segment!


BSA driver Justin Wilson appears at Grand Prix of Houston Oct 4-6

For Our Leaders, Parents, Volunteers...


Membership Policy Update

With the combined leadership of volunteers and professionals, seven task forces have reviewed every aspect of the Scouting movement, including unit operations, finance and fundraising, camping and outdoor, youth and adult audiences, chartered and community organizations and human resources. The good news from this process is that after a thorough review, it has been determined that no major changes are required.  View video and resources

Please click HERE for the full resolution on the new membership policy effective Jan. 1, 2014.
  Leader's News      


Sell Popcorn...starting TODAY

Our annual Scouting Popcorn Sale officially starts today.

Kickoffs have passed but it's not too late to get started. Visit Popcorn for tons of materials to assist you in having a successful sale as well as the power point presentation offered at the trainings. Contact your unit popcorn chair "Kernel" or District Executive to find out how to get started.


Every year thousands of Scouts and families participate to earn funds to help maintain and improve their Scouting Program. There are cool prizes added to the prize program this year along with the gift card.  Other incentives include the Barricade Dart Blaster at the $600 Club level and our $1500 Club award...and even a College Scholarship. Scouts earn valuable funds, have fun and gain self-confidence while they develop salesmanship techniques. For every Barricade Dart Blasterdollar, Trail's End returns over 70% back to local Scouting, and over 30% goes directly and immediately back to local Scouting units. For those of you with family outside the Houston area, you can set up an on-line account and encourage friends and family to purchase their favorites online and the popcorn will be shipped directly to them. Remember that 4 out of 5 consumers will purchase Trail's End Popcorn when asked. So set a goal, wear your uniform, be polite, be careful, have fun, and good luck with your Poptober sale in 2013! 


Please direct popcorn inquiries to . Sales forms and Leader guides are on the popcorn Website page and also at the council front counter at the Cockrell Service Center. See important dates on the popcorn page



Council Recognition Reception, Oct. 15
Join us for the Awards Reception on Oct.15 at Chapelwood UMC  located at 11140 Greenbay Street, Houston 77024   Map  The Silver Beaver Award is the highest form of recognition that a local council can bestow on a volunteer for distinguished service in the area.   2013 Recipients List In addition to family, friends and Scouters, all past Silver Beaver recipients are invited to attend and congratulate this wonderful group. Light snacks and refreshments will be served, following the ceremony.
Leader Training Requirement
Through the implementation of required training for leaders, Councils all over the nation experienced an increase in youth retention, camp attendance, advancement, and overall membership.  These results show how much training affects the health of your Pack, Troop, Crew, Ship, Team or Post. Our goal is training for all of our unit leaders. For the upcoming re-charter in December, 2013, make sure all top unit leaders are trained.  Top leaders are Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Advisors, Skippers, and Coaches. For information on what is required to be a trained leader, click here  SHAC training schedule  submit training records


Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow, Nov. 9 
Pow Wow is a training convention that takes place in a festive atmosphere designed for pack leaders. Cubmasters should take all Cub Scout leaders to this learning extravaganza. Course schedule  There will be something for Leaders, Assistants & Parents. Event is from 8-4, Davis Senior High School, 12525 Ella Blvd Houston, TX 77067
New Unit Recharter changes in 2013
All unit and District re-charters are now due on the same schedule which is no later than December 15, 2013. In October, get ready for Unit re-charter training and complete your unit membership inventory. You can start to re-charter online on November 1 if all necessary steps are taken..
Fall Recruitment time is here

Fall Rallies...our annual membership drive has come again.  Most of our packs have successfully completed their 1st Rally night at their school.  Don't get down if your pack didn't reach your unit's recruitment goals.  The Council gets over half of their new Scouts every year from outside of the first school-based rally. Here are some great ideas to get the word out about Scouting:

  • Have a theme-based rally night like a Magic Show, Cars or even football. Themes can provide a draw for a new boy coming into Scouting. 
  • Capitalize on your best recruitment aid... the Scouts themselves with Peer-to-Peer recruitment. 
  • Participate in flag ceremonies or other community events to increase the visibility of your unit. 
  • For older boys entice them with the events your unit is already doing (High Adventure, Camping, ect.) 

Follow up with the packs that feed into your units to find out if they have any Scouts that didn't cross into Scouting in the past year.  The Crews and Teams should be talking to the troops to see if they had any members age out that would like to continue on in Scouting as a youth.   

Make sure you update with the current troop leadership information. Each unit should be checking their units page for leads from parents that are looking to join there Scouting unit. . 



For further information or membership related questions, please contact your District Executive. More info on membership rallies



BSA membership fee increased to $24
The Boy Scouts of America will increase its annual membership fee for youth and adults to $24 from $15, beginning January 1, 2014.  This fee will be prorated at $2 per month for all new members starting after January 1st. This does include all Sam Houston Council units with a December 31, 2013, Unit Charter expiration date.The BSA's last fee was in 2010, and since then, the organization has taken steps to control and reduce costs. What does your $24 annual fee pay for? Simply put, the Boy Scouts of America's National Council provides and updates program materials, and supports 280 local councils that administer the Scouting program. This includes providing technology, training, year-round high adventure bases and national events.
10% off Scouting Uniforms
Purchase a complete uniform and take 10% off the total price. Offer valid thru October 27th and on Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturing, and adult uniforms. Email to sign up for our newsletter that gives you great deals and new item notices monthly.
New Leader Toolbox
The second version of the new MyScouting Tools was recently released to Key 3 volunteers at the unit level (the unit leader, the committee chair, and the charter organization representative) and at the district level (district chair, district commissioner, and district executive).
With this release, volunteers can maintain training and advancement records at the unit level. The new tools provide more intuitive functionality and improved navigation. It's designed to be easy and transparent so that volunteers can focus more on Scouting. Non Key 3 members will continue to have My Dashboard access.  To learn more, sign into my scouting, CLICK HERE.
Cub Scout Shooting Sports Training
Anyone planning to supervise a shooting range at a District or Council event, including: Cub Scout archery, BB Guns, Wrist Rockets (Slingshots), Catapults or Rockets....must take Range Master training. BSA requires all Cub Scout shooting sports to be supervised by a BSA certified Range Master. Range Master training covers setting up a range, safety, handling equipment, using a bow stringer, maintaining and storing equipment and instructing Scouts.Pre-registration is strongly encouraged so enough trainers and handouts are available.
Oct. 12:  Fun with Son volunteers...BB Gun & Archery Range Master Training at Cockrell Scout Center
Nov. 9:   BB Gun & Archery Range Master Training at Pow Wow
Register with Geno at 713-756-3304; Email:  Questions, Cub Scouts Shooting Sports Chair can be reached via email at or via telephone at (832) 692-9271.
Cub Scout Leader BALOO
For a Pack to go camping, there MUST be at least one registered leader on the outing that is BALOO trained. BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) is an 8 hour outdoor training which helps with understanding the BSA progressive camping program for Cub Scouts. BALOO will be offered at Cub World - Camp Strake on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Cost is $15.00 and includes materials, hand-outs, and lunch. Register here   Questions, contact Michelle Phillips at Michelle.Phillips@SHAC.ORG or Michael Scherer at

Volunteer for American Heart Walk, Nov. 16
The American Heart Association will be holding its annual Heart & Stroke Walk on November 16 at Reliant Park. Sign up for a service role to help.  This packet describes the duties and responsibilities. Register as a volunteer.  This is a great opportunity to gain experience and make a huge impact on our community!  If you have questions about the Heart and Stroke Walk, please call Shayna Guerra at 713-610-5051 or email at


Service Opportunity to Volunteer: Fun with Son
We are actively recruiting volunteers from each district to help us deliver this Cub Scout camping experience. Scouts and Scout Leaders alike from Troops, Crew, Teams and Ships throughout the Council are encouraged to help with this annual event.... Fun with Son is an overnight campout for newly registered Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts and their adult partner at Camp Strake in Conroe or Camp Bovay near Navasota from October 18-20, 2012. Scouts will enjoy BB guns, archery, sling shots, crafts, sports, games, campfire, and more. Contact your District Professional to volunteer---no charge to attend, meals will be provided, and campsites are available. More info, email


Tour Plans 

The new online tour and activity plan has been developed and is active. Please go to You do not need a tour plan for Council sponsored activities or camping at Council camps. For the Council's Guidelines on when to file a tour plan, Click Here.



Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pleased to partner with the Boy Scouts of America to increase the level of citizen preparedness across the country. DHS has asked the Boy Scouts of America to build upon the foundation of the Ready campaign and to help citizens across the country prepare for emergencies of all kinds. October update... more

Enterprise Risk Mgmt Guide for Units 
The purpose of this guide is to prepare adult leaders to conduct Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner. Communicate the importance of incident and near-miss reporting and hold staff members accountable for implementing reporting procedures at unit, district, and council levels.  For Guide     more

Wood Badge Adult Leadership Course

Wood Badge is a six-day advanced leadership course for Scout Leaders involved in all program levels- Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing. Participants will learn techniques to become better leaders. registration for our 2013 Fall courses The dates for our fall Wood Badge courses are October 10-12 (Thursday to Saturday course) and SHAC 13-4: October 25-27 and November 22-24 (Friday to Sunday course).



STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

STEM is part of an initiative the Boy Scouts of America has developed to encourage the natural curiosity of youth members and their sense of wonder about these fields through existing programs. From archery to welding, Scouts enjoy the wide range of STEM-related activities. Nova Awards program provides youth recognition for their efforts.  We are seeking experts in these fields to support our Scouting programs and help create STEM programs for 2013-2014. If you would like to share your expertise and join the new SHAC STEM committee, please contact  Michelle     more


Youth Protection Training
Youth Protection Training is required for all leaders to be registered with the BSA every two years. The classroom version (per Texas law) is required within the past 2 years for all adults participating in along-term camping experience in the state of Texas. This includes day camp scheduled over consecutive days, Cub Scout/Webelos Scout resident camp, summer camp, and winter camp. Adults must complete the test with a score of 70% or higher to be considered trained and will receive a training card. A copy of each test will be on file for two years. Classroom Facilitated Youth Protection Training will be available in Districts leading up to summer camp and Day Camp. You may also check web sites of neighboring districts. Check here for more info.
 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, Exploring
Fun with Son, Oct 18-20
Fun with Son is an overnight campout for newly registered Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts and their parent or guardian at Camp Strake in Conroe or Bovay Scout Ranch near Navasota from October 18-20, 2013. Scouts will enjoy BB guns, archery, sling shots, crafts, sports, games, campfire, and more. Admission includes two meals (dinner, breakfast). Registration is now open / more info   register
Bovay Scout Ranch
Bovay Scout Ranch

Adventure Camp at Bovay

Join a weekend camp out for Cub Scouts and their families. Admission covers three meals in the air conditioned dining hall, the Scout's activity supplies and a camp patch for the Scouts.

Webelos Coyote Trail Xtreme, Nov. 15-17
You are invited to attend the 2013 Webelos Coyote Trail XTREME!!
We are putting on a one of a kind event just for Webelos Scouts!
Why? To have the MOST FUN you will ever have! Space is Limited! Sign up NOW! 
For questions please contact: Geno Aguilar at 713-756-3304 or  For more information or to register online  Registration
Weekend Unit Camping at Bovay

Troops, Teams, Crews, Packs, or Webelos Dens can enjoy the amazing beauty of Bovay Scout Ranch rolling hills, trails and vast open spaces. Clean campsites, restrooms and showers are available; units may design their own program activities and provide their own meals during these weekends. register  



Winter Camp, Register NOW

As summer comes to an end, our Winter Camp key staff members are busy making preparations for another great week of Winter Camp at Camp Strake, taking place December 26-31, 2013.  See merit badge list. $250.00 per Scout.  Reserve for 10 and get two free adult registrations.  Reserve for up to nine Scouts and get one free adult registration.. For details please   visit webpage 



Weekend Camping at El Rancho Cima


Experience El Rancho Cima year around.  Your Unit Can:
 Ride the longest zip line in Texas
 Enjoy a Horseback Ride
 Canoe in the Blanco River
 Shoot...Kayak...and Hike 
More information   Register Cockrell River Camp   Walter Scout Camp at Horseshoe Bend  or contact Tami Kinn at 713-756-3309




Register for Summer Camp at El Rancho Cima

In 2014, we have two camp anniversaries to celebrate...60 years of camping at Cockrell River Camp and 40 years at Walter Scout Camp at Horseshoe Bend.  Join the celebration during your week of camp. Don't wait, secure your week at El Rancho Cima NOW!!!  If you sign up and follow the payment plan, each Scout and adult will receive an El Rancho Cima T-shirt.   If 50% of the youth that your unit recharters  come to camp,  the unit leader will receive a Fishing Shirt with the 100th anniversary logo.  OR If 75% of the youth that your unit recharters come to camp, the unit leader will receive a satchel with the 100th anniversary logo  (must follow the payment plan for these offers)   More


First Aid Meet, Feb. 15

The 36th Council First Aid Meet is Saturday, February 15, 2014 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer at Edloe St. Each district is allowed TWO (There can be no ties) representative teams from Boy Scout Troops. (This is a Boy Scout program only). Winning teams representing the district must be from regular existing (natural) patrols. . Each team should be composed of five members.  For each problem, there will be four performers and one victim and any other patrol members must "sit out". The Patrols will compete for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. The cost for the 2014 Council First Aid Meet is $25.00 per patrol. more


Personal Management Merit Badge 

First Community Bank is proud to have merit badge counselors who assist with the Personal Management Merit Badge. Sessions are held every other Thursday from 4:30- 5:30.  Contact your closest First Community Bank to schedule your appointment.


Cinco Ranch:
First Colony:
Sugar Creek:
Sienna Plantation:


Land Stewardship Day, Nov. 9

Help restore the beauty and function of the land in our area by participating with a land stewardship organization in a conservation service project.  OR identify a need yourself and partner

with a local organization.  Serve this year and prepare

for participation in our 100 year anniversary celebration in 2014.  More



Railroading with Metrorail, Nov. 16
Fulfill six of the requirements of your Railroading merit badge with Houston METRORail, Nov. 16 (subject to merit badge counselor approval).Experience a fun day on the METRORail with the "Think Rail" safety training at METRO's Rail Operations Center on Nov. 16. Three new light-rail lines are opening in Houston in the next year, with the North Line opening this December. Join METRO to learn about railroading and safety, get a tour of where the light-rail trains live and take a ride on the METRORail's Main Street Line. Two classes will be offered on Nov. 16. For more details, contact
Space is limited so sign up early.


  Scout Days, Scout Nights


Grand Prix of Houston, Oct. 6


Experience the thrill of world-class racing as the Grand Prix returns to Houston featuring the fastest cars in North America. Cheer for BSA driver, Justin Wilson during this festival of speed. Join us for Scout Day and save 15%.  Scout groups 20 or more, contact Tony Sullivan to reserve (  For individual tickets, use the promotion code BSA2013.


Schlitterbahn Scout Day, Oct. 26

Join us for the first annual Cub Scout Day where you can work on your Swimming advancement! It's all at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark... All Cub Scouts receive an opportunity to participate in requirements for the Swimming Loop and Pin, with all-day park admission and a FREE Schlitterbahn Scout Day Patch.The circuit begins at 9:00 a.m. exclusively for Cub Scouts. The park is open to the public 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Admission $17 + tax per person, all ages (Save $11)  Registration and more info  




Houston Rockets vs Orlando Magic, Dec. 8
Game starts at 6:00 p.m. Tickets $15 and up. No service charges or handling fees either online or by 713.758.7321.  Log on  and use code SCOUTNIGHT.. more info
Support Scouting      



Leaders of Tomorrow...Endow NOW Campaign

In 2012, 244 donors helped the Sam Houston Area Council "Be Prepared", increasing the Endowment by $1,163,738.  All gifts to Endowment will be included in the Leaders of Tomorrow Campaign providing essential resources for future needs in Capital and Endowment through 2016.  From now until December 15, all individual gifts in the amount of $500 - $25,000 made to the Endowment will be matched one for one by The Cockrell Foundation.  Following our Spending Policy, over $1,101,000 was returned to Scouting in 2012.  Learn more in our annual Stewardship Report. 


Gifts to the Sam Houston Area Council's permanent endowment ensure that our Council will continue to offer the outstanding programs we currently have and allow for growth to meet the future needs of our youth and communities. Endowment gifts allow individuals to make a financial commitment with a long term view to the work of the Council.

Check out the Mobile App  Thank you for your support and commitment to the youth of the Sam Houston Area Council.  We need you in our camp!



It's a Match Gift!
Many corporations match employee contributions made to the Boy Scouts - these gifts are known as "Matching Gifts".  Additionally, some companies will make contributions on behalf of volunteer time given to Scouting. MORE


Do you work with Exxon Mobil?
ExxonMobil foundation allows districts and sub-districts in the council to establish accounts.  If you are employed by Exon Mobil and would like to apply for VIP grants please call 713-756-3318 on how to proceed.  Volunteer grants help districts achieve their Friends of Scouting goal 

Order of the Arrow
2013 OA Unit Elections
If you have not already done so, now is the time for your Troop or Team to sign up for the 2013 Order of the Arrow elections.  Elections run from September 1, 2013, and must be concluded by November 18, 2013 for the 2014 class of candidates.  This election timing ensures the election of youth members by those most familiar with their leadership, service, and camping experience. 
If your District's/Chapter's Unit Election Committee has not yet contacted you, please contact the Chapter Order of the Arrow Adviser in your District to schedule an election for your unit and to receive your election forms.  Contact information for Chapter Advisers can be found here:

Fall Pow Wow, Nov. 1-3
For the first time ever, any Boy Scout or Adult Leader registered in Sam Houston Area Council can attend Pow Wow for the day!  Sign-up today and Be Prepared for a fun-filled weekend of OA fun with your friends. 
Location: Camp Strake     Registration: