Fall Articles

Fall Popcorn Sales

August 1 - December 1, 2014

Selling gourmet popcorn is a wonderful opportunity for units to earn funds to support their entire year of Scouting. Online sales begin August 1, 2014. Traditional take-order sales run from October 1 to November 24, 2014.

One representative per unit should attend the council's popcorn kick-off on September XX at XX Location (XX address). Sales materials and dinner will be provided. Sign up your unit.

Why Sell?
• Increase unit and council income – 70% stays local.
• Pay for entire Scouting program.
• Scouts learn life lessons by “earning their own way.”
• Trail’s End prize program motivates Scouts.
• Loads of incentives – $600 Club, college scholarships.
• Sell online to those friends and family to earn more income and prizes. Register your unit and Scouts now for online accounts.
• Sales materials and resources provided at council popcorn trainings held in September.

Important Dates:

August 1 - November 24 Online popcorn sales (count toward Scout rewards)
September XX Popcorn Training at <insert date & location of training held nearest you>
October 1 - November 24 Traditional take-order popcorn sales
December 1 Unit orders due on Trail's End website
December 13 Unit top sellers form due to district (at distribution center)
December 13 Unit payments due to district (at distribution center)
January 10 Top seller's celebration (for council, district & online top sellers)

Cub Scout Fall Recruiting

The fall recruiting campaign focuses on recruiting new families to the fun and adventures of Cub Scouting. For resources, visit the council and national websites. 

Here are some table tents to use during your recruiting night. For more information, contact our district membership chair, XX or our district executive, XX.

Ideas on how to produce a successful rally:

  • School visits (classrooms, lunchrooms, recess, etc.).
  • Send flyers home from school to all prospective members.
  • Posters in schools, businesses, community organizations, etc.
  • Put Cub Scouting messages on marquees at schools, subdivisions, and businesses.
  • Set up a booth at “Meet the Teacher” nights, open houses and charter partner.
  • Post yard signs in every Cub Scout family’s yard.
  • Public address announcement at the school on the day of the rally.
  • Articles in local newspapers, subdivision newsletters, and chartered partner newsletters.
  • Have Cub Scouts wear their uniforms on the day of the rally.
  • Plan a second event (e.g., pack meeting) to invite prospective Cub Scouts. Use the second chance flyers.


SHAC Venturing Summit

August 8-10, 2014

The Venturing Summit is the end-of-the-summer activity for all Venturers, Sea Scouts and friends who are thinking about joining the program. There will be a full slate of activities such as small boat sailing, rowing, slip and slide, swimming, kickball, volleyball, geocaching, Guitar Hero challenge and more. Make it a full weekend, just a day, or a night and a day activity. Venturers can camp, or just enjoy a long summer day. The Venturing Summit is being held at Bovay Scout Ranch and offers a chance to relax, do as much, or as little as you want, visit with old friends and make new friends, enjoy meals prepared for you, and of course, engage in a lot of fun activities. Venturing is a youth development program for young men and women 14 years of age (and in the 9th grade) through 20 years old. Venturing provides positive experiences to help young people mature and become responsible and caring adults. The program offers fun and challenging activities that promote character development, citizenship, and physical fitness.


BeAScout.org is a tool prospective families use to find units to join. BeAScout.org has a Google pin for every unit. Is your unit information up to date, or do you have the unit leader from three years ago as your contact?  Unit leaders can update your unit information to make it EASY for new Scouting families to find your unit by logging into myscouting.org and looking under Unit Tools, selecting BeAScout, and then clicking on "Unit Pin Management."

SHAC Program Guide

The Program Guide is a great resource for district and unit leaders and is available electronically. A copy of SHAC's Program Guide is distributed to each unit at May Roundtable. This guide include next year's district and council calendars, as well as information on all the fun events for the upcoming year.

Central Division Program Guide
East Division Program Guide
Frontier Division Program Guide
North Division Program Guide
South Division Program Guide
West Division Program Guide

Planning ahead allows units to generate new ideas, find resources, and Scouts to have a quality program that is exciting and will create memories! SHAC has a variety of leader resources and toolkits to help with planning.

SHAC American Indian Weekend

August 15-17, 2014

American Indian Weekend (AIW)  is an opportunity to learn more about the American Indian culture and expand your dance and craft skills. Opportunities will be focused on learning to dance, making outfits and crafts, singing and many other areas of the American Indian culture. Participants will have an opportunity to gain hands on experience with some of the best craftsmen in the Scouting movement. AIW is open all Boy Scouts and Venturers. Activities will include classes (e.g., beadwork styles, fingerweaving, fan construction, moccasin construction, ribbon shirt construction), ceremony workshops, regalia workshops, dance classes, singing classes, Indian Lore Merit Badge (limited to 50), and a Saturday night pow wow with with past and present champion dancers, competitions and intertribal dances.

OA Troop/Team Representative Summit

August 17, 2014

The OA Troop/Team Representative Summit is a training experience for Order of the Arrow (OA) troop/team representatives and their advisers. The OA troop/ream representative is a leadership position held by an OA member. He serves as a liaison among the unit, chapter and the lodge. Practically speaking, this gives your unit a voice in the OA and is the avenue through which your troops questions or requests of the OA are addressed. The summit focuses on building leadership skills, providing service to the troop and working with the OA troop/team representative adviser. The summit emphasizes how the OA troop/team representative is a jack of all trades in his various leadership situations. The course also revolves around the OA Unit of Excellence Award and will give Arrowmen an opportunity to develop a plan for their troop to achieve this recognition. Finally, Arrowmen will begin to think critically about crafting their own goals regarding service to their unit.

SHAC Trade-o-ree

August 22-23, 2014

Houston Trade-o-ree is an opportunity to buy, sell, and trade Scout memorabilia. All proceeds from this inaugural event go to help send youth, in need of assistance, to the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) at Michigan State University. Order trad-o-ree patches as well as the 2015 NOAC Scholarship patch set:


Order of the Arrow Unit Elections

September 1 - November 17, 2014

Once each year, a troop or team may hold a unit election to elect youth members of their troop or team to become members of the Order of the Arrow. Both youth and adult Scouts and Scouters can become members of the OA, but only youth members are elected. Assistant Scoutmasters under the age of 21 are considered youth members for OA purposes. New members are voted on by every youth member of the troop present at the election - not just the OA members.

Elections are normally held at a regular troop meeting, and take about half an hour to complete. In order for an election to be held, at least 50% of your active youth members must be present – if less than 50% are present, the election must be rescheduled. The OA elections must be completed by the OA chapter election team with support of unit Arrowmen, the OA troop/team representative and the unit leader. Schedule your unit election and request the election forms.

SHAC Sea Scouts Minto Rendezvous

September 5 - 7, 2014

The Sea Scouts Minto Rendezvous is a regional event where Sea Scouts test their knowledge and skills. Sea Scouts is a youth development program for young men and women 14 years of age (and in the 9th grade) through 20 years old with a special interest in aquatic activities. Sea Scouts provides positive experiences to help young people mature and become responsible and caring adults. The program offers fun and challenging activities that promote character development, citizenship, and physical fitness. Through positive peer group interaction and adult mentoring, youth also learn honesty, responsibility, and respect.

SHAC Advancement Academy

September 27, 2014 at Cockrell Scout Center

Every unit advancement chair is highly encouraged to attend the Advancement Academy to learn all about the advancement for all program levels from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. The event is free if pre-registered by September 20. Lunch will be available for a small fee. The 2013 Guide to Advancement will be available for purchase at a special price.


SHAC Webelos Coyote Xtreme

October 10-12, 2014

Webelos Coyote Trail Xtreme is a weekend for 4th and 5th grade Webelos Scouts at Bovay Scout Ranch. During this fast paced fun filled weekend, Webelos work on Arrow of Light requirements, while trekking across the ranch to exciting outpost program areas. Webelos are introduced to the Boy Scout patrol method giving them a unique experience into the importance of teamwork and an introduction to Boy Scouts. Space is limited, so register early.

SHAC Fun with Son

October 17-19, 2014 at Bovay Scout Ranch and Camp Strake

Fun With Son gives newly registered Cub Scouts and their families an opportunity to experience and overnight camp out and exciting activities such as BB guns, crafts, archery and more! Fun With Son is held at both Bovay Scout Ranch and at Camp Strake.


Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)

October 18, 2014

Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI) is an opportunity for Scouts to "meet" other Scouts from around the world through the internet. Scouts of all ages are invited to participate. Scouts can participate at home with the help of an adult, or they can participate at the Cockrell Service Center from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration is not required. We will have some shared computers available, or we can show you how to use your device with WiFi to connect to Scoutlink.net.

Sessions are typically about 20 to 30 minutes. It’s a lot of fun, and participation is one of the requirements to earn the new “International Spirit Award.” Imagine emailing a Scout in Australia, or saying Hola! to a Cub Scout in Spain!  Flyer

SHAC Venturing Forum

October 21, 2014

Venturing Forums are held three times a year, and are a great resource and fun opportunity for your entire Venturing Crew. Each forum includes a chance to get to know fellow Venturers from across the council and features a program packed with ideas and opportunities for your crew to take advantage of and implement into its annual program plan. The council’s youth Venturing officers take the lead in driving this program and making it a great experience for both the youth and adults in the Venturing program. Bring the whole crew or ship – and prospective Venturers!  Venturing Forums are held at the Cockrell Scout Center at 7:00 pm. Venturing is a youth development program for young men and women 14 years of age (and in the 9th grade) through 20 years old. Venturing provides positive experiences to help young people mature and become responsible and caring adults. The program offers fun and challenging activities that promote character development, citizenship, and physical fitness.

SHAC Council Coordinated

October 23, 2014

Council Coordinated is a triannual meeting for district leaders to receive updates from the council at the Cockrell Service Center. Breakout sessions are typically offered for: district chair, district vice chair, district and assistant district commissioners, Boy and Cub Scout Roundtable staffs, Order of the Arrow, Eagle Scout Association, and the following committees: membership, program, activities, advancement, training, camping, popcorn, religious emblems coordinator, enterprise risk management, and communications.

SHAC Recognition Reception

October 28, 2014

The Council Recognition Reception is held annually to honor the recipients of the Silver Beaver Award and Heroism Awards. Join your fellow Scouters in recognizing the recipients of the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award a council can bestow on a volunteer Scouter. We want to celebrate and appreciate every hard-working volunteer that makes Scouting within the Sam Houston Area Council one of the best experiences in a young person's life.

OA Fall Pow Wow

October 31-November 2, 2014

OA Fall Pow Wow is Colonneh Lodge’s premier event for Order of the Arrow members. It is a combination of activities such as exciting games, sports, ceremony and dance classes, regalia building activities, competitions, pow wows, shows and more for three days of non-stop fun, food, fellowship and celebration. Don’t miss the annual Vigil Honor call out following the Saturday evening show.

SHAC Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow Training

November 8, 2014

Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow is a one-day training with new ideas and resources for Cub Scout leaders and parents. Over 50 classes are offered on topics such as awards, crafts, games, songs, skits, outdoor cooking, derbies, den meeting ideas, field trips, pack committee resources, pack meeting ideas and more. Leaders and parents can increase their knowledge, improve their skills, and gain enthusiastic attitudes about Cub Scouting. Offered only once per year, participants choose from a wide variety of activity and learning sessions and walk away with useful resources and tons of ideas!

Community Service Day

November 15, 2014

Community Service Day is an opportunity for units to perform a community service project, conservation project, project for their chartered organization, or participate in an Eagle Scout project. The Sam Houston Area Council is celebrating a "Century of Service" in 2014. To commemorate this milestone, we will log-in more than 100,000 hours of service across the 16 1/2 counties we serve. The Sam Houston Area Council will be reaching out to the communities in our area, notifying them of this day of service and encourage them to recommend projects in which units can participate.

Unit Recharter

Every December, all units (packs, troops, teams, crews, posts) are required to renew their affiliation with Scouting. Through the process, chartered (sponsoring) organizations, youth member and adult leader information is updated as well as registration fees and Boy's Life subscriptions are collected/paid. A representative of each unit completes the paperwork for renewing a charter online. With internet rechartering, units can indicate returning members, add new members, and update information for an individual or the chartered organization.

Recharter Training will be held before the October ?? and November ?? Roundtables at X:XX pm at the <insert location>.

• Unit leaders can access Internet Recharter at www.myscouting.org beginning November 1.
• Obtain your unit’s recharter packet from your commissioner. The access code will be provided.
• Start with the unit’s current information in Scoutnet. Records can be upload information from TroopMaster or PackMaster, but this can really mess up the process if the records are not perfect, so this is not encouraged.
• The final printed roster must be signed by the chartered organization institutional head and the unit leader.
• Turn in the signed roster, payment of fees, and any new members’ applications no later than the December Roundtable. Check with your unit commissioner for details.
• Unit leaders need to plan ahead to get their recharter done early as this time of the year is typically very busy and it takes time to gather information, collect fees, ensure all registered leaders have taken Youth Protection Training (YPT), ensure that top unit leaders are trained and get appropriate signatures. new

SHAC College of Commissioner Science

December 6, 2014

The College of Commissioner Science is a day of training for commissioners from Commissioner Basic Training through advanced learning experiences in unit service. The objectives are to help commissioners expand their skills and unit service philosophy. The goal of this experience is  to promote the increased effectiveness of the individual commissioner.

This ongoing training opportunity will benefit new commissioners and experienced unit commissioners. Any adult leader that is curious about the numerous resources available in the Scouting movement is also invited to attend.

SHAC Winter Camp

December 26-31, 2014

Winter Camp is held each year at Camp Strake between Christmas and New Years and is a wonderful opportunity for troops to camp and for Scouts to earn merit badges. Merit badge classes are taught by Scouters with actual real-life experiences in the field. Registration is due by October 31.

National Youth Leadership Training

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is an exciting, action-packed six-day council-level program designed to provide Boy Scouts and Venturers who are 13 years and older with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home units and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others. Content is delivered in a unit and small group outdoor setting with an emphasis on immediate application of learning in a fun environment. Courses are held in June and December. Courses fill up very early.

Cockrell Matching Gifts

A gift to endowment ensures that the council can continue to offer the outstanding programs we now have and also grow to meet the needs of our youth and community for the next 100 years. The Cockrell Foundation is providing dollar for dollar match of all individual gifts of $500 up to a lifetime cumulative maximum of $25,000 to the endowment.  The council’s permanent endowment ensures that we can offer the outstanding programs and meet the future needs of our youth. For 2014, the James E. West Fellowship Award is a recognition authorized by the National Council, B.S.A. and presented by the Sam Houston Area Council for individuals who contribute $500 or more in cash (the Cockrell Foundation will match an additional $500) or securities to the Sam Houston Area Council Endowment. This contribution is in addition to, and should not diminish or replace, the donor's annual gift to the Friends of Scouting Campaign.

Service Hours

All Scouting groups are encouraged to participate in service projects. A service project is a special Good Turn that puts Scout spirit into action. Some Good Turns are big—saving a life, helping out after floods or other disasters, recycling community trash, working on conservation projects. But Good Turns are often small, thoughtful acts—helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, cutting back brush that is blocking a sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, or welcoming a new student to your school. Anyone can get involved in a Good Turn. SHAC has a list of service opportunities for units, Scouts working on their Eagle Scout projects and Scouts working on the Hornaday award.

Attention all units!  Did you know that your unit can earn points towards the Journey to Excellence program just for logging your units community service hours online? That’s right your unit can earn up to 200 extra points if you log your service hours online. All types of service projects can be entered into this system including the Good Turn for America projects such as the shelter drive, food drive, and blood drive. Units may also enter their service hours for community projects that they took on as a unit. Please log all service hours. Journey to Excellence is the BSA's council performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our units, districts, and councils. It is meant to encourage excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.

What hours should be logged?

  • Any service hours performed by your unit for individuals or organizations in the community
  • Service hours performed by your unit to support your chartered organization
  • Scouting for Food hours
  • Volunteering on Community Service Day or similar events
  • Eagle Scout project hours