SHAC Communication #8 for COVID-19 Response
Dear Scouting Family of the Sam Houston Area Council,

The leadership of the Sam Houston Area Council would like to present this, our eighth 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.

Since our last update, Harris County has expanded the “stay at home” order for non-essential business through May 20th. Therefore, the following modifications will be made to our plan that was released in update #7.

  • The Cockrell Scout Center will be open for drop off only beginning on Monday, May 4th with hours of 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
  • Any interaction needed with staff members must be conducted through phone and email. If you need assistance determining the appropriate person to contact, please refer to our updated “who to call directory,” or contact the receptionist at (713) 659-8111 during our office hours to be directed to the appropriate person.
  • Field-based staff (District Executives) will be working remotely during this time and are available by phone and email.
  • The 5 Scout Shop locations will reopen on Monday, May 11th. These locations will be opened to limited retail traffic and curbside pickup. As part of the social distancing protocol, only credit card payments will be accepted at Scout Shop locations. Please visit here for more store information.

As a reminder, the following updates from update #7 are still applicable.

  • Our in-person Cub Scout District Day Camps for 2020 are cancelled and will be replaced with an alternative program to be rolled out in detail later in May. This program will include two elements:
  • An online “do at home” program for families
  • A one-day program at Bovay Scout Ranch and Camp Brosig for Cub Scouts that will offer BB Gun and Archery Ranges and other camp activities. This one-day program will be offered in multiple sessions in July/August, assuming that they are permitted under current governmental guidance. Social distancing practices will be strictly enforced and communicated during the program rollout.
  • Our Cub Scout Resident Camps at Bovay Scout Ranch for 2020 are cancelled. Participants are encouraged to participate in the one-day program at our camps that will be conducted in July/August.
  • Scouts BSA Summer Camp 2020 at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake is cancelled. Each troop signed up for 2020 Summer Camp will be contacted to determine if they would like to move their reservation to 2021 Summer Camp at Tsuru Scout Camp at Camp Strake.
  • Our camping team is currently developing an alternate plan for a condensed Scouts BSA camp program at Camp Strake in July that incorporates current governmental guidance and social distancing. While the full program information will be available later in May, this program will include the following components:
  • Strict social distancing protocols, including separate tents required for all non-sibling Scouts and a highly-structured program schedule over 2-3 days.
  • Food service provided by the unit within the campsite to avoid large gatherings of participants.
  • Utilization of the most high-demand program elements for summer camp and provide the corresponding merit badge programs.
  • All council camping facilities will be closed through June 30th. This closure will include all activities, trainings, and reservations for Camp Brosig, Bovay Scout Ranch, and Camp Strake. In addition to the aforementioned cancellations, this will affect the following additional events:
  • Cub Scout Adventure Camp (May 15-17)
  • OA Spring Fellowship (May 15-17)
  • National Youth Leadership Training (June 7-13 and June 14-20)
  • All district and council meetings, activities, and events through June 14th are cancelled or postponed unless conducted over teleconference or online. 
  • 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 begin being processed for units that have closed out their sale when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens.
  • 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 ( 
  • 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:
  • Program Opportunities for Scouting at Home
  • Updated Advancement Information from National BSA for COVID-19

For all of the cancellations listed, full refunds will be applied and will begin to be processed when the Cockrell Scout Center reopens on May 4th. 

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 . The 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