Why Scouting?

Scouting is a values-based program with its own code of conduct. The Scout Oath and Law help instill the values of good conduct, respect for others, and honesty. Scouts learn skills that will last a lifetime, including basic outdoor skills, first aid, citizenship skills, leadership skills, and how to get along with others. For almost a century, Scouting has instilled in young men the values and knowledge that they will need to become leaders in their communities and country.

Boy Scout Program

Boy Scout Program Ideals

The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan.

The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.

The Scout Oath (or Promise)

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Scout Law

“A Scout is…”

A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.

A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.

A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.

A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.

A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.

A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.

A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.

A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.

A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.

A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

The Scout Motto

Be Prepared

The Scout Slogan

Do a Good Turn Daily

The Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to –

BE CLEAN in my outdoor manners.

BE CAREFUL with fire.

BE CONSIDERATE in the outdoors.



Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow is a recognized official program activity of the Boy Scouts of America, intended to recognize those scouts who best exemplify the Scout virtues of cheerful service, camping, and leadership.

Founded in 1915 by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, just seven years after British General Sir Robert Baden-Powell invented scouting in the United Kingdom, the Order of the Arrow is the uniquely American “honor society of scouting”.

Scouting’s National Honor Society


The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:

  • To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives
  • To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
  • To promote Scout camping
  • To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others


The Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934.

In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America.


The OA has more than 176,000 members located in lodges affiliated with approximately 327 BSA local councils.


Each local Boy Scout council is encouraged to have an Order of the Arrow lodge. Each lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA, upon annual application. The OA lodge helps the local council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, development of youth leadership and service, promotion of Scout camping and outdoor programs, and enhancement of membership tenure.


An Order of the Arrow section consists of lodges within a geographic area of the region. Once every year, representatives of lodges in the section come together for a conclave to share in fellowship, skills, and training. All of the elected section chiefs form the conference committee for a national Order of the Arrow event, which is held under the guidance of the national Order of the Arrow Committee.

Region Leadership

The regional chief is the youth leader of the region elected by the section chiefs for a term of office specified by the national Order of the Arrow Committee, which coincides with the term of national chief and vice chief. This election is held in conjunction with called meetings of the section chiefs to elect the national chief and vice chief, as well as to plan a national Order of the Arrow event.

The regional Order of the Arrow chairman is an adult appointed by the regional director. The professional adviser for the region is a staff member assigned to the position by the region director.

National Leaderhip

The national chief and vice chief are Arrowmen selected by the section chiefs, who form the national Order of the Arrow conference committee. They serve as members of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, representing the youth on national OA policy. They also serve as the presiding officers for the national OA event. Their term of office is specified by the national committee. They are advised in their responsibilities by the national committee chairman and director of the Order of the Arrow.

The national OA committee chairman is appointed by the chairman of the national Boy Scout Committee. The professional adviser is the director of the Order of the Arrow, a member of the national Boy Scout Division staff.

Purpose and Mission

Purpose of the Order
  • To recognize those campers — Scouts and Scouters — who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, and by such recognition cause other campers to conduct themselves in such manner as to warrant recognition.
  • To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
  • To promote Scout camping, which reaches its greatest effectiveness as a part of the unit’s camping program, both year-round and in the summer camp, as directed by the camping committee of the council.
  • To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others
Mission of the Lodge

The mission of the lodge is to achieve the purpose of the Order of the Arrow as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America in the council through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.


Order of the Arrow Membership


Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow unit members, following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity team Coach. To become a member, a youth must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team and hold First Class rank. The youth must have experienced fifteen days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The fifteen days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.

Adult selection is based on their ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and is not for recognition. Selected adult Scouters must be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities, and provide a positive role model for the youth members of the lodge.

Induction and Ordeal Membership

The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and are required to sleep alone, apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values.

Brotherhood Membership

After 10 months of service and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the OA.

Vigil Honor

After two years of service as a Brotherhood member, and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, a Scout may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for outstanding service to Scouting, his lodge, and the community. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.




Adult Leadership

Give back to the youth in your community.

Through volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America, you will work with youth to build a better future for our country. Scouting volunteers come to Scouting from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. People from just about every occupation imaginable are involved in leading youth to become responsible, caring, and competent citizens. You’ll also discover that Scout volunteering will enable you to learn new skills and build lifelong friendships while giving back to your community.


Leadership Training

One of the keys to a successful Scouting experience for young people, second only to the selection of the right person for each responsibility, is trained volunteer leadership. Leadership training provides adult leaders with fundamental information about the aims and methods of the movement, as well as specifics about their particular roles in Scouting.

For this reason, the Alamo Area Council is committed to provide top quality training opportunities for leaders, parents and Scouts at the district and council levels. Through these efforts, the delivery of a better and quality Scouting program can be provided to our entire youth membership.


Welcome to Troop 828


Congratulations to all of our new Scouts on their successful completion of Cub Scouts and crossover to Boy Scouts. We know your sons are excited to be here.

We also know that it’s a big step for them and for you, and that you may have a lot of questions about Boy Scouts in general, and about Troop 828 specifically.

We’ve tried to anticipate some of your questions, please scroll down for the answers. If you have any other questions, please come to one of our meetings at Bracken United Methodist Church, Mondays 7:30- 8:30pm. For directions click “Contact Us” for a map.

                             Scoutmaster Schmitz



How is Boy Scouts different from Cub Scouts?

There are a number of differences in the two programs, but most notable are the following:

  • Boy Scouts follow a more individualized path through the ranks to Eagle. Unlike Cub Scouts, the rank and merit badge requirements allow each boy to progress at his own pace, rather than in lockstep with the rest of his age group or patrol.
  • While Cub Scout packs are organized into dens of boys all of the same age and rank, a Boy Scout Troop is made up of patrols. The boys in a patrol may be of different ages and ranks, although we try to group boys in the same age group together in one or two patrols.
  • In Cub Scouts, each den follows its own program of meetings and activities, and the dens come together once a month for a Pack Meeting. In Boy Scouts, the Troop meets together each week. (Troop 828 meets on Monday nights at 7:30, although this may change from time to time to accommodate after-school activities.) Outings and campouts are planned as a troop, with each boy and/or each patrol assuming certain responsibilities. One meeting per month may be designated as a patrol meeting, during which the patrols will meet individually.
  • On campouts in Cub Scouts, each boy will generally sleep with his parent, although boys are allowed to share a tent. In Boy Scouts, the boys choose tentmates, and they pitch their tents and eat and sleep with other boys in their patrol. Parents are encouraged to attend campouts but form their own “parent” patrol, pitching their tents apart from the boys, and planning and cooking their own meals.

What are the ranks in Boy Scouts?

As noted above, Boy Scouts advance individually through several ranks in order to reach the highest Scout rank, the rank of Eagle. Each boy enters the Troop as a Scout. He then works to complete rank achievements and merit badges to advance to Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Troop 828 is very proud of the large number of its Scouts who have achieved Eagle Rank over the years of the Troop’s existence.

How does rank advancement work in Boy Scouts?

In Cub Scouts, the den leader or leaders monitor the boys’ progress and award rank advancements and other awards, and parents can “sign off” on completed items. In Boy Scouts, the boys follow a more formalized program of rank advancement. The Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster checks and initials each Scout’s handbook as rank advancement requirements are met. This can be done before, during or after meetings, on campouts, at summer camp, or at another time and place agreed upon. After a Scout completes the requirements for rank advancement for a particular rank, he will schedule a Scoutmaster Conference with the Troop’s Scoutmaster. After he passes his Scoutmaster Conference, the Scout schedules a Board of Review. These are held once a month, usually on the third Monday night during the Troop meeting. The Scout is required to pass his Board of Review to advance to the next rank. (At a Board of Review, the Scout comes before three to four adults, who conduct a uniform inspection and ask him a series of questions to evaluate the Scout’s maturity level and his interest and involvement in Scouting. Boards of Review for the Eagle rank are held at the District level, not within the Troop.) About once every three months, the Troop holds a Court of Honor, during which badges are awarded and the Scouts are recognized for their rank advancements and merit badges.

How do Boy Scouts earn merit badges?

Almost as soon as he starts attending troop meetings, your Scout will have opportunities to earn merit badges. Twelve merit badges are specified as “Eagle” merit badges, and some of these must be earned at each of the First Class, Star, and Life ranks in order to advance to the next rank. A large number of non-Eagle merit badges are also offered. Some badges are offered by merit badge counselors within the troop and are taught in a group setting, at meetings or campouts. Other badges are offered during Merit Badge Universities (which are run at different times during the year by the Alamo Area Council or other Boy Scout councils), at summer camp, or on special outings. For example, Troop 828 boys recently had the opportunity to attend an outing at the South Austin Rock Climbing Gym and earn their Climbing merit badge. Scouts can also work on merit badges individually. Many of the adults in Troop 828 are merit badge counselors for various badges, and we encourage new parents to apply to be merit badge counselors as well.

Who leads Troop 828?

We in Troop 828 are committed to the concept of a “boy-led” troop, which allows the Scouts to learn leadership skills, as well as to develop public speaking, organizational, and other skills they will use throughout their lives. Every six months, in May and November, we hold troop elections, during which the Scouts elect their Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, Scribe, Historian, Instructors, Patrol Leaders, and other Troop positions. The Senior Patrol Leader (“SPL”) works with the Scoutmaster to plan Troop meetings, and the SPL conducts the Troop meetings (with some adult guidance). Once a month, the SPL and Scoutmaster hold a Patrol Leader Conference (“PLC”), during which they plan the next month’s activities with the Patrol Leaders in the troop. Spencer Schmitz is our current SPL.

What equipment will my son need for campouts?

Campouts are an integral part of the Boy Scout program, and you will want your Scout to have the equipment he needs. However, you don’t need to rush out and buy him a deluxe tent, a camp stove, or a sleeping bag rated for -20 degrees. The Troop maintains a variety of camping equipment, including tents, ground covers and tarps, lanterns, cooking equipment and utensils, and a troop first aid kit. Your Scout will need a sleeping bag, a mess kit, eating utensils, a flashlight, and a backpack. We will talk about the types of equipment that are recommended before the boys go on their first Troop campout.

What one piece of equipment should my Scout keep up with throughout his time in Troop 828?

Your new Scout should have received an official Scout handbook prior to the Crossover ceremony. He should always bring his handbook to meetings and campouts, especially when he needs an adult to sign off on a completed requirement, or when he is sitting for a Scoutmaster Conference or a Board of Review. Even when he sits for his Eagle Board of Review, he will need to have his Scout handbook with him. Your Scout should always know where his handbook is! Not only does his handbook provide important information about Scouting, it will serve as his individual record of rank advancement. If there is ever a question about completion of a rank, the Scout’s handbook should contain a full record of the date of completion of every rank requirement.



Eagle Scouts

Eagle Scouts


The fact that a boy is an Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting, but also as he enters higher education, business or industry, and community service.


The award is a performance-based achievement whose standards have been well maintained over the years. Not every boy who joins a Boy Scout troop earns the Eagle Scout rank; only about 2.5 percent of all Boy Scouts do so. This represents more than one million Boy Scouts who have earned the rank since 1911.


Nevertheless, the goals of Scouting – citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness – remain important for all Scouts, whether or not they attain the Eagle Scout rank.





To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. While there are many options available to demonstrate proficiency in these areas, an number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks – Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests, which are organized by requirements and merit badges.

Merit Badges

Merit badges signify the mastery of certain Scoutcraft skills, as well as serving to increase skill in an area of personal interest. Of the more than 100 merit badges available, twenty-one must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout. Of this group, twelve badges are required, including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Camping, Family Life, and Personal Fitness. In addition, a Scout has a choice between Cycling, Hiking or Swimming, and Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving.

Scoutmaster Conferences

At each of his rank advancements, a Boy Scout takes part in a Scoutmaster conference. These conferences help the Scout to set goals for himself in line with his individual talents and abilities. At each conference, the Scoutmaster helps him evaluate how well he accomplished his present goal and then works with him in setting new goals.

Service and Responsibility

Beginning with the Star rank, and continuing through Life and Eagle, a Scout must demonstrate participation in increasingly more responsible service projects. At these levels, he also must demonstrate leadership skills by holding one or more specific youth positions of responsibility in his patrol and/or troop.

Steps in Advancement

Advancement, one of the eight methods by which the aims of Scouting are achieved, has four steps through each award level.

First, the Scout learns.

Much of his learning comes from other boys in his patrol or troop and by active participation in troop program. His patrol activities are directed toward the skills he needs. Every troop hike, camping trip, or other activity offers potential learning experiences. A Scout learns to pitch a tent by pitching one, to use a compass by finding directions, and to cook a meal by having to prepare and eat it.

Second, the Scout is tested.

The specific requirements determine the kind of testing. Verbal testing is sufficient in some instances. In other instances, a Scout must demonstrate his skills by doing.

Third, the Scout is reviewed.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that all requirements for advancement have been met. This includes a check of the Scout’s attitude and practice of the ideals of Scouting, in addition to his Scoutcraft skills. The decision regarding whether a Scout has met the required standards to qualify for rank advancement begins with the troop and, for the Eagle Scout rank, is approved by the district, local council, and finally, the National Council; this process may take as long as 4 to 6 weeks after a successful Eagle Scout Board of Review.

Fourth, the Scout is recognized.

The final step in advancement involves presentation of the badge, usually at a ceremony before the entire troop. When scheduling an Eagle Scout presentation ceremony (Court of Honor), the 4 to 6 week approval process should be anticipated.


Boys Scouts with Disabilities

Boy Scouts with disabilities may qualify for the Eagle Scout rank. Each Scout must earn as many of the required merit badges as he can. He then submits an application for alternate merit badges. His BSA local council determines the alternate merit badges for him to earn.

National Eagle Scout Association

Founded in 1972, the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) maintains contact with Eagle Scouts to sustain their interest in Scouting. Any Eagle Scout may join the association. Applications for membership in NESA are available through the Eagle Scout Service at the national office, or by this link to National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) application (PDF).

The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award was established in 1969 to acknowledge Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves in business, professions, and service to their country. Only Eagle Scouts who earned the Eagle Scout rank a minimum of 25 years previously are eligible for nomination. The award is given by the National Eagle Scout Service upon the recommendation of a committee of Distinguished Eagle Scouts.



Eagle Scout Wall of Honor

Troop 828 celebrates 31 years of Eagle Honors. Congratulations to all of these young men for their hard work and dedication to scouting. 

2014 Peter White
2013 Zachary Acevedo
2013 Austin Spier
2013 Alec Bagwell
2013 Nick Mabry
2012 Tyler Schmitz
2012 Harry Williams
2011 Spencer Georg
2010 Brian Massey
 Michael Hoffman
 Todd Mueller
 Ethan Cobb
 Kyle Struzyk
 Cory Massey
 Ryan Williams
 Jonathan Liu
 Daniel Cottingham
 Josh Schladetzky
 Kyle Mallett
 Steven Venegas
 Justin Wright
 Randy Awbrey
 Tim Awbrey
 Harrison Cobb
 Larry Polski
 Ryan Struzyk
 Kevin Jones
 Trace Mallett
 Grant Cobb
 Josh Farrimond
 Ryan Harris
 Braun Madison
 Chris McCaw
 Austin Moede
 Sam Phillips
 Greg Torre
 Christopher Antenen
 William Gay
 Klint Kuykendall
 Andrew Johnson
 Kerry Kuykendall
 Barron Blevins
 Todd Brotze
 Matthew Brotze

 Daniel Craigmile
 Jason Lawrey
 Michael Penshorn

 Chris Reger
 Michael Carr
 John Phipps




Noteable Eagle Scouts

Neil Armstrong  First man on the moon

Willie Banks  Olympic athlete, former world-record holder in triplejump and long jump

Michael Bloomberg  Mayor of New York City

Guion “Guy” S. Bluford Jr.  Retired U.S. Air Force officer and space shuttle astronaut; first African American in space

Bill Bradley Former professional basketball player, U.S. senator, and presidential candidate

Stephen Breyer Associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Mike Crapo U.S. senator from Idaho

William C. DeVries, M.D. Surgeon and educator; transplanted the first artificial heart

Michael Dukakis Former governor of Massachusetts and presidential candidate

Mike Enzi U.S. senator from Wyoming

Thomas Foley Former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and ambassador to Japan

Gerald R. Ford* 38th president of the United States

Steve Fossett* World-record holder; first to circumnavigate Earth solo in a balloon and an airplane

Chan Gailey College and professional football coach

John Garamendi Lieutenant governor of California

Bill Gates Sr. CEO of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; father of Bill Gates

Robert Gates U.S. secretary of defense and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Michael Kahn Academy Award–winning film editor

James A. Lovell Jr. Former U.S. Navy officer and Apollo 13 commander

Gary Locke Former governor of Washington; first Chinese American governor in the United States

Richard G. Lugar U.S. senator from Indiana

J. Willard Marriott Jr. Chairman and CEO of Marriott International

George Meyer Writer and producer of “The Simpsons”

Ben Nelson U.S. senator from Nebraska

H. Ross Perot Founder of EDS and Perot Systems; former presidential candidate

Rick Perry Governor of Texas

Beasley Reece Former NFL player and sportscaster

Mike Rowe Host of “Dirty Jobs” television program

Donald Rumsfeld Former U. S. secretary of defense

Jefferson Sessions U.S. senator from Alabama

William S. Sessions Former federal judge and director of the FBI

John Tesh Recording artist and performer

Togo West Former U.S. secretary of veterans affairs and secretary of the Army


Scouting’s Camping Program—Ever-Increasing Challenge Out-of-Doors

FID Logo

Age Guidelines

The Boy Scouts of America has established the following guidelines for its members’ participation in camping activities:

  • Overnight camping by Tiger Cub, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scout dens as dens is not approved, and certificates of liability insurance will not be provided by the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Tiger Cubs may participate in boy-parent excursions, day camps, pack overnighters, or council-organized family camping.
  • Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts may participate in a resident overnight camping program operating under BSA National Camping School– trained leadership and managed by the council.
  • A Webelos Scout may participate in overnight den camping when supervised by an adult. In most cases, the Webelos Scout will be under the supervision of his parent or guardian. It is essential that each Webelos Scout be under the supervision of a parent-approved adult. Joint Webelos den/troop campouts including the parents of the Webelos Scouts are encouraged to strengthen ties between the pack and troop. Den leaders, pack leaders, and parents are expected to accompany the boys on approved trips.
  • All Scouts registered in Boy Scout troops are eligible to participate in troop or patrol overnight campouts, camporees, and resident camps.
  • Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts 12 through 17 are eligible to participate in national jamborees. Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts 13 through 17 are also eligible to participate in world jamborees and high-adventure programs.
  • All youth registered in Venturing are eligible to participate in crew, district, council, and national Venturing activities as well as national high-adventure programs and world jamborees.

If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is also done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers.

Family Camping

Family camping is an outdoor experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection policies apply.

Recreational Family

Camping Recreational family camping occurs when Scouting families camp as a family unit outside of an organized program. It is a nonstructured camping experience, but is conducted within a Scouting framework on local council-owned or -managed property. Local councils may have family camping grounds available for rent at reasonable rates. Other resources may include equipment, information, and training.

References: Resident Camping for Cub Scouting, No. 13-33814,
Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines, No. 510-631,
and Scoutmaster Handbook, No. 33009

Cub Scout Overnight Opportunities

Cub Scouts may experience overnight activities in venues other than accredited resident camping. There are two categories of Cub Scout overnighters.

Council-Organized Family Camp

Council-organized family camps are overnight events involving more than one pack. The local council provides all of the elements of the outdoor experience, such as staffing, food service, housing, and program. These are often referred to as parent/pal or adventure weekends. Council-organized family camps should be conducted by trained leaders at sites approved by the local council. Each youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian.

In special circumstances, a Cub Scout whose parent or legal guardian is not able to attend an overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of another registered adult member of the BSA who is a parent of a Cub Scout who is also attending. The unit leader and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all Youth Protection policies apply. At no time may another adult accept responsibility for more than one additional “nonfamily member” youth.

Overnight activities involving more than one pack must be approved by the council. Council-organized family camps must be conducted in accordance with established standards as given in National Camp Standards, No. 430-056 .

Pack Overnighters

These are pack-organized overnight events involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities and conducted at council-approved locations (councils use Pack Overnighter Site Approval Form, No. 13-508). If nonmembers (siblings) participate, the event must be structured accordingly to accommodate them. BSA health and safety and Youth Protection policies apply. In most cases, each youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responsible to a specific adult.

At least one adult on a pack overnighter must have completed Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO, No. 34162) to properly understand the importance of program intent, Youth Protection policies, health and safety, site selection, age-appropriate activities, and sufficient adult participation. Permits for campouts shall be issued locally. Packs use the tour and activity plan, No. 680-014.

Reference: Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines, No. 510-631

Boy Scout/Varsity Scout Camping

What are typical Scout outdoor activities? For younger Scouts, less-rugged activities are more appropriate as they begin to acquire outdoor knowledge and skills. These may include:

Day Hikes—Reasonably short hikes (three to 10 miles) in terrain without a lot of elevation gain or loss.

Patrol Activities—A Boy Scout patrol or Varsity Scout squad may participate in patrol activities with the permission of its Scoutmaster or Coach and parents/guardians. Appropriate adult leadership must be present for all overnight Scouting activities.

Weekend Overnights—Troops/teams that plan and carry out outings once a month attract and retain boys at a much higher level than those that have fewer outings during the year.

Camporees—Councils and districts plan camporees and other outings during the year that give Scouts an opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in competitive events with other troops and patrols.

Summer Camp—Summer camp is what many Scouts enjoy most. Camp programs provide numerous opportunities for Scouts to earn merit badges along their advancement trail. Resident Scout camping includes at least five nights and six days of fun outdoor activities.

Jamborees—Every four years, the Boy Scouts of America hosts a national Scout jamboree. More than 40,000 Scouts and leaders from across the country participate in this 10-day event filled with the most popular and highest-quality outdoor activities Scouts enjoy. To participate, a Scout must be at least 12 years of age by July 1 of the jamboree year and be a First Class Scout.

Council High Adventure—A high-adventure experience includes at least five nights and six days of trekking in wilderness and other rugged, remote locations. Trekking may include backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking, horse packing, mountain climbing, ski touring, rafting, kayaking, or a host of other outdoor adventures. Participants must be at least 13 years old by September 1 of the year of participation or a registered Venturer.

National High Adventure—The BSA operates unique and exciting national high-adventure bases and programs. With two locations in the Florida Keys, the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base offers a variety of aquatic and boating programs. The Northern Tier National High Adventure Program, based in northern Minnesota with two satellite bases in Canada, provides a variety of canoe treks and programs. Philmont Scout Ranch, located in the mountains of New Mexico, provides excellent backpacking treks. Age requirements for these programs vary, but most programs are rugged and designed for older Scouts.

Unit High Adventure—The highest level of challenge for a troop or team is to plan and carry out its own highadventure experience. These activities for more experienced Scouts are planned and implemented by youth members with coaching from their adult leaders.

Venturing Camping

Venturing camping can include high-adventure activities, such as scuba diving, water skiing, rock climbing/rappelling, caving, horseback riding, and more, but can also include many avocation/hobby interests. Venturing members can participate in the national Scout Jamboree.

Venturing camping should not be just an extension of a Boy Scout resident camp. Venturers need a more teenageoriented experience. Having Venturers involved in this planning process is a must.

Important differences in outdoor programs for Venturers include:

  • Venturing outdoor activities must include experiences beyond those available to younger youth.
  • Consideration of coed involvement.
  • Venturers should have a voice in choosing and planning activities.
  • Venturing outdoor programs should be patterned after types of activities that appeal to adults and teenagers.
  • The camp experience should not be overly structured, and should allow Venturers the opportunity to choose activities.

Trek Safely

Trek Safely is designed to help Scouting groups be fully prepared for a backcountry trek. It will help each youth member and adult leader recognize situations that could develop in which the group will have to adjust its schedule or route, or even make camp for the night because of weather circumstances or an injured or ill crew member. Crews that address possible scenarios in advance are less likely to be surprised on the trail. Contingency planning is critical to the success of every trip.

For additional information, go to www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/430-125.pdf .

Reference: Trek Safely flier, No. 430-125

Lightning Risk Reduction

In many parts of the country, Scouting activities in the outdoors will be at risk to thunderstorms and lightning strike potential. In a thunderstorm, there is no risk-free location outside.

First, to be prepared for your outdoor adventure, it is important to know the weather patterns of the area. Weather patterns on the Florida coast differ greatly from the mountains of New Mexico and the lakes of Minnesota or the rivers of West Virginia. In addition to patterns, monitor current weather forecasts and conditions of the area you plan to visit to modify your plans if needed.

The National Weather Service recommends that when the “Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! The only completely safe action is to get inside a safe building or vehicle.” When a safe building or vehicle is nearby, the best risk-reduction technique is to get to it as soon as possible. Move quickly when you:

  • First hear thunder,
  • See lightning, or
  • Observe dark, threatening clouds developing overhead.

Stay inside until 30 minutes after you last hear the last rumble of thunder before resuming outdoor activities.

Shelter—two forms:

  • Safe Building—one that is fully enclosed with a roof, walls, and floor, and has plumbing or wiring. Examples of safe buildings include a home, school, church, hotel, office building, or shopping center.
  • Safe Vehicle—any fully enclosed, metal-topped vehicle such as a hard-topped car, minivan, bus, truck, etc. If you drive into a thunderstorm, slow down and use extra caution. If possible, pull off the road into a safe area. Do NOT leave the vehicle during a thunderstorm.

Risk Reduction (when no safe building or vehicle is nearby):

  • If camping, hiking, etc., far from a safe vehicle or building, avoid open fields, the top of a hill, or a ridge top.
  • Spread your group out 100 feet from each other if possible.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees; flag poles; totem poles; or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.
  • If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low area, but avoid flood-prone areas. Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lighting.
  • Stay away from water, wet items (such as ropes), and metal objects (such as fences and poles). Water and metal are excellent conductors of electricity.
  • If boating and you cannot get back to land to a safe building or vehicle: On a small boat, drop anchor and get as low as possible. Large boats with cabins, especially those with lightning protection systems properly installed, or metal marine vessels offer a safer but not risk-free environment. Remember to stay inside the cabin and away from any metal surfaces.

If lightning strikes, be prepared to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) so that you can tend to lightning victims quickly (they do not hold an electrical charge). Take anyone who is a victim of a lightning strike or near-strike to the nearest medical facility as soon as possible, even if the person appears to be unharmed.

For additional information on lightning and weather services, visit www.noaa.gov .

Treated Drinking Water

A constant supply of treated drinking water is essential. Serious illness can result from drinking untreated water. Protect your health, and don’t take a chance on using water of uncertain quality. Thermos jugs, plastic water containers, and canteens are all satisfactory for carrying water. Be sure water is dispensed into each person’s own drinking cup.

Safe Drinking Water

When possible, begin your trip with water from home or use approved portable water sources provided by the land manager. When these options are not available, streams, rivers, lakes, springs, and snow may provide a source of water, but they must always be treated by one of the following methods. All water of uncertain treatment should be treated before use.


The surest means of making your drinking water safe is to heat it to a rolling boil—when bubbles a half inch in diameter rise from the bottom of the pot. While this is a simple method, it does require time and fuel.

Chemical Treatment

Chemical treatment consists of iodine or chlorine tablets that kill waterborne bacteria and viruses. These are simple, lightweight, and easy to pack. However, not all protozoa are eliminated by chemical treatment, and a waiting period is required for effective disinfection of drinking water. Micropur is a new product available for water purification.

In all cases, verify that the chosen method of chemical treatment meets EPA standards. Liquid chlorine should be used only in an emergency.

  1. Filter the water to remove as many solids as possible.
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil for a full minute.
  3. Let it cool at least 30 minutes.
  4. Add eight drops of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of cool water. (Use common household bleach; 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite should be the only active ingredient, and there should not be any added soap or fragrances.) Water must be cool, or chlorine will dissipate and be rendered useless.
  5. Let the water stand 30 minutes.
  6. If it smells of chlorine, you can use it. If it does not smell of chlorine, add eight more drops of bleach and let it stand another 30 minutes. Smell it again. You can use it if it smells of chlorine. If it doesn’t, discard it and find another water source.
  7. The only accepted measurement of chlorine (or water treatment agents) is the drop. A drop is specifically measurable. Other measures such as “capful” or “scant teaspoon” are not uniformly measurable and should not be used.


Portable filters are handheld pumps that force untreated water through a filter media that traps bacteria and protozoa. Many include a purifying stage that will also treat viruses. While very effective, filters must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and they are difficult to use with groups because of the time required to operate.

In addition to having a bad odor or taste, water from questionable sources may be contaminated by microorganisms, such as Giardia, that can cause a variety of diseases.


Weekend Camping

The Troop organizes opportunities for weekend camping year round.

Please check the calendar page for upcoming events.

Summer Camp

Please check the Troop Calendar for Summer Camp details.


 Bracken United Methodist Church

Advancement Program

Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn these ranks, from joining until leaving the program, have an exciting and meaningful experience.

Education and fun are functions of the Scouting movement.  They are the basis of the advancement program.

A fundamental principal of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his/her participation in unit programs.

Please contact Jack Morawiec for more information relating to Scout advancement.



Merit Badges

Merit Badges

Merit badges signify the mastery of certain Scoutcraft skills, as well as serving to increase skill in an area of personal interest. Of the more than 130 merit badges available, twenty-one must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout. Of this group, twelve badges are required:

  • First Aid,
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Communications
  • Environmental Science
  • Personal Management
  • Camping
  • Family Life
  • Personal Fitness.
  • In addition, a Scout has a choice between Cycling, Hiking or Swimming, and Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving.



Merit Badge University

Merit Badge University (MBU) is a a one day event hosted by the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council, for Boy Scouts in the 6th-12th Grade or ages 11-17 to earn up to four merit badges to help with their path to earn their Eagle Scout rank and serve our community.

This is typically held 2-3 times per year at Northwest Vista College, 3535 Ellison Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78251






Contact Us

The troop meets on Mondays from 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Bracken United Methodist Church 20377 FM 2252 San Antonio, Texas 78266


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