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e-News 27th Edition ~ December 2015


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Pearls of Wisdom:

"I learned how to face tough things when I was a Boy Scout; and to move forward; and to complete goals.  Young men and women, consider the possibility to join Scouting.  Because, it could be a great way for you to grow, to mature, and to enjoy and contribute to the world.  Scouting is a wonderful thing!" ~ Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller.


Hello fellow Scouters!

I have been working with the Boy Scouts of America for nearly 22 years, and I've greatly enjoyed the work that I do.  I began my career here at the Alamo Area Council as an intern back in 1993 while attending St. Mary’s University.  Believe it or not...that was my first introduction into the world of Scouting.  As an 8 year old boy, I did join a Cub Scout Pack once.  My den leader left shortly after I joined, so my time as a Scout during my youth was short—no longer than a month.

During my time with the Boy Scouts of America, I have lived in 4 different states, made many friends, been to Philmont, the National Sea Base, a couple of Jamborees, and opened the Scouting door to thousands of youth.  But, I was still missing something!  I was missing that one thing every youth in Scouting is looking for - an Outdoor Adventure.

This past September I had the opportunity to go on my first backpacking trip in the Olympic Mountains located in western Washington State. Six days. Six friends (perfect Boy Scout patrol size). A 40-pound pack. Forty-two miles on the Staircase Trail.  A journey of a lifetime!

Once we all arrived in Washington it was off to the trailhead and there was no going back. The first day was a short day of only 3 miles on a forest road. From there the trail narrowed, there were steep switch backs and elevation changes would go on for 2 – 3 miles up and/or down. To my surprise, downhill was so much harder than uphill! The second day I was ready to call it quits. I was tired, nauseous and dehydrated. My fellow patrol mates encouraged me.  “Drink more water,” they said. “We can’t go back. Our cars are at the other end. We have to keep moving.” So I gathered myself, drank a liter of water, took a few deep breaths and on we went. We were faced with several challenges including an injury that required us to split up the contents of one hiker’s pack amongst the others, fording through cold water, and the daily dose of Ibuprofen before bed. The last day was the longest. We pushed ourselves to get off the trail hiking 10 miles while stopping every 200 yards for the gentleman that was injured. Through it all we stuck together and everyone made it out.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because after talking about it for 22 years, I now better understand the benefits of being on the trail for a week with all of life’s necessities strapped to your back. There was no TV, no telephone, no internet, no shower, and no flushing toilettes. Just me, my friends, and Mother Nature. We had to watch every step to make sure that no one fell off the trail, keep ourselves dry and warm, and trust that those who are with you will get you out of a bind if needed. Life lessons.

It sure was an eye-opener for me and well worth the effort. It gave me time to think and to experience something amazing! Every one of our Scouts deserves this same opportunity. This year only 64 percent of our Boy Scouts, or 2,684 out of our 4,193 total membership, went on a long-term camping or hiking trip. I can guarantee that every Scout that does participate comes back a different person. I’m already looking forward to next September as I am sure those Scouts who had the same experience this summer are looking forward to next summer. The Scouts who did not camp or hike are missing out and that makes me sad. So, I challenge you to work with your Scout leadership to plan a trip.  For your sake and the sake of the boys. Together we can deliver on the promise of a great Outdoor Adventure

P.S. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!  Council and ScoutReach offices will be closed Thursday, December 24, 2015 - Friday, January 1, 2016 in observation of the Christmas and New Year's Holidays. Offices will re-open on Monday, January 4, 2016 at 8:30 am. **For Musselman Scout Shop hours, please Click Here. **

Yours in Scouting,

Michael de los Santos, Scout Executive


Does Scouting's Fundraising Efforts Called 'Friends of Scouting' have Value? Newly Added Content

If you are a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or another supportive member of a Scout youth's family, every one of you has this in common - you care about your Scout kid! And, it's pretty cool to be a part of the Scouting family that is both local and worldwide. So, what is Friends of Scouting? Does giving money to this fundraising effort have value? READ ON...

ArchBishop Garcia-Siller Expounds Scouting Values at Catholic Retreat Newly Added Content

The Alamo Area Council was proud to welcome all Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their family and friends to the Catholic Committee on Scouting's 2015 Retreat on Saturday, October 10, 2015, at McGimsey Scout Park. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller led a closing mass with a message entitled "Encountering Christ" that also expounded the values of Scouting in his life. READ ON (WATCH VIDEO)...

Learning Fest at Fall 2015 Merit Badge University

The Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council hosted Merit Badge University (MBU) on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at St. Philip’s College. Scouts explored 43 career fields ranging from Chemistry and Robotics to Communications and Radio where many earned merit badges on their path to reach the highest rank in Scouting – the Eagle Scout. READ ON (WATCH VIDEO)...

Can Units Solicit Gifts and Money?

We've had recent inquiry regarding unit solicitation of gifts and contributions. Hope this news article helps clarify most questions on the topic. READ ON...

New Merit Badge Counselor Renewal Yearly Process Newly Added Content

The Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council is implementing a new yearly renewal process for all Merit Badge Counselors. We want to begin by thank you for your service to the young men of Scouting and the Alamo Area Council as a Merit Badge Counselor. Without your help, advancement can only go so far and there would be no Eagle rank achieved.

Next Adventure Guide Covering Spring and Summer 2016 to be Published Feb 4th Newly Added Content

The next issue of the Alamo Area Council's Adventure Guide covering Spring/Summer 2016 will be published and distributed at Roundtable Informational District meetings on Thursday, February 4, 2016. Pick up a copy or download your digital interactive version that day. READ ON...

Campership Applications Available Online Newly Added Content

Who qualifies for a campership and how do you apply for one? Read on for more details....

New Merit Badge Counselor Renewal Yearly Process Newly Added Content

The Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council is implementing a new yearly renewal process for all Merit Badge Counselors. We want to begin by thank you for your service to the young men of Scouting and the Alamo Area Council as a Merit Badge Counselor. Without your help, advancement can only go so far and there would be no Eagle rank achieved.

Council Branded Items for Sale at Service Center Newly Added Content

The Alamo Area Council now carries many of our branded camp property items for sale at our main service center in Castle Hills. Find Bear Creek Scout Reservation and Mays Family Scout Ranch branded products like T-shirts, polo shirts, cups, and knifes for sale at 15% off regular prices until end of the year. READ ON...

Upcoming Events

DECEMBER - Winter Merit Badge University 2015

Boy Scout Winter Merit Badge Extravaganza December 28 - 30, 2015 Winter Merit Badge University (MBE) is an annual event hosted by the Alamo Area Council, Boy Scouts of America that gives Scouts, the opportunity to earn merit badges.

The 2017 Council Contingent to Philmont Registration Opens January 1, 2017! Newly Added Content

Don't miss your opportunity to go to Philmont in 2017! Follow this link to register...

San Antonio League of Scouting Alumni Holiday Mixer hosted by VOA Newly Added Content

The Venturing Officers Association (VOA) is hosting the San Antonio League of Scouting Alumni (SALSA) Holiday Mixer on Friday, December 18, 2015, starting at 7pm at the Order of the Arrow Center located inside the McGimsey Scout Park - 10810 Wedgewood, San Antonio, Texas 78230. Please RSVP today - Registration is FREE and food, drink, and fellowship will be provided. READ ON...

DECEMBER - Venturing Challenge Cup and Open House 2015

All Council Venturing Crews and invited guests will compete in fun games of skill, adventure, and teambuilding for the Venturing Challenge Cup at the McGimsey Scout from 9am - 2 pm on Saturday, December 19, 2015. Invited participating guests are FREE and should be Venturing program age eligible. READ ON...

Check out the New Plans for Bear Creek Summer Camp 2016!

Still deciding on Summer Camp? Click here to find out what Bear Creek will have in 2016!

Training / Resources

DECEMBER-Mandatory Internet Advancement Rollout 2016 Unit Training

Mandatory Internet Advancement Rollout 2016 Unit Training offered starting Monday, December 7, 2015 thru December 10th. Register FREE for one of four dates offered.

Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation 2015 - BALOO

BALOO Training is a one day introductory course for Cub Scout Leaders and parents to learn the skills needed to plan and conduct pack outdoor activities, particularly pack camping. It is required to have on BALOO trained leader in the pack (and at the event) to be able to conduct an overnight activity at the pack level. READ ON...

College of Commissioner Science 2016

College of Commissioner Science is on Saturday, February 21 from 8am to 4pm.

SEPT - OCT 2016 Powder Horn Training 2016

Powder Horn is a hands-on, intense, early-morning-to-late-night training course, which takes place at Bear Creek Scout Reservation over two weekends (Sep.23-25, 2016 and Oct. 7-9, 2016).

National Youth Leadership Training 2016

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) provides standardized, in-depth training covering a number of leadership ideas and skills for Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers. Several Courses offered including Spring Break, Sunday, March 13 - Friday, March 18, 2016, Summer, Sunday, June 5 - Friday, June 10, 2016. READ ON...

District News:

Come on out to the Victory District Freeze-O-Ree 2016

Read on for more information about this exciting event!

In 2016 Texas Hills Seeks to Recognize Service to Scouting

The January 7, 2016 District Banquet will be held at the Bandera United Methodist Church at 7:00 pm. All units throughout the district are invited to bring all their families to recognize the leaders for their service to Scouting and to recognize our Eagle Scouts of 2015. Submit your nominations at the December 3 Roundtable or by email to .

2016 Rough Rider District Recognition Dinner

Rough Rider District will be honoring Rough Rider and District Award of Merit Recipients at our Rough Rider District Recognition Dinner....

2016 Memorial District Freeze-O-Ree

Friday, January 22, 2016 to Sunday, January 24, 2016 The Memorial District Freeze-O-Ree 2016 will be held at McGimsey Scout Park from Jan 22-45th.

You Are Invited to the 2016 Diamondback District Recognition Dinner

Read on to find out more information about the Diamondback District Recognition Dinner...

2016 Cimarron District Recognition Dinner

We value the volunteers in our District because we recognize that each one of you has a special talent and take the time to inspire, coach, and teach the youth in our District. At our Annual Banquet we will recognize all the effort and time you have given to scouting. Go to resources to get the list of Awards. See you all there!

Cimarron District Freeze-O-Ree 2016

All Troops are invited to come participate. We will have different competitions. Some of them are; flipping pancakes, first aid rally, tying knots and much more. Give the youth the opportunity to test their skills and have fun!

Armadillo FREEZE-O-REE 2016

Armadillo FREEZE-O-REE 2016 theme is "It's a Mystery to Me!"

Order of the Arrow:

Order of the Arrow Centurion Award

For nearly 100 years, the Order of the Arrow has purposefully recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives....

Council Information:

Alamo Area Council Service Center 

2226 N.W. Military Hwy, San Antonio, Texas 78213-1894

Email: Info@AlamoAreaBSA.orgExternal Link

Office: 210-341-8611

Alamo Area Council Staff Directory

Scoutreach Service Center

8503 S. Zarzamora St, San Antonio, TX 78224

Office: 210-341-8611 ext 113

Council Service Center Hours

The Council Service Centers are open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.

The Council Service Centers are closed all Holidays.

Scout Shop Hours

Camping Properties

Bear Creek Scout Reservation- 125 Bear Creek Scout Road, Hunt, Texas 78024


McGimsey Scout Park- 10810 Wedgewood, San Antonio, Texas 78230

Mays Family Scout Ranch- 3445 Fest Rd, San Antonio, Texas 78264


About the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council


The Alamo Area Council, BSA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, serves a 13 county area imparting the Scouting program to over 28,500 youth and 7,500 volunteer adults in South Texas.  The Boy Scouts of America continue to prepare young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training utilizing outdoor activity, citizenship, and sports fitness.  For more information on the Alamo Area BSA, visit http://www.AlamoAreaBSA.orgExternal Link.

The counties served by the Alamo Area BSA include Bexar, Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Frio, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, La Salle, McMullen, Medina, and Wilson.

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