Material Design

e-News 45th Edition ~ September 2017


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“A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.” 

- Baden Powell


Rocky Mountain National Park Adventure!

August was time once again for my annual backpacking trip. This year’s trip took me to the Rocky Mountain National Park for a 40-mile hike. I kept a journal to remind me of the experience and share an excerpt with you here. Part 2 will be in next month’s newsletter.

August 8, 2017, 1:00 a.m.

Wow. Today was a tough day. It tested my limits. We hit the Tonahutu Trail yesterday, Sunday afternoon, and my pack was at 45 pounds. What was supposed to be a five-mile hike to Sunset Campsite turned into seven, but luckily it had not yet rained! Yikes. There were four guys on the hike this year and one of them picked up a cold at the Jamboree the week before and is not looking good and struggling with breathing. We started the day at 8,200 feet and our final campsite was at 9,600 feet. Putting up the tent was hard.Every time I bent over I wanted to pass out. Must be the elevation. We ate dinner and went to bed early—about 9 p.m. We had discussed our second day, which was expected to be a 13 mile plus day. We discussed whether we go forward and attempt to hike at an elevation above the tree line (12,000 plus feet) and expose ourselves to the elements or turn around and go back the direction we came from and hit our second campsite from the other direction? Either way would still be a 12-14 mile day. The risk with going forward was that lightning storms roll in about noon up in the mountains. The guy who is sick already called it and was going to head back the way we came to check into a hotel in Grand Lake, CO. This helped with our decision. He was looking bad and we were not going to let him hike out alone. Morning came and we headed back; heading downhill is always easier. We arrived at the trailhead, headed into town to grab lunch. Still no rain. As three of us headed back to the trailhead, however, the thunderstorms started to roll in. My feet and hips hurt. I am exhausted and my pack felt heavier than the day before. It was 2:30 p.m. It was raining and we were on our way. It was six miles to our campsite Grouse Berry. The rain went on and on and on and on. It was miserable. We did run into some cool wildlife on the trail, a bull moose that got a little too close for comfort, mule deer, cow moose and her baby. What a treat! The trail became more difficult as it narrowed, became rockier, the elevation was increasing, and it was still raining. We did come across some beautiful waterfalls and awesome cliff sides with shear drops. Still no Grouse Berry campsite. We came across several campsites, but our permit was for Grouse Berry.

 Finally, we made it four hours later and the rain let up for just a few minutes. Just enough time to set up our tents, change out of our soaked clothes, then the down pour started again. In the tent before 7:00 p.m. without dinner, body achy, cold, and tired. I yelled out to the other two guys, “I’m not coming out!” My sleeping bag got a little wet while setting up, but the inside was dry. Thank God! I put on my long underwear, warm shirt, and down jacket. I fell asleep fast to the sound of rain on the tent.Woke up around 1:00 p.m. I woke up and had to go to the restroom. Ugh. It’s cold, but the rain had stopped and the sky was clear. As I walked back towards my tent, I looked up and saw the most beautiful night sky and the most beautiful moon I had seen in a long time. It was so bright!!! I felt so vulnerable, but felt at peace at the same time. It’s hard to explain. I crawled back into my tent, rearranged my stuff a bit. Now I can’t fall back asleep, the guy in the tent next to me sounds like a bear. I drank some water, put on my headset to listen to some music to drown out the snoring, but now I’m hungry…. Oh well. Sunrise is at 6:00 a.m.—about four hours away. Good night….

Yours in Scouting,  

Michael de los Santos,Scout Executive


Lion program for Kindergarten age boys - FAQ

The Lion program is a Boy Scouts of America program that is designed to introduce kindergarten-age boys and their families to the fun of Scouting. Here is an FAQ for your review. READ ON...

2017 BSA Membership Fee Increase

While delivering the nation’s foremost youth development program, the National Boy Scouts of America must remain vigilant in controlling costs. Although we have been successful in reducing our expenditures in many areas, it has become necessary to evaluate our annual membership fees. READ ON...

2018 Council Wide Campout Patch Design Contest!

Love Patches? Submit a design for the 2018 Council Wide Campout Design Contest. Read on for details and how to submit...

Popcorn: 2017 Show and Sell Updates

The following article provides an update regarding Show & Sell locations for the 2017 Popcorn Sale.

Bear Creek Hunting Weekends 2017 and Rentals

In 2017, hunting will be available at Bear Creek Scout Resevation 3 separate weekends this fall. Read on for more details on Hunting and Fall/Winter Facility rentals...

Upcoming Outdoor Adventures:

SEPT: Backpacking the Back Country at Bear Creek Scout Reservation!

This is the one time you get to see parts of Bear Creek Scout Reservation that you don't see during summer camp!

SEPT/OCT: New Cub Scout Adventure Day 2017

Newly registered Cub Scouts can come to either McGimsey Scout Park in North Central SA or the Mays Family Scout Ranch in South San Antonio from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm for their first outdoor adventure with archery, BB guns, nature, crafts and games. READ ON...

SEPT/NOV: Friends of McGimsey 2017

Friends of McGimsey provides Scouts with an opportunity at completing service projects for service hours. We are inviting the community supporters that would like to help us Beautify this wonderful piece of history for future generations to enjoy.

OCT-DEC: Mays Family Scout Ranch Programs

The Mays Family Scout Ranch is offering the new Cub Scout Adventure programs and Boy Scout Merit Badges for the 2017 year. We are offering 16 programs this year for Cubs and Boys Scouts to come out and participate in. Please review details on the calendar and sign up before it fills up. Please register online and come enjoy your time with us out at the Mays!


This is an excellent opportunity for all Cub Scouts to participate in a great outdoor experience. Click here for more information....

OCT: Monster Mash SPOOK-O-REE 2017

Click here to find out more information about our annual family campout....

OCT: Cub Scout Law Enforcement Night with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office is sponsoring this free event to provide an opportunity for Cub Scouts to complete rank specific electives. The event is limited to 45 Cub Scouts per rank and will be held at the McGimsey Scout Park Sport Court Wednesday, October 18, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

OCT - Catholic Scout Retreat

The Catholic Committee On Scouting invites all scouts and adult leaders to participate in the annual Retreat, Saturday, October 14,2017, Mays Family Scout Ranch.

OCT: Here's a Chance for Boy Scouts and Venturer Scouts to Try Climbing!

One of the most exciting experiences you can have with your Boy Scout Troop is taking them to a "personal challenge of perseverance"

Radio Scouting Comes to Bear Creek

Amateur Radio, or Ham Radio as it is often called, has long been a part of Scouting. The Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) event that occurs every October remains the largest annual event in Scouting and is truly an International event. We are proud to announce that a real amateur radio station is planned for Bear Creek to be operational by the summer of...READ ON

NOV: Leave No Trace at McGimsey Scout Park

This is an Introduction to including Leave No Trace in your personal lives and in your scouting programs. This event is open to all registered scouts and scouting units.

NOV: Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts are invited to the Council Web-O-Ree!

This is the perfect opportunity to come out and see how a Boy Scout Troop works. Meet some troops from your area and participate in some fun scouting activities....

NOV: Troops: Serve as an Example - Web-O-Ree 2017

Troops are needed for the 2017 Web-O-Ree at McGimsey Scout Park. Boy Scouts will demonstrate Scouting skills and the Patrol Method to Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts. Save the dates on your Troop calendar: October 17-19, 2017.

NOV: Merit Badge University Fall 2017

Boy Scout Merit Badge University on November 4, 2017 at St. Phillips College. 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.

DEC: 2017 Venturing Cup Challenge and Open House

All Crews and invited guests will compete in fun games of skill, adventure and team building for the Venturing Challenge Cup at the McGimsey. Invited participating guests are FREE and should be Venturing program age eligible. Venturing is a youth development program for young men and women who are 13(completed 8th grade) thru 20 yrs of age. Youth guests can register to join a crew at this event.

MAR: Come on Out to the Second Council Wide Campout!

Our first Council Wide Campout was amazing! Why not do it again? Read on for details of the upcoming, 2018 Council Wide Campout....

Training/Scouting U:

SEPT: Council Wide New Leader Training for All Leaders to be Trained!

Saturday, September 16th, the Council Training Committee comes together to offer all the training needed for new leaders. Read on for more information.....

SEPT: Interested in being a Den Chief?

A den chief is a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer assisting a Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos Scout den.

SEPT: Fundamentals of Training Classes Offered in 2017

This is the first step in the training continuum for the BSA. Read on for more details.....

SEPT-OCT: Go to Powder Horn 2017!

Here’s a simple, fun way to better yourself & your unit in 2017 – Register and go to POWDER HORN!....

SEPT-MAR: CPR/AED and Wilderness and Remote First Aid Training Offered at AAC.

Read on to find out what CPR/AED training and Wilderness and Remote First Aid Training is all about!...

SEPT-OCT: Climbing Instructor Training - 2017

Are you ready for an Adventure in Climbing in 2017! Register for Climbing Instructor Training to get you Prepared. For Life

OCT/DEC: Outdoor Ethics Trainer Course

This 16-hour, overnight training course is designed for adult and youth members of Scouting 14 years of age and older, who value the land and want to teach others how to protect and preserve it. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive an Outdoor Ethics Trainer certificate, a trainer pin and will be qualified to teach Outdoor Ethics skills to all levels of Scouting.

OCT/NOV: Register now for the Fall Wood Badge Course!

This will lead you to more information about Wood Badge and help you to register. This link will direct you to the Fall Wood Badge registration page...

OCT/NOV: Scouts with special needs orientation

The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities is that every boy wants to participate fully and be respected like every other member of the troop. While there are, by necessity, troops exclusively composed of Scouts with disabilities, experience has shown that Scouting usually succeeds best when every boy is part of a patrol in a regular troop.

OCT-DEC: NRA Certifications for Adult Scouters

Our shooting sports committee has put together a smorgasbord of training available for adult scouters. Please read on for all the opportunities

NOV '17-NOV '18: Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) for Scout Leaders

Not only is this training required to be considered a trained leader in Troops and Teams, but it is an excellent training to have to help your scouts succeed. Read on and register here....

NOV '17-NOV '18: BALOO Training for Cub Scout Packs Who Want to Camp!

Not a required training for all adult leaders, but is required for any Cub Scout Pack that wants to go camping on their own. Read on to learn more...

Order of the Arrow:

National Order of the Arrow Conference 2018

The National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) is the premier event of the Order of the Arrow and is Scouting's second-largest national event. Over 10,000 Arrowmen from across our nation gather for an inspirational and unforgettable experience full of fellowship, training, adventure, and fun!


Read on for more information and dates of the events....


This training is offered for all leaders in the Lodge. Read on for more details.

2017 OA LEC Schedule

This article lists the dates, times and locations of the Lodge Executive Committee meetings scheduled for 2017...

Other Communication & News:

Hurricane Harvey Relief Ideas and Resources

In keeping with the Scout Oath's call to help other people at all times, we have compiled this list of ways those of us in Scouting can help with relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey. READ ON...

NEWS RELEASE - Boy Scouts Fall Recruitment Focus is Adventure

Youth and their families from thirteen South Central Texas counties will be participating in the Fall membership recruitment season of the Boys Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council (BSA) during September to December. Scouting groups have scheduled signup meetings at local schools showcasing the fun and adventure of the BSA. READ ON...

NEWS RELEASE - Local Cub Scouts Introduce Lion Program for Kindergarten Youth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (August 30, 2017) – Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council, announces its participation in an innovative new program called Lion that will introduce kindergarten-age youth and their families to...READ ON

NEWS RELEASE - Scout Sell Golden Corn to SA Mayor Nirenberg

The Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council kicks off their annual Trail’s End Popcorn Fall fundraiser with standout Cub Scout salesmen from Pack 51, who helped their unit reach 10th in the nation for sales of the golden corn. Media is invited to see the Scouts knock on the door to City Hall to sell the first popcorn bag to Mayor Nirenberg at 8:15 a.m. this Thursday, August 31, 2017, READ ON...

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 ext. 100

Alamo Area Council Staff Directory

Scoutreach Service Center

8503 S. Zarzamora St, San Antonio, TX 78224

Office: 210-341-8611 ext 600

Council Service Center Hours

The Council Service Center is open from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on Friday, and open the 1st Saturday of every month 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

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 18,000 youth and 6,000 volunteer adults in South Texas.  With Learning for Life, an in-school character education subsidiary of Boy Scouts of America, the Council serves over 25,876 youth.  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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