District Operations

District Committee   |  Activities Committee    |   Advancement Committee    |   Camping Committee    |   Day Camp Committee    |    Finance Committee    |   Membership Committee   |   Training Committee 

Key Leaders Conference

District Committee Key Leaders Conference is an annual half-day meeting held in January for district leadership at the Cockrell Scout Center. 

Register for Key Leaders Conference

Council Coordinated

Council Coordinated is a triannual meeting for district leadership to receive the updates from the council and is held three times a year at the Cockrell Scout Center at 7:00 pm.     

Register for Council Coordinated

District Committee Resources

District Activities Committee Resources

District Activities Committee Resources

Event Chair's Guide to Planning an Event


District Activities Annual Planning

A common element of strong units is they all have a good annual program planned a year in advance, that is then shared with all families in the form of a calendar, trained leaders and the right leaders. Planning ahead allows the unit to generate new ideas, find resources, and allow more Scouts to have a quality program that is exciting and will create memories! The district key 3, district committee chairs (e.g., activities, program, training, membership, advancement, finance) and the Order of the Arrow chapter adviser should be invited to the calendar planning meeting typically held during the January district committee meeting. The various committee chairs should bring proposed dates to the district calendar planning meeting.  The district calendar should be finalized no later than the February district committee meeting. The district calendar will be posted on the district website after being submitted and copies should be provided to units at May roundtable so units can conduct their annual program planning conference to get ready for the coming year.

  • District are to have a new Cub Scout event (theme TBD) in the fall that targets newly recruited Scouts, but can include all Cub Scouts. These events should have a variety of activities (e.g., BB, archery, Scout Fair type booths run by packs, games, Bobcat activities).  This event can be for new Scouts only, but ideally includes all Cub Scouts (e.g., cuboree, Scout Day). Lions cannot participate in BB guns or earn the Bobcat badge so plan additional activities that the Lions will enjoy. The Lion’s Honor badge has similar requirements to the Bobcat badge.
  • Districts should have competitive skills events to meet the aims and purposes of Scouting for various age levels (e.g., camporee, Webelos Woods, first aid meet, pushmobile, derbies).
  • Combine events to get the biggest bang for the buck (e.g., a cuboree with Bobcat activities for new Scouts and shooting sports, derby races, and/or fishing).
  • Remember that activities can also be used as both public relations events and for recruiting.
  • A balanced plan is to have ~6- events that supplement but do not take the place of the unit program: camporee, Cub Scout event in the fall to include recruiting (e.g., cuboree, fishing tournament, Scout Day), first aid meet (could combine with a neighboring district), Webelos Woods (for 4th and 5th graders), day camp and district dinner. www.scouting.org/filestore/mission/pdf/33082.pdf
  • Events must have a budget. Submit to the district executive by August for the next calendar year.
  • Any multi-unit event must have council approval (learn more)
  • Reminders: 
    Registration for district activities and training should be open and the link on the district website at least three-months prior to the event: www.shac.org/district-operations/#registration.
    Draft event registration links: www.shac.org/events 
    Event registration (Doubleknot) support: www.shac.org/dk 

Council Camp Reservations

Council camps can be requested for district events between December to February for the following calendar year (August-August). The district executive or professional staff advisor submits the reservation request for council camps for district / council events. 

Camp Reservation Request

Requests are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis based on availability and program areas requested. After submitting the online request:

  1. The district executive signs the receipt and also obtains the field director's signature.
  2. The DE submits the hard copy of the printed receipt with approval signatures to the program service department.
  3. Requests will be processed in the order they are received. 

After a request is approved, final reservations (e.g., specific number of campsites) will be adjusted two months out based on RSVPs to the event and registration history in Doubleknot. Districts are only able to reserve the specific number of campsites (not the entire camp) and program areas needed based on confirmed reservations.

Event Chairs Guide to Planning an Event

Registration     |    Finance     |     Promotions     |     Tips

Event Chair Job Description

activitiesThe event chair’s primary goal is to provide leadership and motivation, enthusiasm and challenge, and friendship and fellowship to every volunteer and participant so they have an opportunity to experience Scouting at its best. Duties include:

  1. Selecting, recruiting, and training key staff (including providing job descriptions/expectations, staff recognition, and following up to see that jobs are being completed)
  2. Presiding at staff meetings 
  3. Overseeing the overall event details (e.g., location, date, budget, timeline, theme, program, patches, t-shirts, registration forms/event fliers, promotion, facilities) 
  4. Completing the event diary and post-event evaluation (How did we do? Did we stay within our budget? What went well?, What went wrong? What can we do better and how?, Who might make a good chair for next year?)
  5. Reporting progress (to the district activities chair, district committee, district executive)
  6. Writing thank you notes

You will likely lead an event that was conducted the previous year. You can repeat it, or you can change it. All events reflect the creativity and talents of the event chair and volunteers, so think of ways that you can improve things. Remember that Scouting changes, so we need to adapt our programs accordingly.

The event chair is responsible to the district activities chair and district program chair. Get to know them. It is important that you report progress and/or opportunities to them. It is especially critical that you communicate often with the district activities chair whose responsibility it is to see that each district activity meets the guidelines, policies, and objectives of both the Sam Houston Area Council and the district committee. Effective and timely communication will keep everyone aware of progress. It is important that you attend district committee meetings to facilitate district support. The Activities Work Plan is to be submitted to the district committee during the months leading up to the event and the month following the event. If you cannot attend the district committee meetings, then submit the Activities Work Plan to the district activities chair or program chair prior to the meeting.

Activities Work Plan

Job Descriptions

There are more duties than titles and there are plenty of jobs to go around. You must determine how the responsibility is to be divided and to communicate the job descriptions. Decide what tasks need to be accomplished and make sure every detail is clearly understood. Be mindful of those who guard their turf. Here are some examples of key staff positions and sample job descriptions:

Volunteer Agreement Form

Sample Key Staff Job Descriptions

Event Chair organizes overall event details; reserves location (requests liability insurance from SHAC if required by event site); recruits key staff; gives key staff job descriptions; checks on staff frequently to see that agreed upon assignments are being carried out; approves event volunteers recruited by the key staff; schedules and chairs staff meetings; selects a theme; submits the proposed & final budget to the district activities chair (keeps detailed notes of all expenditures); an assistant chair (with the approval of the district activity chair) to “groom” to be your successor; designs a patch; finalizes the registration form; notifies the district health and safety chair about the date of the event; attends district committee meetings (or sends a Work Plan report to the district activities chair) for the months leading up to and the month after the event to update the committee and review event needs; promotes the event; writes thank you notes; provides key staff recognition; keeps detailed notes and updates the event diary to give to the district activities chair; holds an Event Close Out Meeting (ECOM) with the district executive two weeks after the events; ensures safety and that all SHAC and BSA policies are followed
Assistant Director works closely with the event chair; assists the chair with all tasks; promotes the event; ensures safety and BSA policies
Program Director plans and schedules program activities for the event; recruits volunteers/units (also district commissioners and district committee members) to help run events; knows the Scout advancement program; frequently checks on volunteers to see that agreed upon assignments are being carried out; helps to gather supplies; ensures that all program activities have all needed supplies; works with facilities director on the location of each activity; promotes the event; ensures safety and BSA policy.
Business Manager purchases supplies; requests bids and supplies; keeps records of expenses; promotes the event; ensures BSA policy; works very closely with the district executive
Registration keeps key staff notified of registration numbers; recruits a staff of enthusiastic volunteers to check-in/check-out Scouts; sorts and passes out t-shirts and patches; develops event fliers with the event chair; passes out and collects evaluation forms; provides a lost and found box; keeps a sign-in sheet for volunteers and visitors; ensures that each volunteer gets an event patch; helps the event chair keep documentation for the event diary; collects any onsite payments (should be minimal) with the district executive; provides badges/name tags for key staff; ensures that all attendees have a medical form; provides district executive with a list of all Scouters (and unit number) who attended the event (so registration in BSA can be verified); provides district commissioner with a list of units that attended the event; promotes the event; ensures safety and BSA policy. For day camp, compiles SHAC’s Camping report and provides a copy to the district camping chair and day camp chair
Awards develops recognition awards for the event; secures door prizes; helps make staff recognition; orders participation ribbons; promotes the event
Campfire Program plans campfire program; emcees the campfire; signs up dens/patrols for skits; plays up beat music while waiting for campfire/during campfire; conducts ceremonies (e.g., flag retirement, flag folding); builds fire; brings sound/video equipment; promotes the event; ensures safety and policy of BSA
Chaplain conducts a nondenominational worship service on Sunday morning; promotes the event
Facilities meets with event site personnel regarding the location of event and site rules; recruits volunteers to help set up and clean up and help during the event; organizes security; organizes parking; hauls equipment; makes and puts up signs for directions and activities; arranges for portable toilet facilities; sets up tents (e.g., registration); keeps ice and water in water coolers; picks up trash; promotes the event; and ensures safety and policy of BSA 
Photographer takes pictures/videos of the event and sends them to the district webmaster and district dinner chair and district communications chair
Publicity distributes event fliers; promotes the event at roundtable, Program Preview, trainings, district events, district committee meetings, district commissioner meetings, units meetings; works with the district communications to involve local news agencies to cover the event; submits information to district webmaster and district social media chair.
Scoremaster collects score forms; calculates scores; determines winners; writes ribbons; provides emcee with a list of winners; promotes the event
Security ensures safety; recruits volunteers to help with parking and traffic control; ensures that adequate parking is provided for staff and participants; develops a system for moving cars into and leaving the parking area; makes signs or cone off “no parking” areas; provides instructions for unloading and reloading vehicles with camp equipment; secures parking vests/flashlights for parking staff; promotes the event; ensures policy of BSA
Health and Safety The district health and safety officer should be notified of every district event. It is the district health and safety officer’s responsibility to assign a trained member of the health and safety team to attend every event. The health and safety team is responsible for setting up a well-equipped tent or shelter for first aid; providing all necessary first aid equipment; recording all persons treated in the First Aid Log Book; displaying a large red cross flag for identification; obtaining fire permits (if required) and ensuring that fire safety is maintained; checking the water supply; surveying toilet facilities and arranging for temporary latrines if necessary; ensuring that toilet paper and wash water are at latrines; having a vehicle available for emergencies; and ensuring that safety is maintained.

National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) Short-Term Camp Standards

short-term camp is any council-organized overnight camping program, whether one-time or continuing, that is one, two or three nights in length where the council or its agents provide the staffing and program and may provide food services, and includes camps conducted off council properties.  

All council, district coordinated overnight events that are three nights are less (e.g., camporees, Webelos Scout events, training) are required to have one trained short-term camp administrator to ensure safe and quality outdoor programs. Contact the council's program service department for STAT (Short-Term camp Administrator Training) dates. This person is responsible for ensuring that the planned camp complies with the NCAP Short-term Camp Standards.  This means walking the property to ensure that it is appropriate for the event; ensuring that paperwork is filed and any written BSA approvals are completed and obtained through the council; confirms facilities and program are safe and in good order before starting operation; and that appropriate health, safety and sanitation provisions are made.  This individual also ensures that all activities at the short-term camp comply with the applicable BSA National Camp Standards.

Multi-Unit Events

Chartering organizations play an important role in the program and activities for their chartered units. Chartering organizations promote well-planned unit program for the units they charter and encourage their units to have active outdoor unit programs. Chartering organizations are not authorized to plan, promote, or deliver programs for units outside of their charter. It is the role of councils to plan long-term or resident camps and the role of councils or districts to plan camporees (short-term camps) and other outings following National Camp Accreditation Program standards.   

Units that wish to host events involving other units must have approval. This includes events for packs, troops, crews, and ships from the same council (source, page 20).

  1. The proposed unit event must contribute directly or indirectly to the strengthening of participating units’ program.
  2. The proposal, including a written statement of the objectives of the event, must be submitted to the district executive to be approved by the field director, director of field services and council program director.

Event Diary

Make an event diary to pass along to your successor (electronic and hard copy). It’s the tiny details that are most important!!!!  Include:

  • staff list with name, phone number, and event job descriptions
  • evaluations from both staff and participants
  • notes or suggestions for next year’s event including things that you found out the hard way (if it happened to you it will happen again!)
  • information on how to make site reservations
  • detailed timeline
  • where to find and purchase supplies
  • planning/staff meeting notes
  • attendance reports
  • program/activity descriptions
  • one complete check-in packet including announcements, schedule, name tags, etc.
  • copies of fliers (e.g., event flier, map)
  • budget (proposed and final budget)
  • staff meeting agendas and minutes

Sample Timeline

Feb District committee sets the date of the event in cooperation with the district activities chair
May Promote event at district Program Preview during May roundtable
Aug District activities chair, in cooperation with the district executive, submits event budget to council
-9 months Reserve event location; Recruit key staff
-8 months

Make key staff assignments and review job descriptions, review timeline, start developing theme/patch design/t-shirt design/registration forms/program ideas

-5 months Staff meetings scheduled
-4 months Event promoted monthly at roundtable, district events, and trainings , and on social media platforms; finalize theme; plan program; recruit volunteers and units to help run activities; request health and safety officer; review draft registration link at www.shac.org/registration and submit corrections at www.shac.org/dk; review district website event page and submit corrections to webmaster or www.shac.org/dk.
-3 months Online registration goes live; submit quartermaster list to the district or division quartermaster; sketch patch/ t-shirt design; submit a request for bid for t-shirts/patches/awards/supplies; order supplies and patches; attend district committee meeting; promote
-2 months

Arrange facilities (reconfirm location/physical arrangements, water, sanitation, liability insurance if needed for site); hold staff meeting:  finalize schedule, map, announcements, handouts, program, volunteer assignments/needs; Secure supplies/donations for event; order trophies/awards/staff recognition/ribbons/t-shirts/ port-a-potties; attend district committee meeting; promote

-1 month Hold volunteer meeting; check on key staff to see that agreed upon assignments are being carried out; secure recognitions/last minute supplies; attend district committee meeting or provide a report to the activities chair; promote; collect pre-registrations
-3 weeks

Secure fire permits; meet with the Health & Safety officer, program director and facilities director at the event site to make a map and inspect for safety

-2 weeks Turn in all requests for photocopying into the district executive (e.g., handouts, maps, schedules, evaluations)
-1 week Pick up patches/t-shirts/awards/supplies; remind key vendors and event location personnel about the event; treat outdoor areas for fire ants; mow
-1 day pick up keys; charge walkie-talkies; set up temporary barriers/fencing
0 Pick up ice, put signs on emergency vehicles, walk event site to check for safety hazards, clean restrooms, serve coffee & donuts for set up/registration team, pass out staff i.d. badges; Set up:  registration, health and safety canopies, traffic signs, check-in signs, no parking signs, first aid flag, trash cans, recycling center, program events/signs, flag poles, flagging, water coolers and ice, audio systems, tables, chairs, smoking area signs, lost & found box
+1 week Hold “after action” meeting with key staff to reflect, review evaluations and write up suggestions for next year; update the event diary; take lost and found box to roundtable; return district supplies; 
+2 weeks Hold Event Close Out Meeting (ECOM) with district executive and activities chair; Submit all receipts to district executive; submit the following to the activities chair:  Completed event diary, first aid log, evaluations from participants and staff, extra patches, extra supplies; send out thank you notes to all staff, volunteers, and donators. 
+1 month Provide a report to the district committee on the success of the event and recommendations for next year; display pictures of the event at Roundtable or on the district website; send pictures and a write up to local papers; hand off your expertise

Sample Supply Lists

Archery arm guards, arrows, backstops, barricade tape, bow strings, bows, quivers, range fencing, range signs, red flags and flagpole, scoring book, stakes, string, table, tarp
BB barricade tape, BB guns, canopy, magnets (to keep BB’s from rolling around), mats, range signs, red flags and flagpole, safety glasses, targets, tarps
Crafts baby wipes, baggies, clothespins (to hang up craft projects), craft material, crayons, glue, glue sticks, hammers, hole punch, hot glue guns, markers, paint, paper bags, paper towels, plastic sheeting to cover tables, protective goggles/ eyeglasses , scissors, scotch tape, staplers, staples, string (to hang items up to dry), tables
Facilities broom, canopies, caution tape, cones for parking, disinfectant, duct tape, extension cords, fire extinguishers, gloves, hammer, ice, ice chests, ladder, light generators, parking cones, post setters, Sharpies, shop brooms, signage, squeegees, trash bags, trash cans, vests for parking people, wash stations for latrines, water coolers, water hoses
Health/Safety canopy, cot, flag (w/ red cross), flagpole , first aid box, insurance form (available from district executive), table
Opening/Closing American flag, awards, batteries (for megaphone or cordless mic), district flag, extension cord, flag poles, fire extinguisher, PA equipment, sound equipment, table, tarp to cover sound equipment (for rain or dew), wood for fire
Registration air horn, baggies, batteries, blank registration forms, canopy, change, clip board, copies (e.g., medical forms, registration forms, maps, schedule), emergency contact sign, envelopes, extension cord, file box, file folders, fire extinguisher, highlighters, lost & found box, money bag, medical forms, paper clips, patches, pens, poster board, post-it notes, registration packets (containing name tag, schedule, map, evaluation form, information), registration sign, rubber bands, safety pins, scissors, Sharpies, sign-in sheet (for guests, volunteers), staff name tags, stapler, staples, tables, tape (masking, duct, clear packing), timer (to remind when to blow air horn), trash bags, t-shirts, wrist bands, zip ties

Council Quartermaster Committee

QMAll non-consumable program equipment (e.g., water coolers, tables) is owned by the council and can only be stored at a council-approved storage location. District storage sheds are not allowed, even if they are free. The council quartermaster committee is responsible for purchasing the equipment. The council maintains equipment for district and council events at various locations around the council. The council is divided into quartermaster zones which are different from the divisions.

It is important that all of the equipment that is checked out is returned. Five percent of each activity budget is used to purchase the equipment. It is critical that districts take care of all equipment and return the equipment better than they found it, and report any broken equipment.  The event chair or their designee should request all non-consumable equipment for district and council events at www.shac.org/qm.

Quartermaster Request Form

Consumable Supplies

Consumable program materials are purchased through the district event budget. 

Shooting Sports Equipment

Shooting Sports A certified range master to request BB, archery, tomahawks and wrist rockets for council and district events at www.shac.org/request-shooting-sports-equipment. A copy of the certification for each range master (must meet BSA requirements) must be attached to the submission form before requests can be considered.

The National Shooting Sports Manual (No 30931) contains information relevant to all individuals involved in shooting sports programs, including merit badge counselors, range masters, and others involved in organizing and assisting in the delivery of shooting programs.

Shooting Sports Request Form

Important: The event chair will request the non-consumable equipment from the council quartermaster team when they place the order for the district or council event. The range master should contact the event chair to request any needed equipment needed for the shooting ranges (e.g., barricade fencing, targets, t-post, t-post driver, tables, small parking cones for quivers).

Shooting Sports Resources

Portable Toilets

Updates coming:

The following guidelines should be followed as to the minimum requirement for toilet facilities:  

  • one toilet per 120 persons for one-day events, 
  • one toilet per 100 persons for two-day events, 
  • one toilet per 80 people for three-day events. 

At least one handicapped toilet should be ordered. Cub Scout events must have step-up provisions in the toilets. Some companies offer a cleaning service which may reduce the number of cans needed for longer events. Remember to ask if toilet paper is included. 


  1. Patch designs should be submitted to three BSA licensed patch companies no later 12 weeks prior to the event. Designs may be a drawing or an electronic version. Submit details on the number of colors, twill (partially) or fully embroidered, shape, size, date patches are needed, approximate numbers needed, if a loop is needed, event chair contact information, and district. Do not ask for artwork until after the bid has been accepted or you will be charged for the artwork if you do not use the company.
  2. After the bid is accepted, request a PO from the district executive and provide this to the patch company. The patch company will then produce an electronic version of the patch for approval. The electronic version of the patch will then be sent to the event chair and district executive for approval. Changes can then be made quickly. Allow 4-6 weeks from final approval of the artwork to delivery of the patches. 

Design Hints

  • Patches must have a fleur-de-lis or BSA somewhere on the patch. Both the fleur-de-lis and BSA are copyrighted and can only be used by a BSA licensed vendor. Be creative when placing a fleur-de-lis in the patch (e.g., sun in the shape of a fleur-de-lis, use ghost technique – see below, hide the fleur-de-lis in an object).
  • Be creative, and use your theme for ideas.
  • Smaller-sized patches (2”) are cheaper than larger (5”) patches.
  • Standard shapes and sizes (round, rectangle, square, diamond) are cheaper than laser-cut patches in unusual shapes, but the laser-cut patches can be very different and creative.
  • Twill patches (have a cloth background) are cheaper than solid embroidered patches.
  • Ghosted means a patch is stitched in the same color as the area around the object; the object is just stitched in a different direction.
  • Shadows are just a darker shade of the object’s color.
  • Seven colors in the base amount. The price goes up with each color after seven. Black and white are considered a color. Using yellow in a patch brightens up a patch. You can use photo chromatic thread that changes color in the sunlight. Photochromatic thread is available in several colors (e.g., silver, gold, red) but costs more. 
  • Use a contrasting color for the text words for visibility.
  • Make your drawing the same size as the finished patch size desired, leaving 1/8th inch around the edge for the border color.
  • Choose a strong key item instead of many items.
  • Be careful about using too many details. Space is limited. If you cannot draw it with colored pencils then it cannot be stitched with a needle and thread into a patch.
  • Do not use copyrighted materials without written consent. Clipart may be used as long as it’s not copyrighted. 

First Aid

Each district event must have a designated staff person in charge of first aid. The district health and safety officer will select a trained person to be in charge of the first aid station. The health and safety team is responsible for setting up an a well-equipped tent or shelter for first aid; providing all necessary first aid equipment; recording all persons treated in the First Aid Log Book; displaying a large red cross flag for identification; obtaining fire permits (if required) and ensuring that fire safety is maintained; checking the water supply; surveying toilet facilities and arranging for temporary latrines if necessary; ensuring that toilet paper and wash water are at latrines; having a vehicle available for emergencies; and ensuring that safety is maintained. 

The first aid location should be on the event map and clearly marked with a sign. The first aid station should have its own first aid kit in addition to any first aid kits that units may have. Emergency numbers (e.g., police, fire, area hospitals/clinics) should be posted. Directions to the area hospitals and copies of the SHAC insurance forms should be handy. Medical forms collected by registration should be readily available to the first aid staffers. Consider placing the first aid station next to registration / headquarters. 

Before the event, the first aid staff should work with the facilities and program staff and provide input on the location of all activities to ensure that safety requirements are met and should also be involved in developing the backup plan for emergencies. The event/district first aid kit should be checked to make sure that all items are stocked and up to date. 

Medication forms are now on the medical form available at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/ahmr.aspx for scouts who need over-the-count or prescribed medications administered at the event. All medications should be in the original container and administered in the prescribed dosage by the responsible adult as per the written instruction by the parent or guardian.

The event health and safety chair must record each incident and injury no matter how minor in the district bound first aid logbook. Fill each line. Do not skip lines or double space. It is advisable to retain these logs for at least one year after the date of the event. This may be very useful for insurance purposes.

If an accident should occur that requires a trip to the emergency room, the district activities chair and the district executive should be notified as soon as possible.

Incident Reporting

Incident ReportingA key responsibility that all volunteers and professional staff share is providing an effective program that meets the needs of young people and provides the proper health and safety of everyone concerned.  It is important that we sustain the safe operation of our programs and promote continuous improvement through organizational learning. Timely and complete incident reports support analysis that is critical to identifying needed improvement of the programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Learn more at www.shac.org/erm#report.

Mandatory Report of Child Abuse

All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is, or has been, physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. You may not abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person. Learn more at www.shac.org/erm#report-child-abuse.

 'Scouts First' Helpline for Abuse and Youth Protection


Scouts First Helpline. As part of the BSA’s “Scouts First” approach to the protection and safety of youth, the BSA has established a dedicated 24-hour helpline at 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726-8871) to receive reports of any known or suspected abuse or significant violations of youth protection policies that might put a youth at risk.

24-hour helpline: 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726-8871)

All known or suspected abuse and significant youth protection policy infractions must be reported to the Scouts First Helpline after mandatory reporting to law enforcement or child protective services. Learn more at www.shac.org/erm#scoutsfirst.

SHAC General Liability Insurance for Volunteers

Report all serious incidents, accidents, or if a summons is served on a volunteer to SHAC program services at 713-756-3309.


Health and Safety

The council Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan is provided for Scouts and volunteers registered in the council and covers them for accidents and sickness while participating in any official Scouting activity. Claim forms are available from the district executive. The health and safety officer should have claim forms at each district event. In case of an accident, it is easier to have the form filled out immediately, although it may be filled out after the event one must be filled out for each incident. While planning and executing a district event, health and safety matters should always be a major consideration. 

Tools to plan events and campouts

Safety PAUSE graphic The campout safety checklist provides guidance on safety issues that you may encounter at a Scouting campout. Along with the Guide to Safe Scouting and the tour and activity plan, this tool will help you in having conversations on identifying risks that need to be mitigated or eliminated.

The event safety checklist provides guidance on safety issues that you may encounter at a Scouting event. This is a tool, not a list of mandatory guidelines. The intent of the checklist is to create conversations among event organizers around risks and ways to mitigate or eliminate them.

As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council has developed the SAFE Checklist safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.

Guide to Safe Scouting

SafetyAll participants in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting, applicable program literature or manuals, and be aware of state or local government regulations that supersede Boy Scouts of America practices, policies, and guidelines. The Guide to Safe Scouting is an overview of Scouting policies and procedures gleaned from a variety of sources. For some items, the policy statements are complete. Unit leaders are expected to review the additional reference material cited prior to conducting such activities.

Guide to Safe Scouting

In situations not specifically covered in the Guide to Safe Scouting, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.

The BSA’s Commitment to Safety       BSA Scouter Code of Conduct      Preface

Top of Section



DoubleknotDoubleknot provides online registration payment services to non-profit organizations. The executive board of the Sam Houston Area Council has made the decision to use Doubleknot as the only registration tool for all district and training events (whether money is collected or not). The use of Doubleknot improves efficiency and transparency while providing a standard customer interface with our Scouting families.

District Event Registration Policies

Begin working on event registration no later than four months before an event. Registrations should go live no later than three months before the event. All event registrations that collects income is to be handled through Doubleknot. Events that do not have a fee (free events) can be handled through Doubleknot or using the survey application that is built into the district website. Paper registration may not be used, and registration is not to be collected by volunteers. 

Doubleknot provides online registration payment services to non-profit organizations. The executive board of the Sam Houston Area Council has made the decision to use Doubleknot as its primary registration tool for all district events. The use of Doubleknot improves efficiency and transparency while providing a standard customer interface with our Scouting families.

Why districts to use Doubleknot

  • DoubleknotConvenience. Participants can register at home, anytime day or night, and pay by credit card or electronic check.
  • Better planning. Volunteers can plan events better by knowing how many participants to expect.
  • Real-time accounting. There is no delay in knowing event income.
  • Accountability. Payments won’t get lost, washed in pants pockets, slipped into the back pocket of a computer bag, or deposited into the wrong account. Written receipts are not needed and don’t need to be reconciled.
  • Volunteers don't have to handle the money and can better spend their time focusing on developing a quality program.
  • Time is money. When volunteers collect money, the money has to be turned into the DE which then has to be turned into the accounting office; each transaction has to be individually entered and deposited. This is not an efficient process and mistakes can be made.
  • Registration history. Doubleknot will keep a historical record of income and registration numbers for budget planning.
  • Budget planning. Income numbers recorded in Doubleknot will be used as the basis to plan future event budgets.
  • Doubleknot improvements. Recent improvements have resulted in improved and streamlined performance.

Doubleknot convenience fee

The $1.50 convenience fee that is added to each transaction covers only approximately 1/3 of the cost of credit card fees and the online registration system. The council pays for the remaining balance of the fees out the administration part of the budget.


  • Online registration should begin a minimum of three months prior to the event.
  • Paper registration is not to be distributed or available electronically. If a participant cannot register through Doubleknot, the event chair will need to contact the district executive for assistance.
  • Registrations are not to be collected by volunteers, at roundtable, or mailed to a volunteer’s house.
  • Event prices should be structured to encourage online registration (e.g., early-bird registration, late registration, higher onsite registration fee) and significantly discourage onsite registration. If too many people register for an event onsite, then the onsite fee needs to be raised the next year.
  • For events with onsite registration: if a participant shows up to registers onsite, remind them they can still register online (using their smartphone or a computer at registration and still get a discount); they will appreciate the gesture, and then hopefully register online for the next event. The online registration system accepts credit cards and electronic checks. If a participant does not have a credit card or check, notify the district executive.
  • If a campership is needed for an event, submit a request to www.shac.org/dk so a discount code can be set up.

How to set up registration 

  • Draft registrations for district events can be found at www.shac.org/registration. 
  • Corrections can be submitted: www.shac.org/dk.
  • Begin working on fall events immediately, no later than four months before an event.

Successful Strategies

  • Advertise prices so they include the convenience fee.


Registration Fee is $11.50 for the first Scout and $10 for each additional Scout registering at the same time.

  • A 3-tired pricing structure is recommended. For onsite registration, prices are higher and program supplies and patches are not guaranteed.


Recommended 3-tiered pricing:

  • Early Bird Fee (or Registration Fee) is $11.50 for the first Scout and $10 for each additional Scout, and includes a patch and program supplies
  • Registration Fee (or Late Fee) is $16.50 for the first Scout and $15 for each additional Scout, and includes a patch and program supplies
  • Onsite is $20 (checks only payable to SHAC; cash not accepted). Program supplies and patches are not guaranteed. Note: if a participant shows up onsite and wants to pay online (e.g., on their phone), then they can save the extra onsite charge.
  • If offering t-shirts included with registration (e.g., camporee), only include t-shirts if pre-registered.


Recommended 3-tiered pricing with t-shirts:

  • Registration Fee $23.50 for the first Scout and $22 for each additional Scout; includes a t-shirt, patch, program supplies and camping fees
  • Late Registration $28.50 for the first Scout and $29 for each additional Scout; includes a patch, program supplies and camping fees (t-shirt not included)
  • Onsite $34 check only. Program supplies and patches are not guaranteed.
  • Late registration should be timed to maximize pre-registration. Staff need enough accurate numbers to be able to purchase supplies and time to successfully plan the event (e.g., assignments); however, late registration should not begin too early because busy families sometimes plan to attend events at the last minute.


Recommended late registration strategies:

  • Webelos Woods (with t-shirts) - late fee begins two weeks before the event and t-shirts are not included. Onsite payment is significantly higher.
  • Webelos Woods – late fee begins one or two weeks before the event. Onsite payment is significantly higher.
  • Camporee (with t-shirts) – Step 1: Troops RSVP with estimated numbers and a commitment to run an event three-months out. Step 2. Final payment is due two weeks before the event with t-shirt order. Late fee begins two weeks before the event and t-shirts are not included. Onsite payment is significantly higher.
  • Camporee - Step 1: Troops RSVP with estimated numbers and a commitment to run an event three-months out. Step 2. Final payment is due no later than the Monday before the event. Late fee begins the Tuesday before the event. Onsite payment is significantly higher.
  • District Dinner - registration closes or fee doubles four-days before the event (so catering can be ordered)
  • Most events (e.g., pinewood derby, fishing tournament, cuboree, pushmobile, first aid meet) - late fee begins the week of the event (e.g., Wed, Th). Onsite payment is significantly higher.
  • Consider registration by team/patrols versus individuals. For example, have teams (vs individuals) register for pushmobile. For Webelos Woods, camporees and first aid meet, register patrols (e.g., patrol includes up to seven Scouts) to eliminate individual registrations.

How to request registration reports

District event and training chairs can request Doubleknot reports from the following individuals listed at www.shac.org/doubleknot-reports.

Instructions to pull reports can be found here.

Each district can give access to one or two individuals to pull reports. The district executive needs to submit Doubleknot Access Form to the IT department.

Registration Resources

Top of Section


SHAC Budget, Purchasing and Invoice Payment Procedures

Preparing the Budget

Budgets for all district events are submitted in August for the next calendar year. The activities chair works with the event chairs to prepare the budgets for each event which then must be approved by the district executive and field director before being submitted to the accounting department of the council. 

No money may be spent or orders placed for merchandise before budgets are approved by the district executive, field director, and board of directors. Money spent prior to approval will not be reimbursed. 

  • Use the Budget Worksheet (available from the district executive) and review the previous year’s final budget. Plan the current budget based on: realistic figures, historical data, what worked/didn’t work last year, will the numbers increase or decrease, cost figures (average cost to a number of participants; e.g., $5,000 divided by 150 people is roughly $34). 
  • The proposed budget must include: 
  1. last year’s final budget, 
  2. an administrative/quartermaster fee of 20% of projected revenue
  3. a detailed account of all expected income and expenses 
  • Submit the proposed budget to the activities chair, district program chair, and the district executive for approval by early August. The district executive then submits the proposed budget to the council for final approval. Please know that other changes may occur, your district executive is the best resource for any updates.
  • Budgeting requires a careful balancing of fees that Scouts can afford against the activities which will accomplish the event goals. Before deciding on the event fee, make a careful listing of all anticipated expenses and compare that to a history of event attendance. Dividing the pre-planned expenses by the anticipated attendance, adding 5-10% for an expected increase in attendance, should give you an adequate base of what to charge per attendee.

Revenue and Field Receipts 

  • The event chair and the district executive are responsible for all expenditures and income. 
  • All income must go directly to the council office and be receipted to the appropriate account. Registration fees and event account numbers need to appear on all registration forms for the event. Only council accounts are permitted. District bank account, savings accounts or slush funds are not permitted. Field receipts (available from the district executive) must be issued when taking in monies for an event. 
  • Reimbursement of expenses with cash received at an event is not permitted. 
  • The district executive is responsible for turning in all event revenues and allocating it to the proper account.


  • Total expenses may not exceed the budget. Variations from the budget must be approved by the district executive. Variations will only be approved if participation, therefore income, goes up. Taking into consideration the actual attendance, the expenses budgeted on each line item should not be exceeded. If participation decreases, a revised budget should reflect an adjustment downward accordingly. 
  • The event chair and district executive must inform the event staff about budgetary limits and restrictions. Those approved to purchase event supplies will be informed exactly how much has been budgeted for each area or item. All purchases should be coordinated through the event chair since various areas may require identical items that could be shared to avoid excess materials. Since actual costs may vary from the budgeted amount it is understood that small variances are likely, but substantial variances require a budget adjustment. If one budget item costs more than the budgeted amount, another item will have to cost less. Event chairs need to make sure that all event staff purchasing supplies remain within their budget limits. All expenditures must have a vendor-issued original receipt.
  • When ordering items, look for the best values (ask other districts, previous event chairs or at council coordinated meetings) and work within the parameters of budget (must justify costs). 
  • Sales Tax: SHAC is a section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and thereby exempt from paying sales tax. Tax exemption can be claimed by presenting a Texas State Sales Tax exemption certificate (available to the event chair from the district executive). Discuss the issue of our 501(c)(3) status with the manager of all retail establishments considered for materials. In some cases, businesses require the certificate be on file in advance and this often takes some time to establish. The SHAC tax exemption does not apply to units. Units are to use the tax exemption of their chartered organization.
  • Quartermaster:  Contact your district or division quartermaster to determine what consumable (craft supplies) and non-consumable (tables, coolers, canopies, shooting sports equipment) supplies are available for your event. The Council Quartermaster Committee purchases all non-consumable equipment.
  • BSA License:  Only use licensed vendors to purchase items such as patches and t-shirts with BSA trademarks (e.g., fleur-de-lis) or that represent the council, district or BSA. Visit www.bsalicensing.org for more information. Determine if a vendor is licensed by visiting www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Licensing/Current%20Licensees.aspx or by emailing licensing@scouting.org (for local companies).
  • Bids: At least three bids are required for larger purchases such as t-shirts, trophies, and awards.
  • Vendors:  A list of vendors is available.


The district executive is responsible for submitting all expense requests to the council. Items or services for events may be purchased by one of the four methods. The methods are listed below in the order of preference: 

1. Purchase Orders 

Purchase orders are the preferred method for obtaining supplies. When possible, purchase supplies from vendors which will accept Purchase Orders. Most companies will accept a purchase order. Purchase orders are required where they are accepted.

Purchase Order Requisition

  1. Complete and submit a Purchase Order Requisition to the district executive at least 30 days before the event with a bid (quote) attached or a list the individual items that are needed along with the price. 
  2. The district executive will then secure a purchase order and will submit to the vendor.

Send a copy of the Vendor Letter with every purchase order. Upon submitting the purchase order to the vendor, the district executive must verify that the vendor has the correct billing information to invoice SHAC and remind them that the invoice must include the district name and purchase order number. This is an important step as many vendors have SHAC in their system under an old address or the system defaults to the previous district that made a purchase resulting in invoice payment being delayed. The vendor must send the invoice directly to the council who will then pay the vendor. The vendor may fax, e-mail or mail the invoice:

Sam Houston Area Council
attn: __________ District 
2225 N Loop W
Houston, TX 77088-1311
Include: PO number: __________, Vendor’s legal name, address, contact person, and date

3. Upon receipt of the invoice from the vendor, the accounting department forwards the invoice to the appropriate district executive for approval.
4. Upon verification of receipt of the goods or service, the district executive returns the invoice with the goldenrod copy of the purchase order attached to the accounting department which authorizes payment of the invoice. The district executive will advise the accounting department and note any discrepancies in the invoice in order that proper payments are made for goods and/or services received. The accounting department will not pay invoices until the goldenrod copy is returned authorizing payment. Learn more about purchase orders.

2. Check Request 

Some vendors require full payment before items may be removed from the premises. A check for the exact amount of goods or services can be requested through the district executive using the Check Request form. Learn more about check requests.

Check Request

3. Cash Advance Request

Cash advances for a very few specific reasons may be requested by the event chair on the Check Request form and secured by the district executive. Allow at least one week for the request to be processed. Vendor-issued itemized receipts and/or unused money must be turned in to the district executive as soon as possible but no later than the conclusion of the event. All receipts and/or unused money for a specific cash advance must be turned in before an additional cash advance can be obtained. Cash advances may be used for budgeted items only. All cash expenditures must have vendor-issued receipts and must be accounted for exactly. 

4. Reimbursement Request

Individuals may be reimbursed for cash purchases provided the expenses were approved in the budget and itemized original receipts are provided. Requests for reimbursement should be coordinated with the event chair and then requested through the district executive. All receipts should be attached to a Check Request form and turned into the activities chair or district executive no later than one week after the event. Receipts turned in more than 60 days after the event may not be paid.  

About Purchase Orders

Procurement Policy and Procedures: Purchase Order and Check Request Revised May 14, 2015

One of our core values is to be good stewards of the funds donated to the council by the community.  A key aspect of good financial stewardship is properly managing cash assets through effective use of a purchase order system allowing the council to forecast cash needs 90 to 120 days into the future.  By knowing our cash needs, we will have the necessary funds on hand to pay our obligations in a timely manner.

What is a Purchase Order?

A purchase order is a document, issued and signed by persons with delegated purchasing authority, specifying supplies or services ordered from a specific vendor, and the price, terms, and conditions of that order.  Purchase orders are required for every purchase.


Many purchases require that departments properly plan their purchasing actions and submit a timely purchase order requisition form. The time required to issue a purchase order and obtain the goods or services, after receipt of the purchase requisition, varies greatly depending of the value and nature of the purchase and the specifications.

Ethical Considerations

All individuals with purchasing authority on behalf of the council must avoid any behavior that involves a real conflict of interest and any appearance, however remote, of using their affiliation with the council as a means of furthering personal interests.  The mere appearance of a conflict of interest can be as serious and damaging as an actual conflict of interest. Reports of conflicts based on appearances can undermine public trust in ways that may not be adequately restored even when the mitigating facts of a situation are brought to light. Apparent conflicts, therefore, should be evaluated and managed with the same vigor as known conflicts.

Situations where an employee has a financial or other interest in a vendor who the council is or is considering doing business with and where that employee is in a position to influence relevant business decisions may be considered a conflict of interest and should be reported in accordance with the council’s Conflict of Interest Policy.  Conflict of interest problems may be resolved by full disclosure as well as making appropriate arrangements that clearly exclude that employee from participating in the decision-making process.

Employees with purchasing authority should not request or accept from any individual or organization doing or seeking to do business with the council, a favor, gratuity or special consideration for themselves or any member of their family that will result in any direct or indirect financial gain.

Employees with purchasing authority should not engage directly or indirectly in a personal financial transaction that primarily relies upon information obtained through his or her council employment and is not otherwise common knowledge.

Unauthorized Purchase

An unauthorized purchase is an agreement, a commitment, an order for goods or services, or changes to existing contracts by any person who does not have the delegated authority to bind the council.  Procurement transactions in excess of a person's authority are considered unauthorized.  Examples include:

  1. Purchases from unauthorized vendors.
  2. Placing an order after submitting the requisition on the assumption that a purchase order has or will be approved.
  3. Instructing a vendor to initiate an order on the promise that a purchase order will be forthcoming.
  4. Using personal funds to make a purchase or allowing a volunteer to make a purchase of goods or services that would normally require a purchase order.  These purchases will be considered personal and will not be binding on the Council.


  • Complete the Purchase Order Requisition, have it approved by your supervisor, and return to the accounting department.  Purchases in excess of $1,500 must be approved by the COO, CDO or Scout Executive
  • The accounting department will issue the purchase order and provide a purchase order number within seven days of the request
  • Purchase order will be returned to requesting individual for distribution to vendor
  • Upon receipt of the goods or service, a copy of the P.O. is attached to the invoice and returned to the accounting department authorizing payment of the invoice
    • Confirm correct items were received and priced properly
    • Note any discrepancies in the invoice and advise accounting so that we are making proper payments for goods and services received
    • The accounting department will not pay invoices until initiator authorizes payment. 

About Check Requests

What is a Check Request?

A payment initiation method for certain expenses.  However, purchase orders are required for all purchases.


Used for expenditures of a small amount.  The appropriate manager may approve expenditures for a larger amount in emergency situations. It is inappropriate to circumvent this limit by making multiple purchases at or about the same time and submitting each purchase on separate requests.


Departments may initiate a check request by sending a completed Check Request form to their supervisor and attaching the supporting documentation.  Check Request forms must be approved by the supervisor.  Return the completed and approved Check Request form to accounting.   

Event Close Out Meeting

The Event Close Out Meeting is a required meeting that is held two weeks after every district event with the district activities chair, event chair, and district executive. The Event Close Out Meeting must be held with the event chair and district executive to complete the Event Close Out Meeting Report. The district activities chair, district program chair and necessary key staff should be invited to the meeting. 

Event Close Out Meeting

Top of Section


PromotePromotion is a key part of all events. Without communicating the details to others, there won’t be a strong turnout.  It’s never too soon to let people know about your event. Get your date set and let everyone know so they can get it on their calendar. There are many ways the event can be promoted. 

An event can also be promoted through Yahoo groups, commissioner service and one-on-one interaction. Be sure each unit receives information about the event. A promotions chair should be key staff position; however, all key staff should publicize the event within their unit and around the district.

Several months before the event, details about the event should be summed up in a short paragraph and submitted to the district communications and media chair to be placed on the district web and social media sites and possibly to generate publicity in community and local papers. 

Promote Dates

  • Ensure that the event date is included on the district calendar. The district calendar is finalized at the February district committee meeting (or 18-months out).


  • Keep information up to date on the day camp page on the district website. Submit updates to the district webmaster. Use the Website Feedback form under the resource tab to submit corrections.
  • Put the direct URL for the district event webpage on all communications.
  • Event pages should be very detailed. List everything a parent needs to know (who, what, when, where). Also, list what to bring, a tentative schedule, rules, events and program details.
  • Downloadable leader's guides are not permitted on the website. All information that leaders and parents need to know is to be included on the event webpage. Confusing communications occur when information in leader's guides (printed or as a web link) conflicts with content on the event webpage. Portable document format (.pdf) documents are a fixed-layout designed for desktop devices but are difficult to use on mobile devices, usually requiring zooming in and panning around. Half of our website visitors are mobile users and don’t want the hassle of looking at something that doesn’t fit their screens. Furthermore, PDFs require downloading before viewing. This is already a barrier for desktop users, but for mobile users, downloading files can be a difficult task taking time to download in areas of slow internet speeds and using up valuable mobile data allowances leading users to abandon reading the important information before even beginning. The goal is to get users to read the important event details and not cause users to experience unnecessary friction. 

Fliers and Newsletters

  • Fliers: Distribute one-page fliers to units at roundtable and district events. Fliers should include very basic information (event name, date, location and event description, event page URL). Readers should go to the event webpage for details (e.g., what to bring, schedule, contact information, registration link).
  • District Newsletter: Submit articles to the district communications chair about day camp to be included in district newsletters.

Social Media

  • Request that the district communications chair post pictures and articles about day camp on the district Facebook page and other district social media sites.
  • Request that the district communications chair create a Facebook event for day camp on the district Facebook page.
  • Events are not allowed to have their own Facebook page per the SHAC social media policy. Please utilize your district's Facebook social media sites to promote day camp. Only one page per district is allowed.
  • SHAC social media guidelines: www.shac.org/Data/Sites/1/media/resources/district-operations/shac-social-media-guidelines.pdf


  • Keep the district committee updated on day camp and solicit suggests for promotions.
  • Ask district committee members to promote the event.
  • Ask unit commissioners to promote the event to their assigned units.
  • Have displays at roundtable and district events.
  • Have a presentation/display at May Program Preview 
  • Talk about the event to everyone (one-on-one interaction and personal invitations are key).
  • Ask all key staff to promote the event and talk about the event to everyone.
  • Utilize local media (e.g., community newspaper), if appropriate.

An event must be presented at least seven times before it sounds important. Remember KISMIF can also mean “Keep it secret, make it fail.”

Event Webpages

Ensure that the district event website has accurate information. Extra preparation will save you from a really big headache in the long run and help answer parent and leader’s questions. Submit corrections to the webmaster or use the Website Feedback form under the Resources tab on the district website.


  • Event location, date (and rain date), time
  • Items to bring (e.g., water, closed-toed shoes, snacks, cup, uniform, medical form, chair)
  • Leader in charge and contact info.
  • Tentative schedule
  • Planned activities 
  • Who can attend the event
  • Theme of the event
  • Registration fees (early registration incentive and late or on-site fees) for Scouts, siblings, and adults (if applicable) and any registration deadlines

Event Fliers and Event Guides

Distribute promotional fliers at roundtable, district trainings, and district events.

Event fliers are to be one-page only and should include the date, time, location, a general event description and the event webpage URL for additional details. Do not include contact information. Participants should go to the district website event page first, then if their questions are not addressed on the event webpage, they can contact the person listed on the webpage for more information.

All details about district events (e.g., what to bring, program, rules, schedule, contact info) are to be posted on the district event webpage (not as a downloadable document or printed and distributed to leaders) for the following reasons.

  1. Saves trees.
  2. Decreases the possibility of inconsistent messages distributed in printed guides vs. posted on the event webpage.
  3. Drives target audience to one consistent place.
  4. Content is more obvious on the website when a document doesn't have to be downloaded, especially for parents.
  5. Friendlier web navigation for desktop and mobile users.
  6. Speeds up access to information for users (documents don’t have to be downloaded).
  7. Allows for making updates quicker/easier. Event chairs can submit corrections to their district webmaster or www.shac.org/dk.
  8. Avoids the “I didn’t see the document” excuse.

Participants can easily print the event information posted from the website using the link at the bottom of the page (Printable View). 

Top of Section


Selecting Staff

staffThe event chair has the opportunity to bring together the brightest and best volunteers in the district to help plan and run an event that promotes the mission of Scouting and is fun for the Scouts, volunteers, parents, and siblings. Key staff identification and determining their duties will be an early consideration. But remember BEFORE you recruit key staff you need the approval of the district activities chair and district executive. 

Before recruiting begins you should define all the key staff roles and responsibilities.  It is important to give each key staff member a detailed job description. You can begin by asking the event’s previous chair and/or district leaders who they would recommend to be key staff members. Identify those volunteers you know have proven track records, but don’t forget to latch onto the hidden talents of that brand new enthusiastic leader. Watch for potential staff at roundtable, district events, district training sessions, and unit meetings. A good slogan is to hire for attitude and train for skills!  Try to evaluate their skills, interests, experiences, and expectations before making job appointments. Choose a staff structure that matches your style of leadership. Look for people who get things done; are successful in their other volunteer positions, life, and work; can recruit others; know their resources; have influence with others; are well-liked and respected; and have good character. Take a course on generations offered at University of Scouting or College of Commissioner Science to understand the traits of those who are being recruited.

Refrain from recruiting volunteers over the phone, particularly people you do not know or do not know well. Meet with them face to face. There are many parents out there who would enjoy helping if personally invited. Work with the district activities chair to identify and select an assistant chair to learn your position and ideally serve as the event chair for next year’s event. Ideally, districts use this approach to train and develop talent. They will recruit an assistant chair the first year with the hopes they will be the event chair the second year (or longer), and an advisor to the event chair their last year. The key staff will likely be people with more than one year of experience in their area. They, in turn, will help you recruit their staff. Make sure they know to consult with you before adding someone as part of their staff.

When recruiting, remember to diversify. It is also important that 1/3 of the staff are very experienced staffers, 1/3 are medium experienced staffers, and 1/3 brand new staffers. This ratio ensures the on-going annual success of the event. Make every effort to identify specific jobs and then fill all staff positions. Every job is easier when more people pitch in. This ensures proper staffing ratios and shares the burden with many so that the work is easier. Additionally, back up or reserve staff members help relieve the burden of drop-out staff members. Dropouts will happen – have a backup plan for each position, including yours.

Recruit staff from every unit in the district. Staff recruited from different units will promote the event across the district and help identify additional talent. Do not underestimate the power of diversity – everyone has something they can share. Other diversity considerations include having both men and women on staff and different ethnic and religious backgrounds. 

At the Cub Scout level remember that the parents of 5th grade Webelos Scouts will likely be moving on with their Scouts as they progress to troops. Likewise, parents of Lions and Tigers will be learning the ropes. Try to identify enthusiastic parents of Wolf and Bear Scouts as they have two to four years to develop as event staff. Invite troops to help run district events. Many Scoutmasters will let Scouts earn service hours at Cub Scout events. Make sure to have the sign-in at registration so you can report to the Scoutmasters how many hours they worked. Also, give each volunteer an event patch.

Get people willing involved. If someone volunteers but does not state the desired position, avoid saying you will get back to them. Assign them a task right then and there, even if it is a small task since you can always to back to say you have another, more important job that better reflects their talents. 

This size of your staff will be dependent on two factors:  event size and program intensity. The size of the event often dictates a minimum number of volunteers. The size of a job will reflect the number of volunteers to accomplish that job. The second factor, program intensity, deals with both the type of programs offered and the intensity of the willingness and skills of your volunteers to work on the event. Cross-train your staff in multiple positions. 

When recruiting your staff, don’t be disappointed if someone turns you down. They may be overworked or already committed to other things and in the long run, you’d rather have the rejection than someone who can’t fulfill their commitment. If a volunteer says, “no” to a position then have a couple of smaller ways in mind they could help out. Most people are willing to help in some way – after all, their child is involved. Some may be willing to share (e.g., co-chair) a position with another person. 

Consider requiring each unit to provide a certain number of volunteers to help the staff on site in order to attend the event. Announce this plan at Program Preview to give units plenty of time to prepare.

Tips for Recruiting

  • Be selective
  • Make a personal visit – take time to talk and get to know them
  • Check references
  • Emphasize selecting rather than recruiting
  • Tell it like it is – explain responsibilities, time involved, resources, and why you selected him/her
  • Go over all the gotchas, deadlines and critical needs.
  • Explain the value of leadership – it’s worthwhile and satisfying and an opportunity to help Scouts grow
  • Nurture your leaders (start them off slow, maybe working on a committee or event team)
  • Allow some time. Give your prospect a few days to think about the decision
  • Persevere. Don’t pressure and permit the prospect to say no.  A leader who joins under pressure may not be the right person.
  • Once you have recruited leaders, support them, help them get started, and provide continued assistance, encouragement and training. 
  • Make your leaders feel special, valuable and valued
  • Let them know you want them to be successful
  • Selecting Quality Leaders for troops and crews
  • Selecting Cub Scout Leadership for packs

Location! Location! Location!

Reserve the location early. Consider the following questions while you are looking for the ideal site. Please note that only the district executive can enter into a contract for the Boy Scouts of America and obtain funds for a security deposit, if necessary.

  • How many people are expected to attend?
  • Is it an indoor or outdoor event?
  • What types of permits are necessary (e.g., fire, police, health)?
  • Is there a cost involved or deposit necessary?
  • Is the area a secure, safe area?  Be sure to have the health and safety officer inspect to make sure.
  • Does the facility require security guards?
  • Is there a contract that needs to be signed?  
  • Is a copy of a certificate of insurance from SHAC required?  
  • Is a standby location in case of bad weather needed?
  • If an outdoor event, does a rain date need to be reserved?

Communication with Staff

Communication is vital to the success of any event. As the event chair, you must meet with your staff. Determining what you need to communicate will determine how often and which staff members need to meet. Often times a full event staff of a large event needs to meet only once or twice, while a smaller sub-group of that staff can and should meet separately for a more in-depth coordination and discussion of the details that need to be hammered out. Timelines also determine staff meetings. Set up an e-mail group for your key staff and a separate one for larger or other groups. 

Find out which is the best way to communicate with each person. Do they prefer email, text, phone calls or Facebook message? Do they not communicate a certain way? Customize your communications to their styles and use more than one if needed. Usually, frequent communication is better than infrequent. When important deadlines are approaching the whole staff might need to meet to make decisions. Don’t assume people know what’s going on or that they understand what you said. Provide as much information as writing as possible. Give all key staff a copy of the Event Diary. Be clear. Get feedback. Talk with people face-to-face. LISTEN!

Organizing the Event

Staff Development: 

The success or failure of an event can depend upon the staff. Here are some important factors that determine the staff’s effectiveness.

  1. Proper attitude toward the Scouting and its goals.
  2. Correct uniforming
  3. Adequate preparation
  4. Proper control of time
  5. Knowledge of subject matter or program

To help prepare the staff, the event chair should:

  1. Make assignments to fit the talents and abilities of the staff members.
  2. Hold a planning meeting well in advance.
  3. Meet in advance to:
  • Be sure they have the facts correct and are up to date on current policy.
  • Make sure the program presented is relative and relevant to the purpose of the event.
  • Make sure the program stays within the time permitted.
  • Be sure each person knows what is expected of him/her.

4. Be prepared for emergencies. Have a backup in mind.

5. Stay in touch with the staff in order to assist with any problems which may occur.

During staff meetings give everyone a chance to know each other. Have some informal time with refreshments or an ice-breaker to get acquainted. Lots of fold won’t speak up in front of a group of “strangers.”  You need to be the instigator or creator. Get the ball rolling. If you’re enthusiastic, others will join in. Creativity can trigger more creativity and so on, and so on. And remember, ideas come from everywhere. Share ideas and resources with others. Networking pays off. 

Brainstorming can be an effective way to generate lots of ideas.  Brainstorming should be performed in a relaxed environment. If participants feel free to relax and joke around, they'll stretch their minds further and therefore produce more creative ideas.  It is designed to help you break out of your thinking patterns into new ways of looking at things.

During brainstorming sessions, there should be no criticism of ideas. Ideas should only be evaluated once the brainstorming session has finished - you can then explore solutions further using conventional approaches.

When brainstorming, set up the rules (i.e., the leader has control; everyone contributes; no one will insult, demean, or evaluate another person’s response; there are no wrong answers; each answer is recorded; setting a time limit). The facilitator should write responses (no matter how silly or impossible an idea seems) on a whiteboard, flip chart, or poster board while guiding the session, encouraging participation, and allowing participants to build on each others’ ideas.   Laughing is to be encouraged while criticism is not. Brainstorm event themes, event locations, and activities.

Sample Theme Ideas 


Cub Scouts

Troops / Crews

  · Animals (zoo) · Are You Smarter than a Scout
  · Bugs / insects · Beach / Tropical
  · Carnival · Camping
  · Circus · Canoeing
  · Construction · Citizenship
  · Crime Prevention · Climbing
  · Derbies (pinewood, space, regatta) · Cooking
  · Detectives · Emergency prep
  · Dinosaurs · First Aid
  · Fiesta · Fitness
  · Heroes · Highland games
  · Hobbies · Hiking
  · Knights · Knights
  · Hollywood 
  · Magic · Merit Badges
  · Native Americans · Orienteering
  · Nature / Conservation
  · Music · Shooting Sports
  · Olympics · Sports / Olympics
  · Orient · STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
  · Patriotic / America · Texas / Wild West
  · Pioneers · Wilderness Survival
  · Pharaohs  
  · Spy  
  · STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)  
  · Sports  
  · Transporation  
  · Beach, Jungle, Texas, Hometown Heroes, Space are typically used for day camp  


Selecting Activities

Parking…Check-in…Early bird activities…Opening…Evaluation…and Closing…all make the event fun---or not so fun---for the participants, so consider each carefully in your planning.

In planning the activities which will take place at an event, the sky’s the limit!  So how do you choose?  The following questions keep you focuses on the Scouts and theme

  1. Will this activity help you move closer to the objective?
  2. Is this an activity the Scouts/adults want and is appropriate to the age/experience of the participants?

Refer to the Cub Scout Leader Book and the Scoutmasters Handbook to get some guidelines concerning understanding youth.  Send out a questionnaire asking Scouts/adults what activities they would like.

  1. How will the activity fit into the overall plan? 
  2. Is a special site necessary?  If so, what type? 
  3. Will bad weather affect this activity?  What adjustments would be necessary?
  4. What preparation will be necessary for this activity? 
  5. What special equipment or supplies are needed? 
  6. Will Scouts need to learn special skills before the event?  How will you pay for the costs involved?  Remember SAFETY!

Once you know the answers to the above question, decide which activities to include and overall schedule will best fit the activities. Remember Scout will be participating. Will these activities appeal to them?


Before the event, walk through the event from getting out of the car, finding registration, first aid, and all of the events. 

Check-in is the first thing you see at the event and it makes a lasting impression. Registration should take no more than five minutes. Overstaff check-in with enthusiastic helpful and informed volunteers. No one wants to wait in a long line to check in and then ask a simple question no one can answer. You may want to have an event and/or campsite layout maps available so everyone knows where they are going or the staff can direct them. 

Get participants involved in activities quickly—plan for a fast check-in procedure and early bird activities. Divide the check-in procedures so the Scouts/units can get their packets very quickly without waiting in line. Packets may contain name tags, schedules, maps, evaluation forms, and information sheets.

Make sure everyone knows what comes next – schedules for all!! Use air horns or other loud noise for a signal. Have event staff easily identifies (hat, t-shirt, etc) in order to answer questions. 

Some materials registration may want to have available:  air horn, baggies, batteries, blank registration forms, canopy, change, clipboard, copies (e.g., medical forms, registration forms, maps, schedule), emergency contact sign, envelopes, extension cord, file box, file folders, fire extinguisher, highlighters, lost and found box, money bag, medical forms, paper clips, patches, pens, poster board, post-it notes, registration packets (containing name tag, schedule, map, evaluation form, information), registration sign, rubber bands, safety pins, scissors, Sharpies, sign-in sheet (for guests, adult volunteers, Scout volunteers), staff name tags, stapler, staples, tables, tape (masking, duct, clear packing), timer (to remind when to blow air horn), trash bags, t-shirts, wrist bands, zip ties

  • Have someone in the parking lot to direct traffic and to stop parents from just dropping off Scouts. Ask them to wait until their son has checked in. This may eliminate parents having to come back if all the paperwork is not properly completed.
  • It is the responsibility of the parents, leaders, and check-in staff that all registration and medical forms are received on each participant (including adults and siblings) entering the event.
  • If necessary forms are not provided by the unit or youth, or someone is improperly attired, it will be the leader’s responsibility to call the parents to fill out the required forms, bring different clothing, or pick up the youth.
  • After checking in, give the Scout something to do until the opening begins.
  • Have lost and found box available.


  • Openings can be as simple or elaborate as you want. It marks the official beginning of the event. Make sure that an effective sound system is used.
  • Welcome and give the reason for the event
  • Introduce staff 
  • Make announcements (if possible provide written announcements)
    • evacuation plan
    • first aid location
    • toilet facilities
    • handwashing facilities
    • smoking areas
  • Explain schedules
  • Explain check-out procedures


  • Inspect campsites and event sites before dismissing the units and staff and providing them with the departure packets. Be sure to leave the site better than you found it.
  • Make sure all fires are properly put out.
  • Collect evaluations. 
  • Dispose of trash bags in a proper manner.


  • Closing mark the event as being officially completed
  • Thank everyone for attending
  • Present awards
  • Thank staff volunteers
  • Remind everyone of check-out procedures
  • Request help for clean up
  • Display lost and found items



Evaluations Have the participants evaluate prior to departure, with the evaluation form fitting the age of the participants. Have a box at registration to collect the evaluation forms or consider handing out the event patches when the evaluation forms are received. Website surveys can also be utilized and can be completed by individuals, dens, patrols, or units, and even separate youth and adult forms. Design the evaluation questions so those who attended the event will understand them and are easily tallied. Perhaps younger Scout could be asked to react with one word (e.g., super, okay) that best describes each activity, or the reliable happy or sad face marked for each activity.  The key questions to ask are:  Was the job done, done right, and on time?  Did everyone take part?  Enjoy themselves?  Are they ready for more?  Some questions you may want to ask: 

  • What should we include or leave out next time?
  • How did you hear about the event (e.g., leader, roundtable, district newsletter, website, social media)?
  • Proposed improvements?
  • How could we make the event better?
  • Were the events prepared?
  • Was there sufficient leadership?
  • Did the events run on-time?
  • Rate the following (registration, bathrooms, activities, campfire, opening) on a scale of 1 – 5.
  • Rate the staff

Evaluations allow the event attendees to communicate back to you. This is their time to give you necessary feedback as the final step in a quality event. With all the planning and executing, something is likely to be overlooked, forgotten, missed – be sure to receive the words of others as a gift to ensuring the future success of an event. 

Key staff should also write a review of his/her job with suggested ideas and changes to be handed to the event chair to include in the event diary. Plan a staff evaluation meeting to hash out the pros and cons of the event, always ending on a good note. This is a good time to distribute thank you’s if you did not do so at the closing ceremony of the event.

Sample Online Evaluation Form

Environmental Issues

The Boy Scouts of America are very aware of the environment. You should think out any activities, crafts, etc. ahead of time as to how this is going to affect the environment. 

  • Are you going to use any special chemicals in a craft?  If so, what disposal process will be used?
  • Have a recycling bag for aluminum cans. Include this in your announcements at the beginning of the event.¬
  • Use extreme caution with balloons. All remnants must be picked up. They can injure animals.
  • Scouts should always leave an area cleaner than when they found it.
  • Have smoking area marked and have butt cans available.
  • Snip plastic pack rings before putting in the trash.
  • Remind the participants to bring drinking cups.
  • Avoid using glass if possible.
  • Make sure all fires are properly put out.
  • Wrap any glass before putting it in the trash.

Recognize your volunteers

Recognize volunteers Recognition is very important!!!  Everyone appreciates recognition. One of the best ways to keep your leaders and other volunteers coming back is to recognize them for all their efforts. It is common to give key staff a certificate of appreciation, or plaque; however, a smile, and a warm, hardy, well-deserved pat on the back can go a long way to making a volunteer feel appreciated. 

Thank your volunteers often both privately and publicly. Thank them at staff meetings, at the event (e.g., during cracker-barrel, opening/closing ceremonies), and at other district events (e.g., roundtable, district dinner, district committee meeting). Send an informal note of thanks. Tell others of your volunteer’s contribution. Praise them on the job. Submit a kudos to be included in your district newsletter or on the district website or social media thanking them for their service. 

There are all types of awards, many of which can be either serious or fun (see below for more ideas). Be creative!  And don’t worry about being too corny – remember this is the Scouting program! In lieu of a store-bought plaque or certificate (http://dyetub.com/certificates/scouting), consider giving homemade plaque, gift, neckerchief slide, item to use for Scouting, or special staff name tag/badge. Also, consider giving key staff a special colored event t-shirt to wear during the event. This also makes them easily recognizable for participants. 

Nominate deserving leaders for district awards. A helpful hint: as part of their recruitment, ask them for a Scouter resume. It should have the positions they have held and when as well as events they have chaired or assisted. This way you have all the background that is necessary for a proper nomination. This type of information is otherwise difficult to get without it being obvious as part of an award.


PlanningThe district committee may have determined an event date for you or you may be given the option of choosing your own date, but whatever the situation you will have a limited amount of time to work with. The key is to plan carefully and well in advance. Some events may take as long as two years to plan. Don’t put it off. Strive for quality. If you cannot give an event the time it needs, don’t do it. Save it for another time. You cannot make it with an idea alone, no matter how great it is. Work out the event or program in detail, then put everything down on paper and review it carefully. Sometimes event chairs don’t realize the entirety of the work required in planning and executing complex or large events and find themselves shorthanded and in a frazzle as the day arrives. Sometimes the best plans will go awry. Hurricanes happen. Locations get canceled. It can happen and it’s better to face the facts in the beginning. Always be flexible. 

First, find out if there are event diaries from past events. If not then please make sure to retain your records and document them in an event diary for your successor(s). Events are easier to plan if you know what happened in the past. Then take out your calendar and start at the event date. Work backwards from that date and try to include all those details you will need to complete. Also remember that some of these details will be time-sensitive (e.g., submitting a location reservation, ordering patches and t-shirts, turning in a budget for approval, ordering supplies, ordering port-o-cans). They must be completed within a certain time period. Identify all other events that are scheduled (council, district, unit, schools, local sports, holidays, etc) and keep in mind that volunteers and resources may be scarce during those times.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performances. Always have Plan B (and C, D, E and more!!). 

When problems opportunities happen

ProblemsAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!  Sometimes it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive. The best way to deal with a problem is to avoid having the problem or at least having identified the likely problem before it happens. Proactive actions are usually seen in a positive light. Problems happen despite our best plan so there will times when you need to be reactive. With so many people/personalities in a district, problems and conflicts are unavoidable – so expect them, and accept them. During the event, realize that what happens at the staff levels are typically not seen by the participants (e.g., the participants may not realize that the staff had to leave camp to buy supplies that were not purchased ahead of time; or that a staff member had to take over for another staff member at the last second).

Helpful hints for handling conflicts include:

  • Problem SolvingListen and empathize
  • Be sensitive, the problem may not be with you or Scouting (there may be issues at home)
  • The problem/issue/concern may be valid. Try to focus on the facts and NOT the emotions. Be big enough to admit when you’re wrong- it may be simply a misunderstanding or bad communication. Remember you’re only human – we ALL make mistakes. “I’m sorry” goes a long way. Ask if they can help solve the problem.
  • Be responsive/take responsibility. Don’t let problems remain unattended. They rarely just go away and frequently get worse. People want to feel as if they’ve been heard and understood. If something’s wrong – FIX IT!  If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT – when you say you’re going to do it. Learn from mistakes – many of our greatest advancements are a result of correcting mistakes!
  • Don’t hold a grudge. Let things go. Refocus – It’s about the Scouts!  You may have to agree to disagree. Not every problem is resolvable. Not every challenging adult can be turned around.
  • Use other resources (e.g., activities chairs, previous event chairs, district executive, vice chairs, district committee members, district commissioners).

It’s About the Scouts!

ScoutsIf you’re in Scouting for any other reason, you’re in it for the wrong reason!!!  Always keep coming back to “Why am I here?” The Scouts!  This attitude will help make issues with adults not look too big or seem too important. Ask yourself – “Why am I a volunteer?”  Constantly remind people why you’re there – the Scouts.

Remember that you have the rare ability - and responsibility – to make a positive difference in a young life. If you do not then someone or something will and we pray it is not a negative influence. Scouting offers wholesome and proven methods for enabling Scout to become productive adults. As a Scouter, you are playing a key part of the solution to our future. An American Indian saying states that there are many paths in life. Some are good and some are bad. One is best. You can choose to go down any path. Scouting helps you and the lives you touch choose the best path.

Art of Delegation

Delegation is one of the most important and difficult of skills that you need to acquire. You can accomplish only so much in one day. A great way you can achieve more is through delegation – dividing your load and sharing your responsibilities with others. Delegation does not mean dumping!  Delegation, a critical management skill, enables you to extend your knowledge and energy and time through the efforts of others and is important because once a person’s job grows beyond his/her ability the success of what is done is at risk. Effective delegation will not only give you more time to work on your important opportunities, but will also help volunteers learn new skills. No successful organization survives without it. Even though others may have a different approach or standards, it’s not all down to you! Give someone else a chance to learn or fail. You are much more likely to recruit a replacement if volunteers don’t see you doing everything.   Don’t be irreplaceable. Remember, someone that is irreplaceable cannot be replaced. Remember if things go wrong, it’s ultimately your fault! Assess the risk of failure before you decide to delegate a task, and manage any risk appropriately. The only person you can blame is you, for not effectively delegating the task at the beginning. And you never know, they might even do it better than you!  Handoff your expertise.

Tips for Successful Delegation

  1. Delegate Determine what can be delegated... Be willing to delegate. Don't do an activity that someone else would be willing to do for you if you would just ask them. Delegate as much as possible to develop your staff to help train them to be as good as you are now. Remember, you are not the only one that can accomplish an end result. If you can’t define the task to be delegated, it isn’t ready for delegation. Good tasks to delegate are Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.  Vague tasks are impossible to complete or result in such a mess you’ve squandered more time than you could potentially have saved. Trust others to be capable of achieving it. Delegate tasks in which you have experience and are the easiest for you to explain to others. Tasks in which your staff have more experience must be delegated to them. This does not mean that you relinquish responsibility because they are expert, but it does mean that the default decision should be theirs. You should ensure that they spend some time in explaining these decisions to you so that you learn their criteria. 
  2. Be specific... It's easy to give someone an assignment (e.g., facilities chair) only to find out later that what they understood this to mean was very different from what you intended. Provide written job requirements and timeline so all key staff know their responsibilities.  Make your priorities clear. Inform your key staff what decisions and jobs you are delegating and to whom. As an event chair, you have high standards. When you delegate a job, it does not have to be done as well as you could do it (given time), but only as well as necessary: never judge the outcome by what you expect you would do (it is difficult to be objective about that), but rather by fitness for purpose. When you delegate a task, agree then upon the criteria and standards by which the outcome will be judged.                              
  3. ...but don't micromanage. Clearly define what outcome is needed, then let individuals use some creative thinking of their own as to how to get to that outcome.  Leaving the person room to make some independent decisions lets them choose a style of doing things that suits them best. Keep your mind open to new ideas and ways of doing things. There just might be a better way than the way something has previously been done. It makes them feel respected and trusted and part of the team. It builds a greater sense of pride and ownership in the project, and it gives them a chance to develop their skills and confidence.  A person will be more excited about doing a project when they came up with the idea of how to do it. 
  4. Agree on deadlines. Make sure volunteers understand when their part of the task needs to be done, why the deadlines are important, and how this fits in with the larger timeline for the event.
  5. Follow up. Check back with the person you've delegated to, to find out how it's going, particularly in the early stages of planning. You will soon know if these delegates are in need of more or less guidance. Agree on a monitoring procedure that will keep you informed as to the progress because you are ultimately still responsible for it and need to know that it is progressing, as it should. If you are constantly interfering, you cannot expect good performance but if you do not devise some means of checking on what is done, you may soon find out that you have a catastrophe. Ask if any questions have come up since you last talked. Make sure they have what they need to do the job, and that they're getting the necessary assistance and cooperation from others. Sometimes people are reluctant to admit they didn't understand something, or that they're having trouble. Asking gives them an opening and permission to say so. It's also a way of finding out if someone simply isn't doing the job before it's too late. Good communication will assure ongoing success.
  6. Match assignments with people's skills... Find out the talents and interests of your volunteers and you will be able to delegate more intelligently and effectively. Some people write well but hate to talk on the phone. Some people can schmooze anything out of anybody, while others would rather do anything besides ask for donations. Find out what people are good at, and what they like to do, and make the most of it. Never underestimate a person's potential. Delegate slightly more than you think the person is capable of handling. Expect them to succeed, and you will be pleasantly surprised more frequently than not. 
  7. ...but don't let people get typecast against their will. People with particular skills (e.g., registration, awards, crafts) often get stuck with the same jobs over and over, because they do them so well. If they like it that way, that may be fine (although you might want to encourage them to stretch a bit and do something unfamiliar once in a while). But they may be more than ready for a change--and someone else may be just waiting for a chance to do "their" job.
  8. Make sure assignments get handed out fairly and realistically. Most groups have at least one workhorse who tends to take on too much--sometimes to the point of exhaustion and burnout. Another problem is the person who gets carried away with the enthusiasm of a moment and volunteers for things, then finds her/himself unable to follow through. Encourage people to take a realistic look at their workload and abilities, and to take on the jobs they can reasonably handle. Many volunteers wear many hats across the district and their units.
  9. Give accurate and honest feedback and reflect. Give praise. People want to know how they're doing, and they deserve your honest opinion. Praise effort and good work, but also let them know where they might have done better. Encourage risk-taking and growth by treating mistakes and less-than-successful efforts as a chance to learn and do better next time.  Effective delegation is about sharing the workload, with the added bonus of developing skills and responsibility in others. Maximize the learning experience by taking time for shared reflection of the task once it’s completed – what worked, what didn’t work and what would you do differently next time? 

Adjust as you need too. Have Absolute, Rigid, Flexibility.

Top of Section

Rocket Day Resources

  • Rocket DayRocket Day SHAC webpage
  • Rocket Day Guidelines contains information to help districts prepare for a successful district launch day. The activities committee works closely with the membership committee on this event
  • Rocket Day Program Ideas - districts are encouraged to have supplemental events at rocket day (e.g., BB guns, archery, sports, games, crafts, Bobcat activities, pack booths, STEM activities)
  • Rocket Day Flier. The flier is to be distributed to Scouts with the rocket. There are two per page and the flier can be customized with the district Rocket Day date, time, location, website and what to bring.
  • Rocket Day Placemat. Can be distributed to packs and dens to use as a gathering activity to help promote Rocket Day. The placemat can be customized with the district Rocket Day date, time, location, website and what to bring.
  • Rocket Day district webpage. Review your district's Rocket Day webpage (under the Activities tab) on your district website and submit corrections using the Website Feedback form (under the Resources tab). Be sure to review the RSVP link too.
  • Rocket Day Registration Form. Review your registration form at www.shac.org/events. Submit corrections to www.shac.org/dk.

District Advancement Committee Resources

Merit Badge Counselors

District Camping Committee Resources

district committeeThe Camping and Outdoor Program Committee (COPC) is a critical leadership group entrusted with safely delivering the outdoor adventure that youth and adults expect and that leads to self-discovery and character development. The committee plans and oversees the council outdoor program and the facilities that are needed to support the program. Under the COPC’s leadership, all elements of the Scouting outdoor program collaborate to understand the market needs, develop relevant programs, and deploy facilities and resources to most effectively meet demands of increasingly diverse youth and adult populations. 

The COPC is responsible for one of the most important and visible council operations. It oversees the success of the outdoor program, large property investments, significant annual operating expenditures and revenue opportunities, and quality components that attract youth and adult involvement. The council camping committee typically meets the second Tuesday of the month. See the council calendar for specific dates.

  • Camping Committee Work Plan is the monthly report that the district camping chair provides to the district committee.
  • Camping and Outdoor Program Committee Guide is designed to help districts offer a balanced outdoor program that delivers the promise of Scouting—from Cub Scouting to Venturing and Sea Scouting. The new publication emphasizes integration of partner committees (conservation, COPE/climbing, aquatics, shooting, properties, maintenance, risk management, and health and safety) to achieve the program goals of the council.
  • Event Chairs Guide to Planning an Event is a tool that includes information on council budget procedures. Many camping chairs work closely with the activities chairs to help conduct events like the camporee.
  • Scouting Safely       

Day Camp Committee

day campThe district day camp chairs and day camp program chairs meet several times per year at the Cockrell Scout Center. For specific dates, see the day camp calendar.

Day Camp Committee website    

District Finance Committee Resources


District Membership Committee Resources

District Training Committee Resources

Annual Planning: A common element of strong units is they all have a good annual program planned a year in advance, that is then shared with all families in the form of a calendar, trained leaders and the right leaders. Planning ahead allows the unit to generate new ideas, find resources, and allow more Scouts to have a quality program that is exciting and will create memories! The district key 3, district committee chairs (e.g., training) should be invited to the calendar planning meeting typically held during the January district committee meeting. The various committee chairs should bring proposed dates to the district calendar planning meeting.  The district calendar should be finalized no later than the February district committee meeting. The district calendar will be posted on the district website after being submitted and copies should be provided to units at May roundtable so units can conduct their annual program planning conference to get ready for the coming year.

Camps can be reserved for training events between December to February for the following calendar year (August-August). Limited spots are available after February.