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Scoutmaster Update April 26, 2017

Backpacking shake down hike this Saturday at Brazos Bend

Please RSVP to Neil Bailard:

At 8:30 AM on Saturday, April 29 we will carpool from the Shed (4400
Town Plaza Dr)  for a 3-hour training hike in beautiful Brazos Bend
State Park (an easy 50-minute drive):  All are welcome!  If you need a backpack you can grab one at the shed.

Please note: if you are going on the San Marcos canoeing/kayak trip
May 5-7, we ask that you come to the shed early at 8:00 AM to do some
quick prep work for the San Marcos trip.

If you have never been to Brazos Bend, it’s fantastic – lots of
wildlife, including alligators!  If you are wondering how big a
particular gator is, you take the distance from the nostrils to the
eyes in inches, and that’s how many feet long it is.

We are planning on a 6.5-mile trek starting from the parking lot by
New Horseshoe Lake, setting out for Big Creek Loop, then coming back
by way of the Elm Lake Loop.  All told, about 6.5 miles, about two and
a half hours.  The route loops back on itself somewhat, so if this
turns out to be too ambitious, we can get back to the vehicles easily.

You decide how much weight you want to carry but 20-25% is a good
starting target.  You do not need to bring real gear (books, water
jugs, cannonballs, dumbbells are all fine).  However, bring real
water, good shoes, sunscreen and bug repellent.

(The Park does charge a $7 day use fee for anyone 13 and up.)

Pre-register for the Troop 11 Colorado Adventure – July 29th to August 6th

Chris Bryant is organizing a great opportunity to escape the Houston heat and explore, camp, hike, and backpack in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and other sites in southeastern Colorado.  We need to know who is interested in attending and what specific activities may be of interest to the group.  With responses to these questions, the final planning will be made regarding activities for the group while there and transportation.
Use this Eventbrite link to get more information and to reserve your spot:

Summer Camp

We still have a few spots available for summer camp
Kia Kima, AR – June 25 – July 2
Many of the most popular merit badge classes (Swimming and First Aid) fill-up.  Therefore, please register ASAP.
For more information and to register:

Scoutmaster Update, April 20, 2017

Sunday 2-4 PM at the Shed:

Canoeing Merit Badge: 
If you are planning on going on the May campout and want to earn Canoeing Merit Badge please join Ms. Brown, Mr. Shah, And Mr. Joseph at the shed on Sunday 2-4 PM.

The First Class lashing requirements 7A and 7B.  Taught by Mr. Walsh and Mr. Citardi.

“discuss when you should and should not use lashings. Then demonstrate tying the timber hitch, clove hitch, and their use in square, shear, and diagonal lashing’s by joining two or more poles  together. Secondly, use lashings to make a useful camp gadget”

We will also assist any scouts who show up and need help with any other scout knots and lashing requirement.

Monday Troop Meeting

  1. Summer camp: Mr. Moore will discuss the High Adventure options for older scouts at Kia Kima
  2. Merit Badge requests will start being processed tomorrow so you really need to register ASAP For more information and to register:

May 22 Court of Honor

May 22nd at 7:00 PM at First Presbyterian Church
May 8th is the last opportunity for Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review and all awards must be submitted to the Advancement Table by the end of the meeting.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments,


Canoe or Kayak down the San Marcos with Troop 11!

Troop 11 is happy to offer canoeing/kayaking on our late spring/early summer campout. Our destination will be San Marcos River Retreat near Luling, TX.

The San Marcos river is one of the largest spring fed rivers in Texas so that even in the driest months it has sufficient water for canoeing and kayaking. This trip should be exciting and fun for all the boys and adult leaders!

This trip has a 48 participant cap and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is midnight on April 21.

Since this event involves canoeing and kayaking, all boys and adult leaders who plan to attend must pass a BSA swim test. A swim test must be renewed yearly so even if you got your chip before last year’s summer camp, plan on getting it renewed before attending. Troop 11 is administering a swim test April 15.

Register here:

Photos from Family Camp at Lake Livingston

Scoutmaster Update: April 2, 2017

Training Opportunities:

In Class YPT – Lyman Payden will be facilitating the Youth Protect Training April 3rd during our Troop Meeting.  This training is good for two years.

Capitol Area Council Mega Training – Lost Pines Scout Reservation, Bastrop TX, May 19-21
Registration is open:
Classes include Scoutmaster Specific, IOLS, Wilderness First Aid, Swimming and Paddle Craft Safety, and more.  I know several Troop 11 who will be attending so carpooling is a possibility.

Troop 11 First Aid / CPR / Wilderness First Aid classes.  The troop will offer First Aid and CPR on June 3 and Wilderness First Aid on June 10-11 to scouts 14 and older.  Registration details coming soon.

Swim Test
We have arranged to have Swim Tests administered April 15th at 9:00 AM at the Weekely YMCA (7101 Stella Link Rd).  BSA rules require all scouts and adults to take a swim test if they want to participate in water activities, this includes the May river trip campout.  Taking the swim test now also is a big time saver the first day of summer camp.

Backpacking training
Neil Bailard will be leading a shakedown backpacking hike April 29th.  The current plan is to hike at Brazos Bend State Park.  Registration details coming soon.

Next campout
Canoeing and Kayaking on the San Marcos, May 5 – May 7
Details and registration coming soon.

Summer camp registration:
Kia Kima, AR – June 25 – July 2
For more information and to register:

YMCA Lifeguards
Are you 14 and looking for a summer job?  The YMCA is looking for lifeguards.  They provide the training.  If you are interested please contact me.

Citizenship in the Community 
CiC is an Eagle Required Badge and one of the more difficult to complete because of the service requirement (#7).

#7 Do the following:
a. Identify three charitable organizations outside of Scouting that interest you and bring people in your community together to work for the good of your community.
b. Pick ONE of the organizations you chose for requirement 7a. Using a variety of resources (including newspapers, fliers and other literature, the Internet, volunteers, and employees of the organization), find out more about this organization.
c. With your counselor’s and your parent’s approval, contact the organization you chose for requirement 7b, and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.

Bring a and b before the meeting Monday night AND let Mr. Nielsen know where you want to complete your eight hours.

Here are two excellent opportunities for boys with partials to complete the requirements and boys that have yet to start to get the toughest piece completed.  Note: for the Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge your eight hours of service need to be with the same organization.

Hermann Park
April 9th 9am to 1pm
May 13th 9am to 1pm
May 20th 9am to 1pm

I believe it is well worth your time to spend a few minutes on this portion today and then come out to work for a good cause.
If you are interested please RSVP to me ( Allen King ( and Diane Kerr (
Please include a copy of the attached waiver (either a scan or photo), if you can’t do that still send the RSVP and we will get you a waiver later.

Houston Food Bank
At the Houston Food Bank on April 8th from 8 to 12: Bowl of Life – RSVP
(we will need to schedule some additional hours in the near future).  Please also RSVP with Sean O’Connor at
I received this invitation from a local Eagle Scout:
I hope that you’ve had a great day, my name is Marshall Parise. I am an eagle scout in troop 1089, along with a few other scout troops through the Bowl Of Life are Making an Event in order to put some food on the table of our Houston families.  We are going to pull together over 1000 people to make this happen.
Troop 11 we would love to have you and your help to impact our people that need us. if you have any question without a doubt please feel free to ask me.

Trail to First Class
Newer scouts need service hours for Tenderfoot (1 hour), Second Class (2 hours) and First Class (3 hours).  This opportunity works for these requirements as well and you don’t have to do anything but RSVP to me with the waiver.  (

If you have any questions please let me know.

Sean O’Connor

Scoutmaster Update, March 24, 2017

Benji Tollet’s Eagle Scout Project:
Dates: March 25th 8:30am-3:30pm, and March 26th 8:30am to completion (estimated 12:30pm)
What you should bring:
-Gloves, outside work clothes, hat, etc.
-Tools such as shovels, crowbars, and hammers (not to hammer but to pry)
-Water bottle, sunscreen, bug-spray
-Good attitude
Donuts and pizza will be provided, as well as coffee for adults
1529 Lombardy St, Houston, TX 77023

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, here is my contact information:
Cell: (713) 829-5237

Training Opportunities:
In Class YPT
Lyman Payden will be facilitating the Youth Protect Training April 3rd during our Troop Meeting. This training is good for two years.

Capitol Council Mega Training – Lost Pines Scout Reservation, May 19-21
Registration is open:
Classes include Scoutmaster Specific, IOLS, Wilderness First Aid, Swimming and Paddle Craft Safety, and more.

Troop 11 First Aid / CPR / Wilderness First Aid classes.
I believe the Troop will be able to offer these class during early June. They will be open to scouts 14 and older. Details coming soon.

Family campout registration
Lake Livingston, March 31 – April 2
Registration deadline is March 26. For more information and to register:

Summer camp registration:
Kia Kima, AR – June 25 – July 2
For more information and to register:

Scoutmaster’s Corner: Summer Camp Merit Badge selections

  • I suggest you take at least one Eagle required badge.
  • If you don’t have them already, Swimming and First Aid are critical badges to earn at Summer Camp because they are difficult to get elsewhere.
  • Environmental Science and either Lifesaving (need to be able to swim 400m) or Emergency Preparedness are also Eagle required badges.
  • On the other hand, the following Eagle required badges are regularly taught in groups at Troop 11 meetings so you may not want do these at Summer Camp: Cooking, Camping, Communication, Physical Fitness, Personal Management, Family Life, and the Citizenship badges.
  • I encourage scouts take advantage of the very robust watersports program (Canoeing, Waterwater Kayaking, Sailing, Motor Boating) offered at this camp.
  • I also recommend Pioneering, Wilderness Survival, and Orienteering as good Badges for learning practical skills.
  • Although popular among scouts, be aware that Archery, Rifle, and Shotgun Shooting require minimum scores to earn, which scouts often fail to achieve at camp and it may be difficult for the troop to help them complete.

Please let me know if you have any questions.



Register for Summer Camp at Kia Kima

Registration link:

Troop 11 is headed to northern Arkansas’ Camp Osage at Kia Kima Scout Reservation. The camp has been welcoming Scouts to the banks of the South Fork River since 1964. At Camp Osage, you will find traditional, though exceptional, camp programs including nature, Scoutcraft, handicraft, shooting sports, aquatics, and STEM programs. All aquatic activities, including swimming and boating, are held at the Osage waterfront on the South Fork River. All meals in Camp Osage are served in the new dining hall that opened in 2015!


This year we’re travelling on a chartered bus to and from camp. This makes the trip easier on the adults and allows us to avoid overnight stops in each direction, shortening the overall duration. Using a bus also means we can take a maximum of 55 people.

No Trail to First Class

In a departure from previous years, the troop has decided not to participate in the first-year program at Kia Kima. Instead, all Scouts can sign up for a full slate of courses that take advantage of the facilities available at summer camp. We will work on the “Trail to First Class” curriculum in smaller bites during regular troop meeting throughout the year.

You will be able to indicate your preferences through this invitation, though note that this is only an indication — we may not be able to sign you up for the courses you want for any number of reasons. There will be some back-and-forth to settle on a final schedule for each Scout. Sign up early for your best chance to get the courses you want!

High Adventure Options

There are several high-adventure options available on an individual basis. Some of these programs allow Scouts to stay in camp and earn a few other merit badges. Other programs take the Scout into the field for the entire week.

Get much more detail and register here:

Scoutmaster Update 3/17/2017


In-Town Backpacking Practice Hike #2

Backpacking will be a big theme during the next 16 months with two major trips on the horizon and we will be having lots of in-town practice hikes.  Tomorrow(3/18/17) we will depart Pershing Middle School at 9:00 AM for a two hour hike.  You decide how much weight you want to carry but 20-25% is a good starting target.  You do not need to bring real gear (books, water jugs, cannonballs, dumbbells are all fine).  However, bring real water, good shoes, and sunscreen.

Family Camp at Lake Livingston State Park March 31 – April 2 
For information and to register follow this link:

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
I am certain your summer calendars are getting pretty full but, if you have nothing to do June 4-9 or June 11-16 and are over 13 you should strongly consider taking the BSA National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) class.   You must complete this course to run for SPL and the troop will reimburse half the tuition upon completion. Let me know if you are interested. For more information:

Merit Badges at Houston Museum of Natural Science
If you are looking for summer day camps I can recommend the merit badge classes at HMNS:
The organizers work closely with the Scout office to make certain they offer a quality product.  I particularly recommend the Eagle Required Badges like Citizenship.

Save the Date:
May Campout, Canoeing and Kayaking on the San Marcos: May 5-7
Kia Kima Summer Camp:  June 25 – July 1
Great Sand Dunes National Park:  July 29 – August 6

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Register for Family Camp (March 31 – April 2)

Bring Everybody for Family Camping at Lake Livingston State Park!

Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and even great-grandparents are all welcome to see what it’s like to camp (and eat) with Troop 11 during the first weekend in April. Lake Livingston State Park is just 85 miles northeast of Houston. There will be opportunities for the younger boys to work on their Trail to First Class requirements and for all others, they can work on their fishing merit badge. Families can also go hiking and biking throughout the park. Most importantly, we will have a dinner Dutch Oven Cooking Competition by patrol for all scouts. So, this campout will not only be a blast, but will also allow for completion of some rank advancement requirements. What more do you need?

We have reserved 10 sites in the Pin Oak Loop area of the park. Each site can accommodate a maximum of 8 people, so we have a hard cap of 80 participants. There is very limited space for tents, so older boys (first class +) should plan to share a tent with a friend. Families are asked to limit the number of tents.

Tickets are first-come, first-served. The registration window will close at midnight on Friday, March 24.

Register here:

Photos from February Camporee