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- About CAC
Covering the Basics
Scouting is a rich program with a lot of possibilities. But, sometimes all of those choices can cause confusion. This page exists to try and answer basic questions that have come up now and again.
More than 40 years of innovative youth safety practices and continued improvements over that same time have made Scouting the safest activity for youth. Learn more about our training and practices on our Youth Protection Training page.
The Boy Scouts of America created, implemented, and has continued to improve upon the best youth protection practices of any youth-serving organization. These practices include a mandatory reporting policy, mandatory training, criminal background checks, and more. Even if you are not a registered adult volunteer leader, it is your responsibility as a parent or guardian to know and understand the Boy Scouts of America's policies. Learn more by visiting our Youth Protection Training page.
We're not accountants, and this is not professional tax advice, but... generally speaking, the IRS has recognized day camps like Cub Scout Day Camp or TechLab STEAM camp as deductible child care expenses. Camps involving overnight stays have not been recognized as deductible. For more on Scouting expenses that may be tax deductible, visit this post from Scouting Magazine.
Yes (this applies to Sea Scouting, too). A Scout may be registered in both programs and work on advancement in either or both units simultaneously. However, once they have earned First Class rank, Scouts don't have to remain registered in Scouts BSA in order to continue earning Scouts BSA advancement (their Venturing Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper can sign off on Scouts BSA advancement).
A Lion is a boy or girl Cub Scout in Kindergarten. During this year they earn the Lion rank.
All adults have to complete the Youth Protection Training before their adult application will be processed by the Boy Scouts of America. If your Cub Scout Pack wants to go camping, you need at least one adult going on the campout having completed Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) training. Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters in Scouts BSA Troops must complete Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS).
Youth Protection Training is done online on my.scouting.org, as are many courses specific for adults filling leadership positions in Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, Sea Scout Ships, and Explorer Posts. All of these courses, as well as youth leader training and Wood Badge training for adults, also are offered as "in-person" courses at various camps, community locations near you, or at the Fickett Center. Registration for these courses are typically available online or by email. To learn more, visit our Training section.
The worldwide founder of Scouting, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, said, “a week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.” While Scouting is not a school in the traditional sense, the outdoors is very much our “classroom.” Camping provides a new environment different from a child’s daily reality of homework, social media, YouTube, etc. Outdoors, Scouts work and talk with one another about how to set up their campsite, cook dinner, clean up, and more in an environment built around accountability and respect. It’s here where Scouts practice leadership and interpersonal skills necessary to deal with someone’s honest mistake that leads to a tent leaking during a rainstorm or a meal that’s an hour (or more) late because someone couldn’t get a fire started. This kind of team-building and personal leadership growth is one of Scouting’s greatest gifts – and it happens best outside.
The Capitol Area Council wants to make sure every Scout gets to experience summer camp. Camperships make that possible. A Campership covers up to 50% of the camp cost for Scout families that need additional assistance. To learn more, visit our Financial Help page.
A memorial or honorarium gift is a way to celebrate the life of a Scoutmaster or other volunteer leader, Eagle Scout, BSA Alumnus, Charter Organization Representative, parent, or Scout supporter. For every contribution, we send a card to you and the recipient you designate acknowledging with this memorial gift. If you would like more information about Memorials, please visit our Memorials page.
The James E. West fellowship is a national recognition to those who contribute $1,000 or more to our Council’s permanent endowment trust fund. The interest on the fund is reinvested into council camp properties and other local programs; the original fund’s corpus is never spent and instead continues growing to provide future support for local Scouting. To learn more, visit our James E. West Fellowship page.
The Friends of Scouting campaign provides roughly a quarter of the funds our council needs to support the Scouting program in Central Texas. This money does a lot – including keeping our camping properties safe, well-maintained, and open year-round for summer and winter camps and other activities. That’s overhead your Scout doesn’t have to pay as a part of the fee to attend summer camp. Training courses, Scout Shop operation, financial assistance to less fortunate Scouts, and more are also made available through these funds. Overall, our council spends in excess of $250 per Scout to provide the best Scouting program possible across our 15 county service area. Make a gift now by visiting this page.
There is a real shortage of opportunities for young people to safely experience what it’s like to learn from “failure,” while making new friends. Scouting delivers on this and more, but only because there are volunteer leaders and adults who volunteer their time each month. You can make a real difference in a child’s life by being the Scouting leader who is there to encourage, offer advice, or just remind them to have fun. You don’t have to be an expert in the outdoors – you just have to want to help.
The answer depends on the role you’re serving. Being a Cub Scout Den Leader means spending an hour or two planning a weekly den meeting, then actually leading the meeting with your assistant or other parents for another hour. Conservatively speaking, that’s about 12 hours a month. When you start your job as Den Leader, you’ll want to allow for about 8 hours to take Den Leader Specific Training in person or you can split it up over multiple times with the online version at My.Scouting.org.
Absolutely! There will be times when calendars will have conflicts, so make sure you communicate with your child’s leader. Missing a Scouting activity or campout because of a sports practice or game may mean your child has to work at different times to “make up” a Scouting advancement opportunity.
Yes. Requests for individual financial assistance for uniforms, camps, or other Scouting expenses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Learn more by visiting our Financial Help page.
For major activities, deposits are non-refundable. Scheduled payments are refundable when another participant takes the spot of the cancelled registrant and pays in full. For non-major activities, refunds will be given less the Program Cost Recovery Fee or 25% of the applicable registration fee. Activities that are cancelled or postponed are subject to a full refund. Refunds will not be accepted after 10 days following the end of the activity. Refunds requests can be submitted online to http://bsacac.org/activities/refund_policy or by mail to: Camping and Activities Specialist Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America 12500, North IH 35 Austin, Texas 78753-1312
Scout units may open an account with our partners at A+ Federal Credit Union or another lending institution to manage funds accrued from fundraising. Having an account at one of these institutions gives units the greatest freedom in how they spend their funds. Units may also open an account with our council, but will be limited to using these funds for Scout Shop/advancement purchases or payments for local or national Scouting camps. In either case, unit accounts must be maintained in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations and benefit the unit at large and not any one individual. Learn more at our Unit Finance page.
Use the Unit Budget Plan to plan the amount your unit will need
The annual popcorn sale provides the best opportunity for units and their Scouts to raise all of the money needed for a year-long program in the shortest amount of time. Unlike other product sales, units who can’t sell all of their popcorn inventory don’t get stuck with the cost of leftover items. The sale is the only fundraiser approved by our council's Executive Board, meaning that it’s the only fundraiser in which your Scouts can wear their Scout uniform while selling/participating. You do not need to fill out a unit money earning application to participate in the popcorn sale. Learn more at our Popcorn page.
An Eagle Scout is someone who has earned the highest rank in the Scouts BSA program.
The Arrow of Light is the highest rank in Cub Scouting. Scouts begin to work towards this advanced achievement as a Webelos. It is the only Cub Scout badge that may be worn on the Scouts BSA uniform. While working on the Arrow of Light rank, Scouts practice outdoor skills, engage in physical fitness, and learn more about working with others.
A Webelos is a boy or girl Cub Scout in Fourth and/or Fifth Grade. During this year they earn the Webelos rank and Arrow of Light award. If new to Cub Scouts, the Scout will first earn the Bobcat rank and then Webelos and Arrow of Light.
A Bear is a boy or girl Cub Scout in Third Grade. During this year they earn the Bear rank. If new to Cub Scouts, the Scout will first earn the Bobcat rank and then Bear.
A council is a section of the United States; our council covers 15 counties in Central Texas. A council supports the delivery of the Scouting program at the local community level by owning and maintaining camp properties, offering training, support, and service, plus more. Each council is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America, but operates independently with its own volunteer leaders, volunteer Board of Directors, and professional staff. A council is generally split into geographic districts in order to better organize volunteer support and administration. Our council has 12 districts, along with special districts for the STEM Scouts and Exploring programs. Learn more at our Districts page.
Recharter is the process of renewing a unit’s charter with the Boy Scouts of America to continue as an official member. A unit must be actively chartered in order for Scout advancement to be officially recorded, to be covered by BSA insurance, and more. Unit leaders can use the BSA Internet Recharter site to update unit rosters, pay registration fees, and pay for group insurance coverage. Learn much more at our Recharter page.
Scouting teaches self-reliance. By taking part in fundraising, each Scout learns they can support their own program instead of just asking their families to pay for it. While taking part in our council’s annual fall popcorn sale, Scouts also get the chance to develop the self-confidence needed to engage with other adults and members of the public.
The national registration fee is $66 annually for all programs (except Exploring which is $42 and STEM Scouts which is $200). New members of Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting pay a one-time joining fee of $25. Our council does not charge a local registration fee. Some units decide to charge membership dues. Our council encourages all units to participate in the annual fall popcorn sale to raise all of the money needed for a yearly program, instead of simply asking parents to reach into their own pockets. Additional costs include uniforms and activity fees. A full Cub Scout uniform costs roughly $100; a full Scouts BSA uniform costs more. Cub Scout summer camps range in price from $60 to more than $100, depending on the camp. Our Scouts BSA summer camp costs more than $300 per Scout. Again, fundraising is encouraged to offset or outright pay for these expenses. Our council also offers scholarships/financial assistance for families who need help covering these costs.
Scoutbook is an app for mobile devices created by Shawn Jackson, a parent and active member in the Scouting community. Scoutbook provides a streamlined way to track advancements, unit activities, and unit communications. Units with active Scoutbook subscriptions can use the app to sync advancement records with BSA’s national membership database (including advancement records).
My.Scouting is a portal for adult members to access their BSA membership and training records- and other resources. This is where you can update your information to make our program records accurate and up-to-date. Learn more at our page explaining My.Scouting.org.
Yes! Scouting is for any youth who wants character development and leadership skills. With unique needs and circumstances, unit leaders will work with a child’s parents to provide the best Scouting experience possible.
Any boy or girl who wants to be challenged to develop leadership skills in an environment that emphasizes the importance of moral and ethical behavior can join Scouting.
- Cub Scouting is for boys and girls, 5-10 years old.
- Scouts BSA is for boys and girls, 11-18 years old.
- Venturing is for boys and girls, 14-20 years old.
- Sea Scouting is for boys and girls, 14-20 years old.
- Exploring is for boys and girls, 14-20 years old.
The Fickett Center is the main hub for Scout leader training, support, and resources. You’ll also findIt’s also home to the Steve Matthews Scout Shop, the Sarah Keithley Conference Center, and the Puett Eagle Wall. It is located at 12500 North IH-35 in North Austin, near Parmer Lane. Learn more at our Fickett Center page.
A Tiger is a boy or girl Cub Scout in First Grade. During this year they earn the Bobcat and Tiger rank.
A Wolf is a boy or girl Cub Scout in Second Grade. During this year they earn the Wolf rank. If new to Cub Scouts, the Scout will first earn the Bobcat rank and then Wolf.