Committee History

Committee Meeting Wednesday Nov, 20th 7pm

Minutes from meeting on 11/20/13

Meeting started at 7:05p ended at 8:15p.  There will be no Dec. 18th meeting.
Next meeting scheduled – Jan 19th, 2014.

11 in attendance.


Wrap-up to fall training–

David Schneider said we had 10 new instructors. The course went great!!

13 attended the tower portion of training and 12 attended E-Rock.

The training was done in 2 days. First day was a show and tell then set-up.

The second day the students practiced and did all the work. Jim Morriss said all went well.

Thorns and Roses–The group set up with youth and ran event at E-Rock. Group liked that method.

It was a first and we hope to continue. The group observed an AMGA group doing a rescue training at Motorboat Rock.

Course Evaluation – Joe Welch of SHAC observed the Tower Weekend.  The Real Rock weekend will be evaluated by Todd Buck and Lynn Johnson of Alamo Council.
They said our program looked good.

Spring dates….E-Rock  May 3-4 (sat/sun)2014,??  Mega training May 17th
weekend….summer camp staff May10th.

We will not use the Mega-Training weekend for the Spring class, as it is too close to Summer Camp.  Classroom session to be complete prior to May 3-4 weekend.

Dates TBD.

2014 fall dates??

Possible to schedule at Sid Richardson Scout Reservation.  Real Rock area has 9 stations including a 30-35 foot area.  Cost is little to none. Cabins there to rent are for up to 6 people. It’s $40.00 for first person and $20.00 for the next 5, so <$25.00/person.


NEED HELP!!!  2 weeks: Dec 26-30  and  Jan 1-5  with Merit Badge classes taught on

Dec 27-29 (Fri-Sun) and Jan 2-4 (Thurs-Sat).

Merit badge will be taught in afternoons 3-days per week for 6-8 students. They have tried morning classes but proven to be too cold. Need help– Dec.27th-29th (fri,sat,sun) and Jan.2-4 (thurs/fri/sat).


PHILMONT – Lester Wang and Louis (Butch) Kienitz went to Philmont for COPE; said it was very
good. Todd Whitley instructor.

Butch had a bear in his tent!! They are both OK!!

Kazi is unavailable. Lester is now the new COPE Training Chair.  He would like to have a training March 1-2, 2014.

It would start at 0700 Sat. am and go thru Sunday afternoon.  We have at least 5-6 interested from this committee.

COPE will now develop multiple formats, including 1-day events.

The COPE course needs some work and there are elements we would like to open. A call to
Ropeworks to get their last inspection report and maybe a visit.  Rick Denison emailed the 2013 Climbing and COPE Inspection reports to Steve, Butch, Lester and David.  Steve forwarded a copy to Eric Swenson.

Need to have COPE visited by an evaluator so we can train Level 1 and 2.

Jim Miller wants Butch to work with Rick and set up course dates. Lester said training for COPE even on a Nat’l level is low. David  will get 2014 Nat’l guidelines.

Need work dates.

Steve asked if Scott Smith would be the sub-chair for  COPE Facilities. TBD.

Tower lighting—Al Satterfield was present. He donated materials and it is at camp. Jim Miller also donated to help fund this project. Need a work date to install.

Need a 4 foot hole dug for the 12 foot poles. The “slip-fitting” to be set on a taper pole.

Eric Swenson will heading the pole installation project.  Still need 1 donated pole. 1 pole was already donated. May need a third pole. Al said he may be able to donate another pole but not until March.

Poles for the A-side, D-side and poss. C-side. Would like a climbable pole to demo “lobster-claws” and staples.

With better lighting–it brings in lots of bugs – especially in summer time.

Eric’s brother will help replace the LED lighting inside tower.

Would like to co-ordinate a workday after Jan., possibly with Ropeworks to check equipment and do an inspection.  There was talk of moving the bottom cable on the A-side above the current top cable. Not sure if it can be done.
Eric Swenson will try to coordinate with Ropeworks to determine if there is a workable solution for raising the bottom cable on the A-side to get a concept approval before we make the Tower modifications.

With better lighting–Tower can possibly be used more by units.  Committee will consider separate day & evening rentals.


Inspections are now required annually.  David Schneider noted that it would be better to get these done sooner rather than later to avoid the expected higher demand on Ropeworks the closer we get to Summer Camp season.  Rick Denison contacted Fred Zagst at Ropeworks and scheduled the Inspections for both the Tower and COPE.  Inspections may be conducted in December or January. If conducted in December, Ropeworks will invoice in January 2014.

Smiling V– new property in Liberty Hill. It is 1 hour away from E-rock!

There has been a proposal made for a Tower/ COPE area out there. Would like artificial structures/rocks suitable for teaching merit badge. There is enough land available to set up a COPE course.

Steve Bontempo talked about the 1st Southern Region Conference at Sid Richards. Approximately 40 attended. Some for re-certs; most for Program Managers. Rhonda Wright did a good program on universal access and rescues.

The group was able to do a “tractor-pull”. They tested different knots and ropes. Somewhere Mountain-Dew was involved!! They had a good time.

SHAC will have a power weekend in MAY. More details to come.

Need at least 1 more instructor Dec. 7th  NA at E-rock.

Respectfully submitted—Grace:)


Committee Meeting Agenda Thursday Nov, 15th 7pm

  1. Welcome
  2. Stepping Up
  3. Help for Winter Camp Staff, Climbing, COPE
  4. Calendar for 2013
  5. New Climbing Wall & Features
  6. Database purge policy and timing
  7. COPE Locker & Inventory finish
  8. New Business

Committee Meeting Agenda Wednesday Sept, 26th 7pm

  1. Welcome
  2. COPE storage container progress report and workday schedule
  3. COPE Facilitator Course syllabus
  4. OA Conclave Support March 15-17, 2013 at Lost Pines 800+ participants, great program marketing!
  5. Climbing & COPE, mega training weekend and follow ups
  6. Philmont report
  7. Austin Rock Gym
  8. Website – Information manager
  9. Committee Meeting/Playday Schedule
  10. Summer Camp 2013 – staff and oversight
  11. Standards Discussion
    • Use of Personal Gear
    • Level I & Level II training
    • Program Manager & TPI clarifications
    • Health and Medical form
    • ACCT & Facilities guidelines
  12. New Business
  13. Close

New Website Functionality – This is important stuff

Thanks to Peter’s hard work and late nights, he has a revamped front end on the website and a simplified ‘go to’ Home page. Menu tabs have changed and the login process is streamlined so you don’t have to enter your password at every turn. Also added is the event close out form. This is a big deal and everyone, especially Lead Instructors need to be familiar with it. After your event, you must close out the event. This process is simple and vital. It tracks the usage of the asset and the hours for the staff. Instructor renewall hours will be tracked here and only here going forward. If you were a lead on an event after January 1, 2012, please go back and fill out the information to close out the event. Contact Jim Miller if you have and questions.

Tower Checkout Process Changing

Due to the new on-line reservations system and the closeout system, we are able to reduce the ranger’s workload. He now automatically gets an email when the Tower or COPE course is ‘reserved’ and who is the Lead and who’s on the staff.  In the coming weeks we will be changing the binder system that has served us so well over the years. The amount of paper he has to move will be reduced dramatically, hopefully to none. Look for changes after Easter. We will write up the new process and post it here.

Pavilion Storage Area

From Jim Miller: I went down LPSR and GLSR to look over the programs and get ready for summer camp transitions. I was pretty disappointed in the condition of the pavilion gear storage area. It did not look like it had been swept out in months, there was trash sitting around, gear on the dirty floor and helmets hanging on straps. I don’t think this was any one unit and I think it’s been in a slide since last summer. This is a product of each group letting it slip a little and a “That’s the way I found it.” mentality. That’s got to change. We have one the nicest climbing facilities in all of the BSA and we have to treat it as such.

So, I spent about 3 hours cleaning, inventorying and organizing. When you check out the tower, you will find that everything is now off of the floor. There is one hook for every single peice of gear. After your event, an empty hook means something is missing. If anything is sitting on the floor, it either does not belong in the gear room or a hook is empty. Tarps, hand holds, tent stakes and storage containers are stored in the Tower base. I’ll be posting a complete inventory of the room with a check list for close out.

It’s pretty simple:

  1. All gear on hooks – nothing on the floor.
  2. Tarps, stakes, storage containers and handholds are in the tower.
  3. The room is devoid of garbage and the floor is swept – LNT.

Also note:  There are several peices of webbing hanging at the far end of the room. These are for chest harness’s should you need them.

 — end of rant —

Meeting March 21st. 7pm Heritage Room at Frank Fickett Service Center  


  • Spring Climbing Class Training
  • LPSR Summer Camp program
  • Website demo
  • Releasable Rappel demo and practice
  • News from National Camp School – Level I, Level II training

HATS! We have some super cool “Climbing Staff” Hats for sale to benifit the Climbing and COPE program.

These are available for Instructors, Facilitators and Directors.  They are $15 each and there are 20 of them left so bring cash to the next committee meeting.


This website continues to grow in functionality. The email capability, reservations system, staff administration, and event close out are now functional. Instructor event support hours are now tracked in a common database. This will stream line the facility checkout processes as well as help everyone keep up with their own renewal status. If something is confusing or seems out of place, CONSTRUCTIVE alternative suggestions are greatly appreciated. Submit them

Training Scholarship – this is a grant available to adult leaders wishing to go to Philmont for NCS COPE or Climbing Director’s school. One position will be made available annually through a competitive application process. The grant covers tuition and transportation. The application and review process are being created by Bob Bollish. We anticipate an unveiling of the program sometime in early 2012 with first availability for the Fall 2012 conference.


Sister Councils – The first deployment of the course has taken place in Alamo area council.

Sister Council Liaisons – Part of the agreement with the other councils is the establishment of “liaisons”. These folks will occasionally attend committee meetings at other councils as well as support their training where possible. They act an a communications conduit between the councils and report back to their home committee. Liaisons must be current CAC CI’s. If you are interested in being a liaison, contact Jim Miller.

SHAC – Topping Out course for youth LINK

Renewal Policies – The climbing instructor card is good for two years, CAC has a policy which allows that to be extended by participation in activities and helping to teach the course. This policy has been the subject of many questions so it has now been published on this website in the policies section. It also includes new sections on renewing endorsements for towers and natural areas.

Dok’s Tower P & P – The policies and procedures document for Dok’s tower is being revised. A majority of this effort is being handled by David Schneider and Steve Bontempo. We should see this in early 2012.


COPE Facilitators course – We now have 10 new COPE Facilitators in our ranks.