Age Guidelines

The Boy Scouts of America has established the following guidelines for its members’ participation in camping activities:

  • Overnight camping by Lion, Tiger, Wolf, or Bear Cub Scouts as dens is prohibited. Webelos dens may participate in overnight camping.
  • Lions, with their adult partner, may participate in child-parent excursions, pack overnighters, and council-organized family camping.
  • Tigers, with their adult partner, may participate in child-parent excursions, day camps, pack overnighters, council-organized family camping, or resident camping.
  • Tiger, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may participate in a resident overnight camping program operating under BSA National Camping School–trained leadership and managed by the council.
  • Den leaders, pack leaders, and parents are expected to accompany the youth on approved trips.
  • All youth registered in troops are eligible to participate in troop or patrol overnight campouts, camporees, and resident camps.
  • Youth ages 12 through 17 are eligible to participate in national jamborees. Youth ages 13 through 17 may be eligible to participate in world jamborees and high-adventure programs. (See below.)
  • All youth registered in Venturing are eligible to participate in crew, district, council, and national Venturing activities as well as national high-adventure programs and national and world jamborees.
  • All youth registered in Sea Scouts are eligible to participate in ship, district, council, area/flotilla, region, and national Sea Scouting activities as well as national high-adventure programs and national and world jamborees.

If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is also done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers or be at risk from activities that are not age appropriate.

Family Camping

Family camping is an outdoor experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection policies apply.

Recreational Family Camping

Recreational family camping occurs when Scouting families camp as a family unit outside of an organized program. It is a nonstructured camping experience, but is conducted within a Scouting framework on local council-owned or -managed property. Local councils may have family camping grounds available for rent. Other resources may include equipment, information, and training.

Reference: Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines, No. 510-631

Cub Scout Overnight Opportunities

Cub Scouts may experience overnight activities in venues other than accredited resident camping. There are two categories of Cub Scout overnighters.

Council-Organized Family Camp

Council-organized family camps are overnight events involving more than one pack. The local council provides all of the elements of the outdoor experience, such as staffing, food service, housing, and program. These are often referred to as parent/pal or adventure weekends. Council-organized family camps should be conducted by trained leaders at sites approved by the local council. Each youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian.

In special circumstances, a Cub Scout whose parent or legal guardian is not able to attend an overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of another registered adult member of the BSA who is a parent of a Cub Scout who is also attending. The unit leader and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all Youth Protection policies apply. At no time may another adult accept responsibility for more than one additional “non-family member” youth.

Overnight activities involving more than one pack must be approved by the council. Council-organized family camps must be conducted in accordance with established standards.

Pack Overnighters

These are pack-organized overnight events involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities and conducted at council-approved locations (councils use Pack Overnight Campout Site Appraisal Form, No. 430-902 PDF icon). If nonmembers (siblings) participate, the event must be structured accordingly to accommodate them. BSA Health and Safety and Youth Protection policies apply. In most cases, each youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responsible to a specific adult.

At least one adult on a pack overnighter must have completed Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO, No. 34162) to properly understand the importance of program intent, Youth Protection policies, health and safety, site selection, age-appropriate activities, and sufficient adult participation.

Reference: Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines, No. 510-631

Fall Cub-N-Pal is a council-organized overnight, full program camp for a parent/pal and Cub Scout. Cub Scouts and their pal will enjoy an exciting variety of activities at several program areas and food services in the camp’s dining hall.

Cub-N-Pal may include: marksmanship at the BB gun, Archery, and Sling Shot Ranges, crafts and activities under our pavilions on Activity Hill, action at our Activity Area, splashing through the Lake Urland in a canoe, and exploring our camp trails during free time.

Spring Cub Family Camp is a council-organized overnight, full program camp for a Cub Scouts and their families. Cub Scouts and their families will enjoy an exciting variety of activities at several program areas and food services in the camp’s dining hall.

Cub Family Camp may include: marksmanship at the BB gun, Archery, and Sling Shot Ranges, crafts and activities under our pavilions on Activity Hill, action at our Activity Area, splashing through the Lake Urland in a canoe, and exploring our camp trails during free time.