Scouts BSA Camping

What are typical Scouts BSA outdoor activities? For younger members, less-rugged activities are more appropriate as they begin to acquire outdoor knowledge and skills. These may include:

Day Camps—Council-run programs without an overnight component that follow NCAP standards for staffing, training, and program equipment.

Day Hikes—Reasonably short hikes (three to 10 miles) in terrain without a lot of elevation gain or loss.

Patrol Activities—A Scouts BSA patrol may participate in patrol activities. Two-deep adult leadership is required.

Weekend Overnights—Troops that plan and carry out outings once a month attract and retain youth at a much higher level than those that have fewer outings during the year.

Camporees—Councils and districts plan camporees and other outings during the year that give youth an opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in competitive events with other troops and patrols.

Summer Camp—Summer camp is what many Scouts BSA members enjoy most. Camp programs provide numerous opportunities for youth to earn merit badges along their advancement trail. Resident camping includes at least five nights and six days of fun outdoor activities.

Jamborees—Every four years, the Boy Scouts of America hosts a national Scout jamboree. More than 30,000 youth and leaders from across the country participate in this 10-day event filled with the most popular and highest-quality outdoor activities youth enjoy. To participate, youth must be at least 12 years of age by July 1 of the jamboree year and be a First Class Scout.

Council High Adventure—A high-adventure experience includes at least three consecutive nights of trekking in wilderness and other rugged, remote locations. Trekking may include backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking, horse packing, mountain climbing, ski touring, rafting, kayaking, or a host of other outdoor adventures. Participants must be at least 13 years old by September 1 of the year of participation.

National High Adventure—The BSA operates unique and exciting national high-adventure bases and programs. With locations in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base offers a variety of aquatics and boating programs. The Northern Tier National High Adventure Program, based in northern Minnesota with two satellite bases in Canada, provides a variety of canoe treks and programs. Philmont Scout Ranch, located in the mountains of New Mexico, provides excellent backpacking treks and backcountry programs. The newest national high-adventure base, the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, provides activities such as whitewater rafting, BMX, skateboarding, mountain biking, zip lines, canopy tours, challenge courses, climbing, and shooting sports. Age requirements for these programs vary, but most programs are rugged and designed for older youth.

Unit High Adventure—The highest level of challenge for a troop is to plan and carry out its own high-adventure experience. These activities for more experienced youth are planned and implemented by youth members with coaching from their adult leaders.