Zip lines, canopy tours, and aerial adventure parks can be exhilarating fun for troops, teams, ships, and crews. The BSA has developed guidance for leaders in planning and participating in these activities at council camps and appropriate commercial facilities. Use of privately installed, maintained, or operated zip lines by any unit, district, or council is not authorized. Examples include self-built, backyard, temporary (uninspected), or non-BSA-owned zip lines.
The COPE Activities section of the Guide to Safe Scouting www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/GSS.aspx) provides guidelines for using commercial facilities that offer these activities. Leaders should confirm that the commercial facility meets the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) or American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) operating standards prior to arriving at that facility. Council COPE and climbing areas are required to adhere to the ACCT operating standards and the National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP), which includes an annual inspection by a qualified professional.
These activities are designated for Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, Sea Scout ships, and Venturing crews. Cub Scout units are usually not permitted to participate in these activities as per the BSA’s Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities.
The BSA program for these types of adventures is found in Belay On, No. 430-500.