In the outdoors, boys have opportunities to acquire skills that make them more self-reliant. They can explore canoe and hiking trails and complete challenges they first thought were beyond their ability. Attributes of good character become part of a boy as he learns to cooperate to meet outdoor challenges that may include extreme weather, difficult trails and portages, and dealing with nature’s unexpected circumstances. Scouts plan and carry out activities with thoughtful guidance from their Scoutmaster and other adult leaders. Good youth leadership, communication, and teamwork enable them to achieve goals they have set for themselves, their patrol or squad, and their troop or team.
Learning by doing is a hallmark of outdoor education. Unit meetings offer information and knowledge used on outdoor adventures each month throughout the year. A leader may describe and demonstrate a Scouting skill at a meeting, but the way Scouts truly learn outdoor skills is to do it themselves on a troop outing.
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Local Council Participation Grant Program
Many councils realize great savings by participating in nationally negotiated contracts. The BSA would like to encourage more participation and pass along even more savings to local councils. The BSA has developed a grant program based on the savings that have accrued on our total purchases as of the anniversary of these contracts. Click here to learn more and apply.
The Adventure Plan (TAP) is a tool to guide unit leaders—Cubs, Scouts and Venturers/SeaScouts— through all stages of adventure planning. Outdoor adventure is a key element of youth development in the Boy Scouts of America programs. Just as young people grow, learn and mature in a continuing progression of experience so, too, do the camping and outdoor programs of the BSA. The BSA offers a continuum of experiences based on the age, interest and ability level of youth, and also offers recognition awards for all levels of Scouting outdoor Adventures.
Safety Afloat has been developed to promote boating and boating safety and to set standards for safe unit activity afloat. Before a BSA group may engage in an excursion, expedition, or trip on the water (canoe, raft, sailboat, motorboat, rowboat, floating in an inner tube, or other craft), adult leaders for such activity must complete Safety Afloat Training, have a commitment card, No. 34242, with them, and be dedicated to full compliance with all nine points of Safety Afloat.
Since 1910, conservation has been an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA has been a positive force in conservation and environmental efforts. Scouts have rendered distinguished public service by helping to conserve wildlife, energy, forests, soil, and water. Past generations of Scouts have been widely recognized for undertaking conservation Good Turn action projects in their local communities.
Every Scouting activity should be planned with Leave No Trace principles in mind. Leave No Trace is a method that prepares Scouts to make ethical choices in the outdoor environment and to respect the rights of other outdoor users, as well as future generations. It’s an awareness and an attitude rather than a set of rules. It applies in your backyard or local park as much as in wilderness or backcountry areas.
National Camping School is first and foremost designed to train key seasonal camp leadership, however, we also encourage you to send your year round program staff and volunteer leadership to help improve your council’s outdoor program.
Schools are designed for Day Camps, Family Camps and Resident Camps.
The Boy Scouts of America places the greatest importance on creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members. To maintain such an environment, the BSA developed numerous procedural and leadership selection policies and provides parents and leaders with resources for all our programs.