COPE and Climbing Resources

Belay On Manual – The Belay On manual is a reference for challenge course and climbing programs operated within the BSA. Belay On is available online in PDF format at no cost to BSA members, who are free to use it in BSA programs for non-commercial purposes. The publication will not be available in printed form from BSA Supply Group. Councils are free to reproduce Belay On as needed for their local training programs. 

Climb On Safely is the Boy Scouts of America’s procedure for organizing BSA climbing/rappelling activities at a natural site or a specifically designed facility such as a climbing wall or tower.

Cave Safely Cave Softly – Learn before you go.  Caving can be an exciting unit activity, but requires knowledge and preparation.  This guide can help. For more information refer to the NSS Guide to Responsible Caving

Canyoneering Safely – Another exciting adventure for units prepared with the right knowledge and equipment.  This guide will help in that preparation and keep Scouts and leaders safe.

Climbing Merit Badge
Climbing is not a sport that requires tremendous muscular strength, it demands mental toughness and the willingness to practice hard to master a set of skills. The adventure of climbing can also provide a new way to enjoy the outdoors.

Local COPE and Climbing Committee Resources


COPE and Climbing Staff Training Syllabi

The links below are to key items that support your council’s COPE and climbing program. These PDFs were updated in February 2015. Updates to the website will be made periodically. PDFs are official training documents. Word documents may be customized. Please share these with others who are involved in COPE and climbing programs.

Foundation (common to COPE and climbing)

  • COPE and Climbing Foundation Level I pdfdoc
  • COPE and Climbing Foundation Level II pdf | doc

Climbing Specific

  • Climbing Level I pdfdoc
  • Climbing Level II pdfdoc

COPE Specific

Presentation Aids


Activity Consent Form

If non-Scout groups use COPE or climbing facilities, all participants need to have an Activity Consent Form and Approval by Parents or Legal Guardian completed. In the event the council’s legal team does not have one specific to the council, the BSA’s Activity Consent Form can be used for this purpose.

COPE and Climbing Training Course Codes/Cards

COPE and Climbing Frequently Asked Questions


Documents for COPE and Climbing Professional Inspections

Risk Management Resources

Advisory on OSHA Regulations for Challenge Course Worker Safety pdf


COPE and Climbing Subcommittee Chair

COPE and Climbing Region Chairs

Area Advocates

Western Region

Central Region

Southern Region

Northeast Region