What is a Short-Term Camp?

Effective January 1, 2021

A short-term camp is any council-organized overnight camping program, whether one-time or continuing, that is one, two or three nights in length where the council or its agents provide the staffing and may provide program and food services, and includes camps conducted off council properties. National training courses are subject to the short-term camp requirements, regardless of format or duration.

Webinar discussion

Understanding and Implementing the Short-Term Camp NCAP Classification – View this webinar for an introduction to the NCAP Short-term camp classification explaining the why, what and how this new classification will be implemented in camps beginning Jan 1, 2021. – Recorded October 22-2020

Short-Term Camp Administrator Job Description:  Each short-term camp must have a short-term camp administrator. This person is responsible for ensuring that the planned camp complies with the NCAP Short-term Camp Standards.  This means walking the property to ensure that it is appropriate for the event; ensuring that paperwork is filed and any written BSA approvals are completed and obtained through the council; confirms facilities and program are safe and in good order before starting operation; and that appropriate health, safety and sanitation provisions are made.  This individual also ensures that all activities at the short-term camp comply with the applicable BSA National Camp Standards.

Pre-Qualifications:  The short-term camp administrator must be a registered Scouter who holds either a current NCAP short-term camp administrator certification issued by the BSA or holds a resident camp director certificate from BSA National Camping School. Refer to NCAP Standard SQ-403.

Short-Term Camp Administrator
National Camping School Certification Options

Each short-term camp is administered by a short-term camp administrator. This National Camping School course may be conducted at the council level with host site approval or participants can participate in National Council facilitated courses.

Councils should determine if they intend to host the course locally with national approval or utilize one of the nationally facilitated courses.

The Short-term camp administrator certification will be valid for 2 years from the course date. 

Local Council Facilitated Short-Term Camp Administrator Courses

Councils can apply to host the course (NOTE: Host council fee of $100 is collected with application). In order to qualify to host the course, the council will need to provide the name of the qualified trainer. A trainer qualifies if they hold a current certification in Resident Camp Director from National Camping School. 

If approved councils will be authorized to offer the training multiple times over a one-year period. 

Once the councils completes a course the council will submit a roster as well as $55 per person National Camping School fee to the National Council. Once the roster and payment are received the participants will receive a National Camping School participant patch and a pocket certification card. Local councils should also update individual training records on Scoutnet to include training code CS99

To apply to become a host council for Short-term camp administrator training, click the registration button below. 

National Council Facilitated Short-Term Camp Administrator Courses - (Online)

Upon registration for one of these courses, participants will receive a link to log into the training room. 

  • February 12, 2022 – 9AM Central Time
  • March 12, 2022 – 9 AM Central Time

Keep watching here for additional courses to be added. 

Short-Term Camp Administrator National Camping School Online courses are facilitated through the National Service Center.  The training will consist of several modules designed to prepare the participant to manage the short-term camp from planning and program development to staff recruitment to assessment. Training will last about 8.5 hours with interactions and discussions designed to help meet the needs of the participants while conveying the strategies to serve in this role. Course materials will be made available electronically.

NOTE: To register for this course participants are required to use their credentials. 

The National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) and Short-term Camp

The National Camp Accreditation Program applies to short-term camps. For a list of applicable standards click one of the following links:

For more information about the National Camp Accreditation Program visit

Short-term Camp Resources

All Camp Types and Events COVID Decision Guide Template – A decision guideline for councils considering operating camps in a COVID environment. 

Camp Director Resource Page

Camp Health Officer Training for Day Camps and Short Term Camps – link to the camp health officer training (SQ – 405)

Duty to God brochure

Outdoor Programs Committee Guide

Outdoor Programs and Property Manual

NCS Ceremonies and Campfire Guidance – Guidance for Camp Ceremonies and Campfire skits for camps. 

Short-Term Camp NCAP FAQ (as of 12/1/2020)