RESOURCES

NCS RESOURCES

National Camping School

The purpose of National Camping School (NCS) is to provide adults with a learning experience and training related to the operation of council camp. The key staff members will, in turn, train and supervise other staff personnel in your council camping program.

Training is offered for staff members who will serve as Short-Term Camp Administrators, Day Camp Administrators, Long-term (Resident) Camp Directors, Long-term (Resident) Program Directors, Aquatics Directors, Climbing Directors, Project COPE Directors, COPE and Climbing Program Trainers, Ecology Directors, Outdoor Skills Directors, Trek Directors, and Shooting Sports Directors. 

(Not all schools will offer all sections. Refer to the course locations below for schools, sections offered and locations)

 For a list of dates and locations for 2022 NCS download – NCS 2022 dates 9-16-21

To be eligible to attend National Camping School all participants must:

  • Be registered members of the BSA
  • Have current Youth Protection training
  • Be approved by the council in which they are registered
  • Be at least 18 years of age by start of course 
    Note: A 17-year-old can attend select schools indicated below provided the individual will turn 18 during the course of the summer season.
  • Attend all classes and sessions (Note: Attendance does not guarantee certification. Many sections are skills-based, and certificates are awarded based on successful completion of skills-based activities.)
  • Complete all appropriate prerequisites 
  • Be present for the entire school
  • Have a complete BSA field uniform. The uniform will be worn at various times during the course. 
  • All Short-term camp administrator (in person courses) and Day Camp participants must have a current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record with Parts A and B completed.
  • All Resident (Long-Term) Camp participants must have a current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record with Parts A, B, and C completed.

To be eligible for a recertification course, the participant must hold a current certification in that section or have a certification that expired no more than six months prior to the start of the course.

The Day Camp, Aquatics Instructor-BSA, Climbing, COPE, Resident (Long-term) Camp Director, Resident (Long-Term) Camp Program Director, and Shooting Sports sections have prerequisites listed below.

Cancellation and late registration:

The fees listed on the site below are the on-time registration fees. Payment will be collected at the time of registration when the council approves the registration.

In addition:  

  • A registration completed fewer than 14 days prior to the start of the school will incur a $50 late charge.  
  • Cancellations filed more than 14 days in advance of the course will incur a $50 processing fee per registrant. All other paid fees will be refunded. Refund requests must be in writing to NCS@Scouting.org 
  • Late Cancellation: No-shows and cancellations filed fewer than 14 days prior to the start will incur a $100 no-show/ cancellation fee. Refund requests must be in writing to NCS@Scouting.org. 

Questions about National Camping School? – email ncs@scouting.org 

National Camping School Sections

Click the tabs below to learn more about each section of National Camping School and see pricing for 2022. Note: all fees listed are on time registration fees. All NCS resident camp sections are intense in nature, and as such, participants should be prepared for long days of training. The schedule begins with breakfast at 7 a.m. daily and ends with a cracker barrel each night at 9:30.

The short-term camp administrator oversees aspects of the short-term camp with respect to the purpose of the camp, the training of the staff and the overall safety of the camp. They may also be involved in the program planning detail. The short-term camp administrator training will equip participants with the skills to oversee these camps.

Highlights include:

  •  NCAP process for short-term camp
  • Program planning
  • Fiscal management
  • Facilities
  • Risk management

This training will be available through a local council or online through the Outdoor Programs department of the BSA. Interested participants should contact the local council for availability. Pricing varies slightly by location. 

Prerequisites: meet all eligibility requirements listed above for National Camping School attendance and be at least 21 years old. 

Course fee is $55 for in person at a local council; $75 for online.

Councils interested in hosting Short- term Camp administrator training should visit https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/camping/short-term-camp/

To register for Short-Term camp administrator training visit the short-term camp website at https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/camping/short-term-camp/

The Cub Scout Day Camp Administration section of National Camp School is for day camp directors, day camp program directors, and council day camp professional staff advisors and administrators. This is a comprehensive training course on all aspects of the day camp operation, including methods of day camping, program scheduling and resources, staff organization, recruiting and training, and health and safety practices.

To be nationally certified as a day camp director, program director or staff adviser, individuals must complete a three-part training curriculum. If you have a current Day Camp Administration certification that has not expired, you do not have to take this training. This format and curriculum is for anyone who is not yet certified.

The three part training includes:
• Part 1: Online training module
• Part 2: Council-led training module, facilitated by local council leadership
• Part 3: In-person two-day training held at locations around the country (Courses begin at 9 a.m. on Day 1 and conclude at 2 p.m. on Day 2.)

This three part curriculum, combined with the required pre-requisites listed below, will enable individuals to serve in a leadership role at their day camp.   All three sessions, online, in-person local council session and the 1.5 days at NCS are required to be fully certified and they should be taken in that order when possible. Once individuals register for national camp school, they will receive the link for the online training course.

Prerequisites:
Participants must have completed

  • Cub Scout Leader Training (any Cub Scout leader position-specific training is acceptable)
  • Youth Protection Training available in the BSA Learn Center available through My.Scouting. A copy of the certificate(s) or training record is required.
  • Part 1: NCS online training module
  • Part 2: NCS council-led training module

Course fee $250

This course is designed for:

  • Camp directors
  • Reservation directors
  • Assistant camp directors
  • Business managers

Required for resident (long-term) camp leadership
Prerequisites:

Highlights include: 

  • NCAP
  • Employment management and staff training
  • Business practices and fiscal management
  • Health and wellness
  • Cultural competencies

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $499

This course is designed for:

  • Camp program directors
  • Assistant camp program directors

Required for resident (long-term) camp leadership

Prerequisites:

Highlights include: 

  • Implementing National Camp Accreditation Program
  • Customer Service
  • BSA brand management
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • The Leading EDGE
  • The Teaching EDGE
  • Program management and planning

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $499

This course is designed for:

  • Resident (long-term) camp aquatics directors
  • Pool directors
  • Waterfront directors

Highlights include:

  • The roles of the camp aquatics director operating as the lead professional lifeguard, including lifeguard management and lifeguard instruction
  • Lead instructor for aquatics and aquatics area manager
  • Safe and effective supervision of all program activities in, on, and under the water 
  • Skills and teaching of swimming, water rescue, and paddle sports

Prerequisites for Aquatics Section Enrollment
Before acceptance into the Aquatics section on the opening day of the National Camping School, an Aquatics section participant must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older. Note: You must be 21 to hold
    the position of aquatics director in a local council camp.
  • Present evidence of a current lifeguard certification (BSA Lifeguard, Red Cross Lifeguard, YMCA Lifeguard, Starfish Aquatics Institute StarGuard, Ellis & Associates International Lifeguard Training Program Lifeguard Certification, or equivalent).
  • Present evidence of completion of Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat training. 
  • Upon arrival at NCS
    • Be able to complete the 100-yard swimmers test.
    • Immediately after completion of the test, swim continuously for an additional 450 yards.
    • Immediately after completion of the 450-yard swim, tread water for two minutes.
    • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using a front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7 to 10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, surface, swim with the object 20 yards back to the starting point and exit the water within one minute and 40 seconds.

Failure to satisfy any of the above criteria will prevent acceptance of the participant into the Aquatics section.

This specifically includes failure to provide evidence of a current lifeguard certification. The Aquatics Instructor– BSA program prepares the participant to be a BSA Lifeguard Instructor. A current lifeguard certification is a prerequisite so the participant has the base level knowledge and lifeguarding experience to successfully complete the Lifeguard Instructor training.

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $645

Aquatics Instructor–BSA Retraining

A retraining section is available for those certified in Aquatics Instructor–BSA. Candidates for retraining must meet all the prerequisites as outlined for Aquatics
section enrollment.

4-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 4 after lunch

Course fee: $535

This course is designed for those who will be leading climbing/rappelling programs. Successful candidates may also assist in providing training for level 1 climbing instructors at the council level.

Highlights include:

  • Initiative games
  • Climbing
  • Bouldering
  • Rappelling
  • Anchor systems
  • Belaying using either natural sites or constructed facilities.

Prerequisites for Climbing Director Section Enrollment
Participants must:

  • Be in good physical condition as indicated on the Annual Health and Medical Record.
  • Climbing Level 1 Instructor OR
  • Have working knowledge of the council climbing program

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $500

Climbing Director Retraining

A retraining section is available for those currently certified as Climbing Director. Includes an update of items related to camp program administration, standards, policies, and procedures.

4-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 4 after lunch
Course fee: $395

This course is designed for those who will be leading COPE (challenge course) programs. Successful candidates may also assist in providing training for Level 1 COPE instructors at the council level.

Highlights include:

  • Initiative games
  • Spotted challenge course elements (low COPE)
  • Challenge course elements using life-safety systems (high COPE)
  • Bouldering
  • Climbing/rappelling activities using constructed facilities

Prerequisites for COPE Director Section Enrollment
Participants must:

  • Be in good physical condition as indicated on the Annual Health and Medical Record.
  • COPE level 1 instructor OR
  • Have working knowledge of the council COPE course

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $500

COPE Director Retraining

A retraining section is available for those currently certified in COPE. Includes an update of items related to camp program administration, standards, policies, and procedures.

4-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 4 after lunch
Course fee: $395

This course is designed for those who will be instructing Level 2 COPE or Climbing Instructors to lead COPE or climbing/rappelling programs at the council level.

Highlights include:

  • Learning instruction methods
  • Working with other program trainer candidates to complete pre peer review paperwork
  • Demonstrating teaching skills on course, tower, and or rock with peers
  • Learning the most recent standards and industry practices
  • Being qualified to provide Peer to Peer review of another council’s program

During this course participants will be sharing information about the councils COPE or Climbing course and the participant’s training plan with the other participants receiving peer to peer feedback on the program and giving peer to peer feedback on the other participants programs.

Prerequisites:

  • Be in good physical condition as indicated on the Annual Health and Medical Record.
  • Hold current certification from National Camping School in COPE or Climbing Director training AND 
  • Have working knowledge of your council’s COPE or
    Climbing Program
  • Have Portfolio demonstrating 50 hours of face to face COPE or Climbing instruction with participants as a NCS Director or Level I or II instructor within the last 3 years. No more than 5 hours can be in administrative
    activities.

This 4-day course: begins with lunch Day 4; ends Day 7.
Course fee: $395

This course is designed for those who will serve as ecology director or staff. This course is also valuable for any staff who will be administering ecology programs for weekend or year-round programs.

Highlights include:

  • Training in planning and developing ecology/conservation programs
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Forestry
  • Fish and wildlife management
  • Nature trail construction
  • Weather station operation
  • How to lead a staff
  • A model ecology area
  • Effective teaching skills

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $510

This course is designed for those who will direct outdoor skills including first- year camper areas.

Highlights include:

  • An overnight experience
  • Knots and lashing
  • Fishing
  • Cooking
  • Camping
  • Wilderness survival
  • First-year camper program plan
  • Hands-on skills in an outdoor classroom that will meet many of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class rank
  • How to lead a staff
  • A model outdoor skills area
  • Effective teaching skills

Participants should bring personal overnight camping gear.
This course will qualify individuals to serve as first-year camper and outdoor skills directors.

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $415

This course is designed to meet the alternate requirements of SQ-407. This course is designed for those who are NOT NRA instructors prior to attending National Camping School.

Course includes:

  • NRA Basic Rifle training
  • NRA Basic Shotgun training
  • NRA Instructor Rifle training
  • NRA Instructor Shotgun training
  • USA Archery Level 1 training

This course is designed to meet the alternate requirements of SQ-407. Use of this person as a shooting sports director requires an approved waiver from the National NCAP committee. This course is an NRA course and is valid for two years only.


8-day course: Students must arrive ONE DAY Early for this course. (in most cases Friday) begins with lunch on Day 1: Ends Day 8 after breakfast

Course fee: $525

This course is designed for shooting sports directors for a council camp or council shooting sports committee.

Highlights include:

  • USA Archery Level I
  • NRA Muzzleloading Rifle training
  • BSA merit badge instruction plan

Prerequisites for Shooting Sports Director Section Enrollment

  • NRA Basic Rifle training
  • NRA Basic Shotgun training
  • NRA Instructor Rifle training
  • NRA Instructor Shotgun training

Evidence of these trainings MUST be presented before participants will be allowed to enroll in NCS (may be presented on-site). Participants without proper
credentials will not be allowed to participate in NCS or will be enrolled in the Shooting Sports NRA track.

For information about these courses, please visit www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/shooting-sports 

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7 after breakfast
Course fee: $525

For dates and locations of NRA Rifle and NRA Shotgun instructor training courses, please visit the BSA Shooting Sports website at www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/shooting-sports/

Shooting Sports Retraining

A recertification course is available for those currently certified as shooting sports directors.

Course includes an update of items related to shooting techniques, range management, policies, and procedures.


Prerequisites for Shooting Sports Retraining

  • Score of 80% or higher on open book written test
  • Current certifications in NRA Rifle, NRA Shotgun, NRA Muzzleloading Rifle, and USA Archery Level I

Failure to pass the written test will require participation in the full-week course.

4-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 4 after lunch
Course fee: $420

For dates and locations of NRA Rifle and NRA Shotgun instructor training courses, please visit the BSA Shooting Sports website at www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/shooting-sports/

This course is designed for the person who will serve as or train staff guides for trek programs.

Highlights include:

  • Training in emergency procedures
  • Environmental ethics
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Managing risk

7-day course: begins with lunch Day 1; ends Day 7after breakfast

(Course in New York state starts on Thursday to comply with New York state laws and runs nine days.)

Course fee: $557

2021 Resident (Long-Term) Camping Schools 

 Resident National Camping Schools will begin on SATURDAY unless noted.  Recertification sections will also be offered for the following sessions when the Full-Week session is offered: Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Shooting Sports. NOTE: Beginning in 2021 there is a new syllabus for Camp Directors and Program directors and there is no recertification course offered. If you have further questions about the school, please contact your School Director or email ncs@scouting.org MailTo icon 

Register for National Camping School – 2021

Local councils will register participants for National Camping School – To help in this process, fill out this personal information sheet –  NCS Worksheet – fillable  and return it to your council to be registered to attend. 

Councils wishing to register participants should access the registration link found on the BSA workplace group for Outdoor Programs. 

Every Participant at National Camping School needs the following:

  • BSA Medical form – download here – Bring to NCS
  • Download the Scouter Code of Conduct
  • Self assess using the Pre-event Medical Screening Checklist
  • Self assess using Model Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist (COVID -19 version) – NOTE: the local council or host location may have additional medical screening protocols. Please contact the host council for additional information not listed below. 
  • The fees listed on the registration site are the on-time registration fees. Payment will be collected at the time of registration when the council approves the registration. In addition:  

    • A registration completed fewer than 14 days prior to the start of the school will incur a $50 late charge.  
    • Cancellations filed more than 14 days in advance of the course will incur a $50 processing fee per registrant. All other paid fees will be refunded. Refund requests must be in writing to NCS@Scouting.org 
    • Late Cancellation: No-shows and cancellations filed fewer than 14 days prior to the start will incur a $100 no-show/ cancellation fee. Refund requests must be in writing to NCS@Scouting.org. 

Hosted by: National Council BSA

Location: Cimarron, NM

Course Director: Jeff Doty

Local Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, COPE, Climbing,COPE and Climbing Program Trainer, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter: 2021 NCS Philmont Welcome Letter – Sept

2022 Resident (Long-Term) Camping Schools 

Resident National Camping Schools will begin on SATURDAY unless noted.  Recertification sections will also be offered for the following sessions when the Full-Week session is offered: Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Shooting Sports. NOTE: Beginning in 2021 there is no recertification course offered for Camp Director and Program Director. If you have further questions about the school, please contact your School Director or email ncs@scouting.org MailTo icon 

Every Participant at National Camping School needs the following:

  • BSA Medical form – download here – Bring to NCS
  • Download the Scouter Code of Conduct
  • Self assess using the Pre-event Medical Screening Checklist
  • Self assess using Model Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist (COVID -19 version) – NOTE: the local council or host location may have additional medical screening protocols. Please contact the host council for additional information not listed below. 
  • The fees listed on the registration site are the on-time registration fees. Payment will be collected at the time of registration when the council approves the registration. In addition:  

    • A registration completed fewer than 14 days prior to the start of the school will incur a $50 late charge.  
    • Cancellations filed more than 14 days in advance of the course will incur a $50 processing fee per registrant. All other paid fees will be refunded. Refund requests must be in writing to NCS@Scouting.org 
    • Late Cancellation: No-shows and cancellations filed fewer than 14 days prior to the start will incur a $100 no-show/ cancellation fee. Refund requests must be in writing to NCS@Scouting.org. 

Hosted by: National Council BSA

Location: Islamorada, FL

Course Director: John Bickel

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, Trek

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Greater New York Councils

Location: Alpine, NJ

Course Director: Jason Dugan

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: National Council BSA

Location: Cimarron, NM

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: Danny Tucker

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, COPE, Climbing, Shooting Sports NRA Track, Shooting Sports, Trek

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: National Council BSA

Location: Glen Jean, WV

Course Director: Greg Leitch 

Council Liaison: Matthew Reineck

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, COPE, Climbing, COPE and Climbing Program Trainer, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports NRA Track, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Connecticut Rivers Council

Location: Ashford, CT

Course Director: Rick Poirier

Council Liaison: Mike Brown

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Dan Beard Council

Location: 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, COPE and Climbing Program Trainer, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Heart of America Council

Location: 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports NRA Track, Shooting Sports, Trek

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Sam Houston Area Council

Location: 

Course Director: Linda Dieguez

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Atlanta Area Council 

Location: Covington, GA

Course Director: Scott Hagler

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing,  Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Chippewa Valley Council

Location: Rice Lake, WI

Course Director: Scott Domino

Council Liaison: Eric Muench

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, COPE and Climbing Program Trainer, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Old Hickory Council 

Location: 

Course Director: Tim Harper

Council Liaison: Hunter Day

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, Climbing, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports, Trek

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Greater Los Angeles Area Council

Location: Cedar Glen, CA

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, COPE and Climbing Program Trainer, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports, Trek

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Cascade Pacific Council 

Location: 

Course Director: Bill Beaumont

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Greater New York Councils

Location: Narrowsburg, NY

Course Director: Jay Garee

Council Liaison: 

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Seneca Waterways Council 

Location: Tupper Lake, NY

Course Director: Gary Decker

Council Liaison: Aaron Vikemyr

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Ecology, Outdoor Skills, Shooting Sports NRA Track, Shooting Sports, Trek

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: National Council BSA

Location: 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: Danny Tucker

Sections Offered: Camp Director, Program Director, COPE, Climbing, COPE and Climbing Program Trainer, Shooting Sports

Welcome letter:

Cub Scout Day Camp

For Cub Scout resources and information about Cub Scout Day Camp – click HERE

Register for In Person National Camping School

Local councils will register participants for National Camping School – To help in this process, fill out this personal information sheet –  NCS Worksheet – fillable  and return it to your council to be registered to attend. 

2022 Day Camp Administration School Dates:

Hosted by: Central Florida Council 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Sam Houston Area Council

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Michigan Crossroads Council 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: National Council BSA

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: National Capital Area Council 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Pacific Harbors Council

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Middle Tennessee Council 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Heart of America Council 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Southwest Florida Council

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Crossroads of the West Council 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Quapaw Area Council 

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

Hosted by: Greater New York Councils

Course Director: 

Council Liaison: 

Welcome letter:

National Camping School Staff Resources Page – password protected

 

Select your National Camping School Branded Gear HERE.

NOTE: To place an order for any of the products above, please email NDCSupply.Orders@scouting.org