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 Camp Directors, Program Directors, Aquatics Directors, Climbing Directors, Project COPE Directors, Ecology Directors, Outdoor Skills Directors, First-Year Camper Directors, Trek Directors, and Shooting Sports Directors. 

(not all schools will offer all sections. Refer to the Brochure for a list of schools, sections offered and locations) 

NCS Certification extension request form – Use this form to request a one season extension for an expired NCS certification.

2020 Brochure

Click HERE to download the 2020 NCS brochure (updated 1-22-2020). We will continue to make updates as we add additional sections and locations. Please make sure to download the latest brochure. 

Questions about National Camping School? – email 

2020 Resident Camping Schools (UPDATED: 6-29-2020)

Please note in 2020 Resident Camp Schools will begin on SATURDAY unless noted.  Recertification sections will also be offered for the following sessions when the Full-Week session is offered: Camp Director, Program Director, Aquatics, COPE, Climbing, Shooting Sports. If you have further questions about the school, please contact your School Director or email MailTo icon  

Register HERE for remaining schools

Click the button below to register for National Camping School. NOTE: when you submit your registration your Scout Executive will receive an email to confirm your attendance.

Every Participant at National Camping School needs the following:

  • BSA Medical form – download here – Bring to NCS


Hosted by:  National Council

Location: Cimarron, NM

Course Director: Matt Conlon

Local Council Liaison: Nick Hutchinson

Welcome letter:2020 NCS Philmont Welcome Letter – Sept Update

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


Hosted by:  Greater New York Councils

Location: Alpine, NJ

Local Council Liaison: Chris Guarniere

Sections Offered: COPE and Climbing Program Trainer

Prerequisites for Resident Camp School

In addition to all requirements to attend National Camping School the following are additionally required:

  • Hold a current lifeguard certification
  • Complete BSA 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 swimmers 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.
  •  COPE Level 1 Instructor
  •  Climbing Level 1 Instructor
  • Complete online NCAP training module – Information on the link is found in your confirmation email
  • Complete Unlawful Harassment training 

Depending on whether or not you are currently NRA Basic and Instructor certified in the rifle and shotgun disciplines, we have created three separate “tracks” to be certified as BSA Shooting Sports Director certification in 2020.  

Option 1: BSA Shooting Sports Director Basic Track (Select this option if you are NOT currently NRA Rifle and Shotgun Basic and Instructor certified) 

  • All shooting sports participants needing NRA Basic training and NRA instructor training will be required to arrive one day early (Friday by noon) in order to accommodate this change.  
  • The NRA Basic Rifle and NRA Basis Shotgun certification will be added to the curriculum for NCS in 2020.  
  • The NRA instructor syllabus for Rifle and Shotgun will be added into the curriculum for the NCS certification in 2020  
  • The 2020 syllabus for BSA Shooting Sports Director Basic will NOT INCLUDE the following: 
    • Muzzle loading certification
    • Chalkball 
    • Cowboy Action Shooting 
    • If the council plans to operate any of these disciplines or a pistol program, additional training is required in addition to NCS. 
  • The training day will extend to no earlier than 9 pm each day in order to meet all NRA training hour requirements. 

Option 2: National Camping School –BSA Shooting Sports Director Regular Track (Select this option if you ARE currently NRA Rifle and Shotgun Basic and NRA Instructor certified) 

  • Participants arrive on Saturday of the course 
  • This track will include:  
    • In-depth merit badge facilitation instruction 
    • Muzzle loading Co-op Rifle certification 
    • Chalkball program training 
    • Cowboy Action Shooting program training 

Option 3: BSA Shooting Sports Director Recertification Track (for those who are current NCS shooting sports directors) 

  • Individuals must meet the requirements for a recertification: participant must hold a current card in that section or have a card that expired no more than six months prior to the course.  
  • Score 80% or higher on open book written test (test will be sent by section director)
  •  NRA Rifle instructor, 
  • NRA shotgun
  • NRA Muzzleloading Rifle 
  • USA archery Level 1

NRA Instructor Course Pre-Requisites: All BSA shooting sports candidates MUST take a basic student class in their discipline before attending the instructor class.   Therefore, before you can attend and be certified as a NRA Rifle and Shotgun instructor, you MUST already have taken and passed NRA Basic Rifle and Shotgun classes. The BSA and NRA offer these courses at discounted prices across the country or you can attend any commercial NRA Basic Rifle and Shotgun classes. To find a Basic Rifle and/or Shotgun course in  your area, please visit: . If you have any questions, please email .

Prior to attending National Camping School using the regular track participants must complete:

  • NRA basic class (in each discipline (Rifle and Shotgun)
  • NRA instructor class in each discipline (Rifle and Shotgun)

Cub Scout Day Camp

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

Cub /Webelos Scout Day Camp Administration

Beginning in 2019, to be nationally certified as a day camp director, program director or staff adviser, individuals must complete a three-part training curriculum. This includes an online course, a council-led in person training session and then a day and a half at a National Camping School. 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. If you have a current Day Camp Administration card that has not expired, you do not have to take this training. This new National Camp School format and curriculum is for anyone who is not yet certified.  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.

Participants must have completed Cub Scout Leader Training and Youth Protection Training available in the BSA Learn Center available through My.Scouting. A copy of the certificate(s) or training record is required.

2020 Day Camp Administration School Dates: (Updated 7-27-20)

2020 Modified NCS-Day Camp Administration Certification Process

Step 1: Register here  

Step 2: Take the online training “Foundations of Cub Scout Day Camp”. The link to this training is included in your registration confirmation email. 

Step 3: Contact your local council to make arrangements to take part in the council-led portion of the curriculum.

Step 4: After you register and are approved by your council, you will receive your NCS kit materials by mail. This kit includes the day camp administration guide, NCS workbook, NCAP standards and other resources.

Step 5: After you receive your NCS kit materials by mail, please email and you will then be sent the final training video link to watch as well as a verification form where you will indicate that you have completed:

·       BSA Youth Protection Training

·       Cub Scout Leader Specifics (any type is acceptable, den leader, committee etc)

·       NCS Part 1: Online “Foundations of Cub Scout Day Camp” (link is sent at time of registration)

·       NCS Part 2: Council-Led

·       NCS Part 3: Recorded Video of condensed “On-Site” NCS

Step 6:  Upon completion of the above trainings, submit your signed NCS Training verification form to Upon receipt, individuals will be emailed an NCS Day Camp Administration certification card. All cards will expire on 12/31/2020.

Select your National Camping School Branded Gear HERE.

NOTE: To place an order for any of the products above, please email 

National Camping School Staff Resources Page – password protected