“Ok Cub Scouts – Who’s Ready to Go Camping?!”

By Dennis Kampa, National Outdoor Programs and Properties Subcommittee Member

As the leaves in most of the country start to turn colors, can Fall be very far behind? Your pack should have an annual plan framed, including Blue and Gold Dinners, Raingutter Regattas, Pinewood Derbies, Holiday parties, carnivals, and fun Pack outings. Don’t forget to include a couple of Pack Overnighters!

Pack overnighters can be an exciting way to engage new families in our program! The chance to go camping continues to be the number one reason why youth join Cub Scouts!

But we also need to consider that Pack Overnighters will often be a Cub Scout family’s first introduction to camping outdoors, and it’s very important that your Pack does it right! The first step on that path is to have several of your Pack leadership team, and a couple of parents, attend BALOO training in your Council or District.

BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) training is an overnight experience that will teach you all the skills you need to help your scouts feel at home in the outdoors. It will also provide you with an outdoor learning experience, as you will be participating in meal prep, campsite prep, and sleeping in the outdoors. What better way to learn about camping than to actually go camping?

BALOO is the Cub Scout leader training required for any Cub Scout den or pack outdoor event, including pack camping overnighters and Webelos den overnighters. This training should be presented by council or district level training teams as needed. Councils may decide to require periodic refreshers based on local situations.

BALOO training is comprised of two components—an online component and a practical, hands-on component. Both components must be completed to qualify as a “TRAINED” Cub Scout outdoor leader. The online component must be completed prior to the practical component.  The online training contains introductory and basic information that will be built upon during the practical training.

The Outdoors are integral to Cub Scouting! And by participating in BALOO training, adult leaders will know how to conduct an outdoor event that will be fun for Cub Scouts and their families. BALOO will provide you with all that information, plus a great learning experience at a camp near you!

Here’s a list of some of the information covered during BALOO:

GPS Aquatics Gear Selection Hiking
Nature Outdoor Ethics Cooking Sanitation
First Aid Knife Safety Campsite Selection Large Group Games
Meal Planning Duty to God Stoves & Lanterns Ceremonies
Knots Program Planning    

And much, much more!

Check your council or district calendars or ask your local district executive when the next BALOO training is scheduled, and then get your pack’s leaders registered!! You won’t regret it!!

The Cub Scout Adventure Program is very easily adapted to the outdoors. In addition to the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award, Cub Scouts can also earn these Outdoor-oriented adventures:

Lion – Lion Adventure
Tiger –

My Tiger Jungle, Tigers in the Wild, Floats & Boats

Wolf – Call of the Wild, Paws On the Path, Spirit of the Water
Bear – Bear Claws, Bear Necessities, Furs, Feathers & Ferns, A Bear Goes Fishing, Salmon Run
Webelos/AOL required – Cast Iron Chef, Webelos Walkabout, Outdoor Adventurer
Webelos/AOL elective – Aquanaut, Castaway, Into the Wild, Into the Woods