Scouts BSA Resident Camp

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Summer Camp (Scouts BSA Resident Camp) is why they joined Scouts!
Summer Camp is Swimming, Climbing, Archery, Rifle and Shotgun Shooting,
Indian Lore, Fishing, and Camping. Summer Camp is FUN!
Cub Scouts and Webelos have Day Camp and Cub Scout Resident Camp.

Summer Camp
A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.
Robert Baden-Powell

Scouts BSA Resident Camp (or Summer Camp) is what many Scouts enjoy most. Camp programs provide numerous opportunities for Scouts to earn merit badges and just have fun! Summer Camps are at least five nights and six days of fun outdoor adventures. Many troops hold an Advancement Campout to help prepare new Scouts. Troops also provide Fundraising opportunities allowing a Scout to earn enough in their Individual Accounts for a week of Summer Camp!


What is summer camp like?

Summer camp is FUN! Summer camps help youth develop character, citizenship, and personal fitness. Scouts learn and explore as they find adventure. Opportunities range from new Scout programs to more advanced challenges for older Scouts. Every summer camp is different but will typically offer a range of merit badges and awards that might include:

  - Canoeing, Lifesaving, Motorboating, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, and Water Sports
  - Climbing
Eagles Nest - other Eagle-Required Merit Badges
  - Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, and Communication
Field Sports
  - Archery, Rifle Shooting, and Shotgun Shooting
First Aid
  - Emergency Preparedness - First Aid - First-Aid Skills
Scout Crafts & Arts
  - Art, Basketry, Indian Lore, Leatherwork, Music, Painting, Pottery, Sculpture, and Wood Carving
  - Bird Study, Environmental Science, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fishing, Fly-Fishing, Forestry, Geology, Insect Study, Nature, Mammal Study, Reptile & Amphibian, and Weather
Scout Skills
  - Astronomy, Camping, Cooking, Fire Safety, Hiking, Pioneering, Orienteering, Wilderness Survival, Outdoor skills, and overnight Outposts
  - Digital Technology, Moviemaking, Photography, Space Exploration, and Surveying
New Scout Programs - focus on the skills needed for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks:
  - Outdoor skills, First-Aid Skills, Swimming, Knots, Lashings, Hikes, Map and Compass, Cooking, Firem’n Chit, Plants, Totin' Chip, and more
Older Scout opportunities go beyond normal merit badges to areas such as:
  - Backpacking, Cycling, Hiking, Wilderness Survival, COPE, Snorkeling, Kayaking, BSA Lifeguard, Mile Swim, Paul Bunyan Woodsman
Ask what the summer camps in your area offer!

What do I need to bring?

Check with your own summer camp and troop about what they suggest you bring and what items are restricted. In addition, different merit badges may require that you bring extra items. For instance Swimming might require you to bring a long-sleeve button-up shirt. To get you started, here is a general checklist: Camping Checklist. Here is also a checklist of what the BSA suggests you have in your personal first-aid kit.

Advancement in Summer Camp

  • Camp staff members who are qualified in the subject and are younger than age 18 may assist the merit badge counselor with instruction.
  • However, regardless of the class format, each Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badge's requirements.
  • Each counselor must maintain the exact standards as outlined in the merit badge requirements -- nothing deleted, nothing added
  • Partial completion of merit badges should be credited to a Scout on the Application for Merit Badge and given to the Scoutmaster at the end of the week.
Advancement in Summer Camp

Age and Rank Requirements to Earn Merit Badges

Main: Merit Badge Introduction
  • "Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible." - Boy Scout Requirements p. 22
  • "Any registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn these awards until his 18th birthday." - Advancement Policies #33088, p. 24}}

National Scouts BSA Resident Camp Standards

A Boy Scout resident camp is a council-organized camp of at least five consecutive nights duration and operates under trained leadership.
Some of the Mandatory and Quality Standards
  • M23: The buddy system of having two or more campers together is used in all appropriate activities, such as aquatics, backpacking, climbing/rappelling, COPE, off-camp activities, and in all Cub Scouting activities...
  • M25: Programs are age-appropriate for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. A range of programs is available based on their age and level of maturity. See Age Appropriate Chart in the Guide to Safe Scouting at []...
  • M26: The on-site camp director is at least 21 (preferably 25 or older) years of age and is currently trained in camp management by a National Camping School, with at least two seasons of prior administrative or supervisory experience recommended...
  • M27: The on-site program director is at least 21 years of age and is currently trained by a National Camping School as a program director for the appropriate program element (Cub Scouting/Boy Scouting)...
  • M35: There must be a minimum of two adult leaders with each unit and/or campsite.
  • 68: At least one staff member has been trained as a Leave No Trace trainer (two-day course). A Leave No Trace awareness workshop

is offered to leaders and campers...

  • M-69: Program experiences are provided to qualify Scouts in each of the hiking, camping, and outdoor requirements of Tenderfoot through First Class ranks...
Staff members are trained as merit badge counselors and offer opportunities for Scouts to earn a variety of merit badges at camp. A letter from the council advancement committee is provided approving merit badge counselors...
  • 70: Troops are encouraged to prepare and serve at least three meals per week in the outdoors. The camp must provide outpost camps with special program features and equipment for overnight camping...
  • 71: Campers are exposed to an Order of the Arrow (OA) program activity during their stay.
  • 72: The aquatics program in Boy Scouting includes at least three of the following: swimming, lifesaving, boating, canoeing, sailing, boardsailing], scuba, snorkeling, motorboating, and waterskiing...
  • M-74: At least three programs are provided that emphasize participation by patrols and strengthen the patrol method...
  • 75: At least two campwide program events are provided during each camp period to stimulate troop program...
  • 76: The camp program includes at least two special program opportunities for second-, third-, and fourth-year campers that are not available to first-year campers that are of an advanced nature...
2008 National Resident Camp Standards

Provisional Summer Camp

Local councils provide a Provisional Camping option for a boy who to attend summer camp when his troop is to at camp. Benefits include:

  • Scouts can still attend camp even if they cannot attend with their own troop.
  • Scouts can attend additional weeks of summer camp.
  • Youth have the opportunity to meet new friends from across their local council.
  • New Scouts may attend a week at a local camp if their troop is going to a camp farther away.
  • Older Scout may participate in special programs such as BSA Lifeguard, Scuba BSA, horseback riding, white water, etc.

Scouts may be placed in a troop that is supervised by full time staff whose only job is to ensure that the Scouts' week at camp is the best it can be. The Scout brings all his personal gear and the summer camp typically provides everything else. The provisional troop is made up of youth from across a local council and is a great opportunity to meet new friends and experience summer camp in a whole new way. Alternately, Scouts may also be placed with Troops already in camp.

All youth are to abide by the leadership of the Troop they are assigned and the camp staff. They must be registered in the Boy Scouts of America and bring a properly completed medical and consent to treatment form to camp and comply with all other rules.

See also

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