Scouting Forums

Cub Scout Day Camp Changes

I am in charge of running Cub Scout Day Camp for District this year. My outgoing District Executive pointed me to new changes for 2019.

I am trying to understand if this is a requirement. I also see that NRA requirements, for BB guns? What about archery?

Day Camp is scheduled for Jan 2020, and I live in Okinawa, Japan and do not see any training opportunities from National to meet this if it is a requirment, and what the steps are to meet the requirement?

I completed Den Leader and Cub Master training, I am currently Committee Chairman, of my Pack and Assistant District Chairman, TRAINED with current YPT.

I have retired US Army Special Forces with 26 years of service. I understand BSA intent is to take the untrained and bring them up to a National Standard, yet there has to be an avenue so the scouts can still go to camp as well.

PS A flight to Irving, Texas from Okinawa is over $2500 so not very thrifty for us out here in Far East Council.

My impression is that day camp training is really centered around a summer day camp schedule in the US. IE there are a lot of training in the late winter and early spring for everyone to get to a nearby camping school training to then plan for a may-august day camp.

Is this a new day camp event? Is there a person who has done this before? Because the how, who, when, etc is really best explained by someone who has done it before.

Technically, there is a training listed for october in Kansas for day camp.

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Guide to Safe Scouting

Scouting Safely > Guide to Safe Scouting > Sports and Activities > Shooting Sports

The Boy Scouts of America adheres to its longstanding policy of teaching its youth and adult members the safe, responsible, and intelligent handling, care, and use of firearms, air rifles, BB guns, and archery equipment in planned, carefully managed, and supervised programs. …
---- References: National Camp Standards, No. 430-056, and BSA *National Shooting Sports Manual*, No. 430-938


National Camp Accreditation Program

See the National Camp Accreditation Program at which redirects to

National Camp Standards

National Camp Standards, 430-056, 2019 Printing, 338 pages, SKU 650616/

Program Specific (PS) Standards

  • PS-213 Shooting Sports: Archery Programs (Revised January 1, 2017).
  • PS-214 Shooting Sports: Firearms Programs (Revised January 1, 2019).

Applicability (extract), p. 10

The national camp standards apply to any camp property, day camp, family camp, resident camp, trek camp, specialty-adventure camp, high-adventure camp, or COPE or climbing course operated by a BSA council. It is recommended that extended events meet the appropriate national camp standards.

Council means any BSA council, including the National Council or a BSA local council, and any administrative subdivision of a council.

Day camp is a council-organized program of one to five or more days under council-retained leadership at an approved site during daylight or early evening hours but not overnight. The program may operate at the Tiger Scout, Cub Scout, Webelos Scout, Scouts BSA, Venturer, or Sea Scout level.

Extended event is a council-organized event that lasts longer than 72 hours; it may include a training course such as Wood Badge or National Youth Leadership Training or an extended special event such as a camporee or conference.


  • The district is an administrative sub-division of a council. Most BSA databases also provide for identification of sub-districts (neighborhoods, borough, and perhaps parts of a country in the case of overseas districts).
  • Many of the program standards (PS) in the National Camping Standards book might apply to camping (including day camp programs) on both BSA owned (or leased) and non-BSA properties.
  • I suspect BSA is going to want to have the council Scout Executive (or delegate) inspect and approve the camp location and shooting ranges.

Updated: 2019-07-09 11:01 pm PDT


Camp Archery Programs

National Camping Standards (2019)

PS-213 Shooting Sports: Archery Programs

STANDARD: If offered, the camp operates a safe, age-appropriate archery program. … Requirements include: …

C. Qualified supervision is present at all times the range is in operation.Properly sized safety equipment such as finger tabs or gloves and forearm guards are available and used by all Cub Scout-age youth and for all others as specified by the range master. There is ready access to communication and first aid at the range.

National Shooting Sports Manual (2015)

430-938, ISBN 978-0-8395-0004-9, ©2015 Boy Scouts of America. 2015 Printing
Section I, “The Essentials*,
Chapter 1: Qualified Supervision—Roles and Responsibilities

With regard to archery, a troop need not forgo an archery shoot simply because the facility does not employ a National Camping School–trained person, provided that the unit leadership is trained with the
appropriate, current certifications that the BSA requires in order to conduct that program.

BSA Archery Range Master

  • Eighteen years of age or older and trained by a National Camping School shooting sports director or USA Archery/NFAA Level 1 archery instructor to set up and operate a safe archery range for a Cub Scout or Boy Scout archery program according to BSA standards located in Section V of this manual, “Archery and BB Guns.”
  • Archery training must be renewed every two years, and this person must have a current Training Course Certificate, No. 33767.

USA Archery

USA Archery has 8-hour in-person coach classes in the US. They may also ha have mobile video instruction.

Archery coach certification in Japan:

I called USA Archery

  • The USA Archery “mobile” is not a class, but a tool for USA Archery instructors to use to teach a class.
  • They said they level-2 trained about 3 military persons in Okinawa about 2 years ago. A level-2 trained person in Japan can teach the level-1 course needed for BSA certification. So you may not need to come to the US to get that training. They could not search their coach database by APO zip code so I was not able to get information on level-2 (and above) coach/instructors currently in Okinawa. The next level above level-2 is the level-2 trainer who can teach a level-2 course. So what you are looking for is USA Archery level-2 certified coach on a military base to teach BSA Scouters.

Archery Resources

  • Merit Badge Series - Archery list, pp. 78-79

Local Resources

The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Boy Scouts of America of non-BSA sites or the information, products, or services contained therein.

Updated: 2019-07-09 5:43 pm PDT


BB Gun Shooting Sports

  • “Cub Scout and Webelos Scout BB Gun Shooting Sports”, Appendix 6, pages, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA® NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS MANUAL, 430-938, 2015 Printing, p. 158ff
  • Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities, 680-685, rev. January 2019, 2019 printing, page 1:

SHOOTING (reformatted)

  • See shooting sports guides at
  • Note: Shooting at each other is prohibited.

BB Guns

  • Not authorized: Lion with adult partner
  • Authorized at “Council/District Outdoor Programs Only”: Tiger (with adult parent), Wolf Scouts, Bear Scouts and Webelos Scouts

Updated: 2019-07-13



Once again you are my hero, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your due diligence in providing all these resources. I will pour over them as I prepare to run this camp. I am humbled by depth of your wisdom, and seek your mentor-ship in this matter.

District does not run a summer camp in Okinawa since it is to humid and hot, with a large chance of a typhoon canceling the event.

Last year the Cub Scout Day Camp was held on USMC Base Camp Lester, where district had archery, slingshots, and BB Guns. Far East Council BSA Spring Camp during Spring Break at USN White Beach also featured archery and BB guns. My plan was to hold Day Camp on Camp Lester again, due to its many resources, which include District HQ, and Far East HQ. I plan to use single Marines, and Airman to staff the event. My plan would start early getting them YPT as I have ran into a lot of Eagle Scout Marines eager to help.

From what you stated it seems that this new standards change only applies to BSA properties.

I hunted elk, deer and antelope with a bow, and we used broad heads, so I am familiar with archery, and of course 26 years in the US Army, 20 of those in US Army Special Forces I am familiar with running a range safely as we train foreign soldiers from around the world. Yet the question is do we need to have a piece of paper to run a range safely according to the BSA guidelines?

My fear is we get so tied to certifications and sub-contracting out in order to nationalize standards we miss fundamentals of scouting, and the possibility that Councils and Districts still can be responsible for the training and safety of their instructors and thus the scouts.

Did a change made by National Training School just make it impossible to teach these subjects and stay in accordance with BSA guidelines?

Yes, I agree I need to do more research locally, and we may have instructors who are fully qualified. Yet I also realize that our units are not in middle America but rather all come from US Military families from four branches on Okinawa; and Parents should through military training have the skills we need to safely train our scouts as they are the same that train recruits in basic training, and should not that be an acceptable alternative to an NRA certification?

Bottom Line is I want these young scouts to experience the maximum they can, safely.

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Our island is in the tropics, so District does not do anything all summer do to the heat, humidity, and the threats of typhoons. We always hold our camps in the winter. The District Executive ran the camp last year, I have his program of instruction, but he is moving to Spokane, WA to work with Council there.

I am seeking answers early, as I might have to fly back to the USA and get trained. I have an Special Forces buddy in Montana who can get me NRA trained. Archery is another issue, along with watercraft, Climbing, and Lifeguard certifications all of which I have vast experience just do not have BSA qualifications.

The fun part is when you have to re-qualify every certification every few years and they all cost money and I am retired living on a fixed income.

Analogy would be to ask Lance Armstrong a certificate before he could teach cycling. OK bad example but Lance Armstrong still knows enough about riding a bike to award a merit badge— if he was current YPT, Merit Badge Council trained, Registered with District and National. LOL

How can BSA capture experience, like a pre-test, to give units the maximum flexibility? How can BSA make sure the program stays current? For instance I used pitons when mountain climbing in the military, now very frowned upon in civilian climbing circles, but once was the only climbing protection, and still viable. Current programs would only list protective gear, like cams, nuts, hexes ect. and not pitons.

Very Respectfully,


Some quick clarifications. Are you going to be the range safety office (i.e. the person on the range giving the instruction and making sure the range is safe) or are you going to be a camp or program director? You cannot be both.

I certainly feel your frustration with the BSA asking for specific BSA versions of trainings. That said, the RSO position is one that actually uses the common certifications from NRA. I would think that if you’re near a base, they would have someone who could do that.


Thank you for the compliments. I am just doing a Good Turn. It is my pleasure to help other Scouters.

In Scouting and the military one tends to experience many things. I first learnt to use a bow in summer camp. I competed in Archery in high school in the 1960’s and was later employed one summer as an Archery instructor and rangemaster at a girls’ summer camp. (I spent most of my free time at the camp refleching arrows so the camp did not have to buy new ones.) In the US Navy most of my experience was with the standard issue .45 hand gun. My experience with rifles is from living on a ranch for a while, working my way through the NRA awards, and shooting the range top score with an M1 in the naval boot camp.

What school changes?

What change are you talking about? The way I read it, the BSA school is one way of getting the training. The school does not set BSA standards.

Range rules

If you are using existing military ranges, the military range rules plus additional BSA rules, e.g. age limits and protective safety equipment, apply.


I suspect military rangemaster instruction/experience can be substituted if approved by your council Scout Executive. (Before BSA national expanded the youth protection training curriculum and started enforcing YPT for all adult volunteers, my council waived youth protection training for police officers.)

My cousin, a retired US Army officer and BSA Assistant District Commissioner became a NRA Instructor so he could use the NRA program to teach Girls Scouts in his wife’s troop to shoot rifles ten years before the news media found out and made a big deal out of it.


Lifeguard and Lifesaving Training

Non-BSA Training

Do you have non-BSA, US or non-US, certifications?

Back in the 1960’s I was hired by a local BSA council in California as their summer camp waterfront director with Royal Life Saving Society (Canada) lifesaving instructor certification (completed in high school).

American Red Cross Training in Japan

The American Red Cross on Kadena Air Base organizes volunteer, instructional, humanitarian, and emergency services on behalf of the Air Force and Army bases on Okinawa, as well as Camp Shields and White Beach.

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I will be overall in charge. I have been RSO, and OIC at ranges before and know it works. Since I am on the blame line, I want to have equivalent training as the RSO, so I can properly supervise or know if violations are being made.

During my active duty time I had RSO and OIC range cards for all sorts of weapons systems way beyond the scope of scouting to include explosives and mortars. Who knows my card could exist at Range Control, but the point is staying in accordance with BSA guidelines which so far I have not seen military training as a substitute for the NRA course.


I do. I am maybe 10 years to your younger, and scouting launched my military career. I became a Life Scout, and used that training to become American Red Cross Life Guard and land one of my first jobs. While in the service I was routinely asked to be a safety swimmer when conducting parachute operations encase a chute drifted into the open ocean. I re-certified with ARC Life Guard 2010 and it expired in 2012, as it costs $150 to re-take the course every two years.

I was an Master Scuba Diver Trainer Instructor (MSDT) for PADI and could teach over 25 specialties and trained some of the initial Boy Scouts on Scuba Merit Badge. I was an EFR Instructor for PADI and could train Rescue Divers. Cost over $300 annually to up keep certifications.

I was once an National Certified EMT. Cost over $100 a year, plus continued education learning every two years.

I passed US Army Air Assault school which is repelling, rigging, and Air Mobile Operations listed on DD214

I am a US Army Special Operations Master Jump-master which is trained like US Army Pathfinder with over 200 jumps also listed in DD214.

I am US Army Special Forces Engineer Sargent and hold a current Commercial Blasting license where I can legally buy and use explosives from the state of Montana. Annual fee $45. I let my Washington state license expire.

I am a Summer and Winter Instructor Trained Mountaineer Ft. Greely, AK. DD214.

I have a boat license for Zodiac small boat operator on my SF46 Military Drivers License.

Yet all this experience is worthless in the eyes of the BSA as they need a certificate with the correct credentials.

Two of the districts in my council are having a joint 5-day Cub Scout Day Camp this week. Here is what was in their help wanted flyer (prior to the event):

Calling all Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts and Venture (sic) Scouts

Spend a day, two days or the whole week volunteering at Day Camp. Earn between 8-40 hours of Volunteer work. Cub Scouts love older scouts and will look up to you for guidance and help. Positions Needed Include:

  • 15 Den Chiefs to assist Den Leaders transition cub scouts from one activity to another. You don’t need to be den chief trained, we’ll train you!
  • 2-4 Scouts with an Archery Merit Badge to assist the Archery Range Master…
  • 2-4 Scouts with a Shooting Sports Merit Badge to assist the BB Gun Range Master. – Come help the campers in earning their shooting sports award. Must volunteer for the whole week.
  • 2-3 Scouts with a Swimming Merit Badge to assist water sports at the pool.
  • Life Guard Needed. Volunteer must be lifeguard certified.
  • 2 Scouts each for the following areas: Wood Crafts, Scout Crafts, and Science.
  • Jr. Helpers to assist in the kitchen. Duties Include: Making Coffee, Breakfast Setup, Put ice in Water Coolers, Snack Duty, Icee Prep., Kitchen Clean-UP, Garbage/Recycle.


Let’s see if we can simplify things.

  • If you are managing the event you do not need to be qualified to run every activity. You also need to be free to manage the event. So are we really talking about others being qualified?
  • If the event on on a military base the base commander has the final say about who is qualified to be rangemasters or lifeguards at on-base facilities. Is the base already providing these people? Both BSA and the military can add safety equipment requirements for activities.


  1. Correct, I will be overall in charge, yet knowing military families and the lack of time available especially after the holidays, I should know all the requirements for every event, and best case scenario be qualified in every event. My research 6 months out is discovering all the details, so I can be sure to be trained as much as possible and then train or make sure training is completed prior to the event happening.

  2. Yes, we also have military guidelines we must follow. We are familiar with these and will submit a Memorandum of Instruction (MOI), detailing our actives for approval to the base commander for approval. MOI’s are rather easy since we do them all the time, and we can use Day Camp from last year as an example. My attempt over the summer is discover all the hurtles so I can make a presentation at the first round table of the year, as these new standards could possibly impact the entire district activities that no one may be tracking.

Also at round-table I will be pitching my plan, which will include Venture Scouts, and BSA Scouts along with single Marines and Airman who can be awarded service hours toward promotion and awards. First I need to determine training requirements, for the events that I want conduct, then I can work with volunteers to meet those requirements. I have the flexibility as being retired to meet with scouts and train them if necessary but I would first need to be trained properly. My District Scout Executive advice is the biggest limitation is finding qualified people to run the event. In the past it seems to come together last minute. Unfortunately this event is just after Christmas block leave where most folks will not be tracking the event. I should have all training complete and positions identified prior to December. Worse case scenario is the new Scout Executive could run the event last minute and I could run a critical event as long as I have the training completed.

I see some overthinking in this thread.
Day Camps are assessed by the council and the council can approve a waiver that the training done by someone other than NCS trained who has read the syllabus and is qualified to teach the subject as they determine. The reason for this training is that you instruct youth differently than adults. Scouting introduces youth to shooting sports so it can become a lifelong hobby.


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