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Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Requirements

With the cancelling of camps this summer will the camping requirement change for the Outdoor Activity Patch?

There are lots of virtual camps available.

Although the Outdoor Activity Award is not strictly an advancement item, per se, I suspect your best bet for finding out if there are changes to the requirements is to reach out to the BSA’s advancement team at advancement.team@scouting.org. I also recommend keeping an eye on both the COVID-19 FAQs (https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/covid-19-faq/) and Advancement News (https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/advancement-news/). I’ve noticed there haven’t been any 2020 issues of Advancement News posted, though. I don’t know if that’s a symptom of the social distancing orders, changes in priorities by the BSA, or something else.

Our council (Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council) has explicitly stated that its Virtual Day Camp counts as its Council Cub Camp for the purposes of the Outdoor Activity Award.


I emailed advancement and received this back:

Virtual camping will count towards requirements during the pandemic.

Anthony M. Berger |National Director, Cub Scouting


So 1 night of virtual camping constitute resident camp?

The Cub Scout standard is “do your best” and I’ve decided to reward the families who show up for summer.

We’re already officially holding a “June“ and July activity outside to provide advancement opportunities.

For most this will be good enough in my mind.

For Scouts whose camp hasn’t been canceled and the pack was signed up to attend before March they need to go. We’re left with Webelos Camp practically, no virtual day cap for us.

A Webelos Scout will need to go to all three.

I currently have 20% of the pack in the running for it based on June. We’re a small pack so don’t read much into the numbers.

@KevinCarlyle It sounds like you are talking about the summertime pack award, but the OP was asking about the outdoor activity award.

@ShelleyAlters It’d be helpful to know exactly what your question was. I think Anthony Berger’s response was likely talking about camping requirements (not necessarily the day/resident camp requirement for outdoor activities). That said, I’d be somewhat lenient in awarding it. If they had intended to attend if not for cancellations, give them credit.

I emailed specifically about the Outdoor Activity Award. Had I not, I would not have responded to this thread. You’re welcome to email on your own if for some reason you don’t believe my answer.

This program is dead. They just haven’t told us officially that it’s over.

Mr Berger responded to an email that I sent and stated that the award (Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award) will be sun setting because only a small fraction of Cubs earn the award.

There haven’t been any wolf track pins (for repeat earners) since at least January. National Supply recalled them from every shop and took them off ScoutShop.org at least 6 months ago. Berger said they won’t be getting any more pins. He went on to provide a solution for my Cubs who’ve already earned it. He said to award them the wolf rank “mom pin” since it is a similar size.

This award is dead. BSA may tell us about it some day. They have no interest in making the material available for Cubs who’ve earned it. Once the patches are gone it will have sunsetted itself without any official notice.

As we have been told that virtual day camps will count for the day camp requirement, this year many more of the lower middle class neighborhood Cub Scouts in my pack will be able to afford to earn it. Normal Day camps in my area run $135-$200 for a week of camp, which is not affordable for many of the families, and camperships are not available for everyone. The very affordable $25-$50 Virtual Day Camps will be attended by nearly all of the Cubs in my pack. The rest of the award will happen automatically through our pack program.

No. Only Scouts that attend a resident camp can check off the resident camp part of that requirement. However, virtual day camps are allowed to substitute. It’d fall under the day camp part of the requirement.

I’ve gotten the same guidance from the Black Warrior Council.

Updated guidance from the COVID-19 FAQs page:

What is the guidance for completing the Outdoor Activity Award and Summertime Pack Award?

Packs and dens should do their best to meet the intent of the awards. If a required activity (such as day camp or resident camp) is not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, packs can utilize an alternative option of their choosing. Units should continue to follow any restrictions outlined by their state and local health departments or other local officials regarding gatherings, etc.

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According to Brian on Scouting, the wolf track pins have been recalled and are eligible for either exchange or refund. This surprisingly contradicts what Mr. Berger said.

Read the statement on ScoutShop.org. The Q&A makes it clear it’s money back or store credit. No mention of exchange because they don’t have any pins for which you may actually make an exchange.
I’m not holding my breath for them to make an official statement on the Award ending. If it took them 6 months to announce they recalled the pins back in January I expect it’ll take at least another 6 to announce the award is sunsetting as soon as all the supply they have not had for 6 months will have been exhausted.

@DonRiegels - FAQ 9 only mentions refund or store credit, but in addition to exchanges being mentioned in the Brian on Scouting article, the text at the top of the scoutshop page about this says:

No injuries have been reported as a result of the affected pins, and the BSA has identified and fixed the problem that led to the recall. The recall was prompted when a regular quality assurance the BSA implements through a third-party testing lab indicated that parts of the pin’s face and shaft contained levels of lead above limits set by the federal government.

Families with a recalled pin should stop using it immediately. They’re entitled to an exchange or refund, even if they no longer have a receipt or the original tag.

Even if you no longer have a receipt, you are eligible for an exchange or refund.

So, an exchange is mentioned in both places. I don’t know whether it is an editing failure on the Scout Shop website that originated with stock text that was not checked carefully enough. That is certainly a possibility. I doubt anyone will modify the text. So, if we want to find out whether an exchange will ever be possible, we may have to wait forever.

It does also say that the BSA has fixed the problem, which indicates the new and improved version of these pins will soon appear on Scout Shop shelves.

Thank you sharing. I did read the statement in its entirety as well as the accompanying FAQs. The statement on ScoutShop.org reiterates their return policy. As you so astutely point out, it clearly states exchange or refund. Operationally they won’t be able to exchange them since they were found to contain excessive amounts of lead and they will not be ordering more. I believe that could be defined as “fixing” the problem.

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Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Pins Recall Official Announcements