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By Utah National Parks Council
Oct 17, 2013

29 Rules You Must Know and Obey at Scout Camp

(This article was posted in error. See, “29 Rules of Camping Post-“Psych”: I Know, You Know, That I’m Not Telling the Truth” for a correction on the article. These rules do not reflect the rules of the Utah National Parks Council.)

Planning on attending a Scout Camp next year? Here are 29 rules that you need to know.

1. No sheath knives

2. No knives may be used by Scouts unless they have earned the Totin’ Chip card, which they must have with them. Folding or multipurpose knives must be lockable.

3. No axes or saws may be used by Scouts unless they have earned the Totin’Chip card. They must have the card with them. These tools must be used under adult supervision at all times and in an ax yard. scouts must have permission from the Scoutmaster before they use any woods tool.

4. No rock throwing of any kind.

5. No firearms or ammunition.

6. No fireworks of any kind.

7. No drugs or alcoholic beverages.

8. No smoking: Scouts are prohibited and parents are asked to do it out of sight of the Scouts.

9. No one may leave the campsite without the permission of the Scoutmaster.

10. Excessive noise is not permitted.

11. No aerosol cans are permitted.

12. No gadgets are to be constructed without the permission of the Scoutmaster.

13. No scandals or clogs; hiking boots must be worn at all times.

14. Tents are for sleeping only.

15. No urinating in or around the campsite! That is what the outhouse is for!

16. No radios, televisions, video games, cellphones, schoolbooks, or PDAs are permitted, except for adults.

17. No food or drinks are permitted outside of mealtimes, except those purchased at the camp trading post.

18. Scouts must stay out of other troops’ campsites.

19. Scouts are not permitted to enter program areas unless supervised by a staff member.

20. Scouts will use the buddy system for all activities at camp.

21. Running is not permitted.

22. Tree climbing is not permitted.

23. Scouts will move from activity to activity quietly and in a single-file line.

24. Campfires are allowed only when the Scouts have earned the Firem’n Chit card and must have the card with them. Adults leader permission must be secured before starting a fire. The fire must be confined to the established fire ring and under adult supervision at all times.

25. Playing cards are not permitted.

26. Playing in water is not permitted.

27. The cutting of live trees is not permitted – any fallen wood found on the ground may be gathered for campfires and cookouts with the permission of the Scoutmaster.

28. Scouts cannot sleep in tents with adults, even with their parents or guardians.

29. Two-deep leadership is required at all times and during all activities with the youth.

Following these rules will help you to get the most out of Scout camp. For more information see the Council’s website.

 

Author: Bob Gowans | Camp Director, Utah National Parks Council

 

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11 thoughts on “29 Rules You Must Know and Obey at Scout Camp

  1. Scoutmaster J

    #13… I think you mean “sandals”, not scandals (although you don’t want those either)
    #16… I wish that rule applied to adults as well. My favorite camp locations are those where there’s no cell service and 100% focus on what we’re doing as a troop.

    Reply
  2. Bob

    My older brother is an Eagle scout. My younger brother is an Eagle scout. I’m an Eagle scout. Our Boy Scout masters had 3 rules: 1) Don’t Die 2) Don’t kill each other 3) Have fun!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. David

    As a society I agree that we need rules to live by. I am a bit concerned with the “list of 29 rules” in this post of going a bit overboard and including absolutes that I’m not sure were intended. However, as listed here as a rule, would make for some sad times at camp. How many could we remove if we as Scouts just lived the Oath & Law of Scouting? If the program of Totin’ Chip & Firem’n Chit were followed and common sense were used everyone would have an enjoyable camp.

    #1, 2, 3 & 27 Can rules 1, 2, 3, & (27 live trees) just be covered by stating “Totin’ Chip rules will be enforced? Will this also mean that the Scoutcraft program area will now be staffed by an adult to supervise?
    #4 So, as a leader I cannot go to waterfront and teach my new Scouts how to skip a rock or have rock skipping contests?
    #5 I’m hoping you mean (but not stated) personal not camp firearms & ammunition.
    #9 What is the role of the SPL? He can do this.
    #10 Does this also cover morning flag area yell contests from area to area at Maple Dell? What about camp wide assemblies that are lead by the camp staff in “spirit” contests?
    #11 No Pam cooking spray permitted?
    #12 Shouldn’t the SPL handle this?
    #13 How about closed-toe shoes? If hiking boots “must be worn at all times” does this also apply to waterfront, showering sandals, climbing wall and horseback riding? If a boy or adult does not have hiking boots will they be asked to leave camp?
    #14 Does this mean that if an afternoon rain/hail storm happens and we take shelter in our tents we must go to sleep or because tents are for sleeping only we cannot take shelter there? What about changing clothes?
    #16 Scouts earning the Weather MB would then not be able to consult a weather band radio or Scouts are not to use the GPS app on their phone for Geocaching MB?
    #17 Staying hydrated in the hot summer or consuming calories after a cold session in waterfront must be done with drinks or food purchased at the trading post? Being prepared and taking food & drink from camp would not be allowed because it is “outside of mealtime”? Evening marshmallow roasts are now banned unless purchased at the trading post? It’s outside of “mealtime”.
    #18 So Scouts can only be in their campsite? What about “A Scout is Friendly”, can a Scout not visit a Scout from another troop?
    #21 If “running is not permitted”, when my troop challenges another troop to a game of ultimate Frisbee or capture the flag, we are to walk? When competing in the John Colter run or other camp wide games we are only allowed to walk? As stated “running is not permitted”.
    #22 And this will also apply to staff at Maple Dell during the “Staff Hunt” camp wide games?
    #24 Only need Firem’n Chit regulations and SPL here.
    #26 Waterfront free time is not to allow playing? What about the “Iceberg” at Frandsen Scout Ranch, is that not allowed to be played on? Does this end the epic “Battle of Maple Dell” because it is “playing”? We as a troop can no longer during open time play in waterfront?
    #27 Point 5 in Totin’ Chip states “Respect property. Cut living and dead trees only with permission and good reason.” If permission or a good reason is obtained I’d vote to follow National guidelines.
    #28 Please note BSA Guide to Safe Scouting states: “Separate accommodations for adults and Scouts required. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his or her own parent or guardian.” Why is UNPC instituting guidelines that do not follow National?

    As I stated, I understand that we as a society need rules. However, I feel that some here, with their wording, will have unintentional results and might need to be thought through a bit more.

    Reply
  4. Shawn E.

    I have some clarifications needed:

    1. No sheath knives
    Q: What if our patrol box has kitchen knives which have sheaths for blade protection and safety?
    2. No knives may be used by Scouts unless they have earned the Totin’ Chip card, which they must have with them. Folding or multipurpose knives must be lockable.
    Q: So our boys can bring folding machetes, and long bladed knives, so long as they are foldable? I thought knives had other restrictions in the GTSS?
    3. No axes or saws may be used by Scouts unless they have earned the Totin’Chip card. They must have the card with them. These tools must be used under adult supervision at all times and in an ax yard. scouts must have permission from the Scoutmaster before they use any woods tool.
    Q: Must the permission come from the scoutmaster, or can it come from the real leader of the troop, the Senior Patrol Leader?
    4. No rock throwing of any kind.
    Q: Does this include when we do our service project at camp when we heave/throw rocks to clear areas as the staff directs?
    5. No firearms or ammunition.
    Q: Does this mean brought into the campsite, or even on the property. I have a concealed permit, and I always have a firearm in my vehicle, which would be at camp, but in the parking lot, and of course the firearm is locked and secured.
    6. No fireworks or any kind.
    7. No drugs or alcoholic beverages.
    Q: Does drugs include medications? I haven’t seen a rule about medications, so this is a concern.
    8. No smoking: Scouts are prohibited and parents are asked to do it out of sight of the Scouts.
    Q: What does out of sight of the scouts really mean? Is there designated locations, or is in our tents where the scouts can’t see – ok? What about the electronic cigarettes? No smoke from them!
    9. No one may leave the campsite without the permission of the Scoutmaster.
    Q: What if the scoutmaster is not there? Does this apply to adults as well?
    10. Excessive noise is not permitted.
    Q: Is repeating our patrol yells now not permitted?
    11. No aerosol cans are permitted.
    Q: Please define aerosol. Any container that makes a mist application is an aerosol. What types are you trying to regulate? This could cause some kinks in our plans for bug dope, sunscreen, etc.
    12. No gadgets are to be constructed without the permission of the Scoutmaster.
    Q: If I have already signed the blue card for basketweaving, do I have to give secondary permission for the boy to make a chair seat (ie a gadget)
    13. No scandals or clogs; hiking boots must be worn at all times.
    Q: Not every boy in the unit owns hiking boots, but they all have durable closed toe shoes, such as tennis shoes etc. Can these also be worn?
    14. Tents are for sleeping only.
    Q: If a boy needs to change clothes, keep out of the rain, or do work on a merit badge – it cannot be done in the tent?
    15. No urinating in or around the campsite! That is what the outhouse is for!
    Q: Our unit allows boys to have a bottle for night – the same method used by serious outdoorsmen. Of course urine properly disposed in the outhouse in the morning. Is this still ok?
    16. No radios, televisions, video games, cellphones, schoolbooks, or PDAs are permitted, except for adults.
    Q: Most of our youth have smartphones or tablets which have their GPS, Camera, and ability to write homework for their merit badges. Since you have relied on the scoutmaster to give permission on everything else, can our SM override this rule and allow these items? Our YM would not have their cameras etc and cannot afford to buy a separate device!
    17. No food or drinks are permitted outside of mealtimes, except those purchased at the camp trading post.
    Q: We practice good scouting, and have every boy carry the scout essentials, even in camp. This includes carrying their own gorp or granola, and also water with Gatorade mix to add if needed. Are you saying that we cannot “Be Prepared” and come to camp to meet the needs of the troop? The Patrol Leader’s Council has always found value in these items on all our outings. Please specify what you mean and intent of this rule
    18. Scouts must stay out of other troops’ campsites.
    Q: We come to camp at the same time as other troops intentionally for fellowship & scouting brotherhood. Is this now prohibited?
    19. Scouts are not permitted to enter program areas unless supervised by a staff member.
    Q: If the flag is up, or the sign says open – do we wait until a staff escorts us in, or just assume?
    20. Scouts will use the buddy system for all activities at camp.
    21. Running is not permitted.
    Q: What about the camp-wide games?
    22. Tree climbing is not permitted.
    23. Scouts will move from activity to activity quietly and in a single-file line.
    Q: So no more chants as we go to/from events as a troop or patrol?
    24. Campfires are allowed only when the Scouts have earned the Firem’n Chit card and must have the card with them. Adults leader permission must be secured before starting a fire. The fire must be confined to the established fire ring and under adult supervision at all times.
    Q: If a boy has not yet earned the FnC, can they still attend or enjoy the campfire?
    25. Playing cards are not permitted.
    Q: What does this mean? We always have Rook, and Uno cards, and other cards for rainy days, and quiet time. These now prohibited?
    26. Playing in water is not permitted.
    Q: So what are our non-swimmers to do at the waterfront?
    27. The cutting of live trees is not permitted – any fallen wood found on the ground may be gathered for campfires and cookouts with the permission of the Scoutmaster.
    Q: where is the demarcation of what would we can gather, before its considered in another campsite. We don’t want to break rule 18 without knowing – while gathering firewood?
    28. Scouts cannot sleep in tents with adults, even with their parents or guardians.
    Q: Our bishop comes to camp and plans to sleep in the same tent with his sons on the last evening of camp. What should I tell him?
    29. Two-deep leadership is required at all times and during all activities with the youth.
    Q: Does this mean 2 Deep from our own unit, or can I be at a location and have another adult there from staff, another unit, or a visitor, and still be compliant? I only ask, because the absurdity of the other rules makes it important that I get this clarified now!

    Reply
  5. Scott Flinders

    I know you’re trying to look after the safety and well-being of the scouts and protect the council from lawsuits, but this is going too far. Please reconsider before you have a massive revolt. It is ridiculous restrictions like this that drives good people away from scouting and gives it a bad reputation.

    Reply
  6. Concerned Leader CP

    Dear whoever wrote these rules,

    After reading your rules, and pondering various comments I could make (asking whether you’ve ever been to a camp, why no running at all, why walking single file, precluding any discussions, etc.), I think it comes down to two questions:

    1. Do you not trust your staff at all to be able to see unsafe behavior and deal with it? A lot of these rules appear to come from a desire for safety (no running, no rock throwing, no playing at the waterfront, etc.), but isn’t there a difference between throwing rocks where they might hit someone and skipping rocks on the water?
    2. Do you not trust the adult leaders and the youth leaders to do any supervising, to help maintain order at the camp? If this was a camp where parents dropped their kids off with no adults, I could maybe understand all these rules. But where BSA rules require at least 2 adults, and troops typically bring more, can’t they help shoulder some of the burden, and isn’t that their job? I recognize that there are leaders who have more a relaxed understanding of supervision required, and some leaders who completely allow their boys to do whatever they want. But aren’t they the exception? And can’t those troops and leaders be dealt with on a case by case basis?

    From a former Scoutmaster and current Crew Advisor, I think that these rules, if enforced, will (a) discourage lots of people from wanting to attend UNPC camps, and (b) take a lot of the fun out of the camps for those who do choose to attend.

    Safety is important, but at the expense of all fun? I doubt the folks at National would agree with that.

    Thanks for your time.

    Concerned Leader CP

    Reply
  7. G Kearney

    This strikes me as setting up your scouts to fail. Way too many rule for even adults to remember let alone your typical 12-year-old. Do you seriously expect youth of that age to walk single file in quiet lines from one actively to another? To not run? To not play in water, climb trees, and so on?

    Why not just one rule “No fun will be permitted at camp” and be done with it.

    Reply
  8. Bob Gowans

    Please note that these rules did not come from nor were they authored by me as the Camping Director of the Utah National Parks Council. They are not the rules followed in our Camps.

    This appears to have been posted in error after someone’s idea of a good joke.

    We are dedicated to providing quality programs in a safe environment. Certainly not every risk can be taken out of camp (or life for that matter) we follow the guidelines in the “Guide to Safe Scouting” and the National Standards for Camps Sponsored by local councils in the Boy Scouts of America.

    Thank you for your understanding and continued commitment to Scouting
    Bob Gowans

    Reply
  9. David

    “This appears to have been posted in error after someone’s idea of a good joke. ”
    Talk about the fastest way to lose any credibility of this blog! The post is by: “By Utah National Parks Council
    Oct 17, 2013″ with the “Author: Bob Gowans | Camp Director, Utah National Parks Council” If this really is “someone’s idea of a good joke” why has it taken so long for that to come to light? This “joke” needs to be addressed so we know what is and is not valid information on this site!

    Reply
    1. Melany GardnerMelany Gardner

      Jenn,

      Thank you for your comment on our blog. We love to hear feedback from the community. We do try to proofread our blog, but I admit we do not have perfect proofreaders and miss a lot more then we’d like. If you have found some errors that you’d like us to fix, we’d be grateful for the input. Then, we can make the change. Please let us know how else we can help!

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