Fall is nearly hear and our camps are waiting for you Pack Families. Tell a Cub Scout he can spend part of a weekend in the woods, and he probably has many visions: a campfire, “s’mores,” sleeping in a tent, cooking breakfast, and maybe hiking or fishing.
What do these things have in common? Sure, they are all fun, but they are all related to advancement requirements, too, because Cub Scout pack family overnight camping can and should be fun with a purpose.
There are several types of Cub Scout camping:
Webelos Den Overnight Campouts
Webelos dens go on overnight campouts. Each Webelos Scout camps with his parent or guardian. The campers learn the basics of Boy Scout camping, under the direction of the Webelos den leader. Sometimes, leaders from a Boy Scout troop may join you.
Webelos dens may also have joint overnight campouts with a Boy Scout troop. Each Webelos Scout has a parent or guardian with him on these joint campouts, too.
Council/District-Organized Family Camps
Family camps are overnight camps for more than one Cub Scout pack. You may hear these events called “parent-pal weekends” or “adventure weekends.” Each Cub Scout and Webelos Scout camps with a parent or guardian. Some districts in the Council offer these camps too.
Packs on their own can hold overnight campouts for the families in the pack. Cub Scouts’ brothers and sisters can go on these pack overnighters. Each Scout will camp with a parent or guardian. Every young camper is responsible to a specific adult.
In each type of camping, these overnighters must focus on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities and be conducted at council-approved locations. If siblings participate, the event must be structured accordingly to accommodate them.
What does a pack need besides marshmallows to conduct an overnighter?
For starters, at least one person who attends, and helps plan and conduct the event must complete Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation training (BALOO, No. 34162). This day-long district or council course covers planning, health and safety, outdoor skills, campfires, resources, and program. In addition, at least one adult attending must have completed Planning and Preparing for Hazardous Weather training, which is found online at MyScouting.org.
A quick scan of the four Cub Scout youth handbooks and the Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program Guide will provide planners and leaders with dozens of campout activities that have advancement links for each rank. Although Tiger Cubs and Webelos Scouts have different requirements, planners should look for activities that are similar or “progressive.” For example, Tiger Cubs might fulfill “Take a hike with your den,” achievement 5G, while the Webelos Scouts may complete “Discuss with your Webelos den leader the things you need to take on a hike,” Outdoorsman 9, before joining the Tiger Cub on his hike. Similar “threads” can be found with nature, cooking, fitness, games, outdoor activities, and even crafts, but working on an academics or sports subject can be done by all levels of Cub Scouts.
Cub Scouts and Webelos love the outdoors, so don’t forget fall hikes and day camps. Remember the outing in ScOUTING is three fourths of what a boy expects from the program and its a great place to help them advance.
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA