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The Cub Scout Outdoor Program


Camping at the Cub Scout level introduces boys to the outdoors and helps them develop outdoor skills at an age-appropriate level that will be applied more thoroughly as a Boy Scout. As Cub Scouts progress, the opportunities for outdoor adventures become more challenging.

Cub Scout Day Camp

Day camp is organized by the council and is a one- to five-day program for Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts. It is conducted under certified leadership at an approved site and during daylight or early evening hours. Day camp does not include any overnight activities. Certification of the day camp director and program director is provided through the National Camping School.

Day camp programs are theme-based and usually include nature, sports, aquatics, and crafts. Den and pack leaders often make up the nucleus of the day camp staff. 

Cub Scout Resident Camp

Cub Scout/Webelos Scout resident camp is a council-organized, theme-oriented overnight program that runs from two to five nights. It is conducted under a certified National Camping School-trained director at a camp approved by the council. A parent or guardian should accompany each Cub Scout/Webelos Scout; note that Tiger Cubs are not eligible to attend resident camp. The camp must have a dining facility.

Resident camp typically includes, but is not limited to, outdoor program areas such as nature, camping skills, fitness, aquatics, and sports. Each year, an overall theme is selected to offer different adventures.

Family Camp and Pack Overnighters

Cub Scout family camping falls into two categories: council-organized family camps and pack overnighters. 

  • Council-organized family camps are overnight events involving more than one pack, with the local council providing all of the elements to enhance the outdoor experience such as staffing, food service, housing, and program. These are often referred to as parent-pal or adventure weekends. Family camps should be conducted by trained leaders at sites approved by the local council. Youth should be under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult. Council-organized family camps must be conducted in accordance with the National Standards for Council-Organized Family Camps, No. 430-408.

  • Pack overnighters are events involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities and conducted at council-approved locations. If siblings participate, the event must be structured accordingly to accommodate them. Adults giving leadership to a pack overnighter must complete Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO, No. 34162) and be present during the campout. BALOO trains participants to properly understand the importance of program intent, Youth Protection policies,  health and safety, site selection, and sufficient adult participation. Packs must use the tour plan, No. 680-014.

Webelos Den Overnight Camping

Webelos Scout overnighters introduce a boy and his parent to the basics of the Boy Scout camping program. These campouts are conducted under the leadership of a trained Webelos den leader and include two to six nights of camping.  

Webelos dens are encouraged to have several overnight campouts each year. These campouts should be parent-son events, under the direction of the Webelos den leader. At the den overnight campouts, the Webelos den leader may be assisted by the assistant Webelos den leader and the Webelos den chief. Webelos den leaders should have completed Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders prior to leading an overnight campout. 

Webelos Scout dens are encouraged to visit Boy Scout camporees and Klondike derbies. The purpose of this visit should be for the boys to look ahead with anticipation to their future as Boy Scouts. Webelos dens should not compete in activities designed for Boy Scouts and should not spend the night at events that are Boy Scout-based.  

Excursions and Field Trips

Outings are a big part of Scouting. Cub Scouts get out and about with many kinds of outdoor fun, such as field trips, hikes, nature and conservation activities, and outdoor games.

Field Trips

Do you like to visit museums, businesses, parks, and other fun and interesting places? Here are some field trips you might go on.

  • How Things Are Made—Visit manufacturing plants such as aircraft, automotive, appliance, or electronic firms; chemical, paper, plastic, paint, furniture, or toy plants; and handicrafts or other small-craft industries.
  • How Your City Runs—Visit power, water, and sewage plants; a gas company; police and fire stations; city hall; municipal buildings; the county jail; a telephone company; the post office; the Red Cross; hospitals; newspaper plants; and radio, television, and weather stations.
  • How Your City Is Fed—Visit farms, flour mills, and bakeries; food canning or bottling plants; stockyards and meat or poultry packing houses; a fish hatchery; beverage, candy, and ice-cream companies; markets; and food distributors.
  • Learn About Your Heritage—Visit art galleries, museums, and memorials; famous old homes, monuments, and other historic sites; places of worship; civic centers; important local buildings; summer theaters and band concerts; and local historical celebrations.

Field trips often tie in with the Core Values or activity badges.


A hike is a journey on foot—usually with a purpose, a route, and a destination. Tiger Cub and Cub Scout dens take short hikes, and Webelos dens work on activity badges during their hikes.

Here are some different types of hikes your den may take:

  • Homes Hike—Look for spider webs, nests, holes, and other homes in nature. Make a list.
  • Stop, Look, and Listen Hike—Hike for a certain length of time or for a certain number of steps. Then stop and write down all that you see and hear. Make several stops.
  • Puddle Hike—Hike in a gentle rain or just after a rain, wearing your rain gear. See how animals and insects take cover from the weather.
  • Penny Hike—Flip a coin to see which direction you will go. Flip the coin at each intersection or fork in the road or trail.
  • Color Hike—Look for objects of a certain color. Make a list.
  • Historical Hike—Hike to an historical spot. Know the history before you go.
  • City Hike—Look for little bits of nature between cracks in the sidewalk. Look at the buildings for architectural details (carvings, cornices, etc.). Your den leader will help you spot these. Look for nature in a vacant lot. Even one overturned rock can uncover surprises.

Games and Sports

Outdoor games and sports teach you the skills of good sportsmanship—following the rules, taking turns and sharing, getting along with others, and fair play. Every Cub Scout can have the chance to learn the basic skills of a sport or game. Playing and doing your best and having fun are more important than winning!


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