Family Camping

Family participation is a key Scouting ingredient and is encouraged by the Boy Scouts of America. Family camping is designed to give family members ample opportunity to share camping experiences with one another. Family camping experiences can be designed for an adult member of the family and the youth member, or for the entire family.

The increased interest in family camping has doubled the demand for campsites in many state and federal forests. Therefore, the BSA has decided to offer a variety of aids to families interested in camping.


The Boy Scouts of America believes that family camping, in addition to being fun, provides families with an opportunity for quality time together and family life enrichment. This program is seen as a recreational opportunity and is not conducted on a tight time schedule. Family leadership rests in the hands of the adult member(s). This leadership might be relinquished from time to time as the family elects to participate in selected activities, such as swimming, where specific camp policies must be followed to ensure safety and proper operation.

Support Areas

The BSA considers it very important to help Scouting families become better informed and better prepared for family camping. Currently, many local council camps have family camping areas that BSA families can use. Some councils have camping equipment for rent and conduct training in the skills of family camping. There have been many types of programs that involve families in the out-of-doors.

A variety of family camps are now in use. Councils are giving leadership to theme camp programs designed for the entire family or a family adult member and the Scout. Parent-Pal weekends are popular and bring an adult family member and Scout together in a quality outdoor Scouting program. Many local councils allow Cub Scout packs to camp with adult family member participation at council-approved city, county, state, or national parks. The Cub Scout program is the major user of family camping opportunities. Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts want to camp, and the BSA provides the camping opportunities.

Helping the family stay together and do things together as a group is important. Family unit camping is a way the Boy Scouts of America can be helpful in strengthening and enriching family life.

For more information, contact the Cub Scout Division, S208, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

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