The Arrow of Light Scouting adventure is an important step to preparing your Arrow of Light Scouts to transition into a Scouts BSA troop. Part of this adventure provides them the opportunity to “participate in a troop’s campout or other outdoor activity and use the patrol method while on the outing.”
As with all Scouting activities, this participation must follow the policies of the Boy Scouts of America as outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting. Here are a few helpful tips when preparing for your next campout:
- It is not required for the Scouts to camp overnight. The troop event could be a campout or other outdoor activity such as an age-appropriate hike or other outdoor event. That is a decision the Arrow of Light den, the den leadership, and the Scouts BSA troop they are working with should make in collaboration. If the troop and pack do not share the same charter partner, the troop and pack/AOL den must receive permission from the council to hold the join activity.
- If the outdoor event is an overnight campout and the Arrow of Light Scouts are staying overnight, the Arrow of Light den must camp according to the specific camping guidance for Cub Scout found in the Guide to Safe Scouting. This includes:
1.) The den must have a BALOO trained adult leader in attendance.
2.) Webelos and Arrow of Light Den Camping: Each Scout should attend with their parent(s) or guardian(s). A Webelos or Arrow of Light Scout whose parent or legal guardian cannot attend a den overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of at least two registered leaders. The leaders and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all Youth Protection policies apply. Reminder, a Scout cannot share a tent with any adult other than their parent or guardian.
3.) Cub Scout youth may tent with a parent or guardian as outlined in Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse.
- Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse outline registration requirements for adults. AOL dens must have registered two deep leadership in attendance at the overnight event. Additional parents/legal guardians who also attend with their own child/legal ward may qualify for the registration exception indicated in Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse so please review to determine applicability.
- What does it mean to “use the patrol method while on the outing”? First, engage the youth leadership of the troop you are collaborating with to find ways they can help the Arrow of Light Scouts in attendance see and experience the patrol method. There are many wonderful ways to use and see the patrol method during this event! Examples could include:
1.) Assign a member of the Arrow of Light den to serve as the “patrol leader” of their “Arrow of Light” patrol during the event.
2.) Provide the Arrow of Light den the opportunity to divide up chores or other necessary tasks to enable them to work together as a group to meet their group’s goals.
3.) Showcase the patrol method through the Scouts BSA patrols in attendance at the event/activity so the Arrow of Light Scouts can see the value and fun that comes from participating in a patrol.
- Regardless of the activity, verify that your planned Arrow of Light “Scouting Adventure” aligns with the policies in the Guide to Safe Scouting, including whether the planned activities are approved for an Arrow of Light Scout to participate in. Check out the Age Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities for a reference.
- Finally the “SAFE Checklist” is a helpful tool for your Arrow of Light den leaders and Scouts BSA troop youth leaders and adults to review and use as they plan for a successful event.
For more on the BSA's safety policies and more, visit our Scouting Safely website.