The program areas of our camps are available for use by Scouting units.  These areas may be reserved through our camp reservation system.  The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council requires that all units using our properties follow all BSA National requirements (Guide to Safe Scouting, NCAP guidelines, Safety Afloat, etc) as well as all State and Local requirements.  Below are consolidated requirements for a unit (Pack, Troop, Crew, Post, Ship) to utilize these areas from the above sources.  This only covers unit usage at GTBAC camp properties.  District and Council events may have additional requirements.  Work with the Scouting Professional who is your Staff Advisor to book council camps.

Getting a Program Instructor for a Unit Function

If your unit does not have the qualified instructors to open a program area, your unit has the following options:

  • Have your unit leaders get trained. Find out about upcoming training dates here.
    • Each program area offers training at least once a year.
    • You can get trained at another council (remember to get your card)
  • Contact the appropriate program committee chair and request an instructor.
  • Sign up for a Council Activity Day and let us take care of the scheduling.  You can even camp for the weekend.  See the online calendar for dates.

Aquatics Requirements for a Unit at a GTBAC Council Camp

These requirements are from the Guide to Safe Scouting, Safety Afloat and Safe Swim Defense.  As each of these sources references each other, this compilation is meant to provide an easy reference for unit leaders based upon the facilities available to units at our council camps.  Thus, these requirements are for units on weekend outings at a Greater Tampa Bay Area Council camp only. Additional requirements may apply to other events and for units at other locations.

Please note that the minimum requirement to be considered a trained supervising adult is Aquatics Supervision: Swimming Water Rescue for Swimming and Aquatics Supervision: Paddle Craft Safety for Boating.  While units must follow Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat, those courses do not provide the skills needed to safely supervise a unit aquatics activity at one of our camps. 

Swimming as a Unit at a Council Camp – All Units

All Units

  • All units must adhere to Safe Swim Defense (SSD) at all times.
  • Have at least one trained supervising adult
    • Must be 21+
    • Must be currently trained in one of the following:
      • BSA Lifeguard
      • Aquatics Supervision: Swimming Water Rescue
      • Red Cross or YMCA Lifeguard with Safe Swim Defense training.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to check out the equipment and open the aquatics area.  The ranger has final determination on whether to open a program area or check out equipment.
    • Must stay in the aquatics area while it is occupied.
  • All participants must be given a Swim test within the last 12 months. Ability groups must be used, or all participants must be treated as nonswimmers.
  • A buddy board or other access control mechanism must be used.
  • The buddy system must be used.
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit.

Looks Outs – All Units

Lookouts are required in a ratio of 1 per 10 swimmers with a minimum of 2 in addition to the supervisor.  The lookouts can be BSA Lifeguards, persons holding the Swimming Water Rescue certification, or those trained in SSD.  These can be older youth (15 and up).

Non-motorized Boating as a Unit at a Council Camp

All Units

  • All units must adhere to Safety Afloat (SA) at all times.
  • Have at least one trained supervising adult
    • Must be 21+
    • Currently trained in Paddle Craft Safety.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to check out the equipment and open the aquatics area. The ranger has final determination on whether to open a program area or check out equipment.
    • Must stay in the aquatics area while it is occupied.
  • At least one leader must be trained in First Aid including CPR.
  • All participants must be given a Swim test within the last 12 months
  • Boats can only be used by participants who have classified as a BSA swimmer except as stated in “Participants who are not Swimmers may only boat as follows”.
  • A buddy board or other control mechanism must be used.
  • The buddy system must be used, even with solo boats.
  • Approved Personal Flotation Devices (APFDs) must be worn at all times.
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit.

Scouts BSA, Explorers, Venturers and Sea Scouts

  • The supervising adult must stay with the group at all times. Trained adults or guides (who are current with Safety Afloat and have the skills to maneuver the boats being used) must be at a ratio of 1 per 10 participants.  These can be older youth (15 and up).
  • Boats can only be used by participants who have classified as a BSA swimmer except as stated in “Participants who are not Swimmers may only boat as follows”.

Cub Scouts

  • The supervising adult must stay with the group at all times. Trained adults or guides (who are current with Safety Afloat and have the skills to maneuver the boats being used) must be at a ratio of 1 per 5 participants.  These can be older youth (15 and up).
  • Boats can only be used by participants who have classified as a BSA swimmer except as stated in “Participants who are not Swimmers may only boat as follows”.

Participants who are not Swimmers may only boat as follows:

  • They may row a fixed-seat rowboat or pedal boat with a buddy who is a swimmer.
  • They may ride in a canoe with an adult swimmer skilled in that craft.
  • They may not paddle or ride in solo kayaks or stand up paddle boards.
  • They may ride as a group in a sailboat with an adult swimmer skilled in that craft.

 Units Renting Council Boats

  • Only registered Scouts BSA, Explorers, Venturers, Sea Scouts and their leaders may use Council Boats offsite. All participants using Council Boats must be registered Scouters.
  • Unit agrees to abide by all rules for a council property
  • Unit must provide a float plan to the ranger
  • Unit must provide proof of Swim Tests for all participants to the ranger

Climbing Requirements for a Unit at a GTBAC Council Camp

These requirements are from the Guide to Safe Scouting and Climb On Safely.  As each of these sources references each other, this compilation is meant to provide an easy reference for unit leaders based upon the facilities available to units at our council camps.  Thus, these requirements are for units on weekend outings at a Greater Tampa Bay Area Council camp only. Additional requirements may apply to other events and for units at other locations.

Please note that the Supervising Adult/Climbing Director must be on the Council Approved Climbing Instructor List to be given access to GTBAC facilities.  This demonstrates they know and agree to follow GTBAC procedures and policies.  To request to be added to the Council Approved Climbing Instructor List, please contact the Climbing Committee Chair or the Director of Camping.

Climbing/Rappelling as a Unit at a Council Camp

All Units

  • All units must adhere to Climb On Safely (COS) at all times.
  • Have at least one trained Climbing Director
    • Must be 21+
    • Must be currently trained in one of the following:
      • BSA Level II climbing instructor or NCAP climbing director
      • BSA Level II COPE instructor or NCAP COPE director
      • Instructors trained by professional organizations or their accredited providers as listed in Climb On Safely with Climb On Safely Training.
    • Must be on the Council Approved Climbing Instructor List – this demonstrates they know and agree to follow GTBAC procedures and policies.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to check out the equipment and open the climbing area.  The ranger has final determination on whether to open a program area or check out equipment.
    • Must stay in the climbing area while it is occupied.
    • Equipment will be checked in/out to the instructor only.
  • Additional instructors (min 1) to keep a ratio of 1 per 6 participants.
    Additional Instructors must meet the following:

    • Must be 18+
    • BSA Level I climbing instructor or BSA Level I COPE instructor
    • Must stay in the climbing area while it is in use.
  • At least one leader must be trained in First Aid including CPR.
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit.

Climbing/Rappelling as a Unit at a Council Camp (cont)

Scouts BSA, Explorers, Venturers and Sea Scouts

These Scouts may use the following facilities:

  • High COPE Course including Zipline
  • Low COPE Initiative Games
  • Belay with supervision and backup.
  • Rappel down the Climbing Walls
  • Climb the Climbing Walls
  • Bouldering Wall with Trained Spotter

Webelos Scouts

These Scouts may use the following facilities:

  • Low COPE Initiative Games (age appropriate)
  • Rappel down the Climbing Walls with a trained adult/camp staff belayer
  • Climb the Climbing Walls with a trained adult/camp staff belayer
  • Bouldering Wall with Trained Adult/Camp Staff Spotter

Cub Scouts (Lion – Bear)

These Scouts may use the following facilities:

  • Low COPE Initiative Games (age appropriate)
  • Climb the Climbing Walls with a trained adult/camp staff belayer
  • Bouldering Wall with adult/camp staff spotter

Shooting Requirements for a Unit at a GTBAC Council Camp

These requirements are from the Guide to Safe Scouting and the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual.  As each of these sources references each other, this compilation is meant to provide an easy reference for unit leaders based upon the facilities available to units at our council camps.  Thus, these requirements are for units on weekend outings at a Greater Tampa Bay Area Council camp only. Additional requirements may apply to other events and for units at other locations.

Please note that the Supervising Adult/NRA Certified Instructor must be on the Council Approved Shooting Sports Instructor List to be given access to GTBAC facilities.  This demonstrates they know and agree to follow GTBAC procedures and policies.  To request to be added to the Council Approved Shooting Sports Instructor List, please contact the Shooting Sports Committee Chair or the Director of Camping.

Tomahawk throwing and other activities not listed here are only available during council and district events.  NO PERSONAL FIREARMS MAY BE BROUGHT ONTO ANY GTBAC PROPERTY.

No Cub Scout Shooting Sports as a Unit

The Guide to Safe Scouting states Cub Scout Shooting Sports is available at District and Council Events only and Archery, BB gun shooting, and slingshot shooting are not approved unit activities.  To give your Cub Scouts and opportunity for shooting sports, we are offering Activity Days at all of our camps.  Please check them out here.

Rifle Shooting as a Unit at a Council Camp

All Units (Troops, Crews, Posts, Ships)

  • All units must adhere to the policies in the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual.
  • Have at least one NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
    • Must be 21+
    • Must be a current NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
    • Must be on the Council Approved Shooting Sports Instructor List.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to check out the equipment and open the shooting range.  The ranger has final determination on whether to open a program area or check out equipment.
    • Must stay in the shooting range while it is in use.
    • Equipment/firearms/ammo will be checked in/out to the instructor only.
  • Must have at least one NRA Certified Range Safety Officer to keep a ratio of 1 per 8 participants. (Certified instructor and RSO must be two different people)
    Range Safety Officers must meet the following:

    • Must be 21+
    • Must be a current NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
    • Must stay in the shooting range while it is occupied.
  • Youth must have a signed permission slip to participate
  • All participants and instructors must be currently registered with the BSA
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit.

Shotgun Shooting as a Unit at a Council Camp

All Units (Troops, Crews, Posts, Ships)

  • All units must adhere to the policies in the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual.
  • Have at least one NRA Certified Shotgun Instructor
    • Must be 21+
    • Must be a current NRA Certified Shotgun Instructor
    • Must be on the Council Approved Shooting Sports Instructor List.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to check out the equipment and open the shooting range.  The ranger has final determination on whether to open a program area or check out equipment.
    • Must stay in the shooting range while it is occupied.
    • Equipment/firearms/ammo will be checked in/out to the instructor only.
  • Must have at least one NRA Certified Range Safety Officer to keep a ratio of 1 per 2 participants. (Certified instructor and RSO must be two different people)
    Range Safety Officers must meet the following:

    • Must be 21+
    • Must be a current NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
    • Must stay in the shooting range while it is in use.
  • Youth must have a signed permission slip to participate
  • All participants and instructors must be currently registered with the BSA
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit.

Pistol Shooting as a Unit at a Council Camp

All Units (Crews, Posts, Ships)

  • All units must adhere to the policies in the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual.
  • Have at least one NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
    • Must be 21+
    • Must be a current NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
    • Must be on the Council Approved Shooting Sports Instructor List.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to check out the equipment and open the shooting range.  The ranger has final determination on whether to open a program area or check out equipment.
    • Must stay in the shooting range while it is occupied.
    • Equipment/firearms/ammo will be checked in/out to the instructor only.
  • Must have at least one NRA Certified Range Safety Officer to keep a ratio of 1 per 3 participants. (Certified instructor and RSO must be two different people)
    Range Safety Officers must meet the following:

    • Must be 21+
    • Must be a current NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
    • Must stay in the shooting range while it is in use.
  • Pistol Shooting is NOT available to Scouts BSA Troops
  • Youth must have a signed permission slip to participate
  • All participants and instructors must be currently registered with the BSA
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit.

Archery Shooting as a Unit at a Council Camp

All Units (Troops, Crews, Posts, Ships)

  • All units must adhere to the policies in the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual.
  • Have at least one trained supervising adult
    • Must be 18+
    • Must be currently trained in USA Archery Level 1 or above
    • Must be on the Council Approved Shooting Sports Instructor List – this demonstrates they know and agree to follow GTBAC procedures and policies.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to check out the equipment and open the archery range.  The ranger has final determination on whether to open a program area or check out equipment.
    • Must stay in the archery range while it is occupied.
    • Equipment/firearms/arrows will be checked in/out to the instructor only.
  • Additional instructors as needed to keep a ratio of 1 per 8 participants.
    Additional Instructors must meet the following:

    • Must be 18+
    • Must be currently trained in USA Archery Level 1 or above
    • Must stay in the archery range while it is in use.
  • Two deep leadership must always be followed.
  • All participants and instructors must be currently registered with the BSA
  • Youth must have a signed permission slip to participate
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit.

Kitchen Requirements for a Unit at a GTBAC Council Camp

These requirements are from the NCAP standards for operating a camp and the State of Florida.  These requirements are for units on weekend outings at a Greater Tampa Bay Area Council camp only. Additional requirements may apply to other events and for units at other locations.

Please note that the Kitchen Manager must be on the Council Approved Kitchen Manager List to be given access to GTBAC facilities.  This demonstrates they know and agree to follow GTBAC procedures and policies.  To request to be added to the Council Approved Kitchen Manager List, please contact the Culinary Committee Chair or the Director of Camping.

All Units (Packs,Troops, Crews, Posts, Ships)

  • All units must adhere to Florida Food Hygiene Standards and ServSafe Food Handler principles at all times.
  • Must have at least one Kitchen Manager
    • Must be 21+
    • Must be a currently trained ServSafe Food Service Manager
    • Must be on the Council Approved Kitchen Manager List – this demonstrates they know and agree to follow GTBAC procedures and policies.
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master to open the Kitchen area.  The ranger has final determination on whether to open the kitchen.
    • Must stay in the kitchen and dining hall while they are occupied.
    • Equipment will be checked in/out to the instructor only.
  • Everyone working in the kitchen must meet the following requirements:
    • Must be 14+
    • Must have a current ServSafe Food Handler Certification
    • Must provide their credentials to the ranger or camp master before working in the Kitchen area.
  • Infants and children under 14 years of age are not permitted in food preparation areas. Only authorized individuals, necessary for the operation of the food service establishment, or as part of an organized educational event, are allowed in the food preparation or utensil washing areas.
  • Equipment that is damaged outside of normal wear and tear will result in a replacement fee being assess to the unit
  • Unit must bring all of their own food, spices, etc. and take that food with them when the leave.
  • Each kitchen has food and staples in the kitchens for use during council events.  Unit agrees to not use other food or staples in the kitchen.

If the kitchen is not cleaned according to the minimum standards after usage, the unit will be charged a minimum of a $250 cleaning fee.

Utilizing Instructors from the Council Approved Instructor List

The agreement for an instructor to work with a unit is between the instructor and the unit.  The Council is not responsible if the instructor fails to arrive on the day of the event.  We recommend confirming with the instructor before booking a program area and to confirm again the week of the event.

To help offset the cost of training, additional equipment and gas, instructors may choose to request payment for their time.  The maximum daily charge is $75/day as an instructor or $100/day as a director (Current Camp School Certificate).  Instructors must be current registered Scouters and hold all required certifications.   All payments must be processed through the council office.  The process for instructors receiving payment at a GTBAC camp is as follows:

  • The instructor must email the unit leader a confirmation with the date, GTBAC camp, time and requested fee.
  • The unit leader must reply to the email confirming the information. This must be via email or a written approval.
  • The unit leader and instructor will sign the GTBAC Unit Instructor Agreement when the program area is opened. The instructor will turn this electronically into the council office.
  • The reservation contact will be contacted by the council office to take payment.

How to Get on the Council Approved Instructor List

Please contact the Council Director of Camping or the chair of the appropriate committee.  You will need to provide a copy of your certification for the council records.  The training of GTBAC procedures varies by each committee and will require one of the committee members to observe the first time you open a program area.

If you take the training through GTBAC the instructor will let you know if you are on the approved list upon successful completion of the training or will give you the instructions on what is needed to be placed on that list.

Program Committee Chairs

Use these contacts to get on the council approved instructor list or to request an instructor for your unit.

Aquatics
Bill Bode

Climbing
Matt Dunbar

Shooting Sports
Bob Fowler

Culinary
Valerie Corwith

Camping Chair
Jay Sheridan

Staff Advisor
Jason Borton

Have questions or feedback about this page? Last updated August 21, 2020

Please contact the page author with your feedback:

Jason Borton

Director of Camping and Scoutreach

Email | 813-624-9764