Mountaineer -- First Year Camper Program


The Mountaineer Program is designed for those Scouts BSA who have either just crossed over from Webelos or have limited camping experience. As new rank requirements are adopted, the Mountaineer Program is constantly under review and revision to meet those changing requirements.. Basic Scouts BSA skills for the inexperienced Scouts BSA form the basis of the program. The program focuses on obtaining Tenderfoot through First Class rank advancement requirements. 

Mountaineer is a two-hour program held every morning all week. There are two sessions every day. The remainder of the day, Scouts BSA can work on merit badges that may interest them, or participate in Troop activity periods.

Scouts BSA are instructed in the following skill areas: woods tools, meal preparation and cooking, pioneering, knots, orienteering, nature, first aid, and outdoor citizenship. Additional skills are also offered focusing on Tenderfoot through First Class advancement requirements. In addition, Scouts BSA can participate in a five mile hike, on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evenings.

Mountaineer Packing List

In addition to the items on the basic camp packing list, Scouts participating in Mountaineer should bring:

  • Scouts BSA Handbook
  • Notebook
  • Water Bottle
  • Compass (if you have one)
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Pocketknife
  • Day Pack
  • Rain Gear
  • Snacks
  • Flashlight
  • Personal items such as a first aid kit or insect repellent

Mountaineer T-Shirt and Patches

All Mountaineer participants will receive a “Mountaineer” t-shirt and a special patch to commemorate their week at camp. This t-shirt and patch are given out to those Scouts BSA completing the program during Mountaineer Graduation on Friday.

Mountaineer Adult Leader Participation

Since the Scouts participating in the Mountaineer Program are new, it is required that each unit assign one or more adults to actively work with their Scouts BSA in this program.  This includes observation, assistance with safety, discipline and active participation in the five-mile hike and orienteering course.  This is an excellent opportunity for adult leaders to become acquainted with their new Scouts BSA and forge a bond with them that will last throughout the Scouts BSA career and life.

2019 Requirements Covered

The following is a list of BSA Advancement Requirements that was covered in most Mountaineer sessions. Actual requirement completion may vary based on weather and other factors.


  • 4a, 4b – Knots
  • 5 – Pocketknife


  • 2a, 2b, 2c – Cooking
  • 3a, 3b, 3c –Knots
  • 3d – Knife, saw and ax
  • 4a, 4c – First Aid and prevention
  • 4b – Poisonous plants
  • 5a, 5b, 5c – Hiking
  • 7a – Citizenship
  • 8 – EDGE method

Second Class

  • 1b – Leave No Trace
  • 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d – Cooking and Fire
  • 2f, 2g - Knots
  • 3a, 3c, 3d – Compass
  • 6 - First aid
  • 8a, 8b - Citizenship

First Class

  • 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d – Knots and lashing
  • 5a – Nature
  • 5b, 5c, 5d – Weather

Additional Skills

  • Totin’ Chip and Firem’n Chit

Covered in the optional evening hike

  • Second Class - 3b - 5 mile hike

Covered during swim check on Sunday

  • Second Class – 5b - swimming
  • First Class - 6a - swimming

Covered during Swimming Merit Badge (Scouts BSA must register separately)

  • Second Class – 5a, 5c, 5d - swimming
  • First Class – 6e - Swimming

Covered on your own, using the orienteering course (open to any youth)

  • First Class – 4a – 1 mile orienteering course