The goal of the National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) has always been to ensure safe and quality outdoor programs. The addition of the short-term camp classification, and the subsequent retirement of the family camp classification, will ensure that all our council and district council programs have the support materials and training they need to run top-quality and safe short-term camps.



Effective January 1, 2021 the “Family Camp” NCAP classification was officially retired. In its place, a new term was added to the NCAP vernacular, “Short-Term Camp”. This new camp classification is defined as:


A short-term camp is any council-organized overnight camping program, whether one-time or continuing, that is one, two or three nights in length where the council or its agents provide the staffing and may provide program and food services, and includes camps conducted off council properties. National training courses are subject to the short-term camp requirements, regardless of format or duration.


So, what kind of camps will fall under this new classification? Put simply, all council, district coordinated overnight events that are three nights are less. This includes district camporees, council camporees, Cub Scout/Webelos Family Camps, Order of the Arrow events, training events and more. 


Short-Term camps have a reduced set of NCAP standards to follow and each camp will be required to have a “Short-Term Camp Administrator”. The short-term camp administrator will be trained to coordinate and support the short-term camp.


Short-Term Camp Administrator Job Description: 

Each short-term camp must have a short-term camp administrator.

The Short-Term Camp Administrator is responsible for ensuring that the planned short-term camp complies with the NCAP Short-Term Camp standards. In their capacity, the short-term camp administrator will work closely with the planning committee of the short-term camp. In some cases, this person may also be the event director.

Some of the short-term camp administrator responsibilities include walking the short-term camp location to ensure that it is appropriate for the event; ensuring that paperwork is filed and any written BSA approvals are completed and obtained through the council. They confirm facilities and program are safe and in good order before starting operation; and that appropriate health, safety and sanitation provisions are made. This individual also ensures that all activities at the short-term camp comply with the applicable BSA National Camp Standards and other BSA policies. They should be involved throughout the planning process of the short-term camp to act as a resource for the camp chair or coordinator.

Pre-Qualifications:  The short-term camp administrator must be a registered Scouter who holds either a current NCAP short-term camp administrator certification issued by the BSA or holds a current resident camp director certificate from BSA National Camping School. Refer to NCAP Standard SQ-403.


The following forms and resources are to be used when planning council and district events, programs, and anything that meets the new National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) definition of a short-term camp. Additional resources will be added as they become available.


Purpose:  The purpose of these resources and process is to:


•             Ensure safety for all program participants.

•             Ensure a high quality, brand consistent program for all participants.

•             Increase program participation and attendance.

•             Improve event planning.

•             Improve event marketing and promotion.

•             Limit organization liability.


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