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Outdoor Skills PDF Print E-mail


Our Scouts develop true proficiency in outdoor skills

Outdoor skills serve our Scouts not only while camping, but in all aspects of their lives

Scouts are more self-sufficient and have more FUN when they are truly proficient in outdoor skills


In the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA, outdoor skills are a natural part of our Scout Programs. However, our unique perspective on the development of outdoor skills distinguishes our Scout Programs.two girls hiking


True Proficiency


In many different organizations, there may be one individual who can tie 50 different kinds of knots, and another who can tie none. In our Scout Programs, we have universal skill targets. Because of this, we instill true proficiency in outdoor skills that exceed other outdoor skill programs.


True proficiency in outdoor skills has many benefits. When our Scouts have confidence, they feel more secure in the outdoors. They know they have the skills necessary in case of an emergency. Likewise, we want our Scouts to have all the necessary information, not just our Counselors, so our Scouts are more self-sufficient and safer.


We have high standards of safety, but things do happen in life such as losing one’s compass. The ancient Mariners sailed great distances using the North Star, and while our Scouts may never sail the seven seas, they are safer and happier when they too can navigate without a compass.

A proficient Scout can make everyone in the group, including other Scouts, friends, and family, feel more confident in the outdoors. As they can become more proficient, they can teach the skill to siblings and even parents.


True Proficiency is the difference that allows our Scouts to go backpacking in the wilderness boy discovering streamor navigate by the stars. Many programs take youth into the woods and go camping. True proficiency is something else altogether. Our Scouts acquire the knowledge of the difference between backpacking, lightweight backpacking, and ultra lightweight backpacking. Our Scouts can navigate by a compass, but also by the stars. Our Scouts may or may not want to hike across uncharted wildness, but we make that possible if they want to, since they develop the skills.


Proficiency Takes Practice


We evaluate our Scouts’ efforts based upon performance-based demonstrations, evaluated by their fellow Scouts. This permits an accurate demonstration of a Scout’s ability and is combined with an appreciation for whether the Scout has given their best.

Our Scouts evaluate the performance because they understand exactly what it takes to accomplish a certain task from doing it themselves. Once a Challenge has been earned, our Scouts continue to demonstrate they are “proficient”.


We consider it desirable each of our Scouts experience forward and occasional backward momentum, throughout their participation in the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA. This enables each Scouts to better appreciate the value of their efforts and ensures true proficiency in skills previously successfully demonstrated. An example of when a Scout might experience occasional backward momentum is when reevaluated, the Scout cannot again demonstrate true proficiency in first aid skill. They will have the opportunity to again demonstrate whether they have the necessary level of skill. They are given three opportunities to successfully demonstrate their ability, and if they cannot, they give the back their card saying they are proficient in the skill, and then have a chance to earn it again.


All of our Scouts occasionally experience backward progress, removing any stigma against those who may forget skills. As a consequence, each of our Scouts experience individual progress and appreciate the values of perseverance and effort.


The Great Outdoors


The world youth grow up in today gives them pl enty of opportunities to fine-tune their minds and reflexes with video games, but very little time to get out into the actual world to participate themselves.




girl painting in the woods




Developing outdoor skills contributes to the development of “whole people”, who become self-sufficient members of society. We encourage exercise of the mind and body, as well as an appreciation of the outdoors.


There is an enormous difference between watching someone do something on TV, and having the true proficiency to do it yourself. True proficiency in outdoor skills builds confidence, self-esteem, pride, and respect.




As in all aspect of the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA, we are fully nondiscriminatory in our development of outdoor skills. Some Scouts may be unable to run and others may not like to do so. If our Scouts need extra resources or equipment to participate, those resources will be sought. There is always a way for all our Scouts to participate, and as in all areas of our Scout Programs, we make it work so every Scout can develop confidence and increased proficiency.

We view our Scouts as whole people and provide them challenging activities purposely intended to appear straight forward, although they are not. The ability to anticipate and react, by combining previously acquired information and skills with new unrelated ideas, will allow those with this capability to achieve lifelong more than others. Consequently, our Scout Programs encourage the development of this ability.
Adventure Scouts USA