Shooting Sports for Scouters

Welcome to the Ten Ring short course on BSA Shooting Sports. Many people have prepared materials in an attempt to explain and simplify the rules and programs of the BSA. Sometimes these are incomplete or just wrong. This resource will provide you with access and links to official BSA information so that you can educate and prepare yourself with authoritative, timely and correct information for your Scouting plans. Every attempt has been made to provide the correct information. Please do check these references and others you may encounter. These references are updated periodically. Your interpretation of the literature may differ. Please see the section on “For More Information” for resolution authorities.

Remember that the information pertains to the described situation only. The situation is comprised of several major subdivisions that are impacted, sometimes separately, by “the rules”. Unit activities run by Volunteer Scouters follow the Guide to Safe Scouting. Resident Camps follow the annual camp specific Camp Standards. Council and District program requirements may be addressed in parts of the other referenced documents. Note that Volunteers may be on staff at Resident Camps and Council and District programs. Professional Scouters may participate at the Unit level as volunteers.

If your questions are Cub Scout related, go to the Cub Scout resource or Cub Scout section of these resources. And do the same for Boy Scouts and Venture questions.

We have two sections: The BSA Information and Local Information. Lets get started.
BSA Information
Volunteers warmly welcomed the new National Shooting Sports Manual. It organized available information and provided new details and clarity. This document was prepared with the aid of the National Shooting Sports Task Force and the 2011 version is the most current at this time. The BSA National Shooting Sports Committee and National Shooting Sports Task Force are quite active.
2011-2012 BSA Shooting Sports Documents
Recently the Task Force shared 2011-2012 BSA Shooting Sports Documents. These documents provided sources for everything you need to know about the shooting sports in the BSA. These sources with web links include:

2011 National Shooting Sports Manual
Quote “For year round and summer camp program use. Range personnel requirements are for year round use only. Summer camp range personnel requirements are listed in the 2012 standards below”

2011 National Guide to Advancement
Quote “For merit badge questions regarding advancement, please refer to pages 37 and 38 in the 2011 National Guide to Advancement. Note that on page 38, a council may require NRA Instructor certification as a minimum requirement. This is a council decision.”

2011 Guide to Safe Scouting

2012 National Standards for Summer Camp

Camping and Outdoor Program Committee Guide

Camp Property and Program Management
Quote “Please note that the Camp Property and Program Management document is old and has been superseded in some cases by the current 2011 National Standards for summer camp and the new shooting sports manual for year round program.”

BSA Tour & Activity Plan (for taking youth to a shooting event)
Quote “This is the BSA Tour and activity plan. Be aware that it requires information about the RSO and NRA Instructor credentials It requires 2 names and NRA certification numbers on the plan along with which shooting events will be held. Recommended it be completed 21 days in advance.”

Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities

Activity Consent Form and Approval
Quote “Suggested for use to document parental consent to take part in Shooting Sports Activities”
A very helpful on-going task is the compilation of FAQs. Please go here to visit the official Shooting Sports Program FAQs
BSA Cub Scouts
Cub Scouts may pursue Archery and BB-Gun activities only at advertised official Council or District Resident, Family or Day Camps, or Programs or Activities on or off BSA property. BSA BB-Gun Range Masters, a BSA Shooting Sports Director, an NRA Rifle Instructor or a NRA - CMP - USA Shooting Rifle Coach must run the BB-Gun range. BSA Archery Range Masters, a BSA Shooting Sports Director or a USA Archery Level 1 Instructor must run archery range activities. The operation of the range must meet all the standards for BSA Shooting Sports. Please read Chapter 9 of the BSA Shooting Sports Manual. Archery and BB-Gun activities can NOT be done at the Pack or Den level. See the Guide to Safe Scouting. Activities operating outside of the BSA programs are not covered by BSA insurance.
BSA Camp Standards
BSA National puts standards in place that are BSA camp specific due to the nature and operation of a BSA camp program. The BSA camp program or summer camp is under the direction of a Shooting Sports Director who attended a BSA National Camping school. Their requirements are different than the Guide to Safe Scouting. For your Volunteer programs follow the Guide to Safe Scouting.
BSA Range Supervision
The required supervision is found in the National Shooting Sport Manual Chapter 1 Qualified Supervision—Roles and Responsibilities. The five levels describe the situation and objectives. In general, you will need both a NRA Range Safety Officer and a NRA discipline specific (firearm) instructor. Chapter 1 specifies the required number of RSOs and Instructors to shooter ratios. Most of your shooting activities will be level 2 or level 3.

For Cub Scout BB Gun and Archery ranges, BSA trained BB Gun and Archery Range Masters are required. The ratio of instructors to shooters for BB Guns is eight shooters to each Range Master. Reference - National Shooting Sports Manual page 91 range drawing notes. For archery the only requirement is that for Tiger Cubs there must be an adult partner to work with their Cub.
BSA Range Operation
Refer to the Guide to Safe Scouting, the National Shooting Sports Manual and Camp Standards and Properties and Program Management. All of these may be downloaded from the previous links on this page. Check with the camp you intend to use for special requirements.
Archery Instructor Nomenclature
This information is supplied by Ten Ring to clarify training requirements and is not official BSA information. Archery Instructors have been referred to as NAA Level I, NFAA Level I, USA Archery Basic and lately USA Archery Level 1 Instructor. Years ago archery instructors were trained and certified by the National Archery Association (NAA) with the National Field Archery Association (NFAA). They referred to their trained and certified entry level Instructor as an "NAA Level I Instructor", and they were also considered to be at the same time an "NFAA Level I Instructor". Then a few years back USA Archery (The US Olympic Group) took control of the certification process and called the same entry level Instructor a "USA Archery Basic Instructor" again they were also an "NFAA Basic Instructor". Now in 2012, USA Archery has decided to change the name to "USA Archery Level 1 Instructor" and again they are also considered an "NFAA Level 1 Instructor". This may be a little confusing but all of these people are considered the same archery Instructor with the same qualifications, but to be absolutely correct today the term is "USA Archery Level 1 Instructor".
For More BSA Information
Shooting sports information has been dispersed throughout the BSA literature. The Task Force continues to add, parse, consolidate and cross reference information. Information remains complex and inter linked.

For more information please contact the Northern Star Council. You may also contact the Task Force and NRA National Youth Program Coordinator. Contact information is listed on the BSA shooting sports FAQ page. Remember that they are concerned with the program at the national level. Although local concerns are important and help them gauge issues, please try to resolve your issues locally.
Local Information
Local Training
Northern Star Council often provides BSA BB Gun and Archery Range Master classes. Ten Ring occasionally provides the same training. Specific training details can be found in the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual The Archery training is on pages 74 – 75 and BB-Gun training is on page 84.

NRA Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and USA Archery Level 1 Instructor classes are available to Scouters from Ten Ring on the Ten Ring web site. Other Scouters offer these courses occasionally. Descriptions of these classes can be found on pages 65-67 of the National Shooting Sports Manual.

And of course the NRA and USA Archery sites also have complete details on their programs.
The NRA classes are here
The USA Archery classes are here
Minnesota Permission Slips
There is no required BSA permission slip. BSA has provided an “Activities Consent Form...” that may be used for activities. Refer to the BSA “2011-2012 BSA Shooting Sports Documents” to locate this document. The Ten Ring and Northern Star Council web sites have suitable permission slips.

Minnesota makes it a felony to furnish firearms, BB-Guns and ammunition to minors without a parent’s permission. We are not lawyers so read the Minnesota statute 609.66 How individual Range Personnel handle this is their decision. The Range Person is at risk; not the Council or the Unit. This is a Minnesota state law. The permission slip is owned by the Range Person and may or may not be returned to you. Camps, Council and BSA volunteers and non-custodial parents may not sign this slip for children that are not their own. The permission slip has evolved into several forms. It must be acceptable to the Range Person. Tampering with the permission slip will usually result in immediate loss of service to the entire Unit or District in question. Again this is solely the Range Person’s decision.
Archery at Northern Star Camps
The document on the Northern Star Council website at Resources - Forms - Shooting Sports Policies appears to require BSA Archery Range Masters for any archery. It is referring to the Council ranges. Councils can create rules or regulations that are above the national standards (not in conflict or below the standards). Resident Camp Standards require training for their archery Range Personnel. Refer to the Resident Camp Standards at the National Camp School website.
Range Officer
The term “Range Officer”, by itself, is now rarely used in the BSA nomenclature. It could refer to someone involved with range activities. Please avoid using this term as it has caused much confusion in our Council. Terms you may commonly encounter include: • BSA Archery Range Master • BSA BB-Gun Range Master • NRA Range Safety Officer • NRA Rifle Instructor • NRA Shotgun Instructor • NRA Pistol Instructor • For the Shooting Sports Personnel definitions and descriptions see Chapter 1 of the National BSA Shooting Sports Manual. Please use the new terminology.

Return to Home Page