Being a BSA Scout is one of the most unique and rewarding activities that any young person could be involved in. From camping and earning merit badges to building friendships and even learning real-life skills, Scouting offers countless opportunities for teens to develop character and create lifelong memories.
Personally, the path to Eagle helped shape me into a better person, providing countless valuable skills for success in college and the real world. I’m not alone in this! In this article, you’ll hear the Scouting activity highlights of over 100 Scouts, parents, and Scoutmasters, giving you a wonderful firsthand look into the magical experiences that Scouting creates! 😀
The Best Scouting Activities, Outings, and Troop Programs
“What is your favorite Scouting activity(s) that you’ve done?” is the question I asked readers in my ScoutSmarts Scribe Newsletter (sign up to share your experience too!). And, in no time, heart-warming answers describing extraordinary Scouting adventures began pouring in. For their privacy the repliers will stay anonymous, but a huge, huge thank you if you wrote in and shared your favorite Scouting memory!
Hearing the incredible stories of fellow Scouts and Scouters was incredibly inspiring for me, and I hope it will be for you too. Maybe you can even borrow one or two of these activity ideas to have an even more spectacular time with your troop! Scouting truly touches lives and helps to make our world a better, more positive place. So, with that being said, please enjoy reading the best troop memories from just a small fraction of the amazing people involved in Scouting.
Now without further ado, let’s dive in…
- Horseback riding at camp – my first time ever on a horse!
- Sleeping overnight on the submarine USS Silversides in Muskegon MI.
- Building and sleeping in Quinzee snow shelters.
- Building fires for ceremonies or ending campfires – I am “famous” for this! 😀
- Summer camp every year. I get to spend a week of quality time with my troop.
- Backpacking trips to Harriman State Park NY & a 20-mile hike through Fire Island NY.
- Rowing on a lake that you can see the bottom of because it was so clean, alongside my friends. Also, being a patrol leader.
- Backpacking with other Scouts and playing relay Scout skills games.
- Starting a new troop for girls and watching them grow in Scouting.
- Going to Philmont
- Snow Camping
- Fire Building
- Summer camp at Owasippe Scout Reservation
- Whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River
- Night hike with the Cub Scouts
- Whitewater Canoeing
- Completing my mile swim
- A 50-mile canoe high adventure trek
- Open-fire Cooking competitions
- Doing my Eagle Scout Project
- Being a staff member of summer camp
- Catapult building
- The Kayaking merit badge was my favorite thing ever 🙂
- White Water Rafting!
- Troop-a-ree fire starting
- Swimming and rock climbing
- Since all 3 of our kids are in Scouting, there are so many adventures, meetings, and events I’ve been exposed to. One of my favorites was when our daughter wanted to earn Eagle. She was 16 and a couple of months. We found a newly created troop and she was signed up. On her second meeting, she earned Scout. By the 3rd meeting, she was Tenderfoot! She was determined to earn Eagle. She had a couple of obstacles we needed to figure out… a global pandemic. She was determined and I was determined to remove any obstacles I could. She ended up earning more merit badges and palms than her older Eagle brother. Only thing is that she did it in 2 years and 20 days (with an extension). To say I’m proud of her determination and drive is an understatement. She proved to the doubters that a GIRL can EARN Eagle too. Scouting is such an important part of our family. Currently, we have 2 Eagles and our 13 yo is working on his. He is currently Star.
- Attending summer camp and making new friends. After that, it would be learning new things like how to kayak and paddleboard. I also like doing Scouting for Food cause it gives me and my Troop a chance to help others
- I enjoy Scouting a lot, and I love almost every activity our troop does, but I’d have to say my absolute favorite was SCUBA Diving at Camp Easton. It was so cool to get a look at the underwater world- not to mention a super weird experience to be simultaneously breathing, and at the bottom of a lake.😁
Cole here — One of my very best Scouting memories was bonding with my dad during a week-long boundary water canoeing trip in Canada. There, I caught a fish for the first time ever, cooked it, and we all ate it. It was delicious!
- I love wilderness survival nights, especially when I get to build a shelter with my friends. There’s something about freezing to death or boiling alive I just can’t resist!
- My favorite would be camping on the beach shore and hearing the ocean while going to bed; sooo relaxing.
- Going to summer camp! I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and completing merit badges!
- This past year, I went canoeing and snorkeling with my troop. We had a blast!
- The 2-Man saw competition at a “Mountain Man Rendezvous” camporee for Burlington County Council (now part of Garden State Council).
- Learning how to paddle a boat in summer camp with my Scout friends.
- I love whitewater rafting, summer camps, and wilderness survival.
- Being an OA VIGIL member, helping in OA Kitchen, and being an MB counselor!
- Kayak jousting a few years ago with my buddy, Jeremy K, who moved on as an Eagle Scout about 2 years ago. 😀
- Rock climbing and repelling down 100 feet of natural rock
- Shotgun shooting
- COH Ceremonies
- A Lashing competition at NYLT
- World jamboree
- Helping Scouts earn merit badges
- Trekking through caves
- Camping, I love being outdoors!
- Cavalcade at Philmont
- Watching my young Scouts KILLING it at their first Camporee!
- Definitely knots
- Hosting a successful campfire
- Messing around with friends
- Summer camp campfires
- Attending 2017 Jamboree
- Hiking Philmont, twice!
- Building shelters
- Camping with only my tarp at OA ordeal
- My favorite Scouting activity I have done was going with my troop to Philmont Scout Ranch in late June! We did many remarkable things on this trip, from petting chickens and messing with the burros at Abreu, visiting the abandoned Garcia Cow cabin last used in the early 1960s, and reaching the summit of Mount Phillips! There were way more amazing things that happened, obviously too many to list here. This was the most rewarding experience of my life. I learned (and did) a lot more things than I ever imagined, and it shaped my character into being a more competent person.
- Patrol camp. You get to be part of something bigger than just you, working as a team and relying on each other. Each Scout usually leaves with some new take on how to do something, or a story to tell later. Also patrol camp is a smaller group so there is more accountability on each person to do their part and not “hide in the group. Good times and memories already!
- My favorite Scouting activity is something I did this week, which was going to the Ely Base at Northern Tier. I am actually on the airplane home right now. This was such a fun experience. My crew made lots of fun memories. We saw Native American pictographs, a waterfall, lots of monuments, Canadian-American border signs, a lookout, carcasses, and lots of other fun things.
Cole again — Another one of my core Scouting memories was competing in a week-long multi-troop Jamboree. During that time we competed in challenges like troop relays, Scout skill contests, archery, and my favorite — fire building! I won’t spoil who won, but it was pretty epic to say the least.
If you want to hear more about my Scouting journey and learn some of the lifechanging lessons I discovered along the way, consider checking out my new self-published eBook, The Seven Secrets For Scouting Success!
- My favorite Scouting activity I’ve ever done has to be going on an urban hike around my city. It was a 15-miles & 8 hours and the ASM leading it knew so much about the town’s history! We got to visit a cemetery (where Robert Ripley of Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not!” Is buried), a historic high school, a regional park, and an old historic neighborhood (where the mansion where Pollyanna was filmed), and so much more — all on foot!
- Having the privilege of attending a world jamboree and meeting Scouts from many different countries, learning about them, trading patches, and sharing contact information.
- My favorite Scouting activity so far was my high adventure trip to the Grand Tetons. I had a lot of fun hiking in Wyoming, seeing beautiful views, and having fun with my friends. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.
- One time we had to row a parent in a canoe to camp for the weekend. All our gear and food had to fit in the canoe and then we hiked it to the campsite. That was a wonderful weekend.
- By far the best Scouting activity has been backpacking. The high adventure trip we just had to Oregon Coast where we hiked and camped for a week from Fort Stevens down to Cannon Beach was a trip of a lifetime and created fantastic memories! This trip was so amazing and fun even though we were “one with the mud” on most of the trails. 😉
- Attending a Cub Scout Day Camp and helping be a Den mom
- Going to summer camp!
- I like when the boys cook on camping trips.
- My son says going to summer camp at Owasippe
- Sea Base Sailing
- Wood Badge
- Earning Camping & Space Exploration Merit Badges
- Summer camp with both my son and my daughter
- A beet-harvesting service project
- Whitewater rafting
- Wilderness Survival @ Owasippe in Whitehall MI!
- Summertime Camping and Swimming.
- Webelos Campouts with my Troop
- Cook-Off Campouts, where we cook Dutch oven meals for the parents
- As a Scoutmaster, it would be helping my Scouts achieve their goal of reaching Eagle Scout.
- Enjoying the trails at IWL in our homemade snowshoes!
- My favorite activity is when our troop went white water rafting.
- Wilderness Survival in the Sierras, and building fires without matches.
- Mine would be mountain biking on many different trails
- Being a torchbearer for my lodge’s Tapout ceremony.
- Swimming & kayaking with manatees in January in Crystal Rivers, Florida.
- Meeting other Scouts from different troops at Summer Camp and becoming pen pals. 😀
There’s nothing like hearing Scouting highlights directly from Scouts, parents, and Scoutmasters. If you want to read more awesome crowd-sourced articles like this one, check out The Best Scout Camping Tips and The Value And Benefits of Scouting.
Also, if you’d like to contribute to future articles or get notified when a new one is posted, make sure to join my ScoutSmarts Scribe newsletter! There, you’ll also get access to exclusive giveaways, cool facts, and Scouting jokes to give you a weekly morsel of Scouting fun. Don’t miss out!
- I love our wilderness survival weekends. The last one saw us camping in 9°f weather. It was so cold our vegetable oil froze. I had never seen that before. Our pancakes that morning were tough to eat!
- Summer Camp! The Longhouse Council in Central New York operates a camp known as the Sabattis Scout Reservation. It’s a remote camp in the middle of the Adirondack Park, that provides amazing opportunities… Scouts who attend a summer camp at Sabattis can earn up to five merit badges all while canoeing, mountain climbing, taking bike excursions, as well as experiencing amazing camping and fellowship in an area that is so far from light pollution that it could potentially be the best place to view the night sky in the United States.
- Our annual troop Klondike derby; we made our own carts and raced in them. My troop won first place. I also love when we go to the shotgun or rifle range. Sometimes I get a bullseye and I like to show all my friends.
- Swimming! I love jumping off the diving board! And even though I get really nervous every year about taking the swim test at camp, I always try my best and pass it, getting Red, White & Blue! I always do the Polar Bear swim at Camp Horseshoe, open swims, etc. I really missed camp during the pandemic and I’m so glad everything opened back up again! 🙂
- At Scout camp this year I went on the High Rope course and ziplined off of it! That was the best.
- Building my own shelter and sleeping in it for Wilderness Survival. Also, earning Rifle Shooting.
- Canoeing across an entire lake. It was a really big lake and took a lot of work, but it was fun.
- 7-Day Backpacking in the Sierra Mountains with my troop!
- Wilderness survival night at summer camp Lost Pines.
- I loved going on white water rafting trips and eating pepperoni subs in the middle of it.
- I’m an adult. My favorite is seeing the boys grow in maturity. Seeing the 11-year-old squirmy flaky kids turn into amazing 16-year-olds.
Whether it’s high adventure trips, bonding time with the troop, unique excursions, or fun activities on the water, Scouting offers countless opportunities to forge incredible lifelong memories. I hope reading these Scouting activity highlights has left you inspired and ready for more fun troop adventures!
So, I challenge you to share this list with your fellow Scouts and pick out a few activities that your troop might be interested in trying. Scouting is what you make of it, which is why it’s so important to constantly be leading by example and trying new things! It’s up to you and your Scout buddies to make your troop the best it can be. 🙂
Thanks so much for reading, and for making our world a better place through your involvement in Scouting! If you enjoyed learning about Scouting activity highlights, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:
- 99 Extraordinary And Creative Eagle Scout Project Ideas
- The Scout Law: What To Know To Be The Best Scout You Can Be
- Scout Recruiting 101: Tips And Hacks From Scoutmasters And Scouts
- The 5 Most Difficult Merit Badges In Scouting (And How To Earn Them)
- The Essential Camp Packing List: A Scout’s Trek Gear Checklist
That’s all for this article! Hope to see you back here again soon. Until next time, I’m wishing you all the best on your Scouting journey!