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Outdoor Challenge Award

How to earn your award

  1. Take an active part in at least eight nights away as a Scout. Four of the nights should be camping. While you’re away, work with other Scouts do the other tasks on this list.
  2. With others, pitch and strike your tent.
  3. Lead, or help to lead, a group of Scouts to set up a well-organised site. It should include sleeping tents, food and equipment stores, a fire or stove, kitchen and eating area.
  4. Prepare and light an open fire or set up a suitable stove. Use it to prepare, cook and serve a meal safely.
  5. Understand the three points of the Countryside Code. Show what action you can take to follow the code.
  6. Find out why personal and campsite hygiene is important. What should you do to be hygienic?
  7. Using knots that you have learned, build a simple pioneering project, object or camp gadget.
  8. Explore the environment of your camp and make sure you know where everything  is. Respect the environment you are in and, at the end of the camp, leave the site as you found it.
  9. Find out what accidents and incidents can happen outdoors or during your camp. Show how you would deal with them.
  10. Show how to use an axe, saw or knife safely. You can choose any or all of these tools.
  11. Complete at least four of these tasks:
    1. Provide a service commitment to the site for about an hour.
    2. Take part in a wide game.
    3. Take part in a campfire or other entertainment.
    4. Working with others, successfully complete a two-hour activity or project.
    5. Plan a balanced menu for a short camp.
    6. Lead the cooking of a meal for the group.
    7. Show that you know the safety precautions for using lamps and stoves.
    8. Cook a backwoods meal with the group.
    9. Build a bivouac and sleep in it.
    10. Show how to pack a rucksack correctly, with appropriate kit for the camp or event.

Each young person who participates in the Programme, including badges and awards, should face a similar degree of challenge, and requirements can be adapted according to each young person’s abilities.  For more information and practical tips see our guidance on flexibility.

Guidance for Leaders:

Scouts who have particularly enjoyed this Challenge Award may like to try these Activity Badges:

As well as the guidance below, Programmes Online contains lots of activity ideas that you could use to deliver this badge.

To complete this award Scouts need to have spent at least eight nights away within Scouting. These nights away could be over any number of occasions, and at least four of them should be camping.

A camp or residential experience provides lots of opportunities for doing activities that you wouldn’t be able to do on a normal meeting night. Scouts could go away with their own Troop, with another Troop, or as part of a Group, District or County event. They should take an active part in the experience, and need to complete requirements 1-9, and four from the optional list (over the eight nights away) in order to gain the badge.

Training on running residential experiences is available as part of the Adult Training Scheme, and you can also ask your Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts), Assistant County Commissioner (Scouts) or other people in similar roles for help and advice.

Remember that the flexibility statement applies to all badges. There may be some Scouts who are unable to stay away overnight due to a special need, and you will need to think about how they can be involved in a challenge which is appropriate to them in order to complete this badge.

Nights Away and activity rules should always be followed.

The list of activities gives an idea of the type and style of the activities that the nights away should include. Depending on the activity there may be extra ideas that could be included. Ideas for activities linked to this badge (for example pioneering projects, backwoods cooking and wide games) can be found on Programmes Online.

The Countryside code is operated by Natural England and applies in England and Wales. The key principles are relevant everywhere in the UK countryside. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code operated by Scottish Natural Heritage applies in Scotland. The Northern Ireland Countryside Code applies in Northern Ireland. More info: England and WalesScotland and Northern Ireland

Personal and Site hygiene could include such things as personal hygiene, looking after personal equipment and troop equipment whilst maintaining a tidy and orderly site, food hygiene, including waste disposal and dealing with litter.

Typical accidents or incidents which may occur outdoors or at camp include cuts, grazes, burns and scalds, stings and insect bites, heat stroke, upset stomach, dehydration, sprains and broken bones. Scouts should understand how to deal with an accident, the importance of getting help and how to make an emergency call.

In exploring the environment of camp Scouts should know which areas are out of bounds, understand the need to respect other people’s camps (for example by walking round not through them), take care of communal areas, and pick up their litter.

Support and resources

tent tips
pitching a tent
striking a tent


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