The Adventure Plan (TAP) provides a one-stop set of tools to help adult and youth leaders envision, plan, prepare and conduct safe, exciting and successful outdoor Adventures. Your unit Adventure may be as simple as an overnight backpacking trip or bike ride, or maybe it is a week-long or longer activity. This online planning guide is encouraged for all levels of Scouting from Cub Scouts to Venturing. Not all the steps outlined in this guide will apply to your unit’s Adventure. What steps apply will depend on what type of Adventure your unit selects. As you progress through the guide, you will find links to BSA guidelines, forms and on-line training sites essential for planning and conducting safe and exciting unit Adventures. In Resources, you will find a comprehensive listing of all such links, plus additional references you may find helpful as you build your unit’s next outdoor Adventure. 

Depending on the number of participants on an Adventure, your unit leadership may decide to divide your contingent into two or more “sub-groups.” These groups are typically known as dens, patrols, teams or crews.  Throughout this planning guide all “sub-groups” will be referred to as “crews.”

Every adventure starts with an idea. Maybe it is a suggestion to the Patrol Leaders Council, or maybe it comes from the unit committee or maybe from the unit’s adult leadership, but ideally it should be an adventure that the youth of the unit are excited about and committed to. Some adventures can be planned in a short period of time; some may take 18-24 months depending on the adventure. Some of the national BSA High Adventure Bases start taking reservations 18 months ahead of time.

There are four phases to Adventure planning:


There are a total of 53 steps in the Adventure planning process.

In addition to the activity standards listed below all leaders, unit committee members and adult volunteers must read and understand the Guide to Safe Scouting  and Age Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities prior to beginning the outdoor Adventure planning process.

Unauthorized and Restricted Activities—PERSONAL LIABILITY

The BSA’s general  liability policy provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage that is made and arises out of an official Scouting activity. Volunteers, units, chartered organizations and  local councils that engage in unauthorized activities are jeopardizing their insurance coverage. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF AT RISK.


Refer to: BSA Insurance Coverage

All vehicles MUST be covered by a liability and property damage insurance policy. The amount of this coverage must meet or exceed the insurance requirement of the state in which the vehicle is licensed and comply with or exceed the requirements of the country of destination for travel outside the United States. It is recommended, however, that coverage limits are at least $100,000 combined single limit. Any vehicle designed to carry 10 or more passengers is required to have limits of $500,000 combined single limit.  In the case of rented vehicles, the requirement of coverage limits can be met by combining the limits of personal coverage  carried by the driver with coverage carried by the owner of the rented vehicle.


Refer to: Transportation, and Activity Consent Form and Approval By Parents or Legal Guardian

  1. We agree to enforce safe travel speeds in accordance with state and local laws, weather and traffic congestion conditions in all motor vehicles.  
  2. Driver qualifications: All Boy Scout adult drivers and all Venturing adult drivers must have a valid driver’s license. Youth member exception: When traveling to an area, regional or national Boy Scout event/activity or any Venturing event/activity under the leadership of an adult (21 or older) tour leader, a youth member at least 16 years of age may be a driver, subject to the following conditions:
    a. The person has six months’ driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner’s permit or equivalent is not to be counted.)
    b. There is no record of accidents or moving violations.
    c. Parental permission has been granted to the leader, driver and riders.
    d. Driver restrictions in some states may be stricter.  Review driver qualifications in all states through which youth members may be driving. Some units may set stricter driver age limit restrictions.
  3. If the vehicle to be used is designed to carry more than 15 people    (including the driver), the driver must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In some states (California, for example), this  guideline applies to 10 or more people.
  4. Driving time is limited to a maximum of 10 hours with one or more drivers  in one 24-hour period and must be interrupted by frequent rest, food and recreational stops.
  5. Safety belts are provided and must be used by all passengers and the driver.  Exception to  this guideline: a school or commercial bus, when not required by law.
  6. Passengers will ride only in the cab and use safety belts if trucks are used.
  7. No one may ride in the bed of trucks or trailers.


Refer to: Guide to Safe Scouting, Age Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities, Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety, Transporting Scouts Safely, The Driver’s Pledge


  1. notify the local Council  in  the event our itinerary or activity changes.
  2. plan our activities by and adhere to the policies contained in the Guide to Safe ScoutingAge Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities  and the Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety.
  3. enforce reasonable travel speeds (in accordance with national, state and local laws) and use only vehicles that are in safe mechanical condition.
  4. apply for a fire permit from local authorities in all areas where it is required.
  5. be certain that fires are attended to at all times and we are adhering to all fire regulations.
  6. be a credit to the Boy Scouts of America at all times, and we will not tolerate rowdy behavior and poor conduct  and we will keep a constant check on all members of our group.
  7. maintain high standards of personal cleanliness and orderliness and will operate a clean and sanitary camp, leaving it in a better condition than we found it.
  8. not litter or bury any trash, garbage or tin cans. All rubbish that cannot be burned will be placed in a tote-litter bag and taken to the nearest  recognized  trash  disposal  site or all the way home, if necessary.
  9. not deface natural or man-made objects.
  10. respect the property of others and will not trespass.
  11. not cut standing trees or shrubs without specific permission from the landowner or manager.
  12. notify, in case of emergency, our local council Scout Executive,  our parents and our single point of contact.
  13. if more than one vehicle is used to transport our group, we will establish rendezvous points at the start of each day and not attempt to have drivers closely follow the group vehicle in front of them.
  14. identify and agree to follow all land-use policies (public and private) in effect at the location of the Adventure.
  15. complete all the necessary training required to conduct and lead the programs and activities outlined in this website.
  16. not disturb archeological artifacts and sites.