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Council Shooting Sports


The Boy Scouts of America uses responsible outdoor activities to promote character development and values-based leadership training.  Shooting sports have the ability to attract and retain youth in the Scouting movement.  Millions of young people participate in one or more of the shooting sports annually – archery, rifle shooting, shotgun activities, etc. – guided by adult volunteers who have the skills and knowledge to provide quality programs in a safe and effective way.

The key to safe and effective shooting sports activities is informed, trained, and conscientious unit leadership.  When such activities are properly conducted under the appropriate guidelines, they can be safe, fun filled, exciting and rewarding.



The Mason-Dixon Council, BSA utilizes a Shooting Sports Committee to manage and provide resources to the Council and the Scout units for all activities involving shooting sports whether during summer camps or during year-round shooting opportunities.  All shooting sports activities sanctioned by the Council will be coordinated through the Shooting Sports Committee to verify that a safe and responsible program is planned and conducted by properly trained and currently certified personnel. 

Steve Miller serves as the Chairman of the Shooting Sports Committee and can be contacted at proud2hunt@aol.com.



The Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual (www.scouting.org/filestone/Outdoor%20Program/pdf/30931_WB.pdf) contains specific guidelines for conducting shooting sports and important information relevant to all individuals involved in the shooting sports programs. This includes unit leaders, merit badge counselors, NRA certified instructors, NRA Range Safety Officers, council camping committees, camp personnel and all others who may be involved in helping to organize events and assisting in the delivery of shooting programs throughout the year the various shooting sports programs.  Information on approved firearms, ranges, qualified supervision, training requirements, targets, and ammunition is included.

Updates of this manual between printings will be available at www.scouting.org/outdoorprograms under the “Shooting Sports” tab.



Cub Scout shooting sports programs involving archery and BB gun shooting may be conducted at day camps, Cub Scout/Webelos Scout resident camps, council-managed family camping programs, or at council activities where there are properly trained supervisors and all standards for BSA shooting sports are observed.

The Cub Scout Shooting Sports Award, No. 34216, may be awarded to a boy whenever he achieves a level of marksmanship or excellence. The range master, with other leaders of the camp or event, may determine special circumstances where a unique award might be useful. The award might be given for proficiency in shooting, best sportsmanship, or other appropriate achievement. The award is available from the National Distribution Center.

Archery and BB Shooting may be conducted through council- or district-sponsored programs.

Boy Scout shooting sports can take place at any council approved property. This could include a BSA-approved range or a public or private commercial range or club.  There are many year-round shooting sport opportunities for Scouts to enjoy. Listed below are some of the programs and resources available:

Summer camp programs:

The Mason-Dixon Council offers a wide variety of shooting sport opportunities for Scouts during the summer at Camp Sinoquipe.  Contact the council office or follow this link to Camp Sinoquipe for more information on what the council’s summer camp offers.

Hunter education:

Both states in our Council service area offer online registration for Pennsylvania Basic Hunter-Trapper Education or the Maryland Hunter Education Course.  Contact your respective state wildlife agency for details.

Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program:

This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy year-round shooting while, at the same time, a Scout can earn awards for each level they reach. The courses of fire start at a level for the beginning shooter’s skills, which means a Scout can earn the first rating of Pro-Marksman even if they are just learning to shoot. The ratings continue to advance to the more challenging skills through the intermediate levels (Marksman 1st Class, Sharpshooter, and Expert) to the nationally recognized skill level of Distinguished Expert.  The levels of shooting can be earned in each of the different qualification courses. For more information, go to http://mqp.nra.org.


Venturers are allowed to shoot the same firearms as a Boy Scout and may also shoot rifles, pistols, and revolvers of any caliber or action. An exception is they may not shoot fully automatic firearms. In addition to the opportunities offered for Boy Scouts, Venturers also have an opportunity to earn the Venturing Shooting Sports Outstanding Achievement Award. This beautiful medal and certificate are sponsored by many companies and organizations in the shooting sports industry to recognize outstanding achievement in shooting sports.  For more information, go to www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Venturing/Awards/shooting.aspx.



To qualify as a shooting sports merit badge counselor, a volunteer must:

• Register annually with the Boy Scouts of America.

To register with the Boy Scouts of America, a potential merit badge counselor must complete the BSA’s Adult Application form, No. 524-501; and submit it along with the BSA Merit Badge Counselor Information form, No. 34405 (available online at www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34405.pdf.) or at the council office. Renewal of this registration annually is necessary to continue as a merit badge counselor.

• Be at least 18 years old.
• Be of good character.
• Be proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation, avocation, or special training.
• Be able to work with Scout-age youth.
• Be currently trained in BSA Youth Protection.

The Boy Scouts of America requires that merit badge counselors take BSA Youth Protection training. This program addresses strategies for personal safety awareness for youth as well as adults. The BSA Youth Protection policies have been adopted primarily for the protection of our youth members.  BSA Youth Protection training is available online at www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx.

The same qualifications and rules apply to counselors for council summer camp merit badge programs. All counselors must be 18 years or older; however, qualified camp staff members under age 18 may assist the merit badge counselor.  (These assistants are not qualified to sign off on a Scout’s blue card, nor may they certify the Scout’s completion of a merit badge.) Each counselor must maintain the exact standards as outlined in the merit badge requirements—nothing deleted; nothing added.  Partial completion of merit badges at summer camp should be credited to a Scout on the Application for Merit Badge (blue card) and given to his Scoutmaster at the end of the week.

Merit Badge Counselor Resources:

Rifle Shooting merit badge pamphlet, No. 35942
   Rifle Shooting Merit Badge Workbook
   Rifle Shooting Merit Badge Teaching Guide 
   BSA 30 Minute Rifle Power Point Briefing

Shotgun Shooting merit badge pamphlet, No. 35948. 
   Shotgun Shooting Merit Badge Workbook
   Shotgun Shooting Merit Badge Teach Guide
   BSA 30 Minute Shotgun Power Point Briefing

Archery merit badge pamphlet, No. 35856. 
   Archery Merit Badge Workbook 


Contact: Steve Miller
              Council Shooting Sports Chairman  
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