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Take Aim at a New Challenge

Shooting Sports are a popular part of any Scout summer or winter camp, and with properly trained adult supervision can be offered as part of an individual Scout unit’s weekend campout. Rifle, shotgun, pistol, BB (for Cub Scouts), sling shot (for Cub Scouts), or archery activities can challenge a Scout’s concentration and patience while developing target shooting skills.


Shooting Sports

Safety is critical, so our council maintains a committee of highly trained volunteer leaders who will help you should you wish to develop your own weekend activity. The Shooting Sports Committee maintains its own website with additional information at

Whichever activity you choose, it’s important to make sure you’re providing a safe environment. The Boy Scouts of America requires at least one adult leader to first complete a Range Safety Officer training course before planning or conducting a shooting sports activity. These courses are offered several times throughout the year, typically at the shooting or archery ranges at our Lost Pines Scout Reservation or Camp Tom Wooten in Bastrop.

Note: Cub Scouts are only allowed to take part in archery, BB, or sling shot programs offered at a district Cub Scout Day Camp or council-hosted camp or activity. Individual Cub Scout Packs may not offer these programs on their own.


Additional Training Courses

BB Range Master Training

You will earn the necessary certifications needed to lead your Cub Scout Pack on the Fort Sam Houston’s BB gun range at Camp Tom Wooten. This course is only for those wanting to become BB Gun Range Masters.

Archery Range Master Training

You will earn the necessary certifications needed to lead your Cub Scout Pack at the Native American Village Archery Range at Camp Tom Wooten. This course is only for those wanting to become Archery Range Masters.

Archery Level 1 Instructor Training

Aimed at leaders (18 and older) who want to teach Scouts BSA’s Archery Merit Badge, supervise a range at camp or Cub Scout day camp, or run a quality archery program for Scouts BSA Troops or Venturing Crews. Students who complete the course and pass a written test will receive the Level I Archery Instructor certification (Basic Instructor) valid for three years. Instructor candidates will learn to operate a safe yet fun archery range. The course will cover range setup and safety, proper equipment, aspects of good shooting form, and methods of teaching. Previous archery experience is not required but is helpful. You do not need to bring your own bow as equipment will be supplied.

Rifle Instructor Training

This 17-hour course completes all requirements to become an National Rifle Association Rifle Instructor. The training includes both classroom and range time. The training is in two phases. Phase 1 is the Basic Instructor Training and Rifle Instructor Training. Phase 2 is at the range demonstrating shooting proficiency. Both phases must be completed to be certified. NOTE: This course is not for Cub Scout leaders who want to be certified as Cub BB gun range masters.

Range Safety Officer (RSO) Training

You will learn how to teach the roles and responsibilities of an RSO; Range Standard Operating Procedures; range inspection; range rules; range briefings; emergency procedures; and firearm stoppages and malfunctions. The successful completion of this course will allow individuals to educate, train, and certify other Range Safety Officers. This is a one-day course for Scouts BSA, Venturing, or Sea Scouting adult leaders.

Powder Horn

This is a two-weekend activity that is co-hosted by our council and the council headquartered in Fort Worth. Powder Horn is an introductory showcase that gives you the chance to sample many kinds of “high adventure” activities. Canoeing, Kayaking, and SCUBA are typically offered as a part of this program. You won’t complete any formal training during these weekends, but you will get to try them first-hand and decide whether you want to pursue any further training to offer them to your Scouts.

Pistol Instructor Course

This is a two-phase training and participants must attend both phases. The course is limited to Scouting volunteers who are already certified National Rifle Association (NRA) instructors (either rifle, shotgun or muzzleloading). Course includes classroom and range time, and is intended only for Scouts BSA, Venturing, or Sea Scouting adult leaders.

Merit Badges

These are only earned by youth in the Scouts BSA program (not Cub Scouts). Scouts earn a merit badge in a topic by completing specific requirements and demonstrating that they understand and can master basic skills in a particular field of study. Scouts must work with a registered Merit Badge Counselor or take a class at a BSA summer camp or activity to complete a merit badge. There are more than 135 merit badges overall, including these shooting-related ones:

  • Rifle Shooting Merit Badge
  • Shotgun Shooting Merit Badge
  • Archery Merit Badge

Statement on the use of National Rifle Association training courses

The Capitol Area Council and every other Boy Scouts of America (BSA) local council follow the policies and procedures of the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual. The manual requires that shooting sports events for Scouts must be staffed by properly certified instructors and range safety officers. This is an essential element of ensuring a shooting sports event that is safe for youth participants.

As part of developing the safety standards and policies and procedures set forth in the manual, BSA has determined that all BSA shooting sports events should be conducted according to a national standard. This includes a national standard for the training of instructors and range safety officers. In the absence of such a national standard, different councils would be able to develop their own standards, not all of which would necessarily ensure the safety of shooting sports participants.

While there are local organizations that provide such instruction, the National Rifle Association (NRA) Training and Education Division is the only nationally and internationally recognized certification body for such training. This group provides the materials and standards for training both instructors and range safety officers. These courses and materials are presented in our council by trained, certified volunteer Scouting leaders. There is no requirement that training counselors, instructors, and range safety officers become NRA members, nor that they subscribe to any political views of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, the political arm of the NRA. Our council and the BSA are both apolitical organizations that do not promote or advocate for any interest group’s political views.