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Rifle and Shotgun Shooting

For Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouting, Exploring-aged youth only

This is what most people usually think of when they hear the phrase, “shooting sports.” Shooting rifles and shotguns are one of the activities that interest youth the most in our outdoor program. While we want our Scouts to have fun with every activity we do, use of these firearms carries an increased need for maturity and adherence to safety rules and practices.


With properly trained adult supervision, Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, Sea Scout Ships, and Explorer Posts may offer their own rifle and/or shotgun activity on a unit camp out. To conduct one of these unit-level shooting activities, you must have:


  • an adult present who has completed Rifle Instructor or Shotgun Instructor Training
  • an adult present who has completed the Range Safety Officer (RSO) Training


These adults cannot be the same person; you need two separate people, each with the aforementioned training, to satisfy this requirement. Additionally, if you are conducting your unit shoot at our Lost Pines Scout Reservation you’ll need additional instructors and Range Safety Officers to meet ratios required by the Lost Pines range.

Youth in a Scouts BSA Troop may earn the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge (see requirements here) or Shotgun Shooting Merit Badge (see requirements here). To earn a merit badge, a Scout must work with an adult who is a registered merit badge counselor. This can take place as part of a troop’s monthly activity or, perhaps more commonly, during summer camp or winter camp.