Skip to Main Content

Climb On Safely

Climb On Safely is the Boy Scouts of America’s procedure for organizing BSA climbing/rappelling activities at a natural site or a specifically designed facility such as a climbing wall or tower. All unit-sponsored/planned climbing activities, regardless of where they are held, fall under Climb On Safely. This applies to a single unit or multiple units that may be participating in a joint unit climbing activity.

Climb On Safely is a prerequisite for all other climbing-related training courses.

How do I take this training?

You can take it anytime, for free, through the Boy Scouts of America’s online training portal called

If you’ve never visited this site before, you’ll need to click the “create account” button and then follow the instructions; have your BSA membership ID number handy.

To take the course, simply:

  1. Visit
  2. Click the “BSA Learn Center” button
  3. Click “Course Catalog” at the top of the screen
  4. Type in “Climb On Safely” in the search bar
  5. Click the blue “Launch Course” button

Since the course is offered through, your training record will be updated once you finish the course.

Why should I take this training?

Young people today seek greater challenges, and climbing and rappelling offer a worthy challenge. The satisfaction of safely climbing a rock face is hard to top. While introduction of the Climbing merit badge in spring 1997 spurred interest in these activities through the BSA, the proliferation of climbing gyms and facilities has also made climbing and rappelling readily available throughout the United States. This increased interest has made climbing and rappelling a very popular unit activity.

More accidents occur during unit rappelling than during council-managed climbing or rappelling, and more accidents have occurred during rappelling than climbing. Many climbing/rappelling accidents could be avoided by having qualified instruction from a conscientious adult who has the attention and respect of the youth entrusted to his or her care. Supervision by a caring adult who fully understands and appreciates the responsibility he or she assumes helps assure safety when youth engage in or prepare for climbing or rappelling.

The adult supervisor’s relationship with youth participants should reinforce the importance of following instructions. The adult leader in charge and the climbing instructor share this important responsibility. The instructor is responsible for all procedures and for safely conducting the climbing/rappelling activity. The adult supervisor works cooperatively with the climbing instructor and is responsible for all matters outside of the climbing/rappelling activity.

Cub Scouts are encouraged to engage in climbing; Webelos Scouts are encouraged to engage in climbing and rappelling in a controlled environment with close supervision by instructors who are knowledgeable about instructing this age group. Normally, this means going to a climbing gym where the degree of difficulty is age-appropriate and the harnesses are size-appropriate for Cub Scouts.

Each of the following points plays an important role in Climb On Safely. Fun and safe climbing/rappelling activities require close compliance of Climb On Safely by the adult supervisor, the instructors, and all participants. These points also apply to “bouldering,” or traversing a few feet above ground level:

● Qualified Supervision
● Qualified Instructors
● Physical Fitness
● Safe Area
● Equipment
● Planning
● Environmental Conditions
● Discipline


Have a question about Climb On Safely?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.