Note from Chris Lange:  This guide is based on something that was sent to me by the previous 2007 Cheyenne Invitational Spring Camp-o-ree Chairman.  We only slightly referred to this in 2008, but for 2009 I would like to bring some of it back and define some of the positions a little better.  The only changes I’ve made are to remove a section on Eagle Commissioners and to add a section on Rangers and Program Councilors (PC’s).


From the official BSA camporee guidebook
(modified slightly for clarity & formatting):

Organizing to Get the Job Done

The successful camporee requires good planning, organization, and promotion. Organization is especially important for the selection of proper personnel, and the assignment of duties can determine the success of the whole affair.

The responsibility for planning, promoting, and conducting a district or council camporee (all districts having a joint camporee with a coordinated program similar to a national jamboree) will vary somewhat according to how your council and district is organized.

Camporees are usually the responsibility of the activities committee, but might be handled by the camping committee or a special task force established just for that purpose. In no cases should commissioner staff members be given the responsibility for administering this event – their job is “to commission.”

The Camporee Task Force

This group is composed of:

  • A general Chair and coordinator

  • A staff adviser, in charge of all event staff

  • A camporee chief, in charge of the day’s activities

  • A Participation chair, in charge of registration and attendance

  • A physical arrangements chair, in charge of location and facilities

  • A publicity chair, for promotion and visibility

  • An awards chair A finance chair

  • A health and safety chair

  • An events chair

  • Multiple Rangers (youth officers who provide safety and leadership)
  • Multiple Program Councilor’s (youth and adults who work at stations and other areas of the program)

This group may elect additional members to help put the plan into action. The task force has the following responsibilities:

  • Confirming dates

  • Deciding location

  • Establishing time limits

  • Agreeing upon a schedule of target dates for completing all arrangements

  • Approving proposed budget and fees

  • Approving general program plan

  • Making camporee policy

General Chair

The first step, after the camporee has been approved as an event in the council’s program calendar, is the appointment of a general Chair. This is done by the council or district activities subcommittee, depending upon whether the camporee is a council or district event.


Qualifications: The general Chair should be a prominent citizen and a leader in the community who is capable of recruiting top-flight volunteers to serve on the task force, and leading them in preparations for the event.

The selection of this person should be made at least 9 months in advance of the camporee; this makes recruiting easier and gives the general Chair plenty of time to understand the job and organize to get it done.

It is important that the general Chair select the best people available to head the various project teams. With the help of the staff adviser, he selects and recruits these people at an early date. Again, the earlier they are contacted, the better the chances of their accepting the assignment.


Job description: The general Chair works closely with the staff adviser in giving leadership to this project. Responsibilities include:

  • Selecting and recruiting the best people for project teams

  • Presiding at all camporee task force meetings put job_descriptions.html

  • Following up with vice chairmen to see that items on the work schedule are completed

  • Coordinating operations at the camporee (may be assigned to the camporee chief who is the operational director at the site)

  • Sending thank-you letters to key persons who helped with the camporee

Participation Chair

Qualifications: The participation Chair should be a person experienced in the fields of promotion and selling. He should be a good organizer and, if the event is a council camporee, must be capable of giving direction to vice chairmen in each of the districts recruited by the district chairmen.

Job description: This person is responsible for recruiting the members of the project team. When holding a council camporee, the vice-chairmen serve as district representatives on the council task force.

The job of the project team is to provide Scoutmasters and troop committees with complete camporee information, such as dates, location, types of events, special features, etc. Responsibilities include:

  • Promoting participation in the camporee by all troops-the newest as well as the veteran troops by personally contacting all Scoutmasters and troop committees, if necessary

  • Maintaining a checklist of advance registrations

  • Following up on troops not yet registered

  • Planning for and conducting a leaders’ information meeting (this might be a regular roundtable)

  • Encouraging family participation (visitors’ period, campfires, picnics, etc.)

  • Aiding troops in preparation for the camporee (leadership, equipment, finances, etc.)

  • Planning for and conducting registration of troops

  • Maintaining attendance records and providing personnel at headquarters tent for registration

Physical Arrangements Team Chair

Qualifications: The physical arrangements Chair should be a person who has the background and experience to be able to visualize the physical problems involved in setting up a tent city.

This person should be able to recruit others whose talents and positions make it possible to handle the job. Building contractors, truckers, utility company supervisors, engineers, etc., make good physical arrangements chairmen and committee members.

Job description: Responsibilities include:

  • Securing permission to use the camporee site

  • Securing a map of grounds (blueprints)

  • Making master layout by districts (if a council camporee)

  • Adhering to good conservation practices during use of site and its final condition after the event; consulting with local conservation officials

  • Laying out troop sites to meet the needs of each troop (at least 8,100 square feet, or 90′ x 90′, per troop)

  • Securing and setting up the headquarters tent or shelter Providing needed headquarters equipment

  • Arranging for flags and flagpoles at headquarters

  • Distributing copies of the layout to district camporee directors (if a council camporee)

  • Developing a plan for site assignments

  • Providing signs for headquarters, refreshments, first aid, latrines, water supply, approach to camporee site, districts, troop numbers, traffic control, information area Arranging for public-address system, including delivery, operation, and return

  • Providing water needs-arranging for water wagons, lister bags, and nearby sources (25 gallons of water per person for each 24-hour period; one water outlet for each six to eight troops; locate outlet no farther then 300 to 400 feet from campsites)

  • Arranging for necessary latrines (one seat per 15 persons; one urinal per 30 persons) (These may either be dug by patrols or, if specifically planned, put in by the physical arrangements team.)

  • Arranging for physical needs requested by other camporee project teams

  • Arranging for a trading post when desired; securing and setting up the tent or shelter, determining location of trading post, recruiting personnel to operate, listing items to be sold in an advance bulletin, obtaining prices, placing orders, setting and posting hours to be open, prohibiting outside vendors Providing badges or insignia for officials

  • Arranging for camporee staff meals

Program Chair

Qualifications: The program team chairperson should be a person who motivates others well. This volunteer should have leadership experience in group activity programming, and should have sufficient stature in the community to be able to call on others to supply program leadership. This person should be familiar with the council’s camping program and have a keen appreciation for the methods of scouting.

Job description: Besides being responsible for selecting and recruiting the personnel for the team, the program team chairperson is responsible for scheduling the general program and planning and execution of activities such as judging for ratings, demonstrations, contests, campfires, and special features. This chairperson also arranges for religious services, gateways, and public participation at the camporee site.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Decide on events & activities

  • Prepare a schedule Locate the events

  • Determine which events will be council wide or district wide

  • Provide participation and publicity teams with advance copies of events

  • Promote program features

  • Develop a list of subjects desired

  • Develop a recognition plan Providing events

  • Develop list of events

  • Detail all events, including time allowed, requirements, materials required, scoring Recruit observers and instructors

  • Conduct contests Arrange for presentation of awards

  • Conduct a campfire

  • Develop the campfire program and secure special entertainment

  • Develop ceremonies and secure props and costumes, if needed

  • Arrange for Scouts needed in ceremonies

  • Arrange for patrol stunts or skits

  • Secure a campfire song leader and emcee

  • Provide a list of physical requirements for the physical arrangements team

  • Prepare a final program and script and conduct the campfire

  • Arrange for religious services (in cooperation with religious advisory committees)

  • Arrange for Jewish services on Friday night, when needed

  • List hours of nearby Catholic mass on Sunday or arrange for a field mass, when needed

  • Arrange for a Protestant service in camp, when needed

  • Arrange for other services as needed

  • Set standards for proper uniforming when attending services

Camporee Chief

Qualifications: The camporee chief needs to be an experienced Scouter who can keep events moving on schedule, troubleshoot issues and conflicts, communicate well, and motivate all personnel on the camporee site.

Job description: This person coordinates the full program, keeps it moving, solves problems and, with staff assistance, checks units out of campsites at the conclusion of the event.

Publicity Chair

Qualifications: The publicity chairperson should be recruited with the cooperation of the council public relations advisory committee. This person should be familiar with the publicity field and be capable of recruiting others who have relationships with newspapers, radio and TV; stations, and other publicity media.

Job description: The chairperson of the publicity team is responsible for recruiting team personnel. The team is responsible for publicizing the event in newspapers, on radio and TV, and after the camporee with talks, slides, and videos to various groups. Specifically, the publicity team is responsible for publicity through the following media:

  • Newspapers

    • Provide advance stories and pictures to all papers

    • Arrange for reporters to be present Arrange for feature pictures

    • Secure full-page congratulatory ads and plugs in other ads from local merchants

    • Secure a camporee page in the local paper

  • Television (where available)

    • Arrange for guest interviews

    • Arrange for a video to be made on the spot and run later on a news show

    • Arrange for follow-up videos

    • Organize and train boy speakers, (who should appear properly uniformed, of course)

    • Arrange for taking videos and slides to be used at service club meetings and similar functions

Finance Chair

Qualifications: The finance chairperson should be a member of the district or council finance committee and thoroughly familiar with the policies and practices of financing Scouting.

The finance chairperson should be aware of the financial needs of the council and the event, and recruit a small team to assist with these duties.

Job description: Responsibilities include:

  • Developing a camporee budget and estimating the cost of supplies and services

  • Estimating income from sources (trading post surplus, registration fees, etc.) other than by council appropriation

  • Determining the amount of money (if any) required to balance income and expenditures Submitting requests (if any) to the council finance committee for funds from the camping and/or activities appropriation to balance the camporee budget


Awards Chair

Qualifications: The chairperson of the awards team should be familiar with the Boy Scout advancement program and be experienced in organizing and supervising. This person must be able to recruit a team and know the basic skills of Scout camping.

Job description: The Awards Chair works closely with the Program Chair. Responsibilities include:

  • Developing an evaluation plan

  • Developing scorecards or sheets

  • Deciding upon and securing awards

  • Providing the participation team with the final plan early enough to be included in their instructions to Scoutmasters

  • Recruiting and training the necessary number of observers

  • Tallying patrol and troop scores

  • Arranging for presentation of awards


Health and Safety Chair

Qualifications: The health and safety chairperson should be selected with the help of the district or council health and safety chairperson. Someone from the council health and safety committee could be assigned to handle this responsibility and serve on the camporee task force.

Personnel for this team could be recruited from the district or council health and safety committee and from groups with similar interests, such as the Red Cross, industrial safety departments, and local health departments. Members from the latter groups need not be registered Scouters.

Job description: Responsibilities include:

  • Camporee sanitation:

    • Check the source of the water supply and the number of available outlets, and arrange for additional outlets, if needed.

    • Arrange to have the water tested.

    • Check on drainage, adequate toilet facilities with toilet paper and water for washing hands at the latrines (patrols are responsible if they dig the latrines).

    • Secure a permit for installing latrines if needed. Supply nightlights at the latrines.

  • First aid:

    • Secure and set up a first aid tent or shelter, placing it in a proper location.

    • Secure trained personnel. Make certain that all necessary equipment and materials are on hand. Have an ambulance or station wagon on hand in case of an emergency.

    • Supply a sign or Red Cross flag for the first aid center. Clear ahead of time with the local hospital for possible emergency treatment.

  • Traffic safety: Determine what control will be needed, arranging for police assistance if necessary.

    • Provide parking for visitors and participants.

  • Program: When requested by the program chairperson, assist in demonstrations for fitness, first aid, emergency preparedness, and safety.

  • Fire safety: Establish standards and check on campfires-types and locations-and troop cooking fires. Restrict liquid fuels within policy limitations. Prohibit flame lights in tents.

  • Site check: Check the site for all possible hazards.

  • Tents: Promote the use of two-person trail tents, checking to be sure that they meet BSA standards. Tents must provide:

      • 1. Sleeping space for two campers and adequate storage space for their packs and equipment

      • 2. Reasonable dressing space

When planning for a council camporee, each district will need the following personnel:

A camporee director or chief in charge of the district area;

An assistant director in charge of program, who represents the district on the events team;

A first aid officer, who becomes the representative on the health and safety team;

A registrar, who becomes a member of the participation team; and

A district representative on the awards team.

A camporee staff is made up of dedicated Scouters who each have a “job” to do. But beyond these, many other volunteers contribute to running a successful camporee:

In a message on Camporee-Listserv, Tim Aumann Reported:

I just held my first camporee this past weekend using the every troop provides two volunteers method. It worked very well. I actually was able to turn a few people away, which was nice.

One thing I did was ask for the volunteer’s names on the troop registration form. This let the troops know I was serious about getting names, and gave me contact information for them before the event. Using that information, I was able to contact a couple people who I asked to do some things before the event. Everyone else I met with on Friday night, before the leaders’ meeting, to give out assignments.

I had a couple of troops who brought a large number of boys provided more than the required two volunteers. They offered to do this, to make sure I did not run short. I think in the future I will ask for one volunteer for every 20 boys (or fraction thereof) that the troop brings.

Also, I asked different troops to do various special tasks – flag raising / lowering, lead the Scouts Own service, build the campfire, MC the campfire, etc. So where you expect to see boys doing things, you did

Help from attendees

Some districts are in the habit of requiring each unit to provide one or more adults to serve as event staff.

Kaposia District of Indianhead Council (MN), uses the adult cracker barrel (on Friday Night of a camporee) to get these volunteers assigned. One by one, the official staff members in charge of each event get up and say how many volunteers they need for their station. Volunteers raise their hands and give their names. After the cracker barrel, they meet the coordinator for their event (often for the first time), and find out the details of what they’ll be doing.

Local Clubs & Groups

Like anyone passionate about something, these folks love to come out and show off their hobby. They can often provide a big chunk of the event’s program.

Examples: Rocketry Clubs Hot air balloon enthusiasts, Sky divers Radio-control airplanes National Guard, army, navy, marine corps Paramedics Volunteer Firefighters Search & Rescue