The Adventure Plan (TAP) provides a one-stop set of tools to help adult and youth leaders envision, plan, prepare and conduct safe, exciting and successful outdoor Adventures. Your unit Adventure may be as simple as an overnight backpacking trip or bike ride, or maybe it is a week-long or longer activity. This online planning guide is encouraged for all levels of Scouting from Cub Scouts to Venturing. Not all the steps outlined in this guide will apply to your unit’s Adventure. What steps apply will depend on what type of Adventure your unit selects. As you progress through the guide, you will find links to BSA guidelines, forms and on-line training sites essential for planning and conducting safe and exciting unit Adventures. In Resources, you will find a comprehensive listing of all such links, plus additional references you may find helpful as you build your unit’s next outdoor Adventure. 

Depending on the number of participants on an Adventure, your unit leadership may decide to divide your contingent into two or more “sub-groups.” These groups are typically known as dens, patrols, teams or crews.  Throughout this planning guide all “sub-groups” will be referred to as “crews.”

Every adventure starts with an idea. Maybe it is a suggestion to the Patrol Leaders Council, or maybe it comes from the unit committee or maybe from the unit’s adult leadership, but ideally it should be an adventure that the youth of the unit are excited about and committed to. Some adventures can be planned in a short period of time; some may take 18-24 months depending on the adventure. Some of the national BSA High Adventure Bases start taking reservations 18 months ahead of time.

There are four phases to Adventure planning:

There are a total of 52 steps in the Adventure planning process.

Unit committee members and adult volunteers must read and understand the Guide to Safe Scouting  and Age Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities prior to beginning the Adventure planning process. In addition, all adults must sign and agree to follow the BSA Scouter Code of Conduct.