Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has offered its members an outdoor program stressing personal fitness. COPE is an acronym for Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience. It comprises a series of outdoor challenges, beginning with basic group initiative games and progressing to more complicated low-course and high-course activities. Some of these events involve a group effort, whereas others test individual skills and agility. Participants climb, swing, balance, jump, and rappel as well as think through solutions to a variety of challenges. Most participants find that they can do much more than they initially thought that they could.




Project COPE is an exciting outdoor activity that can attract and keep older boys in Scouting. It is designed to meet the needs of today's youth who are seeking greater physical and mental challenges. The underlying goals of a Project COPE course are consistent with the methods of Scouting. Group activities are ideal for emphasizing the patrol method and developing leadership. Individual activities help promote personal growth. Participation is entirely voluntary.

A Project COPE course provides an opportunity for each participant to achieve success as an individual and as a member of a patrol or team. The activities are not designed to be competitive or to be races against time. The objectives include building teams, solving problems, making decisions, and developing trust, communication, leadership, planning, and self-esteem, as team members cooperate to achieve goals upon which they have agreed. The course is designed to foster personal growth among both youth and adult groups.


All COPE activities require a currently certified COPE director and currently certified COPE facilitators.

Project COPE participants include any young men or women, ages 13 and above, who are registered with a Boy Scout Troop, a Varsity Team, or a Venturing Crew, as well as all registered adult leaders and any unregistered adult (age 18 or older) who may be accompanying a group. Individually customized programs are designed for each Troop, Team, or Crew based upon their stated goals. Project COPE can also design programs for such diverse groups as Philmont Trek Crews, Non Profit Groups, School Groups, and any adult leader community from the Cub Scout Pack through the District and Council committees.

The Project COPE manual (34371) describes facilities and equipment for low- and high-course activities that help develop communication, planning, teamwork, trust, leadership, decision making, problem solving, and self-esteem in the participants.

COPE Facilitator Training

COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) is an exciting program that teaches important lessons, but the classroom is like no other. COPE uses mental and physical challenges, low and high above ground to teach confidence, self-esteem, trust, leadership, team building and problem solving. As a COPE facilitator, you'll help participants climb, swing, balance, jump, and think of solutions to a variety of activities.


The council climbing committee is dedicated to providing quality training and activities above and beyond the basic camping experiences of the Boy Scouts of America.

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.

There is inherent risk in climbing and rappelling. With proper management, that risk can be minimized. Leaders should be aware that Climb On Safely is an orientation only, and does not constitute training on how to climb or rappel. Climb on Safely training may be obtained from the BSA Online Learning Center.

Topping Out

The job of climbing is hard to top. Watching an experienced climber fluidly move from one hold to the next with skill and confidence inspires others.Toping Out describes recommended techniques for setting up and carrying out a top-roping program that is appropriate for most BSA youth and units. It applies to climbing facilities such as towers, vertical and horizontal walls as well as to natural features such as cliffs and rock faces. Climb on Safely is a prerequisite and may be taken online.

Participants learn about climbing equipment such as cams, stoppers, hexs, and anchors. Participants also learn how to effectively supervise climbing and rappelling activities. Individuals who satisfactorily demonstrate the skills necessary to be an instructor will receive tower instructor status.

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Contact Information

(602) 955-7747
(602) 955-0570 (Fax)


2969 N Greenfield Rd
Phoenix, Arizona 85016-7715


Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(excluding Holidays)

GCCBSA is a 501c3 organization

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