The Camp Durant COPE course and climbing tower are run by a committee of BSA National Camp School-trained directors and volunteer instructors.
The rules for operating the COPE course and climbing tower, the roles and responsibilities for the staff operating the programs and the responsibilities of Occoneechee Council are detailed in a Standard Operating Procedure.
To work on either the COPE course or the climbing tower, you must take a 24-hour COPE Facilitator/Climbing Instructor Training Course taught by the COPE and climbing committee members, active facilitators and trainers. To be eligible to take the course, you must be a member of BSA and be in reasonably good physical condition. Students are encouraged to build a network with their classmates and other course alumni and to explore opportunities to support each other and combine resources to offer exciting programs to their Scouting groups.
At the completion of the course, climbing instructors are authorized to “open” the climbing tower at Camp Durant and run a climbing program for no more than two groups. The rules for how many instructors are needed in total are outlined here.
The Council also offers a Natural Rock Climbing Course, which provides specialized training for setting climbing anchors and running natural rock climbs. Participants must have already completed the COPE Facilitator/Climbing Instructor Training Course to be eligible for the natural rock class. Natural rock instructors are authorized to rent the Council’s natural rock climbing gear (with the same ratio of instructors to youth as the climbing tower).
The Council offers Instructor Certification Training at Camp Durant during summer camp and generally around the first weekend in April and the last weekend in September. The summer camp training sessions are for climbing tower certification only. The spring and fall sessions include both climbing tower certification and introductory training as a COPE course facilitator. Natural rock climbing certification is offered in the spring only.
By taking one of these training courses, you commit to support Occoneechee Council by helping to run at least two COPE or climbing tower events per year, including “open” staff-hosted COPE/climbing days and camporees. This can include events for Packs, Troops, Crews or Ships. Your certification as an instructor is good for two years.
Taking Your Commitment Up a Notch
Becoming a National Camp School Director for COPE or climbing programs is the next step for individuals who want to become even more involved. COPE and climbing committee members must approve all applications to the various national camp school programs, and Occoneechee Council will pay for the training. You are responsible for your transportation to and from the camp school. By completing this training, you are making a four-year commitment to the Camp Durant program.