Rules & Regulations

It is the primary goal of Camp Shands to provide a safe, quality program to the youth in our community. At Camp Shands we are also extremely concerned about the safety of members within our programs.

The following activities are forbidden at all times, and violators will be immediately escorted off camp property:

  • Starting fires with gasoline, oil, diesel fuel, propane, etc.
  • Riding in the bed of any truck type vehicle or in any trailer
  • Use of firearms (including air guns, BB guns, or pellet guns) in any area other than the appropriate range at any time without specific authorization
  • Use of fireworks on camp property

The Camp Director and Camp Ranger may, at their sole discretion, direct individuals or groups to leave camp property for other serious misconduct not covered in this leaders’ guide.

Vehicle Policy for Camp Shands

Troops may drive to their campsite and unload their equipment. They may park a troop trailer off the road in a designated area close to their campsite and leave it there for the week, but all vehicles must be moved out of the campsites, and parked in designated parking areas. This is to keep our camp in compliance with the National Camp Accreditation Program Standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Note: any vehicle left in a campsite the unit will receive a zero score for their campsite inspection each day.

It is the policy of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America that: Seat belts are required for all occupants in vehicles. The driver must be currently licensed and at least 18 years of age. The beds of trucks or trailers must never be used for carrying passengers. The posted speed limit in camp is 14 miles per hour.

Alcohol and Drugs

Drug and alcohol laws will be strictly enforced according to the laws of the state of Florida. Absolutely no alcohol or illegal drugs will be allowed on camp property. All prescribed drugs must be checked in to the Health Officer immediately upon check in to camp. The Health Officer is required to be informed of all prescription medications brought to camp by Scouts and Leaders. The Health Officer will keep all medications at the Ames (First Aid) Lodge in a locked cabinet and distribute them at meal times. All adults and Scouts will go through medical checks during check-in prior to participating in the swim test. 


Firearms and ammunition are available at Camp for use at the ranges. Camp Shands requests you do not bring personal firearms, however if you do, it must be checked in with the Shooting Sports Director upon arrival. It will remain locked in the Armory until you are ready to leave camp. We will keep your firearm locked for the safety of everyone in camp. 

Health and Safety

All precautions for the safety of the Scouts will be taken. The first aid room in the Ames Lodge is available with a qualified Health Officer on duty 24 hours a day. In the case of non-life threatening injury, the troop leader will be asked to provide transportation to the hospital or elsewhere as directed. Emergency services will be called in the case of accidents of a more critical nature. 


In accordance with national policy, every Scout and Scouter that attends summer camp must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America. The North Florida Council provides accident and illness insurance for all registered members of the Council. Scout troops from outside the Council, must provide certification of troop and/or Council accident and illness coverage. 

Medical Forms

A physical examination is required for each Scout and adult attending camp. All Scouts and adults must have completed the New Annual Health and Medical Record with Parts A, B, & C completed within the last 12 months. If a Scout or Scouter arrives to camp without an Annual Health & Medical Record form, it is the Scout or Scouter’s responsibility to obtain the physical examination and complete the form before being allowed to participate in the Camp’s program. 

Emergency Procedures

Emergency procedures will be posted on camp bulletin boards and in all campsites. Scouts and leaders hearing the bell ring must report immediately to Meninak field without delay. Scoutmasters must make their Scouts aware of this policy. 


Adult leaders should not use tobacco products around young people. Persons under 18 are not permitted to use tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, or personal vaporizers. Smoking is strictly forbidden in all camp buildings or tents. Camp Shands has designated smoking areas.

Restricted Areas

Scouts are restricted from the staff areas at all times. Campsites of other troops are off limits and should not be visited or passed through without prior approval. No raids allowed!! Raids cause personal and property damage and will be grounds for removal from camp. No refunds will be given to anyone removed from camp for any disciplinary problem.


No pets of any kind may be brought into camp without the Camp Director’s prior approval. 

Leaving Camp

No one, Scout or Leader, is to leave camp without first checking out at the Ames Lodge. Persons leaving camp must also check in upon returning to camp. Leaders needing to send Scouts home during the week need to report it to the Ames Lodge. Visitors in camp must also check in at the Ames Lodge. 

Diversity Policy

Camp Shands is dedicated to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity that helps make Camp Shands a great place to work and a valuable member of the community. We do this by ensuring that all people involved in the Scouting program are treated with respect and understanding, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, religion, physical ability, or political belief.

Handicapped Scouts

Our staff believes all Scouts should have equal opportunities, including shooting sports to aquatics, and are committed to instruction or who finds a skill challenging to learn. Our success rate for handicapped Scouts attaining merit badge qualification is unprecedented.  


The complete official uniforms are to be worn by Scouts and leaders for evening assembly, vespers, and campfire activates. Activity uniforms are appropriate all other times except when specifically instructed. 


Please make sure that youth have the proper footwear for camp. They will need sturdy shoes for hiking and spare shoes in case they get wet. No open-toed shoes or bare feet are permitted except in aquatics program areas. 

Troop Leadership

Each troop must have two registered adult leaders in camp at all times. One leader must be at least, 21 years old and the other must be at least 18. If there is a substitution for the troop leader, then there should be an overlapping period of time during which both adults are in camp in order to maintain program continuity and adult supervision over the troop at all times. 

Parents and Visitors

Parents and visitors are invited to visit on Wednesday evening starting at 5:00 pm. Parents may dine with the camper; however, reservations are requested. Visitors wishing to eat in the Dining Hall must pay at the Ames Lodge. Prices are: $4.00 for breakfast, $5.00 for lunch and $6.00 for dinner. Check in and check out is required at the Ames Lodge.

Dining Hall

Meals in the Taylor Dining Hall will be served cafeteria style. Scouts will sit with their troop. We request all Scouts and Scouters to remove their hats prior to entering the Dining Hall and upon completion of your meal to clear and wipe off tables, dispose of trash, and leave the area clean for the next meal.

Special Dietary Needs

We will do our best to meet the special dietary needs of Scouts in your Troop. We have alternative menu suggestions or will provide substitutions for those who have special dietary restrictions due to medical or religious reasons. We have plans to help meet the needs of those allergic to dairy, gluten, or nuts. 

A good Scout is responsible and therefore must also monitor what he or she eats to ensure it is compliant with their normal diet. We will NOT be able to meet the special dietary needs of your Scout without advance notice. Special dietary restrictions must email Carrie Kurtz at  two weeks prior to your arrival. 

Quiet Hours

Each Scout is asked to remain in his or her campsite and observe quiet hours between 10 pm and 6 am. 

Camp Facilities

The buildings and developed areas provide: troop campsites, commissary, trading post, showers, chapel, program areas and a complete waterfront. Campsites are located throughout the wooded areas and provide platform tents and a latrine with the shower facilities being shared with the neighboring campsites. Latrines and showers are private with individual stalls. Any equipment or camp property damaged by the troop will be replaced by the troop. The troop is financially responsible for any monetary loss to the Council. 

Camp Staff

It is our desire to provide the best quality instructors for our program. Staff arrives well before camp opens to prepare for their program classes. Young men and women ages 14 and above are eligible to apply for a camp staff position. Applications for camp staff positions may be accessed online at Compensation is based on age, education level, and previous experience. Counselors in Training are 14 and 15 year-old Scouts who wish to learn about Staff positions at camp. Room and board is provided for camp staff.

Bicycle Safety Rules

Campers, adult leaders, and staff may use bicycles in camp. Please observe the following rules: 

  1. Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
  2. Ride slowly and cautiously down steep hills and not on the foot trails.
  3. Do not ride between 10pm and 6am.
  4. The bicycle should be inspected by the unit leader prior to use. Bicycles are only permitted on the camp roads, NOT on trails. 


Each troop is responsible for disposing of their garbage daily. All odorous materials must be stored properly as to not attract wildlife. 


If you find a leak in the waterline, please report it promptly to the Camp Staff for timely repair.

Wildlife Safety

Camp Shands is a wildlife sanctuary that has deer, birds, squirrels, alligators, snakes, spiders and more. Most of the time these animals do not pose a threat. Just be cautious with all wild animals and please do not feed them. We do not want them to realize that humans mean food. We will then have to remove them and will not be able to enjoy watching them from a distance.