Volunteer Staff Resources

The Durant COPE course and climbing tower are run by a committee of BSA National Camp School-trained directors, and volunteer COPE facilitators and climbing instructors like you.

The rules for operating the COPE course and climbing towers, roles and responsibilities for the staff operating the programs, and the responsibilities of Occoneechee Council are detailed in a Standard Operating Procedure.

Getting Trained

Additional Required Training

Non-BSA Courses:

  • First Aid
  • CPR

BSA Courses available online:

To work on either the COPE course or the Durant climbing tower, you must take a 24-hour COPE Facilitator/Climbing Instructor Training Course taught by the Occoneechee COPE/Climbing Committee members and active facilitators and trainers. To be eligible to take the course, you must be a member of the BSA and in reasonably good physical condition. The course is offered twice a year, usually in October and April.

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 Durant and run a climbing program for no more than two troops or crews. Note, there must be at least two certified climbing instructors present simply to open the climbing tower, and more instructors may be required depending on the number of scouts participating in the program (Minimum 2 instructors, with 1 instructor for every 6 participants).

As a COPE facilitator, you are authorized to offer the Durant COPE program under the direction of a BSA National Camp School COPE Director. Only a trained Director can open the COPE course. In addition to the Director, one or more facilitators will also be required for each COPE event depending on the size of the scout group. Facilitators will take part in a two year on-the-job-training program during which they will have an opportunity to observe COPE elements being run, teach the elements under the supervision of the COPE Director, and then to offer the program with limited supervision.

The Council also offers a Natural Rock Climbing Course, which provides specialized training for setting climbing anchors and running natural rock climbs. This course is offered once a year. 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).

Your Commitment

By taking the training course, you commit to support Occoneechee Council by helping to run at least two COPE or climbing tower events per year, including open COPE/Climbing days and Camporees. This can include events for your troop or crew. Your certification as a COPE Facilitator or Climbing 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 with the Durant program. The COPE/Climbing Committee 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 becoming a NCS Director, you are making a four-year commitment to the Durant program.