COPE & Climbing - Training

Climb On Safely

The first step to becoming trained as a COPE or climbing instructor is to complete the Boy Scouts of America’s Climb On Safely course. Climb On Safely is the BSA's procedure for organizing BSA climbing/rappelling activities at a natural site or a specifically designed facility such as a climbing wall or tower. This course is available online at and is also offered in person at the council's regular training days at CPCC.

Please note that this course must be re-taken every two years to remain current.


Training Questions?

If you have any questions about COPE & Climbing training in general or any of the training courses listed below, please contact a committee member with questions. 


Foundations Level I Instructor - Artificial Structures

The course is designed to cover the Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) and Climbing Foundations Level I Instructor competencies. The course goal is to ensure that you can safely and effectively support MCC Unit, District, and Council climbing/rappelling activities held at either the Belk Scout Camp Tower or Mecklenburg Scout Reservation (MSR) Tower/Indoor Wall. Training will be conducted following the BSA guidelines of Climb On Safely, Belay On, National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) Standards, and MCC’s Climbing/Rappelling Policies and Procedures.    
This Level I course is intended for BSA registered adults and are interested in learning and teaching the basics of climbing and rappelling on MCC’s Climbing Towers/Indoor Wall. Upon successful completion of the course (to include demonstrating climbing/rappelling core competencies), adults will receive their BSA “Climbing Instructor Level I” training card.
BSA registered youth age 16 and up are also eligible to take the Level I course. Upon successful completion (to include demonstrating climbing/rappelling core competencies), youth will receive their BSA “Climbing Instructor in Training” card.
This course is offered twice a year - in the fall and the spring. The course lasts three days, beginning Friday evening around 6:00 pm and wraps up about 12:00 pm on Sunday. We usually hold the training at Belk Scout Camp. Meals and lodging are provided.
Our next course is scheduled in the spring the weekend of September 6-8, 2024, at Belk Scout Camp. You can read the course flyer for details and important prerequisites. Registration is open now.


Climbing Level I Instructor - Natural Rock


This Level I Natural Rock course is a single day session designed to introduce the instructor to the basics of facilitating a natural rock climbing program. Anchoring basics and site management will be covered during this course.

If you are interested in adding to your training by taking our Climbing Level I course, please contact a committee member. The next Climbing I course is scheduled for Saturday, August 17th, 2024 at Rocky Face park. View the course flyer for more information.


Incident Resolution - Natural Rock

This single day course is designed to add the tools to your toolbox to help you safely and effectively support MCC unit climbing/rappelling activities held at MCC approved natural rock locations.

Please note that this course is only open to current Climbing I and II Instructors.

There is no course currently schedule but you can view the latest course flyer for more information.



Mock Lead Climbing Instructor


Take your instructor skillset to the next level. Learn to rig and facilitate the newest element on the Belk and MSR towers - the lead climb wall. This single day course will train you on the gear, equipment and procedures to facilitate a mock lead climb. You must be a current COPE & Climbing Foundations Level I Instructor (or above) to take this training course. 

You can view the course flyer for more information including registration details.


Foundations Level II Instructor - Artificial Surfaces

Are you ready for the next step? The COPE & Climbing Foundations Level II course is intended for the experienced Level I instructor. This course will train you to run the tower and be the lead instructor for an event on either the Belk or MSR climbing tower. The Foundations Level II course will be held over 2 days at Belk Scout Camp.

There is no course currently scheduled. We may consider a course in 2025 if there is enough demand. You may find information on the most recent course on the course flyer.

Please note that this course is by invitation only to ensure the qualifications of the trainees.



Climbing Level II Instructor - Natural Rock


The Level II Natural Rock course will be held over 2 days and will cover advanced techniques for rigging in the wild and facilitating a natural rock climbing program. At the end of the course the instructor will be trained to lead a scout group climbing and rappelling outdoors on natural rock.

There is no course scheduled at this time, however we can share some overall details about the course. There are no overnight accomodations. The course will be held at two different locations each day to introduce the participants to the locations approved by the COPE & Climbing committee. A course flyer and registration details will be available when a course date is set.


COPE Level II Instructor

The COPE Level II instructor course will be held over 2 days at the Mecklenburg Scout Reservation - beginning Saturday morning at 8:00 am and concluding Sunday afternoon. Participants will learn the ropes to open the low and high COPE courses at MSR and Belk Scout Camp. This course is a welcomed addition to our COPE & Climbing program providing many new and exciting opportunities to scouts of all ages across our council.

The next course is scheduled for April 13-14, 2024 at MSR. You can view the latest course flyer for additional information.