Skip to Content

Cub Scout Camping When Bad Weather Strikes

Being prepared for severe weather is something we think about while we're home, but we often don't consider it while we're camping. As the adults, we'll watch the weather forecast and plan accordingly. But our Scouts still need to know what to do in severe weather situations that may arise while we're camping.

cub scouts prepare for bad weather

In fact, one of the required Wolf Adventures has the Cub Scout discussing how to be prepared for possible weather changes.

Wolf Adventure –  Call of the Wild 2:  With your family or den, make a list of possible weather changes that could happen during your outing according to the time of year you are outside. Tell how you will be prepared for each one.

Here are a few of the situations and some simple rules that your Scouts can follow. After the list, there's a fun game the Scouts can play.

What to Do When Bad Weather Strikes

  • Lightning
  • Tornado
  • Flash Flood

Lightning

“When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” is a phrase that is easy for the Scouts to remember. Many Cub Scout families do “car camping” where their vehicle is parked close to the campsite. If you can, get to your car if you hear thunder. You can read more information at the National Weather Service's site.

lightning storm

If you can't get to your car, you and your Cub Scouts should get into the lightning stance. Squat down with your weight on the balls of your feet, crouch low to the ground, and cover your ears with your hands.

It's advisable to move to an area that is lower and has shorter trees (you don't want to be near the tallest trees), but it's much more important to get into the lightning stance.

Tornado

tornado

Get in, Get Down, and Cover Up!” is our tornado safety phrase. If there is a building close by (such as restrooms), go inside. Don't go to your car. If you are caught outside with no buildings available, the best option is to find the lowest spot in the ground and lay flat, covering your head with your hands. The National Weather Service also has information about tornado safety.

Flash Flood

The flash flood safety phrase is, “Turn Around, Don't Drown!” This is to remind us that we should never drive nor walk through water if we are unsure of how deep it is.

flash flood mountains

If you hear or see water rushing toward you, drop your gear and move to higher ground immediately and as quickly as you can. Read more about flood safety.

Weather Preparedness Drill Game

To make practicing these safety measures fun, I created this little game. To prepare for the game, write the following phrases on pieces of paper. You can also get the free printable below.

  • Tent
  • Tall Tree
  • Car
  • Creek
  • Short Trees
  • Low Spot
  • Hill
  • Open Area

Tape these up around your meeting room.

Start by talking to the Scouts about the actions they should take depending on the weather emergency. Have them squat in a lightning stance, lay flat for tornadoes, and pantomime climbing for flash floods. They can practice these several times.

Instruct the Scouts to pretend they're on a camping trip. They should look around the room to see different areas of the campground. 

When you call out a weather event, they are to move to the safer spot and take the appropriate action. For example, if you call out “tornado,” they should run to the sign marked “low spot,” and lay down flat.

There may be more than one correct answer, so I'll list out possible answers:

  • Tornado – Lay down flat in the lowest spot
  • Lightning – Lightning stance by car, lowest spot or short trees
  • Flood – Climb up the hill

Continue randomly calling out one of the three weather events. Speed up, and watch the Scouts hustle!

I hope this helps your Cub Scouts learn what to do in a weather emergency while camping.

Yours in Scouting,
Sherry

P.S. If you want your Scouts to work on rank requirements while you're camping, print this list to take with you.  It includes activities by rank that can be done during a camp out.

Get your Weather Preparedness Drill Game Printable

Enter your email to get your Weather Preparedness Drill Game Printable!

If you don't get an email within 10 minutes, check your spam folder. If it isn't there, let me know at [email protected].

By entering your email, you'll also get lots of other Cub Scout tips and tricks in my weekly email.

Brian

Monday 29th of January 2024

Can you please email me the printable for this activity?

Thank you!!

Kimberly Chromicz

Thursday 1st of February 2024

Hi there,

I’ve emailed you the printable. Enjoy!

dTjdNQKi

Saturday 13th of January 2024

1

Shana

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

I have tried getting the printable, but it hasn't come to my inbox. I've checked my spam folder, too. Thanks!

Kimberly Chromicz

Friday 3rd of November 2023

Hi there,

I've emailed you the printable. Enjoy!

Chris Rakoczy

Sunday 13th of November 2022

I love the hazardous weather response game and plan on implementing this for my AOL Cubs tomorrow night!

6 Essentials For An Ideal Outdoor Experience - Elle Blonde | Luxury Lifestyle Destination | Travel, Food & Drink, Interiors & More

Thursday 13th of May 2021

[…] on the actual and forecasted weather. Always try to catch the early signals of hurricanes or any sudden weather changes before going outdoors. If there are lightning strikes or heavy rain,  stay away from barren […]