- Adult Leadership
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Use and Abuse
- Emergency Service
- Fuels and Fire Prevention
- First Aid
- Guns and Firearms
- Sports and Activities
- Medical Information
- Serious or Fatal Injuries or Illnesses
- Trail Safety
- Winter Sports Activities
- Special Precautions
- Youth Protection and Child Abuse
The Boy Scouts of America has established the following guidelines for its members' participation in camping activities:
- Tiger Cubs are limited to boy-parent excursions or program-managed family camping designed for the entire family.
- Overnight camping by second- and third-grade Cub Scout dens or Cub Scout packs (other than at an approved local council resident camping facility) is not approved, and certificates of liability insurance will not be provided by the Boy Scouts of America.
- Cub Scouts (second- and third-graders) and Webelos Scouts (fourth- and fifth-graders) may participate in a resident overnight camping program covering at least two nights and operating under certified leadership in an established Scout camp operated by the council during the normal camping season.
- All Scouts registered in Boy Scout troops are eligible to participate in troop or patrol overnight campouts, camporees, and resident camps.
- Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts 12 through 17 are eligible to participate in national jamborees. Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts 13 through 17 are also eligible to participate in world jamborees and high-adventure programs.
- All youth registered in Venturing are eligible to participate in crew, district, council, and national Venturing activities. Venturers are eligible to participate in national high-adventure programs, and on a limited basis, world jamborees. Venturers are eligible to participate in Boy Scout resident camp if registered and attending with a troop.
If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers.
References: Outdoor Program Guidelines: Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Parents, and Families, No. 13-631; National Standards for High-Adventure Programs; Guide to Safe Scouting.
A publication of the Boy Scouts of America, Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308 (latest printing), contains all basic information needed by camp directors, health officers, health and safety committees, and other professional or volunteer Scouters related to camping. It should always be available in the Scout office and in camp. Major topics covered in this manual include: camp health, personal health, duties of the camp health officer, camp health lodge, swimming program, swimming pools, waterfront, natural waters, poisonous plants, pest control, campsite selection, transportation, kitchen safety, fire safety, activity areas, maintenance, troop site facilities, central food services, and precamp/postcamp inspection checklist.
Advance plans must be developed to cope with the unexpected. This is true on a day hike, at an overnight troop camp, or at the council long-term camp. Plans must be specific as to the person in charge, action to be taken, alternatives, person to notify, emergency telephone number, location of law enforcement and fire and health facilities, as well as evacuation procedures.
Primary reference: Camp Program and Property Management (Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Section I). Additional references: Cub Scout Leader Book, Fieldbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, and BSA Lifeguard Counselor Guide.
Recreational family camping is when Scouting families camp as a family unit outside of an organized program. It is a nonstructured camping experience, but is conducted within a Scouting framework on local council-owned or -managed property. Local councils may have family camping grounds available for rental at reasonable rates. Other resources may include equipment, information, and training.
Program-managed family camping is when the local council or unit provides all of the elements of the outdoor experience on one or more days, with major program areas staffed. Many times this includes food service, housing, and complete program schedule. Cub Scout unit family programs must have local council approval. These events must be held on council-owned or-managed property or, at the local council's option, in council-approved city, county, state, or federal parks.
Model A: typically a weekend experience for the Scout member and an adult member of his family. Examples: dad-and-lad, mom-and-me, and parent-and-pal.
Model B: an outdoor experience of one or more days at a set BSA-owned or-managed camping location where the Scout's entire family is encouraged to participate.
It is recommended that if a council camp has a full-time, year-round resident property superintendent, or a fulltime year-round resident ranger, this person be currently trained in first aid and CPR from any recognized agency.
The minimum training for the health officer in a resident camp is current training by the American Red Cross in Responding to Emergencies, which includes CPR, or National Safety Council First Aid and CPR level 2. One staff member for every 40 campers must be coached in first-aid practices for conditions most likely to occur in camp and trained in CPR by any recognized community agency. At least one food service staff person on duty should be trained in obstructed airway procedure.
It is important that one person in each touring group be trained in the principles of first aid/CPR and know how and when to put this knowledge to the best use, as well as thoroughly understand the limitations of this knowledge.
Primary reference: Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308. Additional references: Cub Scout Leader Book, Fieldbook, First Aid merit badge pamphlet, Tours and Expeditions, and Boy Scout Handbook.
Every camp needs a convenient and properly equipped place in which to give temporary care to ill and injured campers. The health lodge should include a reception area, a clinic, and a ward for the temporary hospitalization of campers. Plans for a health lodge are available from the Engineering Service of the Boy Scouts of America.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations for bloodborne pathogens (29 CFR Section 1910.1030) became effective in 1992. A comprehensive white paper, No. 19-317, is available upon request from bin Resources, S500, at the national office.
Healthcare professionals employed by local councils to staff camp health facilities or to fulfill health officer functions at BSA camps are affected by the regulations. In addition, all designated responders, identified in the local council's medical emergency response plan, are affected by the regulations.
Primary reference: White Paper-Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations for Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR Section 1910.1030).
OSHA Regulation 29 CFR Section 1910.1030 requires:
- "All first aid caregivers must wear disposable gloves before providing care. Contaminated gloves shall be removed inside out to help prevent contact with contaminated surfaces. Place contaminated gloves in 10 percent chlorine bleach solution to decontaminate prior to disposal. When carefully decontaminated, gloves can be disposed of as non-hazardous waste. Thoroughly wash hands immediately or as soon as feasible after removal of gloves.
- "Air guards (mouthpiece protective device) shall be used prior to giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Thoroughly wash and decontaminate used air guards prior to disposal.
- "All required PPE will be furnished to employees at no cost.
- "Prior to cleanup of blood or other bodily fluids, use the bleach solution to neutralize potentially infectious fluids. Use absorbent to soak up bleach-neutralized fluids. Dispose with regular non-hazardous waste.
- "Contaminated work uniforms shall be decontaminated using the bleach solution, bagged separately, and tagged to provide information and warning to uniform vendor.
- "Contaminated personal clothing shall be decontaminated using a bleach solution and laundered using a strong detergent separately from other clothing."
- The council must provide the following at no cost:
- For health center employees, masks, eye protection, face shields, gowns, aprons, and shoe covers or boots, in the event of gross contamination.
- For health centers, first aid kits, latex gloves, eye goggles or other protection, and antiseptic in their inventory to be used when giving first aid to bleeding victims as a protective device against possible exposure. Mouthpieces or mouth-barrier devices must be available for CPR.
Note: Other precautions to be taken include disposal of wastes, procedures to protect the patient, and, in some instances, special precautions in the disposition of lab specimens. Information on these are readily available from hospitals or state departments of health.
Primary reference: Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308. Additional references: Camp Program and Property Management (Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Section I), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations for Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR Section 1910.1030).
The precamp inspection is the first step in meeting the mandatory standards of the national standard camp rating. This inspection may take place any time prior to the opening of a resident camping season, in the fall or early spring, to locate deficiencies and to make provision for them to be repaired, replaced, or in any case put into proper shape. It is highly recommended that this inspection take place soon after the closing of the summer season so that all work can be funded, planned, and scheduled for the winter and spring. A Precamp/Postcamp Inspection Checklist is sent to the regional office with the Application to Operate a Resident Scout Camp, No. 19-136, at least 120 to 150 days prior to camp opening.
The inspection group should include council camp chair, health and safety chair, camp director, property and maintenance chair, and Scout executive, plus specialists who can evaluate conditions of the facilities. It is important to recruit knowledgeable people: a public health sanitarian or engineer to check all phases of sanitation, a medical specialist for health lodge and medical supplies and equipment, aquatics experts for waterfront or swimming pool, and safety and insurance loss experts to check hazards.
Primary reference: Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308.
Frequently the request for an early release will be made as a result of an emergency situation in the Scout's family or due to illness or injury to the Scout himself in camp, unit, district, or council activity In any event, there could be a certain amount of anxiety and tension on the part of the parent or legal guardian. This individual may not understand or appreciate any delay in the release of the Scout and your adherence to the camp security policy. Your own patience and understanding in dealing with these situations, displaying courtesy, showing concern, and taking a few minutes to explain the reasons for your camp security policy should, in the long run, be appreciated by the majority of those who entrusted you to be responsible for the well-being of their children.
The following items should be considered as guidelines when establishing security in your camp.
The camp director may use his or her best discretion to attach additional requirements appropriate for the needs of the camp.
Note: Parents should be encouraged not to pick up a child until the conclusion of the total week's program. The camp program concludes and youth members are released after breakfast on the last day of camp.
- A camp staff person should be designated and trained in the proper course of action and the procedures for a camper's early release. The camper's early release form(s) should be kept in a permanent file.
- Print both the policy and name of the staff member who may be contacted about this policy. Have this information in writing and posted in prominent places around the camp. Provide copies for unit leaders.
- The policy should state your requirements for handling unexpected guests and strangers in camp. Require them to check in with the appropriate staff member.
- Should it be necessary for a Scout to leave camp early without his leader,
the camp director must be notified upon check in. Notification must be in
writing from the parent or guardian having custody of the child, through
the Scout leader in charge of the unit. If a camper is to be picked up early,
this notification must also say who is authorized to pick up the child.
- When he or she arrives at camp, the adult with permission to pick up the camper must check in with the camp director at the camp office.
- The camp director will notify the adult leader of the unit, who will confirm whether this is the correct adult to pick up the camper.
- If the adult is the correct person confirmed by the adult unit leader, the boy will then be contacted and released to the adult by the camp director.
- The camp director should develop a camper's early release form to use
when emergency situations occur, such as a death in the family or serious
injuries, with the following minimum requirements:
- Camper's name, address, and phone number
- Unit leader's name, address, and phone number
- Unit number of camper and leader and campsite. If multiple-reservation camp, camp's name
- Unit leader's approval of release (signature and date)
- Name, address, and phone number of the person to whom the camper is to be released
- Proof of identification of the person to whom the camper is to be released
- Reason for early release
The form should be prepared in duplicate, retaining the original for camp records and giving a copy to the unit leader.
- A Scout should never be released to another youth without written verification of the request signed by a parent or legal guardian. If feasible, a telephone call to the parent or legal guardian can verify the request and individual sent for this purpose.
- In case of removal from camp or in the event of illness or injury, the camp director or his representative should contact parents or next of kin as soon as possible and indicate what steps have been taken to aid the injured or ailing individual. This should be done by a telephone call whenever possible.
- Awareness of the whereabouts of all unit members is important and requires periodic checks during the day.
- If an adult camp leader is taking a boy home during the camp week, he must check out with the camp director and must inform the camp director upon his return to camp. If the child is not directly related to the adult leader, two-deep leadership guidelines as stated in the Youth Protection training must be followed. Upon returning to the camp property, the adult leader must check in with the camp director.
References: Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308, and Camp Program and Property Management (Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Section I).
The national standards for camps and high-adventure bases are published annually by the Boy Scouts of America. These standards are designed to encourage each council to appraise realistically the facilities it uses, equipment, staff, services, and program.
References: National Standards for Cub Scout/Webelos Scout Day Camps, National Standards for Cub Scout/Boy Scout Resident Camps, and National Standards for High Adventure Programs.
Frequently health and safety personnel will be requested to give leadership in support of a district or council camporee. This will possibly involve such areas as sanitation, first aid, traffic safety, program, and fire safety.
Primary reference: Camp Health and Safety No. 19-308.
The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.
Adult leaders should support the attitude that young adults are better off without tobacco and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants.
All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.
The misuse of drugs happens in all levels of our society. We may be confronted with the problem at any time; therefore, we need to understand the misuse of drugs and what can be done about the situation. Some young people and adults, either looking for thrills or for escape from unpleasant situations, boredom, or their own problems, turn to drugs as an outlet.
Some characteristic marks of a drug user may include:
- The feeling that he or she does not have a single friend to rely upon.
- A desire to get someone else to use it, too.
- A desire to avoid all responsibility. It seems impossible for many of them to finish any job, school, or any kind of competition.
- A deterioration in behavioral patterns.
Before describing these drugs, there are several common things you must know about them.
- As is the case with alcoholic drinks, some people react much more strongly to drugs than others. One person may have a mild reaction to the same amount of drug that affects another person severely.
- The sale or use of most of these drugs without a doctor's prescription is illegal. Penalties may range from a stiff fine to a long jail sentence.
- All these drugs give reactions that make driving a car under their influence extremely hazardous.
- Once a person starts using them, the difficulty in stopping is increased with each use, or the person may lose his or her desire to stop.
Here are some of the more commonly used drugs:
- Hallucinogens. These drugs cause the user to experience
distorted distance and time conception. The user sees, hears, and feels
things that are not there.
- Marijuana - "pot" - usually smoked in cigarette form.
- LSD - "acid" - a synthetic chemical produced in laboratories. It can cause serious mental illness.
- PCP - "angel dust."
- Narcotics. This class of drugs, which includes morphine, heroin, and methadone, has important medical uses for pain relief. These drugs also release inhibitions, making people more daring and willing to take chances. Narcotics are often injected with a hypodermic syringe. They may at first effect a sense of well being but are highly addictive. Many users have died from narcotics overdoses, impurities, and transmitted diseases such as AIDS.
- Sedatives. Sedatives include antihistamines (taken for colds and allergies), barbiturates (often in sleeping pills), and tranquilizers. They depress the nervous system. In overdose or when used in combination with other depressants (such as alcohol), sedatives can produce circulatory and respiratory collapse and death.
- Stimulants. Stimulants such as amphetamines (in diet pills or "pep" pills) stimulate the central nervous system, speeding up heartbeat, pulse, and breathing rates. These drugs are highly addictive. Brain damage or death can result from overdose or prolonged use.
- Inhalants. Inhaling chemicals such as solvents found in quick-drying glues and cements can cause death or produce unconsciousness and result in damage to many parts of the body.
- Alcohol. After a first stage of stimulation, alcohol depresses the higher brain centers and produces drowsiness, reduces coordination, and impairs judgment and reaction time. Alcohol causes people to be a danger to themselves and to others because they are not in full control of their bodies and minds. Overdose can cause death; continued overuse can result in disease and death.
Prevention. Experts on drug abuse tell us that some of the deciding factors that can help young adults turn away from drug abuse, including alcoholism, are:
- Having friends who care and to care about
- Having a warm and open relationship with parents starting with honest communication
- Knowing the facts-not scary fiction-about drugs and alcohol
- Being part of something beyond yourself-religion responsibility, belonging to an organization like Scouting, school, or community projects
- Knowing yourself-encourage young people to make an honest appraisal of their values and goals in life
Consult local drug abuse centers, organization churches, social workers, school counselors, or physicians for specific help. Further information is available from the National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information, P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847-2345.
References: Boy Scout Handbook, Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308, Venturing Reference Guide, Scoutmaster Handbook, Troop Committee Guidebook, and Guide to Safe Scouting.
Tobacco. After many years of careful research, medical authorities conclude that cigarette smoking and the use of tobacco in any other form is a serious health hazard.
Health is a most valuable possession. Smoking will dangerously impair a person's health. BSA strongly recommends that leaders maintain the attitude that young adults are much better off without tobacco Leaders are strongly encouraged not to use tobacco products in any form nor allow their use at any BSA activity.
Smoke Free Policy. All local councils are encouraged to implement the policy.
All buildings or facilities under control of the local council are to be designated as non-smoking facilities Smoking outside entrance/exit doors is not permitted a any location. In addition, all Scouting functions, meetings or activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis with permitted smoking areas located away fro all participants.
References: Boy Scout Handbook, Venturing Reference Guide, Scoutmaster Handbook, Sea Scout Manual, and Troop Committee Guidebook.
The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) is a national group composed of volunteer organizations. The purpose of this organization is to bring together voluntary organizations active in disaster set vice to foster more effective service to people affected b: disaster through: (1) cooperation, (2) coordination, (3 communication, (4) education, (5) convening mechanism, and (6) mitigation.
This group is composed of many partnership organizations related to the Boy Scouts of America, including: American Red Cross, Church of the Brethren, Christian Reformed World Relief, Church World Service, Episcopal Church, Lutheran Disaster Response, Mennonite Disaster Services, Catholic Charities USA, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Society of St. Vincent dePaul, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and Volunteers of America.
Frequently, state and municipal counterparts to this national group establish guidelines to follow in cooperation with local officials in the event of a disaster. We would suggest that local council contacts be made through the local American Red Cross chapter.
Source: BSA Health and Safety Guide #33415B - 2000 Printing
Page updated on: August 10, 2007