- 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
Established public carriers-trains, buses, and commercial airlines-are the safest and most comfortable way for groups to travel. Chartered buses are usually the most economical transportation for groups of 20 or more. It may be necessary for small groups to travel in private automobiles; however, the use of chartered equipment from established rail, bus, and airline companies is strongly recommended. The advantages are many. These companies have excellent safety records because of their periodic inspections and approved health and safety procedures.
- Approved activities:
- Flying on any flight scheduled on a commercial airline.
- Basic orientation flights are within 25 nautical miles of the departure airport. The pilot must have at least a private pilot's license and 250 hours of flight experience. Takeoffs and landings must occur at the same airport with no stops in between. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are restricted to this type of flight.
- Advanced orientation flights (restricted to Venturers) must occur within 50 nautical miles of the departure airport and may land at other airports before returning to the departure airport. Pilots must have at least a private pilot's license and 500 hours of flight experience.
- Flying on military orientation flights.
- Ground-school pilot training.
- All non-airborne activities, including simulations, building aircraft, tours, seminars, speakers, etc.
- Unauthorized activities:
- Certifying pilots in powered and nonpowered aircraft. The BSA is not a pilot-certification agency.
- Flying in hang gliders, ultralights, experimental-class aircraft, and hot-air balloons; parachuting; and flying in aircraft as part of a search-andrescue mission.
- Ownership of aircraft by councils and units.
- Cross-country transportation flights, i.e., noncommercial flights with the sole purpose of getting from one place to another.
- Additional information:
- The BSA Flying Permit, No. 19-672, is required for all BSA flying activities except commercial flights.
- Parental/Guardian Consent forms, No. 19-673, are required. Units are required to attach the signed consent forms to the BSA Flying Permit application, No. 19-672, and should keep a copy of the signed forms in their files.
- Members of the Boy Scouts of America traveling in chartered commercial
aircraft or private aircraft during an activity identified as a "Scouting
activity" must obtain prior written approval on the Flying Permit Application,
No. 19-672, two weeks in advance of the activity. In approving the application
the council must initiate procedures that will ensure the following:
- The pilot has a current and proper medical certificate and pilot certificate with necessary ratings, as required by the FAA, for each flight.
- No charge is being made for the flight other than reimbursement of direct expenses, such as fuel costs (not time or labor). Fund-raisers involving aviation rides for a fee are neither authorized nor insured. Donations are considered as fees.
- The flight does not require a special permit or waiver by the FAA. The pilot is the best resource for this information. In most cases, special coverage can be obtained. Contact Risk Management in the national office for information.
- The consent form (No. 19-673) for the aviation activity has been signed by the parents/ guardians of the youth members participating.
- Any aircraft to be used has at least the required $1,000,000 aircraft liability coverage with no passenger sublimit. Only standard category aircraft are approved.
- Two-deep adult leadership is required for flying activities. For basic orientation flights, the adult pilot in control of the aircraft is sufficient for the flight while two-deep leadership is maintained on the ground.
- Aircraft must have an FAA Standard Certificate of Airworthiness, other proper documents, and must be current in all FAA-required inspections.
For flying after dark, the pilot must have an instrument rating.
The only authorized use of hot-air balloons in Boy Scout activities is as a decorative display. The balloon must be securely tethered to the ground and never flown, even by the owner. The basket should never be occupied by anyone other than the owner or the owner's immediate family. Under no circumstances are rides by Scouts or others to be permitted.
Reference: Tours and Expeditions
It is essential that adequate, safe, and responsible transportation be used for any and all Scouting activities. Since most accidents occur within a short distance from home, safety precautions are necessary, even on short trips.
General guidelines are as follows:
- You will enforce reasonable travel speed in accordance with state and local laws in all motor vehicles.
- If by motor vehicle:
- Driver Qualifications: All drivers must have a valid driver's license and be at least 18 years of age. Youth member exception: When traveling to an area, regional, or national Boy Scout activity or any Venturing event under the leadership of an adult (21+) tour leader, a youth member at least 16 years of age may be a driver, subject to the following conditions: (1) Six months' driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner's permit or equivalent is not to be counted); (2) no record of accidents or moving violations; (3) parental permission has been granted to leader, driver, and riders; (4) a 21 year-old licensed driver must be a passenger in the vehicle.
- If the vehicle to be used is designed to carry more than fifteen people (including driver), the driver must have a commercial driver's license (CDL).
- Driving time is limited to a maximum of 10 hours and must be interrupted by frequent rest, food, and recreation stops.
- Seat belts are provided, and must be used, by all passengers and driver. Exception: A school or commercial bus.
- Passengers will ride only in the cab if trucks are used.
- Passenger cars or station wagons may be used for transporting passengers, but passengers should not ride on the rear deck of station wagons.
- All driving, except short trips, should be done in daylight.
- Adequate property damage and public liability insurance must be carried.
- Do not exceed the speed limit.
- Do not travel in convoy.
See Leadership Requirements for Trips and Outings, page 3.
Primary reference: Tours and Expeditions. Additional references: Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308, Cub Scout Leader Book, Venturing Reference Guide, Camp Program and Property Management (Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Section I), Scoutmaster Handbook, and Troop Committee Guidebook.
There are several effective safety steps you can take that are quicker than waiting for regulators and the industry to make bags safer.
Back seat. It is the safest spot-up to 29 percent safer for kids than front seats, the National Safety Council reports. Keep children there until about age 12, longer if they'll put up with it.
Distance. Children big enough to wear adult belts in the front should push the seat back as far as possible from the dashboard. They should not lean forward or place anything on the dashboard in the path of the passenger air bag.
Infants. Never put infants in rear-facing child seats in the front of a car with a passenger-side air bag. Buckle them properly in a rear seat.
Children. Should sit in a back seat, properly buckled. If they must be in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with air bags, pull the seat as far back as it can go.
Adults. Sit as far back from the steering wheel as possible, properly buckled.
Special-needs adults. If you have a health or physical condition that could be aggravated by an air bag, contact NHTSA in writing for special permission to have the air bag deactivated.
Reference. Gannett News Service, Register Star wire reports.
Trucks are designed and constructed to transport materials and equipment, not people. The beds of trucks or trailers must never by used for carrying passengers. Tour permits will not be issued for any trip that involves carrying passengers in a truck except in the cab. This includes vehicles converted for that use, unless they are licensed as a bus and meet all requirements for buses.
Primary reference: Tours and Expeditions. Additional references: Venturing Reference Guide, Camp Program and Property Management (Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Section 1), Sea Scout Manual, and Scoutmaster Handbook.
The BSA rule prohibiting the transportation of passengers in the backs of trucks or on trailers may be tempered for parade floats or hayrides, providing the following points are strictly followed to prevent injuries:
- Transportation to and from the parade or hayride site is not allowed on the truck or trailer.
- Those persons riding, whether seated or standing, must be able to hold on to something stationary.
- Legs should not hang over the side.
- Flashing lights must illuminate vehicles used for hayrides after dark, or the vehicle must be followed by a vehicle with flashing lights.
Cruises are subject to the same guidelines, policies, and recommendations listed for all other tours. In national parks and some other areas of the country, special boat and canoe regulations are enforced and special boat permits are required, either for cruising or recreation. Write ahead for instructions, or check with officials about entering parks, forests, or other areas.
Special rules and guidelines apply to transportation on trains and buses.
Primary reference: Tours and Expeditions. Additional references: Venturing Reference Guide, Camp Program and Property Management (Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Section I). and Scoutmaster Handbook.
Tour permits have now become recognized by national parks, military institutions, and other organizations as proof that a unit activity has been well planned and organized and is under capable and qualified leadership. Tour permits will help the unit by guiding it to recommended leadership and safety requirements.
The local tour permit must be filed with the council service center two weeks in advance of a scheduled trip of less than 500 miles.
A national Tour Permit application must be submitted to your local council office for approval at least one month before your departure on a trip of more than 500 miles. The council office forwards it to the regional office for its approval.
Most short, in-town trips of a few hours do not require a tour permit; however, it is recommended that permission slips be obtained from parents.
Primary reference: Tours and Expeditions. Additional references: Camp Health and Safety No. 19-308, Camping merit badge pamphlet, Venturing Reference Guide, Fieldbook, Camp Program and Property Management (Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Section I), Sea Scout Manual, Scoutmaster Handbook, and Troop Committee Guidebook.
Alertness and care in all that is done on the trail and performing within the group's known capabilities are among the best preventive measures against accidents. Most common outdoor injuries are blisters, cuts, sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures. Hikers also may become lost or get caught in storms and often panic as a result. Avoidable tragedies may occur when campers and leaders lack the skills and knowledge to deal with the problems encountered. Leaders must alert their young people to the dangers of unusual environment with proper instructions on fire safety, orienteering, and safe travel.
Leaders must instruct those in their groups to stay on well-established trails, avoid loose rocks (especially on descent), and avoid dangerous ledges, cliffs, and areas where a fall might occur. Fatal accidents do occur when hikers kick and roll boulders down steep hills. On wilderness trails there are no caution signs for loose rocks or guard rails on cliffs.
All participants in a wilderness experience are strongly urged to carry on their persona whistle, a mirror, or a similar signaling device to use in case of emergency.
Trail safety is common sense. The response of individual members of a group in doing the right thing is important, and when they understand the reason for rules of safety, they obey them more willingly.
The Boy Scouts of America has an abundance of literature related to proper procedures and guidelines for a group on a trail.
References: Boy Scout Handbook, Camp Health and Safety, No. 19-308, Backpacking Camping, and Hiking merit badge pamphlets, Cub Scout Leader Book, Fieldbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, and Tours and Expeditions.
Source: BSA Health and Safety Guide #33415B - 2000 Printing