The BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them.
Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid.
Few youth organizations encompass the breadth, volume, and diversity of physical activity common to Scouting, and none enjoy a better safety record. The key to maintaining and improving this exemplary record is the conscientious and trained adult leader who is attentive to safety concerns.
As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the "Sweet Sixteen" of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgement and common sense, are applicable to all activities.
SHAC ERM Guide for Units Sweet Sixteen Guide to Safe Scouting Youth Protection Medical Forms
Youth Protection Training (YPT) is designed to help you keep youth safe from abuse. During YPT Training, participants learn the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Guidelines, signs of abuse, and how to report suspected abuse. After each section of material, participants will answer questions about that section’s topic. This course must be completed by all registered leaders, and is highly recommended for parents and other adults working with youth.
The purpose of the Guide to Safe Scouting is to prepare adult leaders to conduct Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner. The policies and guidelines have been established because of the need to protect members from known hazards that have been identified through 100-plus years of experience. Limitations on certain activities should not be viewed as stumbling blocks; rather, policies and guidelines are best described as stepping-stones toward an enjoyable adventure.
All volunteers participating in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting. Unit leaders should be aware of state and local government regulations that supersede Boy Scouts of America policies and guidelines.
In order to provide better care for its members and to assist them in better understanding their own physical capabilities, the Boy Scouts of America recommends that everyone who participates in a Scouting event have an annual medical evaluation by a certified and licensed health-care provider—a physician (MD or DO), nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. Providing your medical information on this four-part form will help ensure that you meet the minimum standards for participation in various activities. Note that unit leaders must always protect the privacy of unit participants by protecting their medical information. The BSA Annual Health and Medical Record is to be completed at least annually by participants in all Scouting events.
The tour and activity plan is a planning tool to help leaders be prepared for a safe and fun adventure. It can help you ensure trained leadership is in place, equipment is available, and there is safe and appropriate transportation to and from an event.
Health and Safety Training
The BSA and council offers a variety of training courses to educate the adult leadership through training courses online as well as in a classroom setting. Additional information is also available in the Guide to Safe Scouting and on the BSA Scouting Safely website.
First Aid/CPR/AED: Would you know what to do in a cardiac, breathing or first aid emergency? The right answer could help you save a life. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, our First Aid/CPR/AED courses give you the skills to save a life. Red Cross First Aid, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) training is universally recognized for its effectiveness. It can help ensure that everyone from the Boy Scout working on a First Aid merit badge to a Scouter leading a unit on a high-adventure trek is fully prepared. Find the next scheduled course.
Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is the assessment of and treatment given to an ill or injured person in a remote environment where definitive care by a physician and/or rapid transport is not readily available. Participants will learn how to assess, treat, and (when possible) contain emergencies within the scope of their training. Find the next scheduled course.
Tools to plan events and campouts
The campout safety checklist provides guidance on safety issues that you may encounter at a Scouting campout. Along with the Guide to Safe Scouting and the tour and activity plan, this tool will help you in having conversations on identifying risks that need to be mitigated or eliminated.
The event safety checklist provides guidance on safety issues that you may encounter at a Scouting event. This is a tool, not a list of mandatory guidelines. The intent of the checklist is to create conversations among event organizers around risks and ways to mitigate or eliminate them.
As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the "Sweet Sixteen" of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.
Emergency management, emergency preparedness, and disaster services are common throughout the United States - we take care of each other. By whatever name, these activities encompass preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery related to any kind of disaster, whether natural, technological, or national security. Emergency preparedness means being prepared for all kinds of emergencies, able to respond in a time of crisis to save lives and property, and to help a community or even a nation - return to normal life after a disaster occurs.
The Emergency Preparedness BSA program is planned to inspire the desire and foster the skills to meet this challenge in our youth and adult members so that they can participate effectively in this crucial service to their families, communities, and nation. Please review the linked documents to help your family be prepared for emergencies.
A key responsibility that all volunteers and professional staff share is providing an effective program that meets the needs of young people and provides the proper health and safety of everyone concerned. It is important that we sustain the safe operation of our programs and promote continuous improvement through organizational learning. Timely and complete incident reports support analysis that is critical to identifying needed improvement of the programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.
Mandatory Report of Child Abuse
All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is, or has been, physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. You may not abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.
SHAC Child Abuse Reporting Procedures
Steps to Reporting Child Abuse
- Ensure the child is in a safe environment.
- In cases of child abuse or medical emergencies, call 911 immediately. In addition, if the suspected abuse is in the Scout's home or family, you are required to contact the local child abuse hotline.
- Notify the Scout executive or his/her designee.
Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies
If you think any of the BSA's Youth Protection policies have been violated, including those described within Scouting's Barriers to Abuse, you must notify your local council Scout executive or his/her designee so appropriate action can be taken for the safety of our Scouts.
Update to the BSA Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Use and Abuse Guidelines
Effective with the October 2014, the Guide To Safe Scouting Section IV Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Use and Abuse was updated. It now states, "Adult leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youth, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers or electronic nicotine delivery systems which simulates tobacco smoking."