Tuesday, October 11, 2022 8:38:00 PM
Where council policies are more restrictive than national policies, the council policies apply.
- Safety. 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.
All BSA's Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed and all Scouting activities be conducted in a safe and prudent manner including the Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities. All participants must follow youth protection guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:
- Two-deep leadership on all outings is required.
- One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited.
- The buddy system should be used at all times.
- Discipline must be constructive.
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. 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 SAFE Checklist of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.
Youth Protection Guidelines Guide to Safe Scouting SAFE Checlist Enterprise Risk Management
Resources: • Campout Safety Checklist • Activity Consent Form and Approval By Parents or Legal Guardian • Scouting Safely • Reminders for Outings • Overnight Checklist Cubs Scouts • Overnight Checklist Webelos Scouts
- Leadership Requirements. Each registered unit must provide a minimum of two-deep leadership. Sharing adult leaders during council activities by two units in order to satisfy two-deep leadership requirements is NOT allowed.
“Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided." (Source, Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs)
"All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive. One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting." (Source)
Adult ratios for Cub Scouts (Source) Cub Scouts should attend the camping event with their parent(s)/ guardian(s).
- Lions and Tigers must have their adult partner present to take part. (Source)
- For all other ranks: only in exceptional circumstances, a Cub Scout whose parent or legal guardian cannot attend a unit overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of another registered adult member of the BSA, a parent of a Cub Scout who is also attending. The unit leader and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all Youth Protection policies apply. At no time may another adult accept responsibility for more than one additional nonfamily member youth.(Source)
- Webelos Den Camping: Each Scout should attend with their parent(s) or guardian(s). A Webelos Scout whose parent or legal guardian cannot attend a den overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of at least two registered leaders. The leaders and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all youth protection policies apply. (Source)
- Medical Forms. Every participant must have a current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record. During weekend camping, unit leaders keep a copy of medical forms for all participants. During long-term camp, units are to take two copies of the forms (one for the health lodge and one to keep in the campsite).
Medications. The taking of prescription medication is the responsibility of the individual taking the medication and/or that individual’s parent or guardian. Unit leaders should ensure that prescription medications for their Scouts are properly stored and administered. (Source)
Council Insurance. All registered members of Sam Houston Area Council troops are covered by Health Special Risk unit insurance. A claim form must accompany each Scout who is referred to an outside medical facility. This is secondary coverage. If there is no other policy, this will be the primary insurance. Out-of-council troops must provide proof of accident and sickness insurance upon arrival at camp. For more information or copies of the form, contact Wayne McCleland at 713-756-3309 or Wayne.McLeland@scouting.org. Generally, a copy of the form is not required by the medical facility at the time of treatment. The camp will file the initial claim at the time of treatment. All patients must be referred to the physician or hospital by camp health personnel. For additional information, contact email@example.com.
- Background checks (for events 4+ days long). All adults in camp for any long-term camp or training with youth present (e.g., day camp, winter camp, summer camp, resident camp, NYTL) that is 4 days or longer must have a completed background check on file with the council. All registered adults will have a current background check completed as part of their recharter for the year. In order to protect the health and safety of youth attending residential camps in the State of Texas, the Texas legislature has enacted the Texas Youth Camp Safety and Health Act that requires the council to conduct a criminal background check and sex offender database check on every adult who will be at camp. All adults attending camp in any capacity must complete an Adult in Camp Compliance (ACC) form utilizing the link on the event webpage, a minimum of two weeks before the event, to allow sufficient time for the background checks to be completed. Completing this form allows the council office staff to complete a criminal background check on each adult in camp (regardless of time spent in camp). Visitors should also complete an ACC form; persons who have not completed an ACC form will have to be escorted by an adult the entire time they are on camp property and will only be permitted to enter camp if someone is available to escort them. The council reserves the right to deny participation by any adult based on the information obtained through the background check. The link to submit a form will be on the event webpage. (Source)
- YPT: All registered BSA adults must take Youth Protection Training (YPT) online. All parents attending a campout are highly encouraged to take YPT. (Source)
- Hazardous Weather: At least one leader present must have current Planning and Preparing for Hazardous Weather taken online. (Source)
- For pack camping/overnighters and Webelos den camping: At least one adult on a pack family campout/overnighter must have completed Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) to properly understand the importance of program intent, youth protection policies, health and safety, site selection, age-appropriate activities, and sufficient adult participation. Find a BALOO course near you. (Source)
- CPR/AED and Basic First Aid (recommended for all adventures). (Source). Find first aid courses near you.
- Additional training:
- Roster. Every group must submit a camp roster listing all participants to the campmaster or camp ranger by Saturday at 10:00 am.
- Campsite Assignments. During camping activities at council properties, girl troops will be assigned to different campsites from boy troops. Venturing crews and ships will be assigned to different campsites as Scouts BSA units. Specific campsite assignments are provided when checking in at camp.
- Incident Reporting. Any incident that requires the intervention of medical personnel, involves emergency responders, or results in a response beyond Scout-rendered first aid must be reported. Near-miss incidents (does not result in injury, illness, or damage by definition, but it had the potential to do so) should also be reported. Report any known or suspected abuse or significant violations of youth protection policies that might put a youth at risk. using the Scouts First Helpline (24-hour helpline: 844-SCOUTS FIRST (844-726- 8871). The Scouts First Helpline is for reporting abuse or significant violations of the BSA’s youth protection policies only. While all youth protection policies must be taken seriously, minor, non-recurring infractions with no indication youth are at risk can be addressed at the unit level. Any other questions should continue to be directed to the BSA’s Member Care team at 972-580-2489. (Source)
- Transportation. Each troop is responsible for safe transportation to and from camp and meets the requirements as laid out in the current version of the Guide to Safe Scouting. Seat belts are required for all occupants. Passengers may not ride on the rear deck of a station wagon. Trucks may not be used for transporting passengers except in the cab. Trailers must never be used for carrying passengers. Use of ATVs, UTVs, or golf carts at camps other than at approved facilities is not allowed. Staff use of these types of vehicles in any camp will be approved and supervised by a camp ranger or camp director. (Source)
Resources: • Transportation Policy, • Insurance Coverage, • Driver’s Pledge, • The Risk Zone, • Motor Vehicle and Driver Checklist, • Do you need to travel in uniform to be covered by BSA insurance?
- Vehicles. All vehicles must have a vehicle pass. These are available upon arrival at check-in. Speed Limits are 25 mph on main roads and 10 mph near campsites areas. Vehicles must stay on improved roads and parking areas. Do not drive or park in campsites or on the grass.
- Trash should not be buried or burned. All garbage should be placed in the dumpster.
- Damage to equipment and facilities. Report all lost or broken equipment to the camp ranger or camp master. Needed repairs: Report all lost or broken equipment or items needing repair to the camp ranger or campmaster.
- Tape. Only painter's tape can be used on buildings or pavilions; do not use any other tape (e.g., duct tape). If needing to hang something, use something that won't damage buildings or trees.
- Living trees at council properties may not be cut down without the approval of the camp ranger. Do not dig holes, climb or cut trees.
- Campfires are permitted in the designated fire rings and must be attended to at all times. Always have a shovel/rake and water or other extinguishing materials handy. Extinguish all fires before leaving camp properly by ensuring campfires are completely cold-out and completing a test on cooled ash for any sign of heat before the fire is considered extinguished. Beware of current fire conditions, especially if it has been dry and windy. Check for any active burn ban and consider wind direction and projected size of fire before starting. Keep fires low and reduce sparks in windy conditions. Do not use liquid accelerants. The use of liquid fuels for starting any type of fire is prohibited. Use of liquid-fueled stoves and lanterns is not permitted on council properties except as allowed during high adventure activities (e.g. backpacking stoves). Permission to use liquid-fueled devices must be obtained from the camp ranger before use. Government-issued fire bans supersede camp policy without exception. (Source)
Resources: • Fire Safety Tips; • Chemical Fuels and Equipment Policy
- Check-in. Check-in for weekend camping begins after 3:00 pm on Fridays and check-out is no later than 2:00 pm on Sundays. For other events, check the event-specific webpage.
- Departure procedures. Make sure the campsite, restrooms, showers, and pavilions are undamaged and clean, and that all gear and trash is removed. Scouts should conduct a police line where Scouts stand within arm’s length of each other and walk the entire campsite picking up all trash. Ashes from campfires should be removed from the fire rings and disposed of in ash barrels next to dumpsters.
- Fishing. Catch and release fishing is allowed at council camps. Bring your own poles. Fishing licenses are not required.
- Not Allowed. The following items are not allowed at council camps:
- Alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs (Source)
- Skates and rollerblades
- Personally owned firearms, archery equipment, and crossbows. Normally, personally owned firearms and archery equipment may not be taken to council properties. However, there are certain circumstances related to high adventure programs that are best facilitated by using equipment not owned by the council (e.g. high caliber rifles, black powder firearms, pistols, and compound bows). In these cases, a permit to use personal firearms or archery equipment must be filed with the council shooting sports committee. When approved, this form will be presented to the camp master, ranger, or camp director at the time the equipment is brought to camp. While at camp, this equipment will be secured in approved council storage facilities.
- Personally owned slingshots or projectiles
- Personally owned offroad vehicles (ATV/UTV/Golf Carts)
- Personally owned watercraft. Normally, personally owned watercraft (e.g. rowboats, canoes, kayaks, jet skis, sailboats) may not to used at council properties. However, there are certain circumstances related to high adventure programs that are best facilitated by using equipment not owned by the council. Venture crews and ships may own watercraft that are well suited for use at council properties. Permission to use such equipment must be obtained from the camp ranger at the appropriate property. This approval must be presented at the camp before launching any watercraft. Appropriate precautions must be taken to clean such watercraft prior to use in order to prevent contamination of council properties. Non-council-owned watercraft are not permitted to be stored on council properties.
- Personally owned generators except as approved by the camp director or ranger.
- Personal climbing harnesses and helmets, if inspected and approved by the lead climbing instructor at the time of use may be used on council properties. All other personally owned climbing gear may not be used on council properties, except equipment used to support high adventure programs or trainings that are best facilitated by using specialized equipment not owned by the council (e.g. protection, ascenders, etc). In these cases, requests must be submitted to the council climbing committee for approval prior to use. Approved requests will be provided to the camp ranger at the council property prior to use of the equipment.
- Radio-controlled boats, aircraft, or vehicles other than for council-approved programs.
- Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs. Smoking/vaping is only allowed in one’s own vehicle in the parking areas out of the view of Scouts. The use of tobacco or vaping in any form by campers under 21 years of age is not allowed. As outlined in the Scouter Code of Conduct, Scouting activities are not a place to possess, distribute, transport, consume, or use any of the following items prohibited by law or in violation of any Scouting rules, regulations, and policies: alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, including marijuana. In addition, the Code of Conduct specifies that if you are taking prescription medications with the potential of impairing any functioning or judgment, you will not engage in activities that would put youth at risk, including driving or operating equipment. (Source)
- Footwear. In order to protect feet from weather conditions and environmental stressors and to reduce the possibility of foot injuries, closed-toe shoes are to be worn at all times in camp. At Camp Strake and Bovay Scout Ranch, sandals may be worn inside the enclosed pool areas; however, closed-toe shoes are to be worn during movement to and from the pool area. (Source)
- Uniforms. The field uniform and activity uniform are encouraged. (Source) Summers in the east Texas area tend to be hot and humid. It is a tropical climate where afternoon rain showers are common. Campers should carry a daypack with rain gear and a water bottle. There is a water station at each campsite where water bottles can be filled. Winters can be very cold; staying warm requires finding the right combination of layers with specific layers depending on your body, the temperature, wind speeds, and how much you sweat. Resources: Let’s stop the practice of having Scouts sing for a lost item.
- Bikes. All cyclists must wear a properly sized and fitted helmet. The use of motorized bicycles, skateboards, or scooters at council camps is not allowed. Resource: Biking
- Pets are not allowed in camp except for service animals. Permission to use service animals must be approved/granted by the camp ranger. Any service animals in the camp must be secured by the owner at all times. (Source)
- Swim Tests (Camp Strake & Bovay Scout Ranch). All individuals participating in aquatics programs on council properties must have successfully completed an appropriate BSA swim test as outlined in Chapter 5 of the BSA Aquatics Supervision, pamphlet No. 34346 (pp 37-42). The test may be conducted by units prior to their attendance at a council aquatics program provided the test is validated by qualified supervision using the BSA swim test (Form 430-122). Qualified supervision includes those leaders who have successfully completed BSA Aquatics courses (Instructor, Lifeguard, Cub Supervisor, Swimming and Rescue), or Red Cross or YMCA Lifeguard qualification. A current copy of the supervisor’s certification must be attached to the swim test record form. Completed and validated swim test records must be provided to camp staff before participation in aquatics programs will be permitted. The council camp aquatics program director or camp director will review all unit swim test forms, and determine what, if any, retests at camp may be required. (Source)
- Photographs. Please be advised that promotional videotaping/photography may be in progress at any time at an event. Your entrance constitutes your agreement that the council and district have the right and permission to use and publish the photographs/film/ videotapes/electronic representations and/or sound recordings made at Scouting activities. (Source: BSA Annual Health and Medical Form - Part A)
- Drones. Personally owned drones (i.e., UAS or small-unmanned aircraft systems) may only be used by adults on council properties with the approval of the camp ranger. The ranger will also specify permissible times and areas for operation in order to prevent interference with any camp activities. Drone safety is the law. Operators flying unmanned aircraft can endanger other aircraft, people, or property when flying recklessly or without regard to risks. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assumes owners and operators of unmanned aircraft are generally concerned about safety and willing to exercise good judgment when flying their aircraft. However, basic aeronautical knowledge and awareness of responsibilities in shared airspace are not common knowledge. Refer to the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. There are two types of fliers: recreational flyers and certificated remote pilots. Recreational drone flight rules only apply to flights that are purely for fun or personal enjoyment and are not operated for a business or any form of compensation. Flights for any other purpose (including volunteering for a non-profit organization like taking pictures or video as goodwill) require part 107 certification. Drone flyers (remote pilot in command) must:
- Ensure the UAS is not conducting surveillance or photographing persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission. (Source)
- Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
- Ensure the UAS is not flying in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
- Ensure the UAS is not flying at night, over people or moving vehicles, or from a moving vehicle, and remains at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property. Only drone pilots operating under Part 107 (certificated remote pilots) may fly at night or over people and moving vehicles following FAA rules. (Source & Source)
- Fly below 400'. (Source)
- Keep the drone in eyesight at all times (Source). Use a visual observer to also keep eyes on the aircraft at all times to ensure it is not a collision hazard.
- If the drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, it must be a registered FAA Drone Zone.
- Follow the BSA’s drone safety guidelines, FAA rules, and all local laws and ordinances.
- Fly only for recreational purposes, not business, unless the pilot is a certified remote pilot (part 107 certification). (Source)
- Complete The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and present the completion certificate to the ranger, if requested.
Certified remote pilots must also present proof of FAA Part 107 certification, if requested. (Source)