Health, Safety & Risk Management

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.

Robert Baden-Powell once said the definition of the Scout motto "Be Prepared" is this:

“A Scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.”

Baden-Powell also advocated that young men spend a lot of time learning in and about the out-of-doors, as he said,

“The open-air is the real objective of Scouting and the key to its success.”

However, we still need to be aware of our surroundings and their changing conditions, including what is happening with the weather.

 

GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

All participants in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting, applicable program literature or manuals, and be aware of state or local government regulations that supersede Boy Scouts of America practices, policies, and guidelines. The Guide to Safe Scouting is an overview of Scouting policies and procedures gleaned from a variety of sources. For some items, the policy statements are complete. Unit leaders are expected to review the additional reference material cited prior to conducting such activities.