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.
In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.
Perhaps this quote by Sir Robert Baden-Powell from his 1914 book Quick Training for War is appropriate to include here: "... The books lay down definite principles and examples which serve to guide the leaders when applying their common sense to the situation before them. No two situations are ever precisely the same, and it is therefore impossible to lay down exact rules that should guide in every case, but a man who carries precedents and principles in his head has no difficulty in applying their teaching in supreme moments of sudden emergency ..."
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Download the print-friendly version here. This is the full PDF version that contains updates as of July 2016. Please refer to the online version for the most updated information.
- V. Medical Information and First Aid: A section called Medication Use in Scouting was added to this chapter.
- VIII. Sports and Activities: Information on orb activities was added to the Unauthorized and Restricted Activities section.
- Inspections: The entire Inspections chapter was deleted.
- IX. Insurance: The entire Insurance chapter was updated.
- X. Transportation: The section on automobiles, SUVs, and vans was updated for consistency with new insurance requirements.
- XIII. Incident Reporting: Information was added about the BSA’s new series of Incident Review sheets.
Table of Contents
The BSA's Commitment to Safety