Guide to Safe Scouting
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 real need to protect members from known hazards that have been identified through 90-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 safe and enjoyable adventures.
All volunteers participating in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting.
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.
Scouting $$$ Pay Liability Claims
The BSA general liability program is not just insurance. In fact, insurance plays a very small part. Our greatest efforts are spent on safety and injury prevention.
BSA self-funds the first million dollars of each liability claim. This means that almost all money spent on a liability claim is Scouting money, not insurance money.
Accident and sickness insurance pays regardless of fault as long as the accident occurred during an official Scouting activity and the unit or council has purchased the coverage.
The BSA Ready & Prepared Award
The Boy Scouts of America's Ready & Prepared Award encourages and rewards Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturing crews that incorporate safe practices while enjoying challenging activities. While working to earn the award, units emphasize risk management as a way to help reduce fatalities and serious injury. Focus areas include:
- Driver and passenger safety
- Youth Protection
- Aquatic safety
- Premises safety and first-aid readiness
- Personal fitness
Units may apply for this award at the time of unit rechartering.
BSA Rules and Policies
Bold type throughout the Guide to Safe Scouting denotes BSA rules and policies.
Viewing the online Guide
The Guide to Safe Scouting is available here in two formats:
- One for reading on-line — this version is divided into chapters and includes a search engine.
- Another for reading off-line — the entire publication is presented in a single interface to facilitate print-out.
A bound hard-copy version (BSA Supply #34416A) is also available. To obtain a copy, contact your local council or call 1-800-323-0732 to request an Official Boy Scout Catalog.