The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. Sam Houston Area Council (SHAC) takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them. Heath 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.
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 are established because the need to protect members from known hazards that have been identified through 100+ years of experience. Limitations on certain activities are not to be viewed as blocking fun; rather, stepping stones toward an enjoyable adventure.
Everything you need to know about BSA policies regarding safety is located on the BSA webpage, Scouting Safety. There are links to a variety of online tools to help leadership run the Pack. All volunteers participating in official Scouting activities must become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting. There are also local state and federal regulations that supersede the BSA policies and guidelines. BSA and SHAC guidelines help units:
- Know, understand, and comply with all rules, policies, and procedures
- Model safe behaviors when participating in Scouting events
- Encourage staff, volunteer leaders, and youth members to share in the management of risk
- Promote, provide, and require health and safety training
- Communicate the importance of incident and near-miss reporting and hold staff members accountable for implementing reporting procedures at unit, district, and council levels.
- Study incidents that do occur to learn from them, and modify risks where appropriate.
- Support enterprise risk managementnt concepts.