Lets Talk About Scout Safety

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

As we begin the summer camping season you may have seen some of the safety information that has been being sent. We can not stress enough that safety is our number one concern, not just here in the Gamehaven Council, but also the Boy Scouts of America. Some of the most recent information that has been forwarded has dealt with water safety and hazardous weather. If we are going to have Scouts live the adventure and have fun in the outdoors, both water and weather can cause a risk factor. I am going to encourage everyone to please take the Program Safety Training that can be found on your my.scouting.org dashboard. Click the training center link next to YPT and you will find Program Safety Training under Expanded Learning. This training includes modules on Hazardous Weather Training, Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, Climb On Safely and Drive Safely. We also encourage everyone to take Youth Protection Training (YPT) as well, if all parents and adult leaders have the same knowledge and information it makes our program stronger and safe for everyone.

For unit (Pack, Troop, Crew, Ship or Post) leaders I encourage you to look at the following resources when planning your program, we encourage you to bookmark them in your internet browser. The Adventure Plan (https://tap.scouting.org/) is your first resource, it includes a wealth of information to help you in your planning. Next is Scouting Safely (https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/), this is a resource for unit leaders, but has sections designed to be shared with all Scouts, Scouters and parents like the Safety Moments.

Please also take the time to look at Outdoor Adventures (https://www.scouting.org/outdooradventures/), in the future you will find outdoor program safety updates posted to this site.

Incident Reporting is an important part of how we protect our Scouts. Reporting allows us to see trends, change policies and develop training. It is also a part of good stewardship of the organization. We ask that all occurrences are reported in 24 hours of the incident. We have four types of incidents that need reporting, each is described below.

1. Near Miss: This is for programs like Cope and Climbing Activities, Aquatic Activities, etc. in which something went wrong (equipment failed, like a carabiner breaking or a roping coming apart or sail on a boat failing), but there was no injury, illness or damage by definition but that had the potential to have done so.

Process for Reporting

  • Call your District Executive - Jacob Winter: 507-271-1390; Michael Wells: 507-676-0539 or Jason Dugan at 507-216-0107

  • Fill out the Near Miss Reporting Tool ( found on forms page of this website) or report online at: https://bsapublicintakeportal.secure.force.com/

2. Less-Serious Medical Treatment: Less-serious medical incidents are those occurring in connection with Scouting activities, including travel to or from the activity, requiring medical treatment beyond Scout-given first aid (any trip to a Doctor, ER or Urgent Care for injury or illness). Any incident where an Accident or Sickness Claim (e.g. HSR) can be filed fits into this category.

Process for Reporting

  • Call your District Executive: JJacob Winter: 507-271-1390; Michael Wells: 507-676-0539 or Jason Dugan at 507-216-0107

  • Fill out the Incident Reporting Tool (found on forms page of this website) or report online at: https://bsapublicintakeportal.secure.force.com/

3. Serious Incident: Serious incidents occurring in connection with Scouting activities, including travel to or from the activity. Serious incidents include, but may not be limited to: Sexual or physical abuse (after ensuring the victim is cared for and reporting to law enforcement), fatalities, potentially life-threatening injuries (e.g., any amputation, brain injury, loss of sight, paralysis, etc.) or requiring air-ambulance transportation, accidents resulting in the hospitalization of three or more people, communicable disease outbreaks (e.g., measles, norovirus, etc.), mass casualties (10 or more people who are injured or sick at a Scouting activity), explosions or events resulting in significant damage to property and any incidents where media attention is anticipated.

Process for Reporting

4. Youth Protection Incident and Membership Standards Infraction: Applies to all incidents or infractions -- not limited to Scouting activities. Serious youth-protection policy violations, incidents or membership standards infractions of members (youth), leaders, parents or volunteer can include, but is not limited to, Code of Conduct violations (https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/bsa-scouter-code-of-conduct/), assault, threats or acts of violence, arrest for a crime or listing on Sex Offender Registry, etc.

Process for Reporting

  • Call your Scout Executive -Jason Dugan 507-216-0107

  • Fill out the Youth Protection/Membership Infraction Incident Information Form (forms can be found on the "forms page" of this website) or report online at: https://bsapublicintakeportal.secure.force.com/

If you feel you need more immediate response the Boy Scouts of America has set up the Scouts First Helpline (https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/safety-moments/scouts-first-helpline/) 1-844-Scouts1

If you would like more information on Incident Reporting, please feel free to go to the BSA Incident Reporting page: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/incident-report/

I would encourage all leaders to make copies of the forms and carry them with you on all trips. Please remember the reporting and safety tips apply to all programs Cub Scouts, Scouts, BSA, Venturing, Exploring and Sea Scouts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

We hope everyone has a safe, adventurous and fun summer.

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