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Additional FAQ’s: General Health and Safety,  Annual Health and Medical RecordShooting Sports program, Family Scouting Information

Adult Supervision

Q:  The Barriers to Abuse say that there must be two registered adults present for all Scouting activities and meetings.  Does that include merit badge counseling? Fund-raising events?

A. Yes. However, the parent or legal guardian of the Scout may serve as the second adult. This parent or legal guardian does not have to be a registered leader.

Q: Why is a female adult 21 years of age or over required whenever female youth are present, but not the other way around?

A. The requirement to ensure that a registered female adult is present at activities serving girls is not dissimilar to policies we’ve enacted in the past for Venturing when male and female adult leaders were required for certain co-ed activities. At this time, we believe that these are the best, most appropriate measures for our movement. We hope you understand that these requirements were given substantial and thorough consideration.

Q. Do Lion and Tiger Den meetings require two-deep leadership since adult partners are present?

A. Yes.  A Lion or Tiger adult partner is not considered a registered leader for meeting two-deep leadership requirements.  Lion or Tiger partners, as well as other pack leaders, provide a pool of adults who could be registered as an assistant den leader to meet this requirement. 

Q.  If only one leader shows up, does that mean we have to cancel the meeting or activity? 

A. Yes.  This policy is in place to prevent abuse in and out of Scouting.   Adults should never be alone with youth who are not their children.

Q. The Barriers to Abuse states “One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting.” What does ‘inside and outside of Scouting’ mean?

A. The BSA has adopted its youth protection policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. All parents and caregivers should understand that our leaders are to abide by these safeguards. Registered leaders must follow these guidelines with all Scouting youth outside of Scouting activities. There are careers that may require one-on-one contact with youth, however aside from those roles, volunteers must abide by the youth protection policies of the BSA even outside of Scouting activities.

This policy is in place to prevent abuse in and out of Scouting.   Adults should never be alone with youth who are not their children.

Q. Does this mean my son cannot have a sleepover if I am the only adult present?

A. Yes, if any of the children other than your own child is a Scout, we strongly encourage all adults to use the Barriers to Abuse in and out of Scouting.  

♦ Q. Are there times when youth can gather, meet or conduct activities without adult supervision?  

A. No. Two-deep adult supervision by registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required for all Scouting activities and must meet the leadership requirements outlined in Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse. This includes patrol activities.  


Q. Our council camp has Adirondack shelters that sleep 8 youth, should we treat them as tents or lodging?

A. Lodging. 

Q. Why do youth tent separately from parents outside of Cub Scouting?

A. Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturing are youth led programs.  The Cub Scout program is family-oriented.

♦ Q. Can I share a tent with my son or daughter who has special needs?

A. Youth and adults tent separately in the Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturing programs. Youth who have a special need or disability who may require a parent or legal guardian to tent with them must develop a plan in conjunction with their local council Scout Executive to address their specific needs. 


Q. How do the Barriers to Abuse apply to transportation?

A. An adult may not drive or be alone in the car with a Scout unless that Scout is their own child. An adult may drive two or more Scouts.

Q. Can 18-year-old Scouts transport other Scouts, if so, what are the qualifications for this? 

A. Yes. Drivers must be currently licensed and at least 18 years of age. Scouting youth (under age 18) are not insured under the Boy Scouts of America commercial general liability policy. Transportation guidance can be found in the Guide to Safe Scouting. 

Program Requirements

Q. Can buddy pairs be co-ed in Scouts BSA?

A. No. Scouts BSA program integrity requires single gender units and single gender buddy pairs.  

Q. Can a leader bring their Scouts BSA son or daughter to an opposite gender troop activity?

A. No. Scouts BSA program integrity requires single gender units and single gender buddy pairs. 

Q. Can any Scouts BSA member attend camp on their own?

A. Yes, as part of a provisional unit at camp. Contact your local council for availability.

Q. Can Scouts BSA girl and boy troops share a campsite?

A. Yes, if the campsite’s layout and amenities meet all the requirements of Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse, including privacy and separate accommodations. Each unit must also meet supervision requirements.  

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