Adult Supervision Update Requirements Effective September 1, 2023

As part of our ongoing commitment to abuse prevention, the Boy Scouts of America is updating the adult supervision requirements for overnight activities. This update enhances the minimum “two-deep leadership” requirements by additionally requiring every adult present on overnight activities to be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America. These adults must submit an adult application and registration fee, undergo a criminal background check, a volunteer screening database check and must complete mandatory Youth Protection training.

A limited exception for parents and legal guardians of Cub Scout youth attending overnight with their children is planned due to the family-centric nature of Cub Scouting.

All Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, Sea Scouting Ships, Exploring Posts, council, and district overnight programs will be required to comply with this update by September 1, 2023. We encourage early adoption prior to the effective date. This updated Barrier to Abuse can be referenced as part of the Guide to Safe Scouting, Youth Protection and Adult Leadership section, Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse.

Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs will be expanded to include additional FAQs as they are developed.

Learn more about the BSA’s Commitment to Safety here.

Barriers to Abuse – Adult Supervision:

(Effective September 1, 2023) Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including all meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth or female adult program participants.

Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.

All adults staying overnight in connection with a Scouting activity must be currently registered in an adult fee required position as listed or as an adult program participant. Limited exception below for Cub Scout overnight Programs.

See FAQ for list of adult fee required positions. Registration as a Merit Badge Counselor does not meet this requirement.

Cub Scout Programs – Overnight Exception: Cub Scout parents or legal guardians taking part in an overnight Cub Scout program with their own child or legal ward are not required to register as leaders. All adults must review the “How to Protect your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide” that can be found in the front of each Cub Scout Handbook. In addition, the parent or legal guardian must be accompanied by a registered leader at any time they are with youth members other than their own child/ward. All other overnight adults must be currently registered in an adult fee-required position.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions to Add to Barriers to Abuse FAQ Website

  • Q: Does a Cub Scout parent or legal guardian have to be a registered leader to participate in a Cub Scout overnight program with their own child/ward?
    A: No. However, they cannot serve as unit or den two deep leadership or supervision.
  • Q: What is an adult program participant?
    A: An adult program participant is an individual aged 18 or older (most often aged 18-20) who is registered as a program participant in which youth members are also eligible to participate (for example Venturing, Sea Scouting, and Exploring). Adult program participants are subject to the same youth protection policies and guidelines as adult Scouters.
  • Q: I am an adult attending a pack, troop, crew, or ship overnight activity, do I have to be registered?
    A: Yes,if you participate/stay overnight, you must be currently registered in an adult fee required position or as an adult program participant. Also, see Cub Scout Exception for parents or legal guardians.
  • Q: What is an adult fee required position?
    A: Adults may select from the list below of adult leader position options provided in the “Registration Guidebook of the Boy Scouts of America” that is available for their unit, district, or council position. For example, registration as a Merit Badge Counselor, Lion Cub Partner, and Tiger Partner does not meet this requirement.

Unit Positions

  • Assistant Cubmaster (CA)
  • Assistant Scoutmaster (SA)
  • Assistant Webelos Leader (WA)
  • Assistant Den Leader
  • Chartered Organization Rep.
  • Committee Chairman
  • Committee Member
  • Cubmaster
  • Den Leader
  • Explorer Post Advisor
  • Lion Coordinator
  • Lion Den Leader
  • Mate
  • New Member Coordinator
  • Pack Trainer
  • Post Explorer Post Associate Advisor
  • Post Committee Chairman
  • Post Committee Member
  • Principal / Executive Officer
  • Scoutmaster
  • Skipper
  • Tiger Den Leader
  • Unit Chaplain
  • Unit College Scouter Reserve
  • Unit Scouter Reserve
  • Venturing College Sctr Reserve
  • Venturing Crew Advisor
  • Venturing Crew Assoc. Advisor
  • Webelos Leader

Council and District Positions

  • Assistant Council Commissioner
  • Asst Roundtable Commissioner
  • Asst. District Commissioner
  • College Scouter Reserve
  • Council Advisory Council
  • Council Assistant Treasurer
  • Council Associate Member
  • Council Camp Staff (Adult)
  • Council Camp Staff (Youth)
  • Council Chaplain
  • Council Commissioner
  • Council Committee Member
  • Council Executive Board Member
  • Council Expl/LFL Committee Chr
  • Council Expl/LFL Committee Mbr
  • Council Honorary Member
  • Council Member-at-Large
  • Council President
  • Council Religious Emblems Coord
  • Council Scout Alumnus
  • Council Service Team Chair
  • Council Service Team Member
  • Council Treas
  • Council Vice-President
  • Dist Exploring/LFL Committee
  • District Chairman
  • District Chaplain
  • District Commissioner
  • District Exploring / LFL Comm Chr
  • District Member-at-large
  • District Religious Emblems Coord
  • District Service Team Chair
  • District Service Team Member
  • District Vice-Chairman
  • LFL Stem Day Camp Staff (Adult)
  • LFL STEM Day Camp Staff (Youth)
  • Neighborhood Chairman
  • Neighborhood Committee
  • Roundtable Commissioner
  • Scouter Reserve
  • Unit Commissioner

Q: Do “Unit Functional Position codes” like Merit Badge Counselor, Unit Advancement Chair or Unit High Adventure Chair found in the “Registration Guidebook of the Boy Scouts of America” fulfill this registration requirement?
A: No.