One of the overriding responsibilities of the National Council and local councils is to provide a Scouting environment that is safe, healthful, and free from accidents while being exciting, enjoyable, and helpful in developing mind and body for all participants. The policies and information below are from the Health and Safety Site.  The responsibility for making it work is shared by each and every Scouter.

Youth Protection

The Boy Scouts of America places the greatest importance on creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members. To maintain such an environment, the BSA developed numerous procedural and leadership selection policies and provides parents and leaders with resources for all our programs.
Cub Scouts Cub Scouts
Boy Scouts Scouts BSA
Venturing Venturing/Sea Scouting/Exploring

Youth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers and must be taken every two years. If a volunteer’s Youth Protection training record is not current at the time of renewal, the volunteer will not be re-registered.

Youth Protection Reporting Procedures for Volunteers

There are two types of Youth Protection–related reporting procedures all volunteers must follow:

  • When you witness or suspect any child has been abused or neglected—See “Mandatory Report of Child Abuse” below.
  • When you witness a violation of the BSA’s Youth Protection policies—See “Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies” below.

Mandatory Report of Child Abuse

All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. You may not abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.

Steps to Reporting Child Abuse

  • Ensure the child is in a safe environment.
  • In cases of child abuse or medical emergencies, call 911 immediately. In addition, if the suspected abuse is in the Scout’s home or family, you are required to contact the local child abuse hotline.
  • Notify the Scouts First Hotline at: 844-SCOUTS1 (844-726-8871)
  • Notify the local council at 813-872-2691

Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies

If you think any of the BSA’s Youth Protection policies have been violated, including those described within Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse, you must:

  • If during a Scouting function, Notify the program director or the unit leader
  • Notify the Scouts First Hotline at: 844-SCOUTS1 (844-726-8871)
  • Notify the local council at 813-872-2691

SAFE Scouting

The Boy Scouts of America expects leaders to use four points of SAFE when delivering the Scouting program. This program ensures all participant’s safety. SAFE is a simple step-by-step process. A checklist to ensure you’re covering your bases when planning any scouting activity. SAFE is an acronym for Supervision, Assessment, Fitness and Skill, and Equipment and Environment. It was developed to replace the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety from the Guide to Safe Scouting.  Read more here.

Guide to Safe Scouting

All participants in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting and applicable program literature or manuals, and be aware of state or local government regulations that supersede Boy Scouts of America practices, policies, and guidelines. The Guide to Safe Scouting is an overview of Scouting policies and procedures gleaned from a variety of sources. For some items, the policy statements are complete. Unit leaders are expected to review the additional reference material cited prior to conducting such activities.

Age Appropriate Guidelines

The National Council, BSA, publishes information to help leaders consider the appropriate risk for Scouts under their guidance during Scouting activities. Age Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities provides an at-a-glance reference to activity guidelines that are based on the mental, physical, emotional, and social maturity of youth members.

Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at Elevations or Excavations provides an at-a-glance reference for the use of tools by any youth or adult.

Annual Health and Medical Record

All participants at Scouting events must bring with them an Annual Health and Medical Record that has been completed within the last year.  To find out more about this, please visit here.



The twelve points of the Scout Law that define a Scout are all important,  we are called on to be brave. Brave means taking action because it is the right thing to do and being an upstander even when it may prompt criticism from some.

There is no place for racism – not in Scouting and not in our communities. Racism will not be tolerated.

That is why, as an organization, we commit to:

  • Introducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required for the rank of Eagle Scout. It will build on components within existing merit badges, including the American Cultures and Citizenship in the Community merit badges, which require Scouts to learn about and engage with other groups and cultures to increase understanding and spur positive action.
  • Reviewing every element of our programs to ensure diversity and inclusion are engrained at every level for participants and volunteers by applying a standard that promotes racial equality and denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.
  • Requiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1 and taking immediate action toward introducing a version for volunteers in the coming months.
  • Conducting a review of property names, events and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.

We will also continue to listen more, learn more and do more to promote a culture in which every person feels that they belong, are respected, and are valued in Scouting, in their community, and across America.

As a movement, we are committed to working together with our employees, volunteers, youth members, and communities so we can all become a better version of ourselves and continue to prepare young people to become the leaders of character our communities and our country need to heal and grow.




Have questions or feedback about this page? Last updated April 28, 2024

Please contact the page author with your feedback:

Jason Borton

Director of Support Services

Email | 813-624-9764