SECTION 8: Church Policies
Rechartering 8.3 deletes this sentence: “No additional fees should be paid to local councils for accident and health insurance coverage. For information on Church activity insurance programs, see Handbook 2, 13.6.9.”
The process of calling adult Scouting leaders in 8.5 adds this reference: “Members of the Church who serve in Scouting assignments should be sustained and set apart (see also 8.8),” while this word is dropped: “The bishopric may [appropriately] call men or women to serve as Scouting leaders for Primary-age Scouts.”
Background screening for BSA Adult Leaders in 8.8 changed this word: “This includes the screening of Social Security numbers.” Regarding the BSA background check “A Scout leader should not be sustained or set apart until priesthood leaders ensure that the BSA has completed this process. Priesthood leaders should also cooperate with BSA officials to resolve any issues that may arise.”
To help leaders find the Church’s Safety policies and procedures, secion 8.9 updates the website from just “LDS.org” to “safety.lds.org”: “Additional safety guidelines can be found on .” And this new paragraph has been added: “Activities should be appropriate for the participants’ ages, ability, and maturity. Leaders and youth should have fitness levels appropriate for the activity, and individual medical risk factors should be carefully considered. Before holding an activity, leaders should instruct all participants in safety practices unique to the activity. Leaders and youth should know and abide by all laws and safety guidelines pertaining to the activity or property.”
A new category for emergencies in 8.10 has been added: “Leaders should be prepared for emergencies that may occur and know in advance how to contact law enforcement and emergency services.”
8.11 Accident response and reporting, adds this new category: “Leaders should notify the bishop and stake president promptly if an accident, illness, or injury occurs on Church property or during an official Scouting or Church-sponsored activity. If the accident involves a fatality or overnight hospital stay, leaders immediately notify the Risk Management Division at Church headquarters (telephone 1801-240-4049 or 1-800-435-3860, extension 2-4049). Leaders should also notify the local BSA council.
For detailed guidelines on responding to accidents and reporting them, see Handbook 2, 13.6.20.” This is an important statement, to which the Council Service Center gets many calls. Now that it is published here, Ward leaders will have a second resource in addition to Handbook 2 regarding reporting procedures.
Camping and Sabbath Day observance is clarified at bit with a word change from “can attend to” to “can fulfill”: “Plans for outings should ensure that Aaronic Priesthood brethren and other members can fulfill their regular Church assignments.” Also this rewording: “As an exception, priesthood leaders may give approval for a Church-sponsored Scouting unit to participate in some BSA sponsored national and regional jamborees that occur over the Sabbath. This participation may only occur with prior priesthood approval and with supervision by authorized priesthood leaders.”
In 8.13 Scouting Month wording dropped: “Leaders of Scouting units chartered by the Church may plan and carry out approved activities [during the week] to recognize this tradition.”
New paragraphs added to 8.14 Travel: “When using private passenger vehicles, each driver should be a licensed, responsible adult. All vehicles and drivers should be covered by reasonable amounts of insurance.
“Drivers should be instructed to obey all laws, to make sure their vehicle is in safe operating condition, and to ensure that each person properly uses a seat belt. Drivers should also be instructed not to drive if they are drowsy, not to use mobile phones while driving, and not to engage in other behaviors that would district them.”
In 8.18 Scouting for Boys and Young Men with disabilities is actually a title change from “Those” to “Boys and Young Men”
Similarly in 8.19 Specialty, MultipleUnit, and Long Term Camps is a title change from “Specialty Programs and Stake Camps.” That section reworded paragraphs with additional information:
“Latter-day Saint Scouting units are not authorized to organize (2014: “do not organize”) “specialty” or similar programs that focus exclusively on a particular skill, hobby, or career.
Stake or ward Scout camps that involve more than two units and that exceed three consecutive nights for Venturers and five consecutive nights for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts cannot be advertised as “Scout” camps unless they follow the BSA national camp standards and are authorized by the local council. If long-term camps do not qualify as authorized Scout camps, they will not be covered by BSA liability insurance. For long-term camping, use of BSA facilities is strongly recommended.”
This is a large policy change that means more Stakes will be using Council camps for Stake Aaronic Priesthood/Scouting Encampments.
Author: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Scouting Handbook for Church Units in the United States, Revised May 2015