You would be very unhappy if one of your Varsity Scouts was hurt during an activity. You would be especially sick at heart if that happened because of your neglect or failure to plan for safety.
You can reduce the possibility of this possibility by following the guidelines prepared by the Boy Scouts of America based on the experiences of other Scouters who have gone before you. Some of the guidelines are common sense, but some of them deal with things you might not be aware can cause danger.
Leaders should approve only those activities with a minimal risk for injury or illness…carefully plan activities and to discuss safety guidelines and safe practices (read entire letter here.)
-LDS First Presidency, May 15, 2015
By following the guidelines, you avoid liability to yourself and your sponsoring organization.
From the introduction to the Guide to Safe Scouting:
All participants in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting, 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.
In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.
Other important resources:
- LDS Safety and Health
- Campout Safety Checklist
- Event Safety Checklist
- Incident Descriptions and Reporting Instructions
- Near Miss Incident Information Report
- BSA Safety Training
The month ahead:
Author: Andy Gibbons | Vice-Chair, Western Region Varsity Scout Program Committee and author of the “The Varsity Scout Leaders Day Book”