The Task: Understand and use BSA’s 2- deep policy, making sure at least two adults supervise all Scouting activities.
The BSA’s top-notch Youth Protection training includes a number of Barriers to Abuse.These policies, which you can review here, provide additional safety for your child and all who are involved in Scouting.
One of these policies is two-deep leadership, which says:
“One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is not permitted. In compliance with the BSA’s “two deep” leadership policy, two registered adult leaders or one registered leader and a parent of a participant, or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required on all trips and outings.. The Ward leaders and Team Committee are responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all Scouting activities.
Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse
The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members from abuse; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. Parents and youth using these safeguards outside the Scouting program further increase the safety of their youth. Scout leaders in positions of youth leadership and supervision outside the Scouting program will find these policies help protect youth in abuse prone situations as well.
Two-deep leadership on all outings required. A minimum of two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a participating Scout’s parent, or another adult is required for all trips and outings. One of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.
Two-deep leadership not required per car when traveling to meetings or other Scouting events. That is, as long as the “no one-on-one contact” policy is followed. So if a parent or unit leader is driving Scouts to a meeting or function, they need to make sure they are not in a one-on-one situation, unless that one youth is their own child. It’s pretty easy to comply with this with a little forethought on the logistics of travel.
Adult Supervision/Coed Activities: Male and female adult leaders must be present for all overnight coed Scouting trips and outings, even those including parent and child. Both male and female adult leaders must be 21 years of age or older, and one must be a registered member of the BSA.
Two-deep leadership and no one-on-one contact between adults and youth members includes digital communication. Leaders may not have one-on-one private online communications or engage one-on-one in other digital activities (games, social media, etc.) with youth members. Leaders should copy a parent and another leader in digital and online communication, ensuring no one-on-one contact exists in text, social media, or other forms of online or digital communication.
Age-appropriate and separate accommodations for adults and Scouts are required.
No adult may share a tent with the opposite sex unless he or she is that adult’s spouse.
No youth may share a tent with an adult or a person of the opposite sex other than a family member or guardian. Assigning youth members more than two years apart in age to sleep in the same tent should be avoided unless the youth are relatives.
Whenever possible, separate shower and latrine facilities should be provided for male/female adults and male/female youth. If separate facilities are not available, separate shower times should be scheduled and posted.
The buddy system should be used at all times. The buddy system is a safety measure for all Scouting activities. Buddies should know and be comfortable with each other. Self-selection with no more than two years age or significant differences in maturity should be strongly encouraged. When necessary, a buddy team may consist of three Scouts. No youth should be forced into or made to feel uncomfortable by a buddy assignment.
Privacy of youth is respected. Adult leaders and youth must respect each other’s privacy, especially in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp. Adults may enter youth changing or showering areas only to the extent that health and safety requires. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.
You can read other parts of this blog series here:
|Week 1||Week 2|
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. He was a Team Coach for three years during the pre-pilot phase of Varsity Scouting and then became a Varsity Scout trainer when the program launched.