Keeping the Scouts in your unit safe is partly your
responsibility, and that means much more than simply keeping a well-stocked
first-aid kit nearby. It also requires you to know how to spot and prevent
That’s why, for the 10th consecutive year, April is Youth
Protection Month in the BSA. The event, designed to coincide with National
Child Abuse Prevention Month, serves as an annual reminder to leaders that
keeping Scouts safe continues to be a top priority in Scouting.
The Boy Scouts of America is proud of the comprehensive Youth
Protection program it pioneered nearly 30 years ago and how that program has
strengthened over time. A detailed timeline of the BSA’s Youth Protection
program is outlined in the image above.
Last year, the BSA updated its Youth Protection video to
sharpen its message to leaders. Scouting
magazine covered these changes in our March-April 2009 issue.
Jim Terry, the BSA’s assistant Chief Scout Executive, told Scouting magazine last year that, “We’re
in it for the protection. We want to make sure we offer the very best and most
up-to-date information to our leaders. And we’re going to strive toward getting
every adult to take this training.”
That training starts with the Youth Protection course, which
all leaders are expected to complete within 90 days of registering. You can
take it online by either logging on to MyScouting or buying the DVD.
Once you’re done, make sure your council has a record of your completion—this documentation
is sent automatically if you take the training online.
Here are some other important reminders:
- Leaders who have already completed the course should take it
again every 24 months.
- It’s partly your responsibility as a unit leader to make parents
aware of these guidelines. Remind them that guides for parents are in the
printed handbooks and are available online.
- The youth members of your unit need training, too. Find
resources and meeting guides for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts,
and Venturers online.
- The fundamental message for Scouts is the “three R’s”:
Recognize, Resist, and Report. Make certain that your Scouts know how these
words apply to real-world situations.
- BSA policies require two-deep leadership. Ensuring that two
registered adult leaders (or one registered adult leader and a parent) are
present on all trips and outings will alleviate many Youth Protection concerns.
- Anyone can take the Youth Protection training. You may find
value in sharing it with members of your chartered organization, for example.
- Find more information about the BSA’s Youth Protection