Safety Quiz: Just Say No to Prohibited Activities

The Boy Scouts of America’s publications, policies, procedures, guidelines, rules and regulations are designed to provide a safe and consistent program for Scouts across the country.

Trustworthy adult volunteer leaders would never knowingly allow their units to engage in prohibited activities. But what happens when leaders aren’t familiar with those policies?

Not knowing the program can put everyone, including your membership and our participants, at risk.

The Scouting program incorporates all kinds of activities — such as swimming, climbing, cycling, archery and snowboarding — that might include risks to participants.

The key is that those risks are managed by guidelines that set limits and incorporate specific features, such as safety equipment or qualified supervision.

When planning your next outing, ask this question: Is the activity in a handbook or other current literature of the Boy Scouts of America? If it is, then great — you know it is part of the BSA program.

If it’s not in a handbook or other piece of BSA literature, then it might be prohibited.

As of this writing, 21 activities are on the prohibited list. Read about them here — and then come back and take our quiz.

Anyone who takes this quiz below will be entered to win a $100 gift card. (Contest ends December 31, 2019, but you can still take the quiz afterwards). Best used with the most updated version of your web browser.  

Find answers to other frequently asked health and safety questions at


  1. Question #4 has no correct answer… the quiz accepted (yet incorrect) answer is D Aloo of the above, but concealed carry is NEVER authorized at any BSA event.

  2. #10 is also wrong (it has 2 correct answers) and it tells you so in the upside down answers: Choice B says Hand tools are allowed at any age under proper supervision (not true) and the “Age Guidelines for Tool Use” says they must be 14 and over for some Hand Tools (like a pick axe). I’m not letting my 6 year old Tiger swing a pickaxe!

  3. No Lasertag? Sounds like the Nerf guns were a bad idea even though we had PPE. Same for water balloons.
    “Activities where participants strike at each other, or shoot or throw objects at each other, are prohibited” If you read this LITERALLY then it also excludes baseball (even with a leather glove on your hand), any use of a football (unless you rule out the forward pass and the lateral), basketball (don’t pass!), frisbee, gaga ball. Pretty much anything that ends in ball!
    If you can’t hurl photons at the speed of light from a Lasertag gun at your friend, does shining a flashlight at someone also violate this rule?

  4. I’d respectfully disagree with #10 and #11. Many survivalists and avid outdoors-men carry and use potassium permanganate as a form of water purification, used in first aid kids as a disinfectant and skin treatment and a good treatment for athlete’s foot. For “emergency” use (like being stranded in a remote area when your car breaks down) it can be mixed with brake fluid as a very reliable chemical (matchless) fire starter.

  5. Wow, if you want to know why the membership in the BSA is plummeting, just look at these crazy rules. I’d love to compare the Insurance Institutes accident statistics of things like mountain biking, rock climbing, etc to things like zorb balls and laser tag.

    I also just discovered that our #1 annual recruiting event is now banned evidently. We have Scouts, (and Cubs), all make swords out of PVC pipe, foam & duct tape, and shields out of cardboard, and then we go to a castle, (on BSA property no less), and the Scouts form teams and defend and assault the castle. We’ve recruited more kids into Scouting through that annual event than any other recruiting program. We’ve been doing this for 9 years with ZERO injuries and now we find out it’s banned????

    Then there is this little tidbit:
    “they should reflect vigorously on how any activity outside our published program would resonate with the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”
    Oh yeah, all the Scouts who had a GREAT TIME for the last 9 years should all reflect back on how they were apparently violating the Scout Oath and Law by having a GREAT TIME at our BEST ATTENDED EVENT OF THE YEAR! By doing things that would make other kids want to actually join Scouts! How foolish and inconsiderate of them. How unScoutlike. They should know by now that having fun isn’t allowed in Scouts, and they should make sure that all their friends outside of Scouting know that as well.

    These crazy rules are going to be the death of the BSA.

    • I’m no longer involved in BSA, but entered as a Bobcat in 1965, went through Webelos, and completed my Eagle. I believe we violated EVERY rule listed here, with the exception of ATV’s (they weren’t around yet). One of our most loved camp outs was the flour bomb war. We definitely threw flour bombs at each other! We won’t talk about summer camp during Fourth of July! Anyway, it appears that insurance company execs are writing the rules.

  6. you must be kidding jerry, conservatives are ruining the country

    lets lump everyone into a category, so everything I don’t like was done by conservatives from now on LOLOLOL. real smart comment

  7. The problem is there is just about nothing that is aloud for cub scouts to do anymore. The lawyers have taken the fun out of the program. The list of what we can’t do is longer than the 3 things they can do.

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