The Boy Scouts of America places the greatest importance on
creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members. To
maintain such an environment, the BSA developed numerous procedural and
leadership selection policies and provides parents and leaders with
resources for the Cub
Scout, and Venturing
The Boy Scouts of America takes great pride in the quality of our
adult leadership. Being a leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a
right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members
call for high-quality adult leaders. We work closely with our chartered
organizations to help recruit the best possible leaders for their units.
The adult application requests background information that should
be checked by the unit committee or the chartered organization before
accepting an applicant for unit leadership. While no current screening
techniques exist that can identify every potential child molester, we
can reduce the risk of accepting a child molester by learning all we can
about an applicant for a leadership position—his or her experience with
children, why he or she wants to be a Scout leader, and what discipline
techniques he or she would use.
Effective June 1, 2010
Youth Protection training is required for all BSA
registered volunteers, regardless of their position.
You do not have to be a registered
member or have a member ID
to take Youth Protection training.
To take Youth Protection training
go to MyScouting.org
create an account.
From the MyScouting.org portal,
click on E-Learning and take
the Youth Protection training.
Upon completion, you may print a
certificate of completion to
submit with a volunteer application or submit the completion certificate
to the unit leader for processing at the local council.
When your volunteer application is
approved, you will receive a
BSA membership card which includes your member ID number. After you
receive your membership card, log back into MyScouting, click on My
Profile and update the system by inputting your member ID number. This
will link your Youth Protection training records, and any other
training, in MyScouting to your BSA membership.
New leaders are required to take Youth Protection
training before submitting an application for registration. The
certificate of completion for this training must be submitted at the
time the application is made and before volunteer service with youth
Youth Protection training must be taken every two years.
If a volunteer’s Youth Protection training record is not current at the
time of recharter, the volunteer will not be reregistered.
- View more information about this change in English and Spanish .
Barriers to Abuse Within Scouting
The BSA has adopted the following policies to provide additional
security for our members. These policies are primarily for the
protection of our youth members; however, they also serve to protect our
adult leaders from false accusations of abuse.
Two-deep leadership. 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 chartered organization is responsible for
ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities.
No one-on-one contact. One-on-one contact
between adults and youth members is not permitted. In situations that
require personal conferences, such as a Scoutmaster's conference, the
meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths.
Respect of privacy. Adult leaders must respect
the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes and
taking showers at camp, and intrude only to the extent that health and
safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar
Cameras, imaging, and digital devices. While
most campers and leaders use cameras and other imaging devices
responsibly, it has become very easy to invade the privacy of
individuals. It is inappropriate to use any device capable of recording
or transmitting visual images in shower houses, restrooms, or other
areas where privacy is expected by participants.
Separate accommodations. When camping, no youth
is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his own parent
or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower
and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not
available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled
and posted for showers.
Proper preparation for high-adventure activities.
Activities with elements of risk should never be undertaken without
proper preparation, equipment, clothing, supervision, and safety
No secret organizations. The Boy Scouts of
America does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its
program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by
parents and leaders.
Appropriate attire. Proper clothing for
activities is required. For example, skinny-dipping is not appropriate
as part of Scouting.
Constructive discipline. Discipline used in
Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scouting's values. Corporal
punishment is never permitted.
Hazing prohibited. Physical hazing and
initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any
Junior leader training and supervision. Adult
leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior
leaders and ensure that BSA policies are followed.
Member responsibilities. All members of the Boy
Scouts of America are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with
the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Physical violence,
hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, drugs, and alcohol have no
place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a
Scout's membership in the unit.
Unit responsibilities. The head of the
chartered organization or chartered organization representative and the
local council must approve the registration of the unit's adult leader.
Adult leaders of Scouting units are responsible for monitoring the
behavior of youth members and interceding when necessary. Parents of
youth members who misbehave should be informed and asked for assistance
in dealing with it.
A key ingredient for a safe and healthy Scouting experience is
the respect for privacy. Advances in technology are enabling new forms
of social interaction that extend beyond the appropriate use of cameras
or recording devices (see “Barriers to Abuse Within Scouting”). Sending
sexually explicit photographs or videos electronically or “sexting” by
cell phones is a form of texting being practiced primarily by young
adults and children as young as middle-school age. Sexting is neither
safe, nor private, nor an approved form of communication and can lead to
severe legal consequences for the sender and the receiver. Although
most campers and leaders use digital devices responsibly, educating them
about the appropriate use of cell phones and cameras would be a good
safety and privacy measure.
The "three R's" of Youth Protection
The "three R's" of Youth Protection convey a simple message to
Recognize situations that place you at risk of
being molested, how child molesters operate, and that anyone could be a
Resist unwanted and inappropriate attention.
Resistance will stop most attempts at molestation.
Report attempted or actual molestation to a
parent or other trusted adult. This prevents further abuse and helps to
protect other children. Let the Scout know he or she will not be blamed
for what occurred.