The BSA has a tradition of recruiting quality volunteer leaders. Being a registered leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members require that selection of our leaders be taken seriously.
There is no sure way to detect a child molester—or any kind of abuser—in advance of attempted or actual abuse. We can minimize the risk by learning all we can about the adult applicant’s experiences with children. The adult membership application is an important tool for helping to maintain BSA leadership standards. Learn why the applicant wants to be a Cub Scout leader and how the person would handle a discipline situation.
The adult membership application process is an important tool for helping to maintain BSA leadership standards. This process includes the written application, interviews by the committee, personal reference checks, and approval by the head of the chartered organization. Also, all applicants for membership must pass a criminal background check, must complete Youth Protection training, and must follow BSA Youth Protection policies.
Creating Barriers to Abuse
After selection of the best possible leaders, additional protection for children is built into the program. The BSA has adopted the following policies to provide security for youth in Scouting. The policies also provide protection for adult leaders against false allegations of abuse. Policies in this guide are subject to change. For the most current Youth Protection policies, go to www.scouting.org.
Two-Deep Leadership. At minimum, two registered adult leaders are required for all Scouting activities, including meetings. For detailed information on two-deep leadership requirements, visit www.scouting.org.
No One-on-One Contact. One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is not permitted. In situations that require personal conferences, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults.
Respect of Privacy. Adult leaders must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes or taking showers at camp. Adults should intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults should also protect their own privacy in similar situations.
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 the youth’s 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 Activities. All activities should consider the capabilities of the participating Cub Scouts. No activity should be undertaken without the proper preparation, equipment, clothing, supervision, and safety measures.
No Secret Organizations. The BSA does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program. All activities are open to observation by parents and leaders.
Appropriate Attire. Proper clothing for activities is required.
Constructive Discipline. Discipline used in Cub Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scouting’s values. Corporal punishment is never permitted.
Hazing Prohibited. Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and should not be included as part of any Scouting activity.
Bullying Prohibited. Verbal, physical, and cyber bullying are prohibited in Scouting.
Youth Leadership Training and Supervision. Adult leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by youth leaders and ensure that BSA policies are followed.
Background Checks. Background checks are required for all new leaders, and the adult application form requires that the applicant provide a Social Security number.