Safety first!

The world was on the edge of its seat last week over the fate of twelve young men  and their coach in Thailand. They had decided to visit a cave following soccer practice one day, and a sudden rainstorm flooded the cave and trapped them deep inside. A literal army of thousands of military and volunteers took extraordinary measures to rescue them after days of worry and hope. The technical skill, preparation and good fortune came together and, except for one rescuer who perished,  everyone was brought out safely.

Besides happily hearing the good news, my thoughts turned to what if this had happened to a Scout outing. After all, Scouts do some pretty adventurous things – caving being one of them. Continue reading “Safety first!”

Dealing with health forms

Along with welcoming new members into our packs and troops and starting the program year, fall is the time when many units collect updated health forms from their youth and adult members.

The Boy Scouts of America recommends that each member have on file with his or her unit a completed copy of the General Information and Health History form (Part B) so unit leaders can provide essential health information to medical personnel in the event someone needs assistance or treatment. Part B, along with Part C, Pre-Participation Physical, is required by most camps for long-term camping, such as summer camp or resident camps.

Maintaining these records can be a confusing process. Continue reading “Dealing with health forms”

Tour plan requirement discontinued

It’s now official: The requirement to file a Tour Plan for unit activities is no more.

The BSA released word to councils (some time ago) that the procedure would no longer be required. We announced it on Twitter on March 15 when word came down to the Commissioner staff. Now, they’ve publicly announced that the need to complete and file the multi-step questionnaire won’t stand in the way of your next weekend campout or trip to Philmont.

(And yes, like Scouting Magazine’s editor Bryan Wendell remarked, I thought it could be an April Fool’s joke until I checked with our council program director for confirmation.) Continue reading “Tour plan requirement discontinued”