We want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees in the Quapaw Area Council, BSA cannot be compromised. Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid.
The Scouting program itself, activities Scouts participate in on a regular basis, and the outdoor classroom used in Scouting have inherent risks. A challenging program and activities help attract youth and retain them in Scouting. Perceived risk during such ventures heightens awareness and builds confidence and discipline vital to building tomorrow’s leaders.
There is a place in Scouting for age-appropriate events that push youth beyond their normal comfort level and stretch their abilities. This is appropriate when risks are identified and mitigated. One should not participate in or promote activities when risks are unknown or ignored. We must protect our youth as part of our program. In a sense, safety is our license to operate.
In particular, Scout leaders are responsible for the physical and mental well-being of everyone under their supervision. Parents who entrust Scout leaders with their children justifiably expect them to return uninjured.
To achieve that goal, everyone must work together to do the following:
▪ Know, understand, and comply with all rules, policies, and procedures. A great place to start is the Guide to Safe Scouting available in the Scout Shop (printed) or free of charge in an electronic form on Scouting Safely at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety.aspx.
▪ Model safe behaviors when participating in all Scouting related events. Leaders set the standard when they use personal protective equipment, follow the rules themselves and take the time to explain why rules exist and how they protect all of us.
▪ Encourage staff, volunteer leaders, and youth members to share in the management of risk – identifying and reducing risk by enforcing safety rules and practices.
▪ Promote, provide, and, when appropriate, require health and safety training.
▪ Report all incidents and near-miss reporting and hold staff members accountable for implementing reporting procedures at unit, district, and council levels. Only through reporting can we work to identify issues and work to solve them and protect others. Our Council’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Committee reviews reports and works to identify additional needs for training and action.
▪ Support enterprise risk management efforts via your District ERM Chair and the Council ERM Committee.
▪ Support, encourage and demand adherence to the principles behind our Youth Protection Program. There can be no exceptions. All leaders must be trained and follow the rules to protect our youth.
Thank you for being part of the Scouting movement and creating an exciting and safe experience for every participant in the Quapaw Area Council.