Update to Scouting Policy Starting September 1

Scouting’s Barrier to Abuse is getting stronger this fall. As part of our ongoing commitment to abuse prevention, the Boy Scouts of America is updating the adult supervision requirements for overnight activities. This update enhances the minimum “two-deep leadership” requirements by additionally requiring every adult present on overnight activities to be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America. A limited exception is for parents and legal guardians of Cub Scout youth attending overnight with their children.

 All other adults staying overnight in connection with a Scouting activity must be currently registered in an adult fee-required position as listed or as an adult program participant starting September 1, 2023. In addition, these adults must submit an adult application and registration fee, complete the Live Scan criminal background check and complete the required Youth Protection and Mandated Reporter training.  

Simply put, starting September 1 all adults who attend an overnight activity must be fully registered in Scouting. The only exception is for parents or legal guardians attending with their Cub Scouts.

This new policy will protect our Scouts by improving adherence to Youth Protection policies at camps and adding more uniform screening of adults interacting with our Scouts. We recommend all units use this summer to work with your families to explain this new policy and start registering anyone planning to go camping with the unit.

More information can be found in Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse and Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs. Click here to watch our Informational Meeting we held on Zoom. Below are answers to some common questions and scenarios.

Thank you for your commitment to keeping our Scouts safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does a Cub Scout parent or legal guardian have to be a registered leader to participate in a Cub Scout overnight program with their own child/ward? A: No. However, they cannot serve as unit or den two deep leadership or supervision.

Q: I am an adult attending a pack, troop, crew, or ship overnight activity, do I have to be registered?
A: Yes, if you participate/stay overnight, you must be currently registered in an adult fee required position or as an adult program participant. Exception for legal guardians attending with their Cub Scout.

Q: When does this change take effect?
A: All Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, Sea Scouting Ships, Exploring Posts, council, and district overnight programs will be required to comply with this update by September 1, 2023. We encourage early adoption prior to the effective date to get your families ready for this change.

Q: Why is this change being made?
A: For decades the BSA has evolved its Barriers to Abuse to better protect youth from abuse. This new measure is a continuation of this commitment by the BSA to prevent abuse in our program and adds a new layer of protection for our Scouts.

Q: What is an adult fee required position?
A: Adults may select from the list below of adult leader position options provided in the “Registration Guidebook of the Boy Scouts of America” that is available for their unit, district or council position. For example, registration as a Merit Badge Counselor, Lion Cub Partner, Tiger Partner does not meet this requirement.

Q: An Arrow of Light den is camping with a troop for their Scouting Adventure pin. Do all the adults need to be registered?
A: Parents who are attending with their Arrow of Light Scout do not have to register and will camp alongside their den. Reminder the den must still have registered two-deep leadership. All adults camping with the troop must be registered.

Q: A Cub Scout pack is having their unit campout. A grandpa wants to bring his grandson to the pack campout because the Scout’s parents will be out of town. Does grandpa have to register?
A:Yes. The Cub Scout exception is limited to a parent or legal guardian. A grandparent or other family member who is not the legal guardian could attend overnight but must register. Reminder, the Scout and grandpa cannot share the same tent.

Q: Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse states “All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders.” Does this update change that policy?
A: No – Parents are still able to attend any program within Scouting; however, to observe programs and stay overnight, they must register with the BSA.

Q: A merit badge counselor wants to attend a troop overnight activity. Can they?
A: Maybe. Merit Badge Counselor is a council position that would require another multiple registration from the list of approved positions. An adult registered only as a merit badge counselor would not qualify. Reminder – only adults registered in one of the positions on the approved list of “fee required positions” may stay overnight.

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