Youth Protection and Safety

Youth Protection

True youth protection can be achieved only through the focused commitment of everyone in Scouting. It is the mission of Youth Protection volunteers and professionals to work within the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to maintain a culture of Youth Protection awareness and safety at the national, territory, area, council, district, and unit levels.

Leadership Selection

The BSA 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.

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 abuser, we can reduce the risk of accepting a child abuser 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.

The BSA has a multilayered adult leader selection process that includes criminal background checks administered by a nationally recognized third party and other screening efforts. Click here for information on the selection process.

Required Training

  • Youth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers and is a joining requirement.
  • Youth Protection training must be taken every two years. If a volunteer’s Youth Protection training record is not current at the time of Membership Renewal, the volunteer’s membership will not be renewed.
  • Watch the Understanding Youth Protection Video
  • New to Scouting? Click here to login and take Youth Protection trainingYou do not have to be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America to take Youth Protection training.

To realize the potential of Scouting, it is critical that we take all possible steps to create and maintain a safe environment for all who participate. That involves understanding personal boundaries and knowing what appropriate behaviors are in Scouting. To that end, the BSA has invested resources and engaged experts to develop strategies to help end child abuse and maltreatment.

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 program.


We want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, and families is an important part of the Scouting experience. Youth develop traits of citizenship, character, fitness, and leadership during age-appropriate events when challenged to move beyond their normal comfort level and discover their abilities. this is appropriate when risks are identified and mitigated.

The Scouting program, as contained in its handbooks and literature, integrates many safety features. However, no policy or procedure will replace the review and vigilance of trusted adults and leaders at the point of program execution.

It is important to create an environment that emphasizes safety even as children try new things and learn by doing. Safety builds on concern for each other, adult supervision, a buddy system, and equipment monitoring, as well as having structure, rules, and routines in place. Experienced Den leaders remind us to be especially attentive during the “transition” times when children are arriving or departing or when there is a break between activities. Be prepared for emergencies by establishing basic protocols and having first-aid support readily available.

Children can and should be a part of the safety check process. It’s fun and satisfying for Scouts to help keep everyone safe.

Commit yourself to creating a safe and healthy environment by:

  • Knowing and executing the BSA program as contained in its publications
  • Planning tours, activities, and events with vigilance using the tools provided
  • Setting the example for safe behavior and equipment use during program
  • Engaging and educating all participants in discussions about hazards and rights
  • Reporting incidents in a timely manner

Age- and rank-appropriate guidelines have been developed based on many factors. Below are the Age Appropriate Guidelines For Scouting Activities based on rank/grade:

    Age Appropriate Guidelines For Scouting Activities
    Age Appropriate Guidelines For Scouting Activities