Congratulations on the upcoming end of another successful school year!

We are so excited about the arrival of summer and the thrilling adventures and unforgettable positive experiences that lie ahead for our Scouts at Summer camp.

For all parents, Scouting volunteers and staff, the safety of our activities and the well-being of our Scouts are paramount in everything we do. As we embark on summer activities, we would like to take a moment to emphasize our pledge to maintain a culture of safety within Greater New York Councils.

Please remember that all adults spending one or more nights at our summer camps must be registered and be Youth Protection Trained. Keep in mind that effective September 1, all adults attending unit overnight activities must be registered, with limited exceptions. Read more in this GNYC news post.

In addition to our rigorous youth protection training guidelines, we will focus below on several key areas to provide an enjoyable and safe experience for all participants.

With your commitment to these practices a culture of safety can grow to positively impact all that we do in Scouting!

Thank you in advance for taking the time to review these six safety practices and consider how they are implemented in your scouting experience:

Transportation Safety (Transportation Safety Moment): Getting to and from Scouting events can be a risk for all participants. Please use the Guide to Safe Scouting framework in addition to the SAFE Transportation Checklist for all transportation to and from Scouting activities. The Scouter Code of Conduct includes: “When transporting Scouts, I will obey all laws, comply with Youth Protection guidelines, and follow safe driving practices.” Additional information is available in the Risk Zone roundtable presentation.

Pre-Event Health Screener Forms: Preparing for a campout or other event takes a lot of planning. To proactively address any potential health concerns, BSA has implemented pre-event health screener forms. Helping to prevent the spread of communicable diseases must be included as part of your preparation. In addition to the Annual Health and Medical Record form, this step gives an opportunity to screen for illness immediately before traveling a long distance for an event. This form must be reviewed by each family prior to attending summer camp and should be used for all Scouting activities, including meetings.

Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat Trainings: Our aquatics safety programs reinforce the vital need for a high level of supervision and discipline. By teaching Scouters the necessary skills and precautions for swimming and boating, our aquatics programs can remain safe and enriching. Different watercraft and conditions can pose varying levels of risk. Please refer to the age appropriate guidelines for swimming and boating activities.

The Buddy System: Scouting’s buddy system requires all Scouts to pair up with a friend or two for all activities. This helps ensure safety and accountability, and teaches Scouts to have responsibility for others. The buddy system is a key part of Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse. Scouts will be encouraged to maintain a constant buddy throughout all camp activities, promoting accountability and enhancing overall safety. It is strongly encouraged to pair Scouts of similar abilities, ages and maturity. Buddy pairs should be no more than two years apart in age and should be single gender. Boy-girl buddy pairs are not allowed in any programs, including Venturing and Sea Scouting. A buddy team may consist of three Scouts when necessary, like an odd number in a group. More on the Buddy System is available from Scouting Magazine.

Hazardous Weather Safety Training: Severe weather can be dangerous. Each potential weather condition requires a basic understanding of what to do so that participants can be kept safe. The scale of weather conditions can seem daunting—ranging from high heat with no humidity to torrential downpours with possible flooding. However, some key basic principles can help everyone prepare. Always check the weather before a trip and be prepared for the types of hazardous conditions associated with your destination. Hazardous weather training can be accessed via

Wildlife Safety: Taking interactions with animals of all sizes seriously is paramount to the safety of Scouts. Scouts should coexist responsibly with the natural environment. It is important for Scouts to be educated on appropriate behavior around wildlife and informed of any specific precautions necessary for the campsite location, such as food storage and waste removal practices. Remember insect repellant and netting to avoid unwanted interactions with even the smallest of creatures, such as ticks and mosquitos.

The well-being of each individual is our top priority, and we are committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment throughout the summer camp programs. Further guidance and information can be found in the Guide to Safe Scouting.


By emphasizing these elements of safety, we aim to equip our Scouts, staff, leadership, and families with the knowledge and skills to “Be Prepared” to navigate unpredictable situations responsibly and confidently. We encourage parents and leaders to discuss relevant safety measures with their Scouts, reinforcing the importance of adhering to guidelines and best practices. By working together, we can create an environment that fosters growth, learning, and enjoyment for all.

We are here to support you and ensure a memorable and safe experience for your Scouts. Should you have any questions, concerns, or require further information about the upcoming summer camp programs or safety procedures, please reach out to us at