New Ways to Do Scouting Business

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Darlene Sprague
National Commissioner Service Resources Chair

Some exciting new changes are coming to the way the BSA is going to do business. These involve updated and simplified medical forms and changes in unit registration status and membership reporting. Commissioners will want to pass the word to units to make them aware of these changes.

New, Simplified Annual Health and Medical Record Now Online

In preparation for the summer camp season, the BSA rolled out a new, simplified annual health and medical record that became effective March 1, 2014. Keep in mind that this change does not cancel records that are still valid.

Thanks to all of you who provided constructive feedback on making the record easier to use while still collecting the information needed to make sure our Scouts are ready for their experience.

Here are some of the key updates:

  • The primary version will be in English. The existing bilingual version will remain available.
  • Part A (Informed Consent, Release Agreement, and Authorization) will contain no medical information and will be shorter by one page.
  • Part B (General Information/Health History) will include only the most important information needed.
  • Part C (Pre-Participation Physical) will be reduced to one page with expanded sections for allergy explanation.
  • Supplemental Risk Advisory (former Part D) will be shortened and be location-specific. This section is designed to take to physicians so they will better understand what activities their patients will participate in.
  • The landing page for the annual health and medical record website has been redesigned so participants and parents will be able to download only what they need.

We need your help in eliminating all references to any prior versions of the record within your units’ literature, leader guides, and websites.

Host only this link. If you have previously hosted parts of the annual health and medical record, delete the PDFs; don’t just hide the link. Don’t print out the record unless absolutely necessary.

We suggest you print out the Instructions Handout (accessed by clicking on “Instructions Handout” in the middle of the landing page) and bring it to your roundtables to share with your units.

For answers to commonly asked questions, go to the bottom of the landing page and click on “Have Questions? Get Answers Here.” If you have other questions that are not addressed in the FAQ, please contact

Change in Unit Registration Status and Membership Reporting

A change in the reporting of membership data on national membership reports will be effective Jan. 1, 2015. Starting then, a unit that has not reregistered by its expiration date will be considered “separated” and immediately dropped from the BSA’s membership reporting. There will no longer be what we now call a lapse period for units that do not reregister on time. We will no longer use the term “lapsed” for a unit that has not renewed. This is also a change in the way we currently report membership totals. Currently a lapsed unit’s membership continues to be counted for 60 days in council membership totals.

The new definition will begin with units that have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2015. This means that units with a Dec. 31, 2014, expiration date will be included. Volunteers will retain access to MyScouting, my.Scouting Tools, Internet Rechartering, and Internet Advancement for 30 days after their unit has expired and become separated.

A separated unit will have 12 months to reregister as a separated-reregistered unit. Once a separated unit has been reregistered, the unit will be included on membership reports starting in the business month the charter renewal was posted.