Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse


The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. Registered leaders must follow these guidelines with Scouting youth outside of Scouting activities.



Registration Requirements

  • The chartered organization representative, or in their absence the executive officer of the chartered organization, must approve the registration of all unit’s adult leaders. Scouting uses a Volunteer Screening Database which prohibits known or suspected abusers from registering. Additionally, youth protection training and criminal background checks are mandatory for all registered volunteers and staff.

Adult Supervision

  • One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting, either in person, online, over the phone, or via text. Two-deep adult supervision by registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required for all Scouting activities. This includes patrol activities, meetings, and service projects. These enhanced requirements have been in effect since 2018.


  • Adult leaders and youth members share the responsibility for the safety of all participants in the program, including adherence to Youth Protection and health and safety policies. In addition, adult leaders are required to adhere to the Scouter Code of Conduct.


  • Separate accommodations for adult males and females and youth males and females are required for tenting, lodging, and restroom facilities. Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age. In addition, Adult participants age 18-20 are treated as adults and cannot share tents with youth participants.

Program Requirements

  • Adult leaders emphasize the buddy system in unit planning, and training activities. Buddies must stay together during activities. Scouting is a transparent program with parental involvement.

Reporting Requirements

  • Adult leaders and youth members have a responsibility to recognize, respond to, and report All Youth Protection violations and abuse including, mandatory reporting to law enforcement.