Ask Pop: Your BSA Property and Outdoor Program Questions Answered

By BSA Outdoor Programs, Local Council Experts and National Subcommittees

Ask Pop is a monthly column in the Trail to Adventure Blog focused on answering questions submitted by you! Each month we will highlight a few of the questions submitted. Do you have a question you need answered? Do you have a perplexing challenge you want to ask the larger BSA properties and outdoor program community? Submit your questions to outdoorprograms@scouting.org and even if they are not featured in the blog, you will get an answer!

What’s Pop? “Property and Outdoor Program” of course!

Q: Can Scouts and leaders share indoor lodges like a cabin? What about youth protection?

A: Yes, but there are some key policies for shared indoor lodging like a cabin. As you note, the BSA’s Youth Protection policies must be followed. Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse covers lodging here. There is also additional information in the FAQ for Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse you can review here.

First, whenever possible, Scouts and leaders should stay in separate cabins. If Scouts and leaders must share an indoor cabin, here are some key reminders:

  • There must be a minimum of two adults and four youth, with all adults being Youth Protection trained.
  • Physical separation by other means, including temporary barriers or space, should be used only when no other arrangements are possible. This temporary barrier could be a curtain, modular wall etc.
  • These temporary modifications are limited to single-gender accommodations. Meaning only adult males and youth males or adult females and youth females could share indoor lodging such as a cabin, so long as the above requirements are met. In the case where there are only adult females serving as supervision for a male unit the adults would be required to be housed in an additional housing arrangement. In the case where there is mixed gender adult supervision the unit may need to have additional adults attend to meet the two-deep leadership requirement for housing.
  • These modifications only apply to lodging/cabin accommodations – and do not apply to tent housing.