Health and Safety Training

Safety and Risk Management Training

The Cape Cod & Islands Council recognizes the immediate need to train adult leaders in the proper design and operation of safe Scouting programs. There are several safety courses offered that provide important and valuable lessons on Health and Safety issues.

All of these courses are available through the National E-Learining Center.

Climb on Safely Training

Climb on Safely LogoDesigned for unit climbing/rappelling, Climb On Safely is the BSA's recommended procedure for organizing and managing climbing and rappelling activities at all levels of the Scouting program: Tiger Cubs BSA, Cub Scouting, Webelos Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing. It offers guidance for climbing and rappelling at national sites and at specifically designed facilities, including climbing towers and fixed and portable walls. Its The eight points are:

  1. Qualified Supervision
  2. Qualified Instrutors
  3. Physical Fitness
  4. Safe Area
  5. Equipment
  6. Planning
  7. Environmental Conditions
  8. Discipline

Climb On Safely training can be given by any person authorized by the council, including a BSA Climbing and Rappelling resource person, a unit leader with climbing skills, or any other person with climbing and rappelling knowledge or experience whom the local council has approved.

Climb On Safely is not designed to prepare leaders to instruct BSA youth in the skills of climbing or rappelling. Teaching climbing or rappelling requires a trained climbing instructor who meets the criteria defined in Climb On Safely.

Safe Swim Defense & Safety Afloat Training

Safe Swim Defense

Safe Swim Defense

Before a BSA group may engage in swimming activities of any kind, a minimum of one adult leader must complete Safe Swim Defense training, have a commitment card (No. 34243) with them, and agree to use the eight defenses in this plan. The eight defenses are:

  1. Qualified Supervision
  2. Physical Fitness
  3. Safe Area
  4. Lifeguards on Duty
  5. Lookout
  6. Ability Groups
  7. Buddy System
  8. Discipline

Safety Afloat

Safety Afloat has been developed to promote boating and boating safety and to set standards for safe unit activity afloat. Before a BSA group may engage in an excursion, expedition, or trip on the water (canoe, raft, sailboat, motorboat, rowboat, tube, or other craft), adult leaders for such activity must complete Safety Afloat Training, No. 34159C, have a commitment card, No. 34242A, with them, and be dedicated to full compliance with all nine points of Safety Afloat. The nine points are:

  1. Qualified Supervision
  2. Physical Fitness
  3. Swimming Ability
  4. Personal Flotation Equipment
  5. Buddy System
  6. Skill Proficiency
  7. Planning
  8. Buddy System
  9. Equipment
  10. Discipline

Trek Safely Training

Trek Safely is the Boy Scouts of America's recommended procedure for organizing and carrying out outdoor treks that involve Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers. Trek Safely applies to all types of outdoor experiences that involve trekking, including hiking, backpacking, canoeing, horseback riding, caving, rafting, kayaking, sailing, ski touring, mountain climbing, and mountain biking.

Trek Safely is designed to help youth and adult leaders plan and carry out a safetrekking experience for the members of their unit. Similar to Safe Swim Defense,Safety Afloat, and Climb On Safely, it is not designed to teach the skills oftrekking. Units that choose to engage in activities requiring specialized outdoorskills should seek qualified instructors to help members learn and acquire these
skills prior to the outing.

At the end of this session, each participant should be able to:

  • Explain how each of the seven points of Trek Safely contributes to the objective of assuring safe treks.
  • Understand why the first and last points--qualified supervision and discipline--are crucial and why all other points rely on these two points.
  • Plan and carry out a safe unit trek, observing the seven points of Trek Safely.
  • List the resources available for planning and safely carrying out a trek.

Weather Hazards

Are you weather smart? All Scout outings involve weather in some form or another. Hopefully, we'll be lucky and have great weather for every event; we all know that this is just wishful thinking. Dealing with unexpected or bad weather is just a normal part of Scouting. Knowing how to recognize various weather patterns is often fairly simple and can help us avoid miserable outings or even tragic outcomes. The goal of this new training is to give leaders a basic education and overview of outdoor weather hazards so that we might avoid these hazards and continue Scouting Safely.

Beginning January 1st, 2009, each unit Tour Permit submitted to the Council will require the inclusion of the name of at least one adult who is trained and current in the new "Weather Hazard" Training program. All leaders and youth thirteen years of age or older are encouraged to take the online course. The course is presented in a multimedia format with many interactive features. Planning for weather and the sources of weather information available is a large part of the presentation. Many topics are discussed including: lightning, thunderstorms, hail, cold and hot weather, floods, tornados, wind and hurricanes. Of the top causes for injuries nationwide, lightning continues to hurt our Scouts.

The "Weather Smart" training has been developed by the National BSA Health and Safety Committee to address several trends in accidents seen in BSA youth and adults over the last several years. Although this training has been planned for several years, the recent tragic tornado event at the Scout camp in southwestern Iowa highlights the importance of leaders having an education in this area.