Updated 4/17/16 NEW items in red.
This page contains information and answers to commonly asked questions regarding church, stake, and BSA policies on:
- Training and Safety
Policies in Church Handbooks
NEW–Church Handbook of Instructions Book 2, section 13.6.9 provides information and guidance on personal insurance for church activities.
NEW–The Church’s Risk Management Division provided a summary of questions and answers regarding scouting incidents and insurance coverage. It is helpful for all scout leaders to understand the Church’s and BSA’s insurance policies. Click HERE and scroll down to page 3.
Click HERE for a listing of church policies and guidelines related to scouting and safety.
Travel Related Policies (safety policies are below)
Travel Radius: per guidance from the Area Seventy in 2015, travel should be restricted to a 300 mile radius (which is the distance from the stake center to Martin’s Cove).
Church Activity Plans: per the church handbook of instructions and additional stake guidelines youth activities that occur outside of stake boundaries require a Church Activity Plan. If the activity is scouting related an additional BSA Tour Plan is required which is accessed online (see below). Church Activity Plans require signatures from the activity leader, Bishop, and a member of the stake presidency. Without these approvals your activity will likely not be covered by insurance. Please submit this Plan as early as possible so you can make adjustments if there are concerns. A link to the Church Activity Plan can be found by clicking HERE.
Church Parental or Guardian Permission and Medical Release: a basic permission slip to be used on church activities. Found by clicking HERE.
BSA Tour & Activity Plans: per BSA policy, a Tour and Activity Plan must be submitted for scouting events where driving and/or outdoor activities occur under conditions outlined HERE. Tour Plans are created and submitted electronically by logging in at myscounting.org and clicking on the “Tour and Activity Plan” link on the left rail. Requirements for a BSA permit are listed HERE. A Guide to Tour Planning Principles which outlines required training, minimum auto insurance requirements, and other guidelines is accessed HERE. Church policy requires scout units to have BSA insurance coverage on all applicable activities and submitting a Tour and Activity Plan is a critical step in securing that coverage.
NEW– A thorough video on how to access, fill out, and submit and BSA Tour and Activity Plan can be accessed HERE.
BSA Medical and Consent Forms: Found online HERE depending on the type of activity you’re participating in. Part A is a consent form to be used by all participants on all scouting related activities. Part B is a health history and is also to be used by all participants on all scouting related activities. Part C is a physical that is typically required on events on scout property (such as Peaceful Valley) lasting more than 72 hours and requires a physician’s signature. Most of your questions on these forms can be answered by an FAQ found by clicking HERE.
BSA Insurance Coverage (as of Sep.’15): A description BSA’s insurance coverage can be found by clicking HERE.
Scout Shop Cards: each ward has an account at the scout shop that covers approved expenses for all 4 scouting units (pack, troop, team, crew). Typically each ward’s Troop account has funds in it but all 4 unit cards should draw from the Troop account. Accounts are maintained and funded by the stake. If you find your account balance is getting low contact a member of the stake young men presidency. If somebody in your ward used personal funds to cover approved purchases have that person submit a stake reimbursement form (see below). In order to minimize the financial burden on the stake (and for other program-related reasons) units are strongly encouraged to qualify for free rank advancement patches by qualifying for the Gold or Silver levels in the Journey to Excellence (JTE) program. Also, follow the procedures below under Sales Tax to avoid this expense at the scout shop.
Approved purchases include (as of July 2014):
- adult and youth versions of BSA Religious award knot
- cubs: bobcat, wolf, bear, webelos, arrow of light cloth badges and mother’s pins and appropriate cards for each. All arrow, belt loops, beads and cards.
- boy scouts: all advancement cloth awards, cards, mother’s pins and merit badges. The basic eagle packet (cloth award, metal rank, mother/father/mentor pins).
- varsity/venture: program pins, letters and awards
- NOT APPROVED: scout uniforms, neckerchiefs, slides, pinewood derby cars, scout books, equipment, training and teaching materials, special activity patches (50-miler, 14er, mile swim, leadership position patches, etc.) These items should be covered through your ward’s budget.
Sales Tax: NEW–when making purchases on behalf of the Church you should not pay sales tax. Effective fall 2015 in order to be exempt from this charge you need to provide a copy of two forms, an Exemption Certificate and an Affidavit. The Church populated the “Purchaser Information” section of the Affidavit, the ward or stake fills out the “Payment Information (required to meet one of the following)” section in the 2nd box when making a purchase without sales tax. The remainder of the form is filled out by the “Seller” and kept on file by the Seller. The Certificate is presented at the time of purchase and retained by the ward.
Stake Reimbursement Forms: tricky to find! Log in to your account at lds.org; click on Newsletters under your account heading; toggle to the “Stake” tab; you’ll see a number of files under the Stake tab; click through the various pages until you find the reimbursement form. Fill out the form, sign it, include a copy or original receipt, provide a description of the purchase and a mailing address for the check and submit it to a member of the stake young men presidency.
Fund Raisers: per church guidelines, ward budgets are the primary source of funding for Aaronic Priesthood and scouting activities. If those funds are insufficient, parents and boys can be asked to pay for all or part of an extended scout camp (summer camp). If funds from participants are not sufficient the bishop may authorize a fund raiser. Details can be found in Handbook 2, section 8.13.7 and section 13.6.8
Some successful fund raisers include:
- spring and/or fall lawn aeration for ward members and friends
- placing US flags in yards on major US holidays
- garage sale (various degrees of success)
- ward dinner where certain items are purchase by attendees (dinner, dessert, photos, serenade, etc.)
Training and Safety Policies
The church supports all of BSA required training as specified by BSA which includes maintaining current youth protection training (YPT). To be fully trained in your specific scout calling, click HERE for a list of what’s required.
Scout leaders and committees should be aware of and follow BSA’s guide to safe scouting. The following links will be helpful: Scouting Safely, Guide to Safe Scouting, the Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety, Leave No Trace, and a video specific to LDS Safe Scouting.
The risk of lightning strikes is of particular concern in Colorado and the church has produced this safety video specific to Lightning Safety. This video is also appropriate for the scouts the view–it’s rather light-hearted.
Auto accidents is one of the main safety hazards facing scout leaders. The church produced a video specific to Drowsy Driving to bring attention to the matter.
In addition, activity specific training may be required (refer to the Training tab on this website for additional details). This training is available online through your my.scouting.org account under “E-Learning”. The following courses are available and required depending on the activity:
- Fast Start for Commissioners, Chartered Organization Rep, Venturing, Varsity Leader, and Boy Scout.
- Safe Swim Defense (any type of swimming activity)
- Safety Afloat (boating, canoeing, etc.)
- Climb on Safely (rock climbing and/or rappelling)
- Trek Safely (hiking, backpacking)
- Weather Hazards (required to have 1 person on each activity with this training)
- Troop Committee Challenge (for all members of the scout committee)