The BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them.
BSA Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed. All participants must follow Youth Protection Guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:
- Two-deep leadership on all outings required.
- One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited.
- The buddy system should be used at all times.
- Discipline must be constructive.
Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid. As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the "Sweet Sixteen" of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.
Youth Protection Guidelines Guide to Safe Scouting Sweet Sixteen Enterprise Risk Management
All Scouts should adhere to the buddy system throughout the camp. No Scout should ever be found wandering through camp alone. It can be difficult to implement the buddy system when a Scout does not schedule classes with fellow members of their troop. Troop leaders are encouraged to pair Scouts in classes as much as possible. If this is not feasible, the Scout should walk with other Scouts in the class to the location of the merit badge class. Due to the number of Scouts and the short amount of time between classes, this should be a relatively simple exercise.
BSA Annual Health and Medical Record
All persons coming to summer camp, whether youth or adult, and regardless of the amount of time spent in camp, must have a completed BSA Annual Health and Medical Record consisting of Parts A, B and C. The form must be completed in its entirety and must contain all applicable signatures. Forms can be downloaded at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/healthandsafety/ahmr.aspx. The form must be completely filled out and signed by a physician and a parent/guardian (Scout if under 18).
Forms are only current for one year and must not expire before the last day of summer camp. There is no provision for the administration of a physical examination to be done at camp. If a Scout does not have an Annual Health and Medical Record, they will either have to secure one from an area doctor at their expense or return home.
BSA Health and Medical Record
Please carefully review all BSA Annual Health and Medical Records prior to check-in. Give yourself ample time so that any errors or omissions may be corrected by the parents of the youth or the adult to whom the form belongs. Common errors or omissions made on the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record:
Part A is missing immunizations or is missing dates for the immunizations. Please complete the form rather than attaching an immunization record alone. Incorporating the information into the form speeds up the process of evaluating the form itself at check-in.
Part B is not signed by the adult participant or by an adult or guardian (for youth).
Part C of the form signed by a physician. The physician’s examination must have been completed no later than one-year before the last day of camp.
Using an outdated form. To ensure you are using the correct form, use the form available at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/ahmr.aspx.
Do not put forms in a binder or plastic sheeting. Parts A, B and C should be stapled for one person. Do not provide original forms; it is best to provide copies. The camp staff will do their best to return the submitted forms to those requesting the return of the medical forms. All forms are destroyed after camp.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication
Scouts and adults who require medication should bring enough of the medication to last throughout camp. BSA National Camping Standards (HS-508) states the following rules apply to storage and administration of medication:
All prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications must be stored under lock (including those requiring refrigeration), except when in the controlled presence of Medical Staff or a troop’s adult leader who is responsible for administration and/or dispensing medications. Locked refrigerated storage is available in the camp health lodge.
An exception to the above requirements may be made for a limited amount of medication to be carried by a camper, leader, parent, or staff member for life-threatening conditions, including epinephrine injector, heart medication, and inhalers, or for a limited amount of medication approved for use in a first-aid kit. The camp health staff shall advise the acting Scoutmaster as to whether a medication falls under this exception.
The camp health officer reviews all BSA Annual Health and Medical Record provided by the Scout for instructions regarding medications that may be administered to the Scout. If no “over the counter” (OTC) medications are listed on B2, then it will be necessary for the camp health officer to contact the parent or guardian for permission to administer such medications (e.g., Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, aspirin). If they are unable to reach a parent/guardian, then the Scout will need further medical evaluation by the designated camp physician or hospital facility.
On Sunday afternoon, after Scouts drop off their gear at their campsite, Scouts and adults should change into swimsuits, take a towel and report to the aquatic area. All Scouts and adults should complete a swim check whether they plan to swim or not. Buddy tags will be issued based on the level of swimming proficiency.
- A developmental swim class available for Scouts who are unable to swim or unable to pass a swim test.
- Adult assistance is needed to hand out the buddy tags during the swim check.
Swim Checks Prior to Camp. Units may complete their swim checks locally prior to camp following the Swim Classification Procedures. The unit-level swim check must be conducted by one of the following certified people: Aquatics Instructor, BSA; Aquatics Cub Supervisor; BSA Lifeguard; BSA Swimming & Water Rescue; or other lifeguard, swimming instructor, etc. When swim tests are conducted prior to camp, the camp aquatics director shall reserve the authority to review or retest all participants to ensure that standards have been maintained for the safety of everyone.
Swim Classification Procedures Record and Classifications
If a Scout requires any special accommodations, the unit leader will notify the camp staff of any requests when registering Scouts for their merit badge classes. The camp staff will do whatever they can to accommodate. Common accommodation requests include needing refrigeration for medication, and electricity for CPAP machines. Participants may need to bring specialty items to help make some requests possible.
The health lodge is open 24 hours a day and is prepared to handle minor injuries and illnesses. The health lodge is located in the camp headquarters.
For minor injury or illness take the Scout/adult to the health lodge for treatment. The buddy system should be followed at all times. For a major injury (broken bones, unconsciousness, unsure), send a runner to the health lodge and medical staff will come to the Scout or adult. Please do not move a Scout or adult with a major injury!
Trips to the Doctor or Hospital
Should any participant require medical treatment beyond the first-aid capabilities provided by camp staff at the health lodge, they will be evacuated to the nearest medical treatment facility.
The nearest hospital is Cleveland Emergency Hospital located at 1017 South Travis Ave, Cleveland TX. If such treatment is required, the Scout's parent(s) will be notified by telephone, and their desires concerning further treatment will be respected.
The camp has emergency phone numbers posted near all phones and FM radio communication throughout the camp. In an emergency, the camp director, or designee, will initiate emergency procedures depending upon the situation. During emergencies, adult leaders should supervise their own unit’s response appropriately.
There are two types of emergency alarms. The first is a solid tone for general emergencies. When you hear the camp alarm (Siren), you must IMMEDIATELY assemble with your troop at your campsite, take a headcount, have the senior patrol leader report your attendance to the Staff member in charge, and await further instructions. If for whatever reason the campsites are unsafe, the staff will direct people to the grand pavilion as a secondary assembly area. Stay at the assembly area until the all-clear is given.
The second type of alarm will be a pulsing siren. This signifies a weather emergency. This part of Texas is prone to afternoon thunderstorms during the summer, with potential for the formation of tornados. Whenever a serious storm approaches, everyone in the camp should move into the nearest designated shelter. All permanent structures at Camp Strake are suitable shelters during an emergency.
In accordance with BSA National Camping Standards (AO-805), an emergency drill will be conducted each week of camp. Every person must report to their campsite when the alarm is sounded, drill or no drill!
All registered members of Sam Houston Area Council troops are covered by Health Special Risk unit insurance. A claim form must accompany each Scout who is referred to an outside medical facility. This is secondary coverage. If there is no other policy, this will be the primary insurance. Out-of-council troops must provide proof of accident and sickness insurance upon arrival at camp.
The plan is with Health Special Risk, Inc. and is excess coverage. The first $300.00 or less of coverage will be paid by Health Special Risk, Inc. Charges above $300.00 should be filed under the family’s major medical insurance. Health Special Risk, Inc. will then pay all charges not recovered under any other insurance. Families without insurance will receive instructions from Health Special Risk, Inc., but in any event up to $7,500 of coverage for sickness or injury is provided (Special coverage limits cover dental and transportation). The camp will file the initial claim at the time of treatment. All patients must be referred to the physician or hospital by Camp Health Personnel. For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.