Health and Safety

As we are beginning the process of the 2010 National Jamboree, I am learning a lot about more about just how much the BSA is concerned about Health and Safety. For obvious reasons, it is a good thing to be concerned about.
But here is what I find almost shocking. The restrictions and “Suggestions” of the BSA regarding the participants at National Jamboree.
Now before I go any further… I have to say that I agree in total with the decisions made by the BSA. While I never want to exclude a Scout or Scouter from any activity, I think it is right to protect those folks that have medical conditions or are not physically fit to function in a certain environment.
Just like the standard for participating at one of the BSA’s High adventure Bases, like Philmont. The Boy Scouts of America has outlined what participants at the National Jamboree should maintain as their health and safety guidelines.
Starting with weight, when we interviewed for the Scoutmaster positions, the panel clearly outlined the weight requirements. Scouts and Scouters that exceed the maximum weight for their height will not be permitted to attend. I can see this. Being overweight may bring with it many other conditions. Most folks that I know that are what would be considered “Obese” also have diabetes problems, trouble breathing, asthma, and other conditions that would not be conducive to warm Virgina Summers.
Heart trouble and other physical issues can also lead to a very troublesome Jambo experience.
After the 2005 National Jamboree, I think the BSA had an eye opener when Adult leaders had medical issues and the heat ran rough shot throughout the encampment.
The BSA program teaches us to be “physically strong”. This is subjective at best as the BSA also just wants us to “Do our Best” but! When you are at a National Program I believe that the BSA wants a bit more. We set our Scouts up for success, and we need to remember that keeping them safe and providing a healthy environment is part of our obligation to the Scouts.
Setting guidelines and rules regarding Health and safety are good things for the BSA.
Those that would like to participate should seek the necessary help in meeting the standard. If they can not achieve that, they should understand that it is in their best interest to obtain from the activity. The last thing anyone wants to see is a Scout or Scouter get hurt, extremely sick, or even killed due to a lack of fitness or health issue.
You can learn more about the National Jamboree standard and guidelines by checking out this site.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Generally all the health stuff on that page is for the boys and not the adults I noticed. I also noticed that BSA didn’t say someone would be rejected due to obesity, but that he should reconsider participation.According to the BMI calculator my son is “at risk”, but he’s fit and participates in all of our troop activities without any issues. He attended the previous Jamboree and the issue then was mainly the heat. You would think after being taken to the hospital tent and made to sit and drink water I’d never have to worry about him and dehydration again, but I’ll still catch him with a mostly full Nalgene after a weekend of camping.He also went to the international Jamboree in England last year and because the heat wasn’t a problem he never had any medical issues. Los Angeles and other desert area kids just aren’t expecting the kind of heat and humidity that Jamboree has. You often see ways to deal with heat (cover up and drink), but not with humidity.


  2. Ahh, Health and Safety, one of my favourites!As one of the tasks I had to for my Wood Badge this year was to write a safety policy for my Group. This was so we had a policy in place for all our Leaders, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, to ensure we could all enjoy our Scouting without danger. By this I don’t mean that we now don’t do any adventurous activities (abseiling, canoeing and the like), we just make sure we had the correct precautions in place and we, or other Leaders, are properly trained.I was lucky that our County had issued a draft policy which I was able to modify accordingly. I would not like to have done so from scratch!Nick@ admin, I’m not surprised your son didn’t have any problems with the heat at the Jamboree last year as we had a poor summer. This year isn’t much better (it’s throwing down with rain as I type this)! Hope he enjoyed it though.


  3. I think we all woull agree that Tico was just a litttle on the hipocritical side, although he did mention that he was working on it. You can bet that he didn’t climb to the summit for that promo though. That aside, I do agree that scouts need to be physically sound before they should attempt strenuous activities. As 1st ASM on my 2001 Jambo trip, I was the medical SM as well as an actual physician. None of my scouts were even close to being at risk so there were no issues with my troop, but I did see a lot of kids that didn’t take very good care of themselves. So even though I do have issues with SM’s trying to make all their scouts fit into the same mold, do the same thing and think the same way, or the “cookie cutter scout master” as we used to call them, there are no solid aguments for anyone trying to keep a boy out of scouts because their BMI is not optimum. If that were the case, 50% of adult scout leaders would simply be drivers instead of leaders.


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