Today, October 19, 2015, the Boy Scouts of America released a Scouter Code of Conduct that has been approved by the National Executive Committee and Board. According to the new release, “The purpose of this code is to provide a resource that clearly defines the desired behavior for adults involved in Scouting.”  This in turn, allows us in BSA to provide a safer and exciting experience for the youth we serve.

The Scouter Code of Conduct is available online under the “Policies” header. BSA goes on to state: “The code compiles existing guidelines into one document and is similar to the Camp Staff Code of Conduct issued earlier this year and the one found in the camp accreditation materials. This revised Scouter Code of Conduct replaces all of those prior versions.”

The Scouter Code of Conduct applies to all Scouters and camp staff employees regardless of age. It will be immediately incorporated into the Unlawful Harassment Prevention Training  for full and part-time employees and it will be integrated into other BSA materials over time. However, there are no plans to require currently registered Scouters to sign or acknowledge the code, although it may be incorporated into the registration or other systems in the future.

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Boy Scouts of America
Scouter Code of Conduct

On my honor I promise to do my best to comply with this Boy Scouts of America Scouter Code of Conduct while serving in my capacity as an adult leader:

  1. I have or will complete my registration with the Boy Scouts of America, answering all questions truthfully and honestly.
  2. I will do my best to live up to the Scout Oath and Scout Law, obey all laws, and hold others in Scouting accountable to those standards. I will exercise sound judgment and demonstrate good leadership and use the Scouting program for its intended purpose consistent with the mission of the Boy Scouts of America.
  3. I will make the protection of youth a personal priority. I will complete and remain current with youth protection training requirements. I will be familiar with and follow:a. BSA youth protection policies and guidelines, including mandatory reporting: http://www.scouting.org/YouthProtection.aspx
    b. The Guide to Safe Scouting: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS.aspx
    c. The Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Resources/sweet16.aspx
  4. When transporting Scouts I will obey all laws, comply with youth protection guidelines, and follow safe driving practices.
  5. I will respect and abide by the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, BSA policies, and BSA-provided training, including but not limited to, those relating to:
    a. Unauthorized fundraising activities
    b. Advocacy on social and political issues, including prohibited use of the BSA uniform and brand
    c. Bullying, hazing, harassment, and unlawful discrimination of any kind
  6. I will not discuss or engage in any form of sexual conduct while engaged in Scouting activities. I will refer Scouts with questions regarding these topics to talk to their parents or spiritual advisor.
  7. I confirm that I have fully disclosed and will disclose in the future any of the following:a. Any criminal suspicion, charges or convictions of a crime or offense involving abuse, violence, sexual misconduct, or any misconduct involving minors or juveniles
    b. Any investigation or court order involving domestic violence, child abuse, or similar matter
    c. Any criminal charges or convictions for offenses involving controlled substances, driving while intoxicated, firearms or dangerous weapons.
  8. I will not possess, distribute, transport, consume, or use any of the following items prohibited by law or in violation of any Scouting rules, regulations and policies:
    a. Alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, including marijuana.
    b. Concealed or unconcealed firearms, fireworks, or explosives.
    c. Pornography or materials containing words or images inconsistent with Scouting values.
  9. If I am taking prescription medications with the potential of impairing my functioning or judgment, I will not engage in activities which would put Scouts at risk, including driving or operating equipment.
  10. I will take steps to prevent or report any violation of this code of conduct by others in connection with Scouting activities.

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If you have additional questions about this code of conduct, please contact Steve McGowan in the Office of General Counsel at 972-580-7847.

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Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. However, his pride in Scouting, is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative and Commissioner.

2 comments

  1. Avatar
    Tina Marie Hill says:

    What are leaders to do when these policies, and others are not being followed and the local council will not back their Scout Leaders, Committee Members, and families that are being effected by these violations. We have had several issues occur and we can not get any help in the matter.

  2. Maloree E Anderson
    Maloree E Anderson ( User Karma: 1 ) says:

    This code of conduct is crucial. The purpose of these “rules” is to not only protect the youth, but the leaders as well. It prevents incidents from happening. It provides an environment that is healthy spiritually, mentally, and physically for everyone.

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