From its beginning, the Scouting movement has taught young people to do their best, to do their duty to God and country, to help others, and to prepare themselves physically, mentally, and morally to meet these goals. The basic aims of Scouting include teaching young people to take care of themselves, to be helpful to others, and to develop courage, self-reliance, and the ability to be ready to serve in an emergency.
BSA encourages you to include this preparedness plan as part of completing the Emergency Preparedness award, either individually, or more importantly, as a unit.
In light of the recent Las Vegas shooting, now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, it might be time to help your crew, troop or pack be prepared and know what to do in an active shooter situation.
You can train your Scouts using the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) “Be Prepared: Active Shooter Resource” web page. Naturally the best way integrates this kind training into a “Main Event” using “Program Features for Troops, Teams and Crews—A Guide to Program Planning Volume 3 (or see last month’s Online Roundtable: Emergency Preparedness).
For that “Main Event” invite local authorities; something like members of Troop 212 (shown above), where Iowa City Police officials led their Scouts in an active-shooter training session in the basement of their church.
Face it, Scouts and leaders are often in public places in our communities; we march in parades, do community service projects, and attend public camps. Unfortunately, acts of violence, might occur near any of these activities.
BSA wants your unit to train to know what to do and practice situational awareness. This means that your youth should be coached to recognize possible issues and know how to act to avoid a negative outcomes where any poor decisions could lead to serious consequences.
Personally I became aware of this during the Jamboree. Our team found themselves in an over look about the arena show, with 35,000 Scouts below us all waiting for President Trump to arrive. Several days prior, the Secret Service started checking out the location to be sure they understood potential situations that could arise. With each pass I became more and more uneasy about where I would be when the President would arrive. However, these professionals were clearly aware of situations and it was assuring they were there to protect both the President and our Jamboree participants.
The Scout motto, “Be Prepared!,” teaches young people to take care of themselves, to be helpful to others, and to develop courage, self-reliance, and the ability to be ready to serve in an emergency. The educational material and resources provided below will allow all Scouts and Scouters to become informed, be prepared, and act promptly and appropriately in the event of such an emergency.
The concepts are intentionally straightforward:
- Be aware of your surroundings, observant of others, and know where to find the two nearest exits.
- If confronted with violence, use the Department of Homeland Security recommended protocol: run, hide, fight.
- Know how to respond when law enforcement arrives.
- Be prepared to help others (know and practice first aid).
You may also complete the Emergency Preparedness award, either individually, or more importantly, as a unit. Earning the award teaches participants to respond first, as an individual; second, as a member of a family; and third, as a member of a Scouting unit serving their neighborhood and community. This award will allow all Scouts and Scouters to become informed, be prepared, and act promptly and appropriately in the event of emergencies, whether they are natural or man-made.
- Department of Homeland Security “Active Shooter Preparedness Program”
- Department of Homeland Security “Active Shooter: How to Respond Educational Booklet”
- Department of Homeland Security “Active Shooter Event: Quick Reference Guide Pamphlet”
- Department of Homeland Security “Active Shooter Pocket Card”
- www.ready.gov (It’s your primary source for how to be informed , make a plan , build a kit , and get involved.
- www.fema.gov (This site is your primary source to plan, prepare, and mitigate before, during, or after an emergency.
- BSA merit badge pamphlets for First Aid and Emergency Preparedness