As mentioned earlier, the 2011 Guide to Safe Scouting is now online. This is a significant rewrite from the previous printed version Below are some changes in the 2011 Guide to Safe Scouting that I noticed, this is not meant to be a comprehensive list and you need to read the guide yourself. This is what leapt out at me as I read through the guide.
1) Previous versions had bold face for policy statements vs normal font for guidance. That distinction is gone.
2) The Child Protection chapter has been beefed up considerably. The emphasis on contacting local authorities when you suspect child abuse is first and foremost in the guide. There is no ambiguity about this.
3) The question of if you need adult leadership for Boy Scout patrol campouts is answered. ".With the proper training, guidance, and approval
by the troop leaders, the patrol can conduct day hikes and service projects. Appropriate adult leadership must be present for all overnight Scouting activities. adult leaders, both of whom must be 21 years of age or older, and one of whom must be a registered member of the BSA." (pages 1-2, 4)
4) There are digital privacy and Internet safety sections now
5) There are changes in the Aquatics chapter: The Classifications of Swimming ability are no longer spelled out in the guide, instead you are referred to other sources. There are New Distance and Competitive Swimming in Open Water and Snorkeling in Open Water sections.
6) The Scuba section has been greatly improved. The BSA Scuba Policy now fully supports the Scuba Merit Badge in the Boy Scout Program. Additional guidelines have been added including spelling out age appropriate Scuba activities and medical contraindicators.
7) The Safety Afloat section now supports the new afloat courses: "It is strongly recommended that all units have at least
one adult or older youth member currently trained in BSA Aquatics Supervision: Paddle Craft Safety to assist in the planning and conduct of all activities afloat."
8) Tow sports now has a section
9) A camping age appropriate guideline chart is now in the GTSS
10) Lighting guidance is now in line with what is taught in the Boy Scout Handbook if you our outdoors and you can't find shelter: "Spread your group out 100 feet from each other if possible." (it was at least 15 feet. which had to have been a typo)
11) Treated Drinking Water now puts boiling water at the top of the list of how to treat water: "The surest means of making your drinking water safe
is to heat it to a rolling boil-when bubbles a half inch in diameter rise from the bottom of the pot. While this is a simple method, it does require time and fuel."
11) The tobacco policy has not changed: The policy is: "Adult leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youths, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants."
12) There is a new Drugs section and a new policy on Medical Marijuana: "It is unacceptable for anyone to use or be under the influence of medical marijuana at or during any Scouting activity.
14) Emergency Preparedness has been moved to a preface of the GTSS
14) There First Aid chapter is now titled: Medical Information and First Aid and the Medical chapter was merged with the First Aid Chapter.
15) There is a new Personal Health section with a lot of information on Medical Risk Factors for Your Participation in Scouting
16) A lot more information on First Aid, CPR and AED training
17) The new Chemical Fuels policy is spelled out in this version of the GTSS
18) It spells out that Cub Scouts are limited to archery and BB guns, Boy Scouts are limited to .22-caleber rifles, muzzleloaders and shotguns and Venturers may use any rifle except fully automatic. Venturers also can shoot pistols.
19 Archery and Knife and Tomahawk Throwing are approved activities for Boy Scouts and Venturers following the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety. (Uncle Danny Beard would be pleased)
20: Cannons and Large-Bore Artillery are not authorized for units, under any circumstances.
21. Caving, COPE and Climbing Safety has been reduced and you are referred to another resource
22. Laser tag and paint ball rules are explained: Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized. Scout units may plan or participate in paintball, laser tag or similar events where participants shoot at targets that are neither living nor human representations.
23. A new unauthorized activity: Water chugging and related activities are not authorized for any program level.
24. The Monkey Bridge guideline section has been removed. Which defaults to safety being left up to the adult supervisors of the event.
25. The bike and skating sections have been rewritten.
26. Some resources have been added for horsemanship activities
27. A chapter on how BSA insurance works has been added
28. Winter camping safety has been rewritten
29. A new Animal and Insect Hazards chapter has been added that includes a discussion on hantavirus, lyme disease, rabies, and West Nile virus.
30. The Local Tour Permit and National Tour Permit have been removed from the appendix and replaced by the new Trip Plan.
31. The Money Earning Application has been added to the appendix.
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