The health and safety of all of our Scouts, Leaders and parents will always be a priority of the Patriots’ Path Council. Our Risk Management Committee has a number of helpful programs, guides and recognitions to assist with Safe Scouting activities. They include:
Tour and Activity Plan
A tour and activity plan is required for any field trip or camping program. This plan should be filed with the Council Service Center at least two weeks in advance of the trip. Please visit tour and activity plan for more information is available
The Council provides both liability insurance and accident insurance for its members.
Submitting Insurance Requests — We recommend submitting a request at least 30 days in advance of your event. This allows for any problems that might arise and also allows for information to come from the National office if needed. We cannot guarantee a certificate will be issued if the request is submitted with less than two weeks advanced notice.
What Insurance Does Your Unit Need?
All Patriots’ Path Council units automatically have Accident Insurance Protection. This policy is updated annually and covers registered youth and adult members while they participate in Scouting activities. Claims can be made and questions directed to the Council Service Center.
Proof of coverage is often requested by other Boy Scout councils and camps when you use their facilities or take part in one of their events. If you are asked to supply them with a copy of your unit’s accident insurance, contact the Council Office to obtain one. It must be mailed to you as it has a raised seal.
The other type of insurance that is frequently needed is liability insurance. This insurance is handled by the National Office and can be requested though the Council Service Center. This insurance is only needed when an organization (i.e.: school, business, attraction) requests proof of insurance for you to use their facilities.
New COI Guidelines were issued starting March 15, 2012. Many school districts and churches that are used by units already have a copy of this insurance on file. If an organization requests that you supply them with a certificate of liability insurance, you need to complete a Certificate of Liability Insurance Request Form, which will ask for the details of your particular event. After this request is submitted to council, it takes about a two weeks to process and distribute. If you do not submit a request within 2 weeks of your event, we cannot guarantee that it will be processed. We recommend that you try to submit all requests 30 days in advance of your event to allow for any problems or for approval form the National Office.
Unit-Operated Buses, Vans and Trailers
The National General Liability Insurance Program for local councils is set up to cover the local council-related general liability exposure on a primary basis and to give our chartered partners the same protection for Scouting activities. However, this program was never intended to provide primary automobile liability coverage. Please ensure that your chartered partner heads and unit leaders are aware that we will not provide automobile coverage on a primary basis for their vehicles.
Buses and vans used in Scouting or Learning for Life activities are required to carry $100,000/$500,000/$100,000 limits of liability coverage. Volunteers transporting Scouts or otherwise using their car for Scouting activities should also have insurance in the amount of $50,000/$100,000/$50,000 limits of liability, although only statutory limits are required.
Unit trailers must be registered to the chartering organization, not a local unit. The owner of the vehicle pulling the trailer has the liability insurance responsibility. Most auto liability policies include coverage for liability resulting from pulling a trailer.
Operation Safe-Scouting Award Program
The purpose of this program is to assist a unit in “Being Prepared” for conducting Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner. The program includes:
- The “Operation Safe Scouting Unit Award”
- A Youth “Operation Safe Scouting Youth Recognition”
- Risk Zone Training for Unit Health & Safety Chairmen
The first step in this program is for each unit to select a Health & Safety Chairman and attend the Risk Zone Training Course.
BSA Caving Moratorium
There is a disease that is devastating hibernating bat colonies in this region. Not much is known about this except the presence of a white fungus on the muzzle and wing membrane of infected bats. This is why it is called “White Nose Syndrome” (WNS). It is suspected that WNS is transmitted from one habernacle to another from both bat to bat, and cave to human to bat.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFES) has called for a caving moratorium”in 17 states in the northeastern U.S. Please refer to their web site for more current information. As a result, many wild caves have been closed to recreational caving until a solution can be found. The NSS and the caving community in generally are supporting this caving moratorium. We are also asking all youth groups to refrain from any underground activities until the moratorium is lifted.
Please pass this information to your entire council using the communications methods at your disposal. Ask Leaders to check the National Speleological Society’s WNS web site (www.caves.com/WNS/) for up-to-date information before planning any underground activities. Many reputable cavers and outfitters will not be guiding caving trips because of WNS. Please watch for tour permits for caving trips and inform the council staff to ensure that the trip leaders are aware of the situation.
If you have any questions contact me through email at [email protected].
YiV and Caving Softly,
NSS Youth Group Liaison Committee, Chair and Regional Coordinator for PA, NJ, MD, and DE
Safe Swim Defense & Safety Afloat Training
Most accidents during aquatic activities are caused by a lack of adult supervision and discipline. Almost every accidental drowning can be attributed to the violation of one or more safe swim defenses.
Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat are required courses for your unit to participate in ANY aquatic activity. This training is offered to any registered adult leader, and is appropriate for Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturing or Explorer Leaders.
The training fee for this class has been eliminated. Patches will be sold separately.
For more information about the classes, contact John Dorn at our Cedar Knolls Service Center, (973) 765-9322 x238. Classes will also be held at the University of Scouting in October; however, a separate registration form will be required. More information can be found at our Do It Online page.
Facilitators wishing to conduct their own training should request a kit. Please see Facilitator flyer for more information.
Council Service Center
Certificates of Liability Insurance requests should be directed to Brenda Sonzogni.
Forms & Information
Unit Health and Safety Chairman
The Patriots’ Path Council encourages each unit to designate a Unit Health & Safety Chairman. This person is recruited by the Unit Committee and would have the following responsibilities:
- Keep unit leaders informed as to the current policies and procedures related to Health & Safety, Accident Prevention, Health Education, Fitness and Aquatics. Keep all youth and leaders informed of the procedures and policies in the Safe Guide to Scouting Manual.
- Be on the alert for health and safety needs in the unit; conduct an Annual Meeting Place Inspection; and monitor camping and activity site locations for safety concerns.
- Be certified in the following areas or make sure other volunteers in the unit hold the following certificates:
- Community First Aid and CPR
Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat
Youth Protection Training Certificate
Risk Zone Training Certificate
Serve as a Health & Safety Coordinator for all unit activities.
Work with the Unit Advancement Chairman to conduct Health and Safety-related advancements
Be responsible for reporting all accidents to the Patriots’ Path Council.
Conduct Youth Protection Orientation for youth and families using “It Happened to Me”, “A Time to Tell”, or our new Venturers’ videos