In Scouts, we will not compromise the safety of our youth, volunteers and employees. Safety is a value that must be taught and reinforced at every opportunity. We are all responsible and must hold each other accountable to provide a safe environment for all participants. It is critical to be familiar with and utilize the BSA’s safety resources, including all of the following topics that will help your unit prepare for fun and safe adventures!
Certificate of Insurance Request Form
Certificate of Insurance Guidelines
Submitting Insurance Requests
We recommend submitting a request at least 30 days in advance of your event, using the Certificate of Liability Insurance Request Form. 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. Contact Melissa Do at 973-765-9322, ext. 239 or [email protected] with questions.
The council provides both liability insurance and accident insurance for its members.
What Insurance Does Your Unit Need?
Accident Insurance Protection
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 Accident Insurance 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 Melissa Do at 973-765-9322, ext. 239 or [email protected] to obtain one.
General Liability Insurance Protection
The other type of insurance that is frequently needed is liability insurance. This insurance is provided by the National Office and is requested though the council service center using the Certificate of Liability Insurance Request Form. This insurance is only needed when an organization (i.e.: school, business, attraction) requests proof of insurance for you to use their facilities. 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 will 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 but may take longer. 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.
Chartered Organizations for Scouting Units
The general liability policy provides primary liability insurance coverage for all chartered organizations on file with the BSA for liability arising out of their chartering a traditional Scouting unit. Chartered organizations do not need a certificate of insurance. The chartered organization endorsement is a part of the insurance policy contract and is enforceable under the policy contract.
To: Unit Leaders
RE: Requirements associated with reserving facilities
Be careful what document you sign, or what “I agree” box you click online when making a reservation. You could be making yourself personally liable for anything that goes wrong.
Public and private institutions such as parks, schools, gyms and shopping centers occasionally allow packs and troops to use their facility for little or no cost. When an organization donates the use of their facilities we often issue a certificate of insurance for liability purposes, and offer a BSA-approved hold-harmless agreement. Recently, organizations have been including hold-harmless wording in their written applications and on-line reservation systems. A unit leader is blocked from making a reservation unless they indicate that they have read the fine print and agree with its terms. Often those terms are unacceptable to BSA, and no agreement of that sort binds the council or BSA unless signed by the Scout Executive.
When we are advised of these situations, we check the wording – often referring it to the national office or our corporate counsel for review. In many instances we agree with the wording and will execute the documents with the Scout executive’s signature. But in some cases the wording is unacceptable. For example, some public entities ask that we assume all responsibility for negligence of their employees. This is clearly a liability that we cannot accept. In those instances either we come to a resolution with the facility, or inform the unit that we cannot meet the stated requirements.
It is important to note that if an individual volunteer signs such an agreement, or clicks the “I agree” button on a website that he or she has assumed personal responsibility for that risk. No one except the Scout Executive can bind either Patriots’ Path Council or the Boy Scouts of America.
We recognize the administrative difficulty this poses, particularly for school districts that have adopted an online room reservation system. Wherever possible, we will work with those districts to come to a reasonable resolution. Your first point of contact on this issue is Melissa Do. She will engage the appropriate professionals for review and approval. Melissa can be reached at 973-765-9322, ext. 239 or [email protected]
The Patriots’ Path Council encourages each unit to designate a Unit Scouting Safely Chair. 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 Guide to Safe Scouting.
- 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.
- Take BSA offered Health and Safety Training Classes including Youth Protection Training and help other volunteers in the unit complete their trainings as well.
- Make sure your unit is familiar with the BSA’s Youth Protection resources for Parents, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, or Venturing/Sea Scouting/Exploring.
- Serve as a Scouting Safely Coordinator for all unit activities.
- Work with the Unit Advancement Chair to conduct Health and Safety-related advancement.
- Be responsible for reporting all accidents to the Patriots’ Path Council.
In addition to what is required by the BSA, it is the policy of the Patriots’ Path Council that all participants under the age of 21 have appropriate program specific supervision in all forms of communications. As such, any communication from an individual under the age of 21 must include two over-21 registered adults within the program, including advisors who represent all genders involved. See policy details here.
New Jersey has been a hot spot for ticks and cases of Lyme disease for decades with no indication that will change this summer.
May, June and July in New Jersey are considered the prime months for Nymphal blacklegged ticks (deer ticks) — the types that can transmit Lyme disease
Fight the Bite, NJ!
When infected blood-sucking insects (such as mosquitoes and ticks) bite a person, they can spread vector-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. There are many types of vector-borne illness. The best defense against them is to take steps to avoid being bitten by infected insects.
Safe Swim Defense/Safety Afloat: Training available at my.scouting.org
Hazardous Weather: Training available at my.scouting.org
NATIONAL BSA RESOURCES
Scouting Safely Power Point Presentations
The BSA’s Commitment to Safety
We are committed to abuse prevention by utilizing:
- Mandatory Youth Protection training.
- Criminal background checks.
- Banning one-on-one adult and youth interactions.
- Mandatory reporting of suspected abuse to law enforcement.
- A volunteer screening database.
We are committed to injury and illness prevention by integrating safety measures in our handbooks, literature and training materials, including the Guide to Safe Scouting.
We expect leaders to use the four points of SAFE when delivering the program. SAFE Scouting measures include:
- Youth are Supervised by qualified and trustworthy adults who set the example for safety.
- Activities are Assessed for risks.
- Prerequisite Fitness and Skill levels are confirmed before participation.
- Appropriate Equipment is utilized, and Environmental conditions are monitored.
When incidents do occur, we expect a timely, clear and complete incident report. We are committed to learning from the data and modifying program guidance for the prevention of future occurrences