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Feedback on Scout Handbook

Is there an email address to send feedback on the Scout Handbook? The 2016 printing of the Boy Scout Handbook has useful information on “the Three R’s” on page 400, but the 2019 printing of the Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls has only a single paragraph about Reporting on page 404.

Ordinarily, I would suggest contacting Member Care, since it’s not advancement related. They’ve now gone to a login system at membercare.scouting.org. You might also consider reaching out to the youth protection team, since I’m sure this would be feedback they would be interested in. There’s a contact form for the youth protection/risk management team at: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/got-questions/ I realize it’s aimed more at getting policy questions answered, but still it may be the right channel for YP-related feedback. The worst they can do is tell you to contact someone else, and at least then you’ll know who “someone else” is supposed to be.

My observations and comments

  • I believe you are referring to"“The Three Rs” (Recognize, Respond, Report) appears to be in the Boy Scout Handbook, 13th ed., Chapter 13 - ,Personal Safety Awareness, on pages 400-401
  • When Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls, 14th ed., 2019 printing, was printed youth protection information was in the process of being revised.
  • The audience for handbook is the youth member not the adult leader or parent.
  • The Three Rs appear to have been written to encourage reporting of adult abuse of a child, not peer abuse.
  • Some US states (and territories?) are passing local laws and education rules related to the abuse of children and youth, which requires local council involvement to comply with.
  • The Scout not being a bully has long been a Scouting tradition.

Some of The Three Rs appears to have been moved elsewhere. It will take a while to find out where.

I think it would be appropriate to send this one to:


Please take a pic of both pages and attach to the e-mail.

BSA Guide to Advancement Questions and Suggestions

Thanks Bill, I agree the information in the 13th edition is very thorough. The Scouts BSA Handbook for girls however has scant information when compared to that. There are additional edits in that chapter, but it almost looks as if specific info on the Three R’s (Recognize, Respond, Report) was omitted in the girls’ version.

Thank you very much Jennifer!

Thank you for the suggestion Charley.


My Comments (continued)

In the 14th ed. of the Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls

  • The Three Rs roles are different for the youth and an adult.
  • Most of chapter 13, Personal Safety Awareness is about “recognition” (and prevention).
  • The youth’s “respond and report” roles appear to have changed to “report-only”
  • The Three Rs roles for adults are expressed as “See it. Stop it. Report it” on page 404.

My conclusion

To get the old “The Three Rs” section put back in you will need to prove what parts are important for the youth, not for the adult.

The editions where only supposed to differ in images (females vs males) and pronouns. if it is more than that it is a concern.

Hi Donovan, the 2019 version for boys may well be the same as the 2019 version for girls, with only the differences you noted. Our Council is continuing to sell out the 2017 printing of the Boy Scout Handbook (same content as the 2016 printing) so I have not yet seen the 2019 version for boys. Our unit is working through Trail to First Class and noted that the Three R’s are barely listed and only the one paragraph on Reporting remains in the 2019 for girls whereas the Three R’s had a whole page in the previous versions of the Boy Scout Handbook. In looking through Chapter 13 of the girls’ handbook, although recognizing abuse in its various forms are covered, as is trusted adults and reporting, I struggle to see that responding is covered, and together, the Three R’s aren’t covered in the clear cut way that they were in earlier versions. I know that new Scouts are required to complete the exercises the Youth Protection pamphlet in the front of the Scout Handbook with their parents, which is an opportunity for their parents to clearly cover the Three R’s, so maybe that should be a clear cut part of the pamphlet and Second Class 9a should refer back to that as well.

2 posts were split to a new topic: How to create new topic

Hi Bill, recognition and reporting are indeed heavily covered in the chapter, and ideally recognition would prevent the need to respond. I think the information previously listed under responding is valuable and empowering to youth, and being prepared to respond is every bit as important as recognizing and reporting abuse. From the view of advancements, the Scout is provided very little information in the chapter to help them explain the second R.

I don’t have a new edition here, so I cannot confirm, but I believe it’s just a page number issue. The new books have more information in this section so around this section, everything is shifted a little later, but I think it is there. In the past I have redirected new Scouts to the correct page number. Can someone with a new edition corroborate what I believe to be the case?

There few, if no, pronoun differences. It was interesting when we first purchased the Scout Handbook for Girls. We were expecting a lot of her’s and she’s. It was all (or nearly all) Scout and their’s. So, in the end, it came down to the cover and pictures.

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