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Grandparents taking Cub Scouts Camping?

I had a Scouter ask me if it’s Ok for a Grandfather to take his two grandson Cub Scouts on a Pack Overnighter or to Resident Camp (Parents are not able to take the kids). I’m almost certain, with all the required paperwork, the Grandfather is ok to go but I would like to get the official answer and where is this written so I can show the Cubmaster?

I would recommend talking to your local council about the paperwork that might be required.

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In our council they put this as ok on the paperwork within the overall YP requirements. So it’s going to be case by case for the camp and council.

Contact the individual who is listed as the contact for the specific camp.

I would verify this with council professional staff, since this ventures into YP policy interpretation. I think that the relevant language on who can take the scouts camping is in the G2SS, likely in this section: Camping | Boy Scouts of America The relevant sections on tent sharing are likely in Youth Protection and Adult Leadership | Boy Scouts of America under “Accommodations”.

In my mind, a grandparent who is the scout’s legal guardian is a clear “yes” to both being the responsible adult when camping and sharing a tent with the cub scout, since they are legally responsible for the youth. A grandparent who is not the guardian seems like they would be prohibited from sharing a tent with the Cub Scout by the phrasing “In Cub Scouting, parents and guardians may share a tent with their family.” in the Accommodations section, since the grandparent is neither the parent nor the guardian. I personally think it’s an unnecessary restriction, but that seems to be the plain language reading. That’s the reason I recommend talking to the council professionals. You can’t be the first person to get this question. They likely already know the official answer.

Resident camp, at which the adult would be present for 72 hours or longer seems like it might run afoul of the requirement that everyone present >72 hours (cumulative) at an event be a registered leader. I’m not honestly sure how this works at the Cub level now, given the parental role in the program.

If the activity is under 72 hours they aren’t required to register. There are many parents that work shifts that can’t attend events and activities, so many scouts wouldn’t be able to participate in meetings and camping if a grandparent couldn’t attend with them. An easy and official work around in any situation where a child is with a grandparent is to have the parents fill out paperwork giving the grandparent the ability to care for and make medical decisions for the child for a specified amount of time. This form needs to be notarized, which most banks will do for their members for free. Any time my children are with my parents overnight when I wouldn’t be able to easily meet them if my child needed care I do this. One time my daughter began running a fever while spending the night at my parents and she couldn’t be seen by a doctor until I faxed them consent because I couldn’t get to the hospital quickly. With the notarized form, they can authorize any medical care and act as guardian. A parent can specify an amount of time, such as until 5/16/21 at 7pm. Or can say “at all scout events until December 2021”, etc. If possible, I would have them register so they can complete a background check. However it’s hard to require if they’re not a Lion/Tiger partner or attending something over 72 hours. This is an example form: https://eforms.com/consent/grandparents-medical-minor-child/#:~:text=The%20grandparents%E2%80%99%20medical%20consent%20form%20allows%20a%20parent,average%20duration%20lasting%206%20months%20to%20a%20year%29.


Does such a designation resolve the BSA rule aspects, @ShelleyAlters, or just the medical authority? Those seem like two separate things to me, at least.

Attending meetings is a separate issue, I think, from overnight camping. There is not explicit language requiring parental attendance that I have found, as compared with the specific language for overnight camping. The AHMR Part A clearly offers the ability to designate another adult to transport the youth to/from a scouting event, which would include meetings. That doesn’t make the designated adult a parent or guardian, however, which seems to be the sticking point for sharing of a tent.

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This is covered in Part A of the Annual Health and Medical Record of which the parent/guardian completes for their youth. The grandparent’s name goes at the top left of the bottom section.

Things may be different per your council but, that’s how its handled at ours. The grandparent registers and pays like any other adult attendee. Our council also requires YPT for all adults, even those who are not Scouters.

What I had always been taught is at the bottom of the Part A Med Form is the block where the parent designates who can and cannot take their child to camp. Also, for over 72 hours, filling out an adult leader application, the Disclosure Form, and the Central Registry Clearance form.

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…And Youth Protection

Please contact your local council.

Different states have different state laws, and different councils have different policies, which might be more stringent than the BSA’s Guide to Safe Scouting.


I was told, when I asked at camp, that this along with the part A form they require, would be enough for my Dad since it shows clear legal intent by the parent for the child to be in his care. My child does not have a second parent. Now, my Dad was attending the camp with me as guardian. I have a disability that sometimes would have the potential for me to need to leave early and quickly, so I bring family backup so that my children wouldn’t have to leave early as well. But in the event that I would have to leave, I was told it was acceptable documentation. And of course at Cub camp it’s under 72 hours.

I failed to state what @JenniferOlinger has pointed out twice. @MarkKirkendall contact your council.

Better yet, contact the council and have your Cubmaster do as well.

That way if they have misinterpreted what they were told you can step in and clarify

Someone else suggested a non-Scouting form. I’d absolutely not go that route. BSA has all the forms you need, in a format they want, the content they need.

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I have reached out to the MCC but they’re always notorious for not answering right away…Lol

yes YPT IS required for all adults, leaders or family

YPT for Cub Scout unregistered adults is new to our council this year.

This is an area where some councils require more than others. Normally, YPT is only required for registered adults. Our council requires all adults attending camp to register as an adult leader, not just YPT.


It used to be the case for cub scout camp that any parent attending would need to bring their YPT certificate when checking in to camp for our council. It has since changed to needing to be a registered adult because of the additional background checks.

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I have been a Cubmaster for the last 10 years and run 5 consecutive Cub-O-Ree overnight camping events for our District. This question has come up on more than one occasion, based on this message board there needs to be some clarification:

  1. National does not require parents to take YPT unless they are registered in a position code in the unit, (though it is note a bad idea for them to take it for there own knowledge). If a Council is requiring parents to take YPT as part of there Scouting programs I am not sure how they would track it since there is no “Parent” codes in National Training database. Additionally, I cannot see how a Council can enforce this requirement since it is not a trackable items at the Local Council level. This so call requirement sound suspect to me, more like a miscommunications of a requirement.

  2. As it has been said numerous times on this message board, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL for clarification. Do not just accept general assumptions about this, each state has laws about guardianship and in some states Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents are considered accepted “temporary” guardians of youth. But again, CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL professionals, e.g. District Executive, Field Director, or Scout Executive.

  3. No one has mentioned in this post, but your Chartered Organization (sponsor) may have rules and policies that limited what is accepted as a “legal guardian”. Religious institutions that Charter a unit, may have there own requirements for these type of situations and need to be considered. The majority of the religious organizations that have youth programs typically have there own training and certification process for “safe youth programs”. Typically the Unit Key-3 (COR, Cubmaster (Scoutmaster/Skipper/Advisor) and Committee Chair), will identify what are the policies of the Chartered Org, then follow up with the Council to validate the appropriate unit policies in this situation. It is highly recommended that at least once every year you review these policies and then circulate with the families within the unit to make sure this is clear, in writing preferably as a reference for later.

Final parting words of wisdom - PLEASE MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS. Verify these comments above with facts. Check with your professionals within the Chartered Organization, District and Council before proceeding with these activities. Any false assumptions could expose the youth, yourself, Chartered Org and the Council to serious safety issues and litigation.


Chip Powell
Council VP of Programs


Two easy ways. Most do the first. They have to print out the YPT pdf. That is how I have seen it done. The second way is you can look up by first a d last name all who have taken YPT. So, yes, national does have a db and yes, you can look it up. Currently it is in training quick search under training manager. That is somewhat new. Before there was this crummy other way, but it could be done. No “parent” code needed, just first and last name.

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So you are right and wrong on this statement:

Council’s can track adult leaders who have taken the YPT training tied to a unit, in a leader position, But that was not the question.

The question is how can a Council track every parent who has taken YPT and tie that parent back to a specific unit, to validate they have taken it. And what recourse does a Council think they would have if the parent did not take the YPT course. What, they cannot attend a Cub Scout meeting, I think not? It is again NOT a require course for parents by National, so Councils would have little “teeth” in the mandate.

If you know of a Council that mandates this, please provide me the Council name, I would be greatly interested in contacting there President and/or Scout Executive to learn more.

Chip Powell