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Is there any recommendations or requirement to have more than 2 adults at an outing?

Hello,

Does anyone know of anywhere Scouts BSA recommends/states that you must have more than 2 adults for an outing?

I have only seen the following from YPT:

Adult Supervision

Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.

Thank you.

Not that I’ve ever seen. I mean if you have a large group it’s always better to have more adult supervision. The 2 person rule is the minimum. I’ve never seen other rules that say this many adults when it’s over this many kids.

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The current version of the guide to safe scouting is key, here. Last I looked, no, not more than 2 required, but I assume if you had 100 scouts, you may want a few more.

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We often recommend that when backcountry hiking with a coed group, that additional adults may be needed so that two deep leadership could be maintained if the group needs to split to perform a rescue that might take more than a day. But, still that’s basically two-deep for contingencies.

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The BSA Guidelines are pretty straightforward. Is there some type of issue with your unit about this? Also, while the BSA gives minimum guidelines the COR can establish additional standards I would think.

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We ALWAYS try to get four adults for outings, but that can be difficult in a small troop like ours. Otherwise, you can’t go to urgent care if needed and still 100% comply with YPT.

Well, one adult can go to urgent care with 2 youths, and one adult stay behind with a min. of 2 youths. That would work. The second youth who goes it urgent care might be irritated, but such is life. So, to cover that situation, you need to have either have a min of 3 adults or 4 youth.

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There are some standards in the National Camp Accreditation Program for ratios of qualified supervisors to participants for certain activities for council-organized or multi-unit programs (e.g., shooting sports, COPE, climbing, day camp, short-term camp, long-term camp, scuba).

For aquatics activities, you should consult the Aquatics Supervision Guide

For shooting sports activities, you should consult the Shooting Sports Manual:

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Those resources are good guidance for the qualified supervision portion of safety requirements but aren’t really applicable to the youth protection requirements. Both need to be considered when planning an event.

Those resources are good guidance for the qualified supervision portion of safety requirements but aren’t really applicable to the youth protection requirements. Both need to be considered when planning an event.

Correct, but those resources all speak to the number of qualified persons that have to be present for certain activities. I didn’t read the original post as being limited to just YPT. The answer is that it depends on the activity at the outing.

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The “supervisors” for some of those activities may include trained youth.

Yep. My son is a Red Cross certified life guard and I’m not. I’m perfectly comfortable with him monitoring any pool activities, even if he isn’t quite a “grown-up” yet.

@JeffreyMeyers I’m curious why you are asking? There is always a story :slight_smile:

I would also submit that 2 means 2. It doesn’t mean that you need 3 in case of emergency so 2 can stay behind. One of the reasons is to allow for an adult in each of 2 locations in case of an emergency. That said, yes, more than 2 is better, but not the minimum requirement.

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If you have questions, I highly recommend that you go to your local council for clarification. Most councils have a Youth Protection Champion for questions like these.

Scouting Magazine wrote an article on the BSA’s youth protection requirements and two-deep leadership. The article included a brief discussion on required vs. recommended adults:

Scouting Magazine: What’s the difference between ‘two-deep leadership’ and ‘no one-on-one contact’?

(Please note that this article was originally written in January, 2018. If there are any discrepancies in the article vs. the most current version of the Guide to Safe Scouting, then the Guide to Safe Scouting would take precedence.)

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That doesn’t work, because the outing now has only one adult. If you only have two adults, the entire unit must leave the event.

No, the unit doesn’t need to leave the event. The Bryan on Scouting article linked above does a good job of explaining the difference between 2 deep leadership and no one-on-one contact. There need not be always 2 adults present at every moment.

This is just like if an adult went off property to get gas for their car, or if one adult went on a hike with a patrol, the other adult could stay in the campsite with another patrol. Now, if that adult was leaving the event for good, it could be a different story.

For example, if a Scout was hurt in the afternoon, an adult takes the scout, and buddy, to urgent care. They are gone for a number of hours. No, the unit does not need to pack up and go home. Let’s say the adult has to take the Scout home, 3 hours away, and the adult isn’t coming back and the unit can’t find some other adult to come and fill in? I think the unit might want to not spend the night and call it a bust.

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I don’t know that I interpret the article the same way you do, @Matt.Johnson. The “A question from a scouter, annotated” section seems to indicate that the intent is two adult leaders present at all event locations at all times (e.g. one goes to get gas alone and two stay at camp with scouts, or two go hiking with scouts and two stay in camp with scouts), not just two present generally at the overall event. This is obviously the most restrictive interpretation of the rule.

I feel like the article was less clear than it could have been. For example, by providing specific cases and indicating how many scouters are required would be more helpful than the fuzzy language used in the article.

From https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/01/19/whats-the-difference-between-two-deep-leadership-and-no-one-on-one-contact/ :
“My understanding is, as long as Two Deep is practiced for the overall campout or event, it is always OK for a single adult to be with Scouts as long as there is more than one boy present. Not quite, we prefer to have a minimum of two adults as your previous paragraph described.….”). “Prefer” is not the same thing as “require”. Is it a rule or a suggestion?

“For instance, if half the Scouts stay in camp with one adult, and half go on a hike the the other adult, that is OK. Not a good idea, especially for Health and Safety reasons listed above. If the Scout leader were sick or injured, there would be no adults present.”“Not a good idea” isn’t the same thing as “not permitted”. Again, is this a rule or a suggestion?

As @JenniferOlinger noted above, asking one’s council may be the best reference for this, since they will know both local policies (which may be more stringent) as well as being able to get clarifications from nationals. Always be cognizant that asking for clarification of rules may lead to new rules or implementations you weren’t expecting.

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It is a suggestion. There is some need for reasonability and they baked that into their response. Again, gone for gas or gone for the night? 2 Scouts and one adult go on a 2 hour hike? Good idea? Maybe, maybe not.

Let’s go back to the original OP’s screen grab to the GSS:

Adult Supervision

Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.

The only thing it says is that 2 registered adults are required to be “at” all Scouting activities. It doesn’t state in proximity at all times. The only rule in YPT is no one-on-one interaction with an adult and Scout. That means that another Scout removes the one-on-one component.

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I assume if the unit is splitting for activities 2 registered adults, who meet gender criteria, must be with each group

I hope this helps …