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Parent Substitute Form

We are in the process of preparing for Council hosted camping weekend event that allows AOL Scouts to attend with a parent or parent substitute. I can’t find a BSA form that allows this designation in writing. The closet is I could find is the activity consent form that doesn’t designate a specific parent substitute.

Any suggestions?

are they tenting with the substitute? if so I say do not have them attend.

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The language is pretty clear:

It’s possible that the “or accompanying adult” and “parent-substitute” language is meant to capture “guardian”, rather than saying it explicitly? I have never seen anyone use “parent-substitute” in a scouting context.

Honestly, I would reach out to your council for a written definition of “parent-substitute” and what the rules are for things like tenting. I doubt that, if it’s anyone other than a parent or legal guardian, YPT rules would permit co-tenting.

At the very least, you likely need the adult who is transporting the scout to and from the event to be listed at the bottom of the Part A form. I have turned scouts away from events before, since their form wouldn’t allow their ride to collect them later. They ended up coming back with a corrected form, and I generally got an earful from the parent. Of course, those scouts never showed up without the right info on their form again.

I intend to contact the Council but was looking for the path of least resistance hope for an easy answer…but this is the BSA. :laughing:

My guess is they will tell me to use the activity consent form.


When I was a Webelos leader - the rule for Webelos camping with dens and troops was that each scout must have either a parent or a designated adult to take the role of parent. From what I can remember they said that any given “parent” should not have too many scouts under their watch. The idea being that they are not quite ready for (at the time) Boy Scout camping.

I looked and didn’t find anything that said something needed to be in writing. In my case we didn’t have any who went without a parent or guardian. I would be inclined to simply have them notate on the permission slip who is designated stand in.

I found one undated PDF that alludes to this here:

I also found some council level materials indicating that this is a requirement and at least one says only one Webelos not the adult’s child per adult.

This is from The Guide To Safe Scouting, under the Council-Organized Family Camp section:

“In special circumstances, a Cub Scout whose parent or legal guardian is not able to attend an overnight camping trip may participate under the supervision of another registered adult member of the BSA who is a parent of a Cub Scout who is also attending. The unit leader and a parent or legal guardian must agree to the arrangement, and all Youth Protection policies apply. At no time may another adult accept responsibility for more than one additional “non-family member” youth.”

This doesn’t make much sense to me, as YPT only permits parents and guardians to share tents.

“In Cub Scouting, parents and guardians may share a tent with their family.”

Personally, in my unit I would not permit any adult other than a parent or legal guardian to tent with a youth. For cabin trips, I would consider having a youth attend under the supervision of one of our registered leaders, if all parties are in agreement.

If I’m understanding what I’m reading correctly, we got around that years ago by having the two scouts tent together and the adult tented alone, next to them.

Good catch! That now seems vaguely familiar after I read the text. I don’t think we ever used it when I was with the pack (or at least not with me as the supervising adult).

I think the idea contemplated by the “under the supervision…” provision in your first quote is that the scouts would tent separately from the adult. Personally, I was generally too busy on a cub overnighter with general activity supervision duties to take on an extra scout. Herding mine while trying to manage things was enough trouble.

That likely means that the “parent substitute” must be a registered leader, at least as contemplated by the G2SS. Definitely needs clarification from council, @WilliamC.

I’ve never fully understood this part of the form. The form allows for two names but there are lots of times when I’m willing to have any number of adults I know well take my kid to and from an event. That form should not be all-inclusive to my way of thinking.

I’m not worried about having a parent willing to take responsibility for one of the AOL Scouts. It’s a strong den with good parents that looks out for each other. I’m mainly concerned about documentation. Tent sharing isn’t an issue in my case because we don’t want tent sharing as a COVID mitigation.


Maybe you could use section A of the health forms for that purpose?


I generally type the names and numbers of several adults I’m willing to have collect my son in case I can’t take him to/from an event. I always include at least one leader who’s attending the event.

I have always treated the Part A form as per-event, rather than per-scout. I typically collect the Part A and B forms with the permission slips for overnight events, then return the B portion at the end when the scout “checks out”. I generally scan the A portion and permission slips for record-keeping, and shred the hardcopies at some point.

I think this is a winner

This is about supervision, not tenting. In this case there’s a designated adult (a Scouter) who is the person on site responsible for the youth.

The youth would have to tent by themselves, or with another youth who’s the same sex and within two years of age.

Personally that would be a headache of immense portions to my way of thinking (and when dealing with larger packs/troops?). Is this necessary or is there a way around it? As I’ve read it, and handled it, Part A and B are held by a “Health Form” person for a year. Permission Slips are per event. I thought you were saying that scouts/parents were turned away at events by other BSA personnel but maybe this is your pack/troops way of doing it? If this is just “your” way of doing it then I can feel free to do it “our” way; if there’s a larger issue at play I guess I’d like to figure that out.

I am aware of both unit-level turn-arounds and council-level event turn-arounds. If you can’t release the scout to whomever is there to pick him or her up (i.e. they’re not on the form), how do they get back from the event, and what are the event organizers to do with them in the interim?

From: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/medical-formfaqs/

The first sentence indicates to me that the assumption of the Part A form is that the parent/guardian is bringing the scout to and from events. However, if that’s not the case, then the alternate person should be designated on that form.

For example, at OA events which are conducted under council auspices, we collect a Part A & B from every participant, as well as any event-specific permission slip if needed, upon arrival. The A is retained for records at the end of the event and the B is returned to the participants when they check out. I’m used to this at all of our council and district in-person events. I don’t know if it’s council policy or national policy, but I’ve seen it at most if not all of the events I’ve attended.

Generally, for our unit we have one Part A & B that is retained by a designated person. Each person coming, if they aren’t going to be picked-up by whomever is listed on the previously submitted Part A form, needs at least a new Part A for that event.

Part A is a part of the Annual Health and Medical Record and unless required by state/local law, you cannot do this.

Q. Can I keep a record of my Annual Health and Medical Record somewhere at my council’s office or online?

A. No. Please do not digitize! Districts and councils are discouraged from keeping any medical records, whether digital or paper, unless required by local or state ordinances. However, the electronic version of the AHMR is intended to be filled out and saved by individual participants. The electronic version should not be transmitted via email or stored electronically by units, districts, or councils. Units are encouraged to keep paper copies of their participants’ AHMRs in a confidential medical file for quick access in an emergency and in preparation for all adventures.

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There is a no medical information on Part A.

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