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Parent Substitute Form

You are correct, there is not. It is in fact Part A of the Annual Health and Medical Record and as such cannot be saved or transmitted electronically by anyone in BSA.

I think part A very nicely address the question and I should have caught that. It very clearly designates what adults are authorized and those that are not. I think I’m going to mark this as a solution. Thanks!

We’ll have to agree to disagree on what that section means. I understand your position, and the plain language of the policy statement. I also note that the first page contains grants of permission and waivers of liability which are relevant well beyond the point at which physical storage is feasible for even a small unit.

Which council are you in? I’ve never heard of anyone being turned away from a council event here. I’ve been with one Pack and two Troops and 6 leaders between them and we’ve not done this. Not saying you’re wrong, but it is not my experience. We coordinate carpools for longer events and no additional signatures or paperwork are required. And who drops off is not necessarily who picks up and is frankly rarely the parent (for the Troops). I hope our council never goes to this level of requirement!

As a follow up, I spoke with the Council and they want both part A and the 2nd Scout Consent form:


I’m in San Diego-Imperial. To be clear, I’m not asserting it is or isn’t a council-specific requirement. I don’t know that. I do know that I’ve been directed not to release scouts to people who aren’t the parent/guardian or listed on their Part A, which I can understand from a risk/liability standpoint. I don’t know how consistently the practice is adhered to throughout the council, but I do know I’m not the only one who has gotten that direction and that it didn’t come from my unit.

I recognize the headaches associated with implementation, and have gotten pushback before. However, I do understand concerns about releasing scouts to whomever shows up, and the language on the Part A (“You must designate at least one adult”) seems pretty straightforward. I think there are a lot of ways to address it at the unit level that lessen the headaches. For example, we have a group of scouts who are all friends from school, and their parents are also friends. They regularly carpool to and from meetings (at least, Before COVID) with one or the other parent from the group, so I asked that they add the other parents to the Part A they submit each year so we could release the scouts to them. It didn’t require them to do anything special on a frequent basis, and made sure that the paperwork end of things is handled. On the flip side, I have seen Part A forms with names in the “Adults NOT authorized…” section. I expect those are much more unpleasant situations to manage if the person on the “not authorized” list shows up, although I haven’t had to deal with aspect that so far.

I think that there’s a world of risk and potential liability out there, and everyone (individuals and organizations) has to make imperfect choices about how to address the risks. Hopefully, those decisions always come down on the side of doing what is best for the youth we’re working with.

Indeed, always on the side of the children. We have not been directed as you have been so it is a little easier going here. I do think the SM’s have been cognizant of scouts who are friends with other scouts and going home with them regardless of their names on the page. And I know that carpools to and from events change at the last minute and my children have been in the cars of parents I don’t know (and I’ve had their parents) but since we all signed up to go to the same event and I didn’t put them down as NOT approved they are considered OK. Having said that, who picks the kids up from the church parking lot at the end of the event is a more tightly controlled environment (although again, friends parents would probably be fine, but possibly with a verified phone call for all but the best always-together friends, who are probably on each other’s list anyway). And while I have not had to confront an individual on the Not Approved list, I have seen those as well and they always scared me just a little bit (but the last one was in a Pack and his parents were always right there and there was never any question who he was going home with, thank goodness!)

I agree that logistics are complicated enough for activities without the added headaches of tracking exactly who is picking up the scouts every time. At the same time, a parent who shows up after an event and says “Where’s my kid?” is not a conversation I want to be a party to, so I take some more ibuprofen and play along. I often joke that scout volunteer POR patches should come with some form of Nomex suit for the volunteers who are wearing them. At the same time, I can’t imagine what the price point would be for fire-retardant zip-off uniform pants. :rofl:

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