Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.

Scouting Forums

Two deep leadership question

Real life implementation presented to me by an ASM that when driving scouts to and from there had to be two adults per scout in a car. So if you drive three scouts you needed six adults in the car. I really wish I was making this up but sadly I am not. Needless to say that individual is no longer in the service of youth development.

1 Like


@SteveCagigas - that has made my morning. Now to find the screaming lady/angry cat meme for this topic.

I shouldn’t laugh but I feel the original posters pain. Try adding the new rules regarding female troops and your head will spin. I’m a female active leader/committee member for a female troop and for my sons troop. Rules state 1 female leader over 21 for all activities. To meet this need several leaders from different boy troops stepped in help out. I’m not allowed to bring my son with me on camp outs when Im on duty with the girls because he’s an active member of BSA. Even though BSA clearly states I can share a tent with my own child and my 11 year old boy child doesn’t mind sharing a tent with mom yet. So I either have to find him a sitter or only go on camp outs that are district events and he will be with his own troop. Which leads to problem 2. His troop is smaller and I often am needed for two deep for camp outs with his group. But there’s mixed opinions on if I can wear two troop numbers for the same weekend. I’m like seriously??? :woman_facepalming:t2:

@KassandraKearns if your Son is in Scouts BSA you cannot share a tent with him. I cannot share a tent with my son.

Yes you’re correct under the new rules. I wasn’t clear sorry. I meant if he was attending out of uniform. And I fully get why they don’t want that distinction made but all the rules, clear and unclear drive people crazy and make it hard to recruit new leaders.

Personally I sleep in a single person “bear taco” as our scouts call it. I don’t want to share space with anything other than my own smelly socks. :rofl:

Where have you seen this prohibited? I do not know of any policy prohibiting it. My daughter’s troop (I’m SM) has Scouts from the linked Boy’s troop attend many camp outs.

If I am driving scouts, there will be another adult with us. Period. That’s my rule. Unless it is just my grandsons and I, I will never be the only adult with a group of scouts. Period. You never ever want to be in a situation where it is your adult word against the youth’s word.

@KassandraKearns, in European troops opposite sexes may share a tent. Ask your troop if they’d be interested in relocating. :grinning:

From my perspective, going on 20 years as a scout parent/leader, it seems we are at a really strange head-space. My kids have camped as scouts/venturers with the opposite sex for any number of reasons. Going further back, I remember doing similar things as a youth. I would have a tent to myself because I was with a group of girls. No problem.

My venturers would automatically set up camp segregated by sex as if they were two patrols, with us adults between them. Then, when we started camping with other crews, they saw that nobody cared. It’s not that they didn’t care about privacy, it’s that risk was not mitigated if there was a sail or three hundred yards of ocean between the opposite sex.

@BrianMurrey, I have rarely seen two youth (let alone a car full) get the same story straight. That extra adult could effectively conspire with other youth to heap a whole lot of trouble your way. I really doubt your strategy will keep you safer from accusation. On the other hand, I’ve always enjoyed the company of a second adult, so for the sake of building friendships, I’d happily leave my car in the parking lot.

1 Like

On long road trips, a second adult will keep you sane, without a doubt. I can only talk about minecraft for so long before I want to put my head through the windshield.

1 Like

@Qwazse I have been an adult leader in scouting for 33 years now. Two deep means two deep. Sure we can both come up with 300 scenarios and what if’s but facts remain, in 33 years I have never had a problem being two deep at all times when with the scouts. OK Boomer, right? :slight_smile:

I’m guessing that it’s following under undefined wording each district is interpreting or maybe it’s the charter organization? If I google it I can see several different answers from different states/ districts but the wording under the FAQ on scout files is very vague.

The definition of 2-deep leadership is not in play. But YP does not mandate 2-deep in all situations every minute of the day. It never has for the entire 33 years that you’ve been an adult leader, and it does not now. Specifically, for transporting scouts other than your kids, YP mandates no one-on-one contact. The G2SS is quite clear that “An adult may drive two or more Scouts” and by virtue of no 1-on-1 contact, YP will be maintained. Taking the folks at BSA at their word, that they “believe that these are the best, most appropriate measures for our movement,” we scouters should conclude that having a second adult in a car when transporting youth does not make for better YP.

Evidently the Health and Safety folks have gone through all of the bad things that can happen to scouts in cars with just one adult vs. two, and concluded that YP issues don’t differ. (And no, I don’t have anything to back up that that’s what they did, because they don’t publish stats about types of scenarios. They just tell imply that they’ve reviewed them.)

Bottom line: there are lots of great reasons to have a second adult in your car pool, but better YP is not one of them.

@KassandraKearns, a lot of people don’t read the FAQs. Or they will assert that they their intuition trumps what BSA puts in writing. Sometimes there is an aspect of the program that requires specific minimum numbers of qualified adults (e.g., aquatics, shooting sports). Sometimes there is an outright change (e.g., patrols can no longer camp overnight without any adults, venturers can no longer get together for coffee on their own and call it a crew meeting). In rare occasions, state law may require something different be done. I don’t think that is the case regarding transporting youth by vehicle between their home and an activity.

1 Like

@KassandraKearns the rules are contradictory at times, and inconsistent ta boot…two deep has never failed me. Required by the BSA or not. They can change the rules online every 15 minutes and I’ll just keep doing it the way I have been doing it. Two deep. It works for me. I invite everyone to observe the rules the best way they see fit. Trust me though, you don’t ever want to be accused. A mere accusation can cost you a job, legal fees, and the BSA will drop you like you’re a dirty gym sock. I have seen it with my own eyes more than once. Just never put yourself in that position.

@Qwazse I have never said what I thought YPT says about anything. YPT policy doesn’t keep you out of court and if ever accused the BSA will turn its back on you. My advice is do what keeps you out of trouble the best.

So, @BrianMurrey, do you know anyone who was taken to court for an accusation while driving kids to a scouting event?
I have seen plenty of headlines about characters who groom scouts and explorers by arranging one-on-one contact … sometimes in a car, sometimes in a tent, sometimes at home. If, one adult found him/herself facing accusations of abuse while transporting a half-dozen scouts, I’d think it would grab headlines.

I don’t know anyone that robbed a bank, beat their spouse, or killed anyone…but know it happens. Your opinions and mine differ. I can live with that. I’ll keep doing it my way, feel free to keep doing it your way. With any luck we’ll both stay out of trouble.

I thank everyone who has committed on this. Because of this thread I have learned about a few changes that I missed.
I would like to make a few points: The BSA needs to make the GTSS clear, FAQ’s are not rule or guide lines they are simply Frequently asked Questions. If we have to review FAQs (or post ti a form) to understand the Rules there is something wrong with the wording of the rules. The fact that the GTSS changes regularly with no notice and no change log is a major issue. We can not trust something that changes that way. If I print the Guide and teach my Troop leadership one month it then changes the next month and again two months after that… which one is the version my council is going to use to “Correct” our actions? Should we check for updates weekly and then compare all 110 pages to find the changes? I know that the print version has the change log and is updated every quarter but this is a bit over the top to expect us to be able to keep up with it and all the other things we do as Scouters. This includes the over worked and underpaid council staff. And as a parting point: If it is such an important set of rules that we MUST follow why is it called a “Guide”? FAQs are guides. Policies and rules are things that MUST be followed.
Thank you to the poster about the difference between Two Deep Leadership and No one on one contact. That was the clearest I have heard that said.

1 Like


The BSA does not monitor these forums. I suggest you provide your feedback directly to the BSA. There is a link to ask questions regarding the Guide to Safe Scouting at https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/got-questions/

1 Like

I go by the rule of two deep. It’s either two adults and one scout (except my own) or one adult and two scouts. Either way, there is always two of one or the other. All it takes is a misunderstanding for something to happen… When in doubt, go with two.


That’s no one-on-one contact. Two deep means every event, meeting, etc. has 2 registered leaders over the age of 21. It is possible to have an event that fulfills the two deep requirement but violate the no one-on-one contact requirement. For example, at a Scout meeting, a leader takes a Scout into a separate room for a discussion with no one else present. There could be more than one leader at the meeting, thus fulfilling the two deep leadership requirement but the leader has violated the no one-on-one contact requirement.