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

Youth protection for a 18 year old

I am not working around any rules at all. It says “the activity”. If they intended it to be cumulative over the course of the entire year… or all of eternity, they would have said so.

The need not be consecutive part is referring to an adult who comes to summer camp for two days, leaves for a day, and comes back for two more days, for example.


I’m not arguing that regular adult participants shouldn’t be registered, but your

interpretation doesn’t seem consistent with a plain language reading of the BSA national requirement:

Reference: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a

The text references “all Scouting activities” (plural) in the discussion of when two registered leaders are required. In contrast, it specifically notes “present at the activity” (singular) in the section requiring adults accompanying a unit present for 72 or more hours at the activity to be registered leaders. The distinction seems intentional. It’s also only one part of the rule. The rule is

This is consistent with the BSA’s phrasing of the requirement for a pre-participation physical (Part C) for “events 72 hours or more”. I’ve never encountered an interpretation or that requirement to mean that every adult or youth who ever spends 72 hours at Scouting events must provide a Part C. That’s even made clear in the AHMR FAQs here: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/medical-formfaqs/

ETA: Edited to clarify that the interpretation presented by @kirkwood was represented to be his council’s interpretation, rather than necessarily his personal opinion.

1 Like

I can see why you say that and lawyers can argue that all day long. The professionals in my area have repeatedly said that two campouts count up.

I really am NOT one to cry “cover yourself.” But this is just not worth it to me. If they are going to hand with my scouts, they will complete the training and sign the app and background check form.

As a note, you also caught an often overlooked question on the medical record. You should have parts A and B even for just a meeting.

Wow… I can’t even see how they got to that conclusion from the national regulation, unless they have a supplemental council regulation. Do they also interpret the Part C to apply if someone participates in a total of 72 hours of Scouting activities? Actually, scratch that: I’d rather not know how far from the written regulation units councils go. :laughing:

Yup. When I was a DL, I used to carry them back and forth to meetings, and I even made the parents fill one out. Fortunately for me, there’s someone specifically in charge of medical forms at the troop level, so schlepping them around to every meeting isn’t my responsibility anymore.

ETA: Fixed a typo above.

1 Like

Just a tangent idea - Would this ex-Scout BSA person be interested in registering with a Venturing crew? YPT and background check are still required, but s/he is not considered an adult leader.

Maybe the troop and the chartered organization would like to organize a Venturing crew for all the older youth.

… one hour a week …

1 Like

No, but they did start with the interpretation that twilight camp would require Part C because the event stretched through a 72 hour period. I am not sure what caused them to walk that one back.

1 Like

Where’s the foaming-at-the-mouth emoji when I need it…:laughing:


So, every single Cub Scout parent is registered as a leader in your district/council? Since cub camping is a family activity, the only parents who wouldn’t be forced to register are those that don’t camp. Sounds more like a registration drive to me.

I’ve known many DEs to get little details like this wrong. With as many as there are, they get much of there same info as we do, by reading published guidelines from national.

Sorry but the rule says it applies to scouters who spend more than 72 hours at THE activity. Unless your troop meetings last for more than 3 full days you are okay


This discussion has two different topics

  • Who is required to be registered
  • What joining training is required (specifically Youth Protection Training - Y01) when 18 years or older

Copyright: most quotes in this post are copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America. See original documents for details…

Who approved by?

Adult leader applications must be approved by the chartered organization. Have you discussed this issue with your chartered organization representative?

Scout BSA program participation grade/age requirements

Scouts BSA Troops
Scouts BSA is a program for boys and girls in gender-separate units who have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, or who are 11 years old, or who have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old but have not reached age 18. It is designed to achieve Scouting’s objectives through a vigorous outdoors program and peer group leadership under the guidance of an adult Scoutmaster

The only Scouts BSA program older than age-18 exceptions I can think of are Special Scouts. girls that registered for the Eagle Scout program extensions before the end of 2019, and regular Eagle Scout advancement extensions.

Registration Information

Adult Application Approval

Unit Adults. The chartered organization representative is approved by the head of the chartered organization. All other adult leader applications must be accepted and approved by the head of the chartered organization or the chartered organization representative. The Scout executive or designee must approve all adults who answer “yes” to any Additional Information question on the adult application.
Adult Leader Joining Requirements
Youth Protection training is required for all leaders at the time of registration. Councils are prohibited from overriding the registration system to register any leader whose Youth Protection training is not current. The adult leader application process is not complete until Youth Protection training has been completed and a criminal background check s been obtained.
Adult Application Requirements (extract)
• Signed criminal background check authorization Form
• Proof of Youth Protection training unless the council can verify completed training through BSA systems
• Signature of the chartered organization head or representative

ART. IX, Leaders
Clause 4. Only persons willing to subscribe to these declarations of principles shall be entitled to certificates of leadership in carrying out the Scouting program.
Clause 5. Rules and Regulations approved by the Executive Board or Executive Committee shall be considered no less important to the Corporation merely because they are not specifically set forth in the Bylaws.

  • Rules and Regulations, 2018

Youth Programs (in 2018)
The youth programs of the Boy Scouts of America are Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Lone Scout. The eligibility requirements shall be published and available to unit leaders. Changes in the eligibility requirements must be approved by the National Leadership Council …

Adult Program Participant.
An adult program participant is any person 18 years of age or older who registers to participate in a program in which youth members are also eligible to participate; obligates himself or herself to regularly attend the meetings; fulfills a member’s obligation to the unit; subscribes to the Scout Oath; and participates in an appropriate program based on the current guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America. Adult program participants are subject to the same guidelines as adult Scouters when required by policies and guidelines.

1 Like

This is the correct interpretation. What they mean is that an adult can’t leave camp every 70 hours and not have to register to come to a week long camp. It doesn’t mean that an odometer

To legally protect BSA, the opinions and information posted in these publicly read forum discussions are those of the author and not necessary those of the Boy Scouts of America. I think an official reply pertaining to the “72-hours not being consecutive” was posted in a previous discussion to reduce the BSA national member care center workload.


Adult program participants must register as adults and follow Youth Protection policies.
Adult Supervision
All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.

(My opinion: “activity” is not limited to away camping activities but applies to all away activities.)

2012: An email address (youth.protection@scouting.org) is established for volunteers to submit questions about youth protection.

Bill - thanks for the reference. Like I said the correct interpretation was that it wasn’t like an odometer for the year. The 72 hours is an odometer for the event. Like like summer camp. The not consecutive is so people can’t leave the event and come back so they never do 72 in a row at that event. If they do 80, leave the event, and come back, they exceed 72 and needed to be registered.

1 Like

To get back to the original question of whether or not he should register for YPT, the answer in my troop would be “yes, you do.” If his response was “I don’t want to,” my response would be “I don’t feel like taking YPT either, but I’m not allowed to be here without it, and neither are you,” and leave it at that.


Yep. I’d also expect him to either sign up as an adult leader and get the background check done, or invite him to find another time to hang with his friends. There really isn’t a gray area when it comes to youth protection here.

1 Like

The real question here is that we have a mismatch between our policies and our members. An 18 yr old HS senior does not see him / herself as an adult or their 17 year old classmates as children. The schools do not treat them differently, they are viewed as the same. So asking the Scout to complete YPT usually results in them leaving the troop, as they are not interesting in being an adult, or an adult leader. They are HS students looking to be with their friends and classmates.

18 years olds coming back from college are adults and must be treated as such.

1 Like

I agree with you wholeheartedly. This is what happens when you let lawyers write policies instead of scoutmasters, educators, and developmental pediatricians/psychologists. Unfortunately, in light of last night’s bankruptcy filing nothing is going to change any time soon.

I hear what you guys are saying, but I have to remind you that 18-year-olds might not see themselves as adults, but they are legally adults.

They’re now allowed to vote and sign contracts. They can enlist in the military. They can do many things that they couldn’t do when they were 17 years and 364 days old. They can spend an hour every couple of years doing YPT, just like the other adults do, or they can expect to have their interactions with the Scouts at Scouting events monitored or curtailed, just like any other adult.


BUT even BSA doesn’t recognize 18 year olds as fully adults… They can’t drive scouts to events, can’t serve on unit committees, and can still register as youth in venturing crews. Even internally, there is no consistency.

An 18 year old that registers with a Venture Crew must take YPT and fill out an adult application.