Summer camp season is upon us! And anyone who has ever been to camp with a bunch of Scouts knows that safety needs to be our first priority. The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety describe the measures we should use at all Scouting activities. The second point of the Sweet 16 is Physical Fitness (see below).
We all need to be aware of the physical fitness of our Scouts, no matter what the activity. This is especially true when spending a week at camp when conditions like allergies or asthma can have a negative impact on a Scout’s experience. In extreme cases they can become life threatening.
The vast majority of physical conditions shouldn’t prevent a Scout from full participation in activities. But the adults who are supervising the activity need to be aware of the conditions so they can take preventative measures and watch for warning signs before a serious problem occurs.
So always take those medical forms with you. Even if it is just a day trip or a 2 mile hike. If you are uncertain about the condition, get more information from the parent. If you think you are in over your head, talk to your Council and find out how to make a plan to deal with the Scout’s condition while still providing a positive experience for him or her.
From the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety on the Scouting.org website:
2. PHYSICAL FITNESS
For youth participants in any potentially strenuous activity, the supervisor should receive a complete health history from a health care professional, parent or guardian. Adult participants and youth involved in higher-risk activity (e.g., scuba) may require professional evaluation in addition to the health history. The supervisor should adjust all supervision, discipline and protection to anticipate potential risks associated with individual health conditions. Neither youth nor adults should participate in activity for which they are unfit. To do so would place both the individual and others at risk.