The BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them.
BSA Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed. All participants must follow Youth Protection Guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:
- Two-deep leadership on all outings required.
- One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited.
- The buddy system should be used at all times.
- Discipline must be constructive.
Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid. As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the "Sweet Sixteen" of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.
Youth Protection Guidelines Guide to Safe Scouting Sweet Sixteen Enterprise Risk Management
All Scouts should adhere to the buddy system throughout the camp. Scouting’s buddy system calls for Scouts to pair up with a friend or two for all activities. This helps ensure safety and accountability and teaches Scouts to have responsibility for others. No Scout should ever be found wandering through camp alone. It can be difficult to implement the buddy system when a Scout does not schedule classes with fellow members of their ship. Ship leaders are encouraged to pair Scouts in classes as much as possible. If this is not feasible, the Scout should walk with other Scouts in the class to the location of the merit badge class. Due to the number of Scouts and the short amount of time between classes, this should be a relatively simple exercise.
BSA Annual Health and Medical Record
All persons coming to summer camp, whether youth or adult and regardless of the amount of time spent in camp, must have a completed BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (AHMR) consisting of Parts A, B, and C. The form must be completed in its entirety and must contain all applicable signatures. Forms can be downloaded at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/healthandsafety/ahmr.aspx. The form must be completely filled out and signed by a physician and a parent/guardian (Scout if under 18).
Forms must be completed annually. An AHMR is valid through the end of the 12th month from the date it was administered by the medical provider. For example, a physical administered June 3, 2020, would be valid until June 30, 2021. There is no provision for the administration of a physical examination to be done at camp. If a Scout does not have an Annual Health and Medical Record, they will either have to secure one from an area doctor at their expense or return home.
BSA Health and Medical Record
Please carefully review all BSA Annual Health and Medical Records prior to check-in. Give yourself ample time so that any errors or omissions may be corrected by the parents of the youth or the adult to whom the form belongs. Common errors or omissions made on the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record:
Part A is missing immunizations or is missing dates for the immunizations. Please complete the form rather than attaching an immunization record alone. Incorporating the information into the form speeds up the process of evaluating the form itself at check-in.
Part B is not signed by the adult participant or by an adult or guardian (for youth).
Part C of the form signed by a physician within one year.
Using an outdated form. To ensure you are using the correct form, use the form available at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/ahmr.aspx.
At check-in, the unit is to provide two copies of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (including Parts A, B & C - under Are You Going to Camp?) signed by a physician for every camper (youth and adult). Parts A, B, and C should be stapled for one person. One copy should be placed in a 3-ring binder and labeled with ship number with all forms alphabetized to be kept in the health lodge. Do not provide original forms; it is best to provide copies. The unit will keep the second copy at the campsite. The unit can pick up the binder before leaving camp. Any forms left at camp will be destroyed.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication
Scouts and adults who require medication should bring enough of the medication to last throughout camp, but only the amount of medication needed at camp. If requested, pharmacists will provide a second labeled container for medications so only the needed prescription can be sent to camp and the remainder can be kept at home.
The taking of prescription medication and over-the-counter (OTC) is the responsibility of the individual taking the medication and/or that individual’s parent or guardian. Unit leaders should ensure that prescription medications for their Scouts are properly stored and administered.
BSA National Camping Standards (HS-508) states the following rules apply to storage and administration of medication:
HS-508: Medication Control (revised January 1, 2020)
A. The camp requires that all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications be stored under lock (including those requiring refrigeration), except when in the controlled presence of health care staff or other adult leader responsible for administration and/or dispensing medications.
1. An exception may be made for a limited amount of medication to be carried by a camper, leader, parent, or staff member for life-threatening conditions, including epinephrine injector, heart medication, and inhalers, or for a limited amount of medication approved for use in a first-aid kit.
B. Medications must be 1. Kept in their original containers; or 2. Labeled and maintained in a fashion approved by the council health supervisor.
C. Medications must be administered and/or dispensed as follows: 1. For prescription medications, in accordance with the prescribing health care provider’s directions or a parent/guardian’s signed summary thereof. 2. For OTC medications, in accordance with the original label, except as otherwise provided by the council’s health supervisor, or a prescribing health care provider’s directions, or a parent/guardian’s signed summary thereof.
Locked refrigerated storage is available in the health lodge. The camp medical staff shall advise the acting Skipper as to whether a medication falls under exceptions (HS-508A1).
The camp health officer reviews all BSA Annual Health and Medical Record provided by the Scout for instructions regarding medications that may be administered to the Scout.
On Sunday afternoon, after Scouts drop off their gear at their campsite, Scouts and adults should change into swimsuits, take a towel and report to the aquatic area. All Scouts and adults should complete a swim check whether they plan to swim or not. Buddy tags will be issued based on the level of swimming proficiency.
- A developmental swim class available for Scouts who are unable to swim or unable to pass a swim test.
- Adult assistance is needed to hand out the buddy tags during the swim check.
Swim Checks Prior to Camp. Units may complete their swim checks locally prior to camp following the Swim Classification Procedures. The unit-level swim check must be conducted by one of the following certified people: Aquatics Instructor, BSA; Aquatics Cub Supervisor; BSA Lifeguard; BSA Swimming & Water Rescue; or other lifeguard, swimming instructor, etc. When swim tests are conducted prior to camp, the camp aquatics director shall reserve the authority to review or retest all participants to ensure that standards have been maintained for the safety of everyone.
Swim Classification Procedures Record and Classifications
If a participant has special medical needs, such as refrigeration for medicine, please ensure that information is included in the online registration. CPAP machines must be battery-powered, as power outlets close to campsites are scarce; however, the camp staff will attempt to meet reasonable requests to accommodate timely requests submitted through the registration. Participants may need to bring specialty items to help make some requests possible. Learn more about special dietary needs.
The Health Lodge is located in the Headquarters Building. The Health Lodge at camp is available 24 hours a day and is prepared to handle minor injuries and illnesses. The buddy system should be followed at all times.
For minor injury or illness bring the Scout/adult to the Health Lodge for treatment. The waiting area for the health lodge is on the porch area just outside the building near the entrance to the health lodge. A screening will be conducted on the porch before any person is brought into the lodge for treatment.
For a major injury (broken bones, unconsciousness, unsure), send a runner to the Health Lodge and medical staff will come to the Scout or adult. Please do not move a Scout or adult with a major injury! Any emergency that cannot be treated at the health lodge will be referred to a local hospital or doctor’s clinic. The unit leader or assistant will transport the patient to the outside medical facility. In the event of a medical emergency, report to the health lodge at the camp headquarters building.
- If the camp medics are not in the office, there is a whiteboard near the door that will advise how to reach them.
- Every Scout and adult who attends camp MUST have an annual BSA Annual Health and Medical Record completed within the last 12 months prior to attending camp. A copy of your health record will be turned in during check-in at camp.
- There is NO provision for the administration of a physical examination to be done at camp. If a Scout does NOT have a current health and medical record on file, they will either have to secure one from an area doctor at their expense or they will have to return home at their expense.
- The camp reserves the right to refuse admittance to a Scout who, in the opinion of the camp health officer and the camp director, has any physical or medical problem which could present a hazard to themselves or other Scouts. Scouts may be sent home at their expense.
Hospital or Doctor Treatment
Should any participant at Camp Strake require medical treatment beyond the first-aid capabilities provided by camp staff at the health lodge, they will be evacuated to the nearest medical treatment facility. Special arrangements for treatment of more serious cases have been made with physicians and hospitals at the nearest hospital, Conroe Regional Medical Center, 504 Medical Center Blvd, Conroe, TX. If such treatment is required, the camper's parent(s) will be notified by telephone, and their desires concerning further treatment will be respected.
In the event that a camper requires the attention of a doctor or the services of a hospital, the following procedure must be followed:
- The responsibility of the unit leadership is to provide transportation for unit member(s) requiring services from a doctor or hospital.
- One adult leader from the unit will accompany the unit member(s) requiring services from a doctor or hospital and is asked to carry insurance forms in for completion. He must obtain the individual's health record from the health officer before going to the doctor or hospital.
- Parent(s) or guardian(s) will be immediately notified by the camp health officer of any serious illness or injury. If parents will not be at home during the week of camp, have them advise you where they can be located.
- The camp will provide transportation only when a unit has none available.
- Directions to doctor's offices and hospitals will be available at the health lodge.
- All cases requiring outside medical care must be cleared by the camp health officer. This is an agreement with the local health services facilities, insurance company, and a claim procedure.
- Check back in with health officer upon return to camp and return health form.
Any clarification of the above procedures may be obtained by discussing them with the health officers on duty at the health lodge.
The camp has emergency phone numbers posted near all camp office telephones and FM radio communication throughout the camp. In an emergency, the camp director, or designee, will initiate emergency procedures depending upon the situation. During emergencies, adult leaders should supervise their own unit’s response appropriately.
There are two types of emergency alarms. The first is a solid tone for general emergencies. When you hear the camp alarm (siren), you must immediately assemble with your ship at your campsite, take a headcount, have the senior patrol leader report your attendance to the Staff member in charge, and await further instructions. If for whatever reason the campsites are unsafe, the staff will direct people to the grand pavilion as a secondary assembly area. Stay at the assembly area until the all-clear is given.
The second type of alarm will be a pulsing siren. This signifies a weather emergency. This part of Texas is prone to afternoon thunderstorms during the summer, with the potential for the formation of tornados. Whenever a serious storm approaches, everyone in the camp should move into the nearest designated shelter. All permanent structures at Camp Strake are suitable shelters during an emergency.
In the event of a fire or other hazardous condition that requires evacuation of the camp, instructions will be provided by the camp staff at the Grand Pavilion on procedures to follow to exit camp as quickly as possible, while maintaining accountability of staff and campers.
In accordance with BSA National Camping Standards (AO-805), an emergency drill will be conducted each week of camp. Every person must report to their campsite when the alarm is sounded, drill or no drill!
All registered members of Sam Houston Area Council ships are covered by Health Special Risk unit insurance. A claim form must accompany each Scout who is referred to an outside medical facility. This is secondary coverage. If there is no other policy, this will be the primary insurance. Out-of-council ships must provide proof of accident and sickness insurance upon arrival at camp.
The plan is with Health Special Risk, Inc. and is excess coverage. The first $300.00 or less of coverage will be paid by Health Special Risk, Inc. Charges above $300.00 should be filed under the family’s major medical insurance. Health Special Risk, Inc. will then pay all charges not recovered under any other insurance. Families without insurance will receive instructions from Health Special Risk, Inc., but in any event up to $7,500 of coverage for sickness or injury is provided (Special coverage limits cover dental and transportation). The camp will file the initial claim at the time of treatment. All patients must be referred to the physician or hospital by camp health personnel. For additional information, contact email@example.com.