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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Thanks @RichardB.  I regreft that I didn't know about this.  This looks like exactly what I was hoping would exist. I very much appreciate you highlighting this.
    • @ParkMan  - that was done about 5 years ago when we updated the FAQ's.   What do you think isn't clear or needs to be added?  I'll just copy and paste into the thread.  Here is the link:   https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/medical-formfaqs/  Q. What do leaders do with the Annual Health and Medical Records they collect?
      A. In all cases, the information gathered is for use in conducting a safe Scouting program. Information gathered in the AHMR must be maintained and shared in a confidential and discreet manner. Some conditions may require communication to ensure the safety of participants. This information should only be shared on a “need-to-know” basis. Following are some of the best practices for using and storing the records: The Annual Health and Medical Record is secured to maintain the confidentiality of the information, yet at the same time, the forms should be accessible by adult leaders in an emergency. The following guidance will assist leaders in achieving this goal: Leaders are encouraged to maintain the original AHMR forms in a safe location in a binder or file that protects the documents entrusted to the unit leader. The AHMR should be taken on all activities. Designate a leader to keep the files containing the AHMR up to date.  This may include reminding participants to update the AHMR annually or as needed.     Designate a leader as the point of contact with event or camp health officers.  If needed, the leader should arrange to have the AHMR returned to him or her at the end of the event, if allowed by the state. The unit leader (or his or her designee) is responsible for destroying or returning to the participant (or parent and/or guardian) the AHMR documents when the participant leaves the unit or when the documents become outdated. Records are NOT to be digitized, scanned, sent by email, or stored electronically by unit leaders. To streamline a summer or winter camp check-in, records of all participants are reviewed to make sure they are up to date, completed, and signed before leaving for camp. Be sure to check with the camp for any additional information that may be needed. For example, specific immunization records may be required in some states. Prepared leaders use the AHMR in the following ways: Review each participant’s health history. This aids the leader in becoming knowledgeable about the medical conditions of adults and youth members in the unit. Review any treatment plans that may exist with participants and/or parents of youth. Examples might include plans for asthma, food or other allergies, anaphylaxis treatment, behavior, hypertension, and other health risks and medical restrictions that may require accommodations. Knowledge of a participant’s use of an inhaler would allow the leader to prompt the youth to bring it on an overnight camping trip. Be knowledgeable of a participant’s restrictions. This may allow the leader to find ways to extend the Scouting program to those with restrictions while also protecting others and providing a positive and safe experience for everyone. The leader may be able to plan alternate activities (within Youth Protection guidelines) for those youth members who are unable to participate in a long hike or a swimming event. Assist leaders to better coordinate ongoing medical care, such as administration of medications or bandage changes, with parents or other authorized and trained leaders in the unit who agree to assist the participant. This kind of assistance is especially necessary during events lasting longer than 72 hours when a parent or guardian may not be present and the youth member must take regularly scheduled medication.
    • I'd agree.   The BSA really should ask a team of volunteers in their health and safety team to put togther a list of best practices for handling health & safety forms.  It doesn't have to be onerous, but some basic guidance really should exist. I may be placing too fine a point on it, but most people who handle health forms are not "the BSA" in the form of national or council profressionals or volunteers.  Most people who handle health forms are unit volunteers.  Most of use have about 0 experience in how to handle them beyond common sense.  Providing us as volunteers some guidance on how to store health forms is a good idea.  For example, once I thought about scanning them to make it easier for the Scoutmaster and then realized that once that happened, they would be impossible to track.  So I discarded that as a bad idea.  But, I'm sure others have come to a different conclusion.  
    • Most scouts will be at activities. But the SM and I and our two other ASMs in our troop are preparing for anything. For example, if the scouts might rather split up and exchange patrols with another country, one group may just decide to bring treats and chill in our campsite. I'll have my espresso ready for any leaders who were "forced" to tag along with their scouts and come to our campsite. Likewise if some of our scouts "need" me to come with them to meet Saudi scouts and I "have" to drink spiced coffee with their leader ... well I'm bracing myself for that kind of sacrifice. We won't let our scouts sleep in their tents all day. But we herd them all to the activity areas if they came up with a better plan.
    • @willray, stop struggling. This is a scout who should be suspended from your troop (at least from camp-outs) until he decides he wants to actually work in a patrol. His behavior is 1) unsanitary, therefore threatening the health and safety of others, 2) willful and unseemly, and 3) has no chance of changing if you deny him discipline. I assure you, games where you reward the other scouts for showing scout spirit -- no matter how rich the reward -- will not inspire this kid. Let him and his parents know that up until now he has chosen to not be a scout (as in helpful, courteous). Your troop only has scouts. And until he chooses to be one -- just like he promises every time he gives an oath -- he's not welcome. You might have to insist that a parent join you adults and be prepared to haul the boy home at the first sign of misbehavior. Now, be prepared to listen. There might be some bullying going on, and this is his way of protesting. So you may have more twisted threads to untangle. But you simply have no game until the boys decide that they want to be on the playing field. P.S. - We had a scout who slept in a lot. No problem. He missed breakfast, and sometimes his tent was dropped for him with him in it. (Parents were fine with this, BTW.) He packed up and hauled off with his patrol without a complaint. He was a swell kid in so many other ways -- especially courteous and helpful. The guy's an Eagle scout now -- gainfully employed.
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