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Confused: what dictates medical form requirement?

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I haven't been able to find a concrete answer to this from my pack leaders or district:


Is a medical form required by the BSA for every outing? Only overnight outings? What about camps? Only particular camps? Does it depend on what state you are in, or who the camps are registered with, etc.?

Or does BSA have a blanket policy that requires an updated medical form to accompany a Cub Scout on every scout-related outing/camp?


We have a Webelos Outdoor weekend coming up next weekend. When my older son was a Cub Scout (different state) I had to fill out a health form EVERY time he went on ANY scout-related outing, regardless of whether a parent was with him.


I've been given various answers to this, regarding the upcoming campout, from "Well, the district didn't mention it in the registration form, so we don't need it," to "the back page of each Cub's application to join a pack counts as a medical form," and, finally, "Well, we probably should have them, but our district didn't require them last year."

One leader told me I shouldn't even call and ask, but that if I did, not to mention which pack I am with. When I mentioned the chance that we could be asked for them when we arrive at the camp, this leader said "Well, then, I'll just badger them into letting us in. After all, they didn't tell us we needed the forms." (This was said in the presence of all of the parents and boys, when I asked if we should check about needing the forms.)

I would like to know if the medical/health form requirement is absolute, or varies with circumstances (how far away the outing is, how long it lasts, whether or not parents are along, what state you are in), or is it absolute.

Also, do you have to have them along, or is it enough for them to be on file with the pack?




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Geez, I don't know the official answer off the top of my head, but I like to have them "just in case". Yes, I know the parents are there. But what happens when the parent and child are hurt? Asking people to fill out the Class One medical form is not a big inconvenice.


There was a case I heard of a few years ago where a father and son on a Cub Scout campout both died during the night because they had some type of heater in their tent. I think you would want that contact information handy if such a tragedy happened.


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Read the first two paragraphs on the Personal Health Record Form Class 1 and 2. Then the first paragraph on Personal Health Record Form Class 3.

Finally the Guide to Safe Scouting.


The BSA "recommends" and encourages that the appropriate form be used when you camp. The BSA "requires" these forms for BSA operated campgrounds and for National camps and national activities. The use of these forms for unit activities are left to the charter organizations and scouting families to determine.


Bob White

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It seems to me that the Class I form is all that is required for an event or activity lasting less than 72 hours that is not considered too strenuous. It also seems to me that any form is considered to be good for a year unless the condition of the scout, or adult, changes. That seems awfully loose, but is consistent with Bob White's statement that a great deal is left up to the unit.


You can either collect, and re-collect, this information on an event-by-event basis, or collect it once and hold in a single pair of hands such as the cubmaster in your case. However you do this, separate copies of the information should be in the possession of the adult named on the tour permit and his or her deputy. It does no good to leave the medical forms in a file somewhere. If you maintain a central file, then copies can be made for the specific youth or adults for whom a form may be needed for a specific event.


In the case of Webelos, since parental presence is required on a camping activity, I would think the issue would be of somewhat less concern. That may be why the question of the medical forms did not come up.


There are separate rules regarding Class II and Class III forms. Class I is essentially the parent providing information and certifying the fitness of the youth for the activity. This is the information gathered on the back of the membership application. Class II and Class III require the signature of a licensed medical practicitioner of some sort, normally a doctor.



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I agree, let the instructions on the forms and the GTSS be your guide. Two things, though:


1). One is a bit of a legal point, and I'm not a lawyer; the parental signature on the physical forms gives permission to "medical personnel" to give treatment, not Scout leaders. I've long noticed that and casually wondered if I'm included in that language. I've been at Scout camps that required separate medical power of attorney, regardless of what was on the BSA physical form.


2). What constitutes an outing requiring a Class 3 physical is somewhat a grey area. Some, such as Philmont, are obvious; others are not. For example, our Troop took a "medium adventure" trip to an island 60 miles off the coast for a week -- daily swimming, mountain hiking, touring lava tubes, etc. We could have gone either Class 2 or 3 based on the requirements, then decided on the Class 3 to err on the side of caution.



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Regardless of what District, Council people say, you need to err on the safe side. Everyone of our leaders have a complete information sheet and a copy of the medical form (updated every year during recharter) on everyone in their den. The Cubmaster, Ass. Cubmaster and Comm. Chair have a copies of all Scouts and Scouters in the Pack. This info goes on all outings overnight or just a day trip.

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There isn't that much difference between Class II and Class III. My reading of the requirements for Class III is that Class III is required if the activity is particularly strenuous or if you are going to be in an area where emergency medical assistance is not readily available. It remains a judgment call even so, but that is my understanding of the difference.


Also, all scouters at all levels age 40 or greater, both male and female, are required to provide a Class III annually regardless of the program being pursued.


Class III is the best standard to adhere to, since you will always have met the requirement for Class III and Class III will serve for Class II. If you do not have Class III forms on file and you believe you need Class III then you have to send everybody back to the doctor.


Those who are considering Philmont should be aware that Philmont has its own form which is even bigger than Class III. As far as I can tell the Philmont form really is a Class III, but it contains language for the benefit of the parents and medical practicioner regarding the nature of the activities at Philmont. It really puts the practicioner on notice before they sign the form. I don't know if the other high adventure bases have yet different forms.


Concerning the legal question, in our unit the permission slips include explicit authorization from the parent for the scout leaders to authorize treatment.

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I keep & carry the original & copy of the medical forms for the entire Troop on every outing. Like sctmom said, I like to err on the side of caution. Remember, for Scouts & Scouters the forms are good for three years. For us old geezers, we need new ones every year.


I never give anyone the originals. I keep those & give copies.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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We had an interesting thing occur at summer camp this year. One of our Scouts fell, hit his head hard and went to the local hospital for a CAT scan.

Medical form was up to date and filled in with all the information required by BSA and the Scout summer camp. When we got to the hospital we were told that it wasn't adequate. The hospital called his parents to get verbal confirmation before any treatment. We were told that the BSA medical form needed:

1. SS #'s of both parents and Scout

2. Photocopy of health insurance card (front and back)

3. Notary for parents signature.

Since coming home and checking with local hospitals large and small, they're right. We are working to add this information to our BSA medial forms.

I would also like to see a place to add a digital photo of scout to medical form. The nurse at the summer camp handed us the wrong form as we were leaving for the hospital. I guess this could be easy to do with 600 Scouts in camp and young Scouts don't always have ID. The photo on the medical form would sure make it easier to put the right form with the right Scout. Anyone else had a similar experience?



By the way, Our Scout is fine.



(This message has been edited by Lippoeowl)

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I had thought about the addition of a picture would be nice as well. That way anyone could see this is the right form for the person, even someone at camp or medical personnel. With or without the picture, it is very important to keep this information secure so wackos aren't making copies for other wackos. Don't leave it behind at the waffle house after breakfast.


L-Owl, thanks for the info and glad to hear your scout is okay.


I have the Class 1 in front of me, it does say that some states require an annual precamp medical evaluation, to check with your council about that.


It also says a Class 1 is to be filled out by ALL participants and on file for easy reference.


Even with parents right there, I want to know if a boy has allergies, is on medications or has medical problems. If the kid allergic to bee stings get stung, I want to know he is allergic. Or to not bring peanut butter if someone has severe allergies to peanuts.


There are times when I forget the names and dosage of medication I take, it's best to have it written down.


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Agreed. For the kinds of outings I am now involved the risk of the parent becoming the casualty is greater than the risk for the boys. So I get data on everybody, self included, and we carry two sets of the forms in ziplocks in different packs.

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Lippoeowl, you're right on the line with additional information wanted by the hospitals. Even with that info, don't be surprised or upset when they want to call the parents first. This is when it pays off to know how to reach the parents or who else to call that will know how to reach them.


A "permission" or "information" slip works to cover this. It should state where you will be - I'm sometimes amazed at how little some parents know about where their son will be - and how you can be reached (even if it's as basic as call the ranger's office at xxx-xxx-xxxx so he can find us) so the parents can attempt to reach you in an emergency. The bottom portion is for them to fill out with emergency contact info in case you need to reach them. With an abundance of cell phones nowadays, this has become somewhat easier.


If I remember correctly, the Girl Scouts do this for every outing. Or at least the GS leaders that I know do it. The combination of medical form and emergency contact info greatly enhances the boy's chances for prompt and seamless treatment.

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At one of my training sessions, another scouter gave me a great idea which we incorporated into our troop. we call it the

"troop essentials" book


It is a 3 ring binder with medical forms for every scout and scouter in the troop in clear page protectors. Originals with 2-3 copies to give out to camps, etc.


It also has our local and annual tour permits, A current troop roster, with home, work & cell phone #'s of families.

Also copies of our vehicle registrations & licence info(we own a varitey of trailers & a bus) ins & liscense info on all our adults who drive or tow a trailer, etc.


( the original trailer registrations are kept in the church office - except for the bus's - which is posted on the bus itself) and copies of all the medical forms are kept in the church as well.


The front of the binder holds current trip info - permission / contact slips for that outing, permits, reservation forms, etc.

We recently started using permission slips for each trip - getting info on where parentw can be reached THAT weekend -


But I'm going to suggest adding Lippoeowl's suggestions to it, and the permanent info to the boy's file, as well as a picture. What if a boy gets lost? A picture could be very valuble!


The cover is clear pockets, also - the front says "TROOP ### Essentials" but the back can hold an itinerary of the trip, directions or a map of camp, or whatever.


It makes the "paperwork" of a trip much easier!

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