Getting to and from Scout meetings unsupervised is a big deal. By the time they are Cub Scouts, most youth will demonstrate the maturity to safely get themselves to their meetings and home again in a timely manner. Parents and Scouters should discuss whether the youth has the maturity for this responsibility before being allowed to make this trip unsupervised. Here are some tips to help youth stay safe when traveling to and from meetings:
- Know the route. Before getting yourself to your meeting, make the trip with a parent. Know how long the trip should take.
Scouters should see youth from the meeting hall and make sure they set out in the right direction.
- Keep in touch. Let your parents know when you’re on your way home after the meeting. You can send them a text or ask a Scouter to send one for you – especially if the meeting runs late.
- Go with a buddy. Travel to and from your meetings with a friend who lives nearby. It’s just like the buddy system you use when swimming or when out on a hike!
- Stay on the sidewalk. Keep off the road and away from the sidewalk’s edge. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
- Cross at corners and crosswalks. If walking, always stop and look both ways before crossing the street. Walk – don’t run. Give drivers plenty of time to see you and stop.
- Heads up! Don’t look at your phone while walking. If you need to read or send a message, stop and stand still for a moment in a safe place.
- Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t pick up stuff you find on the ground that could cut you or make you sick. Be cautious around unfamiliar dogs. Don’t try to pet them – they might bite!
- No shortcuts! Follow your planned route. Don’t take any shortcuts, especially through construction areas and private property.
- Ride safe. If cycling, skateboarding or riding a scooter, wear a helmet. Stay on the right side of the road. Use your hand signals to communicate with drivers. If riding after dark, use your front and rear lights.
- Be bright! Make sure you’re wearing bright clothing with reflective elements so that you can be seen by drivers.
- Don’t accept rides. If your parents and Scouters expect you to walk, politely turn down an offered lift – even if you know and trust the driver.
- Protect your privacy. Avoid long conversations with strangers, especially if you start to feel uncomfortable. Don’t share personal information like your full name or where you live.