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A Safe Scouting Experience

As Canada’s largest youth organization, Scouts Canada places great importance on creating a fun and safe environment for our members. By embedding safety in everything we do, we create a culture of safety supported by comprehensive policies, resources and guidelines for all Scouting activities.

If you have questions about Scouts Canada’s safety policies, or have a particular safety issue that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact our Safe Scouting team at safety@scouts.ca or 1-800-339-6643.

  • A Culture of Safety
  • A Culture of Safety

    Scouters are required to report incidents to Scouts Canada which helps us make our activities safer and identifies areas of concern.

    By taking measures such as conducting incident reviews and publishing safety tips for our members, we are able to mitigate repeat incidents. View Scouts Canada’s Safety tips

    Scouts Canada takes allegations of abuse seriously and always reports them to the relevant authorities.

    Specially trained staff at our National Service Centre work with colleagues in law enforcement and child protective services to ensure we keep youth safe. It is our policy to suspend members who are the subject of allegations of abuse and to terminate the membership of any volunteer charged with child abuse.

    If you have any concerns about the safety of our activities or youth, you can speak to your Group Commissioner.

    If you feel unable to do so contact our Help Centre at 1-888-855-3336 or e-mail the Safe Scouting Team at safety@scouts.ca.

    To report or discuss urgent safety or youth protection concerns 1-800-339-6643 (24 hours).

    If you do not feel comfortable speaking with Scouts Canada you can contact your local police, child protective services or for concerns about online behaviour or content www.cybertip.ca if a child is at risk call 911.

  • Youth Safety
  • Youth Safety

    Scouts Canada has comprehensive policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of youth:

    • Code of Conduct
    • Volunteer Screening Policy
    • Child Abuse Prevention Policy
    • Bullying/Harassment Policy

    Adults appointed to positions of authority over youth undergo a vetting process which includes; application forms, interviews, police record checks (including vulnerable sector searches), references and youth protection training with Respect in Sport.

    When youth take on positions of responsibility in Scouting we have a similar vetting arrangements and the same training.

    This process is designed to ensure that Scouters are suitable to occupy a position of trust, to support this we have a detailed code of conduct and a requirement that no Scouter may ever be alone with youth.

    Referred to as the two Scouter rule, whenever a Scouter is with a youth they must always have another Scouter present.

  • Play Safe
  • Head Safe Program

    Safety awareness and prevention are not limited to the playing field or workplace—safe living begins at home. As safety leaders in Canada, Hydro One and Scouts Canada have teamed up to extend their culture of safety, healthy activity and vibrant family life to communities across the country with our new Head Safe program.

    Through safe play and safe living, let’s build stronger communities together. Make it a #HeadSafe summer.

    Learn More

  • Safe Activities
  • Safe Activities

    All of Scouts Canada’s volunteers are trained to conduct risk and hazard reviews to ensure youth activities are as safe as possible.  

    Activities such as camps and outings require approval from a Group Commissioner and for some, parents are asked to sign a consent form.

    You can read more about this in our Camping and Outdoor Adventures Standards.

    All of our activities have a minimum ratio of Scouters to youth, this is usually 1 Scouter to 8 youth, although it may change depending on the nature of the activities for example; the risk assessment for a hike with Beaver Scouts may determine that the ratio should be 1:5.

    As part of Scout Canada’s youth-led program, youth are involved in planning activities and undertaking risk assessments.

    We believe in youth leadership and helping youth learn how to be safe.

    While a Scouter will always be responsible for risk assessments, youth engagement helps us run safer activities an example of this might be; Cub Scouts identifying hazards on a hill before tobogganing or Scouts preparing for a hike by learning how to check the weather conditions.

    Stay Safe Series for Youth

    Scouts Canada is committed to creating a fun and safe environment for our members, in and outside of Scouts. The Stay Safe series provides age-appropriate resources to encourage youth safety in every walk of life.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Scouts Canada places great importance on creating a fun and safe environment for our members, especially children and youth. How do we create this environment? It’s a reflection of the culture of safety that extends throughout the organization.

    As Canada’s largest youth organization, we are deeply committed to showing leadership in the area of child and youth safety. We truly believe we have a responsibility to help make Canada safer for our children and youth.

    If you have questions about Scouts Canada’s safety policies, or have a particular safety issue that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact our Safe Scouting team at safety@scouts.ca or 1-800-339-6643.

    For more information about our safety our policies and procedures, screening and training of volunteers and tips and tools to help you and your child get the most out of their Scouting experience visit the Scouting Safety Section.

    Prospective Scouters must undergo a stringent screening process. This includes a Police Records Check, a Screening Interview plus three personal references.

    Until the screening procedure is fully complete and signed off, individuals may not participate with children.

    Our thorough Risk Management policies include a “Two Scouter Rule”.

    The Two Scouter Rule is the requirement for two registered Scouters to be with youth at all times.

    Notwithstanding Section ratios, two Scouters must always be within the field of view and within earshot of one another when with youth. The Two Scouter rule is an integral part of the Code of Conduct that applies to all Scouts Canada Volunteers and staff.

    Successful Scouters know that bringing in resource people to help with activities is a good idea.

    Whether it’s the fire department, someone from the orienteering club or any other resource person, people who participate in day events need to be advised exactly the same way as a parent.

    Yes, if resource people are participating in an overnight activity they must: Complete the parent/daytime resource person screening, Provide a current police record check clear of criminal conviction, verified by the Group Commissioner, and have three personal references checked.

    We encourage parents to get involved in their child’s Scouting activities. In fact, the majority of our volunteers are parents.

    This can mean assisting at an event or becoming a Scouter.

    However, Scouts Canada believes that it is important for all individuals working with our youth to have proper training and screening to ensure the safest experience for our members.