2023 Updates to Youth Protection & Adult Leadership

Please take time to review the following updates to the Guide to Safe Scouting and Barriers to Abuse, effective September 1, 2023:


Two registered adult leaders, age 21 or older, are required at all Scouting activities, including all meetings.

There must be a registered female adult leader, age 21 or older, in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader, age 21 or older, must be present for any activity involving female youth or female adult program participants.

Even with minimum leader requirements, program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.

setting up camp
Overnight camping

All adults over 18 years of age staying overnight in connection with a Scouting activity must be currently registered as an adult volunteer or an adult program participant in a Scouts BSA troop or Venture crew. Adult volunteers must register in the position(s) they are serving in. Registration in a merit badge counselor position does not meet this requirement. See FAQ at Scouting.org/About/FAQ for the list of approved adult registration fee-required positions. There is limited exception below for Cub Scout overnight programs.

Cub Scouts camping
Family Dens

Packs that include both girl and boy dens can now form family dens that include girls and boys in one den for all ages except 5th grade (Arrow of Light).

cub scout logo
Cub Scout Programs – Overnight Exception

Cub Scout parents or legal guardians taking part in an overnight Cub Scout program with their own child or legal ward are not required to register as leaders. All adults must review the “How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide” that can be found in the front of each Cub Scout Handbook. In addition, the parent or legal guardian must be accompanied by a registered leader at any time they are supervising youth members other than their own child/ward. All other overnight adults must be currently registered in an adult fee-required postion.