Youth and Adult Member Behavior Guidelines

The Boy Scouts of America is a values-based youth development organization that helps young people learn positive attributes of character, citizenship, and personal fitness. The BSA has the expectation that all participants in the Scouting program will relate to each other in accord with the principles embodied in the Scout Oath and Law.

One of the developmental tasks of childhood is to learn appropriate behavior. Children are not born with an innate sense of propriety and they need guidance and direction. The example set by positive adult role models is a powerful tool for shaping behavior and a tool that is stressed in Scouting.

Misbehavior by a single youth member in a Scouting unit may constitute a threat to the safety of the individual who misbehaves, as well as to the safety of other unit members. Such misbehavior constitutes an unreasonable burden on a Scout unit and cannot be ignored. Membership in the Scouting organization is a privilege that should be respected by all youth, adult leaders, and parents.

Member Responsibilities

All members of the Boy Scouts of America are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, and drugs and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and will result in the revocation of a Scout’s membership in the unit.

If confronted by threats of violence or other forms of bullying from other youth members, Scouts should seek help from their unit leaders or parents.

Unit Responsibilities

Adult leaders of Scouting units are responsible for monitoring the behavior of youth members and interceding when necessary. Parents of youth members who misbehave should be informed and asked for assistance in dealing with it. It is important to document specific incidents and address with parents as soon as possible.

The BSA does not permit the use of corporal punishment by unit leaders when disciplining youth members.

The unit committee should review repetitive or serious incidents of misbehavior in consultation with the parents of the child to determine a course of corrective action, including possible revocation of the youth’s membership in the unit. The same process of review would apply to adult leaders who present concerns that are affecting unit operations.

If problem behavior persists, units may revoke a Scout’s membership in that unit. When a unit revokes a Scout’s membership, it should promptly notify the council of the action.

The unit should inform the Scout Executive at the Council office (561-694-8585) of any violations of the BSA’s Youth Protection policies.

Each Cub Scout den and Webelos Scout den and each chartered Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, Varsity Scout team, and Venturing crew shall have one leader, 21 years of age or older, who shall be registered and serve as the unit or den leader. The head of the chartered organization or chartered organization representative and the local council must approve the registration of the unit or den leader on the appropriate form. Two-deep leadership is always in effect at all Scouting activities.

BSA Policies and Guidelines

Guide to Safe Scouting 
The Guide to Safe Scouting is the unit leaders’ guide to current policies and procedures.

Scouter Code of Conduct 
This document provides a resource that clearly defines the desired behavior for adults involved in Scouting.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities  
This chart provides an at-a-glance reference to activity guidelines that are based on the mental, physical, emotional, and social maturity of youth members.

Policies, Guidelines, and Model Plans 
The Scouting program, as contained in our handbooks and literature, integrates many safety features. However, no policy or procedure will replace the review and vigilance of trusted adults and leaders at the point of program execution.

How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide
These booklets are a basic resource to help parents understand how child abuse happens and keep their children safe. Exercises for parents and children are included.

Youth Protection
Youth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers. Download the How-To Guide for taking Youth Protection Training 

Pack 176 Behavior Policy

The expected behavior of Pack 176 Scouts and adults is based on living by the Scout Oath and Law. In accordance with those principles, the pack has adopted the following policies regarding behavior and ensuing discipline when needed. Appropriate behavior will be expected of every person involved with Pack 176.

  1. HANDS OFF: Unless participating in a contact game, all Scouts are expected to abide by a “hands off” policy with their fellow Scouts, adults, and other people’s property.
  2. RESPECT OTHERS: All Scouts and adults are expected to show proper respect toward all other adults and fellow Scouts.
  3. RESPECT PROPERTY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: All Scouts are expected to show proper respect toward any property put in their trust.

We firmly believe that, if everyone involved in Pack 176 abides by these principles, behavior issues will be nonexistent. However, adult leaders must judge cases as they arise and those under their leadership must respect their authority to make judgments. A Scout should obey any directive from an appropriate leader. If a Scout believes he has been treated unjustly by another Scout or adult, he should speak to the Cubmaster or Assistant Cubmaster along with his parent(s).


Warning: The Scout will be warned by his Den Leader or an adult leader about his behavior and reminded of the rule he has violated. Every Scout deserves the chance to stop the offending behavior on his own.

Parent Contact/Cubmaster Conference: The Den Leader will contact the parent(s) for any disciplinary action from this point forward. It is expected that the parent(s) will address the issue with the Scout directly. It will be the parent’s sole responsibility to monitor the Scout’s behavior, ensuring that the Den Leader is no longer distracted from the den activity. If the behavior continues after the parent(s) is/are involved, the Den Leader should ask another adult to get the Cubmaster or Assistant Cubmaster for further assistance.

A Cubmaster Conference with the parent(s) may be a part of this process, at the discretion of the Den Leader; however, the Cubmaster will be notified of all disciplinary concerns or actions in case more follow up is needed, which can occur after the activity or meeting.

“Behavior Coaching Moment”: If the warnings do not alleviate the behavior, the Cubmaster should ask the parent(s) to remove the Scout from the activity temporarily for a “Behavior Coaching Moment.” These few minutes of discussion with the offending Scout and two adults involve specifically pointing out the inappropriate behavior, discussing alternative behaviors, and explaining how those behaviors relate to the Scout Law. Once the Cubmaster or Assistant Cubmaster believes the Scout is ready, he may rejoin the group. This is an immediate disciplinary action, and often just getting the Scout out of the situation alleviates the behavior, and adding in the “teachable moment” is a character building measure.

Suspension from the activity/membership: If the inappropriate behavior continues, or if the seriousness of the behavior warrants, the Scout will be asked to leave the particular activity. A conference will then be arranged for the Scout, his parent(s), the Cubmaster, and the Den Leader. The conference will involve pointing out the prohibited behavior, making sure the Scout understands why he was unable to participate, and a follow-up course of action with consequences, including the Scout making amends to anyone he has offended or damage he has caused. He will be allowed to participate again once the conference has taken place.

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