As a part of our overriding interest in creating a safe environment for all to participate in, we use a system of Safety Checks and Buddy Checks. We encourage the use of these checks whenever unsafe or inappropriate behavior or materials are observed in addition to checking periodically and at regular intervals.
The intention of our Safety Checks is for everyone present to check for unsafe or inappropriate behavior or materials. During both Safety Checks, all activities stop until the check is completed.
Buddy Checks work in the following way: When our Scouts are taking part in activities, each is assigned a “Buddy.” Buddies are particularly important when our Scouts are away from team meetings, such as going swimming or visiting a museum. Buddy checks are done both periodically and at regular intervals, meaning they are done on a schedule, but also intermittently like pop quizzes. Because our Scouts do not know exactly when there will be a call for a Buddy Check, they know they have to keep up with their Buddy all the time.
Our Buddy Checks are intended to emphasize our Scouts’ interest in always being alert for their Buddy, helping each other, and keeping track of their Buddy. During Buddy Checks also, all activities stop until the check is completed.
Our Scouts must keep their Buddy within line of sight and they become partly responsible for their Buddy’s well being. When asked, our Scouts must know and be able to answer where their Buddy is. Obviously, before leaving a location, a Buddy Check is always called for.
The Buddy Check accomplishes two important missions in our Scout Programs: they keep everyone safe and also encourage our Scouts to take responsibility for themselves and each other.