Scouts Canada is not happy with me for some of the things I stated in my last post about them but I am not happy that they are still releasing their over-reaching regulations on a document a few steps up from crayons on a napkin. They are actually modifying the changes that they announce on the web page which is infinitely better than what they were doing the past decade. There is still no method for SC volunteers to find out about changes aside from the odd email or Facebook post.
With that said, I have been sharing the new three documents that they created on March 2, 2019 with everyone who is interested in a downloadable, searchable, and revisioned PDF file. It has been downloaded over 600 times from the previous posting but today I am going to move the downloads to here and share the current revision and I will endeavor to continue keeping them current until someone at Scouts Canada decides that making the regulations available to scouting volunteers is as important as making the regulations.
- Scouts Canada Bylaws… scouts-canada-bylaws_2019-03-02b
- Scouts Canada Policies and Standards… scouts-canada-policies-and-standards_2019-04-02b
- Scouts Canada Procedures… scouts-canada-procedures_2019-03-02
Changes in the downloadable files
Each document now has a revision table including changes made to the website. Before making any group decisions, you should always refer to the only document (if we can even call a webpage a document) that specifies the current regulations… Scouts Canada Policies and Procedures. I am still unsure as to why the page is called that since it also covers bylaws and standards as well, but it’s not my website.
I have also numbered each section and you will see those non-scouting numbers in the revisions within parenthesis. For example…
(8.5) Swimming standard reverted back to BP&P 2014‐09
The 8.5 is not a number supported by SC but it is necessary for any revision control system and since I decided to invent a revision control system for these documents, I had to invent a numbered system first. Scouts Canada’s only reference for this policy is to call it policy 33.
There was a document released called “Important Update on Scouts Canada’s Policies and Procedures.pdf” but I am not going to advise you to use it as many people asked me for clarification because of contradictions. It is NOT a legal regulation. It referred to changes in the policies website and there you will find the ONLY version of rules you are asked to follow.
Understand that I am NOT a lawyer. But not being a lawyer does not mean I can’t read and I encourage everyone to read through these policies and procedures on their own. There are many contradictions but any response you get from a Help Desk may help with clarification but will not be any more legal than what is already in the website.
Do your best, and when in doubt, use common sense to safeguard the health and safety of the youth and other scouters. Where have you heard “Do Your Best” before?
Follow This Post:
If you like or follow this post, you should get an update every time I make a change and I will make a change every time I update the PDF files.
Unlike Scouts Canada, I will also let you know what changed in the files. I will post the changes at the bottom of the blog post and just keep editting this page and I will also amend the revision table at the front of each of the downloadable files above.
If you look at the Policies page, you would think it was the original webpage they activated on March 2, 2019 but it has been modified twice and five pages have seen changes. This is why revisions are so critical in documents like these and why being able to subscribe to changes should be available to users of the information.
(8.2) First Aid was reverted back to BP&P 2014‐09
The claim is that the standard they published March 2, 2019 will be implemented on September 1, 2019.
(8.5) Swimming standard reverted back to BP&P 2014‐09
There was a huge misconception that national started forcing everyone to have lifeguards at every aquatic activity. Let’s be clear here and look at where we are right now:
The policy restricts swimming activities not at a pool. At least one “water activity supervisor” per ten swimmers, any youth acting as “Water activity supervisors” must have Bronze Cross and be 16. “Water activity supervisors” must be within “easy reach” of swimmers. I assume, and always have, that adults qualify as “water activity supervisors” and easy reach means you can reach the swimmer before they disappear from reach. Water depth, clarity, and current are some factors that must be assessed here.
As of September 1, 2019, if there are no further changes, section 4.a and 4.b state that nobody will be able to do any activities at any waterfront (without a definition you could call a spray park a waterfront) unless they have at least two people with Bronze Cross (adults no longer count).
Of course, 4.f contradicts 4.a but only if two adults have the Life Saving Society Safeguard Award which is currently only in Ontario.
(8.6) Transportation 2.b was removed
This is a great example of where you need to be reading the website because the March 6th announcement made everyone excited (myself included) when we read this line…
The requirement that two adults (parents, adult helpers) be in the vehicle when transporting youth during an activity has been modified from a requirement to a recommendation.
The new standard was to clarify and “ensure the new standard was both straightforward and clear”. It turns out to be neither.
They removed the rule in the bullet points (please don’t ever use bullet points in a document like this) that stated, “both adults in a… vehicle should be qualified drivers”. The first rule never required it, just suggested it, so there was no reason to remove it… but they did.
Section 1 states that parents are responsible for transporting youth to and from “Scouting adventures” but then they claim to think we can’t send them with a neighbor or friend. For some reason they state that we are allowed to send them with “family members or other parents”. Either we are in charge of transport or you are. Make up your mind.
Section 2.b was removed but it never applied because it contradicted 2.a above it.
Clearly if 2.a states that…
2.a The Two Scouter Rule applies in all situations where Scouters are with youth, including while transporting youth.
Then any situation covered in 2.b would have fit into the clear “all situations” of 2.a in the first place.
So they removed a couple lines but made zero change to the transportation standard. They did not clarify anything for me and still leave the problem of two rules contradicting one another. In this case, the first rule typically supersedes anything below it.
1. Parents are responsible for arranging transportation of their children to and from Scouting adventures.
Once you drop your child off, or arrive at the adventure, you now must adhere to the two-scouter-rule no matter who you are, for any youth that are not your own.
(5.5) Appointment of Scouters 5.e removed “(Canadian Path)”
This change was advertised as a change from “Wood Badge I for The Canadian Path” to “role appropriate Wood Badge I” but the new standard just removed the words “(Canadian Path)”. You must complete Wood Badge I and there is no specification for which role you complete or which section you serve with.
(8.9) Camping Tool Standards 2 removed “members will only use folding, lock‐blade knives” and blade length limit was moved from 8.5cm to 10cm (3.94”)
This heading should actually be “(8.9) Knives, axes, saws, stoves, lanterns, and other camping tools standards: 2 removed “members will only use folding, lock‐blade knives” and blade length limit was moved from 8.5cm to 10cm (3.94”)” but that is way too long; [EDIT] 3 removed “are not permitted” and “as detailed and approved on the Outdoor Activity application form and”
It would be nice if section 8.9 was just called Camping Tools Standards but that would be too simple I suppose. Instead it is policy-37 “Knives, Axes, Saws, Camp Stoves, Lanterns, and Other Camping Tools Standards”.
In this case they made two huge changes. First they removed the requirement to only allow locking blades. This was a huge safety issue because everyone who has ever taught or learned the knife safety permit knows that locking blades are more dangerous than fixed blades. Many countries’ scouting organizations have actually outlawed locking blades completely.
SC also increased the knife length limit from 8.5cm (3.45″) to 10cm (3.94″). This still makes my son’s 4″ fixed blade illegal so we will stick with the GC signature for events which is still allowed. This is also still a requirement if you are setting up a kitchen as most kitchens have a bread knife or butchers knife. I would hate to see the mess from trying to cut a watermelon with a 4″ knife.
A couple people asked me if we could get away without the GC signature because the requirement is for “program activities” but I have always considered the kitchen an activity. You are going to need a sign-off for every single event for your own knife so cover the kitchen at the same time. We are constantly teaching and watching at all activities, including the scout kitchen, even if only to prevent terminal stupidity.
[EDIT] they also edited point 3 where they removed the requirement to mention the larger knives on the COAA which they are calling the Outdoor Activity application now. The document hasn’t changed (though I am sure I haven’t been the only one complaining about it) and the link is still the same… http://www.scouts.ca/wp-content/uploads/forms/Camping-Outdoor-Activity-Application.pdf
Thanks to Norma for keeping me on my toes!