Scouts Canada’s BP&P

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.

  1. Scouts Canada Bylaws… scouts-canada-bylaws_2019-03-02b
  2. Scouts Canada Policies and Standards… scouts-canada-policies-and-standards_r1-4_2019-06-05
  3. Scouts Canada Procedures… scouts-canada-procedures_2019-03-02

Thanks to Eric for sending me this image… great editing!

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.  Alternatively you can follow my blog or Facebook page but then you will get notified when I write about everything… and that will undoubtedly give you a headache.

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 editing 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.

Revisions 2019-03-06

(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”[1] 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”[2] 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.

Revisions 2019-04-02

(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…

Thanks to Norma for keeping me on my toes!

Revisions 2019-05-21

(8.2) First Aid had a red note-box added to the top of the current standard and the September 1, 2019 standard and the latter saw significant modification.

For the first aid standards coming into effect on September 1, 2019, please consider reading the entire standard as virtually everything changed.

(8.5) Swimming had a red note-box added to the top of the current standard and the September 1, 2019 standard.

Nothing changed in the standard except the not box at the top of the page.

Even with this minuscule change, the revision table needs to be updated even though Scouts Canada refuses to post updates in the area that they have placed sub-headings that look like this is what they are for.  They did post a revision date in one of the standards for Knives and axes.  Cudos to them for following their own standard once… baby steps right?

Revisions 2019-05-24 (questionable)

(8.1) Camping and outdoor adventures: introduction includes definitions for activity categories

We have no idea when this was updated but the change was brought to our attention on the A2ZwithADHD Facebook page by Norma… so I called it 1.3b since we already had an update this week called 1.3.  That revision came out three days ago, yet I haven’t seen a single statement from Scouts Canada that BP&P has been revised again… yet.  I am sure my letter is in the mail.

I didn’t want to add much in the way of commentary to these revision updates, but with the hell that SC has put me through by requesting that these PDF files be taken down I have to say that their inability to maintain the weak standards that they set demands that we continue to do our own things.  They clearly have no interest in helping volunteers do their jobs, so we create our own risk assessments, training materials, and BP&P manuals.

I expect that the organization will find a way to track revisions on their front page.  I ask that they find a way to allow volunteers to be notified of changes.  But I demand that they use the fields that THEY create, like the “Updates” at the bottom of every single page.  This post has highlighted at least eight changes to the original BP&P web page they built yet ONLY two have dates in the “Updates” section…

(8.2) First aid standards that come into effect on September 1, 2019 have a revision date of May 21.

(8.9) Knives… and other camping tools has a revision date of April 2, 2019.

I am trying to be respectful but I need to know…  Is it fair to ask the people who can’t include the revision dates in their documents, where they typed in “Updates”, to figure out how to create revision tables?  How could we expect them to find a way to include revision dates on the first page of their site?

With all due respect, because I  have zero patience for another phone call or meeting about this, feel free to steal anything you want from the PDF files above if you need the help.


Revisions 2019-06-05

(8.1) Camping and outdoor adventures: updated the update date

I was going to give them more time to release this change update but I have to make another change to the BP&P PDF After opening a ticket with the help desk, it was determined that they updated the 1.3b update on May 22, 2019.  They have since changed the updated date on the web page and I still have an open ticket trying to get the other five pages updated with their update date.

(8.10) Safety Equipment Standards

2(a) was amended to include the word “ziplining” and a period was added to the end of 2(a) and 2(b).

Once again, the update date was June 4th or 5th but they have not entered the date on their web page so who really knows.  I have entered this on the date I noticed and I have added this page to my update ticket with the help desk.

Scouts Canada has something against using the “Updates:” area that they put in their standards

6 responses to “Scouts Canada’s BP&P

  1. Pingback: Wood Badge 1 | A2Z with ADHD·

    • Nope. Where did you get this idea? The March 2 release of the new BP&P remains unchanged except that on March 6, 2019 it was reverted back to the 2019-09 version until September 1, 2019, when the new swimming standard will come back online.

      I suspect that the new rules will be drastically modified before then or delayed once more because as it currently sits, no groups outside of Ontario can do any waterfront activities without two lifeguards. In Ontario, adults are allowed to take a short “life saving” course which is currently not available anywhere else in the country. Other provinces like BC and Alberta are for sure working on offering this course but as of now, all waterfront activities will need to be cancelled to remain within BP&P rules on September 1.

  2. Again they failed on the knife issue. They should not have placed a length restriction on the knives. Common fix blade knives that youth purchase, Gerber’s (Bear Grilles) and Camillus (Les Stroud), survival knives have blades longer than 10 cm (3.94″). Both blades are in fact the Gerber is 11.8 cm (4 5/8″) and the Camillus is 12.3 cm (4 11/16″) over the length limit imposed. Common fish filleting knives range from 15.3 to 23 cm (6″ to 9″). We should not have to constantly be seeking exceptions from the GC for common items.

    • I agree with you 100% Bryan… I wanted to re-write that last post because I was getting so many private messages about the transportation rules… they need to put a crazy right-wing conservative in their QC dept, let him loose with a highlighter. Then in the final edit, all they need to do it delete half the yellow marks and the document will probably work.

  3. Pingback: Hello Scouts Canada I need to open a help desk ticket. | A2Z with ADHD·

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