Health Matters

Medical Forms

Each Scout and leader is expected to keep a current health form on file with the troop. These are taken on each activity in the event medical attention is needed.

*Examinations conducted by licensed health-care practitioners, other than physicians, will be recognized for BSA purposed in those states where such practitioners may perform physical examinations within their legally prescribed scope of practice.


The taking of prescription medication is the responsibility of the individual taking the medication and/or that individual’s parent or guardian. A Scout leader, after obtaining all the necessary information, can agree to accept the responsibility of making sure a Scout takes the necessary medication at the appropriate time, but Scouts BSA policy does not mandate nor necessarily encourage the Scout leader to do so.

Religious Beliefs and Medical Care

The following is the policy of the BSA regarding medical requirements:

Medical examinations for camp attendance are required of all campers for the protection of the entire camp group. The immunization requirement is waived for persons with religious beliefs against immunization.

All Scouts and Scout Leaders need to learn first aid, not for their own use, but for service to others who may require it. A Scout or Leader may ask to be excused from first-aid instruction, but no advancement requirement will be waived except as indicated.

Requirements 1 and 5 for the Personal Fitness merit badge call for examinations by a physician and a dentist with appropriate follow-up recommendations. This may be set aside on presentation of a certificate by the Scout’s parents and a proper church official that a definite violation of religious conviction is involved.

Scouts with a disability

disabilityThe BSA’s policy has always been to treat members with disabilities and special needs as much like other members as possible, but a local council may make some accommodations in advancement requirements if necessary. A Scout with a permanent physical or mental disability may select an alternate merit badge in lieu of a required merit badge if their disabling condition prohibits the Scout from completing the necessary requirements of a particular required merit badge. This substitute should provide a “similar learning experience.”

This policy is designed to keep youth with disabilities and special needs as much in the mainstream as possible. Practical suggestions are made to leaders as to approaches and methods they can use. Thus, a youth in a wheelchair can meet the requirements for hiking by making a trip to places of interest in their community. Giving more time and permitting the use of special aids are other ways leaders can help youth with disabilities and special needs in their efforts to advance. The unit leader plays a crucial role in that effort.

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