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ADVISORY Be Careful Out There

Scouting’s enviable safety record doesn’t just happen. You’ve got to “Be Prepared.” But from what?

Our health and safety team offers these

top five types of events (by frequency and severity) that resulted in the most liability claims for the BSA from 2001 to the present: 1 MOTOR-VEHICLE ACCIDENTS. “It’s more hazardous getting to and from a Scouting event than it is participating in our program,” says Richard Bourlon, health and safety team leader. Not surprising, he says, because motor-vehicle incidents usually rank as the nation’s leading cause of accidental deaths.

NOTE THE DATE Boots on the Ground

America’s largest outdoor-trails event, NATIONAL TRAILS DAY, turns 20 on June 4. It’s not too early to start planning your unit’s celebration. “As an organization with a rich history of service, we see National Trails Day as a time to get out and help maintain those trails for future Scouts and the public in general,” says Frank Reigelman, the BSA’s team leader of outdoor programs. The nationwide event promotes access to trails for all and alerts the public to

outdoor recreational opportunities. Not surprising, then, that Scouting would take a special interest in the nation’s 200,000 miles of trails. Gregory Miller, president of the American Hiking Society and a former Life

Scout, says National Trails Day, which is supported by all federal land- and water- management agencies, has seen spectacular growth—a 70 percent increase in planned NTD events between 2006 and 2011. And last year, he says, more than 3,400 miles of trails were maintained or constructed. “There are so many opportunities to get involved,” Miller says. “Consider hiking, biking, equestrian activities, trail work, and environmental education. The important thing is to connect people with the trails.” Miller also notes that about 200 Scout troops took part in last year’s event. “Our part- nership with the BSA is very important, and we’d love to see more troops involved,” he says. “Any troop can do an NTD event in their community.” For more informa- tion and to register your events, go to www.

2 SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS. On a wet dock, on ice, on a stump in a campsite. 3 FALLS FROM VARIOUS ELEVATIONS. Scouts injure themselves while climbing trees, hills, or structures. “The higher the elevation,” Bourlon says, “the more severe the injuries could be.” 4 FALLING AND FLYING OBJECTS. Kids sometimes throw rocks, snowballs, sharp sticks, and more. When climbing, they can kick loose a rock that lands on someone

below. “We’ve had some severe incidents involving dead trees falling on people, some of them who were asleep in tents,” Bourlon says. “Don’t camp under dead or diseased limbs, especially in a windstorm.“ 5 BOATING. People drown, fall out of canoes, crash their boat into another object, or get their ski lines crossed. “Discipline is so critical to protect our

youth,” Bourlon says. “Be vigilant.” For more safety tips, visit

Fact Totem

BY THE NUMBERS 116,340,798

Total BSA youth and adult membership since 1910

Merit badges earned in 2010

Number of Scouts who earned Eagle rank in 2011

2,056,867 51,473

Members of the 112th Congress who participated in Scouting

Current U.S. Governors who are Eagle Scouts

206 4

(Sources: 2010 Local Council Index, BSA; Congress and Scouting and Governors and Scouting fact sheets, BSA)

CORRECTION In our ice-climbing feature (“Wall Power,” January-February 2012), we misidentified the Scout on Page 25. The intrepid ice climber is Eli Hermann. We regret the error.



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