Youth Protection Guidelines Change

Dear Scouting Friends:

Over the decades, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in developing training and policies designed to keep young people safe. These comprehensive policies were considered groundbreaking when they were developed and soon became the standard used by other organizations for safeguarding youth. But when it comes to the safety of children, our goal is to continually improve.

Sustained vigilance on youth protection is a central part of our culture.

Over the past two years, we have worked with experts in the field of child abuse, child sexual abuse and maltreatment to develop new training and resources that will further strengthen our ability to protect youth. These changes include:

  • Fully updated and revised Youth Protection Training developed with leaders in the field of child abuse prevention and includes insights from experts, survivors and the latest strategies for recognizing and preventing major forms of abuse. This is the designated Youth Protection training for all adults.

  • Expanded youth protection content across all our communications channels will inform and engage our volunteers and parents.

  • An expanded ScoutsFirst Helpline to aid volunteers and families in addressing potentially dangerous situations.

  • The BSA also provides unlimited counseling and support for healing to anyone who has ever been abused in Scouting.

  • Youth protection training for youth members will be available in 2019.

In addition to updated training and resources, we recently announced new policies to ensure compliance with mandatory training requirements, including:

  • As of January 1, 2018, no new leader can be registered without first completing youth protection training.

  • As of January 1, 2018, no council, regional or national leader will be allowed to renew their registration if they are not current on their youth protection training.

  • As of September 1, 2017, no unit may re-charter without all leaders being current on their youth protection training. Registrars no longer have the ability to approve charters without full compliance.

Mandatory Updated Adult Youth Protection Training

BSA National Mandatory Training Policy

  • Youth Protection Training (YPT) must be taken every two years.

  • Councils are permitted to enact additional requirements.

Mandatory Training

The Boy Scouts of America’s updated Youth Protection Training is mandatory for all registered adult leaders in all BSA programs. Other adults participating in Scouting are strongly encouraged to take this one-hour online training.

The mandatory training modules are the following:

  • Overview and Policies

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Bullying

The prior version of BSA’s Youth Protection trainings will no longer be available. The updated training replaces other Youth Protection trainings and is required for all BSA programs.

Recommended Training

Additional modules on related topics will be released at a later date and are recommended for all leaders. The topics will include:

  • Neglect

  • Physical Abuse

  • Exposure to Violence

  • Emotional Abuse

By October 1, 2018, all new and currently registered leaders will be required to complete the updated training. The enhanced and updated content will allow leaders and councils to comply with all current legal requirements. While this may be inconvenient for some, it reflects the BSA’s commitment to the safety of all youth.

  • Adults accompanying units on activities who are present at the activity for 72 hours or more, must also take Youth Protection Training. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.

  • New leaders are required to take Youth Protection Training prior to completing the registration process.

  • Units cannot re-charter unless all unit leaders have completed YPT within two years.

  • Adult Youth Protection Training is required for adult program participants 18 years or older. Adult program participants (Venturing, Order of the Arrow, Exploring) must complete adult Youth Protection Training before submitting their adult application.

  • The only position exceptions to taking the required the Youth Protection Training are:

                   adult partners in Tiger and Lion programs
                   institutional heads

  • Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to take the training.

  • The training is closed captioned.

  • Spanish version will be available mid-2018.


If you have any questions or concerns about the new Youth Protection policy, please contact your District Executive or the Scout Executive.

  • Cedar Valley; District Director Erik Karre  308-440-2641
  • River Stone; District Executive Denise Zernechel  507-387-3124 ext. 27
  • Western Prairie; District Executive Grant Diedrich  507-387-3124 ext. 32
  • Twin Valley Council; Scout Executive Ray Brauer  507-387-3124 ext. 25

2018 YTP Poster