Guide to Safe Scouting
The Guide to Safe Scouting requires that the Buddy System be used at all times and on all activities.
"The long history of the "buddy system" in Scouting has shown that it is always best to have at least one other person with you and aware at all times of your circumstances and what you are doing in any outdoor or strenuous activity."
Safe Swim Defense
7. Buddy System "Pair every youth with another in the same ability group. Buddies check in and out of the swimming area together. Emphasize that each buddy lifeguards his buddy. Check everyone in the water about every 10 minutes, or as needed to keep the buddies together. The adult in charge signals for a buddy check with a single blast of a whistle or ring of a bell, and call "Buddies!" The adult counts slowly to 10 while buddies join and raise hands and remain still and silent. Guards check all areas, count the pairs, and compare the total with the number known to be in the water. Signal two blasts or bells to resume swimming. Signal three blasts or bells for checkout."
"The buddy system is critically important, however, even in a public pool. Remember, even in a crowd, you are alone without protection if no one is attentive to your circumstances."
5. Buddy System "All activity afloat necessitates using the buddy system. Not only must every individual have a buddy, but every craft should have a "buddy boat" when on the water."
Sports and Activities
3. Buddy System "The long history of the "buddy system" in Scouting has shown that it is always best to have at least one other person with you and aware at all times of your circumstances and what you are doing in any outdoor or strenuous activity."
Climbing and Rappelling
"..Use the buddy system to monitor concerns such as dehydration, hypothermia, and an unusually high degree of fear or apprehension..."
The Guide to Safe Scouting also specifically states that the Buddy System should be used during fund-raising, bike trips, camping, cold weather activities, kayaking, and in all activities.
- Everyone has a buddy.
- Your buddy goes everywhere with you, and you go everywhere with him.
- Know where your buddy is at all times.
The buddy system is important. If you get hurt or lost, your buddy will be able to help you. Two people can often solve a problem better than one.
Merit Badge Buddy System
A Scout must have a buddy with him at each meeting with a merit badge counselor. A Scout's buddy could be another Scout, or be a parent or guardian, brother or sister, relative or friend. From his Scoutmaster, the Scout obtains a signed merit badge application and the name of the appropriate merit badge counselor. The Scout sets up his first appointment with the counselor. The counselor should explain the requirements to the Scout. The Scout and his buddy then meet as appropriate with the counselor until the Scout completes the badges requirements.