Keeping Scouts Safe

Great Rivers Council is committed to delivering safe and high-quality programs for more than Scouts and their families across 33 counties in Central and Northeast Missouri. Our Council continues to be at the forefront in independently providing a values-based program that develops the character, ethical behavior and leadership skills of youth.

Boy Scouts of America has some of the strongest barriers to child abuse found in any youth-serving organization and we are continuously taking proactive measures to safeguard youth. We require two registered adult leaders on all trips and outings, and we do not permit one-on-one contact between adults and youth members. Additionally, the Great Rivers Council conducts background searches on all adult volunteer applications and requires all registered volunteers complete youth protection training every two years.

Youth safety requires sustained vigilance by parents, volunteers, and the community, especially youth-serving organizations. The Boy Scouts of America will continue to work every day to protect children through mandatory policies and procedures at every level of our organization.

What Do I Do If I Suspect Abuse?

When information regarding known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk is first discovered, the following steps should immediately be taken:

  • Get the victim medical treatment, if required, and to a place of safety if needed
  • Ensure the victim(s) parents are notified as soon as possible
  • Notify law enforcement and/or child protective services (Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline (24/7) at (800) 392‑3738).
  • Call the 844-Scouts1st  Helpline
  • Notify the Scout Executive at (573) 449-2561 x206.

Questions? Call the Scouts First Helpline at (844) 726‑8871 or our office at (573) 449‑2561.

Training for Youth & Adults

The Boy Scouts of America has works 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. The Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Training is mandatory for all registered adult leaders in all BSA programs. All adults and parents participating in Scouting are strongly encouraged to take this 90 minutes online training; however, you do not have to be a member to take it.

Thanks to the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, there is also a “Protect Yourself” training for our youth members that helps them recognize, respond to and report abuse.

Know the Facts

The safety and protection of children is the most important priority of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Today, the BSA has a multi-layered process of safeguards that serve as barriers to abuse, including:

Upon Joining

  • Criminal background checks for all volunteers
  • The Volunteer Screening Database, a tool the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for all youth-serving organizations, which prevents individuals who were removed from Scouting from re-registering
  • Youth Protection Training for all youth and adults
  • Youth Protection ingrained in programs
  • Code of Conduct Agreement

Ongoing

  • A prohibition on one-on-one contact between adults and youth – either in person, online, or via text
  • Transparent programs with parent involvement
  • Prompt mandatory reporting to law enforcement of any allegation or suspicion of abuse
  • Mandatory ongoing youth protection training for all volunteers, along with educational materials for parents and Scouts
  • Buddy system
  • No cameras or digital recording devices near bathrooms/shower houses
  • A 24/7 helpline (1-844-SCOUTS1 or 1-844-726-8871) and email address (scouts1st@scouting.org) to access counseling and help to report any suspected abuse or inappropriate behavior