Your son wants to join Cub Scouts, so you attend a local “round-up”. You expect to fill out an application for your son, but you’re also handed two copies of a BSA medical form.
You try to hand one back saying that you only have one son joining. But the leader says you have to fill one out too. What’s up with that?
You’re coming back for your second year of scouting. The pack leader hands you a medical form, but you try to hand it back saying you filled one out last year. Why do you need to fill out another one?
In addition to my den and pack roles, I have volunteered as a Cub Scout day camp director. I chuckle to myself because experienced Cub Scout families have BSA medical forms ready for us.
Families without Cub Scout experience often question why we have medical forms and especially why the parents who are volunteering need to have one. The next question is why do we need a new form every year.
It’s this simple–if there is some sort of accident or medical emergency, we want the medical care provider to have current, accurate medical information.
My son is allergic to penicillin. If I’m not with him and he can’t communicate, I want that doctor or nurse to have some way of knowing he is not to be given penicillin. I take a couple of medications daily. If an accident happens where I’m injured and can’t communicate, I want the provider to know my medical history.
After parents understand why we need the form, there’s often confusion about the form itself because it consists of four parts. Hopefully, this explanation will help:
1. Participants in any Scouting events must complete Parts A and B annually. They contain a health history, a parental/guardian informed consent and hold harmless/release agreement and a talent release statement.
2. Participants in any Scouting event that exceeds 72 consecutive hours must have a medical exam to have Part C completed and signed. For most Cub Scouts, this would only be necessary if they are attending Cub Scout or Webelos Resident Camp and if that camp is more than 72 hours. Check with your council to find out their exact rules regarding BSA medical forms.
So, for most boys and parents, you’ll only need to fill out the Parts A & B, and you’ll need to do it again every year.
To make this easy on myself, I clicked on the link and typed my information into the pdf file. I then saved it to my computer with a different name–something like “Sherry’s medical form.”
Whenever I need to turn a new one in, I can open the file and update the form with any necessary changes such as my son’s age, new medications I’m taking, etc. There’s no need to type in my name and address again since it’s saved already. Then, I just print it out.
Yours in Scouting,
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Image courtesy of Taoty / FreeDigitalPhotos.net