Skip to Content

Cub Scout Buddy System Check

The Cub Scout buddy system helps keep our kids safe. Try this fun buddy check method to make sure the Scouts are sticking with their buddy.

Cub Scout buddy system check

Keeping our boys safe is the top priority of the Boy Scouts of America.  That's why the Boy Scouts of America has developed the “Sweet Sixteen” of BSA safety procedures to help ensure that our Scouts are safe.   

The Sweet Sixteen points apply to all Scouting activities–especially physical activities.  They are included in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

One of the most important points of the Sweet Sixteen is the buddy system.  When participating in an outdoor activity, Scouts should have a buddy.  They should know where that buddy is at all times, and they should never go anywhere without their buddy

There are several Cub Scout adventures with requirements about the buddy system. The Tiger and Bear adventures are about having a buddy when you're in the water.

Lion Mountain Lion Requirement 1: Gather the outdoor items you need to have with you when you go on an outdoor adventure and understand how they are used. Also, understand and commit to practicing the buddy system.

Tiger Floats and Boats Requirement 2: With your den, talk about why it’s important to have a buddy and then play the buddy game.

Wolf Paws on the Path Requirement 2. Tell what the buddy system is and why we always use it in Cub Scouts. Describe what you should do if you get separated from your group while hiking.

Bear Salmon Run Requirement 1. Explain the importance of response personnel or lifeguards in a swimming area. Tell how the buddy system works and why it is important.

While I was at Philmont this summer, I learned a very simple buddy check system that is especially effective when you're hiking.

Before you start your hike, have the Scouts pick their buddyNumber each pair of boys, and explain how the buddy check works.  When you call out, “Buddy check!,” the Scouts will make sure they are standing next to their buddy, and they'll start counting off

Tell them that they are only to say their number if their buddy is with them.

cub scout buddies
You need a buddy even when it's pouring rain at Cub Scout day camp!

For example, my son Grant and his friend Ethan are buddies.  Before we start on a hike, the pairs of Scouts are assigned a number.  Grant and Ethan are number 1. 

When a leader announces, “Buddy check!,” Grant and Ethan will start the count by yelling, “One!”  But they can only say their number if they are together.  If Grant has wandered off, Ethan can't say “One.”

If there is a pause in the numbers, you'll know that a Scout may be missing.  In my opinion, this is a great addition to a visual check.  From time to time during your hike, perform your buddy check to help ensure that your Scouts are safe.

I'm sure you have some great ideas of how to do a buddy check.  Share them in the comments!

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. Be sure to sign up below for more helpful Cub Scout ideas!

25 Cub Scout Terms You Need to Know | Cub Scout Ideas

Wednesday 4th of September 2019

[…] Buddy System – The buddy system is used to help Cub Scouts look out for each other. At Cub Scout events, especially outdoor activities, kids should find a partner. […]

8 Awesome Hiking Games for Cub Scouts | Cub Scout Ideas

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

[…] you begin your hike, go over the rules for the Cub Scout buddy system to help ensure that you don’t lose a kid! […]

Cub Scout Hiking | Cub Scout Ideas

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

[…] all of the ranks, it’s smart to review the Buddy System before heading out on the trail.  Make sure that all the boys know who their buddy […]

Cub Scout Hiking | Cub Scout Ideas

Sunday 13th of November 2016

[…] all of the ranks, it’s smart to review the Buddy System before heading out on the trail.  Make sure that all the boys know who their buddy […]

April Driggers

Monday 1st of September 2014

Great idea!!!