Cub Scout: Camping Emergency Response Plan And Scout Safety

It’s about that time for Scouts to hit their local camp grounds for all the outdoor adventure (and s’mores) they can stomach! Along with your seasonal camping checklist, consider adding an Emergency Response Plan to your basic camp materials.

In another life I worked extensively in Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, professional experience I feel amply prepared me for Cub Scout Leadership! 🙂 Along with that experience and a type-A super organized personality, I realized quickly that a brief Emergency Response Plan is a necessary weapon in a properly formed Scouting arsenal, and since I’m always doing what I can to Look Wider Still, I thought I should share the one my Pack uses.

Emergency Respones Plan and Scout Safety Downloads

Buddy System

You’ll notice in that document that I mentioned the Buddy System. This is the most basic safety step in Cub Scouts that absolutely has to be instilled in your Scouts as early as possible. The Scouts BSA have worked hard to ensure it’s covered early and often, building rank adventures around the Buddy System, such as…

  • Lion Rank, Mountain Lion Adventure: 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 Rank, Floats and Boats Adventure: Requirement 2: With your den, talk about why it’s important to have a buddy and then play the buddy game.
  • Wolf Rank, 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 Rank, 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.
  • Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award: Explain the buddy system, and tell what to do if lost. Explain the importance of cooperation.

We learned about the Buddy System Game at Cub Scout Day Camp one year, a fun practice in pairing up and being responsible for one another. The premise is that before a hike or camping event, Scouts pair up with a Buddy. Once everyone is paired up, a leader assigns each pair a number, having them repeat their number back to acknowledge that they know it. At any time, the leader can initiate a check by playing the Buddy System Game. Scouts and their buddies call off their numbers in order, but only if they are physically standing right next to each other. That way, if a Scout is missing, there will be a pause in the counting and the leader will know there is an issue.

Do you have a plan similar to our Emergency Response and Scout Safety Plan? What about a Buddy System Game? I’d love to hear all about it. Check out my Scouting – Camping Trips Pinterest Board for other ideas.

Yours in Scouting,


Published by Look Wider Still

Rebekah is the mother of two wonderful sons, Michael and Nate. She and her husband, Mike, married in 2002 and have built their family on a foundation of adventure. Between geocaching, camping, hiking, cooking, fishing, crafting, reading, and snuggling their Irish Terrier, Bentley, they enjoy a long and happy career in Scouting. The boys come from a long line of Scouters, including Eagles on all sides. Mike has served as assistant den leader, treasurer, and Pack Committee member, and Rebekah has served as den leader and Cubmaster for Pack 521 out of Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: