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BSA health forms, now as easy as A, B, C

Deciding which version of the BSA’s Annual Health and Medical Record you need shouldn’t raise your blood pressure.

And starting today, you’re getting a streamlined version of the BSA health forms and an easier-to-use website to accompany them. The site is the result of several BSA teams (professionals and volunteers) joining forces to make this process a painless one for you and other Scouters.

The Annual Health and Medical Record (hereafter AHMR) comes in several flavors, and until now some Scouters and parents found it a little difficult to determine which version of the AHMR they or their Scout/Venturer needed.

Taking your Cub Scouts on a local tour or your Boy Scouts on a two-night camping trip? The forms you’ll need are different from those required on a camping trip lasting more than 72 hours.

Visiting the Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont or the Summit? Be sure to print off some additional information to give your doctor.

It’s all spelled out for you on the new site. Figuring out which forms you need is a snap thanks to logos, clear language and so-big-you-can’t-miss-’em buttons you’ll click to download the proper form.

Speaking of, you’ll know you’re using the right form if it says “2014 Printing” in the lower right corner.

If you’ve already gotten your physical using the old form, though, don’t fret.

“The No. 1 concern/question I got this weekend relates to, ‘Are my current valid medical records still valid?’” says Richard Bourlon, BSA health and safety team leader. “It’s most likely folks concerned we are going to make someone fill out a new physical exam when they planned to use one they just had done in December, for instance.

“We want to assure them they are still good — the old versions will be phased out over the next year, and everyone will basically have a new one in place next summer.”

Answers to this question and others are found in the FAQs section of the AHMR website. Click the “Have Questions? Get Answers Here” button at the bottom of the page and read the FAQs. Your question may have already been answered.

AHMR live webinar

Mark your calendar for the afternoon of Friday, April 4. That’s the date of a live webinar on the AHMR. You’ll hear from David Berry, the volunteer who serves as chairman of the BSA’s medical team. He led the updates and website transformation, and you can ask questions and hear him describe the changes in his own words.

New website

Just by glancing at the new AHMR website, it’s easy to see how much better it is than its previous iteration. The previous version had good content, but it featured an intimidating block of text. The new version makes navigation a breeze.

health-form-website

Note to Apple users

Another rollout issue being seen so far is problems opening the forms on Apple products, which sometimes open a PDF in Preview instead of in Adobe Reader. Bourlon recommends you download the PDF and open it using Adobe Reader. That way you can fill out the form electronically if you wish.

66 Comments on BSA health forms, now as easy as A, B, C

  1. cwolfpack3 // March 3, 2014 at 10:25 am // Reply

    Now if we could just join the 21st century and have online registration, too! Life would be so simple if at recruiting events, we just opened up an online portal and signed people up. Not only is using multi-part paper documents expensive, but it is not good for the environment and takes longer to manage the process. We should be emailing membership cards, too, and not printing them out with a Charter packet each year.

    • cwolfpack3 // March 3, 2014 at 10:29 am // Reply

      I just saw the warning about using Apple computers. On my MacBook, running the current version of Chrome, the .pdf file opens smoothly and quickly within the browser and allows completion within the form fields. It can be saved or printed out from there. In general, Chrome seems to work very well with .pdf documents on Apple computers. Your readers may want to know this. In addition, the latest versions of Preview in OSX allow for the insertion of text boxes and annotating forms, so Apple users should really see no issues with opening the new medical forms and completing them, as long as their machine is up-to-date.

    • National is currently testing online registration via BeAScout.org in several test councils (as of last year, it may be nationwide by now). The obvious issue is that registration in a particular unit is not a right (maybe a unit is already too big, only wants youth from the CO, etc), so there has to be a point where someone in the unit -accepts- the application, which is not a given if someone cruising BeAScout fills in an app and shows up at the next meeting.
      However, in the scenario you describe (online portal at a recruiting event) those concerns are negated, and that is exactly how the BeAScout application would function. I would encourage you to contact your Unit Membership Chair and ask him to check the BeAScout dasboard via his MyScouting account and see whether online applications are already an option in your council–I’ve found most people are completely ignorant of their BeAScout pin and have no one actively managing it.
      Some councils have set up their own online registration systems whereby the person fills in an online application and is then directed to a unit based on their address.

      • cwolfpack3 // March 3, 2014 at 11:00 am // Reply

        Thanks, CG. Good to know that it is being tested out. I am the Committee Chair of a small unit, so “membership chair” is also me. I use our MyScouting online portal and that is not an available option. Our council is not quite ready for the 21st century, but there certainly are tech savvy people within many of our units who could use such a tool, were it made available.

        • To see if you have this, go to beascout.org put in your zipcode, and click on the pin for your unit. There’s probably a blue “Request More Information” link, and if your council and your unit have turned it on in MyScouting.org then there will also be a blue “Apply Now” button.

          If your unit hasn’t turned that on, here’s how to do it. Go to myscouting.org sign in, then click on “BeAScout” in the left-hand navigation bar under the “Unit Tools” heading. You’ll be shown a page that says “Unit Pin” at the top, which is the pin that shows up on Google Maps when someone searches for a unit in your area. Look for the “Apply Status” field (it’s a dropdown selection) and set it to “Active”. However, if the Council hasn’t also set their status to active, then you won’t be able to set your unit’s status to active. So, if you can’t set your unit’s status to active, go and nicely ask your Council what the timeline is and when it may be likely to be rolled out in your area.

          On that Unit Pin page, there’s also a “Membership Application Management” tab that some unit leaders will have permission to view depending on what their position is. Only the Charter Org Rep can accept an adult application and only one of the “Unit Key 3″ can accept a youth application. You can learn more about how to navigate through this and how everything works by going to http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/membership/youth_recruitment.aspx and looking under the “Unit leader PowerPoint and recorded training ” tab. There’s a PowerPoint presentation and a video that you can download and watch.

  2. Good overhaul, but it raises a question for me. If the idea is to make it easier to determine which form is needed by labeling them by location rather than activity, you’ve neglected Troop HA. Many (most?) troops don’t depend on national bases for HA, and many don’t depend on council programs (which would indicate which forms to use) either.
    Does National care if unit HA participants have a health evaluation at or beyond X level? Then national needs to indicate which on the AHMR web page.

    • Where I’m defining unit HA based on the definition in the National Outdoor Awards: Adventure badge.
      That being “A backpacking trip lasting three or more days and covering more than 20 miles without food resupply
      “A canoeing, rowing, or sailing trip lasting three or more days and covering more than 50 miles without food resupply
      “A whitewater trip lasting two or more days and covering more than 20 miles without food resupply
      “A climbing activity on open rock . . . that includes camping overnight “

    • CG: Unit high adventure greater than 72 hours would be the decision point for completing a pre-participation physical. Check out the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety for more planning guidance.

  3. Thank goodness! They have addressed my biggest pet peeve about the current form, which is that is was bilingual. How much ink and paper has been wasted over the past year because of the bilingual version? The stack of health forms for my unit over the past year is about 100 pages thicker than in past years because of the extra pages added when the form changed to a combined English/Spanish version, and there are more people in my unit who speak Mandarin Chinese than speak Spanish. I’m all for outreach to bring families from all backgrounds into Scouting, but let’s be sensible about how it’s done.

  4. Why are you not able to save the typed data in this form like the old version?
    Please get this fixed. Makes life a lot easier. Plus able to keep a copy on a thumb drive or cloud drive and available to any medical personal in a moments notice and backup copies at a safe location. Being Prepared for any necessary access to the information.

    • Do you mean for a parent to save a backup of their own forms or for a unit leader to save them? Apparently, unit leaders are not supposed to store electronic copies. The following statement is in the FAQ section on the AHMR site: “Records are NOT to be digitized, scanned, sent by email, or stored electronically by unit leaders.”

      • cwolfpack3 // March 3, 2014 at 11:23 am // Reply

        The reality is that this is done all the time. I understand about HIPAA rules, but if there were a secure way to do this or parents gave permission, why not? Even our hospital and school district are going electronic with all their records. If you could easily pull up a list of Johnny’s allergies on a cell phone while you are in the middle of a long hike and he’s having a reaction of some kind, wouldn’t you want access to a tool like that?

        • Seems logical to me. I’d love to not have to lug around the large file folder full of health records on family camping trips with my Pack. One problem, though – most Pack’s don’t have the IT resources that schools and hospitals have and there’s regular turnover from year to year in leadership (especially in Packs hosted at elementary schools), so how can you ensure privacy is maintained and the files are stored securely online and then removed/deleted once expired? If you upload all the health records to a cloud drive for your scouts and their family members, envision having to go tell them all that their records were illegally accessed when your cloud provider tells you they’ve been hacked. I’m sure there are secure ways to do this, but I’m sticking with paper for now. Plus, one of the good things about Cub Scouts is that if Johnny has serious allergy issues, then his mom or dad are usually nearby. :o)

      • I backup all my documents electronically. It’s the best way to ensure that they can’t be lost or damaged (well, it’s possible but both the hard copy and the electronic copy would have to be destroyed).

        I think it will still be necessary for health forms to occasionally be sent electronically. Every week of Scout camp for the past three years, every week there was at least one boy who didn’t bring a physical for whatever reason. Usually it was just left at home and his parents faxed it or scanned and emailed it in, both of which digitize the health form and transfer it electronically. If you try telling people that they’re now no longer allowed to do that, that they have to drive it in, you’re going to have a more upset parent and what was before a minor glitch that was quickly corrected suddenly becomes a major problem, especially for those scouts traveling to a camp in a different state.

        • I think the key there is that it is the parents or guardians that are sending it in rather than the unit leader.

    • Andrew, I’m told the web/publishing team is looking at this.

      • Bryan, Could the “web/publishing team” also “look into” putting information that is needed “quickly” on the left margin? It was handy to have Last name, DOB, Allergies, and Emergency Contact number in the plastic sleeve and you saw this first. Thank you for returning to English.

    • Bobby Sammons // March 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm // Reply

      I just did a test with the new form and I was able to save the filled in version, just do a “Save As” and it worked fine for me

      • I figured out it will allow you to save the typed data, if you open it in Chrome (which not everyone has installed). But if you download and save it, then open it in Adobe Reader it still will not allow you to save the data you type in, just the form itself. The old form you could save it and open it anytime with the saved info to edit and not have to retype everything again.

        • I downloaded the form (A,B & C) saved it on my computer (PC, Windows 7 Pro), then opened it in Adobe, filled in the information then “Saved As” a new document with no problem. I do have the full version of Adobe. I don’t know if that makes a difference.

        • I am using Chrome. But when I open it, and do a save, when I go back to the file and open it from my documents it is blank and has that purple bar across the top that states I cannot save data typed into the form, that I need to print it. So what am I doing wrong?

    • I downloaded the forms (parts ABC) on my Mac, filled them out using Preview, and was able to save the filled-out version with no difficulties.

      I always save a copy of my form and my son’s, in case the troop loses the original or I need an extra copy for something (OA Ordeal, summer camp, etc.).

      Incidentally, my understanding is that EMTs and most medical personnel would not be able to plug your thumb drive into their equipment anyway; they have security procedures to prevent accidental virus infections that prohibit these devices.

    • I downloaded the form to my desktop. When I opened it from there I was able to type info in and save it. That’s very helpful when you have to fill out the same basic info on 3 forms.

  5. Chris Johnson // March 3, 2014 at 10:53 am // Reply

    Thanks for the update on the new forms. My question is how this relates to the different Wood Badge course formats. I understand that if you’re doing a week-long course you would need the longer form as it’s more than 72 hours on site. However, if you’re doing a split weekend course, you’re not on site for 72 hours for either session. Do we need different forms for the same course?

    • For my Wood Badge last year (split weekend) we had to do parts ABC. They considered it one event of over 72 hours.

    • This looks like it answers your question. From the FAQ: “Q. Does Wood Badge OR NYLT require Part C, the pre-participant physical?
      A. Yes, the course is more than 72 hours in duration, even if split into multiple weekends. Contact your course director to see if the course will be conducted in a backcountry location that will require adherence to the height/weight chart.”

  6. 2 complaints: 1. the PDF cannot be saved with info typed into it. THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!! many of my parents prefer to email me the completed form and then I print it off. Also I usually pre-fill the unit info for them (especially helpful for new Tiger families) and I myself have 6 family members who all help at daycamp so I save a copy with our address etc prefilled and then complete the individual info. Also, being able to save the info, and update it before printing a new copy is helpful.

    complaint 2. goes to the “easier to use website” For Cub Scouts resident camp (Bear camp, Webelos camp) because they are less than 72 hours do not require a physical (at least our council never has). Looking at the website, this is not at all clear. I feel like once again, Cub Scout specific needs were lost in the shuffle.

    • For Cub Scout camp, etc., that are less than 72 hours, you need parts A & B, which do not require a physicians signature (or anyone’s signature, other than a parent/guardian), because it’s important for even a day camp to know about your child’s allergies, etc. On that health form page (which admittedly has way too many options and really doesn’t need a separate form for every different National camp), the very first thing says, “Applies to ALL participants—in basic Scouting activities such as local tours and weekend camping trips less than 72 hours in duration.” ALL is fully capitalized. Parts A & B apply to everyone, no matter what you’re doing.

      • Yes, I as an experienced Scouter know this… I just think they could have made it a bit more clear to the “newbies.” With two bullet points and no “and” or “or” I would assume “or” which would have made me choose the wrong form. Also, those new Tiger leaders going to day camp the first time, or even those getting ready to go to Bear Camp the first time, may or may not be trained/supported enough to know what constitutes Resident Camp or if day camp (which is a week long in my council/district) is considered over 72 hours. Again, I am experienced enough to know, but the first year I was thrown into the Camp Coordinator position I was clueless and terrified! I just think if they make an effort to streamline the page and make it more user friendly, there are a few points that could still be clarified.

        Thanks for letting me vent!

  7. Reblogged this on Azle Cub Scouts Pack 243.

  8. Well, thanks to whoever got the standard forms back to mono-lingual and 3 pages. No offense to folks who operate in Spanish, but having to print the form two pages per sheet to be thrifty with paper was hard on some medics’ eyes!

    But, really, was it necessary to change the order of which form is A, B, C? :p

  9. Do we really need entirely separate physical forms for every National high adventure camp? How about we have “the short physical for short camps”, “the long physical for anything over 72 hours, even if broken into multiple weekends or whatever”, and “the PADI form for Scuba diving” and then we can have multiple advisory sheets for every different camp. As it now stands, people who want to visit more than one camp in the year are going to get confused — do they need different physicals for each camp? Seriously, the 8 pages or whatever of advisory information that was in the old form was a waste of paper and ink. That being said, I thought the whole point of this was to simplify physicals and now we have what looks like (at first glance, before you realize that it’s only the advisory page that’s changing) umpteen different physicals.

    Personally, I think the most important thing on the physical would be some giant notice that said something like, “Whatever medication you just listed must be brought to camp, even though they’re only going to be gone for a day or a week or whatever, it’s not healthy to take a vacation from their regular medication unless a doctor says so.” Also, “If medication is not stored in the proper container that it came in from the pharmacy, no camp is legally allowed to hand it out to a child. If you don’t want to send a full expensive bottle of medication, take most of it out and keep it at home, but you’re not legally allowed to send some random pills in a ziploc baggy — it’s not the camp’s rule, it’s the law of the land.”

    • Regarding the Giant Notice, see Part B under Allergies/Medications right in between the 2 Giant !Exclamation Points!

    • Saving info on the form works perfectly fine for me on Windows XP SP3 with Acrobat 8 Standard.

  10. Not sure why they put more margin on the right of the odd pages instead of the left. Seems like, to be punched for a binder, that the extra margin should be on the left. It’s continually a problem with BSA health forms; important information gets punched through. Why can’t we figure this out?

    • I agree, Used to three hole punch the “opposite side” so it worked with the margin and put the names on the outside edge, it seems akward, but was functional to result in names facing out like tabs.

  11. The website format is very nice and the new health forms are clear, though it is much much more difficult having to manage a multi-page system when the previous form could have both parts A and B on a single double-sided sheet of paper.

    • I agree, two pages, double-sided is good, but you still needed to copy both sides of the insurance card. Maybe BSA’s Medical Team could get it down to 3 pages!

      • You don’t actually need the insurance card for camps, because camps aren’t going to pay any attention to it. If there’s not an emergency, a unit leader can decide for themselves whether or not they want to take a youth to whatever hospital they want (probably with parent involvement). If there is a true emergency, you’re going to get whatever ambulance/helicopter shows up and you’ll likely be taken to whatever hospital is nearby — most camps are out in the “wilderness” enough that you don’t usually get a choice as to what trauma center you’ll be taken to — there’s usually only one nearby. Once you get to the hospital, you’re going to get whatever emergency care is called for by whatever true emergency is happening and your insurance, or lack thereof, won’t matter a bit. Somewhere along the line, though, it is nice to be able to supply an insurance card and get the billing process started sooner, but those are more for elective procedures when you’re back home and staying fully within your network. Now, with Obamacare, and the different emergency regulations, hospitals are starting to switch over to completely not caring what insurance you have — the full bill is sent to the patient or the patient’s legal guardian, and then it’s that person’s responsibility to go to the insurance company and seek reimbursement. It looks like this is going to be how things are done in the future, so increasingly, nobody is going to care about the insurance card. For anything elective, it’s really nice to make an informed decision and to make sure you stay in-network as much as possible, but the billing and everything else is more and more starting to be different for a true emergency when compared to how things are done when you’re choosing to go to the hospital.

        • Rodger that Skipper! w/ Sea Scouts, medical help can be pretty far off. If a “photocopy” is not required, then eliminate that line on Part B. Too much information is better than none.

  12. On the PADI Medical Statement, under “Please read carefully before signing.”, the last sentence reads:
    “If you have any additional questions regarding this Medical Statement or the Medical Questionnaire section, review them with your instructor before signing.”

    This may work if lessons are being taken where you live, but how can this work if you are going to Florida Sea Base?

  13. I just wish National would STOP CHANGING THE FORMS!!!!! For years we had the same forms that seemed to work OK, now we have new medical forms at least yearly. Obviously the people making these decisions are not involved with actual units.

  14. The ideqa of not having the ability to save these forms simply means extra work…if you can save copies of the forms, then when changes occur (new vaccination dates, other medical conditions to add, etc, you simply edit the saved form. Let the units worry about habdling paper or electronic documents – you can scan them in, and then they are e-mailable. Bryan – take back to the powers that be (who really never klisten those the leaders down here) that we want saveable copies. We had fillable ones for Jambo (although that website is another issue itself).

    • tldr? Looks like you can save information typed into a field and saved on your computer when viewing a health form that you downloaded on Windows 8.1, if you’re using the absolute latest version of Adobe Reader (I don’t know about earlier versions).

      I have Windows 8.1. I just viewed the one for Northern Tier in my Chrome browser, typed something in and saved it. When I opened it in Adobe Reader XI with the latest update, what I typed in wasn’t there anymore, but the purple bar at the top says that I can save what I type in.

      I tried that — I typed something in. Adobe Reader wouldn’t let me save the document until I clicked out of the text field that I’d typed something into, and clicking the “save” disc image at the top brought up a “save as” dialog that asked me to confirm the name of the document that I wanted to save. When I clicked yes that I wanted to save it with the same name, it asked me if I really wanted to replace that document. I clicked yes again, then closed everything down and opened the document back up again. The changed field was still changed, so it looks like you can save things typed in.

      However, disclaimer again, I’m not only using Windows 8.1 with the latest “urgent” updates, and Adobe Reader XI (version 11.0.6, which is the latest update), but I’m also using the desktop version of Adobe Reader XI instead of the Metro app because, well, you can’t even print from the Adobe Reader Metro app currently, so your mileage may vary if you’re trying to use the default Adobe Reader Metro app that comes preinstalled on Windows 8.* computers. Personally, one of the first things i do on a new Windows 8 computer is to delete most of the Metro apps and go reinstall the desktop version of everything, including Office.

      Also, if you’re using Adobe Reader X (version 10.whatever), and you check for updates, it may tell you that there are no available updates and to get the latest version of Adobe Reader you may have to go out and physically download the XI version and then make sure it’s version 11.0.6.

  15. A couple of observations in case someone from the team is watching -
    1) As others have said, THANK YOU for “uncombining” the English and Spanish versions. Now lets see if we can get Part B back down to 1 page so A/B can be on sheet again.

    2) Was it really necessary to change the order of A/B yet again. It is no wonder people have a hard time getting the right forms – just about the time we learn them, you change them.

    3) Please put the main info back on the left edge. Or better yet, on the right edge so it is easier to see in a binder or hanging folder.

    4) Please put the forms at a short/easy URL and leave them there so we can put the URL on our fliers and sign up sheets. This will reduce the number of copies we have to print and hand out.

    5) Please put a statement on the forms to the effect that “This form is available as a fillable PDF at the following URL: “

  16. Reblogged this on Mark Ray | Writer and commented:
    Kudos to the BSA’s health and safety team for making health forms easier to navigate this year!

  17. Because of the “revision” does every Scout need a new form in 2014? (Meaning the “Annual Form” from last year filled out on say 8/1/13, for example, is not valid for 12-months until 7/31/14. In essence, all Scouts/Scouters need new forms for camps now.) Where is this clarified? Thank you. YIS, J.

    • I once applied to be on staff at a National Event, submitted my medical which was valid until 1 month before the event, and was told I needed to get a medical that would expire after the event to put with my original application. I was told I would be accepted, paid $95, got a new medical and then wasn’t invited to be on staff. OK, just “sour grapes”! I think a Bi-Annual would be enough. How far “down hill” can you go in 24 months.

    • Joseph, the answer is in this article. It also links to the FAQ (tells you where to click) which spells it out in greater detail.

      Q. Can I use last year’s Annual Health and Medical Record with a physical conducted in August 2013 for a summer camp in June 2014?
      A. Yes, because 2014 will be a transition year. An Annual Health and Medical Record that contains a valid physical exam can be used to meet your council’s resident camp standards in 2014. It is suggested that those individuals who do not have a current pre-participation exam use the latest version now. The old versions will be obsolete as of April 2015.

      That being said, I can understand why a person might not completely trust the FAQ, For instance, while I was glancing through the FAQ’s trying to find the exact quote, I saw one FAQ which said that laser tag is ok, as long as Scouts shoot at non-living non-human targets. How in the world is that laser “tag”? Immediately after that question is one that says that Scouts cannot join in an anti-abduction martial arts demonstration… and doesn’t mention that it’s ok as long as its judo or aikido, which are the best anti-abduction sports. Karate/boxing take years of practice to become fluent enough to fight off an attacker, while that sort of defensive “results matter most” is sort of the basis for judo and aikido. Those sorts of questions/answers create more confusion than they solve, in my opinion. But I digress.

      Bill, a person can go really far down the hill in 12 months.

      • I would think if you are active with a scout unit of 13 to 21 year old youth, you are active enough. I currently get a DOT Commercial Driver License & a BSA Medical each year and a FAA 3rd. class Medical every 36 months. These are 3 separate Doctors with three separate costs. 1 hour a week! LOL!

        • A physical for your DOT license trumps the BSA physical — it’s far more in depth (there’s no BSA physical that asks for a urine sample, or an eye exam, for instance.). Technically, you only need “a physical” so just take one of your other physicals and use them instead of the BSA form. I’ve done that before. Or you can just give your doctor/nurse practitioner/whoever your other physical and your filled out BSA physical and ask that person to sign both forms. I’ve done that before too. I don’t see why you couldn’t do that with your DOT and FAA forms as well, just ask whoever’s signing one if they wouldn’t mind signing more than one form because you need them for more than one purpose.

        • I’ve tried “multi-forming” my Doctors, but they are in business to turn a profit. They still charge!

  18. Good
    The form is less pages long.
    Form is just English. Most of my Spanish speaking parents don’t read Spanish anyway.

    Bad
    *The watermarked ABC makes it harder to read when you make photocopies.
    *The change of order now has all the parents and leaders confused.
    *In an Emergency, we need to be able to see at a glance-who is this person, what are their allergies, medicines, basic health and important contact info on page 1.
    *If you fill this out and print it, the font is TINY. It’s too small. like size 4 or less?
    * there isn’t enough room for info about allergies and they need to be on page 1 somehow and don’t need to be duplicated on the page for the dr to sign. Parents know their kid’s allergies.
    *If there is a place for Dr to sign to authorize giving meds, then med page needs to be part of the Part C.
    *Signature line for Dr is not big enough for standard size signatures.
    *Make room to give 2 full “in case of emergency” contacts–but probably don’t even need their addresses, just contact phone #’s. Most of our scouts have mom and dad and they try to fit in both adults on the same line.
    *under the health history, if there were check boxes at the top and then only one full paragraph of lines to explain any yes answers it would be more readable.
    *Similarly the Prepared for Life takes up valuable room on the page.
    *Get rid of the ! in the black box. it takes up room and wastes space.

    • Almost a hundred thousand kids are abducted ever year. 97% of those kids are recovered — most abductions are parents who aren’t supposed to have custody. Knowing who’s supposed to, or who is allowed to, pick a child up from an activity is an important thing. Many parents think this information isn’t important. I wasn’t part of the planning process, but I’d hazard a guess that this was moved to part A in an attempt to stop Cub Scout parents from “forgetting” to fill that part out, since they’re likely to not need part C and of course everyone realizes that you need to fill out the medication part. Most examiners don’t actually sign the form, they just use an office stamp to stamp their name/office. I’m sure there are many changes that could happen the next time they redesign the physical. Perhaps the BSA could consider crowdsourcing all major changes, or even going more into depth as to “why” changes were made.

    • Good Feedback.

      The bilingual version was a bad idea, it was a tree killer and did not add value.

      In my observation, Watermarks are a only a useful feature for a unique printing of a document which will not be copied.

      Especially bothersome to reduce contrast in low light situations (such as camping) with people who wear reading glasses (many scout leaders).

      By design these documents will be photocopied, so the watermark detracts from the clarity.

      Many families do not print in color, and most units make photocopies, so the cute blue letters in the background are not a good change.

  19. Welcome to 1974… “Forms” are a mid 20th Century concept. Most modern companies have ZERO forms. Everything is online. Why is BSA persisting in people handing paper back and forth. Blue Cards – why? Medical forms – why? Make it stop! You can’t lead children in a technology driven world by using systems and processes that are 30 years out of date.

    • Just throwing this out there, but most camps that I have been to no longer use blue cards unless your council requires it. There are somethings that are only paper, and I understand why physicals should be one, but there are so many other things that are online that most volunteers don’t know about, and don’t search for, but then complain that they don’t have access too.

  20. Don Schmidt // March 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm // Reply

    I think it has been mentioned that name, and some other information was along and parallel to the left margin. Then MOVE the left margin, including the above, to make room for three hole punches or does National have a financial interest in the companies that make plastic sleeves for 8½ x 11 forms.

  21. Why does the summer camp form have the weight restriction table at the bottom of part C? The weight restrictions only apply to high adventure and not summer camp.

    • Sometimes the same term means different things depending on context. There are Council high adventure treks, there are National high adventure bases, and there are high adventure activities which units and camps can participate in. If you’re going to be doing any high-adventure type of activity and will be more than 30 minutes from a road that an ambulance can get to, and weigh more than 300 pounds or are similarly out of shape, you’re going to be restricted from that activity. That doesn’t mean you’ll get sent home from summer camp, but if you weigh over 300 pounds then you might not be able to raft down the river with your troop, you know? It’s just too much of a medical risk — you’ll be invited to attend alternate activities instead.

      In my experience, camps work with people as much as possible — I could go into all the ways that camps I’ve worked at have done things to modify activities to make it possible for someone to attend, but sometimes you just don’t get enough forward notice and it’s not possible to rerig everything at the last minute. So fill out the form, let people know in advance, see how they can work with you, or plan an alternate activity.

      It’s kind of an important thing for a week-long summer camp to know, though, right up there with medication and allergies.

  22. Why different forms for different “events”? One will suffice. So a scout wants to go to an event less than 72 hours (weekend camporee). His parent fills out that medical form. Then he later decides to go to a week long summer camp, then his parent needs to get another form completed. High Adventure – another form. Why not have one form cover all events, even if it is more complex than the “less than 72 hours even form”? Make it simple for parents and adult leaders – not more complex. One form will suffice.

    • You could always just have the more complex physical and then use that for all of your scout’s events. I haven’t looked at the new forms, but I am pretty sureit used to be that for the less than 72 hours, you didn’t need a Dr. for it.

      • That’s true Brandon, you don’t need a Dr for the “less than 72 hours” medical form. But a scout or adult can have the same medical emergency on a weekend camping trip that they can have in a week long summer camp, and still need the same medical information that is not on the “short” medical. So make it one form for all events. Once a year, one form to doctor’s exam. Make it simple.

        • In the next to last sentence, that’s “with a” doctor’s exam.

  23. Part B has a signature line for “MD/DO, NP, or PA signature (if your state requires signature).” How do we tell if our state requires the signature of a MD/DO, NP, or PA? Is it possible to get a list of these states? If they don’t exist, then why the confusing language? And are we talking state law requirements, or BSA state rules?

  24. For the question of electronic storage of completed medical forms, you can and should encrypt them. Only those that have the key or know the password can open them.

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