SCOUTStrong Be MedWise award encourages responsible use of medicine

SCOUTStrong-Be-MedWise-award-patchHere’s a scary stat: Each year, roughly 10,000 children and teens require emergency room visits because of errors in self-medicating.

Worse yet, surveys show that 22 percent of teens take over-the-counter medicine without asking an adult.

Something must be done, and the Boy Scouts of America and National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) are stepping up.

As first reported on Scouting Newsroom, this week the BSA and NCPIE launched the SCOUTStrong Be MedWise award, which encourages young people to learn about the responsible use of medicine.

Scouts and Venturers who earn the award will learn about the danger of misusing medicines by not following the directions on the label. Once they’ve done that, they’ll receive a nice-looking patch (with an owl on it!). Here’s what you need to know: 

Who is it for?

This activity and award is recommended for Boy Scouts and Venturers ages 11 to 17; Cub Scouts are probably too young for this discussion. This award is designed to complement existing Boy Scouting and Venturing programming.

How is it earned?

This award’s training curriculum consists of four lessons that could be reviewed at the start of a unit meeting, taking no more than 12 to 15 minutes each. The program is self-paced, which allows the unit leader to determine how quickly it is completed.

The SCOUTStrong Be MedWise award is earned through these steps:

  1. Review the Curriculum: Have your unit review each of the four lessons in this curriculum. Go to the resources section on this page and download the PDF files for the leader manual and lessons. This curriculum has been prepared specifically for ages 11-17, and each lesson must be followed specifically as written.
  2. Complete the Exercises: Where applicable, have all unit participants successfully complete the activity and/or supplemental exercises for the corresponding SCOUTStrong Be MedWise lesson.

What will Scouts and Venturers learn?

Upon completion of the SCOUTStrong Be MedWise curriculum, youth will be able to do the following:

  • Understand what prescription and OTC medicines are, and the ways they are the same and different.
  • Learn how to use medicines safely.
  • Know what’s on the Drug Facts label.

What about the patch and certificate?

  • To download a certificate you can print, click here.
  • To order your SCOUTStrong Be MedWise patch, click here.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.