Summer camp season’s almost here, so it’s time for that annual physical

We’re mere months away from the summer, aka the Greatest Scouting Season. And while it’s too early to pack your bags and load the trailer, the time is right for one essential step in summer Scouting preparation.

It’s time to get your physical.

As noted on the Annual Health and Medial Record website, a pre-participation physical is needed for resident campers (at summer or winter camps) and for Scouts and adult leaders attending events that last 72 hours or more.

That means it’s required for every participant at Boy Scout summer camp, any of the four BSA high-adventure bases and the 2017 National Jamboree.

Why is an Annual Health and Medical Record required?

Since at least the 1930s, the BSA has required the use of standardized health and medical information. The Annual Health and Medical Record …

  • Promotes health awareness
  • Collects necessary data
  • Provides medical professionals with critical information needed to treat a patient in the event of an illness or injury
  • Supplies emergency contact information
  • Prepares participants for high-adventure activities and increased physical activity
  • Reviews participants’ readiness for gatherings like the national Scout jamboree and other specialized activities
  • Enables councils to operate day and resident camps in a way that adheres to state and BSA requirements
  • Standardizes medical records in a way that can be used by members in all 50 states

Which are the different parts of the Annual Health and Medical Record?

The Annual Health and Medical Record (AHMR) comes in three parts:

  • Part A is an informed consent, release agreement and authorization that needs to be signed by every participant (or a parent and/or legal guardian for all youth under 18).
  • Part B is general information and a health history.
  • Part C is your pre-participation physical certification completed by a certified and licensed physician.

Which part of the AHMR must I (or my Scout) complete?

  • For all Scouting events: Part A and B. Give the completed forms to your unit leader. This applies to all activities, day camps, local tours and weekend camping trips less than 72 hours.
  • For camp: Part A, B and C. A pre-participation physical is needed for resident, tour, or trek camps or for a Scouting event of more than 72 hours, such as Wood Badge and NYLT. The exam needs to be completed by a certified and licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. If your camp has provided you with any supplemental risk information, or if your plans include attending one of the four national high-adventure bases, share the venue’s risk advisory with your medical provider when you are having your physical exam.
  • For high-adventure trips: Part A, B and C. Plus, each of the four national high-adventure bases (Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont and the Summit Bechtel Reserve) has provided a supplemental risk advisory that explains in greater detail some of the risks inherent in that program. Some Scouts arrive at a high-adventure base without discussing that base’s risk factors with their health care provider, meaning they have missing info at check-in that can slow down the process.
  • For the 2017 National Jamboree: Part A, B and C. Read this page for additional jamboree-specific instructions.

What is meant by “annual”?

Your AHMR is valid through the end of the 12th month after the date it was administered by your medical provider.

For example, if you got your physical on April 3, 2016, it’s valid until April 30, 2017.

Where can I find the proper, most up-to-date form?

Right here.

What about digitizing records?

Please don’t, the BSA says. These records must be secure, and so “records are NOT to be digitized, scanned, sent by email, or stored electronically by unit leaders.”

What if I have more questions?

Consult these FAQs.


  1. Your picture at the top of this page only shows one of the two pages for part B. We already have some parents who get confused by having two pages that are both labeled “B”. So I sometimes receive back just one of those pages. Why doesn’t BSA label the pages “B1” and “B2” or at least put page numbers when a section has more than one page. Thanks.

  2. Am glad we have a standardized form now. In the past, I’ve seen local councils reject physicals from Jamborees and Philmont, insisting that a new exam be done using form(s) bearing the council’s name.

  3. In many cases check your school district they offer sports physicals in early summer. Bring your former along with your sports form. In our health center/pairs up with the district and they offer them for a reduced cost. If they see a problem they will refer you to be seen to a specialist.

    • More importantly, it was carried “on your person” — folded and in your wallet. We personally presented it to the camp nurse.

  4. You should also have your Scouts look at Personal Fitness, requirement 1, which states: “Before completing requirements 2 through 9…” have a physical using the Scout medical form, and follows with several things that need to be discussed about the exam.

  5. Our Troop tracks Medical Form dates for all 3 forms so that we can ensure our Scouts have valid medical forms (i.e., not over 12 months old). There is a place to enter a date on Form A and Form C, but not Form B. Typically, Scouts turn in Forms A & B together, but if they turn in just Form B (say they need to update info on that form) there is no place on it for a Scout or Parent to provide a date (or even a signature) …why?

  6. My husband is an ASM in our troop and the physical prior to summer camp last year saved his life. Our family doctor discovered a heart issue–severe mitral regurgitation. He underwent open heart surgery a couple months later and his mitral valve was repaired. If it wasn’t for the BSA physical, he never would have gone to the doctor. He had zero symptoms. I am grateful a physical is required!

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