Homepage Forums General Scouting Drug Dispensing and liability

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    • #112115

      I understand the policy at our Summer Camp is that the Scoutmaster has to keep and dispense any drugs brought to camp that are not controlled substances and are not to be refrigerated. I know at most organizations, the person who holds and dispenses those items must be a trained medical professional, such as a school nurse.

      So, how is it that I can do it at summer camp? And if that is my responsibility, what liability do I have? Will the BSA back me or insure me for any occurrances that are not overtly negligent?

    • #114401
      Jeff S

      Whenever I have a question I always start with documentation already in place. In this instance the Guide to Safe Scouting may provide the answers you are looking for.

      Medical Information and First Aid


    • #312094
      Jay the Antelope

      Great query, Tim!
      Try this training PDF first. https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/training/
      It’ll help you better understand your liability and responsibility. Also, check with the site you’re visiting. Some summer camps require their staff to administer medications.

      If you are responsible for administration, it’s always a good idea to discuss the medications with the parent(s) of your Scouts, and with the Scout, too. Often, they are your best resource when it comes to things relating to the medications. I’m our HO. I am also a nurse. Having degrees in the field helps, to be sure. I’ve been given a run for my money recently with some of our recently added Scouts. Don’t get overwhelmed. Read a bit about the medication, what it’s for, what it does, how it works, the big ticket side effects, and whether or not it increases their need for water, etc. It’ll be fine. A little increased knowledge is your friend.

      As for your questions about BSA covering you, I’d ask some real questions of your District Executive, and your unit’s higher-tier leadership when it comes to this stuff. You should be covered, but you should do the BSA training course for the role before you open a bottle containing something prescribed by a physician for a condition you may, or may not know enough about. Having done so, demonstrates your attempts to do the right thing to best prepare yourself for doing something you’re not really qualified/trained to do.

      I wish more adults were as concerned as you.

      Good luck!

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