I understand that our BPSA policy is 2-deep leadership. That is, 2 leaders present at all times -- and mixed gender leaders with mixed-gender youth.

I double-checked, and the policy is not in the official "Child Protection Policy" document, but in some other materials I was provided, probably during training. We have 'done our best' to follow the 2-deep policy.

Unfortunately, there are practical difficulties with 2-deep leadership. Here are a couple of examples.

1. One of our Timberwolves has transportation issues, so our leaders often drive her to activities. Sometimes that means only 1 adult in the car, either alone or with another scout, for 10-30 minutes. We just don't have spare chaperones for travel.

2. When a scout needs to use the restroom, there may be only one leader available to accompany the scout to the restroom location (another part of the building or the campsite, out of sight of other scouts). When parents are not present, it is impractical or impossible to send 2 leaders away from other duties.

3. In some cases, on outings or in meetings, we rely on another scout's parent to fulfill 2-deep requirements. Unfortunately, this parent might NOT be an official BPSA member with the full background check.

I do believe we are keeping our youth members safe, but I wonder if we are failing the 2-deep policy and need to make changes. 

Are other groups dealing with this policy? Any advice for our group on managing the practical problems with a two-deep policy? Do I misunderstand the guidelines?


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Hi Victoria.  I just sent you a Trailhead message.

Below is where some of the information is located.


Youth Protection Guidelines


Page 10

5. Adults should avoid situations where they are alone with young people. Wherever practicable, there should always be two or more adults present.

Page 11

4.  Leaders are strongly discouraged from being alone in their car with youth members.


Introduction to Traditional Scouting


Page 17

Each section in your Group will require two registered adult leaders. If the section is co-ed, then there needs to be at least one female and one male leader. Additional parents may volunteer to assist with leading, but a registered leader must accompany the Scouts at all meetings and outings.

Page 20

Two-Deep Leadership Discussion.

In reference to #2, I suggest just sending the Scout with a buddy (another Scout) for safety reasons.  There's no reason an adult needs to accompany them to the bathroom.


We are drafting new guidance in this area right now. We literally have a new discussion with the board and safety committee and are working a reviewed youth protection guidelines document.

The best 'quick' advice is 1) to do your best 2) use background-checked, registered Rovers whenever possible, and 3) carpools can have a single leader in a car with multiple kids as long as the multiple cars are in line-of-site with each other.

More to come. Please ask for clarity. I'm rushing to dinner. :)


With a youth group I once ran we made sure we had at least one of my own kids riding along when transporting another youth.  This was done when another adult was not available. My own children where usually along anyway.  All of the children sat in back.  Is this feasible for us to consider, or something similar?  This idea might be what Page 11, #4 is getting at.

I think we should consider that we may have two related concepts:

-2-deep leadership pertains to overall *events*.

-No one-on-one contact pertains to sub-activities at those events or in-transit.

This means that no adult is ever alone with a child not their own. If an adult escort is required, such as to a first aid location, or in a car, either another adult or another youth is required. .

This is basically the BSA Youth Protection Training system. It is well-reasoned and works well. With younger Scouts at a hullabalo-sized event, I have e.g., taken a lost Scout back to their unit with my son in tow to prevent one-on-one contact with the other youth, then was ok to walk back with just my son because we were related. Otherwise, I'd have needed to pull two of my Scouts from the activity. In that situation, if we'd had radios, we could also have summoned camp staff to constitute two-deep. With older Scouts, I could have sent a buddy pair to escort a third to first aid, quartermaster, activity area, etc., so the two buddies would return as a pair.

Other elements: At least one adult 21+ years old, at least one registered. BSA also prohibits one-on-one digital contact.

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