Boy Scouts of America and American Red Cross Establish Ties for Nationwide Health and Safety Training Curriculum


Boy Scouts of America and American Red Cross Establish Ties for Nationwide Health and Safety Training Curriculum

The 2002 Report to the Nation delegates gather with Marsha Evans, president of the American Red Cross and Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America after an agreement signing between the two agencies.

Irving, Texas, February 12, 2003—The Boy Scouts of America and American Red Cross have signed a first-ever agreement between the two organizations that will enable more youth and adults to "be prepared" for lifesaving situations in their local communities. Local BSA councils, in conjunction with local Red Cross chapters, will train and certify BSA volunteers to teach potentially lifesaving courses in first aid, CPR, emergency response, and lifeguard training.

Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA, and Marsha J. Evans, president of the American Red Cross, signed the agreement February 11 during a Washington, D.C., press conference announcing the partnership. "Since our inception, the Boy Scouts has been known for our preparedness training of both youth and adults," said Williams. "We see this partnership with the Red Cross as an important component to ensuring our youth and volunteers have the best training available."

The Red Cross training curriculum will be available to BSA youth participants and adult volunteers to help earn the Emergency Preparedness, First Aid, and Lifesaving merit badges. To date, more than 9.5 million merit badges have been earned in these three categories combined.

"As an organization, we feel that these numbers will only continue to grow with the help of this collaboration between the BSA and Red Cross," continued Williams.

"This is a great opportunity for local offices of both organizations to leverage their existing relationship, and provide volunteers with significant benefits in return," said Evans.

Boy Scout Jonathan Nagata looks at the names on a Red Cross quilt square that was given to the Red Cross from the John Adams Middle School yearbook staff in 1998 from Santa Monica, Calif. Nagata is the now a co-editor for that same yearbook staff.

The agreement offers numerous benefits to both the Red Cross and the BSA, the most important being the synergy gained between the two organizations to effectively meet the needs within the local community. The BSA will also benefit from the high-quality, standardized, and regularly revised training programs the Red Cross provides. Participants in the training will now receive both BSA and Red Cross certifications. Local councils will have the increased ability to recruit and regularly retrain lifeguards nationwide to meet growing needs for Boy Scout summer camps and Cub Scout day camps. Additionally, training requirements for both youth and adults will be more readily accessible in first aid/CPR, aquatics, and care giving.

The Red Cross will now be able to reach and serve more youth and adults through the Red Cross training, which represents the potential of more than 250,000 individuals trained in Red Cross courses annually. There will be an increase in actual and potential sources of volunteers to assist the Red Cross in emergencies. And more Red Cross instructors will be available to teach courses, not only within Scouting but also to the community at large.

Membership and participation in the Boy Scouts of America continues to grow and engage youth from our nation's ever-changing population. Today, the BSA has more than 5 million youth members and participants and more than 1.3 million adult volunteers. Since its inception in 1910, some 110 million people have been involved in Scouting.

Boy Scouts of America—Connecting youth with communities and families.