Boy Scouts of America and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Work Together on New Emergency Preparedness Initiative


Boy Scouts of America and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Work Together on New Emergency Preparedness Initiative

BSA Award for Youth and Adults Builds Upon Ready Campaign

Chief Scout Executive Roy Williams is joined by FEMA Chief Operating Officer Ron Castleman in preparing emergency preparedness kits with a group of Scouts at a press conference in Dallas to introduce Emergency Preparedness BSA.

Pictured left to right are Ron Castleman, Cub Scout Kia Stoker, Venturer Kim Banzhaf, Roy Williams, and Boy Scouts Eric Cumplido and Jesus Cumplido.

(IRVING, Texas, May 10, 2003) The Boy Scouts of America announced it is joining with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure the nation's youth are prepared for any situation. The new initiative—Emergency Preparedness BSA—builds upon the organization's well-known legacy of emergency and safety training.

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is pleased to partner with the Boy Scouts of America to promote preparedness for both youth and adults," said Michael D. Brown, Undersecretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R). "By continuing to build upon the foundation of the department's Ready campaign, we will work together to explore additional ways to make emergency preparedness information available to Scouts and Scouters alike."

"From its very inception, Scouting has taught our nation's youth to do their best, to do their duty to God and country, and to be prepared," said Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "The emergencies of today's world demand more than ever that our young people and adults be trained to deal with many different situations, both as individuals and units.

"Whenever our national leaders have called upon the Scouts in times of need, whether collecting scrap metal and rubber, selling war bonds, or growing victory gardens, the Boy Scouts of America has responded," Williams continued.

When youth participants and adult volunteers fulfill the requirements for the new Emergency Preparedness BSA award, they will earn a pin and recognition certificate. For every level and age group, there are age-appropriate tasks and curriculum for members from Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to BSA adult volunteers.

Age-specific requirements include

  • taking the Red Cross First Aid for Children Today course,
  • joining a safe kids program such as McGruff Child Identification,
  • building a family emergency kit,
  • completing Scouting merit badges such as First Aid and Emergency Preparedness,
  • developing a pack or troop preparedness plan, and
  • taking first aid and CPR courses from appropriate agencies.

"The Department of Homeland Security has three essential missions: preventing a terrorist attack, reducing our vulnerability to an attack, and third, being prepared to respond quickly and effectively," Brown said. "We know the BSA and its membership can help achieve these missions through its reach to members and its profound commitment to community service."

"We look forward to a strong relationship with the Department of Homeland Security and helping America be prepared," Williams said.

The Scouting movement is composed of 1.2 million volunteers working together for the sole purpose of helping its more than 3 million youth succeed in life. The Boy Scouts of America's 93-year history is a testament to the enduring values of the Scouting program.