Hazardous Weather Training
All “direct contact” leaders are required to take BSA’s Hazardous Weather Training to be considered fully trained in their position. Here’s who is a “direct contact” leader:
▪ Cub Scouts – Cubmaster, Assistant Cubmaster, Den Leader, Assistant Den Leader, Tiger Den Leader, Webelos Den Leader, Assistant Webelos Den Leader
▪ Scouts BSA – Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster
▪ Venturing – Advisor, Associate Advisor
▪ Sea Scouting – Skipper, Mate
▪ Exploring – Advisor, Associate Advisor
Why is Weather Hazard Training important? Our program takes place in an outdoor classroom. This training discusses how to manage risks from the weather to our Scouting family. There are several incident reviews which are appropriate to share with leaders who may question why an appreciation of the risks in our outdoor classroom are important. The most impactful: lightning, heat and hydration, hypothermia.
Imagine as a leader with a group of excited Scouts you arrive at a council camp for a camporee on a rainy Friday afternoon. Saturday morning is filled with the sounds of Scouts participating in the scheduled activities, only to have the weather turn blustery with sustained winds of about 30 mph and gusts up to 48 mph. The trees of the heavily forested area start swaying madly back and forth.
As a leader, what would you do? Would you continue with the camporee or evacuate the camp?
This was exactly the situation experienced earlier this year at Pacific Harbors Council’s Klondike Derby held at Camp Thunderbird. According to the National Weather Service, sustained winds of about 30 mph with gusts up to 48 mph were recorded near the camp between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. It soon became apparent to leaders that conditions had become unsafe and, around midmorning, with input from the council representative and Camp Thunderbird’s ranger, leaders decided to evacuate the camp.
“We made sure that we followed the Boy Scout Guide to Safe Scouting and our hazardous weather training to ensure that all scouts and adults made it home safe,” said Barb Dyer, Klondike committee chairwoman. “It was the right decision to cancel Klondike. While it’s disappointing that the boys couldn’t have the fun-filled weekend that was planned, I’m eternally grateful that safety is first with the BSA.”
A good decision it was, as several large trees and branches dropped on or near Scout campsites during the storm. No injuries were reported, but it could have turned out differently. Rebecca Ledford, an adult leader with Troop 4100, shared a photo of her son’s tent, which had been impaled by a heavy fallen branch — right where his pillow was.
On Sunday morning the “all clear” was given for scouts and leaders to return to retrieve their belongings and break down their campsites.
Hazardous Weather Training is available at any time online as part of the Training section of My.Scouting.org. If you’ve never visited this site before, you’ll need to click the “create account” button and then follow the instructions; have your BSA membership ID number handy.
There is no physical location as the course is only offered online through the Training section of My.Scouting.org.
There is no fee to complete Hazardous Weather Training.
You do not have to pre-register for Hazardous Weather Training. Simply log in to My.Scouting.org and visit the Training section to take the course.