The Federal Emergency Management Agency, The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and The Spirit of Adventure Council of the Boy Scouts of America are working in partnership to positively effect the areas of Youth and Community Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies.
In concert with local officials – we will be collaborating to advance the partnership’s aims against the youth age timeline, for both boys and girls, from first grade through the completion of high school.
The aims of this partnership are to:
- Improve youth and family knowledge of and preparedness for – natural disasters and emergencies
- Improve community resiliency through the formation of Teen Community Emergency Response Teams
- To help youth develop leadership & public speaking skills, improved situational awareness, and compassion for others
FEMA programming will be available across our entire major program portfolio of Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA (including Troops & Ships), Venturing, and Exploring.
The University of Akron’s Emergency Management & Homeland Security Department has also provided considerable planning support for these programming efforts.
On the evening of February 28th, 2022, we formally rolled out these initiatives.
Important areas of the partnership’s impact on Scouting and its programs within our Council footprint:
During the Spring – Scouting Units will be encouraged to distribute emergency preparedness materials from FEMA in the form of a coloring book called “Prepare with Pedro” – to schools in their communities. The coloring books are to be accompanied with Cub Scouting Recruiting Flyers which the Council will also provide to the units free of charge.
During the Fall – to support recruiting and the promote readiness during National Preparedness Month (September) – we will also be asking units to distribute recruiting flyers and preparedness materials from FEMA to schools - for their subsequent distribution home to families.
Cub Scouts (Ready Cubs): Ready Cubs is a focused program within our Council - uniquely designed prepare boys and girls (first through fifth grade) and their families to better understand and prepare for emergencies and disasters. Through the program, youth can gain ‘Ready Cub’ status at each rank. Patches for their achievements will be available through the Council during beginning in the Fall of 2022. Youth can begin accomplishing their advancement now. A link to the Ready Cubs requirements is below:
- Insert link to Ready Cub Requirements
Scouts BSA (Ready Scout): Designed as a traditional Merit Badge Series, Ready Scout will offer requirement fulfillment for 7 Merit Badges all focused on emergency readiness and public safety. This merit badge series is recommended to all Scouts but should be particularly focused before age 14 - when Scouts and other age appropriate Scouting program participants can be brought into the Teen CERT Framework. The merit badges required for Ready Scout status are listed here: Insert Link to Ready Scout writeup from Jeffrey
Scouts BSA Troops, Ships, Venture Crews, & Exploring Posts (Teen CERT): All Scouting units, with the exception of Cub Scouts, are encouraged to begin training in the Teen CERT program. Specifically, all youth age 14+ and all adult leaders are encouraged to participate in Teen CERT.
What is CERT:
“The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks” -FEMA
What is Teen CERT:
“The Teen CERT training program teaches youth readiness and response skills. Hands-on practice and realistic exercises prepare youth for the unexpected in their community. Newly learned leadership skills will empower youth to safely respond to an emergency and assist victims without endangering themselves or others.” – FEMA
To begin training yourself personally or to enroll your Scouting unit in Teen CERT training, please contact Dan Perenick at [email protected]