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Safe From Harm

Keeping young people and adults Safe from Harm at the 24th World Scout Jamboree

The dos and don’ts

Safe from Harm is how the World Scout Jamboree prevents inappropriate behaviour like abuse, bullying, discrimination, cultural misunderstandings and other forms of disrespect and harm. Safe from Harm deals with sensitive issues. Please be prepared for this.

You must follow these dos and don’ts on the Summit Bechtel Reserve, and on Jamboree-related activities in other places. Make sure others do too.

Dealing with Jamboree people

Do make sure you know who you are with. There are two types of people at the Jamboree:

  • Young people (often called participants) aged 14-17. They will wear a neckerchief with a red border. They will carry ID to show they are a young person.
  • Adults aged 18 and over – Scouters, contractors, guests, state officials, etc. Scouters and some guests will have blue, gray, purple, green or silver neckerchief borders. All adults will carry ID or wear a wristband.

Do be aware that people at the Jamboree will be very diverse:

  • They come from six continents, every race, every religion, with every skin color, speaking many languages.
  • Scouting welcomes male and female members, heterosexual people, gay men, lesbian women, bisexual, and transgender people.
  • There will be people with physical and learning disabilities, and some with mental health challenges.

Do treat everyone with dignity. Make sure they feel included, equal and respected.

Being a trusted person

Do remember that adults are in a position of trust. Young people will look up to you as a person of integrity, expecting the highest possible standards from you at all times. They should be able to trust you and your motives. So should other adults.

Do ensure you have a person’s consent before you do something that affects them. Everyone has the right to say no at any time, however far a situation has gone.

Do stop If they don’t give consent, or they withdraw it. Don’t go any further.

Don’t take a young person into a tent or secluded place on your own.

Do ensure there are always two adults present during non-trivial contact with young people. You must be with, or in sight of, another adult who knows what you are doing. If it’s an emergency with no other adult present

  • Do always tell the young person that you are helping what you are going to do and why.
  • Do Speak loudly so adults out of sight nearby may hear you.
  • Do make contact with another adult as quickly as safely possible.

Don’t touch young people unless it’s an emergency.

Don’t discriminate by using unjust, unfair or prejudicial treatment or words against anyone because of their color, race, faith (religion), age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, e.g. gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual.


  • Make jokes or use words based on prejudice or discrimination.
  • Stare at people who are different.
  • Wear slogans that are discriminatory or offensive.
  • Play music containing offensive language, or descriptions of people that come from prejudice.
  • Refuse to work with someone, or refuse to provide a service or support because someone is different.
  • Refuse instructions from managers because of difference.
  • Get into arguments or fights about difference.
  • Send inappropriate emails, messages or photos that might be seen as bullying, harassment or sexual grooming.
  • Discriminate against anyone when allocating work.

Do make sure people with additional needs (disabilities) have the support they need to do their job on an equal basis.

Do act right away if you think someone is being abused or discriminated against. Make your presence felt. Ask: ‘Are you OK?’ or ‘What’s going on here?’

Don’t leave the person on the receiving end of possible abuse or discrimination alone with the alleged perpetrator.

Do listen if someone tells you about abuse or discrimination:

  • Don’t judge.
  • Do ask open-ended questions like: ‘What happened?’
  • Don’t ever make a promise of silence or guarantee solutions

Do report anything you suspect might be abuse or discrimination. We explain how to report Safe from Harm incidents at the end of these dos and don’ts.

Keeping relationships appropriate

Don’t flirt with, or come on to, any young person aged 16 or 17, or have sexual relations with them. If they show an interest in you, just say no!

Don’t form sexual relationships with Jamboree volunteers or paid staff you are managing.

Do report any suspicions that an adult may be seeking, or having, sexual relations with a young person. Suspected or actual youth sexual abuse will be reported to the West Virginia state authorities.

Mental health emergencies

Do act immediately if you observe, read (e.g. internet/social media posting), or overhear words or actions, however vague, that suggest that someone is likely to injure him/herself and/or others, including saying they have suicidal thoughts.

Do treat this as a medical emergency: follow the emergency response procedures at the end of these dos and don’ts.

Do get help from anyone in the immediate vicinity.

Don’t leave the person alone (regardless of their reaction or statements to the contrary) until the Jamboree medical team arrives.

Do, if you are living on the Jamboree site, identify a buddy and check up on each other every day.

Do make sure your buddy gets support if they need it.

Respecting differences

Do respect these two Scout Laws, even if you are not a Scout:

  • A Scout is a friend to all and a brother or sister to every other Scout.
  • A Scout is courteous.

Do think about how your own behavior may affect others, e.g. a joke or prank you think funny may offend in a different culture.

Do respect how others dress, even if it seems strange to you.

Do remember that people wearing shorts and sleeveless tops is not meant to be suggestive. It is probably their way of staying cool.

Don’t change clothes in public.

Do remember that some cultures are very informal, whereas others are much more formal, particularly when it comes to relations between the generations and the sexes.

Do behave more formally if in doubt, e.g. avoid hugs and kisses if you aren’t sure how the other person will react.

Do be careful with greetings. In some cultures, people shake hands. In others, unrelated people don’t touch each other, and prefer another type of greeting.

Do remember that every culture has its own body language, e.g. a shake of the head means ‘yes’ in some cultures and ‘no’ in others. Use words to check your understanding.

Do respect different eating traditions, e.g. some pray before eating; some eat with their hands (usually the right, because the left is used for washing); others use chopsticks or cutlery.

Do respect different faith (religious) food and drink practices, e.g. Muslims and Jews don’t eat pork; Hindus don’t eat beef; Roman Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays.

Do be sensitive about how you gesture with your hands and feet, e.g. in some cultures it’s very rude to point with the feet. Use words until you get to know someone.

Don’t get too close to people or touch them in conversation unless you know they are comfortable with you doing so.

Don’t be surprised if people from some cultures are late for meetings. Different societies have different attitudes to time. Be understanding if your schedule and theirs don’t always line up.

Don’t try to impose your own values on others. The Jamboree’s values are what we will all abide by.

Following the Jamboree Code of Conduct and local laws

Do obey the Jamboree Code of Conduct. Everyone, including you, must follow it. It’s the Appendix at the end of these dos and don’ts.

Don’t swap patches, gifts or souvenirs with young people.

Don’t take ‘souvenirs’ from the Jamboree site.

Don’t bring alcohol onto the Jamboree site, drink or be under the influence of alcohol there.

Don’t bring illegal drugs onto the Jamboree site, take or be under their influence of drugs there.

Don’t smoke or vape, except in a designated smoking area.

Don’t give young people cigarettes, tobacco, vapers (e-cigarettes), or vaping or smoking equipment like cigarette papers or vaping fluid.

Don’t gamble on site.

Don’t bring firearms or bows onto the Jamboree site unless authorized to carry them, e.g. National Guard, Police, security, Jamboree authorized instructors.

Don’t carry a knife more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) in overall length without permission fromJamboree management.

Don’t bring a drone on site unless it’s for official use agreed by Jamboree management.

See something, say something

Do call in any Safe from Harm incident contravening anything covered in these dos and don’ts. Here’s how:

  • If you are on the Jamboree radio network, call the Jamboree Control Center.
  • Call the Jamboree Emergency Number: (+1) 304-465-2900.
  • Call 911. Your call will be routed to the Jamboree Control Center unless you are off site.
  • Call in at a Listening Ear station, or tell a chaplain.
  • Go to an on-site medical facility if it seems to be a mental health incident.
  • If you have access to one, complete a Safe from Harm incident reporting form and return it to the email address on the form, or hand a copy to a Safe from Harm Unit member or a Steward.

Do report allegations and definite cases of abuse of young people. West Virginia law requires responsible adults to report abuse. We will support you to get the report to the authorities.

Don’t leave the scene if other adults join you. We need to be able to talk to you before you leave.

Do collect as much information as you reasonably can: Who was involved? Which national Contingent(s) or International Service Team department(s) are they from? What exactly happened?

Don’t try to investigate. Just get the basic facts, if you can.

Do stay with people who need support until we get help to them. We will clear up any problems with your manager if you are delayed on your routine business.

Do remember to call for Emergency Medical Services if someone has been harmed physically. Thank you for your support for the 24th World Scout Jamboree and for helping us to keep everyone Safe from Harm.


24th World Scout Jamboree Safe from Harm Unit, July 2019

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