BUDDY SYSTEM...especially at camp
The buddy system is a safety practice in which two
or three girls are grouped to keep watch over each
other. In an activity (ex. swimming, hiking), the girls
grouped together should be of equal ability.
Safety-Wise pg 152.
Under the buddy system, each pair/trio is
responsible for: staying with her buddy at all times,
warning her buddy of danger, giving her buddy immediate
assistance if it is safe to do so, calling for help or
going for help when the situation warrants it.
The buddy system does NOT relieve the leader of
their responsibility for knowing the whereabouts of each
member of the troop, but it does serve as a means of
involving everyone in the group and having them share
the responsibility. To be really effective, all members
of the group need to understand how the buddy system
As a leader preparing to take your troop on an
outing, you need to be keenly aware of health and
safety. Security is just part of a Girl Scout's BEING
PREPARED - everywhere and anytime, including troop trips
and troop camping adventures.
Safety has to do with the prevention of accidents
and the prevention of injury to the individual while she
is participating in an activity or while she is using
facilities, supplies, equipment, and tools.
Security has to do with the protection of the
lives and property of individuals and with the
protection of the site and facilities and protection
from the criminal acts of other people and from attacks
For the Adults: Be sure they understand their
security role:. Have them review Safety-Wise Activity
Checkpoints for the activity.
· To watch over and keep track of specific
groups of girls (as assigned by the leader) - conduct
periodic buddy checks - upon a prearranged signal, each
person finds her buddy, clasps hands and holds them up.
Adults can immediately count buddy pairs/trios and spot
any unattached girls.
· To assist with bed checks at night
· To become a "substitute buddy" for night
trips to the latrine when it is too far from the
· To be alert for and report any
suspicious sounds, activities, autos, or people
· To intervene if a stranger approach your
girls or group
Be sure the adults know their sleeping assignments
will be made so that they can readily detect intruders
and offer immediate assistance to girls if needed.
For the Girls: Establish a few simple security
rules for everyone to follow:
· Always stay with your buddy - never walk
· Stay near the group - don't stray away
from the designated camping area
· Avoid strangers and other groups
· Carry your flashlight at night, stay
within the lighted area
· Report suspicious sounds, activities,
people to an adult in your group
· Make noise for self-protection to scare
off unseen intruders
· Sound alarm when in trouble
· Run toward people an/or lights
Pre-Tip Planning helps your girls to:
· Know what safety and security problems
may be encountered
· Know how to deal with these hazards and
· Develop safety-security procedures for
buddies to follow:
Ex: if they get separated from the group or get
lost, tell them to stay put. Decide on a signal (a
whistle) to be used for emergencies ONLY,
· Decide on the best way for choosing
buddies for the trip. Ex: buddies within kaper groups,
special interests, ability level.
If you plan your camp security and prepare the
girls and adults in your group to carry out the plan,
you will have a secure camp.
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