Scouting Myths

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A list of debunked myths, urban legends, and common misconceptions. Links to references are included where applicable.

When in doubt regarding a national policy, contact the relevant member of the National Leadership Team, or the help desk (


Friendship Knot

Myth: The friendship knot is not approved for wear on Scouts Canada properties. It may not be used on any day of the week ending in "y", except with written approval from the Chief Commissioner.

Fact: There is no restriction on the use of the friendship knot in place of the woggle. In fact, it is a great casual alternative!

Source: Friendship Knot

The 3 Year Rule

Myth: Volunteers/youth members have 3 years to switch to the new Scouts Canada uniform design introduced in 2011.

Fact: This is not true. There is no mandatory timeline for the transition. You may wear your old uniform until it wears out, should you choose to do so.

Source: Facebook comment by Jessica Page on Facebook Q&A document.

Scouting is for Boys

Myth: Scouting in Canada is only for boys.

Fact: Scouts Canada is fully coed, and has been for over a decade.

Source: Section 3000 of BP&P.

Staff cannot Volunteer

Myth: Professional staff cannot volunteer in any capacity.

Fact: Not true. Staff are allowed and even encouraged to volunteer.


Sleep in Cars

Myth: Scouters are not allowed to sleep in vechicles at camp.

Fact: There is no such restriction in the BP&P. Scouters are encouraged to use their common sense, and to follow the Duty of Care and other policies regarding the supervision of youth.

Source: Duty of Care

Spouses Sleeping in the same Shelter

Myth: Spouses cannot sleep in the same tent/lodge/shelter.

Fact: There is no such restriction in the BP&P.

Source: Duty of Care Also, non-existence of this policy confirmed by Doug Reid, DNC Program Services: see Facebook post.

Uniform Required for Insurance

Myth: You need to be wearing a piece of uniform in order to covered by Scouts Canada's insurance.

Fact: There is no such restriction in the BP&P.

Source: Non-existence of this policy confirmed by Doug Reid, DNC Program Services: see Facebook post.

Beavers in Tents

Myth: Beavers can't sleep in tents.

Fact: Beavers sleeping in tents is covered under Beavers attending a Family Camping event.

Source: See BP&P 10001.1

Venturer's can't drive to events

Myth: Venturer's can't drive to Scouting events, or drive other youth/adults.

Fact: No such restriction exists. It is the parents responsibility in approving how their child gets to Scouting activities.

Source: Non-existence of this policy confirmed by Doug Reid, DNC Program Services: see Facebook post.

SITs count as youth

Myth: 16 and 17 year old SITs, even if they have completed Woodbadge I, are still children and count against a group's 1 leader to 6 youth ratio (that is, they are counted as youth).

Fact: An SIT who has completed Woodbadge I and been reference checked counts as a LEADER, though a group still required 2 adult (over 18 years old) registered leaders.

Source: BP&P 4008.5 SIT’s working with colony and pack Sections can be included in the Scouter : youth member ratio provided they have: (1) successfully completed Wood Badge Part I for the Section in which they will be working; (2) have completed three Personal Reference Check (usually the individuals section leader); and (3) has read and understands the Duty of Care document. Note: minimum standard of two registered adults must be maintained.

Girls/boys can't go camping without a female/male leader

Myth: Girls cannot go camping if an adult female leader is not available to attend camp. Similarly, boys cannot go camping if there is not an adult male leader available to attend camp.

Fact: It is strongly recommended to have a female leader if female youth are camping (and vice versa), but not required by Scouts Canada policy. This would depend on the wishes of the youth and their parents.


  • BP&P 4008.6: "Co-Ed Leadership: Co-ed leadership is strongly recommended for Beaver, Cub, Scout Sections and Venturer companies when they contain both male and female members."
  • BP&P 10003 (Sleeping Quarters): "Co-educational camps should ensure that every consideration is given to propriety."

Scouting Youth cannot do wall climbing activities

Myth: Scouting youth can't participate in wall climbing activities.

Fact: Of course they can! Several conditions, generally related to safety, must be met.

Source: BP&P SECTION 10000 – CAMPING & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, specifically sections:

    • 10007.7 – Artificial Wall Climbing -
    • 10007.8 – Top Rope Rock Climbing
    • 10007.9 – Rappelling

4-year-olds cannot be Beaver Scouts

Myth: Beaver Scouts cannot register until after their 5th birthday (for insurance reasons).

Fact: While Beaver Scouts is an age appropriate activity for 5-7 year olds, there may be cases where youth are enrolled in schools and turn 5 during the school/scouting year and may be ready to participate in and enjoy the Scouting program.


  • BP&P 5001.1 – Program Age Exceptions: Commissioners may, where appropriate, authorize a variation of one year in the program ages between age 5 and age 18 to enable child and youth membership in various program sections to correspond with membership in divisions in the local school system. The final consideration shall be what is in the best interest of the child or youth concerned.
  • forum - New System Age Restrictions! "I have confirmed with staff that there are no insurance restrictions that would prevent Scouts Canada from having 4 year old Beavers registered in our programs." - Doug Reid

Doug Reid is a real Person

Myth: There is someone know as Doug Reid and he is Scouts Canada's DNC - Program Services

Fact: There is no such person. Doug Reid is a computer program created by Scouts Canada that monitors numerous websites looking for questions regarding Scouts Canada Policy, Programming, Badge Trading and Dutch Oven Cooking. When the computer program known as "Doug Reid" sees such a question it searches its data base and shoots out the correct answer. On occasion the program has a meltdown and it spits out gibberish. The public face of Doug Reid is played by two actors. One for photos and another who does the his voice for numerous phone conferences. Nether of these actors could be identified nor were available for comment.

Source: Consultations with Dylan Reinhart, Mike Stewart, and Steve Kent reveal that no one has actually met the guy, but they all like him just the same.