No program area in camp better reflects the Scout motto of “Be Prepared” than the Community Safety program. The Community Safety area began in 2002 as a way to promote first aid and emergency response skills. Scouts can earn merit badges that will make them better prepared for Scouting activities and life in their communities. These badges also provide Scouts with an outstanding opportunity to explore careers in public safety, medicine, and emergency response.
The merit badges offered at Community Safety are American Heritage, Emergency Preparedness, Fingerprinting, Fire Safety, First Aid, Law, Safety, Search and Rescue and Traffic Safety. Emergency Preparedness and First Aid are Eagle-required Merit Badges, while Fingerprinting is a great merit badge for first year campers. Fingerprinting is offered twice a week as an evening program and introduces Scouts to the study of fingerprinting and basic forensics. For those Scouts taking Fire Safety merit badge, a weekly visit by the Poestenkill Fire Company is a great opportunity to see a fire truck up close and talk with a volunteer in the field.
Community Safety also offers the BSA programs Totin’ Chip and Firem’n Chit. Designed especially for new Scouts (and anybody that might need a refresher), Totin’ Chip trains participants in the safe handling of knives, saws, and axes, while Firem’n Chit teaches fire safety.
Hands to Heart CPR
The Community Safety staff also helps provide basic CPR training through the Hands to Heart program. This training does not meet the standard of American Red Cross or American Heart Association training, but it does help Scouts complete the CPR demonstration requirement for certain merit badges, such as First Aid and Lifesaving.