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Camp Safety and Pets

We are approaching a great time of year for Scouting! Unit and family campouts, trips to summer camp and high adventure activities steadily increase in the spring and then peak over the summer months. This is a friendly reminder that pets of any kind are not permitted on Scouting camping trips whether it is at a Northern Star Scouting Camp, state campground or a local community park. Pets can seem to be very friendly, yet there is always the risk that the animal might bite or otherwise injure someone. Please reduce the risk for all your Scouts and don't allow pets on camping trips.

Teach Scouts that if they are in public places to keep their distance from pets that are on or off a leash. Most communities have leash laws, but not everyone follows the law. Keep a safe distance (further than the length of the leash) if the pet owner is not keeping their pet away. Dogs are often, but not always the type of  pet that are involved in a bite. Dogs are excited by things that move. Dogs love to chase things. To stop a dog from chasing you or bothering you, the best thing is to stay still. Teh ebst thing to do if a strange dog comes near you, your own dog is getting too frisky, or any dog is bothering you is to Be a Tree. Trees are boring to dogs and the dog will soon go away and leave you alone. Even if you are scared, it is important to stand very still and look at your feet. Never run from a dog! Here is how to be a tree:

  1. Stop (and stand still)
  2. Fold in your branches (hold your hands together in front of you)
  3. Watch your roots grow and count in your head (look down at your feet and not at the dog and wait for it to go away)

What should I do if someone is bitten?

Animals can bite for many reason, but often the animal is protecting a possession or person or perhaps was provoked.  Here are some steps to follow for first aid:

  1. Call 911 if it is a serious wound.
  2. Press on the wound gently to cause some bleeding to hep flush out as much bacteria as possible.
  3. Wash the wound with mild soap and water.
  4. Slow the bleeding with a clean cloth.
  5. Apply over-the counter antibiotic cream if you have it.
  6. Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage.
  7. Check with the dog owner and get their contact information as well as the dog's current vaccination record.

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