The Buddy System

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The Buddy System: There is safety in numbers.

 Ecclesiastes 4:10 "For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up."

The buddy system is a procedure in which two people, the "buddies", operate together as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other (1). It's your responsibility to learn this system, and hold others to it as well, in order to establish and maintain safety during any Trail Life activity - such as, but not limited to, hiking, free time during campouts, bathroom breaks, swimming, and canoeing.

  • Wherever you go during any Troop activity (campout, meeting, etc.), you should have a buddy with you at all times. The Trail Life Leader's Guide for Navigators and Adventurers states that your group should be a group of at least three trailmen.
  • You should know where your buddies are at all times and you should make your buddies aware of where you are at all times. If you lose your buddy, it's best not assume they wandered off and will be right back. Contact an adult if you lose track of your buddy.
  • When leaving ensure an adult knows where you are.
  • When canoeing establish a buddy canoe so that no one canoe travels downriver alone.
  • Never swim alone - a buddy can help in an emergency situation.



  • TrailLife USA Leaders Guide for Navigators and Adventurers Trail Leaders (on TroopTrack)