A couple months ago a NJ boy scout fell off a boat on a scouting trip and drowned in the ocean. I remember a few years back when two or three scouts got washed off a bridge on a river in flood, and drowned.
And we just signed up our son for Cub Scouts. Mother's nerves here.
I have noticed when we attended some girls' soccer games, a pretty new activity for us, it was thundering and lightning off in the distance, raining a little. I had heard that even if the lightning is in the distance, you get inside anyway. They kept the game going as if it were just a very serious matter to keep it going, and would not call the game until a bolt of lightning struck a light pole on the field! This was a little girls' soccer game for goodness sake. These school sports have taken on a life of their own, and adults who are supposed to know better, treat them like they are life and death (which they may well become for reasons other than they imagine); guess the coach's job and the school administration is the name of the game at the end of the day. A lot more people than one would think seem to like risk taking.
I just checked some stats. There are 988,000 Boy Scouts and 885,000 Cub Scouts. Your son just became part of a huge, incredible organization.
However, with numbers like that, sadly it's inevitable that some tragedy will befall a small number of them, sometimes unavoidably unless parents decide that ultimate safety (padded walls and a couch) is better than living a life of fun, adventure and a little bit of risk.
Although I was a Cub Scout as a child, I did not continue. Now that I'm a dad, I have two boys in Scouting this year, Webelo and Tiger. I'm a leader of our Pack and am enjoying every minute. Scouting is an incredible organization with an enviable safety record.
That said, don't worry and have fun with your son.