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Totin Chip / Firemn Chit

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  • #16
    Fred, just creating drama. Of course, references to EDGE are hot-button with me.

    I bet none of our older boys (most of our troop now) even carry their chits.

    Like any tool, it can be used to train and discipline or bludgeon and demean. If it's doing the latter, definitely stop using it. If it's not doing the former, then maybe it's not worth your effort.

    Anybody know the origins? Totin' Chip was definitely in practice when I was a scout. Never heard of Firem'n Chit until my son joined.

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    • #17
      I would disagree. I think the skills in totin' chip/fireman are a bit more involved than those in 2nd class. I also think the whole idea of instant recognition is important. Also, if the boys have been Cub Scouts, most have already gotten a whittlin chip, which allows them to carry a pocket knife on a campout. To make those boys wait to get second class to carry a pocket knife again is counterproductive.

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      • #18
        Of course Totin' Chip is about more than just carrying a knife.

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        • #19
          Brew, I think the difference is that as a Wolf boys are supervised when using knives. As a scout they are not. Sending a boy off with his patrol on a hike (no adults) with a pocket knife is different than having a Wolf using a knife at the Cub Scout Day Camp whittling station.

          Hmmmmmm....we're certainly not sitting over the boys shoulders.

          I still have the same opinion...it is silly to let the boys use knives in cubs, then say when you get to boy scouts, you can't use them until you get to second class.

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          • #20
            I guess that's what I'm trying to decide.
            I don't think a boy who is Scout rank and has one month in the troop should be handling an ax unsupervised.
            On the other hand a boy who chooses not to pursue advancement and is still a Tenderfoot after a year, maybe he's ready.

            I was a CM for 4 years, our Cubs were always closely supervised when using knives. I don't recall one injury during a den or pack meeting.
            For 10 years I assisted with the woodworking station at our Cub Scout Day Camp (over 700 Cubs). Cubs were closely supervised with one older Boy Scout overseeing no more than 5 Cubs while whittling. And we still had injuries!

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            • #21
              perdidochas wrote: "To make those boys wait to get second class to carry a pocket knife again is counterproductive. "

              I had not connected those dots. You are so so so on target.

              Waiting for 2nd class??? Some kids will roll with the system. But you will lose credibility with your natural leaders. Many of them have strong personalities and can see thru the B.S. Treat them straight and they give you straight answers. Game them and they will start gaming you. Give them contradictions and they will resolve it. The contradiction I see is giving them a Scout Law that starts with "Trustworthy" and telling them that the scouts run the program and that as scouts they are responsible for so much, but then telling them they can't use a knife they have been using in Cub Scouts since the summer before 3rd grade.

              More simply stated, tell a kid who has a strong personality that they can't use a knife after using it for two years and you won't see them using a knife. They will use the knife. You just won't know about it. I can't really blame them either.

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              • #22

                "Hey, Jake, I see you making a wiffle stick. Going to make a fire for dinner?"
                "Uh-huh".
                " Do you have your Totin' Chip yet?"
                "Uh, no..."
                " Then, you know you can't use that knife, right? Did your Patrol Leader tell you to get the fire started?"
                "Uh huh. Ben said since I had earned the Whittlin' Chip in Webelos, I could make the shavings to tinder up the fire. I'm gonna do the Totin Chip tonight after dinner with him. He has a hatchet I can borrow, he said. Is that OK Mr. Yablonsky?"
                " Well, let me speak to Ben. You are being careful. Where's your safety circle?"
                "Like this?"
                "Yep, that's good. Keep that knife pointing away from you, you're doing good.
                HEY BEN!! Can I talk to you?"
                "yes Mr. Yablonsky?"
                "Come over here a minute... I want to ask you about Jake, there. Did you say he could use his knife ? He said he didn't have his Totin' Chip yet, but that you said he could whittle those shavings. That right?"
                "Well, he did earn the Whittlin' Chip when I was his Den Chief last year. I thought I'd let him practice there. I wasn't too far away."
                "Ummmm, I see . And then, after dinner, you were going to do the tent peg thing with him?"
                "Yeah. Is that all right?"
                "I think so. Could you do a whole class for all the new kids? The Eagle Patrol has two newbies."
                "Sure. No prob, Mr. Yablonsky. Right after dinner, if they are'nt doing cleanup or something else."

                Even fiction can sound good, if it's based on fact....

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                • #23
                  fred, are you saying that if they had a Whittling Chip in Cubs they should automatically get a Totin' Chip when they join the troop?
                  I've heard of some troops granting a 6 month extension on the Whittling Chip when a Web joins their troop.
                  How about using an ax? That's part of the Totin' Chip.

                  I'm really not trying to "game" anyone. I just see boys joining my troop and their first priority is these two cards.

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                  • #24
                    SS, nice story. I agree that it's plausible.

                    For the rest of the story how about this for a headline in the local newspaper; "Scout cuts foot of with ax on first caping trip, parents file suit against Scoutmaster"

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                    • #25
                      Well, part of it is that our troop rarely uses axes or saws except for advancement and/or earning the Totin' chip.

                      Of course it's a priority for some Scouts to earn those two cards. Honestly, to some scouts, it means more than advancement. I know when I was a Scout it did. My most prized award as a Scout was my Totin' chip. I still have it at age 47.

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                      • #26
                        Eagle732 - Nope. Nothing automatic. I'm just saying it's one of the first things to get done. Right up there with completing scout badge requirements, teaching them how to setup a tent, choose a camp site and use the troop stoves.

                        Heck, I'm always happy when scouts cook over the fire instead of using a stove. So we want them to have their Firem'n Chit.

                        For the last eight years, in our troop, scouts earn their Totin' Chip and Firem'n Chit on their first camp out. Usually, they receive the cards on same day. Heck, the requirements are pretty simple and it's more of a commitment to act responsibly.

                        I sort of see it as a quick wake up about responsibility and maturity. I see zero reason to delay or associate it with achieving a rank. The scouts need the right to use knives and fire. They are scouts, right? What is any more fundamental to being a scout then using a pocket knife and having a camp fire.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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