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Pioneering Catapults Banned?

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  • Pioneering Catapults Banned?

    At our District Roundtable, someone mentioned that it was no longer permissable for Boy Scouts to operate catapults built as pioneering projects. We have built such structures in the past and used them to launch tennis balls or water balloons at non-human targets under the supervision of an adult leader who happens to be an archery rangemaster. Does anyone know the source of this? Is it an actual BSA policy (or a change in policy) and if so what is the source? I can find nothing in the G2SS. Or is it just a local interpretation?

  • #2
    Here come the corporate clones in their crisp suits, chanting "you must comply": to neuter us and sanitize our program.

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    • #3
      When in doubt, ask for the source. Until I see it in writing from any real authority, it isn't so.

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      • #4
        Can't tell you if the guy was just spoutin' off or if it was a local restriction. He might have been thinking of the 16 foot tall "pumpkin chuckers" (which violate height restrictions and may require filing a flight plan in some municipalities). It's on you to chase this squirrel to ground.
        As long as you see nothing in writing (and you take the precautions you describe), fire away!

        P.S. - the stuff in parentheses is fanciful speculation on my part and based on common sense -- not spelled out in the G2SS. As I've mentioned in other threads, there are ways to build massive siege engines without violating OSHA height restrictions.

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        • #5
          Before we go invokng the name of OSHA, they have no jurisdiction over Boy Scouts or volunteers. Maybe RichardB can enlighten us. We also have an annual "Punkin Chunkin" and it's news to me.

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          • qwazse
            qwazse commented
            Editing a comment
            All I'm saying is it's hard to build something that large without needing to climb it -- in which case it's helmet and safety harness time. Hard, but not impossible.

            And if you build something that big, and it is truly an efficient engine (capable of lofting projectiles 1000' high and a mile downrange), one must understand that some municipalities have "fly-over" ordinances. In other words, at certain levels of grandeur, common sense and courtesy is going to be more comprehensive than the G2SS.

        • #6
          There are two words you need to know for these situations: "Show me." If he can't point to it in the most current policy books (Guide to Safe Scouting, G. to Advancement, G. to Uniforms and Insignia, etc.) he can go fly a kite.

          Comment


          • MattR
            MattR commented
            Editing a comment
            That's not allowed either. Kids might get rope burns.

          • chrisking0997
            chrisking0997 commented
            Editing a comment
            Ha!

        • #7
          Our district recently did a whole camporee based on units constructing a trebuchet (Similar to a catapult) and shooting tennis balls for distance, accuracy, etc.

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          • #8
            Wow. Our District Cub Scout day camp this year is knights of the roundtable themed. They are encouraging the Webelos from each pack to build a trebuchet. We start work on ours next month.

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            • #9
              Possibly it is the updated infomation in the shooting sports manual. Please review the update list, the consolodation of this into the actual manual is a work in progress but do not know what the timeline is. In the interium you may need to look at both.

              http://www.scouting.org/Home/Outdoor...ingSports.aspx Has both source documents.

              It may also be ballistas vs. catapults that was conveyed at your RT, but don't know exactly what was said.

              Yours in Scouting,

              Richard

              Comment


              • meschen
                meschen commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Richard. It looks like this chapter was once only applicable to Cub Scouts and with the change in title now applies to Boy Scouts. This looks like the source of the information we were given at Roundtable. Now I only need an official BSA definition for "small juice can."
                Last edited by meschen; 03-17-2014, 01:13 PM.

              • perdidochas
                perdidochas commented
                Editing a comment
                When I think of a "small juice can" I think of the little 6 oz cans of pineapple juice that my dad used to buy for camping trips. They aren't even the size of a fist.

              • Renax127
                Renax127 commented
                Editing a comment
                This is why membership is down, the adventure is being removed from scouting bit by bit.

            • #10
              You've got to be joking me.

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              • #11
                Well I guess the snowball fights at winter camp are now out, too.

                Because of the mechanical nature of the propellant, I'm thinking baseball games are now out, too. Maybe we can get RangeMasters to double as umpires.

                What's next?

                Stosh

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                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  They won't be "out." All you'll need to do is submit an online "tour around the bases" permit - one for each "at bat." Just have you hand-held connective device in the dugout and gather a thumb print as each boy goes "on deck." Your service center will gladly process the request.

              • #12
                The next chapter of the neutering and bubblewrapping of Scout activities has begun........

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                • #13
                  Okay, here's my chauvinistic slant on it. Mom and Dad are at the base of the huge tree. Little Johnny or Little Janie is getting ready to climb it. Mom says, "Be careful! Maybe you shouldn't be doing this." and Dad asks, "How high can you climb?" Well, when Mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy. Well, there you have it. Nobody's happy anymore.

                  Stosh

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                  • #14
                    And I just saw these:

                    • Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn.
                    • Marshmallow shooters that use a straw or similar device placed in the mouth are not approved.

                    Really???

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                    • NealOnWheels
                      NealOnWheels commented
                      Editing a comment
                      6. Get approval from our council shooting sports committee.

                    • Scouter99
                      Scouter99 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Shooting water guns, laser guns, etc. at people has been banned for quite a while. Which is why it was pretty amusing that Cub Scout "Adventure is Calling" recruiting poster in 2011-ish depicted Cubs having fun shooting each other with water guns. Apparently the propaganda dept doesn't communicate with the gestapo.

                    • NealOnWheels
                      NealOnWheels commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Pointing water guns at people was never explicitly banned until now. Until now it boiled down to what was considered a "simulated firearm". Some people considered that to include water guns. Others did not. Now there is no doubt.

                  • #15
                    For all the nutty types who are worried about water balloons and such, I offer the following video to give you something REAL to think about, as well as how stupid some people can be:
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHmF7_bNHa0

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