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Beavah

Laser Tag mini-Camporee

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Yah, one of our districts is considerin' a laser tag mini-camporee event to encourage interaction between webelos and boy scout units in a fun indoor venue.

 

Anybody had any experience with settin' these up?

 

Beavah

 

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From G2SS

 

Pointing any type of firearm (including paintball or dye) at any individual is unauthorized.

 

Typically that has been interpreted to ban laser tag as well. If that's incorrect, I'd love to know as most of our scouts love laser tag.

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Actually, "lasers" were formerly included in the G2SS list of unauthorized activities. That ban was recently lifted. Here's a post just today from SCOUTS-L (reposted with permission):

 

====

 

Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 11:55:12 -0500

Sender: Scouts-L Youth Group List

From: wendie howland

Subject: The last word on lasertag

 

All, I asked National RM for a definitive reading on this. Got the

following:

 

> "... (we have modified the online) Guide to Safe Scouting and

> removed the word "lasers" from the unauthorized activities. The

> Risk Management Advisory Panel, made up of two Scout Executives

> from each region, elected to remove the wording. This does not

> change anything regarding paintball. After two committees reviewed

> the topic in 2007, paintball is still an unauthorized activity.

 

Many thanks to them for the response, and you all have a great day!

 

====

 

The online G2SS may be found here:

 

http://www.scouting.org/pubs/gss/toc.html

 

This is the specific section that has been modified (see "Unauthorized or Restricted Activities):

 

http://www.scouting.org/pubs/gss/gss09.html#e

 

Fred

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I know I am getting esoteric, but humor me. The word "laser tag" was removed (or phrase) but the phrase "Pointing any type of firearm ..." remains. So, if the laser pistol looks like a Phaser from Star Trek, it can be used, but a Luger looking pistol cannot.

 

Or am I just a weinie?

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Ok, since they intentionally removed the reference, I'll go ahead and assume that they now are indicating that it's no longer prohibited.

 

My reading of the word 'firearm' would mean 'a device that fires a projectile'. Since a laser gun does not fire a projectile, it is not a firearm. It may resemble a firearm, but that does not make it a firearm.

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OK now you can all tell me to take the proverbial leap if I'm being too concrete sequential here. But are we sure that just because something was posted as the "definitive" interpretation on a scout discussion list online, that it is true? I'd be happier to see some more direct explanation of this on an official scouting website, or coming through our professional staff, or on letterhead, or something along those lines. I mean, I could post here all sorts of things but that wouldn't make them all true, right?

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Well, you can certainly ask for confirmation from your professional staff.

 

But the word 'laser' has definitely been removed from the official on-line version of the G2SS. That seems like it must indicate something. I'm sure it's not because laser tag has declined in popularity and the restriction was no longer relevant. So I tend to trust the given on-line explanation, even if it is unofficial. Plus, the explanation doesn't really say anything, anyway, other than that they decided to remove the word, which is clearly true.

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My interpretation of the aforementioned regulation (and it's intent) is not so much the chance of injury as the promotion of war like games. Shot gun skeet, .22 rifle, BB air gun, sling shot and archery TARGET shooting is all still allowed. Even encouraged. But Paintball etc. is a simulation of warfare. The desired intent is to hit a target, NOT to pretend to KILL your opponent. Hence the differentiation and ban.

 

All the above instruments and sport CAN be used to injure, but NOT in the allowed activity. Pball, Ltag are each intended to play act the "game" of war.

 

I would not favor a "lasertag" Camporee.

 

See the book "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card

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I would say laser tag is now allowed! If it isn't listed as banned it is allowed! Another unit activity!

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I'm not opposed to laser tag. But my understanding of the "rules" as they were fit pretty closely with what SSScout wrote. And to say that because it isn't explicitly banned means it is ok leads us back to sod surfing too, right Ed? I just think if the intent was to clearly make laser tag acceptable, then the good folks in Irving could have done a better job of making their meaning plain. I'll ask our professional staff as Oak suggests.

 

Anyway whether it is "ok" or not, I'm not fond of it as a district recruiting event. I say this even though it would likely be popular, and I'm trying to organize a district recruiting event for boy scouts, myself. But it bears no resemblance to what we actually DO as scouts and doesn't really fit with what we promote as "scouting" activities like camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, etc.. Boys do not join scouts, and their parents do not sign them up for scouts, to play laser tag. They do that on their own time already and don't need us to help them learn to do it. I'd feel the same way about a video game lock in as a recruiting/joining event. Fun, sure, maybe even a cool one-night activity for a troop, but not a good recruiting tool since it isn't what we actually do 99.9% of the time.

 

 

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HI All

 

War! Don't confuse boy games with adult diplomacy. Fscout is right in that these kinds of games are in a boys instinct or nature. Fscout (Female Scout?) is wrong that the instinct is training to kill other humans. It is simply natures way for developing skills to survive, which means providing food and protection. Nature doesn't not understand war.

 

Nothing beats a game that encourages a boy to think strategically , to understand the goal and to a plan for achieving the goal. And they wear themselves out in the process. Do you realize how hard it is to practice all those same objectives in other normal scouting activities. Our troop plays at least one game of Capture the flag on every campout. Many times after the Saturday Night campfire.

 

It is amazing how creative they get with the game. But simply the game allows boys to play within there natural drive to be a man. Don't resist the force and don't make it out to be more than it is. It is not evil and IT IS NOT TRAINING FOR WAR OR TO KILL. It is strictly natural human skills development. I am far more worried about the video games with the gory graphics and horrific sounds of death and dieing.

 

Lisabob, you are responsible for successful recruiting. If you hang around enough webelos while the visit troops, you will find the majority of them are looking for the most fun troop. Now it is your responsibility to teach the adults what a quality troop program looks like, but don't ignore great opportunities to introduce Webelos to the fun of being a boy in a boy scout Troop. Don't make activities of simple tag any more than it is. Would you feel OK if they were only allowed to tag each with their hands. Whats the difference in the human nature of the boy? Only the technology of winning the game.

 

Gold Wing, I think you will understand the value of how Laser Tag benefits in patrol method if you just go watch one game of it. It pulls out the leadership and following skills in 10 minutes where it usually takes that same patrol three meetings and a campout. I've seen the bonding of patrols accellerate in these types of activities because each member of the team (patrol) understands the goals instantly. Even many adults don't understand the goals of patrol method at a troop meeting. But, a patrol will pull together and use each other skills to acheive the one goal of winning the game of tag because that is their instinct and it is fun. It is really pretty cool watch.

 

Don't take the fun out of being a boy. Agressive games have been part of scouting since the begining.

 

I love this scouting stuff.

 

Barry

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Just change out the term "patrol" with "platoon" and it all falls together. ;)

Really though, laser tag is really just a high tech version of capture the flag.

Now if you really want an aggression game, swap out the lasers with tasers! DON'T TAZE ME BRO!

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