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upnorthmn

2010 Scout Weight Restrictions

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92, My point was that the restrictions have been used for Philmont for years, so this is nothing new. Its just being expanded.

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732,

Understand that PSR and other high adventure bases have the requirement. But the problem is that now ALL activities more than 30 minutes away from a hospital require scouts to go by H/W guidelines. So if your local scout camp is more than 30 minutes, you can't go to a weekend trip or summer camp. Worse if you live in the boonies like some folks out west do, if your meeting is more than 30 minutes from a hospital, you must go by the H/W guidelines.

 

My problem is not the FAQ, but the wording on the forms. I'm not a lawyer or a physician, but I am on my job's forms committee. Using that experience, I think the current wording does not adequately express the intent of the policy. With the current wording, if anything were to happen at, say a meeting more than 30 minutes away from a hopsital, I bet there will be a lawsuit.

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The whole issue feels Big Brotherish. Or Lawyerish. Or both.

If a competent physician certifies an adult is able to physically participate in an activity, who are we to look at some idealized chart written for another purpose and deny him that opportunity?

Look to ban smokers next (makes about as much sense. They have reduced lung capacity, less endurance etc.). Age restrictions (must be under 50?). After all, something MIGHT happen and we MIGHT be sued!

I know a lot of leaders that would not make the cut here. I suspect the real discussions will occur when participation in these activities drops. And it will. We do not have so many active leaders we can cut a lot of them out and not feel the impact.

 

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I had my annual physical yesterday. The doc stood there looking at the guideleines silently for about two minutes. I'm about 5 lb over the optimum and in the allowable exception category. He looked at it and kind of laughed.

 

I'm not the total picture of health but am a pretty competent distance cyclist. Last week, on my first bike ride of the year, I rode 42 miles.

 

 

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92, that's not how I read the requirements. I read it as 30 minutes from EMS access.

 

From the FAQ: "whatever the mode of transportation take you more than 30 minutes off of an accessible roadway where in an emergency vehicle can reach you, you will need to meet the height/weight requirements."

 

 

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The wording is a little confusing, hopefully the doctors won't be too confused. If you look at the range from "Recommended" to "allowable exception" it's pretty wide open. There is about a 100 pound range potential for a 6 footer.

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This is an interesting topic. Weight charts like this do not at all take into account how muscular a person is. Muscle and bone weigh more than fat. Therefore, a thin-boned person who isn't very muscular would have less trouble staying in these ranges than a thicker-boned person who has a considerable amount of muscle (all other things being equal). In fact, many professional athletes could not meet these guidelines despite being in excellent physical condition.

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Yes, but five 12 year olds would have a heck of a time carrying a 300lbs all muscle linebacker 5 miles out after he broke his leg. Again, the weight restrictions aren't just about the fitness level of the participant, its about logistical evacuation considerations. That's why Philmont instituted them.

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Evacuation can not logically be the only reason, because then you would simply have an upper cap instead of a graduated scale. If it was simply for evacuation purposes the policy would be something like 220 pounds regardless of height.

 

While I agree many professional athletes may fall outside of the recommended weight, I can't picture many that would be more than Maximum acceptance. Taking 6 foot again, there arn't many 6 foot pro athletes that weigh more than 239 pounds. Even looking at pro athelete web sites, baseball, basketball, hockey people are no problem. Even in football, many are no problem. It is the football positions like Tackle where you have a pro athelete outside the maximum allowed. Having gone on a professionally guided hunt with two offseason pro football players (linemen) let me just say from personal experience, you would not want them on a Philmont Trek with you. Their athleticism does not complement the requirements needed.

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Evacuation is the primary reason for the weight limitations at Philmont.

Other health limitations should be vetted by the participants physician.

 

I don't hear anyone complaining about the Philmont requirements.

 

Philmont is staffed with trained people who can get to you within hours and probably to EMS shortly after that. There will always be at least 10 other healthy 14+ year olds and adults to assist in evacuation.

 

Now compare that to two adults taking five 12 year olds 5 miles into the wilderness.

 

Which scenario should have more strident weight/health restrictions?

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It may in part have to do what can be fit into a Stoke's basket. They are about 24" wide so anyone over about 20-21" wide may not fit. The chart is just an available reference.

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"Yes, but five 12 year olds would have a heck of a time carrying a 300lbs all muscle linebacker 5 miles out after he broke his leg."

 

Interesting point, it is.

 

I recently did a Wilderness First Aid course taught by SOLO, and one of the teachers is an active member of (as I recall) Androscoggin Rescue in the White Mountains. Anyone who has been up that way knows that weather is severe, accidents are common (see recent thread on the lost Eagle Scout), and one is never all that far from a road, distance-wise. But evacuations can, and do, take several hours.

 

Anyway, this teacher/rescuer talked about the many evacuations he's been a part of, and I recall him saying that normal evacuations take a minimum of 20 adult rescuers, because they switch off that frequently. He also gave us a typical time these things take, and although I don't recall the exact number (it is in a notebook at home), it was something like a mile per hour. So, a thirty minute evacuation rule would typically mean less than a half mile from a trailhead. Give or take, more or less.

 

Guy

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