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mmhardy

Is BSA Too Risk Adverse? Scouts Canada sure isn’t.

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Is BSA Too Risk Adverse? Scouts Canada sure isnt.

 

Check out the video cobbled together from snaps from 2007 Dorchester International Brotherhood Camporee. There is a lot of activity Ive never seen in the States. If youre a troop near the Great Lakes youre within a days drive to a great event held annual on Mothers Day weekend.

 

 

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Canadians aren't as sue happy as we are stateside. Scouts Canada is also co-ed. Several of our units interact with theirs, but not as much as we use to. Not all our youth (or leaders) can afford passports or even the passport cards. :(

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Yah, moxieman, yeh know your kids don't need passports or passport cards, right? Youth traveling with an organized youth group can enter da U.S. or Canada same as the old rules. Just permission, ID, and proof of citizenship (like a birth certificate).

 

Adult leaders do need passport/passport card, but the cards really aren't that expensive. Does Maine have an Enhanced Driver's License program?

 

Back to risk adverse... yep, just like da passport requirements, most of da rest of the world is less risk adverse than the U.S. We are the land of the regulated and the home of the terrified. :p

 

Beavah

 

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Last time I tried to cross over to Canada with my kids, the US side warned me that if the kids did not have passports, they could not get back in.

 

That was post 9-11.

 

If both parents are not there, you have to have permission forms signed from the other parent as well...or a death certificate.

 

 

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Yep they are. When an activity that has been around for 100 years get's banned, patrols camping out without adults, that's risk aversion.

 

When scouts can no longer build full scale pioneering projects, i.e. towers, bridges, etc, that's risk aversion.

 

When homemade stoves, something that was shown in the Cub Scout Leader's How To Book gets banned, that's risk aversion.

 

When folks are seriously considering banning marshmellows and campfires, and it was mentioned on this site a whiles back, that's risk aversion.

 

 

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In reality, everything is a risk vs. benefit comparison...right?

 

There are plenty of things we did 100 years aren't that important for the vast majority of us ... they don't provide an application to today's way of life.

 

Most people aren't interested in recreation that imperils their health...if that weren't the case, we'd all drive muscle cars and own jet skis and parachutes.

 

The realities are that parents demand that kids be safe when Scouting or doing any other activity ... safe to their standards, not the standards of the old Scouts from yester-year.

 

Might not like it....but that's the way it is.

 

 

 

 

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Has nuthin' to do with yesteryear, Engineer61. This is a comparison of different (international) programs in the here-and-now. Da point is that we are risk adverse compared to other modern first-world scouting and youth programs.

 

In other words, da U.S. has uniquely computed da risk-benefit equation differently than everyone else in the world.

 

And so their boys get more benefits!

 

Beavah

 

 

 

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The first time I attended DIBC in London, my oldest was about 11. He had a slightly more than average fear of heights. Well, he climbed up the "telephone pole" - at least 50 ft high - and traversed across a wire bridge.

 

He pride in himself was immense after that feat. Another adult (Canadian?), someone neither he nor I knew, coached him along and got him past his fear barrier.

 

That summer (DIBC is always in the May weekend of Mothers' Day), he completed the "high" COPE course at summer camp and the next year, did the COPE and zip lines at Philmont.

 

Yes, we as parents, shelter our children too much (my opinion) in the good ole US of A.

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There are plenty of things we did 100 years ago aren't that important for the vast majority of us ... they don't provide an application to today's way of life.

 

Yes, but they are still fun.

 

We've made incredible progress technologically which we use to make these activities much safer and more comfortable than in years past. Parents have to trust the Scouters with thier sons. And, I find that by and large they do.

 

 

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Acco reminded me of an expereince I had. First weekend I worked at Kingsdown Scout Camp was the 20th annual Cub weekend. One of the highlights was climbing AND rappelling for them. In the US only Boy Scouts can rappell.

 

Another proof of the BSA being risk averse is that some MBs haver estrictions on who can be an MBC. Now I can understand wanting to have someone certified as a lifeguard teaching lifesaving. But some of the others?

 

For example

 

Canoeing. Canoeing merit badge counselors must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor or Canoeing Instructor certification from the American Canoe Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent; OR local councils

may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified.

 

Luckily I've been previously approved for caneoing so council can recertify me. Closest I've come to the certs required was BSA Lifeguard, YMCA Lifeguard, and YMCA Lifeguard Instructor. But I have 3 fifty+ mile expeditions under my pfd, and numerous weekend trips. I've taught canoeing not only with individuals, but also at summer camp when the MBC was fired. And that was the week I was going for BSA Lifeguard (luckily I was already a lifeguard instructor andf didn't miss much in the class)

 

Rowing. Rowing merit badge counselors must have either BSA Aquatics Instructor certification or equivalent; OR local councils may approve individuals previously certified as such, or trained by an instructor so qualified. Ditto above.

 

Luckily sailing doesn't have any restrictions, yet at least.

 

 

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Lets see,someone could call up my DE this morning and tell her that they are a Church that wants to Charter a Troop and they will be bringing over the IH and COR this afternoon to sign the papers and be a troop and take the troop on a 50 mile hike this Saturday and nobody HAS to be trained in anything other thna possibly youth protection and you think the BSA is risk adverse?

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They've tightened up the requirements for who can supervise shooting sports, which maybe is a good thing.

 

The helmets while sledding is pretty idiotic. This must have been a knee jerk reaction by someone in the BSA risk management office.

 

Overall, with the exception of the helmet rule above, I don't think BSA is too risk averse. I'd argue that most folks who think so don't want to invest the time or money os getting trained to safely conduct these activities, so it's easier to complain about it than invest the time in the kids.

 

I used to be an Owl......

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Most people aren't interested in recreation that imperils their health...if that weren't the case, we'd all drive muscle cars and own jet skis and parachutes.

I think the numbers of people who engage in those activities would be far higher if the entry requirements weren't so incredibly expensive. That airplane fuel (and everything else) for multiple jumps to get some experience so that you can call yourself a real skyjumper isn't cheap. The cost of a jet skis, transportation costs, storage space, heck up here in Lake Arrowhead many of the docks in the lake are actually worth more (in this housing economy) than the houses that the docks are "attached" to (not physically attached, but legally).

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