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ASM59

Open toe shoes

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Nah, this is about excessive rule making and holier-than-thou enforcement.

 

If this were about teaching good judgement and using the right tool for the job, the rule would be "Scouts are encouraged to wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes while at camp unless activities dictate otherwise."

 

Our usual summer camp site is about 75 yards from the bath house and maybe 200 yards from the waterfront, connected to both by nicely-graveled roads. I've had camp staffers and leaders from other units chastize my Scout for wearing flip-flops on the way to or from the shower. These are kids wearing a towel around their waist with wet hair and smelling noticably better than everyone else. The Camp Rule is you may wear flip-flops IN the shower, but you must wear closed-toe shoes to and from.

 

By the way, our camp includes Crocs in the ban, although that is less well known and much more losely enforced. But when discussed during SM/SPL meetings, it was explained that Crocs slip off too easily and the rule includes "open heeled" shoes, too. That's fairly typical of bureaucratic, incremental rule making.

 

The other Big Rule is NO HATS IN THE DINING HALL. I agree as a general point of courtesy one should remove his hat when inside or while eating. I'm cool with that. But the way this rule is enforced is by the Dining Hall Steward coming up behind a boy, snatching the hat off his head and confiscating it until the next meal. So to teach courtesy and manners to our Scouts we will commit assault and larceny against them. Hmmm.

 

Reasonable people follow reasonable laws, even 12 year olds. But does anyone remember the 55 mph speed limits? Prohibition?

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Good comments Twocub...

 

While I am a believer in wearing close toed shoes at Council Camps, I am not for throwing out common sense. If it is truly a clear path (road) to the showers or waterfront, then I can see giving a Scout some wiggle room if he is only going to or from that facility. If however you see a first year Scout leaving for the First Year Program's 5 mile hike in flip flops, then you might want to say something. In all fairness, I think this could be mostly a self policing thing. If a Scoutmaster and/or SPL says something to Scouts and parents about the possibility of hurting themselves, then I think they'd be more careful about when and where they wear such footwear and possibly remind each other.

 

Sounds like we may have the same local Council camp; we have the same over zealous Dining Hall Staff at our camp. However, sometimes (depending on who confiscates the hat) you will not see it till the end of the week. I've had two Scouts and one adult lose hats in the past because of this. Yes, even adults are subject to having their hats "snatched" off of their heads. Oh, and getting yelled at in front of the whole dining hall full of people. But that's another story.

 

ASM59

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The only way a flat ban works is if there's a clearly explained, logical rationale behind it. Rules without reasons get ignored - as they should.

 

I hate to threadjack, but any Scout camp whose staffers snatch hats off heads should be the target of a complaint to the SE. Not all faiths believe that bare heads indoors are a sign of respect. In Judaism, for example, wearing a head covering is a sign of respect and faith! Those staffers need a snap lesson in interfaith relationships and should be ordered to cease imposing their own religious strictures on others.

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Rather than sensitivity training for camp staff, the Jewish boy needs a lesson from his Rabbi that a Boy Scout hat is not a yamaka.

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If a camp staffer yanked of my hat or one of my Scout's hats that person would lose their job and possible an arm.

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Ev, only once has my hat been removed/snatched by someone other than myself in a Scout dining Hall - and I was not even going to think about assaulting the 85 year old, 60 + years in Scouting, Volunteer Cook who, ahem, kindly removed it for me.

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They did the hat thing at the dinig hall of our BS summer camp too. They would hang them on a moose in the dining hall, and the offenders could retrieve them later in the week by singing a song or something.

 

Fortunately, we never ate in the dining hall. Our troop always camped in the "Dan Beard" section, so we cooked for ourselves in the campsite.

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I don't think the rules on open toe shoes is about a desire to make up rules as much as a need to make a rule to replace lost common - no, make that outdoors, sense. Camps didn't need to make rules about shoe types because people knew that wearing open toed shoes on trails and in roughly mowed or unmowed fields was just asking for trouble. No one would even consider wearing flip-flops, and back in my day as a Scout, if you wore sandals, you were a hippie. It's been a fairly recent (15 years or so) phenomenon that sandals have become footwear of choice for leisure wear. Because they've become a comfortable norm, people expect to be able to wear them for any activities, even if they aren't appropriate footwear. These new rules are reminders that we aren't walking around Mall of America.

 

Back in college, most of the Outdoor Rec majors wore Birkenstocks on a daily basis on campus - even in winter (that's what colorful wool socks are made for). But the moment it was announced in a class that we would be walking through the college's wood lot, there was an automatic 5 minute break while we all went out to our cars (or to dorm rooms for those that lived on campus) to put on boots or shoes. No one had to announce that we should go put on boots - it just happened. Yes - we all carried a pair of boots in the car - never knew when we would be headed into the woods. I fear that kind of outdoors sense is rapidly disappearing.

 

As for the hat snatching - never happened at our councils camps. The rule of etiquette on wearing of hats was explained at the first meal. Subsequent meals just wouldn't be served until everyones hat was off. No hat snatching needed - just a meal's host standing quietly and patiently until all hats were off to begin the meal. You could tell which tables were set as the staff members at those tables would be looking up front, while the staff member(s) at the table(s) with the hat wearer(s) would just be quietly looking at the hat wearer. It didn't really take much for the message to sink in.

 

 

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I'm thinking the discussion about following rules doesn't over-ride the issue that hats in dining halls is a courtesy rule/issue and descent camp footwear is a safety rule/issue. I'm thinking that there probably isn't going to be any major head trauma if someone snatches a scout uniform hat off a scout who is entering a dining hall whereas there could be major foot trauma if a boy steps on a wire style tent stake in sandals.

 

And I have had dining hall personnel try and remove my uniform hat they come into some stiff resistance. First of all it's part of my uniform and when I sit down to eat, I will courteously remove it. However, wearing it in doors is a long accepted tradition in the BSA unless the building is a place of religious worship and then the hat is removed or left on depending on the custom of the worshipers. However, if I were to be wearing a non-uniform hat then I would expect to remove it and the dining hall personnel who is standing there in their blue jeans and uniform shirt is expected to remove his/her pants when I remove my hat. So far I haven't any takers.

 

Stosh

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>>Yes - we all carried a pair of boots in the car - never knew when we would be headed into the woods. I fear that kind of outdoors sense is rapidly disappearing.

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Barry,

for me, and using Crocs... Heel Straps make it easy to attach to the pack with a carabiner for those places where its cross a creek go 200 yds of boot country, cross a creek, go 300 yards of boot country , cross a creek etc.

 

Straps make it more likely for the Croc to stay on your foot if you slip crossing a creek.

 

Straps can be slipped easily if you need to kick the Crocs off while lifeguarding a natural pool, lake, stream, swimming hole(have I mentioned they float?).

 

Straps help while walking in uneven terrain (where I normally wouldn't wear the Crocs).

 

I also hang them in my tent to conserve floor space, in case I need a "middle of the night" shoe - makes them easy to find too.

(This message has been edited by Gunny2862)

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I believe that wearing the Closed toed shoes in camp is a reasonable rule. As for the arguement about shorts, if you are gonna break you leg, it is going to happen wether or not you are wearing shorts or pants. That arguement does not fly with me. The knife and rifle comments, we fix this with education. Same reason why we restrict open-toed shoes in camp.

 

But I see some people saying that they will always wear open toed shoes, or sandles in camp. Down here in NC we have too many snakes, and several poisonous ones. Plus a whole bunch of other things that can get in your shoes. Our camp uses reject from a local mine, and there is sharks teeth in some of that. (the boys love it) Imaging getting a sharks tooth caught in the soft sole of your foot because you were wearing sandles.

 

But I guess the ones that say they wil wear sandles think they will do well at camps where I was a staff member. There were lots of slopes and hills. And yes these were down the pathways and roads to campsites and stuff. Moxieman can tell you that the flag assembly area at camp hinds is just a large sloped area. Not support by sandles can lead to foot and ankle injuries. But yes, lightning could also stike us all. I guess if we relax this rule then we should also relax the rule about scouts riding in the back of pick-up truck because falling out only happens every now and then.

 

It is a legitamate rule.

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I tried to spin off a new thread but had troubles. . .

 

The staff members of the dining hall should revisit the Scout law and reflect upon their actions in snatching the hats off of any youth or adult entering their facility. It is patently not Scout like behavior. What would make anyone think that this type of behavior is appropriate? How could they later sit in review of any Scout seeking advancement in rank after failing to live up to the Scout Law in front of them and the entire Scouting community at summer camp? What purpose is served by embarrassing someone for wearing a hat into a building? How are we ever going to retain and recruit new Scouts with this type of insensitive behavior?

 

What has happened to using a kind word and the simple polite reminder to get the person to remove their headgear? We recently toured a U. S. Navy submarine that was under retrofit and we were required to wear hard hats throughout our time aboard the sub. The one exception was when we entered the galley when we were politely told it is tradition to remove your headgear when entering there. Simple enough.

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Troop 24: A Scout is Courteous. That means the boy courteously removes his hat if necessary and courteously leaves it on the heads of others. :)

 

Stosh

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Here is what I was responding to Gunny.

 

>>Open toe/open heel shoes? Unless you're camping in the backyard and walking nowhere more challenging than a shopping mall, then nope - not going to wear them.

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