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missymoose71

Help - knife safety uestion

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gungho4scouts,

Cubs can carry knives! Just not while they are Cub Scouting unless they have earned their Whittling Chip!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Thanks evmori!

 

After I re-read my post, realize the mistake in my wording. Everyone seems to keep posting that there is a rule against all others except for Bears and I've been searching high and low for it.

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As Ed said, the only rule is they must earn their Whittling Chip first. The association with Bears is probably because one of the Bear achievements is "Shavings and Chips":

 

SHAVINGS AND CHIPS (Bear Handbook - Page 146)

Do all four requirements.

Know the safety rules for handling a knife.

Show that you know how to take care of and use a pocketknife.

Make a carving with a pocketknife. Work with your den leader or other adult when doing this.

Earn the Whittlin' Chip card.

 

But AFAIK, the Whittling Chip can be earned at any level.

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My two cents . . .

I disagree with the statement "Either he's being prepared to skin a buck, or he's learning to be macho, like his dad. " Just having a sheath knife doesn't mean you are trying to be macho or going to skin a deer. I am 5'1" and up until this year I always had a sheath knife ( maybe not on but near). The reason was I had horses and you never knew when you were going to need a knife. I used it to cut a girth off a downed horse before on a trail ride. I used it to cut bailing twine from legs when hay wasn't properly placed. I used it to cut the bottom of my shirt off to use as an emergency bandage to get an injured horse in from pasture to the first aid kit. So many uses, so little time, but I wasn't being macho.

Kristi

 

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"I used it to cut a girth off a downed horse before on a trail ride"

 

Mmmm, Maybe I could use one to cut some girth from myself......

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While not everyone who carries a sheath knife is bragging on macho, I see no reason for a cub to carry one. It's not as useful as a pocketknife and is far more dangerous (IMHO). I too have horses and I find a small multi-tool on my belt much more convenient (even cuts baling wire!

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On a go-see-it outing, what kinds of jobs does a Tiger cub need to do that require a sheath knife versus a folding pocket knife? Same for the dad. What do you suppose the dad's thinking was when he strapped on a sheath knife, and provided one for his son too?

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This conflicting information about when a Cub can earn his Whittling Chip has bothered me for a couple of years and so Ill take this opportunity to toss in my 2-cents worth. In the Cub Scout Leader Handbook, 2001 ed. it states As the boy advances through the rank, requirements are progressively more challenging, matching the increased skills and abilities of a boy as he grows older. (emphasis added) (Ch. 18-1). The Bear badge is for those boys who have completed the second grade (or are 9 years old). Therefore, you can reason that Bear Requirement No. 19, Shavings and Chips, which includes earning the Whittling Chip as requirement No. 19d, means this requirement is suggested for boys who 9 years old or older.

No doubt that the skills and abilities of a 9 year old surpass those of a 7 or 8 year old. The Handbook further states that a boy may not begin working on the requirements for the next rank until he reaches the next grade or age requirement. (Ch. 18-4). BSA has been helping to raise elementary-aged boys for 75 years. Id like to think that if the officials at BSA thought Tigers or Wolf Cubs could handle pocketknives safely at scouting functions, then they would have added the Whittling Chip as an elective or requirement to the curriculum. Unfortunately, BSA has only added fuel to the fire of confusion by saying in both chapters 13-5 and 29-5 of the Handbook that Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may earn the right to carry a pocketknife to designated Scouting functions by completing the requirements for the Whittling Chip card. BSA needs to eliminate these conflicts of suggested procedures and guidelines.

My den treated the Whittling Chip card like the carrot before the mule: earn the Bear badge, first, and then you can earn the Whittling Chip card.

I didnt become aware of the above procedures and guidelines until the end of our Tiger year. Whenever a new scout joined my den, I gave him and his parent a welcome letter that included, among other things, the information about when the scout can earn the Whittling Chip card.

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The problem is when a poor sheath is worn improperly it creates a potential stabbing for the wearer. Suggest a knife blade that is no longer than across their palm and is a lock blade. It won't fold back on small fingers and will be a managable size. I still love them but use them away from scouting events. A folder can be just as dangerous as a fixed blade. Education and proper use is the key to being safe.

 

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To LauraMO: Creating a requirement that a boy earn his Bear rank BEFORE he is allowed to earn his Whittlin' Chip Card means he cannot choose to do the Shavings and Chips Achievement. Is it appropriate for a Pack/District/Council to tell a Scout that he cannot do a particular Achievement listed in the respective handbook? I don't think so. I DO think a parent has that authority though.

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Has anyone on this forum REALLY ever witnessed first-hand someone hurting themselves with a fixed blade knife while it is in its sheath?

 

If so, please share with us what happened!

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The problem with sheath knives isn't when they are in the sheath - it's when they come out of the sheath. And because (most) boys love knives, sharp sticks, and pointy things, knives often come out of the sheath, to look at, to show some one else, to play with. And there's the rub. IMHO, whereas an 11 year old has the maturity to properly use a sheath knife, most 6-9 years olds do not. If the cub has earned the Whittlin' Chip, this is a parental decision but should be guided/advised by the Cubmaster while on a Scout outing.

 

Personally, I never would have let my sons wear a sheath knife when they were cubs. No matter how responsible they are for their age, kids will be kids and I valued their fingers too much.

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My point, and its been talked to death in this forum, is that a fixed blade knife is no more dangerous than a folding knife, an axe, a hatchet, or a saw. The danger is in the actions of the holder. A sharp folding knife is just as dangerous if mishandled as a fixed blade knife - maybe more so due to the risk folding accidents. Misuse of axes, hatchets, and wood saws will result in MUCH more serious injuries (I have the scar to prove it - one slip of a bow saw on the pointing finger of my left hand). Unfortunately, fixed blade sheath knives are the "assault rifles" of the knife world - the public perceives a greater danger, whether justified or not. Carry a big (5") fixed blade sheathed knife in public and you're likely freak out people, or worse, get stopped by the police, even though it is entirely legal in my state.

 

My council has banned fixed blade sheath knives at Scout activities (excluding fixed blade kitchen knives apparently), and I abide by those rules and uphold them, but that doesn't mean that I agree with them.

 

I agree with the comment that Cub Scouts do not need knives. I am now in the middle of my boys' Webelos 1 year and I have yet to see a time when they need to have knives in their posession other than specifically for knive safety training. On the other hand, given the amount of outdoor activities for Boy Scouts and possibly Webelos 2, I can see where those boys WOULD need to carry a knife with them.

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KNIFE SAFETY,

I KNOW THE PROBLEM YOU ARE HAVING. I COME FROM A FISHING COMMUNITY IN FLOUR BLUFF TEXAS, THE BOYS ARE TAUGHT TO CARRY A KNIFE AT A VERY EARLY AGE, BEFORE THEY GET ON A BOAT. THE BEST THING THAT I FOUND THAT WORKS, IS WHEN YOU WORK ON THE WHITTLING CHIP WITH THE BOYS GET THE PARENT OR PARENTS INVOLVED. SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THAT WE DO NOT MAKE UP THE RULES. IF THEY UNDERSTAND THE B.S.A. KNIFE SAFETY REGULATIONS IT WILL HELP YOU AS A LEADER TO TELL THEM THAT THEY ARE BREAKING A KNIFE SAFETY REGULATION. PARENTS WHO TAKE THE WHITTLING CHIP UNDERSTAND. THE ONES THAT DONT WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND,WE HAVE REGULATIONS TO FOLLOW.

DONT LET IT BUG YOU ,ALWAYS REMEMBER "SAFETY FIRST" .

GOOD LUCK

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Hi and welcome pkcubmn! It is good to have some new people in the forum. I agree with you about knife education. I also feel that in general people can blow situations out of control, as from the comment that a sheaf knife was making everyone uncomfortable. I would have been different if the wearer had been cleaning his nails with it. ;)

Anyway, pull up a log around the fire and join us for a spell.

Kristi

TN

 

(By the way, typing in all caps is considered yelling and is in bad form in most forums)

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