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JeffD

boy did i ever open a can of worms... cubs and knives

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I don't think there's ever a "need" for a Tiger to carry a knife. Carrying a knife is a big deal to a kid. As such, it should be treated with respect and care. If anything, holding Cubs off until they are Wolfs, or even Bears, only serves to make it more special. Our pack doean't let the boys earn their card until they are Bears.

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Can they earn Whittling Chip as a Tiger/Wolf/Bear/Webelos? Sure, the BSA books say so!! The popcorn and candy prizes even list a variety of knives.

 

Should they earn it as a Tiger/Wolf/Bear/Webelos? Thats another story all together. The approach we took in our Pack was that it wasn't listed until the Bear book gave guidance so the boys waited till then.

 

In our den, when they were Bears, we brought up the topic with just the parents and they decided what to do for each boy. In my own son's case it was about the start of 3rd grade that he was cutting his own meat at dinner.

 

A class was planned for a date in November, one other person from another den came. The class took two hours. The boys were not bored. The class I gave focused on SAFETY, how to control the blade and how to lose the card (not just a corner). For the boys the Chip was bigger than the Ranks they've earned. It has the same value to them as Arrow of Light.

 

Since then we have not had much need for a knife at a meeting.

 

Even camping we've not had much need for one.

 

When they made a Troop visit they learned that the Whittling Chip no longer counts and that they have to earn the Totin Chip at the Troop.

 

As a Den we went to a "Family Adventure" at the local council campground. The boys brought there knifes to make there own marshmallow and hotdog cooking sticks. Each boy had there whittling card with them and no one lost the card.

 

The scary thing: At the scout shop at the campground a Tiger dad from another pack was buying his son a 75th anniversary cub scout knife because the boy earned his 1st Tiger bead.

 

Our boys saw this and asked why they had to wait "for ever" when some 1st grader just gets one. We explained about being ready and having the motor skills to control it because its really safety training they got.

 

Later that day while waiting to do Archery the tiger kid was playing with the knife trying to cut grass blades. The dad wasn't paying attention. Our group moved away from him, but I did mention to the dad that a knife was not meant to cut grass blades. The kid managed to cut his finger and in the process when he cut himself the knife flew about 10 feet. No one else got hurt. He didn't hurt himself seriously, it was a small cut. BUT IT WAS A CUT.

 

Yesterday the boys (now Webelos II) were doing a craft. We had to drill holes. Following the G2SS I took a manual hand drill (really old fashioned). The new kid and his dad brought a heavy battery powered drill. I suggested he leave it in the car but the kids wanted the cool tool.

 

I explained it was too heavy and that controlling it was not easy for a 10 year old and for some adults as it was one of the new 36 volt models. They tried it out on a scrap piece of wood and realized I was right. They could not drill the correct holes with it. They went back to my old fashioned drill and made nice wood and leather crafts to give their Mom's for Valentines day. They were amazed that when I make cabinets I still use a 6 oz hammer instead of a big 24oz model. It was a lesson in the correct tool for the job and knowing how to use and control the tool.

 

It would be helpful if the Scout shop would provide more guidance when they sell knives!! Are they afraid they would sell less?

 

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eaglepete: The best minds often run around in the same rutted circles. What can I say? but ultimately there's very little to laugh at if a boy is hurt thru someones ignorance or stubborness. Frinstance:

 

eghiglie: I have often found that it is much easier to say no to a boy and make him understand the reasons than it is to say no to a parent and get them to ACCEPT the reasons. Would you agree?

 

Often, maturity and responsibility come at a price. When I was a much younger Scout, I was given my grandfathers pocket knife. (Totin' Chip, yes) I used it carefully for more than a year. It presently lies under the leaves and dirt somewhere on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland, dropped from my hand after I thought it was in my pocket. I was really shook up by that loss. I became very much better at keeping track of my things after that. My step sons were given Scout "Camp King" knives when they turned 13. I can't count the number of times we found them out in the yard or under the couch. They handled the knives well, no injuries, but keeping them? When SS #1 went off to the army, I found his knife somewhere in the house and ended up giving it to son #3 for Christmas (age 12), with SS#1's blessing. Don't know where SS#2's knife is still. He's up in PA. with his pa.

 

"to look sharp, and be sharp too, here's a razor ..."

 

YiS on the edge...

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From GSS Appendix

Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities

The table was updated to exclude pocket knives for use by Tiger Cubs

Updated: 5 Apr 2006

 

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