Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Karen_216

Roasting Marshmallows

Recommended Posts

Karen, I think the question was perfectly legitimate. I think the message coming from national on this issue is somewhat garbled (especially given that outdoor cooking is a rank achievement for Cubs), although BobWhite's explanation of the "guidelines" chart is helpful.

 

I know that there are even Boy Scout troops who have concerns over marshmallows; my older son's former troop (he changed troops earlier this year) actually had a troop rule that marshmallow roasting was not allowed at troop events, because they had an incident in the past with a flaming marshmallow being accidently flung in the face of a nearby scout, causing significant injury. Many people have similar concerns about flaming marshmallows around rather flammable tents. Now, while I personally think that is a bit of an overkill to outlaw them entirely (but indicative of some of the problems with this troop), in the pack I am Cubmaster for, we do have a rule that if the marshmallow catches fire, it stays in the fire. And so far, we've never had any problems with our Cubs cooking.

 

I'm sorry that you experienced so quickly a less than kind post. I can't comment on the actual content, because I am fairly quick to use the "ignore user" button when I see multiple comments from a poster that I find distasteful. All I can recommend is that you do the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I have seen many times on this forum, there are many interpretations of the same words in the G2SS. That leaves many questions for many scouters on a lot of topics. I see the marshmallows as a legitimate question since there is at least one person with a doubt of what is proper. That is what makes this a great forum.

 

The only dumb question is the one not asked....

 

Well, I guess someone could ask one that is irrelevant to scouting or the outdoors (what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?).

(This message has been edited by rjscout)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The american or the european swallow?

 

All non-fiction writing is merely reference material is it not? The difference is what it references.

 

More scouts would benefit if more scouters followed Karen's example and used the official BSA references to find answers to their questions on scouting. Like HillBilly, Karen's only problem was inexperience. And inexperience is easily overcome with time and practice.

 

How to use the G2SS and the Activities Guideline is explained in the New Leader Essentials and in the Leader Specific Training courses if they have taken those courses, and IF the trainers followed the syllabus, or for those of in cases like Hillbilly's simply by reading the preface of the document

 

But I give them both credit for being open to learning new information and to understanding what the BSA resources say and how to use them rather than relying on the hearsay or habit of others to learn program policies and procedures.

 

Asking questions is a good way to learn as long as you your goal is to learn the actual answers and you are not just wanting to hear your opinion supported.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah Nessmuk's response was a little rough but made a great point! Nothing wrong with the question asked, though.

 

There are probably thousands of things like this that come up all the time! If one applies common sense to the situation, the answer will be easy & right in line with what the G2SS says.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not referenced any materials, so what I say is no law. I would expect that if you were roasting marshmallows with your cubs, someone would be there if there was one that burst into flames. Worst case, let it drop into the fire and get another. S'mores are one thing that my Cubs are looking foward to. It just takes some common sense to keep people from getting hurt and tents from getting damaged. If you are able to fling a flaming marshmallow into a tent, then you may want to look at how close your tents are to the campfire. These are just some things that I can see. If your leadership is watching then there should be no problems.

 

As for the G2SS, it is a guide. I was once told this in reference to using it. It is a guide to help you decide on the activities for the youth. Yes it is a great guideline, but there are certain things that you have to use your brain for. One way that I think of it is this. If someone gets hurt, can I say that it was an unpreventable accident and will the liability insurance cover it. Or simply put, if I have to ask is this stupid and can some one get hurt, then I probably should not be doing it. I work in EMS and see these things every day.

 

These are my opinions and I hope they do not offend anyone. If you have a question about this post please feel free to contact me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I train drivers. The first thing I tell the newbies is "there is no such thing as a dumb question".

I train folks at IOLS. The first thing I tell the nascent Scoutmasters is "there is no such thing as a dumb question". Then I ask them if they know the 13th point of the Scout Law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we trying to raise our boys to be self-sufficient men or are we intent on protecting them from any and every potential source of harm in the world.

 

Teaching Cubs to use a pocketknife safely was always fun. The boys loved it and learned to use tools as they are intended. Teaching Scouts to use an axe does the same. Both scare the bejeebers out of parents who are afraid they child will either lose all ten fingers or come home an axe-murderer.

 

Perhaps we should petition our legislators to pass a law requiring all marshmallows to be non-flammable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Perhaps we should petition our legislators to pass a law requiring all marshmallows to be non-flammable?"

 

I will admit, I laughed. But if really want to get down to it, all solids burn if heated enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, I scanned this thread, very interesting -- flaming marshmallow in the face, scarey thought -- but I missed any reference to the core princple of CUB scout camping.

 

Cub Scouts go camping with their FAMLIES. Not as dens, not away from parental control, EXCEPT for council sponcered residence camp (then with a high adult leader - cub ratio, and there is rarely any opportunity to interact with fire there), or Webelos scouts participating in a Boy Scout Troop event (like a Webelos Weekend).

 

So, if the boys want to roast marshmallows, round up the parents. Have a frank and short discussion about the rules of engagement, and give them the impliments of destruction.

 

Personally, I only allow my kids to roast marshmallow over EMBERS, not flames, and any waving sticks in the direction or vicinity of other people, let alone faces, get one warning then a confiscation. Kids who can't be trusted get to act as roasting advisors, while an adult does the roasting --- everyone gets to eat somemores! (I go camping alot with my family, and I treat my Girl Scouts the same way).

 

On a side note, kids are not allowed to fiddle with the fire -- no sticks poking in and out of the campfire. Sticks that get poked in get added to the fire perminantly.

 

This earns me some hairy eyeballs from the kids, and some of the Dads think I'm too up tight, but I don't really care. Trips to the ER ruin my camping experience.

 

(This message has been edited by Cheerful Eagle)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You know, I scanned this thread, very interesting -- flaming marshmallow in the face, scarey thought -- but I missed any reference to the core princple of CUB scout camping. Cub Scouts go camping with their FAMLIES."

 

Cheerful Eagle, perhaps it was not more explicitly called out because, this being the Cub Scout subforum, and most of us reading it being Cub Scout leaders, we took that as read.

 

I did mention that, like all the cooking our Cubs do, we "let the boys roast marshmallows, with adult/parental supervision, and the ok of their parents."

 

Also, what if the marshmallow roasting is going on *not* at a camping overnight, but at a den meeting, or a pack meeting? Despite the fact that we'd like them to, not all parents can/do attend every den meeting or every pack meeting (Tigers excepted, of course). Hopefully, though, there is still enough adult supervision to keep the boys safe around the fire; if not, then we wouldn't have an activity involving a fire.(This message has been edited by Dankroh)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DanKroh wrote: "Also, what if the marshmallow roasting is going on *not* at a camping overnight, but at a den meeting, or a pack meeting? Despite the fact that we'd like them to, not all parents can/do attend every den meeting or every pack meeting (Tigers excepted, of course). Hopefully, though, there is still enough adult supervision to keep the boys safe around the fire; if not, then we wouldn't have an activity involving a fire."

 

Hmm true, I had my personal experience blinders on. I've never been involved in a den meeting that involved a fire, planned or unplanned ;). Being in a urban setting where even fireplaces are rarely if ever used, it never occured to me to think of somores as anything but a camping activity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Minneapolis, urban roasting of marshmallows is pretty common.

Way back when I had a den, we roasted marshmallows using a small weber grill as our firepit. Other folks I know roast them in a chiminiere.

Key things to making this activity safe:

Teach fire safety and fire-ring behavior *before hand*

Do not even allow marshmallow roasting ingredients or implements in view until the fire is down to nice coals.

Set a firm rule on how many way enter the fire ring at a time (2 is a good number). Crowding and jostling are not safe behaviors around the fire. Tell them you're looking for who is ready - you're looking for attentive still bodies - they'll get to roast first!

Demonstrate how to safely handle a flaming marshy. Either committing it to the flames for all eternity (dirges may be sung) or slowly bringing it near enough to blow out. No waving of flaming marshies - it will just burn hotter and faster.

Set expectations high for golden roasted marshies - kids will follow the example you set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All

 

>>On a side note, kids are not allowed to fiddle with the fire -- no sticks poking in and out of the campfire. Sticks that get poked in get added to the fire perminantly.

 

This earns me some hairy eyeballs from the kids, and some of the Dads think I'm too up tight, but I don't really care. Trips to the ER ruin my camping experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So let's get this straight, if the GUIDE to safe Scouting is just that a GUIDE then does it follow that two deep leadership which is referenced in the GUIDE is optional according to our estimation of the maturity of our scouts? Is laser tag allowed according to our estimation of the maturity of our scouts? How about BSA organized hunting of animals? Many rural youth hunt from early on. How about handguns? Still Venture Crew and above? It's only a GUIDE after all.

LongHaul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading a topic that dealt with the Guide yesterday. It seems the Bold sections are actually National rules to be followed. Non-bold sections are "good practices" and may be local rules depending on your own council.

 

By the way, it's my understanding that Laser Tag is no longer specifically disallowed. It is left up to your own (or Council) discretion. Look at the current Guide online.

 

Has anyone else looked at "The Dangerous Book for Boys"? It could have been taken from some of the old Handbooks!

 

Perhaps our boys would look sweet in pink neckerchiefs? Of course we should probably come up with breakaway neckerchief slides. The slides would not be able to be depictions of totem poles or Native Americans (politically incorrect). And they could not be carved from wood (a double whammy...kids with knives, oh my...wood slides means deforestation, clearcutting, global warming). Oh no where's Al Gore when you need him?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×