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Pocket knives for cub scouts

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I think it is generally a bad idea for cub scouts to have pocket knives, but my son can't wait. I told him that he has to earn the whittling chip card first. I've read that the whittling chip card is for Webelos. I think that's a fine idea, but today I am reading the requirements for a Wolf scout to earn the Outdoor Activity Award. The requirements include: "Assemble the "Six Essentials for Going Outdoors" (Wolf Handbook, Elective 23b) and discuss their purpose." So I turned to Elective 23b in my handbook to find out what these six essentials are, and I found a list of "eight essentials."

1 first aid kit

2 filled water bottle

3 flashlight

4 trail food

5 sunscreen

6 whistle

7 rain gear

8 pocket knife

 

I could forgive the writers of the outdoor activity award pamphlet for getting the number of essentials wrong, but I'm flabbergasted to think the writer of the wolf handbook think its a good idea to take a den of 8 year olds on a hike armed with pocket knives and whistles!

 

What are your thoughts?

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I believe that in most states it is against the law to bring ANY kind of knife (locking, non-locking) onto public school grounds.

 

However, if you meet in a private school, after hours, and have permission from the school, you should be fine. Our Pack, and Troop, have met in a church school building for over 50 years, and never had a problem.

 

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My layman's understanding of CA law (I am NOT a lawyer, this is not legal advice) of code 626.10 is that an adult is OK with a pocket knife on school grounds (the law applies to public or private schools) as long as the blade isn't over 2.5 inches, and does NOT LOCK. A locking blade of any length is not allowed. There is an exception for "instructive purposes" or for employees (such as kitchen staff). My point is CHECK your local laws so you don't get into trouble. There are some surprises out there!

 

You don't want to be teaching a knife class to a bunch of cubs with plastic knives and soap bars in your CO's private school and suddenly learn that you are breaking the law.

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New guide to safe scouting/ Age appropriate guidelines-- only Bears and Webelos and up can use pocketknives, no morepocketknives for wolves like it used to be.

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New guide to safe scouting/ Age appropriate guidelines-- only Bears and Webelos and up can use pocketknives, no morepocketknives for wolves like it used to be.
Thanks for the heads up, just read the March 2013 changes to the guidelines that took the opportunity away from the Wolf cubs. Also clearly states knives are not allowed in schools

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Referencing the first post in this thread, I still think it's absurd the inconsistencies between the different BSA documents.

If a Wolf scout is going to assemble the Outdoor essentials that includes a pocketknife, and then discuss why he would want a pocketknife on an outing like a hike

-- it makes no sense to me that said wolf scout after discussing how important these things are, is not supposed to actually carry the pocketknive or maybe he could have the pocketknife in his outdoor essentials that someone else carries? Outdoor essentials really should ot be shared by two people, because if they get separated each is only half prepared.

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Agree with checking local laws.

 

What I bought was the following:

http://www.opinel-usa.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Opinel-knives-No-7-carbon-steel-folding-knife

 

I like carbon steel since it holds an edge much, much longer, and a sharp knife IS a safe knife. I also like the easy locking mechanism: pull out the blade and twist the top lock and it's done. untwist, fold blade, and twist to secure. Much easier than the button on official CS knives.

 

But any knife will do. And yes Wolves and older can earn Whittling chip.

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Very often misunderstood age restriction on earning the chip. Wolf cubs can earn however as many have said before' date=' it depends on the scout. We overcome this by ensuring that a parent takes the class with the scout. No parent, no chip. We have found that a terrific knife for the younger scouts is the cub scout lock blade knife with the blue rubber handle. it is small and easy to use by the cubs. Using non-lock blade knifes and multi function knives is asking for a scout to get cut [/quote']

 

I have yet to see anywhere in print where it says a scout younger than a bear scout may use a knife or earn his whittling chip. The Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities specifies "Bears Only". http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34416_Insert_Web.pdf

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Very often misunderstood age restriction on earning the chip. Wolf cubs can earn however as many have said before' date=' it depends on the scout. We overcome this by ensuring that a parent takes the class with the scout. No parent, no chip. We have found that a terrific knife for the younger scouts is the cub scout lock blade knife with the blue rubber handle. it is small and easy to use by the cubs. Using non-lock blade knifes and multi function knives is asking for a scout to get cut [/quote']

 

I have yet to see anywhere in print where it says a scout younger than a bear scout may use a knife or earn his whittling chip. The Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities specifies "Bears Only". http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34416_Insert_Web.pdf

92hatchattack, you are correct. The March revisions to the Guide to Safe Scouting have now clearly restricted knife use by cubs to Bears and above.

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Interesting note on the guide. They have vertical wall or tower climbing as Webelos or above but, our council day camp has that for all ranks. Interesting how the District Exec doesn't follow the guideline. IMHO, these are safe for the younger ranks if operated properly with the correct equipment.

 

My son has the cub scout branded swiss army knife and it works well for him so far. It is basic and doesn't have many tools. It did take him a while to be able to open and close it but he finally got the hang of it. Gave me more grey hair teaching him though.

 

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Interesting note on the guide. They have vertical wall or tower climbing as Webelos or above but, our council day camp has that for all ranks. Interesting how the District Exec doesn't follow the guideline. IMHO, these are safe for the younger ranks if operated properly with the correct equipment.

 

My son has the cub scout branded swiss army knife and it works well for him so far. It is basic and doesn't have many tools. It did take him a while to be able to open and close it but he finally got the hang of it. Gave me more grey hair teaching him though.

I had to buy my Scout side locking Gerber because he couldn't safely unlock the standard locking knives. I don't let him have it unless we are on trips away from his little brother. (7).

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A pocket knife is an invaluable tool, not only for Scouts, but for anyone. Everyone I work with knows I carry one, even in a suit. This being said, we start teaching knife safety and proper knife usage, first with popsicle sticks, then with plastic knives (all with soap), with our Tigers (we actually have the Boy Scouts teach this during our Cub Day Camps).

 

Starting with the Tigers teaches habits and by the time they are Bears, most of the Whittlin' Chip is "old hat" and they can easily recite (and teach the new Cub Scouts) the rules of using this tool. However, our Scouts don't usually their own pocket knives until 1/2 way through their Bear year (parents will usually "present" the pocket knife as a Christmas gift to their Bear Scouts).

 

The Wolf elective requirement of assembling an outdoor kit introduces the Scouts to proper camping skills. Yes, you want them to learn what they really need, especially when taking care of themselves while camping. This is not to give them while camping, but to start teaching them and introducing them to the "tools of the trade." If the Scout is taught properly, he should ask Mom or Dad before the campout ... "Do you have the ....??" By the time he becomes a Webelos, he will be checking himself for the proper outdoor kits.

 

Now, as for the proper type knife one should use, BSA does not "allow" lock-blade knives (funny, though, they sell lock-blade knives at scoutstuff.org). I do not like for my sons to carry a lock-blade knife until Boy Scouts ... they are usually too difficult to close for the younger Scouts. Start with something simple (I really like the Cub Scout knife at scoutstuff.org, or the whittling knife). If you get one with too many "toys" (like a multi-tool or a larger Swiss Army), the knives become too large for the Cub Scouts to really learn how to use the tool.

 

The point of the Whittlin' Chip, and the knife skills taught in Cub Scouts is to teach whittling ... for this, you only need a single, small blade. Let the Scouts learn more uses for the tools as Boy Scouts (however, it is quite entertaining, for a while, to watch a Cub Scout try to open a can with a can-opener from a pocket knife).

 

Teach knife safety early, and thoroughly and appropriately, and you shouldn't have to worry about the "dangers" of "arming" ... (as already said, stress the tool aspect of the knife and correct whenever a Scout refers to it as a weapon, or anything other than a tool) Cub Scouts with small, personal pocket knives for whittling ... at least until they start hanging out with those older, non-Scout boys, referenced in an earlier post. Good Luck!!!

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