Jump to content

Recommended Posts



99.9% of the time I agree with you. I don't here. I agree with your sentiment, but not you interpretation. The policy "prohibits" alcohol and controlled substances....period.


It then goes on to say that adult leaders "should" support a no-smoking stance and "may not" allow the use of tobacco products. This part of the policy is leaving tobacco use decisions at the local level.


To settle this once and for all, the BSA needs to rewrite their policy to say this:


The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of (alcoholic beverages, controlled substances and tobacco products) at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.


All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities (must) be conducted on a smoke-free basis.


No muss, no fuss and nothing left to differing opinions. Clear, simple and concise. Until BSA changes the policy to read this way, the wording will be left open to interpretation for words such as "should" and "may not" as opposed to "prohibits".


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 99
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

The unasked for, Quixote's interpretation of the Guide to Safe Scouting policy on Smoking, Toking & Boozin'


The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.


Explanation - NO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL - EVER on their property or any time there are youth participants. It is ok to have a meeting or dinner of ADULTS and have a beer (from the way it's written, even do drugs, as long as they aren't illegal - i guess if you're meeting in amstradaam, you could have a very interesting dinner)


Adult leaders should support the attitude that young adults are better off without tobacco and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants.


Explanation - We should all be anti-smoking zealots and smoking is PROHIBITED any time there are youth involved


All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.


Explanation - BSA want's us to stop smoking, but it's ok to smoke 'em if you've got 'em - at adult only events - just be considerate of others.


The policy does not need to be rewritten, it needs to be read or re-read. Common Sense is a remarkable thing - as long as a lawyer's not involved*



*Legal Disclaimer - The author of this article posts with tongue firmly planted in cheek and the preceeding should not be construed as a personal attack on any members of the legal profession - unless they want to construe it that way, in which case, my daddy can beat up your daddy and your momma wears combat boots, na na na na na na!!(This message has been edited by Quixote)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Following in Quixote's footsteps:


The banning of controlled substances would prohibit anyone from taking prescription medications (a controlled substance) during my summer camp (a BSA owned facility with youth participants).


Lawyers be damned. Don't smoke in view or smell of the youth. If they happen to see you smoke, YOU are at fault, not them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just checking the upcoming events on our Council's website and found this:









Possession, consumption, or being under the influence of narcotics or dangerous drugs, including marijuana, WILL NOT BE TOLERATED at camp at any time.




Smoking will only be permitted in a designated area, as determined by the Camp Director.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Got what? Your point of view, Bob?


Nowhere in the G2SS does it say smoking is prohibited. It is not encouraged but not prohibited. Therefore, Quixote's interpretation is wrong.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry Ed with all the back and forth of "what does the policy say" and "What doesn't" the policy say" I completely forgot all the positive attributes that smoking in front of the scouts brings to the program and to the youth members.


If you have a few minutes could you remind us of the benefits that tobacco has in developing the character of young people. Also I understand that as the unit leader we are responsible for the health and welfare of the scouts during scouting activiities. How again does smoking and tobacco use help us to do that?


We don't need the entire list of benefits just a couple would be enough to jog our memories.






Link to post
Share on other sites

OK Bob, I can give you some.

In the area where I live ( Piedmont NC ), tobacco farming and manufacturing has fed and clothed thousands over the years. Camp Raven Knob is surrounded by tobacco farms. The company I work for ( a tobacco comapny ) has given untold dollars in support of Scouting. They have probably purchased 10% of the Troop trailers in our Council. In my Troop alone, they have given us over $2000 in grants for camping equipment and canoes, with no strings attached. I know of at least 30 good adult leaders who are employed here, and their Scouting activites are fully supported by the company.


They don't support youth using tobacco. They don't hand out cigarettes at Summer Camp.


Have I seen smokers at Scouting events? Sure, in adult areas, or out by themselves. Have Scouts seen them smoke? Probably so. I'll agree it's not the best example to set in front of young people.


Neither is vulgarity, which I've heard. Or obesity. Or laziness. Or stealing. Or anger. Or rudeness. And so on.


I realize tobacco has become the whipping boy for our country at the present, but you won't convince me that tobacco is the great evil most of the country thinks it is.



Link to post
Share on other sites



how is this unclear:


"Adult leaders....may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants."


Does it say "prohibited" as in the preceeding para. in the G2SS? No, but "may not allow" is just as clear. You may not allow this whether you like it or not. If your council, district or troop allows it, they are in violation of the G2SS.


I'm not an anti-smoking nazi, but the rules are very clear. I maintain that there is only one conceivable interpretation.


YIS (scouting, not smoking ;))


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob, my contention is simply this - tobacco is a pretty broad based word used in our society for a number of things.

Does the plant teach character? Probably not to most, but it did to me. I worked in tobacco fields, warehouses, and now, in a factory. You will learn character in the middle of summer in a tobacco field!

Does the tobacco company teacher character? Ours doesn't so much teach it, as they do recognize individuals in the company, such as those in Scouting, by their support of it.

Do the workers in tobacco teach character? I believe we do. We're just factory workers - who are Sunday School teachers, Scoutmasters, coaches, and so on, just like everyone else..

Can smokers teach character? My parents did. My Scoutmaster did. And I'll put their wisdom and teaching up against anyone on this message board.


So, can "tobacco" teach character? Yes.

Does smoking teach character? No

Can smokers teach character? Yes, I believe they can.(This message has been edited by Stan Riddle)

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK guys! I posted my council's camp rules to prove a point that the wording of the BSA policy is not interpreted by all to mean that tobacco is prohibited. The policy is clear that alcohol and drugs are prohibited. It says you "may not allow" tobacco. What is it you guys don't understand about that. They could have used the words "can not allow" or "will not allow". They didn't, they used "may not". The word "may" means something totally different from "can", "will" or "prohibit". "May" implies that you have the option of prohibiting tobacco use if you choose to. BSA has plenty of lawyers that carfully craft the wording of these policies. If the intent was to absolutely prohibit the use of tobacco, they would have said so......they chose not to.


Personally, I have no problem with prohibiting the use of tobacco around scouters. But until the BSA makes prhibition a policy, tobacco can and will be used around scouts where local options allow. Just the facts. End of story.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stan, I am not asking if a person who smoked benefitted the scout. Or if a tobacco plantation benefitted the scout. I am asking how the use of tobacco products in front of the scout develops his character.


My apologies if that was unclear in prior postings.


Bob White

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
  • Create New...