Jump to content

Health & Safety and Training Questions - Get the right info

Recommended Posts

Gunny wrote, "Each one of us had no clear guidance on some issues but knew which way the wind was likely to blow. BSA is not giving the same guidance."


Gunny, your analogy is spot on! Consistency in practice which supports policy is critical and we don't have that. Probably the nature of the beast since the discipline of an armed service just isn't available to the scouting hierarchy. Shoot, it isn't even possible within their own ranks - hence the kluge that is the GSS and other pronouncements in the first place.


So we fumble along,



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 47
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Thanks Vickie,

But I think that in part, the discipline to do what is expected comes from: Knowing what is expected.


It would be fairly simple for BSA to offer the kind of guidance we are talking about.. it would simply require that they SET a TONE to their guidelines. And that all publications that issue guidelines follow the same tone. Of course, it would take a little time to re-write all of those publications(I have some small experience here). But...


A) If it's not specifically allowed, then don't do it. (A very hard tone to write in)


B) If it's not specifically prohibited, then it might not be what we prefer but it's allowed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

This is a topic near and dear to me because I teach woods tools in IOLS in the limited time allocated to that topic.


Legends? You bet. Such as the legend I have heard (and read) repeatedly that B.S.A. policy is that sheath knives are to be avoided or "not encouraged" (as the BSHB would have it) -- or even "banned."


It's "large" sheath knives that are to be avoided or "not encourged," whatever "large" means. Nothing is banned. By negative implication, NOT "large" fixed-blade knives are at least permitted and possibly encouraged.


Apparently, "large" means a filleting knife to someone at B.S.A. because "a knife for cleaning fish" is given as an exception to the "large sheath knife" guidance. But when has anyone who has actually used one characterized a filleting knife as "heavy and ackward"? They are relatively light -- lighter than many folding knives (Think Buck 110.)--and handy.


And B.S.A. sells a "kitchen" knife with an 8" blade. "Large"? I guess so if a filleting knife is "large."


Keep the "kithen" knife in a sheath, as safety considerations might dictate, and what do you have? A "large sheath knife"?


"Carry" vs. not "carry" does not add much to the analysis for me.


It does not go to what the current rule actually is, but Scouts WILL encounter fixed-blade knives -- not only in Scouting but at home. The GSS acknowledges our educational mission. How does that mission not extend to a routinely-encountered home and woods tools sold by the B.S.A. to this day? Yet guidance on use of any fixed-blade knife has disappeared from current B.S.A. literature.


I am not sure what combination of factors result in the present lack of clear, rational guidance. Deliberate vagueness? Ignorance? Poor writing skills? All of the above?


As for the relative safety of hand axes, they are more dangerous IMO than a long axe due to the geometry created by their shorter handles and use with one hand. A mis **** with a hand axe when standing is more likely to end in a leg than a mis **** with a long axe.


And were safety the driving consideration, as opposed to being stylish, why sell and train in use of axes of any sort? The very rarety of the use of a violent impact tool suggests danger. (Yes, the hand axe can be a knife-substitute, but it's optimized as an impact tool.)


Then we have Council-specific bans on "all sheath knives" or "all fixed-blade knives." Why are "tactical," "speed-opening" folders (heavier for a given blade than a fixed-blade), many with unsafe locks, deemed acceptable when NOT "large" plain Jane fixed-blades are "banned"? How do Councils purport to ban fixed-blades while selling them in their camp trading post, allowing their use in campsites and program areas, and specifically telling Scouts they need to provide one for Fishing MB?


(And by the way, for those offended by the selling of Chinese junk tools, made in U.S.A. brands seems to be replacing the "CHINA" woods tools in our branch of the Scout Shop, although the best values are still on the secondary market.)

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...