Jump to content

Crew activities with underage participants

Recommended Posts

I need clarification on an issue. There are a couple of boys who are Boy Scouts (13 years old) who have been participating in Crew activities (pistol shooting, kayaking, canoeing). An older sibling is a Crew member, and a parent is a Crew Advisor. Is it proper for these boys to be doing this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It would depend on the activity. The prospective member rule does not apply to youth who are under the age limits allowed for that group, on top of that they are already registered Boy Scouts.


Canoeing and Kayaking are fine for Boy Scouts, pistol shooting is not allowed, unless you are a Venturer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Age Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities and the Guide to Safe Scouting lists kayaking and canoing as appropriate for Boy Scout age boys.


The Guide to Safe Scouting specifies very clearly: "Handgun use is limited to the Venturing program only." and "All participants must complete a basic pistol marksmanship course prior to range firing."


Boy Scouts who are not in the Venturing Crew should not use handguns.


Link to post
Share on other sites


     This is how the age with relation to recruiting was explained to me. In order to be covered by insurance the youth must be able to join if they wanted to at the time of the activity in question. Specifically boys who have been graduated from Kindergarten but are not yet in first grade are not covered while being recruited for Tiger Scouts, because you must be in first grade to join. Boys who don't have the AOL, are not 11 years old or have not graduated 5th. grade are not covered while being recruited to join unless they are registered Cub Scouts in a Webelos den. Being registered covers them under the pack. The boys who are Boy Scouts would be covered but because firearms were a part of the activity insurance claims might be challenged, but a female less than 14 can not join if she wanted a therefore would not be covered. Also involved here is the liability coverage for adults which could become more important than the accident insurance if something goes wrong.

      You asked if this was proper not if it was covered by insurance. IMO If the boys are mature enough to function with the group and insurance is not the issue then where is the problem? If the young boys are making the program less fun or effective for the older ones and we are talking about canoeing which is OK, insurance wise if they are currently registered Boy Scouts, then its wrong to involve the little kids in a program set aside for older youth. Having relatives that own and operate a farm in Wisconsin, Ive seen children of alarmingly young ages using firearms. By 13 not a few were deer hunting, some alone. Farming does not generate a lot of cash and deer meat is an important staple in the freezer. Its the maturity level and what these youth bring or take away from the program that should be considered. Again this does not address the liability or accident insurance concern.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems strange that a few Scouting friends and I were talking about this the other day.

Some how we have a Scout Troop in the District that got mixed up with a Camp Fire Program. I admit to knowing nothing about Camp Fire. At the time of the mix up they called themselves Camp Fire Girls. I have no idea if that was the correct name or not.

How the mix came about is a long story, but it has to do with a very strong willed Lady who was listed as a COR and her husband was SM.

The Pack, Troop and Camp Fire Girls all seemed to be one unit. They never had much time for the District or the Council and with the blessing of their CO very much did their own thing.

Over the years I crossed swords with the COR a few times. The comments that I heard from my fellow Scouter's were mainly about how brave I was for taking on this Lady.

Her husband was /is a nice fellow.

Things started to go really wrong a few years back, when they had a falling out with their CO. As luck would have it they had an ASM who was /is the Commander of the local American Legion, so they moved there.

As I say the SM was/is a nice fellow. He has been around Scouting for a very long time. I thought he needed a little nudge to get him back on what I seen as the right track. So I invited him to serve on Wood Badge Staff. He did a wonderful job. In fact the American Legion Post Commander was at my house last week and said that while and after the course he was a much better leader. (The commander has signed on as a Mate for the Sea Scout Ship.)I'm not sure if this had anything to do with his marriage falling apart, but they split and she stayed with this mixed up Scout /Camp fire unit.He went back to college and quit as SM.

She met a new fellow. Nearly all the Scouts quit, but there is a group of 13 year old girls who still meet. I have no idea what they do when they meet? The American Legion Commander /Mate wants me to take them into the Ship.

I have heard about Sea Scout Ships who have a Cabin Boy /Cabin Girl program which is not a BSA program, but does allow some kind of limited membership to youth who are 13.

I admit to being very tempted. We sure would like the idea of all these new members. I'm not sure but I think it might be possible to get them in if we we were to use some kind of a Scoutreach program. But as I say I'm not sure. -Please don't quote me as saying that it can be done.

I decided against it because I'm way too lazy to go through what might be involved with a Scoutreach program. One big thing that I keep hearing from older Scouts is that they don't like having "Little Kids around" (Their words not mine -we could talk about one for hours!!) I also worry if we go down to 13 why not keep going down?

However, we have a Sea Scout who is 15, his little brother is 13 and will be 14 in September of 2006. The 15 year old is signed up to go Sea Kayaking with us next June and his Mother has asked if the little Lad can go with him? I discussed this with the Petty Officers and they are fine with it. So I have said that as long as the little fellows Scoutmaster is OK with him going, he can go. Not as a Sea Scout but as a Boy Scout.

As yet I haven't done anything about the Camp Fire girls. I think I might visit one of their meetings and explain what we do in Sea Scouts. Give them a copy of our plan for 2006 and invite them to join when they become 14.

As OJ is 17, I don't have a problem with his age, but I think if he was under 14 I would be happy to leave him in a Troop until he was 14. While I'm sure there would be times and activities that he would tag along with me. There would be times and activities that he just wouldn't be able to participate in. The Sea Kayaking is a BSA High Adventure program and Scouts under 13 are not allowed anyway.

I'm not that great of a hunter or into guns but I think knowing what the rule is I wouldn't want to break it. I would hate to see the "Fall out" if God forbid something did go wrong and there was an accident.It would be terrible if something happened to him, but if I took a underage youth and something happened I don't think I could live with myself. Let alone what a good lawyer could do to me and take from me.

I don't pretend to know why all the rules are in place? But I think knowingly breaking them is not very bright.

Just imagine an unauthorized, under age youth shooting another youth. It just doesn't bear thinking about.

I hope and pray it never happens.

I'll stick to the age limits.


Link to post
Share on other sites



While Kayaking is authorized for 13 yr old Boy Scouts, I would not allow a younger sibling to go on this trip if he was not old enough to be a crew/ship member. what would you do if other 13yr scouts want to participate? If the Crew/Ship is doing a joint activity then by all means include all of them.


If they don't meet age requirements for membership and trips like this, don't do it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The cabin boy/cabin girl programs I am familiar with involve chartering a Boy Scout/Girl Scout troop under the same CO. They then operate as usual troops do, except they have an extremely nautical orientation. They can join Sea Scout activities that are appropriate under the guidlines for their program. In at least one case I know of, the Scouts wear a chambray shirt and jeans as their normal uniform. Totally off the charts as far as the BSA is concerned, but seems to work for them.


It can be a great way to provide a feeder for your SS unit if you can work out all the logistics.:)

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...