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we have boys receiving bobcat @ next pack mtg. Some boys were told of old tradition of being turned upside down. Several leaders are against this because it is against B.S.A. REGULATIONS now. However, our committee and u.c. and d.e. don't seem to mind. Our committee meeting is coming up and any thoughts, help or suggestions would be much appreciated. We feel it is inappropriate to bend the rules to carry on old traditions. Some feel this should not even be an issue nor should new members have been told about it.

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What does any individuals opinion have to do with the act being against the rules?


If they said in their opinion you should be able to drive 50 miles an hour through a school zone would that make it alright to do it?


They are welcome to their opinion, that stil does not give them the right to upturn the boy and risk his safety or expose the CO to a leagal suit.



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I agree, but it doesn't change the fact they will still do it. I need to know what I can do to make sure it will NEVER be an issue again. Especially if my d.e. doesn't care. We've gone to him and gotten no where. Where can you go after that. I've been told, be quiet or you will be gone. I love my scouts and 2 dens. I have 12 active boys. I don't want to loose that. Our pack master and a few others could care less as long as it suits them. But myself and 3 others have come aboard and are rocking the boat and following the letter of the law. However, we are hitting walls. For the first time in 4 years, our charter rep actually showed up to a committe meeting. Because we 4 have stirred up so much "stuff" you might say, but we are only doing what the Guide to safe scouting and other books say to do.

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The answer is in the Tiger Handbook where it says no upside down. also I found this for you:


"Bobcat Turning - There is a long history of BSA discouraging the practice of turning Boys upside down when awarding the Bobcat Badge.

Click here to see a copy of a 1997 letter from BSA concerning the unacceptable and unwarranted practice of turning new Cub Scouts on their heads when pinning on the Bobcat Badge. It ends with the following statement:

There is no point to this type of "ceremony", and it contains significant potential for harm. As such, it has o place in Cub Scouting and should not be used.

Page 18-6 of the Cub Scout Leader Book (33221B) states the following:

Any Bobcat ceremony in which boys are physically turned upside down contains significant potential for harm and should not be


The Tiger Cub Handbook contains the following statement:

The Boy Scouts of America prohibits any Bobcat ceremony in which boys are physically turned upside down. "



Edited part: The "click here" didn't work so here is where I found the info:



cajun(This message has been edited by cajuncody)

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The rules agree with CC and BW. Bobcats SHOULD NOT be turned. Not all traditions are good - the BSA specifically prohibits this one.


Sorry, that's going to make for some uncomfortable conversation, but Bobcat heads bouncing off floors were found to be more uncomfortable!!!


There's lots of other fun safe ways to celebrate Bobcathood!!!!!!! Check out the "Ceremonies" book: Section 8.


good luck!

Have Fun!!



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You say that your UC and DE are OK with this?


I would contact your Council's Scout Executive and let him/her know that your Unit is planning to violate both Youth Protection and BSA policy and is doing so with the blessing of both your UC and DE.


You could, if you wish, first contact your COR and IH of your Charter Org and let them know that there is the very real possibility that their charter could get pulled because of this ceremony. If they still insist on going thru with it you can then go to your SE.





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Our Pack handled this in a compromise way last year.


The boys were to pin their Bobcat badges on upside down (the badge, not the boy!) until they performed two good deeds at home.


Perhaps some sort of compromise would be able to start a new tradition without endangering any young noggins.

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Pinning the Bobcat upside down on a right side up Cub is a scouting ceremony that has been used for decades and was at one time in the ceremonies book of the BSA.


"I'm not sure it is "against regulations". I have seen a letter suggesting this practice be stopped but haven't seen anything officially stating it is "against regulations"."


It is spelled out in the Tiger Handbook and The Cub Scout Leader Handbook, among other places. I am curious as to what would keep an "experienced" leader, trainer and unit commissioner from knowing and supporting this BSA regulation? What more would it take in order to "be sure"?

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Turning the badge and not the kid upside down is the right idea. I like the idea of the boy having to do a good turn. However, I think that's adding to the requirements, but that's a different topic.


Turning the kid upside down reminds me of the old Scoutmaster's minute about climbing to the top of an oak tree:


There are three ways to climb to the top of an oak tree:


1) Climb it.

2) chop one down and walk to the top.

3) plant an acorn and sit on it . . .



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I know I have read that it is now prohibited. Maybe it was just quoted from the aforementioned letter. I've searched my brain and my archives, and can't come up with the source. (Ever since turning 40 I've started forgetting things):)


In reality, it's just common sense. The Cubmaster before me apparently did it. When I became CM, it never crossed my mind. I pinned the badge on upside down. Someone shouted out, "aren't you going to turn him upside down?" The boys looked scared/confused. I patted him on the head and told him "no, we'll just do it this way."

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Guest OldGreyEagle

You know every once in awhile its good to take a step back and consider all issues on a topic that you hold very emotional. All the quoted references from the BSA on bobcat turning use words llike discourage and should not Ed makes the valid point the word prohibit is never found, leastwise not yet. In light of this specific lack of prohibition and despite numerous admonitions not to do the bobcat turning I guess I have to say Go for it


Spin those Cubbies, rotate them higher and faster than Purdues Golden Girl can twirl her baton. Line them Cubbies up and re-enact a half-time show featuring the Kilgore Rangerettes. Now, if one of those squirming, sweaty little buggers slip out of anyones hands, I am sure the BSA lawyers will be happy to defend your right to terrorize its youth members because after all, nothing says it is prohibited. I back Ed 100% on this one


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