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Pioneering Catapults Banned?

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At our District Roundtable, someone mentioned that it was no longer permissable for Boy Scouts to operate catapults built as pioneering projects. We have built such structures in the past and used them to launch tennis balls or water balloons at non-human targets under the supervision of an adult leader who happens to be an archery rangemaster. Does anyone know the source of this? Is it an actual BSA policy (or a change in policy) and if so what is the source? I can find nothing in the G2SS. Or is it just a local interpretation?

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Can't tell you if the guy was just spoutin' off or if it was a local restriction. He might have been thinking of the 16 foot tall "pumpkin chuckers" (which violate height restrictions and may require filing a flight plan in some municipalities). It's on you to chase this squirrel to ground.

As long as you see nothing in writing (and you take the precautions you describe), fire away!

 

P.S. - the stuff in parentheses is fanciful speculation on my part and based on common sense -- not spelled out in the G2SS. As I've mentioned in other threads, there are ways to build massive siege engines without violating OSHA height restrictions.

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Before we go invokng the name of OSHA, they have no jurisdiction over Boy Scouts or volunteers. Maybe RichardB can enlighten us. We also have an annual "Punkin Chunkin" and it's news to me.

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There are two words you need to know for these situations: "Show me." If he can't point to it in the most current policy books (Guide to Safe Scouting, G. to Advancement, G. to Uniforms and Insignia, etc.) he can go fly a kite.

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There are two words you need to know for these situations: "Show me." If he can't point to it in the most current policy books (Guide to Safe Scouting, G. to Advancement, G. to Uniforms and Insignia, etc.) he can go fly a kite.
That's not allowed either. Kids might get rope burns.

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There are two words you need to know for these situations: "Show me." If he can't point to it in the most current policy books (Guide to Safe Scouting, G. to Advancement, G. to Uniforms and Insignia, etc.) he can go fly a kite.
Ha!

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Our district recently did a whole camporee based on units constructing a trebuchet (Similar to a catapult) and shooting tennis balls for distance, accuracy, etc.

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Before we go invokng the name of OSHA, they have no jurisdiction over Boy Scouts or volunteers. Maybe RichardB can enlighten us. We also have an annual "Punkin Chunkin" and it's news to me.
All I'm saying is it's hard to build something that large without needing to climb it -- in which case it's helmet and safety harness time. Hard, but not impossible.

 

And if you build something that big, and it is truly an efficient engine (capable of lofting projectiles 1000' high and a mile downrange), one must understand that some municipalities have "fly-over" ordinances. In other words, at certain levels of grandeur, common sense and courtesy is going to be more comprehensive than the G2SS.

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Wow. Our District Cub Scout day camp this year is knights of the roundtable themed. They are encouraging the Webelos from each pack to build a trebuchet. We start work on ours next month.

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Possibly it is the updated infomation in the shooting sports manual. Please review the update list, the consolodation of this into the actual manual is a work in progress but do not know what the timeline is. In the interium you may need to look at both.

 

http://www.scouting.org/Home/OutdoorProgram/ShootingSports.aspx Has both source documents.

 

It may also be ballistas vs. catapults that was conveyed at your RT, but don't know exactly what was said.

 

Yours in Scouting,

 

Richard

 

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Possibly it is the updated infomation in the shooting sports manual. Please review the update list, the consolodation of this into the actual manual is a work in progress but do not know what the timeline is. In the interium you may need to look at both.

 

http://www.scouting.org/Home/OutdoorProgram/ShootingSports.aspx Has both source documents.

 

It may also be ballistas vs. catapults that was conveyed at your RT, but don't know exactly what was said.

 

Yours in Scouting,

 

Richard

" ... When using a catapult or other shooting device, use a soft object no larger than

the opening of a small juice can. The use of pumpkins is not approved."

 

Time to get out the watermelons!

 

Truth be told, lofting large projectiles require lots of engineering experience, and boys should be discouraged from doing that until they've had years of practice.

 

But burying these recommendations in "shooting sports" reaches the wrong audience. My involvement in pioneering was precisely because I was not very good with rifles until I was an adult.

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Possibly it is the updated infomation in the shooting sports manual. Please review the update list, the consolodation of this into the actual manual is a work in progress but do not know what the timeline is. In the interium you may need to look at both.

 

http://www.scouting.org/Home/OutdoorProgram/ShootingSports.aspx Has both source documents.

 

It may also be ballistas vs. catapults that was conveyed at your RT, but don't know exactly what was said.

 

Yours in Scouting,

 

Richard

Thanks Richard. It looks like this chapter was once only applicable to Cub Scouts and with the change in title now applies to Boy Scouts. This looks like the source of the information we were given at Roundtable. Now I only need an official BSA definition for "small juice can." ;)

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